FIFTH GRADE LITERACY As students move to the Fifth Grade, books become much more complex. In these higher levels, readers might be asked to analyze the role of setting in the story- is it contributing to the mood of the scene, is it acting like another character? Symbolism and figurative language are increasingly present and readers must analyze symbols to figure out the deeper meaning. Additionally, content and themes in fifth grade level books become much more mature. Readers are taught always ask, ‘Why is this important?’
Just as in the grade before, fifth graders read both fiction and non-fiction. They read to learn about many different things in the world around them---growing up, history, current affairs, environmental issues such as fracking. When learning new information, often students work on projects to teach others about the topic they studied. Students choose the best method of presentation, consider their audience (who they will present to—their classmates? Second graders? Mr. Spatola?) and get to work on their projects. Projects take many shapes and forms- skits, Powerpoint presentations, dioramas, persuasive posters, and illustrated informational books are all different projects taken on by fifth graders.
November/December Reader’s Workshop
Unit 3- Diving into the World of Fantasy Focus Skills: Envisioning, Analyzing, Synthesizing, Interpreting Themes & Messages,
PS 172 Fifth Graders spend November and December delving into the genre of fantasy through a variety of short stories and novels. Students begin the unit by watching the movie, ‘Animalia’ as an introduction to the elements of fantasy such as: fantasy setting, magical creatures, good vs. evil, quest, and magical symbols, character change, and more.
As students begin their fantasy books, the volume of reading seems to grow. Fifth graders readily become engaged in the fantasy world their books present and in the themes fantasy books develop through the character's quests, change, and the depiction of good vs. evil. They participate in book club discussions around the ideas they develop on fantasy characters, the quest, themes/messages, good vs. evil, and symbolism.
Fantasy Book Clubs provide students will a place to share the ideas they come up with as they read fantasy stories. Book clubs are a great way to build excitement for reading. During book clubs, students plan for discussions and take part in practicing the skills of listening and speaking.
Reading Workshop- September/October
Unit 1- Building the World of the Story Focus Skills: Monitoring for Meaning, Determining Importance
Unit 2- Developing Ideas about Characters & Books- main and secondary characters, character relationships, repetition, symbolism, lessons, messages and themes Focus Skills: Interpretation, Analyzing, Supporting Inferences with Evidence, Synthesizing
Reading Workshop is a time of the day when students are directly taught how to be a ‘strong’ reader. The period might start with the students looking at a shared text, reading small parts, and thinking together about ‘what is important’ in that part. Then together, students and teacher name what the author did- this ‘naming what the author did’- allows children to create a list of important places to read carefully. For example, the students’ list might include: reading carefully when you notice a strong emotion, reading carefully when the character’s problem pops up, reading carefully when a character interacts with another character, etc. Once independent reading starts, students work on building reading stamina, practicing reading skills. Most fifth graders enter the grade reading levels R/S and end the year reading levels T/U/V.
Through individual reading conferences, guided reading groups, and independent practice, students will actively work on becoming stronger readers. Teachers meet with students at least once a week to assess the child through a conference and teach him/her. In a conference, students receive reading ‘jobs’ to focus on until the next conference. Reading jobs are worked on daily, both in school and at home. The student ‘records’ his/her reading job in various ways—in a reading notebook, in a Powerpoint presentation, in a packet, in a voice recording- the ways to record a reading job are endless! Students also have the opportunity to create book projects that are a reflection of the book or highlight a specific reading skill they have worked on.
Students who have mastered the focus skills at their independent level will move on to working on other skills such as prediction, inferring, synthesizing, and interpreting the text. When the teacher determines the student is ready, he/she will move on to the next reading level and begin to practice some of the skills in the next level.
