Specials Curriculum Update
All of the students began the new school year with an illustration entitled “What I made this summer.” The emphasis for the month’s lessons has been an exploration of fabric design and painting.
In the Middle School the students focused on three main elements of fabric painting: resist, repetition and randomness. They have worked with both cold resists and seri gutta (Indian silk resist). The students have used professional fabric dyes in their work with cotton, wool and silk ties and scarves.
The Anthony Class explored fabric painting on cotton and wool with professional dyes. They learned to work with a paper pattern to create a small sculpture of a piece of cake. This effort is a lead- up to working with more complex patterns.
The Rustin through Fox Classes painted fabrics using watercolor. They went outdoors to study rooflines and buildings as they relate to each other. Students explored the concepts of distance and perspective in this life drawing session.
All of the students in the school created a drawing, watercolor or mixed media work using collage. The subject was late season hydrangeas. This a first in the life drawing series that will take place throughout the year.
Library/Information and Technology Literacy
The Mott Class visited the library several times this month and learned about and practiced how to check out books in the library. They also learned ways to keep books safe at home and at school including how to hug books when walking with them. We’ve read Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Buss and also The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora.
Rustin - Kindergarten
We’ve read Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Buss and also The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora. We learned about the UFS library, rules we should follow when in the library, and the routines for book selection. In connection to the Rustin Class’ study of butterflies, we also read Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope to learn more about monarch butterflies and their journey to Mexico. Students took notes by sketching an image from the story.
Penn - 1st and 2nd Grades
The Penn Class read several books including The Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, and Stella Louella’s Runaway Book by Lisa Ernst. Using these books, students reviewed basic library routines and rules such as using the book truck, checking out books and how to keep books safe at home and at school. Most recently, students are learning how to use OPALS, our online library catalog.
Fox - 2nd and 3rd Grades
We’ve read several books including The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, The Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra. Students have reviewed basic library routines such as using the book truck and checking out books. Recently, students played a game to practice how to locate books in the library when given the book’s call number.
Anthony - 4th and 5th Grades
The Anthony Class began the year learning about various aspects of library history. We read Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barbara Rosenstock, Ms. Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough, and That Book Woman by Heather Henson. Using these books, students learned about Thomas Jefferson and the Library of Congress, Anne Moore, the woman who created libraries for children, and the pack horse librarians. With a partner, students are creating a slide show using Google Slides on these topics. Students also reviewed and practiced the routines for locating and checking out books.
Helman/Osborn - 6th-8th Grades
In ITL class, students have read and reviewed the Responsible Use Policy. Using Google Slides, students created information guides for younger students about how to safely use technology at school. Students have also been selecting books for their R2S2 assignment.
It is so good to be back for another year of music making at United Friends School. A new school year brings the opportunity to review music room procedures, old favorites, and also dive right in to new activities.
Mott and Rustin Classes have been singing greeting songs to begin each class. This is a wonderful way to let every student know they are welcome, known, and appreciated. We are also working hard on spacial awareness. This is a very important skill in music class as we do many movement activities. We have practiced making shapes as a class like semi-circle, circle, line and (our favorite) scatter. Smoothly transitioning in and out of these placements prepares us as we dive further into creative movement and instrument play. We have also been using our voices, instruments, bodies, and aural senses to develop pitch awareness as we focus on “High” and “Low” sounds.
Penn and Fox Classes are extending their knowledge of pitch and rhythm from last year. We have reviewed concepts such as steady beat vs. changing rhythm, quarter note “ta” and eighth note set “ta-ti”, and are moving into pitch identification using solfeggio. Penn Class has been sight singing and playing a 2-pitch song called “Snail Snail.” We use our bodies to show the high and low pitches while singing before moving to perform on pitched percussion. Fox Class is doing a wonderful job of sight singing and reading 3-pitch songs using Sol, Mi, and La. Our most recent performance of the song “Starlight, Starbright” was beautiful! We were able to learn 2 ostinato patterns through body percussion and then transfer them to the xylophone and triangle.
Anthony and Helman-Osborn Classes are hard at work exploring some of the basic elements of music. Anthony Class spent time creating rhythm trees to better understand how and why we notate the duration of notes as we do. This has been a great review of their previous musical knowledge and is preparing them for further adventures in performance and composition. Helman-Osborn’s first project has been to create a poster for either tempo, volume, pitch, or tone color. We spoke about the tenets of these elements before letting our creative juices flow in creating these visual representations of them. These will be very helpful as we begin to analyze musical scores and commence listening projects.
Instrumental music is off to a wonderful start. We have our instruments selected and will soon begin playing them together. In the meantime, we are using our lesson time to discuss expectations and procedures and dissect what distinguishes good practice sessions and habits. Fourth grade students are learning about the four orchestral instrument families and what characterizes them.
Our vocal ensemble has expanded by leaps and bounds this year! We are doing a wonderful job advancing through sight singing exercises and have a wonderful tone to work with right out of the gate. Last week was particularly exciting as we sang in harmony for the first time! We will begin to select music for performance and are looking forward to sharing our gifts within and without our school community.
