Special Delivery

February 2016, Oak Ridge Specials Teacher Newsletter Ed. 6

Music

Kindergarten and First Grade are wrapping up their units on melody. We are beginning to learn music for our spring musical, "Stone Soup". The children have heard the story and talked about folk tales and are excited about performing for you on April 21. Stay tuned for more information in the next few weeks!


Second Graders are finishing a unit on melody by playing songs with three pitches on barred percussion. It is hard, but the students are really getting the hang of it! Mid-February we will begin a unit study using "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Modest Mussourgksy to study different elements of music and instrument families.


Third Graders are finishing their study of melody. They have learned about the major scale and have played a three-part accompaniment to a Native American song. Next they will create ostinato patterns to accompany another Native American song and then we will begin studying instrument families and the composers and music we will hear at our upcoming field trip to the symphony (in April).


Fourth Graders are excited to be practicing recorder again. Students will have the opportunity to test for belts in Recorder Karate. Please help your child find a place to practice that is good for the entire family. They may ask to give you a concert. This will help them assuage any stage fright in testing. Thank you for your support in this fun unit!


Fifth Graders are learning about the opera and will go see Opera at the Carolina Theater on Monday, February 8. They will have one lesson where they will perform a Reader's Theater together to understand the plot. Before the trip they will also learn about the terms "aria" and "recitative", the two types of singing in an opera. After the opera mini-unit, we will begin learning how to play the ukulele. Fun!

Physical Education

Kindergarten: We will continue to work on our Jumping and Landing Unit. Many of our kindergartens did not have prior knowledge of how to turn or jump a jump rope. A lot of them asked where they could get them. Might be a good Valentines gift! We will continue to work of this until 2/11/16. They will also learn about Chinese Jump Rope. Our next unit will be on Dance.

First Grade: We will continue to work on our Jumping and Landing Unit. They have been improved their jump rope skills a lot since last year. They will continue to learn about Chinese Jump Rope this year. We will continue to work of this until 2/22/16. Our next unit will be on Dance.


Second Grade: We will continue to work on our Jumping and Landing Unit. They have begun to learn about different jump rope patterns, turning and jumping a long rope and continue to build on their Chinese Jump Rope Skills.


Third Grade: We are in the beginning of our basketball unit. This year the students will concentrate on Jump Shots, Lay-Ups, the basics offense and defense, pivoting and ready position.

Fourth and Fifth Grades: We are starting our unit on basketball skills. We will continue to work on Jump Shots, Lay-Ups, the basics offense and defense, pivoting and ready position.

Tech Lab (Technology)

Kindergarten: Kindergarten students have finished up their digital stories (written, typed, illustrated and narrated). They look forward to viewing their final projects! Currently, students are being introduced to spellingcity.com. This website is a great tool that helps students with spelling and vocabulary. Students are using kindergarten sight words to begin exploring this fun website. I am so proud of how well our kindergarten students are doing in the Tech Lab! Coming up, students will use kid friendly search engines to research animals of the same kind. Students will use technology tools to create to present their research.


First Grade: First graders worked very hard on creating diagrams in the Tux Paint program to show the moon phases. They used paint tools to show the 8 different phases and labeled each one. Coming up, students will create a digital story. They will create the story elements and plot. Together we will each write a piece to the story, type it, illustrate it and narrate our parts.


Second Grade: Second grade students have learned how to use the school's tablets with ease. Currently, they are working on building digital timelines of famous Americans using the Read Write Think website. Coming up, students will learn to navigate Oak Ridge Elementary school's website and towards the end of the month, they will be exploring Microsoft Power Point.


Third Grade: Third graders have carried over their science objectives into the Tech Lab! They are currently working on Solar System Power Point slides to organize and present information about 4 different planets. They are putting their knowledge of Power Point tools to good use. We will present our slideshows when ready to fine tune our listening and speaking skills. Later this month, students will learn/review how to use the school's tablets and then we will continue internet safety lessons on Cyberbullying.


Fourth and Fifth Grade: Students are enjoying creating ASCII Art in the Tech Lab! I cannot wait until our final masterpieces are ready to print and display. ASCII Art uses keyboard characters to create pictures. We didn't always have the luxury of emojis!

Coming up, fifth grade students will use technology tools to graph the number of books that were donated to the Specialist's Service Learning project. Fourth grade students will research fossils and how they compare to today's animals. Both 4/5 grades will then continue internet safety lessons on Cyberbullying.

Attention Teachers and Parents: Safe Internet Research Resources

The internet is a wonderful place to research and get information when working on a school project or just looking for general information! Unfortunately, if we aren't careful, the internet can expose students to images or text that are insensitive. Here is a link to the Top 10 Best Search Engines that are safe for students. First and fourth graders will be using Kidrex.org when they complete animal and fossil research later this month!