To support your child at home, you can ask him/her to:
show you their reading job & make sure they are practicing and recording their reading job
talk about their current reading book- Who is the main character? What kind of person is he/she? Can you show me parts in the text that support your character idea? What is he/she struggling with? What is his/her problem? Who are the secondary characters? Are they helping or hurting the main character? How? Did your character change by the end of the story? How? Did he/she ‘grow up a little’? Did he/she learn a lesson? What themes are popping up in your book?
read aloud to you to practice fluency- making their reading sound smooth and filled with expression
November/December Read Aloud
DIVING INTO THE WORLD of FANTASY BOOKS
Full of mythical creatures, legendary quests, daring heroes, and enchanted lands, fantasy books are sure to leave your kids feeling enchanted. The genre of fantasy pushes a child's imagination to the limits as they are immersed in a world filled with magic and the classic struggle between good and evil.
In the months of November and December, PS 172 fifth graders participate in discussions of the fantasy books ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’, or ‘Gregor the Overlander’. Students hold partner and whole-class discussions on the characters, plot, and fantasy elements such as mythical creatures, fantastical settings, quests, obstacles, themes/messages, and symbolism.
Gregor the Overlander By: Suzanne Collins
A boy named Gregor embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny — and find his father. When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe By: C.S. Lewis
A once peaceful world inhabited by Fauns, Dwarves, Giants, and Talking Beasts, Narnia has been frozen into perpetual winter by the fiendish White Witch who rules over it. Before long, one of the main characters, Edmund, steps into the wardrobe, and, in spite of himself, into Narnia, where he has a chilling encounter with the seductive White Witch. Soon, all of Edmund's siblings become embroiled in an adventure that includes themes of betrayal, forgiveness, death, and rebirth.
INDEPENDENT FANTASY PROJECT:
Students choose a culminating fantasy project to share what they have learned about the genre across the unit. This home project will be completed over Winter Break and will be celebrated when we return in January 2018. During read aloud, students will take notes based off the skills of the unit and their particular project. They will use their notes as they create a project that addresses the skills of: identifying the role of the setting, characterization, character relationships, quests, obstacles, symbolism, and themes.
Fantasy Project Possibilities:
Fantasy Board Game
Scrapbook of adventures
Read Aloud- September/October
We start the year with a couple short texts to work on building conversation skills such as looking at the speaker, using an appropriate speaking voice, staying on topic and building on the comments of others. We help our students master these skills by having them remind us of what a read aloud conversation should look & sound like- they have been doing this for years, after all!
Once we have agreed on clear expectations for the conversation, we support students with rubrics, checklists, individual and class goals to help students grow in their conversational skills.
September/October Read Alouds: Chapter Books: Various Short Texts Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
To support your child at home, you can ask him/her to:
share something from the read aloud discussion
discuss ideas about the character (with evidence/proof from the text)
share his/her read aloud goal- What skills is he/she working on in the read aloud conversation?
tell you if they are enjoying the story- ask: ‘What do you like about the book?’
‘What parts of the book do you like the best? Why? Can you share that part with me?’
Writing Workshop Writing Workshop is a time of the day when students are provided the opportunity to develop their skills as writers. During Writing Workshop, children choose their own topic or idea within a specific Unit of Study (personal paragraphs, character & theme essays, persuasive writing, historical fiction journal writing). Students are encouraged to write about topics that are personally meaningful to them, while learning how to write in that particular genre. Teaching also focuses on grammar such as writing in complete sentences, using the appropriate punctuation, and spelling.
May/June Unit 6- Narrative Writing-Historical Fiction Stories In the spring students have fun becoming historical fiction writers. They write historical fiction stories based on what they learn in their social studies unit on immigration to America at the turn of the twentieth century. Fifth graders use what they learn about daily life, hardships, and contributions of these new immigrants to America in the early 1900s to create an imagined story, weaving in historically accurate details about the time period.
Using what they know about daily life back then, students imagine realistic problems immigrants from that time period would have encountered. As historical fiction writers, they make decisions about what part of the journey they want to be the backdrop of their story—leaving their home country, taking the journey to America, facing challenges when arriving to a new land- and then use their knowledge of how a fiction story goes to develop the plot of the story. They develop the main character with strengths and flaws and imagine how he/she would handle the struggles he/she faced at that time. They develop a turning point at the end of the story where they show how the main character has grown and/or learned a life lesson by going through their struggle. Throughout their story, students practice ‘showing, not telling’ by including dialogue that shows strong emotions, as well as setting and daily life clues that show their reader what life was like back then. May/June Writing Graphic Mini-Novels As we move into spring, our 5th graders get excited to step into the shoes of a graphic novel writer. A graphic novel is a story told through words and pictures. Just like a typical fiction book, a graphic novel has a plot with a character who is struggling with an issue, important events that move the story along, secondary characters that contribute to the storyline, as well as a lesson or message.
