Specialists Teachers Weekly Update

October 7, 2021

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What is happening during WMS specials classes?

The specials classes are listed below.

Art: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Technology Education: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Health: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Music: 6th and 7th grade

Drama: 8th grade only

Physical Education: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Orchestra, Band and Chorus: 6th, 7th and 8th grade by student choice

Specials classes meet for 1 term every other day with the exception of physical education; physical education meets every other day all year. There are 4 terms in the school year, so your child will have all four specials by the end of the school year.

Art Class

6th grade: This week students continued to work on drawing Musical Instruments; some students finished and moved on to the next project, and others are still working on them. Artists don’t all move at the same pace, so we’re a little flexible on timeline, but try to finish projects within a week of each other. For students that fall further behind, they might need to use time outside of class to finish their projects.

Students had a choice of making their Musical Instruments in either Oil Pastels, Colored Pencil or Shaded Pencil on either 9x12 (small) or 12x18 (large) paper. Often once projects are finished, they are hung in displays around the school to show off our awesome work!

Once turned in, all projects receive comments as well as a grade of 0-5 (in Google Classroom) and students have the option to make changes and turn the assignment back in for a re-grade if they would like to. (Usually that would need to be done on their own time and not during class.)

Our next project is Drawing/Painting Animals. Students who finished their musical instruments moved on to Thumbnail Sketches for their Animals project. Students get to choose any animal they would like to learn how to draw and for this project we’re looking at photographs of those animals to help us break them up into simple shapes to draw.


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 week students began their Painted Color Wheels where we start with the Primary Colors and White and learn how to mix the Secondary and Tertiary Colors as well as Tints and Shades. Students will have 36-48 colors in their Final Color Wheels. The 12 Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colors form the first circle we paint (all students should have finished that this week.)

Then we move on to mixing Tints (lighter versions of those colors where we mix white into the paint to get those lighter versions.)

Finally we move on to Shades (darker versions of those colors where we mix the opposite color into the paint to get those darker versions.) This is the trickiest part, so we save it for last!

Learning Target: COLOR WHEELS

1. I can mix any color I could ever imagine using only RED, BLUE, YELLOW & WHITE.

2. I will understand how to “read” a Color Wheel to know how to mix colors.

3. I will know how to mix SECONDARY and TERTIARY COLORS by changing the proportions of the paint colors I use.

4. I will understand how to mix TINTS & SHADES of all the 12 PRIMARY, SECONDARY & TERTIARY COLORS.

8th grade: This week students continue to work on our Portrait Projects. Students learned a basic 4-box grid, measuring in halfways, connecting measured Dots and Dashes to place things and mapping out the features guidelines to know where to place the features. Some students have already mapped out their eyes, nose and mouth and are on to final edits and shading, while others are still working on the correct placement for their features. This is hard work and goes faster for some students than for others. We are trying to wrap up our portrait projects so that we can move on to Perspective Drawing. Because Portraits are so complicated, when students need extra time to finish their Portraits, I recommend that they do their Sketchbook Pages for homework to “borrow back” class time for their Portraits. So some students may have Art Homework over the weekend and next week if they need more time.

Learning Target: PORTRAITS

I can use gridding and other drawing “tricks” to analyze my portrait reference image and draw a pretty realistic version of that image. I will refine and change what is on my page as necessary until I have an image that captures the essence of my portrait.

Technology Education

6th grade: This week students started discussing shapes used in building structures, as well as forces that structures experience. We worked with on-line interactive labs on PBS’s Building Big website, and did some demonstrations relating to bridge types, as well as experiments around materials and their proper usage.

Ask your students about their peeks inside the ceilings of our classroom and hallway!

Next week, we will continue exploring structural forces and loads, in preparation for their assessment test and their team projects where they will design, build and test deck structures.

7th grade: We’ve finished our explorations around ‘transportation subsystems’ and their specific functions, and started exploring air as a fluid, aerodynamics, and the four forces that affect flight (and other modes of transportation as well).

Next week we will continue exploring these forces, and get to know how an airfoil keeps an airplane in the air.

8th grade: This week students were introduced in detail to the Lego Mindstorms robotics kits and software, and the related concepts of Inputs, Processing, and Outputs as they relate to the mechanical and communications systems models. Teams have been formed, and they have begun to build their robot ‘driving base’.

Over the next couple of weeks, they will design, build and program a number of autonomous robots to experience hands-on design challenges for themselves.


6th grade: Students worked together in small groups to complete a project on the Health Triangle. Students were able to define each area of the Health Triangle and explain reasons why each area is important to being overall healthy. Next week we will wrap up the Health Triangle with an independent review and then begin Puberty!

7th grade: This week the topic of alcohol was introduced. Students began stations and worked in small groups to learn about the short and long term effects of alcohol. There were several questions on students' minds that we will continue to answer next week.

8th grade: This week was all about relationships. Students identified various relationships in their lives. They then worked in groups to brainstorm and categorize characteristics of healthy/unhealthy relationships. Next week we are beginning a song evaluation project that will dive into the songs we listen to and the messages they send!


6th Grade: Our students are deep in discovery with our ukulele unit! They've gone from plucking open strings to scales to figuring out melodies to chord practice! Next week, we will launch into our unit project!

7th Grade: Stepping into the world of News Media, our students have set out to create segment openers for their own imaginary news casts! Students got to pick their news topic and platform and are tasked with creating a short piece that contextually makes sense. Next week, we'll begin the actual compositional process on GarageBand!

8th Grade: Our drama students are mastering the art of improvisation this week through a variety of games and exercises. As they wrap on this first part of the unit, they've demonstrated skills in making and accepting offers, quick thinking, and making strong offers!

Physical Education


We started our Soccer Unit by working on individual soccer skills and small sided games.


We will continue with our small sided games of soccer and hopefully begin the MILE RUN/WALK this week. For the MILE your student(s) will need to bring a water bottle and their fast running sneakers. The MILE will take place outside on Moxley Field weather permitting. Students will be given the whole class period to complete their timed MILE WALK/RUN. The mile is a baseline assessment for cardiovascular fitness. We work on our Cardiovascular fitness throughout the year and use the mile and pacer to track our improvement throughout the year.


What can I do to be successful in PE class? Do I have a Water Bottle and my PE shirt consistently for PE class?


Winter Concert Weds. Dec 8th 6:30


Both ensembles are continuing their hard work in choir bootcamp! We haven't quite figured out the best way to record their progress, but stay tuned for scratch recordings!


Check back next week to hear what is going on!


The Follett Book Fair is coming- Save the Date for 11/1-11/5

Volunteers wanted. If you are interested in helping out in the library please reach out via email to breana.cole@watertown.k1.ma.us. I am looking for volunteers that can come on a regular basis (ideally weekly) to help return, shelve, and process books.