Reader's Workshop In the winter of Reading Workshop, our kindergarteners begin learning the skills they will need to read in their independently leveled books. Please see our parent guide below to learn about what skills your child will be working on as they read their leveled books:
A Guide to Leveled Reading for Parents
Level A Books
Short, predictable sentences.
Sentences supported by pictures.
One line of text on a page.
What A Readers Can Do
Look at the cover and pictures to get ready to read.
Notice how many words are on the page – that’s how many words you should say.
Look for word wall words to get yourself ready.
Use the pictures to help you read.
Point to each word as you read (1-to-1 correspondence).
Say what the book is about.
Level B Books
Short, predictable sentences (3-7 words on a page)
Repeating language patterns.
Clear pictures that support meaning of new words.
Two lines of text.
What B Readers Can Do
Look at the cover and pictures to get ready to read.
Look for word wall words to get yourself ready.
Name the pattern and how it changes.
Tricky word? Use the picture and the first letter to help you.
Make a return sweep (move your finger and your eyes to the second line of text).
Say what the book is about.
Level C Books
More word wall words
1-4 lines on a page
Wider variety of punctuation
(“ “ , ! ? )
Most books have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
What C Readers Can Do
Take a picture walk to help you learn about the main character, the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.
Notice new punctuation – dialogue tags, commas, exclamation points and question marks.
Put your finger underneath a word if it’s tricky, and reread a sentence after solving a tricky word.
After reading, say the big idea or name the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Level D Books
Many word wall words (high frequency words) and some new tricky words
2-6 lines of text on a page
Some longer sentences
These books are almost always a story, which students should be able to retell
What D Readers Can Do
Notice who’s talking – there may be 2 characters talking on a page!
Figure out tricky words with less support – think about what is happening in the story, tap out the sounds of the letters you see, or replace a word.
Stop to reread if a word or a sentence doesn’t sound right.
Retell the story – who was the main character, and what happened in the story?
Level E Books
Pictures tell you some of the story, but not everything. You have to think about what’s happening in the words to learn the whole story.
The stories often include a pattern or a repeating part (A boy looked for his lost sock…..under his bed….in the bathroom…and in his dog’s bed! Then, he finally found it!)
What E Readers Can Do
Stop to solve tricky words by thinking about what is happening, tapping out the letters of the word, and rereading the sentence to think about what would make sense.
Think and talk about what happens in the beginning, middle, and end.
Track print with your eyes – just take your finger out if you are trying hard to solve the parts of a word.
Read smoothly with expression, after reading a book a few times.
Level F Books
More words on a page, more events in a story.
Surprise or funny endings.
Characters’ feelings change across the story.
More complex sentences.
What F Readers Can Do
Retell by naming the main character and saying what happened in the beginning, middle, and end.
Include your characters’ feelings when you retell the story, and explain why they felt that way.
Read smoothly, with feeling (after reading a book a few times)
Stop to reread if you are confused about a word or a sentence.
Infer (figure out) if the character learned a lesson at the end of the story.
It’s been a very busy fall for our Kindergarten students! Now that they have read and fell in love with many emergent storybooks (and we hope you can join us to see them celebrate these on Tuesday, November 28th at 1:30 pm!), they’ve learned how to form all of their capital letters and many lowercase letters, and they’ve begun to read wordless and simple pattern books in reading workshop, they are ready to dive into the rest of the year’s curriculum with gusto!
In Reading Workshop, some of our students are continuing to master letters and the sounds they make, and they are continuing to read in their emergent story books. Others are beginning to read conventionally. Meaning, they have enough word wall words and enough security in the alphabet sounds to begin reading simple pattern books. These books often have one line of text, with a repeating pattern that supports the young reader. The pictures are also very supportive, such that a student can look at the first letter of a new word, check the picture, then pretty much figure out that new word! These beginning leveled books don’t have much of a story, though, so we encourage students to continue reading their emergent story books alongside their pattern books until they are reading level C, D, and E books that have more of a story.
At home, you can help your child by taking time each night to have them read through their word wall words (very important!!!) and if they can’t read them right away, they can practice spelling them out loud then saying the word. For example, T- H -E spells THE! Then, set them up to read for 15 minutes from their book baggie. It is wonderful if you can sit alongside and listen, or if you can read your own book while they read theirs!