In this unit, students begin by looking closely at mentor texts to notice the characteristics of graphic novels. They look closely at the way graphic novel writers weave together illustrations and words to move the plot along in an entertaining way. They study organizational decisions the author makes- will the scene contain one panel, two panels, will they show character emotion through a close-up picture of a face, sound words, or through inner thoughts or dialogue? Then our fifth grader writers spend time brainstorming ideas, drafting a story, and learning specific craft moves used in graphic novels. Students plan out the pages and panels of their graphic mini-novels- using illustrations and words, draft the plot of their story, and try out craft moves as they draft and revise, all the while receiving feedback from teachers and peers.
March/April Unit 5- Writing about Reading- Short Response & Essay Writing At this time of the year, our fifth graders practice two kinds of writing about reading- short response writing and Essay Writing. Both kinds of writing are based off texts they read. Students apply the strategies they've learned for reading complex texts to comprehend the texts. They read the texts with the question in mind, mark up the texts with notes, and then formulate structured short responses and essays that answer the posed questions or prompts.
Short responses are questions posed about one text. Students learn to start their short response with a topic sentence that answers the question with an inference (idea) or a claim. Then they go back to the text to find specific details that support their answer. They write a couple more supporting sentences that include their details. Then they might end with a conclusion sentence that wraps up their short response. Our fifth graders have been practicing this structure across the year, as well as in third and fourth grade, so they are very familiar with it and become experts at writing about texts they read.
In addition to short response questions, students continue to build the essay writing skills they have developed over the year. In this unit, students write essays on paired texts. Paired texts are two texts that have something in common. Fifth graders learn to read paired texts & analyze what they have in common. Then they plan, organize, and write essays on the two texts using details from both texts.
January/February Unit 4- Wellness Unit- Reading & Writing This month our 5th graders will explore Health, Nutrition, and Wellness through a unit comprised of non-fiction reading, videos, and hands-on activities and experiments. In this unit, students will read complex nonfiction texts to learn about the different ways eating and exercise affect our bodies. In learning about health and nutrition, students will start to reflect on their own habits and will make plans for improving their own health and wellness.
Students will track the number of steps they take each day, log their consumption of fruits and vegetables, and create plans for healthy meals and snacks. Students will even get the opportunity to interview a registered dietician through live video chat!
INDEPENDENT PROJECT At the end of the unit, students will research a related topic of their choice further and then create an informational project that teaches others. Below is a description of the project: Congratulations! We have been selected by PS 172, The Department of Education and the Office of School Food to help improve the health and wellness of New York City students. With all the health issues that are arising and the rising cost of health care, people today need your help in understanding that taking care of our bodies will help prevent illnesses and make us healthier. Your mission is to become an expert about Food, Nutrition, and Wellness and how it affects our bodies.
Unit 3- Persuasive Essay Focus Skills: Using Research to develop a stance, Developing an idea on a Nonfiction topic, Elaborating with evidence from texts, Addressing counter-arguments Grammar- Complete Sentences, Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling
This unit is divided into a couple parts- a researching part, where students read NF articles on a selected topic and then a writing part, where students put their research into action by writing a persuasive essay.
Part I- Nonfiction Research: Students choose a topic of interest and spend time reading various nonfiction articles to learn about the different sides of their topic. Students learn & practice various note-taking strategies to use as they read up on their topic. As they learn about their topic, they begin to develop their own stance or point of view, while considering the counterarguments of the 'other side'.
Part II- Nonfiction Writing- Persuasive Essay: After researching their topic, students learn the characteristics of persuasive writing and begin writing a persuasive essay on their topic. While writing their persuasive essay, students learn to address the 'other side' by putting counterarguments right up front and then addressing them with convincing reasons and evidence. Students learn to go back into the articles and their notes to pull the most convincing evidence and stories that will make their readers agree with their stance on the issue.
