Saturday, December 4, 2010

December News

Upcoming Events!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010 - Chocolate Sunday @ the High School (GYZ)  2:00 - 4:00 PM
              Click Here for more information.

Thursday, December 9, 2010 - Libertyville / Washington Elementary Winter Program @ High School Auditorium  -  7:00 PM

December is in full swing and has brought along some snow!

Grades K-2

All students in grades K-2 have been working extremely hard on preparations for their Winter Concert.  Hopefully this news will not take you by surprise.  You should have received a note from me in your student's backpack earlier this week.  If you missed this note, the concert is Thursday, December 9th @ 7:00 PM.  The concert will be a combined effort by Libertyville Elementary and Washington Elementary.

The concert will be held in the High School Auditorium.  Please plan to have your students arrive and report to the stage at 6:45.

Grade 3

The third grade students have all just finished up their games of Rhythm Baseball.  Rhythm Baseball is a game that we play in class that helps to reinforce rhythmic counting and not recognition.  These two important skills have been made a priority in my elementary classes this year.  We have worked for several weeks on counting and clapping different rhythms that included quarter notes and rests, half notes and rests, whole notes and rests and finally eighth notes.

The rules for the game are fairly simple.  First the student chooses one to four cards to perform.  The number of cards corresponds to a single, double, triple or home run.  After choosing, the student is presented with that number of random rhythm flashcards.  If they clap and count them correctly, they then advance that many bases.  If they clap and count it incorrectly, then a member of the other team has a chance to clap it correctly for an out.  If they clap it incorrectly, then it goes back to the original student as a strike.  Three outs per side.  Scores are earned as the students "push" each other around the bases by their correct answers.  The final scores were as follows:   

Blueberry - 40.....Pancakes - 45 (Mrs. Hoskins's class - Washington)
Pumpkin - 30......Pie - 33 (Ms. Smith's class - Washington)
Blueberry - 43......Pancakes - 47 (Mrs. Johnston's class - Libertyville)

Watch for a future video and pictures of the students playing Rhythm Baseball.

Grade 4

Earlier in the year, the fourth grade students sang several songs in class that were patriotic in nature and had some important role in the history of our nation.  Beginning about the time of Veteran's Day, the students began work on the school laptops to create a movie project using one of the songs and to illustrate its meaning or history through pictures.  The students used the online databases that the school benefits from having access through thanks to our AEA - Great Prairie Area Education Agency (GPAEA).  Using the databases, students were able to search for pictures that related to the song lyrics of their choice.  They will then be adding these pictures to the music they chose in iMovie, a program included on the computers they are using. 

The songs they could choose from were:
America, The Beautiful
The Star Spangled Banner
Your a Grand Old Flag
God Bless the USA

Grade 5

The fifth grade students have continued to work in several areas lately.  They have begun a Rhythm Baseball game, they have played bingo while learning music symbols and most recently have worked on learning the notes of the staff.  This last work has included the introduction of the boomwhackers.  After learning how to remember the notes of the staff, we used the boomwhackers to create a treble clef scale.  The next step we took was to organize the notes and whackers into a simple song.  They then were able to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  The most recent step was to take the song "A Whacky Winter Song" from the K-8 Music Magazine ( a magazine subscription that provides much music and classroom ideas for teachers), learn to sing it, and then to begin the accompaniment on the boomwhackers.  In our fist day on the accompaniment, we got approximately half of the music played. 

The students are also continuing to discover different composers each month.  In November, the students learned a little background on Vivaldi.  In December, the students will be introduced to Joseph Haydn, a classical composer.

4th Grade Ensemble

The 4th grade ensemble students are preparing a couple songs to help supplement the music for the Elementary Winter Program on Thursday, December 9th.  Please see the K-12 section for details on the concert.  Besides singing a couple songs, the 4th grade ensemble students will also be doing a little acting an part reading for the concert.

5th Grade Ensemble

 The 5th grade ensemble is currently working on two songs that they will be performing shortly.  One of their songs "Christmas Dinner" will be performed at the Middle School Talent Show later this month during the school day.  Then, after returning from the Winter Break, they will be performing "Christmas Dinner" and "Dig a Little Deeper" (from the movie The Princess and the Frog) at the Middle School concert on January 4th in the Middle School Commons at 7:00 PM.

Middle School Vocal Music

The middle school vocal music classes have been continuing to prepare the their concert to be performed on January 4th @ 7:00 PM in the Middle School Commons.  Please mark your calendars and plan to come and enjoy a little fine arts.

High School GYZ

 The GYZ groups has been working the last couple weeks to prepare for this Sunday's "Chocolate Sunday" performances in the High School Cafeteria.  Please take time to come and enjoy some music from the High School vocal and instrumental music departments, partake in some delightful chocolate treats, and to big in the silent auction for some really special gift baskets.  Chocolate Sunday is an annual fundraiser for the Fine Arts departments of Fairfield High School.  Hope to see you there for a "Sweet" start to your Holiday Season.


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