Curriculum Corner

Robbinsville's Quarterly Curriculum Newsletter

Happy June... Summer Is Right Around The Corner!

Dear Robbinsville Community,

Hola! 你好! Bonjour! Ciao! This issue of our quarterly curriculum newsletter highlights our World Language program. We are proud of our World Language classes and how they encourage students to become effective communicators as well as informed and involved global citizens. Our program begins in elementary school with students being exposed to different languages during their daily Morning Meeting block. Kindergartners learn a few words of every language we offer, while 1st through 5th grade students learn the days of the week, months, numbers, and other key vocabulary words. In 1st and 5th grade, students have Spanish, while in 2nd grade they pick up French, in 3rd they learn Chinese, and in 4th they study Italian.

In grades 6-8, our students take Spanish every day and in high school they can choose from Spanish, Italian, French, or Chinese. Many of our students take four years of a language as well as the Advanced Placement foreign language exam. Please see the blurbs below for more information about all the wonderful things happening in our 6-12 World Language classrooms. A special thanks to our two World Language Instructional Coaches Marie Brooks, PRMS Spanish teacher, and Laura Francolino, RHS Italian and ESL teacher, for contributing to our newsletter.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful, restful summer. We look forward to seeing and working with you again in September.

Gracias, 谢谢, Merci, Grazie,

Kimberly Tew, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

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6-8 Spanish Program

6th GRADE:

Based on the one of the six AP themes presented in our curriculum, the 6th grade Spanish classes at PRMS have jumped in with both feet onto the dance floor! Focusing on the essential question – How do the arts both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives? – students are learning about the roots of Latin Music, the history of the instruments that create these unique genres, and the dances that bring culture to life. Moving from one artist to the next, we will discover the world of Latin painters and sculptors and their lasting impressions upon our global community. Students are enjoying this experience immensely while building an appreciation for the arts.

7th GRADE:

Students in 7th grade are currently in the community and environment unit. After learning about recycling, reducing, and reutilizing, the students creatively reutilized recycled or thrown out materials to create something new. Their projects included innovations like a pinball machine made of cardboard, a broom and dust pan, cardboard sunglasses and shoes, a plastic bag holder, and speakers. Next up, students will show up their Informed & Involved Citizenship as they design and produce Public Service Announcements about the causes, consequences, and solution of environmental issues.

8th GRADE:

Eight graders wrapped up third marking period by acting as inmobiliarias (realtors) and agentes de viajes (travel agents). They created and presented homes for sale and vacation rentals. Students showed off the interior and exterior features of homes, highlighting the communities’ advantages and disadvantages for different types of families. The summative project concluding the first half of unit reflected students understanding of the impact of climate, culture, economy, history, and geography on families’ homes and communities. Presentations exceeded expectations, explaining how different construction materials suited homes to different climates, and how families with pets and children would benefit from the homes’ open space, privacy, and local attractions. In May, students collaborated in groups to advise imaginary adolescents struggling to balance chores and home life with their social lives. Groups laughed over “would you rather?” style questions presenting equally unpleasant scenarios brought about by filth, pets, and the worst of all - broken screens!

High School World Languages

On April 10, 2018, RHS inducted 105 students of Italian, French, Chinese, and Spanish in its World Language Honor Society! Students accepted into the WLHS represent those with an average of 90%+ in their upper-level World Language classes and who will continue their learning in that language next year. Students created a presentation that showcased the fundraisers this year which benefited the victims of Hurricane Maria, a cause close to many of them. Students also highlighted the various cultural presentations they created to foster learning of their language of study. These included the sharing of crepes and a lesson on Mardi Gras, Italian wedding cookies, sausage bread, crostoli and a presentation on Italian traditions, dumplings and a lesson on fortune cookies, quesadillas, empanadas, Mexican cinnamon brownies, and Latino holidays. Congratulations to all of our inductees!
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High School Spanish

In April, Ms. Mayes’ Spanish III students interacted with seven visitors from Chiquimulilla, Guatemala (pictured below). The students and visitors worked together to study and analyze famous works of art by Spanish speaking artists. The RHS students had the opportunity to communicate with native Spanish speakers who do not speak any English. They relied solely on their Spanish-speaking skills acquired in the classroom to communicate. It was a true success, and the students were very proud of their ability to effectively communicate with our visitors. “This experience taught us to come up with ideas on the spot and to make connections with people we normally don’t get to communicate with,” stated Kyle Kempton, freshman at RHS. The visitors from Guatemala were extremely impressed with the students’ Spanish speaking abilities. “It was an unforgettable experience, and we will not stop sharing it with others!” said one of the visitors.

This Spring, the Spanish III classes studied Spanish-speaking artists and their art. Included among them were Picasso, Rivera, Kahlo, Botero, and Dalí. Topics included The Dirty War in Argentina, the conflict at the US/Mexico border, the sport of soccer, and various holidays including Day of the Dead and Las Fallas. The students did an extraordinary job!

This year in Spanish IV Honors, the students learned all about contemporary life in the U.S. and in the Spanish-speaking world. One of the most interesting aspects of contemporary life that we covered was celebrations and traditions. In conclusion of this unit, students worked together to create and perform two famous celebrations, "Día de los muertos" (Day of the Dead) and a "Quinceañera" (Sweet 15th Birthday Celebration). Students choreographed traditional dances, researched cultural traditions, and prepared authentic dishes. Students did a phenomenal job!

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High School Chinese and French

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Recently Chinese students learned and created poetry, enjoyed making dumplings in the Culinary room, and took time to experience Chinatown in NYC. Previously they collaborated to create a mural for the school to learn about Chinese New Year (pictured above). It covered 8 topics: Chinese New Year history, Superstition Story, Chinese New Year preparation, decorations, 12 Zodiacs, food, activities and the Lantern Festival.

French students are working on a variety of projects (pictured below). The French IV Honors students are writing their own fairy tales in blank books and decorating the books. They created the storylines for their fairy tales independently and wrote them from beginning to end. The French III students are creating their own inventions with prototypes and commercials. The French I students are creating their own clothing catalogs and French II students are writing their own songs.

High School Italian

In preparation for their upcoming Princeton University Art Museum trip, Italiano I learned about various Italian artists, their masterpieces, and different art periods and styles, recreating artwork in their own way. Meanwhile Italian IV & V practiced Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro and natura morta techniques with their modern-day items. ESL/ELL students also learned about American and international artists and recreated a classic piece. Which artists artwork do you recognize in the photo below?

Students of Italiano III learned about national and regional holidays and festivals, creating and sampling an authentic feast complete with e-cookbook of the recipes they used. Students in Italian I, II, and ESL/ELL joined forces with Mr. Miller’s Baking classes to create classic Italian dishes in the Culinary room.

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