*See the 'Assignment' 5th graders received for the unit below:
TASK: You are hired as a Jr. Reporter to research one of the “hot” Nonfiction topics people are currently debating.
become an expert on a topic of your choice
research your topic through reading NF articles, watching video clips, and learning about the different stances (points of view) people have on the topic
write a persuasive essay using techniques such as offering credible reasons and examples, countering the opposite stance, and calling people to action.
Cell Phone Use in School (The pros & cons of cell phone use in school)
Deforestation (The destruction of the rainforest- What’s your stance?)
Video Games (The pros & cons of playing video games)
Social Media** (Is social media good for kids or bad?)
Plastic Use** (The affects of plastic use in our world)
September/October Unit 1- Writing about Reading Focus Skills: Developing an idea, Organizing/Structuring a Paragraph, Elaborating- providing details that support your idea, Grammar- Complete Sentences, Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling
This unit teaches students how to write a clear and concise response to a piece of literature. writing about literature. In this unit, children learn to answer a question clearly and then use convincing text evidence to support the idea. Students learn different techniques for elaboration. By the end of the unit, students will publish multiple paragraphs on read aloud texts, short texts, and independent texts.
October/November Writing Unit 2-Personal Essay Focus Skills: Developing an idea, Organizing/Structuring an Essay, Elaborating- providing details that support your idea, Grammar- Complete Sentences, Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling
Fifth graders have lots of ideas about their world! This unit has students focus on an idea they have about something important in their life. Students often write essays about people or places that are important to them. Students practice writing an essay with a clear idea, reasons to support their idea and then mini-stories to show their reasons. Students learn different techniques for elaboration. By the end of the unit, students publish a 5 paragraph personal essay.
To support your child, you can ask him/her to:
share his/her writing with you- encourage him/her to read their writing aloud to look for mistakes they can fix (missed words, punctuation)
write about ideas he/she has about life, the world
do shared writing together- write a journal entry together about a fun family event- vising cousins, going shopping, making a meal together!
Social Studies Social studies is a subject which allows students to apply cross-curricular skills to their content learning. This means that students utilize various skills acquired in reading workshop, writing paragraphs, creating persuasive speeches and posters, and incorporating technology skills while learning about social and historical issues that relate to them as an individual and as a community. The unit is set up as a Webquest in which students watch videos, play games, listen to sound clips, and read non-fiction articles to progress through the unit. Students show independence and accountability by submitting their written work, or sharing their learning with a peer, group or whole class. Unit 1: Constitution/Bill of Rights This unit is broken into 3 parts: Part 1- The U.S. Constitution: In this section, students will learn about historical events that happened after the American Revolution, which led the colonists to form a new government. They learn about the importance of “We The People,” and how the constitution protects them. Students will create a classroom constitution using what they learned about its purpose. Part 2- Branches of The Government: Students will learn about the parts that make up the government and the system to keep their power within limits. They Part 3 -relates to students as citizens and their rights and responsibilities within the community and the school. Students have access to the webquest through their classroom Gmail accounts. They can share their learning and progress as they navigate it. Unit 2: Slavery in America Through Project-based learning and research, students explore the time period related to slavery in the United States. They are challenged to think about and ask critical questions regarding freedom, equality, and segregation. They visit The New York City and Brooklyn Historical Societies on a class trip, utilize an interactive Scholastic powerpoint, as well as primary and secondary resources to learn about life as a slave. At the end of their learning and research, they may put their findings in the form of a diorama, poster, powerpoint, poem and narrative essay as it aligns to the writing unit.
Curriculum Connected Field Trips:
PS 172 Fifth graders visit the Brooklyn Historical Society to view the exhibit: Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom 5th graders learn about theunsung heroes of Brooklyn's anti-slavery movement -- ordinary residents, black and white -- who shaped their neighborhoods, city and nation with a revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. The exhibit is part of the groundbreaking In Pursuit of Freedom public history project that features new research on Brooklyn's abolition movement in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center.