Reader’s Workshop Readerly Life and Emergent Storybooks In September and October of Kindergarten, we begin with a short unit on Readerly Life, where we set up the routines of Reader’s Workshop. These routines include coming to the meeting area to read a big book together and to participate in a brief lesson – led by teachers as well as students – followed by a period of independent and partner reading. During this time, students can choose from a basket of emergent storybooks or leveled books if they’re reading them, and teachers confer individually and in small groups with children. During reading workshop, there are always two teachers giving lessons and meeting with students, to allow for maximum individualization. After this brief introductory unit, we dedicate the rest of September and October to Emergent Storybook reading. This is a time where students get to really practice many of the skills outlined in our Read Aloud. In addition to “reading” their storybooks, our teachers meet individually with each child to learn what else they know about reading…how to hold a book, how to turn the pages, how we read books left to right, how many books offer text and pictures to help tell the story, etc. We also assess each child’s knowledge of letter-sounds and early sight words. As they are ready, students are introduced to conventional reading. For some, this happens in early fall. For others, this begins in the wintertime. Both are just fine! Every child is on their own journey as a reader, and all of our students are reading by the end of Kindergarten!
In January, we start off the new year by reading Mo Willems. We love him!!! He is a writer who lives here in Brooklyn, and he writes a few different series that our students love. Knufflebunny, Piggie and Gerald, and The Pigeon. In this study, we introduce the idea of an author study – collecting many works by one author and reading across their books, enjoying them of course but also noticing what is similar about many of their stories or characters. The students will notice patterns across the stories, such as characters who are funny, dialogue in bubbles, and dialogue that is unusually sized….(Very little, very very big, etc). They’ll learn how authors write words in different font to convey big feelings, and they’ll think about what’s happening in the story to help them name these feelings.
In February, we begin a nonfiction study, where the classes will read about different animals, their habitats, and their families. This is our first big nonfiction “research” where we’ll be studying about a topic across different texts. The students will learn how we can notice the way a book is organized to help us get ready to read (Is there a table of contents? Are there chapters, or sections? Are there drawings or photographs? What is this book probably going to teach me?) They also learn that we read nonfiction more slowly than fiction, and that we often reread and go back and forth between the pictures and the words to help us really understand. You can support this study at home by sharing your own nonfiction reading with your child, and by taking a trip to the library or the bookstore and reading some nonfiction books together that your child is interested in.
In Read Aloud, our students are studying a collection of titles focused o n the topic, People Are Unique. In this study, students have the opportunity to meet many characters who are unique, and as we discuss these stories we discuss what it means to be unique, what it sometimes feels like, and why it’s okay to be different. The students work on projects across this unit that celebrate their own uniqueness, as well as the uniqueness of their class as whole. They mix paint colors to create their own special skin tone in a self-portrait, and they will work at home with you on a poster that represents everything that is unique about them. Here are some of the books we’ll be reading: It's Okay to be Different by Todd Parr The Colors of Us by Karen Katz Calvin Can't Fly by Jennifer Berne Following this study, we learn about the many winter holidays that are celebrated in our school and surrounding community, including Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, and the New Year. While we do not study the religious components of the holidays, we do study the traditions – how families and communities celebrate these holidays, often with food, light, singing, gifts, and most importantly time together as a family and community. The study is a wonderful way for students to learn and appreciate similarities and differences in cultures, and it’s a great way to share personal stories from home. On that note, we try to educate our children about many holidays across the year, because we see this as an important part of their learning about the community where they live. Our studies are always richer when we have guest speakers or guest speakers who come with projects or stories! If you would like to volunteer your time to come visit your child’s class or all of the kindergarten classes to share more specifically about your family holiday, please let us know!
Read Aloud Across September and October in Kindergarten, our Read Aloud focuses on Emergent Storybooks. In this unit, children hear wonderful stories over and over, and they have the opportunity to talk, think, and act out these stories again and again until they can tell the stories themselves. Our purposes for this unit are to foster a love of stories, to help students understand that they can “read” stories quite well by looking carefully at the pictures and using storyteller language, and to build that sense of story and story language through repeated readings and re-enactments. At home, you can support this work in two ways”
The children will be taking home one emergent storybook each night. Please make a big deal of this book – ooh and ahh over it – and read it over and over. You can read it word for word, and you can also read through the pictures, as we’ve taught your child, by touching the main character on each page, saying what they’re doing, and using story language such as “Next…And then….Finally…” If you are really adventurous – and we encourage you to be – you can take on roles and act out your child’s favorite story, or favorite characters.
