Archive for September, 2014

The Age of Discovery

Written by JenniferG. Posted in 5th Grade

For our Age of Discovery Unit students will walk in the steps of famous explorers as they research their journeys and examine their motives.  They will study the daily life of the 15th century, learning about customs in Spain during this time, and also about life aboard an explorer’s ship.  They will learn about sailing ships and navigational instruments.


Music Room Tour

Written by Rachel Grove. Posted in 1st Grade Music, 2nd Grade Music, 3rd Grade Music, 4th Grade Music, 5th Grade Music, ES Music, Kindergarten Music

Welcome back to school! And welcome to the music room!

This year is off to a great start for each class. It is so fun for me to see the students returning, and how they really grew in the last year of music.  I love that I get to work with the same kids year after year, because I am able to witness so much growth. I see them retaining information and being able to pick up right where we left off!

For those of you who did not make it to back to school night, and have not made it down to the music room yet this year, I wanted to give you a virtual tour of our room this year. So now you will be able to envision where your child is spending their music class each week. Please don’t hesitate to stop by! Here’s to a great year!




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Chicken Soup with Rice Monthly Poem

Written by Holly Gilbert. Posted in PreK

Every day we spend about five minutes reading and discussing our poem of the month. The poem of the month comes from a book written by Maurice Sendak, also the author of Where the Wild Things Are. In Chicken Soup with Rice, Sendak describes the monthly adventures of a little boy. This is the September poem.

In September

I will ride

a crocodile

down the

chicken soupy Nile

Paddle once

Paddle twice

Paddle chicken soup

with rice.



Throughout the year, we explicitly teach the following literacy skills:

  • rhyme
  • alliteration (the ability to notice words that begin in the same way)
  • smaller and smaller units of sound (the ability to hear sounds in different parts of the word)
  • letter sound knowledge

Chicken Soup with Rice allows us to practice these skills every day. The first week of the month we spend getting to know the ideas in the poem. We discuss what students notice in the picture, any new vocabulary, and practice reciting the poem. Once students are familiar with the content, we can notice the rhymes. This month, we will focus our practice on hearing the rhyming words. The skill of rhyme trains the child´s ear to notice a specific sound in the word. We will then discuss the letter sounds (s, a, t, p, i ,n ) we hear in the poem.

You can also work with your child to notice sounds in words! Music is great to notice and hear rhyming words. Or, use the names of people in your family to talk about the sounds you hear. For example, my brother´s name is Peter. Peter has the same first sound as Pablo! Have fun and please let us know if you have questions!

Welcome Kinder!

Written by Rachel Grove. Posted in ES Music, Kindergarten Music

It has been a wonderful first few weeks getting to know this new group of Kindergarteners. Since Kindergarten is the first year that the students have me as their music teacher, it is always fun to watch them walk into the music room wide-eyed, and begin to learn what our music class is like!

The beginning of Kindergarten music is all about establishing a foundation. The foundation that we are setting right now is what they will build on for many years! I am beginning to equip them with the most basic and essential tools, that we will continue to sharpen all year long.

In our first few lessons, we have spent a good amount of time becoming comfortable and familiar with the music room and its procedures. As I have seen in the upper grades, once these are in place, our time in the music room can go incredibly smoothly. Since our room is a large space in which such a large variety of activities take place, it is so important to lay down these routines and expectations from the beginning. It is a new space to these students, and there are many new daily norms to learn, including our hello song, their line spots, scatter spots, story spots, circle spots, transitions, instrument care, line-up routine, and goodbye song! Whew! They have done an amazing job of adapting to these new things in this new room!

In the midst of learning these routines, we have had a lot of fun as we begin to make music together! We have been laying the foundation of steady beat, vocal exploration, and imaginative play. The songs, stories, and activities that we have been doing are paving the way to label these important elements.

I have attached a few “ASK ME” questions, for you to ask your child and give them the opportunity to share with you some of the new poems/rhythmic chants and songs that we have learned in music. I’ve also included a digital copy incase they need a little prompting. 🙂


– Ask your student to tell you about the pie I was baking for my Aunt, and what happened to it! Ask if they can sing you the song “No more Pie”.Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.29.08 PM


– Ask your child how my Aunt came into town, and ask if they can sing “Engine #9” for  you while sliding their hands like the train. Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.29.57 PM








– Ask them to perform for you “Here is the Beehive” (speaking the words, not singing yet) with the hand motions.Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.32.53 PM







Our Color Unit!

Written by Nikki Melkun. Posted in Nursery

During the past few weeks in Nursery, we have been hard at work getting to know and becoming familiar with our new friends, new teachers, and new school. As we enter our 4th week of school, Ms. Kathy and I already see so much progress in all of our friends!  We are participating in activities and lessons, we are singing new songs, and we are communicating with our new friends. Over the past 2 weeks, we have been focusing the majority of our lessons around hands – on Color Activities. These activities enable the children to practice their color and numeral verbal identification skill sets, as well improve their English communication. In a photo below, one of our activities was to create, ¨Rainbow Hair.¨ Through using glue sticks and construction paper, our friends strengthened their fine motor skills, as well as color recognition skills in English, as they identified colors and glued hair onto their paper. Another photo below depicts our ¨Teddy Bear Color Sort¨activity. Through identifying a number on the whiteboard and accompanying color, the children find and sort the bears, thereby increasing their mathematical skills. In another photograph below, the children participated in a ¨Primary and Secondary Color Experiment.¨ They chose two primary colors to paint on each hand. They then rubbed them together to see what secondary color would appear!

In keeping with our Color Unit, next week both Nursery Classes will create a ¨Color Wall.¨ Each day will represent a different color:

29/9 Monday: Yellow
30/9 Tuesday: Red
1/10 Wednesday: Blue
2/10 Thursday: Pink
3/10 Friday: Green
Each day, we are asking each child bring in a small item, small and light enough to be taped to the wall, to put on our Color Wall. Some examples of these items are a shoelace, plastic toy, or even a photograph of an item. Be creative 🙂 Please only include items that are not valuable as they have the potential to become lost or damaged. We will continue with our Color Unit through October 3rd. Monday October 6th begins our “All About Me Unit.¨

If at anytime you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!


Nikki and Kathy


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¨Rainbow Hair¨                                                   ¨Primary and Secondary Color Experiment¨



¨Teddy Bear Color Sort¨





We Love to Sing!

Written by AngieB. Posted in Nursery

In Nursery we love to sing songs every morning during Circle Time. Why? Well, there are many different ways that music, and songs in particular, help children. These include teaching basic skills, encouraging activity, developing language and literacy skills, increasing confidence and creating a fun learning environment. These all-important skills are the reason that songs are an essential part of our curriculum!

Here are the first few songs that we have been singing in class, feel free to sing them at home with your child.

Open Shut Them

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes:

Lineup Song