Unit 3: The American Civil War
January Math- Adding and Subtracting Fractions For the next few weeks in Math, we will be working on Module 3. In Module 3, students will work on adding and subtracting fractions. We will begin with working on Equivalent Fractions. Students will learn how to represent equivalent fractions using rectangles and number lines.
Students will also learn how to show equivalent fractions by adding fractions with the same denominator. The sum may be decomposed into parts (or recomposed into an equal sum).
Students will then transfer this knowledge into adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.
Throughout this module we will be using a concrete to pictorial to abstract approach convey this simple concept. We will begin by using paper strips and number line diagrams to show equivalence. Then we will transfer this to using the rectangular fractional model because it is useful for creating smaller like units by means of partitioning. Finally, we will move away from the pictorial altogether students will be empowered to write equations clarified by the model.
Grade 5 Module 3: Addition and Subtraction of Fractions In Module 3, students' understanding of addition and subtraction of fractions extends from earlier work with fraction equivalence and decimals. This module marks a significant shift away from the elementary grades' centrality of base ten units to the study and use of the full set of fractional units from Grade 5 forward, especially as applied to algebra.
Building a Bakery Project:
The students are building their very own bakery. In order for their store to be successful there is a lot of planning to be done! The students will work together to analyze many of the skills we are working on in module 3. The students will be:
Creating equivalent fractions
Adding and subtracting fractions
November- Math- C-town—Thanksgiving Project
Students compare prices of two grocery stores in preparation for their Thanksgiving Feast. One purpose of the 5th grade Thanksgiving Feast Project is to give students ownership in planning and preparing a successful celebration of thanks for their families. Students learn and apply the math skills of comparing decimals, adding and subtracting decimals in order to find the ‘better buy’.
Each class visits C-Town to record brands, prices, and serving sizes in order to bring the information back and do the comparison with an online grocery store. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving break, the students are given jobs in order to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for family members.
Special student-led committees work together to plan and prepare for the big event. Hard work and dedication is evident from all- from the decorating crew- a group of students who prepared decorations for the event, to the set-up crew- a group in charge of setting up the feast, to the food preparation crew- a group in charge of helping to prepare food for the feast. A big thanks in advance to the clean up crew- the real heroes of the day!
Grade 5 Module 1: Place Value and Decimal Fractions In our first unit, students’ understanding of the patterns in the base ten system are extended from Grade 4’s work with place value of multi-digit whole numbers and decimals to hundredths to the thousandths place. In Grade 5, students deepen their knowledge through a more generalized understanding of the relationships between and among adjacent places on the place value chart, e.g., 1 tenth times any digit on the place value chart moves it one place value to the right. Toward the module’s end students apply these new understandings as they reason about and perform decimal operations through the hundredths place.
In order to help your child at home, please reinforce these terms and concepts with them: Digit (any of the numbers 0 to9; e.g., what is the value of the digit in the tens place?) Expanded form(e.g.,135=1×100+3×10+5×1)
Number line (a line marked with numbers at evenly spaced intervals)
Place value (the numerical value that a digit has by virtue of its position in a number)
Standard form (a number written in the format: 135)
Tenths (as related to place value)
Unbundling, breaking, renaming, changing, regrouping, trading Unit form (e.g.,3.21=3one s2tenths 1hundredth) Word form (e.g., one hundred thirty-five) Please note the descriptions for the following terms, which are frequently misused. Expression: A number, or any combination of sums, differences, products, or divisions of numbers that evaluates to a number (e.g., 3 + 4, 8 × 3, 15 ÷ 3 as distinct from an equation or number sentence). Equation: A statement that two expressions are equal (e.g., 3 × ___ = 12, 5 × b =20, 3 + 2 = 5). Number sentence (also addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division sentence): An equation or inequality for which both expressions are numerical and can be evaluated to a single number (e.g., 4 + 3 = 6 + 1, 2 = 2, 21 > 7 × 2, 5 ÷ 5 =1). Number sentences are either true or false (e.g., 4 + 4 < 6 × 2 and 21 ÷ 7 = 4) and contain no unknowns.
