Specialist S'more

Check in here for updates on all things out-of-cluster!

Welcome to the Specialist S'more!

Students are enrolled in one special a term, cycling through Music, Art, Health, and Tech Ed. They'll have us around twice a week and will be working on a variety of projects that connect to and go beyond what they're learning in cluster. On their off days, students will be in Physical Education. Joining us on this S'more are the Library Media Center and Maker Space as well as the World Language team! There are also links to Performing Music information at the bottom.


We'll be posting updates throughout each term on all things specials related. Additionally, there's contact information for each teacher throughout. Feel free to explore!

Big picture

Term 2 starts Thursday, Nov. 10th!

Students should check PowerSchool to see what their new special is! Also, be sure to STAY ENROLLED in all Google Classrooms. If a student leaves GC, teachers lose their internal grading records. Teachers will "archive" the class, removing it from students' feed as soon as they're done grading.

General Music

New term, new specials! Welcome to all the students taking music this term!


In 6th grade, we're working on our first mini-unit where students are learning about un-bias, perceptive listening. They started off doing some blind listening, and they're now working an a lyric analysis of a song of their choosing!


Our 7th grade students have launched into their Elements of Music unit. In this crash-course, we will learn about Dynamics, Tempo, Timbre, Rhythm, Pitch, Form, and Texture. This unit will take us through November and into December, concluding with a short quiz and a mini project!


Students in 8th grade are working on their first mini-unit where students are learning about un-bias, perceptive listening. They started off doing some blind listening, and they're now working an a lyric analysis of a song of their choosing!


If a student is absent at any time, they should check their Curriculum Calendars as well as Google Classroom to see what they missed!


(Last Updated 11/18)

Watertown High School Presents "Clue"

Join us for the fun-filled murder-mystery board game come alive in the WHS Fall Production of "Clue!"


Shows:

Nov 18th - 20th

Friday, Nov. 18th @ 6pm
Saturday, Nov. 19th @ 6pm
Sunday, Nov. 20th @ 2pm


WPS FACULTY/STAFF FREE SHOW (Dress Rehearsal)

Thursday, Nov.17th @ 4pm


Tickets:
Watertown students FREE (with student ID)
Non-Watertown Students & Seniors (65+) $5
General Admission $10

Term 2 Curriculum Calendars

These calendars list all class dates, meeting topics, and assignment due dates for each section of Term 2.

Tech Ed

6th grade: Students have been engaged in lots of class discussions and labs relating to bridge types and structural loads, and done a number of their own structure building challenges. We have additionally been having some spirited contests with the online Bridge Designer software, created by West Point Army Corps of Engineers, where the students design and test various truss bridge iterations to create a bridge that will hold a crossing truck, for the least amount of money.

7th grade: Students have been exploring the four forces of flight (Gravity, Thrust, Lift and Drag) as well as how an airfoil keeps an airplane in the air, and done some related experiments and demonstrations relating to fluid dynamics and air pressure, and discussed how those affect flight. This week we have been launching student designed rockets in Moxley Field. It has of course been a … blast!
8th grade: This week students built upon their work with their Lego Mindstorms robotics kits and programming software, putting into practice their understanding of the concepts of Inputs, Processing, and Outputs as they relate to the mechanical and communications systems models.

They have been designing, building and programming a number of autonomous robot configurations to experience hands-on design challenges for themselves, and are now deep into their final design challenge, the Candy Challenge, which poses the problem of navigating a timed obstacle course to collect as many rounds of candy as possible. As a team, they will need to take what they have learned through the ‘out of the box’ mini-challenge lessons and design, build, and program a custom solution to solve the course.


(Last Updated 11/4)

Health

6th grade: Welcome to term 2 Health class! Here is the link to our parent/guardian letter home. This explains what Health class is all about at WMS. The first thing 6th grade students will work on in health class is writing a letter to their 9th grade selves which they will read when getting to WHS.


7th grade: Welcome to term 2 Health class! Here is the link to our parent/guardian letter home. This explains what Health class is all about at WMS. Next week we will be reviewing what everyone learned in 6th grade Health class.


8th grade: Welcome to term 2 Health class! Here is the link to our parent/guardian letter home. This explains what Health class is all about at WMS. Next week we will be talking about the seven dimensions of wellness and completing our wellness wheels


(Last Updated 11/16)

Art

We are in Term 2 now with new classes and new challenges to learn! Check out our Photo Gallery of Finished Work from the End of Term 1 as well.


6th grade:

This course introduces students to a middle school mindset in art. It teaches students how to think and draw through the artistic process of brainstorming ideas, sketching, refining those ideas, reflecting on the work that’s being created in progress, assessing the direction to continue forward with, and ultimately creating a unique and polished piece of final work.


We’re working on learning how to draw Musical Instruments Realistically. We’ve chosen a Musical Instrument to draw and began with some exploring sketches; breaking that Instrument into “Simple Shapes” and “Lines and Angles.” Then we explored our Instruments through Contour, Blind Contour, Balanced Glance and Negative Space Sketches.


