I hope to see you at Parent/Teacher conferences!
Last week we had created and scanned in our pictures to go in our e-cards. We needed to turn them into digital jpeg images in order to edit them in iPhoto today. After tweaking the images, we imported them into iMovie in order to play them back to back like a movie. The students made decisions on timing, length and transitions used. We spent the afternoon working in GarageBand to create the soundtrack behind the images being shown. One of the tracks was used as a voice track in order to read the words to the Diamante poem that they wrote to tie the e-card together. The poem begins with the student(s) reading words that they wrote about the Intended Recipient and halfway throught the poem the focus changes to the words describing the Holiday or Occasion that was chosen. While working in GarageBand today the students were encouraged to choose instruments that would send the "right" emotion when the card is being read or received. It was awesome when the students sending a St.Patrick's Day card chose instruments with a Celtic sound and the student group sending a Sympathy card chose instuments that were melodic and thoughtful sounding. I have really enjoyed watching them soak up information this unit about musical instrument and genre choices when writing music. The e-cards will be saved to their jumpdrives and also available for viewing at Parent/Teacher conferences. Thank you for sharing your child with me this unit! After Spring Break, we will dive into a unit entitled, "Wonders". We will begin learning about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and then quickly move into how they would define a "wonder" and discuss what they "Wonder" about. It should be a lot of fun!
I hope to see you at Parent/Teacher conferences!
Today we continued on our WebQuest adventure! We reviewed what a "quest" was and brainstormed what each one of us would want to bring on our own quests. It's funny how many students think about chocolate or a machine gun before normal food and water! We had a good laugh over our answers. :) We reviewed what our "Sound of Music" webquest was about as well as the task set before us. It is based upon the emotions that may be evoked within each of us when we listen to music. The students are currently going through a process of 12 steps/activities to assist in learning how to match pictures/images with text and music to create an intended emotional response. The "quest" is to create with their computer partner an "e-card" designed with a holiday and an intended recipient in mind. They are pretending to be hired by Hallmark and will be doing many activities around the concept of human emotions in order to be able to "speak a common language" when making these electronic greeting cards. The students are currently in the process of bringing in paper greeting cards which we will analyze together. This will help us understand emotional messages sent in greeting cards and how the message directly corresponds with the intended recipient and the holiday in mind. As they go through the webquest they will participate in group activities as well as partner activities to complete the task of creating the card. It should take the rest of the unit to complete the task of creating individual pictures, poetry as the text and the music in a computer program called Garageband. We will keep you posted on how it is going. The students have been really excited beginning this process. Teaching in the 21st century involves meeting them where they are at with technology and going from there. Wish us luck!! Thank you for sharing your child with me today!
PS t-shirt order forms are going home this week. I have attached a copy of this form if you need an additional copy. Please attach payment with the form. Orders will be called in on March 7th.
Today we focused upon the genre of classical music. We began our day with a review of our list of musical genres and then read Zin, Zin, Zin, which discusses common instruments found in an orchestra. In pairs, the students read a biographical piece about Joseph Haydn, a famous composer during the Classical Era. We watched two Brain Pop clips - one on Mozart and the other on Beethoven. They both contributed to this era is significant ways as well as trained under Joseph Haydn while establishing themselves as artists. The students listened to Haydn's famous "Surprise Symphony" and made many guesses concerning the creation of the "surprise" chord near the beginning of the song - which was written to "surprise" the audience. We played the symphony piece again and as a class pretended to sneak downstairs to the kitchen to get a piece of cake when they were suppose to be sleeping while the song was playing the softer, repetitive notes. During the "surprise" part of the song, when the instruments are loudly played together, the students pretended to be caught by their parents! In the afternoon we listened to and studied Peter & the Wolf. After previously discussing several versions of the "Three Little Pigs", the students were introduced to a version that is different and tells the story from the Wolf's point of view. They used this idea to rewrite in pairs the story of Peter & the Wolf from the Wolf's point of view as well. The students learned how to insert a text box and images into a Smart Notebook file to match their portion of the story. Next week, we will assemble these slides into iPhoto and show them as a slideshow.
*Only Monday students experienced this week due to a snowstorm that canceled further classes.
