Specials Curriculum Update
The Scottish National Galleries in Edinburgh is currently hosting an exhaustive exhibition of the history of collage. “Cut and Paste -Four Hundred Years of Collage ‘’ traces the early years of collage as a “proper” women’s hobby to Braque, Picasso and up to current collage artists such as Mark Bradford. The art classes throughout this year will explore collage and its many different variations.
All of the classes opened the school year by creating paste paint papers. Homemade “paste “is mixed with paint to create a fluid, movable medium that will easily hold a raised design. The papers that the students created will be used in different collage projects through the first part of the year.
Rustin Class: The first several art class projects are an opportunity for me to assess the student’s basic skill levels and understanding of art language. They drew their interpretation of lines such as crooked, sharp, and wiggly etc. with oil pastel. Next the students painted over the drawings. These paintings were used to create fish which the student’s cut out and collaged. The skills that were observed were drawing, painting, cutting and gluing.
Penn Class: The Penn Class collected plant material from the gardens and did botanical drawings from the plants collected. They separated the petals and pressed the plants in books. The following week the students created Fleurage designs on mat board from their dried plant materials. These are essentially collages with live materials. We looked at pictures of public sculptures in cities and in parks. The students walked around the outside of the school and drew designs for sculptures that could be placed in three selected locations. They then created 3-D versions of these ideas and placed them, for scale, in front photos of the sites.
Fox Class: The Fox Class collected plant material from the gardens and did botanical drawings from the plants collected. They separated the petals and pressed the plants in books. The following week the students created Fleurage designs on mat board from their dried plant materials. These are essentially collages with live materials. . The Fox Class has started a project creating a 3D world from small boxes.
Anthony Class: Anthony Class created collage paper fish from their paste papers combined with other 3D materials. Anthony Class collected plant material from the gardens and did botanical drawings from the plants collected. They separated the petals and pressed the plants in books. The following week the students created Fleurage designs on mat board from their dried plant materials. These are essentially collages with live materials. In conjunction with their study of Created collage paper fish from their paste papers combined with other 3D materials. With Ancient Greece and an upcoming trip to the University Of Penn Art Museum the students have looked at the shapes uses and iconography of ancient Grecian amphora vases. The students used plaster and papier mache to transform glass and plastic vessels into Greek Urns.
H/O Class: H/O Class created collage paper fish from their paste papers combined with other 3D materials. The class collected plant material from the gardens and did botanical drawings from the plants collected. They separated the petals and pressed the plants in books. The following week the students created Fleurage designs on mat board from their dried plant materials. These are essentially collages with live materials. The middle school students prepped 5 large canvases to prepare for large scale mixed media works that will be installed in the entrance hallways of the Middle School.
Library/Information and Technology Literacy
Mott and Rustin – Preschool and Kindergarten
Students have 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.
The Penn class read several books including The Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy and Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen to help us review the rules and routines of our library. We discussed how to keep books safe at home and at school. Students in the Penn class became ‘experts’ at various sections of the library so they can help their classmates find books of interest. Most recently, students have been learning about how to locate books in our library by identifying the key information on the book’s spine.
We’ve read several books including The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen andThe Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy to help us review the rules and routines of our library. We discussed safe and responsible use of technology and most recently, students learned how to access their class folder in Google Drive. After a review of how books are organized in the fiction sections of our library, students opened and edited a book spine template in their own Google Drive folder.
The Anthony class began the year reviewing the various sections of our library by completing a scavenger hunt. During the week of the Youth Climate Strike, we had a discussion about climate change, global warming, and the work of youth activist Greta Thunberg. Students created signs and posters for the march to Richland Meeting. Recently, students worked together as a whole class and put themselves in alphabetical order by last name to review how fiction book are organized in our library. Then, students practiced opening a Google Slides presentation and used the toolbar options such as insert shape and create text box to create a book spine for a fictional book they would like to author. We have been reading short stories from Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.
In ITL class, students have read and reviewed the Responsible Use Policy. We also discussed the use of Wikipedia when researching a topic. Students have also been selecting and reading books for their R2S2 assignment.
