2nd Quarter Update 2022
Mrs. Talley and Mrs. Nichols are busy over break selecting plays for second semester. We are excited to get back at it with some new plays as well as some of our favorites from the past! One teacher goal of ours is to play a NEW drama game with each class in the NEW year!
Mark your calendars:
Grades 2nd/3rd will perform on Thursday, May 4th.
Dress Rehearsal for grades 4th-12th will be Friday, May 5th.
Wednesday and Thursday 4th-8th graders will perform Friday, May 12th.
Monday, Tuesday, and Friday 4th-12th graders will perform Tuesday, May 16th.
(This last date is a change from previous Spring semesters as we are trying to avoid WMDCS orchestra concert conflicts.)
And as always, refer back to our website for performance dates: https://www.wdmcs-hsap.org/
The Kindergarten students have been on a gingerbread man kick! We have read several different versions and enjoyed comparing and contrasting them. They had fun adding their special writing to their Writer’s Notebooks. In January we will begin our special unit on author Jan Brett. If you have any of her books at home, please feel free to share or send with your child.
Our First Graders have taken their writing to the next level! We have enjoyed our winter writing and learning how to complete self assessments with mini rubrics (we call them tickets). The students check off if they included capital letters at the start of their sentences, details, and a period at the end. They are doing an amazing job. Please be sure to check out their work in their Writer’s Notebooks!
Over the past several weeks, the students have been learning about the importance of using great word choice. They’ve practiced using word choice through fun activities and writing assignments. They began by writing about a special object that they shared with the class in hopes their classmates would be able to guess their item from its written description. Another written piece that students completed was a description of their dream bedroom. In this piece, they used awesome adjectives to describe several objects in their dream bedroom. Our next writing trait will be Voice. We’ll discuss personification in our upcoming lessons. Soon, 2nd/3rd grade writers will hear stories, as well as write their own story written from a different perspective. Remember to check out your child’s Writer’s Notebook for these special projects.
4th and 5th grade writers have been learning how to take risks in choosing new and descriptive words for their writing. The Word Choice Trait reminds us that the words we choose to use in our writing matter. Utilizing Awesome Adjectives and Vivid Verbs instantly turns ordinary writing to extraordinary! We tried this out in a descriptive writing piece about our favorite food. We enticed our audience with a variety of new and tasty words as we wrote of our favorites. Most recently, students shared their own unique restaurant menu complete with two specials (appetizer, main, and dessert). Awesome adjectives and delicious descriptions drove this activity, and the students delivered!
We recently finished our travel writing descriptive essays. We used Canvas to conduct peer reviews and share our writing with each other which the students really enjoyed. The essays have been really fun to read and have given me many great ideas for future trips!
Second semester, the 6th-8th graders will start a fiction and mystery writing project based on The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. The Friday 8th-12th graders will spend some time practicing for the ACT essay in which they will have 40 minutes to write an essay taking a position on a stated topic. The essay portion of the ACT is optional, but timed opinion writing is great practice either way.
The 8th grade Book Club has been busy reading Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. While most everyone knows the story, it has been fun to really take a deep dive into really understanding it. They are really starting to understand it without much assistance.
The Friday Book Club is also spending some time reading a play. We are reading Our Town by Thornton Wilder, a true American classic.
Wow, it sure has been a flurry of creative fun in the Art room this past quarter!
Here’s what has been happening:
All of the classes have been exploring the 3-D Art Element of “FORM.” Each grade level has a different focus for their project.
The past quarter has been busy in K/1 Art. First we worked to complete our multimedia model magic wild birds. Most of the birds have made it safely home, if your child has not yet brought theirs, please be sure to remind them to pick it up. Secondly, we explored the medium of CelluClay and discussed the difference between 2-D and 3-D. Our creative little ones will be bringing their completed CelluClay / tissue paper bowls home after winter break.
This energetic bunch has been patient and is finishing up their clay “wall pockets.” All of the projects have now been bisque fired and are ready to add color. Students have the choice of painting them with acrylic paint or glazing and re-firing them.
Lots of teamwork went into the making of the clay mugs for 4th and 5th graders. With five sections of 4/5 there are many bisque firings. Currently, we are glazing the pieces and will complete them in January after break. Congratulations to these students for their patience through this process. We will be excited to see the results soon! Mugs will be safe to drink out of.