Try this “reading through pictures and memory” with other favorite books in your house…..follow the character page to page and say what they are doing. If you remember some of their dialogue, you can add it in!
This helps our readers see that they can truly read anything……through pictures, memory, and soon, through words. ***If your child is already reading leveled books, they will also be sent home with a few of these. At this time of year, BOTH kinds of reading are important. See more in Reader’s Workshop.
Across the unit, students have the opportunity to act out their favorite stories as a whole class, and in small groups. At the end of the unit, we celebrate our emergent reading books and our new storytelling skills with a Kindergarten-wide performance of our favorite emergent books. This is a celebrate not to be missed, so please put it on your calendar! Wednesday, November 22, at 1:30 pm.
In writing workshop, we continue to write pattern books for January into February. Pattern books are simple books that allow students to choose a topic, plan out the pages, and then use word wall words and invented spelling to help them write 1-2 sentences on each page to write their books. When we look at spelling development, we look for writing the beginning sound, then writing more than one sound (sometimes the beginning and the end, sometimes the beginning sound and a letter in the middle), then finally representing all of the sounds we hear in a word. Please keep in mind that vowels can be tricky and we work on mastering the vowel sounds throughout Kindergarten and into First Grade.
Beginning pattern books might sound like this: Title: The playground Pg. 1 The sd (slide) Pg. 2 The sx (sandbox) Pg. 3 The m br (monkey bars)
More advanced pattern books might sound like this: Title: The Party Pg. 1 This is the cak (cake). It is yume. (yummy) Pg. 2 These are the dcrasuns. (decorations) They are prte. (pretty) Pg. 3 These are the presnts (presents). They are xitig. (exciting) Pg. 4 These are the pepl. (people) They are hape. (happy)
At home you can support your child’s writing development in these ways:
Involve your child in helping you write lists! This is a wonderful way to “practice” writing without feeling like you’re practicing. Before going to the grocery, ask your child to help you make a list. For each item, you or your child can draw the item first (this really helps them remember the word they are trying to spell), then ask them to say the word and help you write the first sound. You can write the rest of the word, or you can ask them to tell you the other sounds they hear in the word. You can hold the pen or they can hold the pen – the important thing is to support and celebrate them using their knowledge of the alphabet to help them spell new words.
Practice your child’s word wall words that come home each week. Cheer them, have them spell the words in shaving cream on a plate (not on your kitchen table – the shaving cream will eat away at it!), take turns spelling the words on each other’s backs, and most of all make sure they complete their word wall word homework each night.
Make your own pattern book. You can write about the grocery store, the movies, YMCA, wherever you and your child spend time. They can teach you how to write a pattern bookJ!
In writing workshop, we are wrapping up our lowercase letter instruction, so that by December, our students will have been exposed to writing capital and lowercase letters with proper formation and placement on the lines. We will continue to reinforce this all year long, and we ask you for your diligent assistance at home. Please check your child’s grip to make sure it’s an efficient one, and please make sure they ALWAYS START THEIR LETTERS AT THE TOP (except lowercase e and lowercase d). Thank you!
For students who are already familiar with writing the letters of the alphabet appropriately, they are offered instruction in writing small pattern books, which is the focus of our next unit. Pattern Books are just what they sound like – books that focus on a topic, but follow a pattern on each page. Students can choose what they want to write about, then plan their pages by drawing pictures, and then writing the words. A pattern book in December might sound like this. Title: Snow It is white. It is cold. It is fluffy It is crumbly. I love the snow!
