March 2017 Enrichment Plans

March 2017 Enrichment Plans – Check out Last Month’s Plans

Physical Education – Miss Siggy

During PE rotation for March, all grades will continue to improve basic fitness with running endurance and strength training. Fifth grade continues to prepare for the FITNESSGRAM or California fitness test which test students in six areas listed below. Success takes practice so please encourage these students to work hard in class and outside of school.  Read more about FITNESSGRAM.fitnesstest

  • aerobic activity
  • abdominal strength
  • abdominal endurance
  • upper body endurance
  • body composition
  • flexibility
  • upper body strength

Additionally, the focus will be on recess skills. Students will get the opportunity to learn and develop games such as wall ball, spider tag, four-square, tetherball and pickle ball. Hopefully students will gain skills, perfect techniques, build confidence, and have fun.

Art – Miss Becky

March in the Art Room

Working Title/Artist: Figure Department: Islamic Art Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 1200 Digital Transparency Photographed by MMA, File name "DT489.tif" Retouched by Film and Media, 9/16/10 (BJ)

March marks National Women’s History Month. Students from kindergarten to 5th grade will be learning about some of the most important female artists in history. Upper grades will explore pottery from the Newcomb School, a pioneering arts program at an all women’s college in the early 1900s. Third grade will learn about 17th century artist Maria Sibylla Merian, perhaps one of the greatest scientific illustrators of all time. First and second grade will focus on the contemporary sculptures of Louise Nevelson and art duo Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg. Kindergarteners will be introduced to the iconic painter, Georgia O’Keefe, and her beautiful floral canvases.


Sixth grade continues to works its way through history, finishing up ceramics inspired by the canopic jars of ancient Egypt. They will then move on to ancient art from Islam, learning how to create a personalized mandala.

Yoga – Miss Ashley and Mrs. Edwards

On-the-mat: This month in yoga we are exploring core strengthening , hip opening, twisting and partner poses.  Additionally, the students had a great time working together, cooperatively, to write their own yoga sentences They will continue to write more yoga sequences this month.marchyoga

Icooperationn-the-world:  Our World Ready Trait of the month is COOPERATION.  Being able to work with others to complete a task or play a game.
Question of Inquiry: How can I be successful when working with others?
Activities: Reading/watching The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf and Chester’s Way
by Kevin Henke ; The Cooperation Challenge; and Yoga Tic-Tac-Toe

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
– Henry Ford (Founder of the Ford Motor Company)

 Music – Mr Jake

Hey PEC families!This week all grades will be kicking off the Melodious Month of March!  Our rhythm studies in the Fall and our tonality studies in the Winter are now combining to help us read, understand, and play melodies in the Spring!

All instruments in the classroom have been prepared with colors and letter note names to support multiple learning styles and create continuity across instruments.  Learning melodies takes time, patience, and repetition! It is a challenge for our brains to recognize patterns over time and then assemble them to build longer musical phrases.  But we will keep building spatial and temporal reasoning skills with all grades to help them grow and feel a sense of accomplishment and pride with each new melody they tackle! Like I tell the students– once you learn it, it’s yours forever!

Here’s what looks like:
Kindergarten: Our Kinders will be singing and using their Solfege hand signs to help them remember melodies. They will be working in teams to play through melodies. We will be reinforcing classroom learning by relearning DLI Spanish songs in English as well as counting up and down our Solfege scale to reinforce math skills.

First Grade: First Graders will be working on developing independence on their instruments and learning concepts of printed music. We will be continuing to use melodic contour to follow note movement and will be singing through melodies with letter names and colors before performing them on our Orff instruments.

Second Grade: Second Graders will be taking melody to the next level by learning to reproduce a melody independently on a piano as well as on marimba or xylophone. They will also be using melodic contour to study relative movement of pitch over time and will also be learning concepts of music notation by reading melodies on the staff.

Third Grade: Third graders will be taking on the challenge of developing finger dexterity on piano by using all five fingers to play melodies. They will be reading the same sheet music as the other instrumentalists but will be learning about finger numbers as well. Building finger strength is a major goal as we study melody and leave chicken pecking on the keys behind!

Fourth Grade: Fourth Graders will be devoting March to building their chops on Recorder! They have made great strides in learning breath control and finger placement and have already earned several belts through the Recorder Karate program! We are practicing a methodical approach to learning melodies on this challenging instrument that emphasizes annotating their music and rehearsing finger movements before attempting songs.

Fifth Grade: Fifth Graders will be getting down to business on harmonica this month and practicing their in/out breathing patterns to master melodies in their harmonica packets. I am so impressed that many students have already learned most of the songs in their packets and I am delighted that they are hungry for more music! I will be challenging the more advanced students to begin developing their single-hole blow/draw technique and become harmonica masters!

Sixth grade: Sixth graders got a crash course in Blues licks on guitar at the end of February which grew into playing Rock Riffs here in March! Studying small musical phrases like riffs is a great way to break out of the rut of strumming chords. Riffs also empower students to begin using multiple fingers to move up and down the neck, treat a string like a number line, and play more modern, satisfying music!

I was also pleased to discover after teaching the 6th graders about Django Reinhardt last month that the 26th annual “Django a-Go-Go” festival was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City last weekend and that a new French Django biopic is being released this year. It’s always affirming to see jazz greats I love to teach about still alive and well in pop culture today!

**Last but not least…**: All throughout the Melodious Month of March I will be putting a new melody/riff/song out at the tube instrument for students to try! After hearing “Seven Nation Army” go viral, I figured the kids needed an extra challenge (and the teachers needed a break!) Feel free to check it out and encourage your kids to take on the challenge of playing something new!

Garden – Miss Christa and Mr Wheeler

marchgardenThis March students will be examining flows, cycles and changing conditions as Spring takes over the garden. We will observe fluxes of energy and matter into, out of and within systems. We will use prior knowledge of cycles in the garden to observe the transference of energy. Lower grades will observe plant life cycles as seeds emerge in to spouts and plants. We will also study the transformation of flowers in to fruits and seeds as our first peach blossoms are appear. 4th graders will construct microbial fuel cells (mud batteries) and investigate other forms of renewable energy that our school uses. 5th graders will be following the decomposition cycle through building class compost piles and using compost to produce energy that can be used by humans and animals. 6th graders will design structures that will increase or decrease thermal energy transfer to better accommodate seasonal plants in the garden.

Spring planting has begun and students planted carrot, cucumber, gourd and watermelon seeds in anticipation of warmer weather. Students continue to create colorful salads with chard, kale, beets carrots and edible flowers all grown in the garden. We have been experimenting with cool season pesto, and cilantro pesto has been a hit on our wood oven pizzas.