Your Weekly Update from Lilja Elementary School
News from Mr. Roper!
Greetings from the Lilja Music Room
In Kindergarten, we have been getting to know each other, exploring High and Low sounds with our voices, moving to music with our bodies, and playing our first Rhythm Patterns using Rhythm Sticks. We also learned a few songs which your students might even share with you at home.
In 1st & 2nd Grade, we have been discussing Pitch (high notes and low notes) and Rhythm (long notes, short notes and rests). We have been learning to match Pitch through singing Call and Response songs (echoing what the leader sings) and feeling Rhythm through echoing Rhythm Patterns, using Body Percussion (clapping, patting legs, stomping feet, etc.) and playing the drums. The 2nd Graders are starting to learn Solfège Tones for Pitch (Do, Re, Mi, etc.) and Kodály Rhythms Syllables (Ta for long notes, Ti-Ti for short notes).
The 3rd Graders are preparing for the arrival of their recorders later this month. In addition to doing a little singing and drumming (Pitch and Rhythm work) we have started to develop the skills necessary for reading notes on the musical staff.
The 4th Graders are already hard at work learning to play ukuleles. Playing the ukulele is a great way to explore the musical elements of Harmony (chords), Melody (the tune of the song), Rhythm and Form (how the parts of the song fit together). It’s not easy to coordinate strumming with your right hand and forming chord shapes with your left hand but the students know that wherever they begin, they will get better with practice.
4th Grade Chorus is off to a great start this year! In Chorus students will develop their singing skills, ensemble and performance skills, continue to develop their music reading skills, and learn how to follow a conductor. We have already learned a couple of Rounds and are starting on some Partner Songs (two different songs designed to be sung at the same time). Save the date for the Choral Kaleidoscope on January 27, 2024. This event will be held at Natick High School and will include the combined choirs from the elementary, middle and high schools choruses.
I am so honored to have the opportunity to explore music with your children.
Keep making music and have a great fall!
Things To Know
K-2 FAMILY MATH NIGHT!
Thursday, October 19th 5-7pm
Families of students grades K through 2, please join us for a celebration of math. This year's theme is: MATH IS EVERYWHERE and EVERYONE IS A MATHEMATICIAN. We have many fun, hands-on activities and games planned for you and your student. Hope to see you there!
LILJA SCREENING NOTIFICATION
All health screenings conducted in schools are required by Massachusetts Law. Screenings at Lilja School will begin this month and will be ongoing throughout the school year. Please read further information here.
LILJA FALL FESTIVAL TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31st
Lilja students will enjoy a fall festival in school on Tuesday, October 31st. Students MAY choose to wear a costume at a designated time of the day on October 31st. Teachers will communicate expectations for arrival (regular clothes or costume). Please see these guidelines. All costumes MUST adhere to these expectations, or the student will not be permitted to wear it.
Weather permitting, Kindergarten will do its annual Fall Festival Parade at 8:50 on October 31st. The Kindergarten parade will come out the recess doors by the lower field, walk along the blacktop, and reenter the building through the front office doors. Kindergarten parents are invited to line the playground and upper field to attend the parade. No parents will be permitted to observe the parade from inside the building.
This past week our educators engaged an in depth review of the data that we have to help inform our instructional practices. All of our educators worked alongside our literacy and math specialists to analyze Renaissance learning data in a data inquiry cycle. Our third and fourth grade teams also included our MCAS data in this work. Throughout the year, our educators will continue these practices in ongoing curriculum meetings in literacy, and will engage in math meetings focused on launching and supporting Illustrative Math (IM) as well as examining the related assessment data.
CLARIFICATION ON HOMEWORK
During the 2016-2017 school year, elementary examined our district’s homework practices, those of neighboring districts and the current body of research, which indicates that homework has little to no impact towards academic success at the elementary level. (Cooper, 2006). Additionally, community input was gathered to better understand parents’ homework perception.
Our current homework practices encourage nightly reading to or with your child. We are grateful for family partnership in developing a love of reading, and exposure to books and vocabulary. Small homeworks may be assigned from time to time by grade level teams (e.g. help your student develop a list of "small moments" they could write about; BINGO board of enrichment ideas; here is an example), and will be shared via teacher newsletters ahead of time so that you are aware of the assignment. Our fourth grade team does assign homework on a more consistent basis in an effort to partner with families in developing healthy habits and routines around homework time. In all cases, incomplete homework is not punished, but rather a conversation with students to help strategies around time management or barriers to completion.
The Lilja PTO is a group of volunteer parents. Our goals are to enrich the education of our children, support the teachers and staff, and serve the Lilja community as a whole. We fundraise to supply materials, fund programs, organize social functions, and coordinate parent volunteers, all of which enhance the experience of Lilja students and build a sense of community within the school.
We need your help! Please reach out to the PTO at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer! We are looking for people willing to head some of our events throughout the year (Trunk or Treat, the Lilja Carnival, etc). These events are much beloved, and have a foundation already in place. All we need is YOU to make it happen! We look forward to hearing from you soon!