Media

Kindergarten - Third Grades: This month we will continue to read and discuss North Carolina Children’s Picture Book Award Nominee books Nominated books include Who Says Women Can't be Doctors: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, Gravity by Jason Chin, Gaston written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson and the 2016 Newbery Winner Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt De La Pena and also illustrated by Christian Robinson. The North Carolina Children’s Book Award program is a children’s choice program sponsored by school and public librarians in North Carolina and is designed to introduce children to current children’s literature and to instill a love of reading. There are 10 books on the nominee list this year. Later in the month of March, students will have a chance to vote for their favorite book. More information about the program can be found: http://www.bookhive.org/bookhive/nccba/. Toward the end of February we will prepare for Read Across America Week and our upcoming spring book. Read Across America week is February 29 - March 4. The Book Fair will take place in the library March 7 - 11! Be on the lookout for more information about both of these exciting school events!



Fourth Grade: In celebration of Black History Month, we will read the book Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. We will discuss peaceful protests during the Greensboro Sit-ins. Also, we will begin a unit on Oral Traditions correlating with the classroom study of Oral Traditions. Toward the end of February we will prepare for Read Across America Week and our upcoming spring book. Read Across America week is February 29 - March 4. The Book Fair will take place in the library March 7 - 11! Be on the lookout for more information about both of these exciting school events!



Fifth Grade: In celebration of Black History Month, we will discuss the Greensboro Sit-Ins by reading a Scholastic News article “Sitting at History’s Table”. Also, we will read and learn more about Thurgood Marshall. Toward the end of February we will prepare for Read Across America Week and our upcoming spring book. Read Across America week is February 29 - March 4. The Book Fair will take place in the library March 7 - 11! Be on the lookout for more information about both of these exciting school events!

Art

Kindergarten-Second Grade: This month students are learning about different kinds of paint and how they are used; whether with a lot of water, a little water, or no water at all, in addition to why some paints are small like watercolors; why some are bigger, and why some are in a bottle or cup. These Art students are also learning the difference between transparent paints and opaque paints, as well as how some paints can be either transparent or opaque depending on the amount of water an artist uses. Brush care and techniques are also being learned.

After creating a wintry snowman sketch on very large tag board (almost as big as them!), students will paint their wintry backgrounds with tempera cakes in cool colors, and will paint their snowmen or snowgirls and all their parts and accessories, with liquid tempera (washable of course!) These young students are learning to plan big spaces, think about design choices, and make a brush create what they want.


Third Grade: Students have used their own hands to create a mitten template from which they are creating a large composition of scattered mittens with patterns and designs. They will paint these compositions in crayon-resist style, drawing their designs in thick waxy crayon, and will then paint their spaces in watercolor, meaning that the oil in the wax will resist the watery paint wherever thick crayon marks have been drawn. In addition, these third-grade artists are learning about contrast, as well as spacing, including positive and negative space. They are creating images that flip and rotate in different directions with some images partially going off the page, as artists often do to create interest and emphasis. Likewise, these students are learning more advanced techniques for using watercolors, such as creating white spaces from the watercolor paper or from their brush strokes, as well as how to control their brushes to work in wide or narrow spaces.


Fourth Grade: Students are learning how to attach coils of clay by scoring and mending the clay pieces, as well how to stretch and move malleable clay and attach features to it, to make a coil pot that will be the basis for their NC-style face jug. Fourth-grade Art students will exercise many choices in this project as to the shape of the pot; whether it bows out, inverts in or stays as a true cylinder, in addition to choices about the facial features, either scary or whimsical, and choices about their glaze.


Fifth Grade: Students will continue to to work on their scarf weavings on McDonald straw looms. As soon as the entire class individually weaves over the edge of their looms, that class of students will take their weavings home to finish on their own time(maybe to weave in their pj's!) Students will be given in-class and take-home instructions to help them take their finished weavings off their looms at home. All fifth-graders have the opportunity if need be, to come to the Art Room any morning (after checking in to their homeroom and before the bell rings), or after school with a parent permission slip) for one-on-one help with Ms. Hodnett, [Any weaving or loom problems should be brought in immediately for a visit to the Hodnett Hospital!!! Most weaving patients survive!!! ...though some may need an overnight stay!] Near the end of the month, or early March, there will be a 'Take-it-off-the-Loom Day' in Art class for all students who haven't already done so, to take their weavings off the loom in class with assistance. Then we'll take a class pictures of everyone wearing their beautiful hand-woven scarves!