Our clay unit is wrapping up for the 6/7 graders clay whistles (ocarinas.) Although they may not whistle, we had a fun time making little sculptures that can also be used for other purposes such as pencil or paintbrush holders. Coming up next~ Stained Glass Mosaics after winter break.
8 - Thursdays
Clay Party Platters! The 8th graders were asked to think about what food they might make and serve at a gathering and what they would serve it on. We then brainstormed ways to construct them with the knowledge of techniques. These platters are in the process of drying, firing, glazing, and refiring. We can’t wait to share these creative pieces!
The 8th graders will be starting Stained Glass Mosaics after winter break.
8-12 on Fridays
Our high school group completed their paper marbling journals during this second quarter and had the opportunity to practice some calligraphy in them. Recently, we finished a clay challenge which tested their knowledge of construction techniques. They then created a vessel using methods of slab, coil, pinch, and sculptural carving. These works are currently drying, firing, being glazed, and refiring. The estimated finish date is late January.
~ Our 21 “Free Choice Art Buffet” classes were a fun, cheerful way to end our semester!
The second one in May will revolve around the theme of Nature and Recycled items.
Please help us brainstorm materials which could be collected and donated.
~ Coming up in the SPRING, we will create projects related to the Nature Element of Air / Wind.
Mrs. Craven is accepting donations of small glass forms for the middle school / high school unit of stained glass mosaic.
We have been busy learning about the solar system in science. Students have spent time learning about our moon and the phases. We learned about the environment on the moon, travels to the moon, and why we only see one side of the moon from earth. Hopefully your student has been looking at the night sky to find the moon and tell you about its phase.
K-1st grade students created a large diagram of the 8 planets of the solar system, including the sun and the asteroid belt. We learned a little bit about each planet and tried to color them to match the color of the planet in the sky. We also created our “own solar system” made of students and learned a silly saying to help us remember the order of the planets from the Sun out to Neptune.
2nd/3rd and 4th/5th grade students have been working on a planet research project to create a flip book. We have been learning about what makes each planet unique, the difference between rotation and revolution, and the size of each planet in relation to the sun. We will finish these after break and students will bring them home to share.
6th-12th grade students learned about the planets by completing a solar system webquest using their chromebooks. Students were able to “explore” each planet virtually and brought home their packets if they are interested in learning more on their own.
We all finished our semester by learning about stars and taking a trip in the star lab to view constellations. We will spend another day in the star lab the first week back from break as I know many students missed this past week and it is such a fun experience!!
Science students will spend the majority of second semester learning about body systems and how they work (bones/muscles, circulation/respiration, and digestion/excretion). We will finish off our year in April and May with a variety of dissection opportunities.
Kindergarten and 1st grade students have been learning about everything winter! Ask them about the frio/calor game we play, and what they get to hide when one class member leaves the room! Then ask if they can say it in Spanish!
2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders continue to learn all about the family in Spanish. They are able to retell two family stories and answer questions about those same stories. When we return in January, I will be asking them to tell about family member they saw during the Winter Break! We will also be learning (and doing) the Mexican Hat Dance! At the end of January/beginning of February, they will be writing a paragraph in Spanish about a favorite relative.
Spanish A students (6th/7th graders) are currently learning verbs for activities that they like to do. The next chapter will focus on describing people. We are deep into the Spanish 1 curriculum, and everything they are learning right now, is NEW. Make sure to remind them to study for their mini-quiz each week. A few minutes studying each week (outside of class) helps them retain what they learn in class!
Spanish B students (8th graders) are in the middle of a unit on breakfast and lunch vocabulary. When they return, they will be watching a fun video about breakfast around the world and answering questions about it in Spanish. Make sure to remind them to study for their mini-quiz each week. A few minutes studying each week (outside of class) helps them retain what they learn in class!
As we start the new semester, we will continue to work on skills for part of the class period. Basketball and football will continue to be played and some of the older classes will try volleyball as well.
Spring will bring about softball/baseball and soccer skills. Some of our traditional and favorite games will still be played during each class as well.
Sportsmanship and cooperative learning will continue to be a priority as we progress through the semester.
We love our students and their willingness to learn and play.