Happy Winter, Families!!!
Please enjoy this Specialist Newsletter informing you of the wonderful things your children are learning in Science, Physical Education, Music, and Visual Art. If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Specialist teachers. Thank you!!!
3rd grade – Matter and Measurement
Students will describe, categorize, compare and measure observable physical properties of matter and objects. Students will learn how to measure solids and liquids by using different measuring tools.
4th grade – Changes on Earth’s Surface
Students will plan and carry out investigations to deepen their understanding of waves, weathering, and erosion. Students will construct models and use evidence from their explorations to share their understanding about how natural processes and organisms change over time.
Impact of Natural Processes
Students will build on their understanding of changes to land by examining ways that Earth’s processes impact people and how humans’ use of natural resources affects the environment in multiple ways.
5th grade – Physical and Chemical Changes
Students will gain a conceptual understanding of the particle nature of matter and the idea that regardless of physical or chemical change, the total amount of matter is conserved. Students will make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties and conduct investigations to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
Kindergarten – Musical Problem Solvers
Students will learn to identify challenges and brainstorm solutions independently with their partners. In addition to singing as a group and playing keyboards as an ensemble, students will now have independent practice time at their keyboards while using headphones. Students will work with their partners to set goals for growth and take ownership of their musicianship.
1st Grade – The World of Music
Students will learn about folk songs from around the world, including songs from Japan, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Students will also discuss what makes for a “master musician,” and set performance goals in preparation for their concert on Wednesday, March 28th at 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM.
2nd Grade – The Language of Music
Students will use both hands to play both the melody and chordal accompaniments to songs from around the world and in various languages, including Italian, Swahili, French, and Spanish. Students will discuss what makes for a strong ensemble performance, and set performance goals in preparation for their concert on Thursday, March 29th at 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM.
In January, students will learn about the orchestra families by listening to stories that use instrumentation and movement to tell the story. They will also review musical elements by playing recorders using different tempos and dynamics.
In February, students will learn about music and musical practices from different aspects of African American history and culture by improvising on recorders, playing a community building West African musical game, and playing pitched percussion instruments while singing a Spiritual.
In March, students will learn about the different rhythmic meters by singing songs with both simple and compound meters and accompanying them both with pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments.
In January and February, students will learn about various styles and genres of African American music. They will review dynamics, tempo, form, and harmony by singing and playing songs on recorders. They will improvise on recorders to a standard Blues pattern, learn about the Gospel style of music, and play other percussion instruments as they prepare to perform in their Black History Month Concert on February 13 at 8:30am and 6pm.
In March, students will review the four smaller families within the percussion family as they review several rhythm values and rhythm patterns by playing percussion accompaniment, aurally and visually identifying patterns while playing Rhythm Bingo, and composing and performing short rhythm patterns.
In January, students will learn about melody and musical form by singing and playing several songs and analyzing various song patterns with sections such as Verse/Refrain, Bridge, ABA, and Coda.
In February, students will learn about various styles and history of African American music by singing the African American Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, playing a three part arrangement of spirituals on recorders, and improvising on recorders to a traditional Blues pattern.
In March, students will review the world classification of instruments by aurally and visually identifying world instruments and music by playing World Instrument Bingo. They will also identify various musical elements while performing “Ode to Joy” and the “PS139 Song.”
This Winter, PS 139 Visual Artists will continue to explore two-dimensional art forms like drawing and painting, but will also begin to work in the exciting world of sculpture! Students will focus most intently on creating sculptures with air-hardening clay. Artists will begin their study with an examination of basic clay modeling tools like plastic carvers and wooden rollers, followed by practice work involving pinching, coiling and slab-making techniques. These creative explorations build skills and confidence in the material and culminate in wonderfully imagined sculptures of their own choosing that they get to paint and bring home.
Studio @ PS 139 had an amazing time learning new mediums and techniques the beginning of fall term. Many of the grades are learning about Animals in their habitat and they continued their studies visually at the art studio. The students spoke about the importance of animal habitats around the world and why we should care for them for our own good in the art room. They used pencil to draw and Pen to trace over, outline and to create value and finally paint the animals and the habitat using Watercolor paint. The learning target was that, “I will understand the Pen and Watercolor mediums to draw and paint through which I will also show my awareness about animals and their habitats around the world and care for them”. Through this unit the students recognized the societal, cultural, and historical significance of art; connected the visual arts to other disciplines; applied the skills and knowledge learned in visual arts to interpreting the world.
Students explored the watercolor medium by spreading the paint using water. They created tone by mixing primary colors to arrive at secondary colors. Students used the wash technique to leave out the highlights. They created color gradations to paint the foreground, middleground and background in layers. Students discussed about animals in general and who likes which animal, pet or wild and why? They also discussed how animals become extinct and how their habitats disappear. They looked at Altamira Caves through a pictures and came to know how humans liked drawing animals that lived alongside them. From the 40 sculptural figurines of animals that are living and extinct, available in the studio, selected one, researched on their habitat, drew using a pencil, included an imaginary habitat, traced over using an artist pen and finally painted using watercolor paint. The exemplary paintings done by these little masters are displayed on the walls of the 1st floor.
We began this school year with a cooperative games unit in which students practiced working with their classmates to accomplish a common goal. Our PS 139 core values “Be your best self”, “Do your best work”, and “Be a team player” were emphasized as students collaborated during team building activities. This unit was great preparation for the team sports we’re practicing as the year continues and to emphasize the cooperative tone of Physical Education.
We are now nearing the end of our football unit in the gymnasium. In this unit, students learned how to run with the football without fumbling it, overcoming hurdles and dodging taggers, and how to properly throw the football at a target and at a partner. 4th and 5th graders have also just finished completing the pacer test, a component of the mandated NY State Fitnessgram test that measures each students’ cardiovascular endurance. Throughout the winter they will continue completing the Fitnessgram, using assessments that measure the other elements of wellness- muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. We will discuss the similarities and differences between these components of fitness, learn which sports, exercises, and body systems are involved in each, and allow students time to focus on their areas of growth. Our younger students will explore these fitness concepts through cooperative games and imaginative play that asks them “how does exercise make you feel?”, “what are different types of exercise?, and “what does it mean to be healthy?”.
All grades will be introduced to basketball. They will develop their gross and fine motor skills, reaction time, and accuracy by mastering ball control while stationary dribbling, dribbling while walking/running, passing (bounce and chest pass), and shooting. We are looking forward to a fun and active winter in PE! ☺
***Please make sure your child is prepared on the days they have physical education. This entails wearing sneakers. For safety reasons we cannot allow children to participate in boots, sandals, or crocs. On days of inclement weather we will allow time at the beginning of class for students to change into their sneakers brought from home. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
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