My name is Mr. Manley and I am the new Physical Education teacher at P.S. 172. I am very excited to join this community of teachers, students and families. I’ve taught Physical Education and Health the past six years at the middle school level and coached a variety of sports to all ages. I look forward to getting to know you and your child this upcoming school year.
In the month of September, students in grades Pre-K to 2nd grade will be participating in a variety of locomotor and fitness skills as well as learning to cooperate with others. Students in grades 3-5 will be participating in team building activities and personal fitness. For their safety, please have them come prepared wearing sneakers on days that they participate in Physical Education.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Welcome to art! My name is Mrs. Siskar and I teach art to class K 103 and grades 1-5 for the 2017-2018 school year. I’m so excited to have a creative year together in the art room. Childrenl have art class once per week for 50 minutes. Participation in the art room is encouraged and we can prepare each student by making sure on their assigned day for art they arrive prepared and ready to learn!
I recommend no new clothes on art class days. Even though everyone will wear their art t shirts to protect clothing accidents and messy masterpieces still happen. Please provide your child with the following materials by September 25th so they feel prepared and ready to learn.
MATERIALS: Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 : Sketchbook with blank pages OR a composition notebook. Please label your child’s name and class room on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
SEPTEMBER IN THE ART ROOM: As each class in grades K-5 begins to learn the routines for our art room we will be starting with a school wide community art lesson inspired by the literature The Dot, by the author Peter Reynolds. Students will be using their imaginations to invent their own dot artwork and contribute it to our community dot gallery. September 15th is International Dot Day!
Parent Conference Night: Wednesday September 13th Parents & students meet me in the auditorium during our enrichment fair to make a dot together for our dot gallery.
ART DOJO This year I will be connecting with parents through classroom dojo to share student masterpieces and communicate your child’s progress and different art events throughout the year. Please make sure you are connected to your child’s classroom with their teacher’s invitation.
If you need assistance with materials or have questions, please contact me by email.
Welcome to 2017-2018 school year at P.S. 172! I hope your summer was a fun and relaxing one. We have an exciting and creative year ahead in the art room. There is a small number of materials your child will be required to bring to art class each week to support their success and preparedness for their learning experiences.
Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 are additionally required to bring a composition notebook with lines OR a sketchbook with blank pageswith their name, and classroom labeled on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
small or large paper plates
Please contact your child’s teacher or myself with any questions or concerns regarding these materials. I look forwarding to working together this year in supporting your child’s artistic growth! Thank you,
Mrs. Siskar email@example.com
The following are dance units/ mini units we will be working on in Sept/Oct- In Prekindergarten and kindergarten, we start the year creating good habits for dance class. We learn how to move safely in one place and through space. We also learn how to focus our energy on our bodies and not our voices. Our focus in our first larger unit will be pantomime, in which the children will learn and create movement to communicate ideas. We will then move to studying opposites in movement and how contrasting efforts can give us a wider dance vocabulary. We will then work on a unit based on the fall, in which the children will continue to explore movement options based on books, poems, songs, pictures and other inspiration based on the autumn. In first grade, students in dance class start the year learning how to do a set warm-up. This warm-up helps children keep their bodies safe throughout class and reminds children how to move in their own space with energy and effort. First graders will focus on making shapes of different sizes with their bodies, taking movement with which they are already familiar and extending it in creative ways. After we have expanded our movement possibilities, we will study the human body and how our bones, joints and muscles allow us to move in different ways. In second grade, students start the year with a complex warm-up routine which incorporates standing, sitting and traveling all while executing various movements. We will work together to develop our movement vocabularies by performing movements at different levels, in different shapes, and in assorted relationships with other students. We will also challenge ourselves by planning dances with multiple movements and working to remember and perform our dances. We will also practice our audience skills as we respectfully watch other students perform their dance work. In third grade, students first learn a set warm-up which we will use throughout the year in order to keep our bodies healthy and safe. Our first big unit of study will be Chinese dance, and through books, photos and videos, we will be studying the dance characteristics, culture, costumes and music of Chinese dance. Students will also begin to create their own choreography based on the characteristics of Chinese dance, which they will perform for their classmates and assess together. In fourth grade, we start the year by reviewing the importance of a good warm-up and learning the important components that keep our bodies healthy and safe; raising our body temperature, building strength and stretching our muscles. Our first big unit focuses on American Indian dance, aligning with the social studies standards in fourth grade. Using books, images, videos, poems and more, we will learn several American Indian dances and also create our own choreography based on what we have learned. In fifth grade, students take the reins! They’ve learned the importance of a good warm-up for several years, and pretty soon, students lead our class warm-ups! We quickly start our unit based on New York and choreographers who have lived and worked creating dance based on New York. We will study the choreographers Jerome Robbins, Trisha Brown and Pascal Rioult, learning about their different dance styles and characteristics and practicing their movements. Our creative and team-working skills become important when we use the ideas and movement styles of these NY based choreographers to craft our own dances, also relying on our audience and assessment abilities to help ourselves and each other continually improve our work.
