Special Area Newsletter

January 2016

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Library News

Kindergarten and 1st grade- Throughout January and February we will be learning about different book parts. Lessons will focus on identifying book parts and their purpose. This is a building block to the research skills students will learn throughout their time here at CME.


2nd grade- Second graders have been working their way through the ten Kentucky Bluegrass Award nominees. Each week we pick a new nominee to read and discuss. Once we have read all ten nominees students will be able to vote for their favorite and their votes will be submitted to help choose the state award winner! Students have also been able to earn additional AR points each week by taking the AR quiz for each book after we have read them in library. These extra points have helped many students reach and surpass their AR goal for the month of January!


3rd grade- Lessons in January and February will focus on effectively using the Library. These lessons will include knowing how to use the Online Catalog and then locating books or needed whether in the Library or an online source. These lessons are building a foundation for developing strong research skills.


4th and 5th grade- Lessons in January focused on being good digital citizens. We looked at how tot rack our digital footprint (what we leave behind online) and how to find high quality websites for answering our questions and doing research for school projects. Students used checklists to explore various websites to check their credibility for research needs.

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Art News

All grades levels are currently working on a ceramic work of art. Kindergarten and first grade students are creating pinch pots and decorating with glazes. Second graders are making fish with their clay, and third graders are creating an animal of their choice. Fourth grade students are creating a coil pot. Fifth graders are creating a slab pot and stamps. All grade levels will glaze their ceramic pieces before bringing them home.

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STEM Lab News

Kindergarten: Students have been busy this month. They have learned how to sign-on to our computers using ctrl+alt+delete and putting in the password. They have also spent time working with the Hour of Code program and learning to write computer code using Angry Bird characters. Students were very excited to be introduced to our Bee-Bots. These are hands-on robots that students can program to follow directions to move in certain patterns. Lots of trial and error and teamwork were involved. Students have also enjoyed playing with marble mazes that the 5th grade classes made for them.

1st Grade: Students have been busy this month. They have reviewed how to sign-on to our computers using ctrl+alt+delete and putting in the password. They have also spent time working with the Hour of Code program and learning to write computer code using Angry Bird characters. Students were very excited to continue using our Bee-Bots. They programed the hands-on robots to follow a grid to spell words. They definitely learned the meaning of trial and error. Students have also enjoyed playing with marble mazes that the 5th grade classes made for them.


2nd Grade: Students were thrilled to work with computer coding using Minecraft and Star Wars themed activities. They have also learned to use Symbaloo on our school website. Students have learned about pollination and will be engineering their own device to hand pollinate plants.


3rd Grade: Students worked with the Hour of Code to learn the basic steps of computer coding through the use of block commands. They have learned to use Office 365 and the basics of using their own e-mail account safely.


4th Grade: Makey-Makey computer invention sets have been an exciting activity for students to use. The Makey-Makey connects to everyday things and becomes the keyboard of your computer. Students built their own miniature drum kits and created a program on Scratch to make the drum sounds. Students have also learned to use Office 365 and to safely use their own e-mail accounts.


5th Grade: Students built marble mazes for our primary students to play. They had to design and build their mazes in addition to creating a scoring system. They have also begun their bridge building project that will continue into February.

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Music News

Kindergarten students have learned about singing and identifying the pitches mi, sol, and la. The students used these pitches to sing the song “Little Miss Muffet.” The students also began playing the barred Orff instruments to the beat of the song. They also learned another instrument part which played during the silent parts of the singing. This information will later be used for Kindergarten Arts Night in March.

1st grade has been practicing for their Dr. Seuss Concert that will happen March 3rd at 6PM. They will be using the story Green Eggs and Ham as their musical focus. Each student has learned an instrument part to play during one of the songs in the concert. All the students will be singing, playing instruments, dancing, and reading the story.

2nd grade has been exploring improvisation on the barred Orff instruments. They have been using strategies to successfully create a melody. This knowledge will later be used for the creation of a composition.

3rd grade has been exploring the recorder. They have learned to play on this flute like instrument without squeaking. Students have also been working on reading printed music through the playing of their recorders. Thank you to the Clays Mill PTA for supplying each student with their own instrument.

4th grade has been working on forming a piece of music to tell a story. Through a song, recorder improvisation, and singing in a round, students have been deciding the order of these pieces of music to tell the dramatic story of “Humpty Dumpty.”

5th grade has been working on their musical Hey, Gecko! They are almost ready! All students have been playing recorders, learning the barred Orff instrument parts, singing in harmony, dancing, and acting. Their public performance will be on February 18th at 6:00PM.

All grade levels are assessed using performance assessments.