From there, we will move on to Thumbnail Sketches. We usually do 3-5 Thumbnail Sketches where we try out different ways to fill the rectangle of our page in an interesting way; experimenting with Zooming In or Out, putting things on a diagonal and trying both vertical and horizontal page orientations. Then we pick a “favorite” version that might need some editing and refining before drafting it BIG on our final paper.


Learning Targets: MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS


1. Artists draw what they see, not what they know. I WILL take time to look at the object in front of me, SO I CAN draw “what I see,” not what “I think I know.”


2. Artists edit their work, they don’t expect the first thing they draw to look perfect right away. I WILL take time to look at my paper, compare it to the object I’m looking at and be honest with myself about what looks good, and what needs fixing SO I CAN edit, refine and change what’s on my paper, to match what I’m seeing.

7th grade:

This course builds on using the artistic process and also emphasizes color theory and design elements. We will explore limited color palettes and strategic color choices. Students will also examine pattern, design texture, and how to lead a viewer through their work by making intentional choices about composition and emphasis.


We’re working on our Zentangle Drawings. We’re building this complicated drawing made from tiny shapes and adding many layers of details, coloring and complexity into our “Final Zentangles.” Students will learn how to "hide" their mistakes within these complex patterns, really analyzing what they have already drawn and learning to decide what to add next. This project really emphasizes composition and design.


Learning Target: ZENTANGLES

I can change my mistakes to make them look intentional, if I am thoughtful and reflective about the best way to “hide” them inside my complex pattern drawing.

8th grade:

This course focuses on realistic drawing. We will explore how to break objects into shapes, perspective drawing and shading. We will use a variety of media, both black and white and color based to explore these drawing techniques.


We’re beginning to learn about Perspective Drawing, where things that are closer to us look larger and then get smaller and smaller as they get further away. Perspective Drawing is a “formula” for drawing and has specific “rules” that make it easier to emphasize that larger to smaller proportion.


Learning Targets: PERSPECTIVE SKETCHBOOKS Artists use Perspective to create 3-D depth within a 2-D piece of artwork. How you can achieve this:


1. I can use “TRUE VERTICALS” “TRUE HORIZONTALS” “VANISHING POINTS” and “LINES THAT MEET THE VANISHING POINT” to draw buildings in Perspective, which shows things that are closer to us looking bigger, and things that are further away getting smaller.

2. I can use perspective drawing “tricks” to make 2-D drawings look 3D on the page.

Advanced Art 6th grade: This course focuses on more independence and choice than our General 6th Grade Art Course, while also extending upon the skills and project concepts we will explore in General 6th Grade Art. We will work through the artistic process and examine and critique our work as we develop complex and refined final projects. We are transitioning from our 2nd project (Cardboard Animal Relief Masks) towards our 3rd project either a positive/negative collage of an image of student's choosing or a comic book page. For the Cardboard Animal Relief Masks, students chose an animal they are interested in creating, chose reference photos to look at, drew their initial Thumbnail Sketches to find the shapes that make up their animal and then started cutting and gluing their cardboard shapes together to form their animals. They are noticing small details about their animals and are really starting to make them "come alive."


Advanced Art 7th & 8th grade: This course focuses on independent projects based on student interest; examples being realistic drawing, color rendering, painting, printmaking and sculpture. We will work through the artistic process and examine and critique our work as we develop complex and refined final projects.


We are currently focusing on our 2nd project, Artist Books. Students have been introduced to a variety of options for their book project:

-A Signature Book

-An Accordion Book

-A Tabernacle Book

-A "Zine"

-A Comic Book Page


Students have chosen which type of book they want to make, planned out the number of pages and story they want to tell and they are now in the "drafting" stage of their Book Sketches. We've got some exciting stories to tell and can't wait to share them with you when we're further along!


(Last Updated 11/18)

Physical Education

Ms. McLaughlin's classes have started their units in the Upper Gym. 6th and 7th grade will focus on the rules and strategies for playing Disc Golf. 8th grade will work on strategies for Invasion Games including Team Handball leading up to Speedball.


Mr. Johnson's classes have started their unit in the Fitness Center. This round of Fitness will focus on Cardiovascular Endurance and will culminate in the Pacer test in the Lower Gym.


Please remind your students that they need to wear SNEAKERS and should bring a water bottle to class. Crocs, sandals and boots are not safe to participate in.


(Last Updated 11/4)

Library & Makerspace

The makerspace has been buzzing lately! Sixth grade music students finished their instrument design exploration. Cluster 5 students have been modeling landforms. Our 3D printers are up and running with student projects. Students can work after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Ms. Brenon-Hodas.

Thank you again for all your support of the WMS Book fair. The proceeds will go towards adding more books to our library collection!


(Last Updated 11/16)

World Language

Students in Arabic and Spanish are completing their first formal assessment on school supplies, subjects, and hobbies that they like and do not like to do.

Students are comparing and contrasting their classroom schedules and school life to students’ in Colombia, Egypt, Spain, and Syria.


(Last Updated 11/17)

Come back to this same link for updates!

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