In the month of September, Pre-K students will learn how to utilize their voices in order to sing songs. We will start by singing familiar songs, which many students were exposed to when they were younger. During this month and the coming months after, the students will be developing their voices and improvising movements for each of the songs.
In the month of September, the students in kindergarten will be learning about many different instruments including the Tambourine, Djembe, Guitar, and the Egg Shakers. Students will be using these instruments to develop the important skill of keeping a steady beat. Building up from this skill, students will also have a chance to experiment with different rhythms, making sure that the rhythms being performed are played steadily. The students will also be clapping their hands or playing percussion instruments while singing children songs to reinforce the idea of steady beat, and to develop their individual voices.
1st Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in first grade will review steady beat, one of the most important skills a young musician can develop. Once reviewed, students in first grade will learn about quarter note and eighth note rhythms, using one syllable and two syllable words to help the students understand the timing of each rhythm. Students will then begin to compose their very own rhythms using one syllable or two syllable words, which will then lead them to having a share of their composed rhythms in class. There will also be a great deal of singing to further develop the students own voices.
2nd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in the second grade will be reviewing steady beat, and will be performing rhythms using quarter notes and eighth notes. The rhythms will first be performed by clapping, but instruments will then be introduced into the performance. Students will also be singing and clapping the same rhythms being sung in order to practice quarter note and eighth note rhythms. After the students have practiced, there will be a slight introduction to the pentatonic scale, a scale in which sounds pleasing to the ear, and is very fun to play.
3rd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, students in the third grade will be focusing on maintaining a steady beat, but what changes in the third grade is that students will now have to pay attention to a time signature, which tells you how many beats are in a musical phrase or measure. Not only will they have to watch for how many beats are in the measure, but they will also have to know which of those beats are strong (louder) and which are weak (softer). Students will also review past rhythms, and incorporate this idea of strong and weak beats into their performances.
4th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fourth grade will put to use their skills in maintaining a steady beat and use it to perform Native American percussion music. While learning and performing Native American music, the students will also be practicing traditional notations such as quarter notes and eighth notes, eventually leading to notes of different timings (whole notes, and dotted quart notes).
5th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fifth grade students will begin by practicing steady beat, which will then lead to learning new rhythms. These new rhythms will feature sixteenth notes, one step up from eighth notes (instead of two notes to a beat, there will be four notes). These new rhythms bring about a new term called syncopation, which is a skill every musician should know how to perform.
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER SCIENCE NEWS
As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, I look forward to another "sciencesational" year with my super scientists. Both Pre-K classes will be having Science this year. As kindergarten scientists are using their "detective" skills to collect clues, first grade scientists are going on a treasure hunt to gather recyclable objects for our treasure box collections. Grade 2 scientists will be recording observations and learning how to collect data and draw conclusions. Grade 3 chemists will be creating "top secret" formulas, while fourth grade ecologists begin a unit on animal studies. Grade 5 chemists will be concocting mysterious mixtures and solutions and working on spectacular lab experiments. We say hello to Autumn on September 22nd with some "cool" fall activities. Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions or concerns. I can't wait to work with you and your child during this upcoming school year.