At this time of year, students are beginning to listen for and spell the sounds they hear in each word, and we want them to do this and we expect and support their spelling skills progressing over time. So, at this time of year we might see the word wall words spelled correctly, and then the first letter or the first and last letter representing their new word. For example: Title: SO! It is wt. It is ct. It is fi. It is ci. I love the so! Writing Workshop: Handwriting and Letter-Sound Study In the fall of Kindergarten, we dedicate our Writer’s Workshop block to learning about each letter – what it looks like, how to form it, and the sound(s) it can make. This is a very important time to solidify knowledge of letters for our young readers and writers. If letters and sounds or handwriting is challenging, our teachers will work with your child in a variety of multi-sensory formats to help them become confident in this area. If on the other hand, your child is already understanding the sounds each letter makes, and how to appropriately form each letter, they will be offered a somewhat “expedited” journey through this unit, and will begin more conventional Writer’s Workshop a bit early. All students will have opportunities across each week to draw, label and write about their weekends, about school trips, and other special events during the fall season.
A few important details about our Handwriting Curriculum: Our students will be given the Handwriting Without Tears workbook, and they will have one copy for school and one at home. The reason we send a copy home is so that you, the parent, can also learn about how your child is learning to write the letters. We teach formation, placement on the line, and spacing. The formation of each letter is extremely important so that your child becomes efficient at writing – for example, it is extremely important to start your letters at the top…not at the bottom. Starting from the bottom leads to wiggly, slowly written letters, where starting at the top leads to clean, straight strokes that are easily read by any reader! Students learn the size of the letter (tall, short, diver), and they learn to write letters next to each other in a word, and to leave a space between each word. We also emphasize appropriate pencil grip, good posture, and checking your work!
The students will learn to form these letters using a variety of tools – a chalkboard with chalk and sponges, a mat with clay or an outline of the letter with dot markers, and of course, their handwriting book.
At home, please keep handy the Parent’s Info page your teachers provide you, which explains proper grip, good posture, and warm-up exercises for little hands. Handwriting homework should be completed on a flat surface like a kitchen table, and ideally with a cheerleader☺
A few important details about our Word Study: As we learn about each letter, we also learn about the sound the letters make, and we think about what other words have that same sound. We begin by thinking about what words BEGIN with that sound. We also emphasize what kind of letter it is – a consonant or a vowel. This is so important because later, when students are reading, they’ll need to pay special attention to the vowel(s) in the word, as vowels are tricky and can sometimes change sound!
At home, a great way to support your child is to invite their “help” in making lists. Lists are fun, easy ways to encourage students to apply their knowledge of letter-sounds. Begin by just asking their help with the first letter, and move on from there. So, if you are making a grocery list, and you need broccoli, say the word, ask them to say the word, and ask them to tell you the first letter you need to write. They can even help you write it!
Weekend News Each Monday, we have a very special time where we share a memory from the weekend, then we write about that memory to hold onto it. The weekend memory can be simple – helping the family go grocery shopping, helping to cook dinner, helping with Super-Friday-Cleanup☺ Or if can be someplace special that you went – a favorite playground, a grandmother’s house, the beach, a street fair. Our young writers learn to name where they went, who they were with, and what they did. They often “build” the setting using blocks or clay, then they are given paper to draw, label, and eventually writing about the where/who/what of their weekend memory.
At home, there are many ways to support your child. First, take time with them on Friday evening or Saturday morning to talk about what you might do/need to do that weekend. You might even make a list☺ Then on Sunday, or Monday on your walk into school, ask them what they might write about for weekend news. If you’d like, you can even send a picture in about your child’s special memory – this can be very supportive for students who have a hard time thinking of/remembering an idea.
Social Studies In the winter of Kindergarten, we continue to study our school community and important holidays. The students begin a discussion of needs and wants, and how many of the people and places in our community help us meet our needs and wants.
In the fall of Kindergarten, our students learn about the school community, as well as important holidays and national events such as the Election Day and Veteran’s Day. They also take time to meet and often interview the people in the building that they need to know. Then together with their classmates, they create a “who’s who” of PS 172☺ They ultimately learn that everyone hear has a very important job, and that all of the “jobs” support the goal of taking care of all the people in the school so we can learn, have fun, make friends, and become the very best people we can be!
Module 4 and the Sleepover Project
Number Pairs, Addition, and Subtraction
Module 4 marks the next exciting step in math for kindergartners, addition and subtraction! They begin to harness their practiced counting abilities, knowledge of the value of numbers, and work with embedded numbers to reason about and solve addition and subtraction expressions and equations. We will start this module with our exciting Sleepover project where the students will use a bunk bed and self made puppets to explore all the number pairs in number through 10. Then we will jump into Topics A and B, decomposition and composition are taught simultaneously using the number bond model so that students begin to understand the relationship between parts and wholes before moving into formal work with addition and subtraction in the rest of the module.