We have been having all kinds of fun in Phys. Ed this month.
Our Mott and Rustin Classes have been following the Stretch-n-Grow curriculum where we have been making our hearts beat fast while using our imagination. We pretended to be Community Helpers; we took a trip to watch our favorite football team (EAGLES); and we took an imaginary trip to the zoo all while learning important exercises. Ask your child what he/she has been doing in P.E.
Our Penn, Fox, Anthony, and Helman/Osborn Classes have been learning how important fitness is to feel good and stay healthy. All of our activities on Mondays are geared towards fitness and learning how to make our muscles stronger, our hearts healthier, and our bodies happy! Thursdays are filled with lots of fun games that get us moving and working together as a team! We have discussed the five components of fitness and what they mean to us. We also set fitness goals for the year. Check out the UFS fitness goals on the bulletin board in the Big Room. It's been an excellent start to the school year.
Mott & Hicks - Preschool
We have been listening to and saying greetings, introductions, and goodbyes/see-you-laters (as well as “Happy Birthday!”) through songs and repetition. We’ve also learned about actions by singing active songs (lyrics matched actions) and listening to and watching a show-and-tell presentation about the teacher's hobbies (the same actions as in the song). We have also started a review of colors by tossing bean bags and saying the names of the colors of these bean bags as we do.
Rustin & Penn - Kindergarten and 1st Grade
We have practiced saying “Me llamo” to introduce ourselves (responding to “Cocodrilo” the puppet) and singing “buenos días” (good morning). We have also learned action words through repetition and pantomime and even played several games where we had to remember how the actions sounded in Spanish to be able to do them (for example, “Simon Dice”). We also pieced together puzzles to think about the action in Spanish. Action words also captioned several pictures of Latin American countries celebrating their independence days on a presentation and we did puzzles of these pictures to think about the action words in Spanish, too.
Fox - 2nd and 3rd Grades
We have excitedly been singing “Buenos Dias”/”Buenas Tardes” (depending on the time of the day) in a “repeat after me” song and then turning to a neighbor and practicing simply saying it (reading off the projected words on the whiteboard). The teacher picks a pair of friends to show everyone how to do it. We’ve also introduced ourselves (“me llamo”) and had the teacher go around and remember who we each are using the similar phrase “se llama.” We learned action words through repetition and pantomime and circled the words matched with pictures on a page to demonstrate which activities we like to do. To reinforce the action words, we played several games, pieced together puzzles, watched a presentation on how several Latin American countries celebrate their independence day, and copied down the action words along with our drawings of the actions. To reinforce “me gusta” (I like) and “no me gusta” (I don’t like), and learn the new phrase “me da igual” (it’s the same for me either way), through a catchy song and signs we are making to respond to questions from the teacher about what we like to do, don’t like to do, and feel neutral about doing.
Anthony - 4th and 5th Grades
We’ve introduced ourselves; practiced greeting each other daily; deciphered what a list of action words meant, looking first only at the words, then pictures of the words, and acting out the words. We did the action when the teacher told us and also matched words with pictures. We were reviewing colors and learning several new words (“paises” and “banderas”) to honor the countries (and their flags) that were celebrating their independence days.
Helman-Osborn - 6th and 7th Grades
We’ve introduced ourselves and are daily practicing how to respond to “Cómo estás?” more personally. We’ve deciphered what a list of action words meant, looking first only at the words, then pictures of the words (circling which we like), and finally repeating and acting out the words and then naming the actions that the teacher acted out. We played a matching game and are currently learning new associated words so we can write sentences and make a story like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. We also took some time to commemorate the independence days of several Central American countries by researching their flags and coats of arms but also presenting on them in Spanish, identifying locations of the countries and colors and objects on the flags. Then we responded to questions about the countries in Spanish in a trivia game. We are also keeping a class list of vocabulary words (that we each copy in our notebooks) that we’re picking up along the way.
Helman-Osborn - 7th and 8th Grades
We’ve introduced ourselves and are daily practicing how to respond to “Cómo estás?” more personally. We’ve deciphered what a list of action words meant, looking first only at the words, then pictures of the words (circling which we like), and finally repeating and acting out the words and then naming the actions that the teacher acted out. We played a matching game and Go Fish! (“¡Pesca!”) We are currently learning new associated words (drawing them rather than translating them so that the image aligns with the Spanish word rather than the Spanish word aligning with the English word) and have started writing sentences to make a story similar to If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. We took some time to commemorate the independence days of several Central American countries by researching their flags and coats of arms but also presenting them in Spanish, identifying locations of the countries and colors and objects on the flags. Then we responded to questions about the countries in Spanish in a trivia game. We are also keeping a class list of vocabulary words (that we copy in our notebooks) that we’re picking up along the way. We played pictionary to reinforce speaking the words we’ve learned.