Our focus for today centered around the typical instrument families found in an orchestra. We began by brainstorming with small group teams and then used a variety of music themed books and video clips to expand our discussion, as well as to give us insight into each instrument discussed. Our discussion's focus headed into the area of "geography" as the students were interested in finding out which countries developed certain instruments. After discussing a variety of usual and unusual instruments, we then practiced listening to different instruments and running to the corner labeled with the particular instrument family. (Very loud, but fun!) We also read a story titled, The Orchestra which went deeper into how a composer structures a new piece or "composition" and the choices he/she needs to make when creating a new piece. Video clip examples were shown for each family of music to help illustrate each area. The students drew how the music made them feel on whiteboards and then discussed with a partner if they would choose instruments from that "family" if they were composing a song. After lunch, we visited my website and looked at the different information that can be found there. Under the tab titled, "Unit Study", there is a page that asks a Question of the Day. The question(s) center around choosing a musical genre that you would create a record album in and what would you title it etc. The students have a chance to "blog" (a web log) about the questions posed. After they blog, the blogs come to me and I approve them before they are posted on my website. If you would like to read what they have written, the web address is wendeehughes.weebly.com If they read each others' blogs at home, then they might want to make comments. If so, "mouse" down to the bottom of the blogs to find the area called, Reply. This is where they will reply or reflect on other blogs from my class. Thank you for sharing your child with me today!
2. Discover and evaluate patterns and relationships in information, ideas, and structures
2. Exchange information, questions, and ideas while recognizing the perspectives of others
1. Identify tasks that require a coordinated effort and work with others to complete those tasks
The students were so excited to not have a snow day! (I think that is so neat!) They always come in "ready to learn". Today we began with a new chant. I say, "Gifted" and they say "Rocks", and then they do a jumping jack while saying, "Go Eagles!" Learning our chants have helped us incorporate the words, beat, rhythm, tempo and duration - very important musical vocabulary. We then had a story, M is for Melody, where different musical terms were defined with each letter of the alphabet. It went into depth on where certain instruments were invented and how they have changed over the years etc. On the letter M, we not only had a discussion on melody, we also learned how to march. My son Taylor is a part of the JHS marching band and he recently taught me how to "roll step". The students did not realize that it is more difficult than it looks! They had fun practicing who would be the drum major and "roll step" backwards as they were conducting our march! We spent the afternoon making step books which define and illustrate rhythm, pitch, duration, symbols and harmony. They visited the SFS Kids (SanFranciso Kids) symphony site and not only learned the definitions, but had an opportunity to create songs and listen to different instruments play a variety of melodies. Next week we will focus on the four instrumental families in an orchestra. Thank you for sharing your child with me today!
1. Use a variety of tools to conduct research to answer questions and evaluate information and
3. Organize data, information, and ideas into useful forms including charts, graphs, outline for analysis or presentation
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! As the students entered the building this week, they had a lot of great "snow day" stories! In the classroom, we began with out French "Word of the Week" - anniversare (birthday). I needed to update my birthday chart due to new students being added to my classroom! The students checked the chart and we made any necessary changes. This week we "dove" into our music unit by giving the students some time to brainstorm what that word means to them. We added as many words to our Composition notebooks as we could to assist us in our definition. As the students wrote these descriptions on the back of their cd's, I played a variety of music videos. I had chosen one music video out of several main music categories. As we went on the use paint pens on the backs of our cd's, we discussed how the video matched the music to help tell a story. We agreed to make this a "safe" classroom where we would feel free to state what types of music or performers that we liked or didn't really care for - as long as we worded it positively. We spent our afternoon beginning a discussion on Broadway musicals. Our country is known for two major contributions to the "Arts" - jazz and Broadway musicals. We began with George Cohen's song "You're a Grand Old Flag" from the musical George Washington, Jr. and Irving Berlin's song "A Simple Melody" from the musical Watch Your Step - both from the early 1900's. The students enjoyed singing (and dancing to) both songs! Next week we will continue our discussion with really looking at the families of instruments featured in an orchestra and band. Thank you for sharing your child with me today!
We began this week with the essential question: Why do we need a brain? After collecting creative answers, we had a challenge activity using our nondominant hand to do relatively simple tasks such as cutting out a symmetrical heart on a fold and then writing our name on it. The children began a discussion on what our brains allow us to do and what part of the brain controls normal functions. We watched a video clip introducing the Nervous System as well as read a story comparing the brain to a computer. We were able to complete a Venn diagram comparing a brain to a computer and how both assist us to live our lives. We used our Unit notebooks to label the main parts of the Central Nervous System and compared it to the job of the Peripheral Nervous System and its miles of nerves. We then went "back to the basics" and learned about the basic building block of a nerve and that is a neuron or nerve cell. We learned the major parts of the neuron and each student constructed one out of play-dough. We then read a story about how neurons use a "synapse" to transfer the message(s) to the nearby neurons and then arranged our neurons to be close, but not touching, to illustrate this process. The afternoon was filled with our Nervous System research time. We alternated between reading and finding "juicy" facts out of books to looking for these facts off of the computers. The students were convinced that they worked their brains to the point of doubling their size! Thank you for sharing your child with me today!
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