Fourth Grade Math
In Fourth Grade math, students are working in the first unit of the Bridges curriculum – Multiplicative Thinking. Students reviewed strategies for multiplication fact fluency and also learned about various models for solving multiplication and division problems. Some key vocabulary we have been learning include factor, multiple, prime and composite numbers. We have played many games to practice these skills. In the Number Corner part of the curriculum, students were introduced to the ancient Egyptian number system and how it compares to our number system. Students also learned about measuring in inches, feet, and yards and reviewed the multiples of 2, 3, and 6 using a number line.
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. We are also spending time exploring classroom instruments and aids such as egg shakers, rhythm sticks, and scarves.
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 singing and playing a 3-pitch song called Apple Tree and notating basic rhythm motifs from that song. Fox Class is doing a wonderful job of singing and reading rhythms used in the song Who’s That. We enjoyed improvising melodies on the xylophone that matched the rhythm of that song.
Anthony Class has been reviewing knowledge of musical elements through identifying them in the score of a song and game called, “A Qua Qua.” We have also labeled the score notation using solfeggio so that we can play the song using Boomwhackers. We will be transferring our sight reading skills to other songs and instruments in the coming months.
Helman-Osborn students began their year in music class by answering a musical taste questionnaire. Being able to share their own musical preferences and ways to access music will help us develop projects and presentations that are exciting and meaningful to us.
Instrumental music is off to a wonderful start. We have our instruments selected and had our first group lessons this past week. It is always exciting to develop new skills together and cheer on the progress we see in ourselves and our peers. We have also used some of our lesson time to discuss expectations and procedures for sectionals and identified how to develop good practice sessions and habits.
Our vocal ensemble continues to grow! We have been practicing various vocal warm-ups to help us extend our range and tone. We have also discussed repertoire selection, potential performance venues and began learning some simple songs to be sung as rounds.
The start of physical education at UFS has been an amazing one. Our students have been playing team building games, relays, and activities. We created our bulletin board while participating in a fun obstacle course. We have been learning new exercises and stretches during every class. Our Mott, Rustin, and Penn students have been learning about their muscles and using their imagination during our themed activities while they jump, run, hop, dance, crawl, and move as we follow the Stretch-n-Grow curriculum. We also participated in Bring Your Parent to PE Week and had wonderful families come in to visit us during our PE classes. We had lots of fun during our parachute day as we strengthened muscles and played parachute relay games. Some of our families also had an opportunity to join in our first Running Day Challenge of the year. We had so much fun finding our running pace and challenging ourselves along the way. It's going to be a fantastic year!
Early Childhood has been practicing greeting and introducing themselves through a fun song at the beginning of every class. A special (puppet) friend who only speaks Spanish visited to ask them their names. Students have also been learning about colors, singing another song and identifying colors on objects. Preschoolers hopped on colors and held up colors during the song, participated in a class survey of favorite colors, and found colors on their clothing. Kindergarteners sang the song and identified the colors in flags and traditional decorations and outfits as Noemí shared about where she was from.
Elementary has been practicing greeting at the beginning of every class. They’ve been working on books to describe basic facts about themselves (their names and their age so far). They’ve also gotten the chance to practice talking about themselves in these ways with a monolingual Spanish-speaking puppet! Anthony Class practiced by passing along a llama to ask and answer the getting-to-know-you questions.
Middle School has been practicing five getting-to-know-you questions and responses in different contexts. Students first copied Noemí’s responses from a slide show to have the framework to answer the questions with their own information. They then practiced asking the questions and speaking their responses with each others. 7th and 8th Graders have pretended to be their favorite actors and singers with these same questions and responses. All Helman-Osborne students also became more familiar with terms for favorite places and travel as Noemí shared about her vacation in Spanish. 7th and 8th graders are continued to use these phrases to interview and know about each others’ vacations.
We have begun the year with most of our energies devoted to studying probability and
proportional reasoning. This has involved numerous investigations, including what makes a game fair or unfair, how many pennies it would take to form a tower as high as Mt. Everest, determining the design of hidden spinners, and the effects of sample size on experimental probability outcomes. This work necessarily also included becoming more adept converting between fractions, decimals and percentages, as well as firming up our understanding of long division processes. Aside from this we have also been engaged in a series of challenging logical and mathematical puzzles, learning to graph on the Cartesian plane (by plotting points in order to form a picture), and have begun to explore the concept of infinity, and why some mathematicians believe that there are different sizes of infinity.