Important Terms to know:
How you can help at home:
Continue to compare groups of objects up to 10, asking more and less than questions
Give your child some Cheerios and ask her to show how many more are needed to make 10
Review and practice counting numbers up to 30 or as high as possible
Comparison of Length, Weight, Capacity, and Numbers to 10
Having observed, analyzed, and classified objects by shape into predetermined categories in Module 2 students now compare and analyze length, weight, capacity, and finally numbers in Module 3. Students use language such as longer than, shorter than, as long as, heavier than, lighter than, as heavy as and more than, less than, the same as. “8 is more than 5.” “5 is less than 8.” “5 is the same as 5.” “2 and 3 is also the same as 5.”
Terms to know:
How You Can Help At Home:
Begin asking more than/less than questions about groups of objects around the house.
Encourage measurement activities of all types.
Continue to review and practice counting number up to 10
In this module, students seek out flat and solid shapes in their world. Empowered by this lens, they begin to make connections between the wheel of a bicycle, the moon, and the top of an ice cream cone. Just as the number 4 allowed them to quantify 4 mountains and 4 mice as equal numbers, learning to identify flats and solids allows them to see the relationship of the simple to the complex, a mountain’s top to a plastic triangle and cone sitting on their desk. This Module will end with a culminating project, “Build A City”. For this project students will go on a shape hunt around their neighborhood to notice the different shapes they can find in buildings, vehicles, and their environment. Back at school they will construct their neighborhood with their peers using 2D and 3D shapes based on their observations.
In the month of September, Kindergarten is very excited to dive into expanding our knowledge about math and how math can help us in so many different situations in our life!
We will… Sort and Classify Through exploration and experimentation, we will learn what makes two objects look similar and different and sort objects into categories. Students will be asked to describe two objects as “exactly the same” or “the same but ___.” These activities allow students to begin to reason and articulate their thinking.
Figure Out “How Many?” Students will count, order, and write up to 10 objects to answer “how many” questions. They will count objects in different configurations and will learn that the last number said tells the number of objects counted. They will also understand that objects counted in different ways still yields the same total.
Understanding Relationships Between Numbers Students will build on their understanding of relationships between numbers. They will realize that each successive number name refers to the quantity that is one greater and that the number before is one less. This will lay the foundation for later in the year when we focus on “counting on” rather than “counting all.”
We want students to expect school to be a dynamic and safe place to learn, and objective that will definitely be achieved with the help of our wonderful parents! We look forward to a wonderful school year, with continuous growth and learning from our students!
Structure of Lessons
Throughout the module, students will represent and solve word problems through the daily Application Problem. Application problems precede a lesson to act as the lead-in to a concept, allowing students to discover through problem-solving the logic and usefulness of a strategy before that strategy is reviewed. This structure allows problem-solving to begin as a guided activity, with the goal being to move students to independent problem-solving, wherein they reason through the relationships of the problem and choose an appropriate strategy to solve. Following the Application Problem students will come together to form a Math Congress. Here students will lead the discussion and explain their strategy to the whole class. The teacher will introduce the lesson of the day through the strategies shared by the students. Following the Math Congress students will have the opportunity to practice the skills independently through games, activities, or worksheets.
How you can help at home
Have your student practice counting groups of objects in his/her environment
Have your child help with household chores that require matching or sorting, such as matching socks in the laundry, organizing shoes, or collecting utensils for meals. As your child matches objects, ask questions like, “How do they match?” .
Touch and count up to five objects together. At snack time, say, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5. You have 5 crackers.” Move the crackers into a line or a circle and count again.
Buy or make a set of numerals 1-5 (paper, foam, or magnets) When getting dressed ask, “Which number shows how many shoes you are wearing?”
Point out and name numerals in everyday experiences. While riding an elevator, ask, “Which button has the number 4?”
Sing songs that involve counting forward or back, such as “The Ants Go Marching,” “This Old Man,” “Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play,” or “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”
In addition to counting, students can practice writing the numerals 0- 10
Practice decomposing numbers, e.g. talk about how 5 is made up of a group of 2 and a group of 3
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!
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.