February 2017 Enrichment Plans – Check out Last Month’s Plans
Physical Education – Miss Siggy
In the spring, all fifth graders are given the FITNESSGRAM or California fitness test which tests students in six areas. During the month of February, all grades will be working on skill areas that the fitness tests focuses on. Activities will be tailored per grade level. The activities will help the students to improve cardio endurance, strength, and flexibility at the appropriate level of development
- aerobic activity
- abdominal strength
- abdominal endurance
- upper body strength
- upper body endurance
- body composition
In preparation for the test, we will incorporate a variety of activities to support students to succeed in a timed mile run, complete required pushups, sit ups, and demonstrate flexibility. Success takes practice, so please encourage students to work hard in class and outside of school.
These skills are the primary goal and there are a variety of fun games that are age appropriate and can improve kids fitness. Games also give students an opportunity to revisit learned skills like leadership, strategy, teamwork, and coordination while demonstrating PEC’s SafeResponsibleRespectfulFlexible(SRRF) values.
Garden – Miss Christa and Mr. Wheeler
This month, students will use their observations of habitats to locate food chains and food webs that occur in our garden. We will focus on interdependence, interactions between organisms and the symbiotic relationships among organisms with consideration for the factors that influence populations within an ecosystem. Students will situate themselves in our ecosystem and explore examples of ways that humans interact with their environment, and the types of relationships that define these interactions. We will explore our own human impact within local and global contexts.
For example, our garden maintains many habitats. Students will explore the habitats of diverse organisms including, aquatic plants and animals (cray fish, gold fish), terrestrial animals (chickens, insects, humans), animals that live in our trees (humming birds, praying mantis) and subsoil dwellers (earth worms). Students come up with habitat factors such as precipitation, terrain, temperature and climate, food sources, shelter, etc. that impact organism survival and success.
We will come to know all the producers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers in our garden and the delicate dependencies they share. Through investigation of micro habitats, students will see the dramatic effects that changing even one variable will have on the entire ecosystem. Direct exploration and observation will inform students about the specific needs of organisms and how these needs are met. The school garden, with its paths, borders, diversity of plant life and soil types, varying amounts of sun, shade, moisture, and dryness is a treasure trove of microhabitats.
Experimentation in micro-habitats will demonstrate the effects of changing environmental factors and the impacts that humans can have. We will expand our knowledge of food webs and food chains further exploring interdependence and symbolic relationships (pollinators, micro organisms, predators, prey, producers and consumers).
Art – Miss Becky
February in the Art Room.
February marks National Black History Month. Important African-American artists are inspiring students’ artwork in grades K-5 all month long. Kindergartners are learning about Alma Thomas and her oversized, mosaic like paintings. Both 1st and 5th graders are embarking on their own quilting projects inspired by the quilters of Gee’s Bend, one with paper and the other with fabric. Third grade is being introduced to Andy Warhol’s contemporary, Jean Michel Basquiat, and his graffiti filled canvasses. Renowned painter Jacob Lawrence is the inspiration for 2nd grade neighborhood collages. Fourth graders are focusing on Norman Rockwell and the importance of his painting of Ruby Bridges.
Students in 6th grade are learning about ancient Egypt, both in art and their classrooms. They are currently exploring hieroglyphics and images of Egyptian culture. Using real papyrus, they have been working on their own detailed drawings relating to the subject matter. It is wonderful to watch the students use both modern and traditional materials in one project!
Yoga – Miss Ashley and Mrs. Edwards
In-the-world: Our World Ready Skill of the month is Self-Regulation. The ability to stay calmly focused, alert and in control of one’s own behavior.
Question of Inquiry: How am I aware of myself and the world around me?
Activities: Reading When Sophie Gets Angry-Really Really Angry.. .by Molly Bang;
Self Regulation Scenarios; Serenity Through the Senses: How can each sense help you
“You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this, and you will find
strength.” – Marcus Aurelius (Emperor of the Roman Empire)
Music – Mr Jake
February is here and in Music rotation we have been busy learning about The Blues and the roots of American music! We also connected The Blues and Ability Awareness week by seeing how others have overcome obstacles and physical disabilities to make beautiful music! All classes have also been working hard to prepare for Grandparents’ Day! It will be a fun one this year as we have a few new songs and a talented group of 6th grade instrumentalists!
It’s a short month with no specials for Grandparents’ day week so here’s a quick look of what else we’ll be working on here in February:
Kindergartners will be exploring the world of pitched percussion and Orff instruments. They will be practicing appropriate use of mallets and safely rotating between stations. They will also be learning about Jazz through storybook!
1st Graders will also be practicing on Orff instruments. After getting comfortable on piano and boomwhackers they will be learning how to play together and read notes on the Staff. They will also be learning about jazz great Duke Ellington through storybook!
2nd graders will be practicing their music reading skills and performing popular kids/folk melodies on a variety of instruments. We will be introducing important concepts like Pitch and Timbre and learning about Jazz great Billie Holiday through storybook and listening journal!
3rd graders will be learning to read complete songs on the staff and perform them together on marimba, xylophone, and piano. We will be studying melodic contour and how to follow the movement of notes over time. We will be reading about Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie through storybook and listening journal!
4th graders will be continuing to study recorder and earn belts through Recorder Karate! We will have group instruction time as well as free time for personal practice. We will also learn about the Jazz style of Dixieland through listening journal!
5th graders will continue to play through their Harmonica study packets and practice their breathing patterns. It has been very rewarding to see some students embrace this instrument and begin to make some real progress! We will have time for group instruction as well as individual practice. We will also be learning about Jazz greats George and Ira Gershwin through listening journals!
6th graders will be practicing changing between chords on ukulele and guitar. We will be working on developing muscle memory, hand strength, and smooth transitions between chords. We will also be starting to split the 6th grade classes between beginner and advanced groups to allow all students to work on playing material at their ability level. They will also be learning about Jazz great Django Reinhardt through listening journal!