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SPECIAL AREAS NEWSLETTER

Issue #1

111

Special Areas
Newsletter

Aug/Sept 2015

LINKING LIFE TO LEARNING

Art
Hello art friends.
Welcome to the 2015-16
school year!! We will begin
with an introduction to
classroom policies and
procedures and then we will
dive into the projects! Our
first project will be creating
your art portfolio that will
house most of your work
throughout the year. Start
thinking of some of your
favorite things that you would
like to include or illustrate on
your portfolio. I am looking
forward to another year of
creativity, exploration,
innovation, and appreciation
in art. Can't wait to see what
your imaginations will bring. It
is going to be a fun year.
~Mrs.Wortham

STEM
At the beginning of this
year, I will be focusing on
setting up STEM notebooks
and having students work

IN THIS ISSUE

cooperatively in teams on
various activities. These
team building activities will
teach students critical
thinking skills and enable
me to learn more about the
type of students they are.
Students will also
familiarize themselves with
tools that scientists use in
the lab by rotating through
measurement stations. I
look forward to another
great year in STEM Lab!
Mrs. Aho
PE
In Physical Education we are
starting the fitnessgram
assessment for all students
in grades 1-5. Kinder is
working on personal space
and locomotor skills such as
running, skipping, jumping,
galloping, leaping and side
slide.
In health class, we learned
about bus safety and what
to do to prevent accidents

on or near the bus. ~Coach


Dwyer

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Upcoming Events

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Sept 9: End 4.5 Week
Grading Period
Sept 17: Parent Conference
Night

Music
My general music class will focus on developing
the musicianship of every child. Learning music
is an active process, engaging children in
holistic and meaningful experiences that lead
to growth and understanding.
Music Instruction will be based on student
needs as indicated by formative and
summative assessments. Once a standard,
concept, theme, and/or vocabulary word is
presented it continues to be developed and
practiced throughout the course in succeeding
grades. Standards outside the instructional unit
may be used for remediation and enrichment.
For more information please visit my website.

Choir

Im so excited that choir is starting. The


Vanderlyn Singers will start rehearsals on
Tuesday, September 8. The choir is open to all
3rd 5th graders. The choir will rehearse on
Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 am 7:30 am
in Mr. Greens room.

Dec.17. 2nd Grade Nutcracker


@ 6 pm

interested in auditioning for a speaking role,


please check your calendar for conflicts as
these roles are difficult to replace. We will have
understudies for each role in the case that
illness/emergency arises. The show is
rehearsed 100% during special area times AT
SCHOOL. (Dance and Music) Only in a special
circumstance (sudden illness of an understudy,
etc) would there be a rehearsal after school.
Stay posted for more info on my website!
Thank you for supporting the performing arts at
Vanderlyn. We could not put on our beautiful
shows without the great help of the Vanderlyn
PTO. I look forward to seeing your children grow
through theatre and dance in my class and on
the stage.
Please help us keep our new dance floor
looking great! All students must wear socks,
ballet shoes, or jazz shoes to dance class.
Girls should have hair pulled away from the
face and need to wear leggings or shorts under
skirts and dresses.
~ Ms. Taylor

Dance
All children dance in sock-feet and the clothes
they wear to school. Please remember to leave
a pair of socks in your child's backpack in the
case* that they do not wear tennis shoes and
socks to school on dance day. Your child will
have dance class (2) days in a row in a single
rotation.
2nd Grade Nutcracker Production! Thursday,
Dec. 17th at 6 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 18th at
8:30 a.m. SEE BELOW!

We need a 2nd grade parent to volunteer for


the Chairperson role in the preparation of the
2nd Grade Nutcracker. Please visit my website
for the duties of this important role! FYIThursday night volunteers are allowed to watch
the Friday morning show.
The 2nd grade will be auditioning for SPEAKING
roles in the next 3 weeks. If your child is

Computer Literacy

This document is intended to provide guidance


as to what computer skills students should
know and be able to do independently at
various levels with specific types of software
applications to enable them to access, manage,
evaluate, create and communicate information.
These skills should not be taught in isolation
but should be applied when meeting learning
outcomes in the content areas.
It is not the intent of this document to identify
the grade level that the skill should be taught,
but rather to define a skill set that a student
should have at the various levels. These levels
may change depending on the software
application. A student could be intermediate in
word processing but basic in visual organizers.
Teaching young students how to think what
makes sense when using a computer is
extremely important in addition to using it to
teach content like math or using skills in the

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computer lab. Using computers in the lower


grades means there will be lots of new
vocabulary and skills to learn, as well as
general computer lab procedures like raising
hands, using headphones, pushing in chairs,
and basic troubleshooting. ~Mr. Sewell

REMINDERS
Dont forget to wear tennis shoes every
day to P.E.
Girls should have hair pulled away from
the face. Girls also need to wear leggings or
shorts under skirts and dresses.
The art room can get a bit messy. Please
dont wear your best to class.

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Learning Through the Arts


by Ellen Booth Church
The Arts Stimulate Brain Growth
The exciting "brain" news is that participating in art, a music, movement, and storytelling activity not only develops
language, mathematics, science, and social skills, but these activities also strengthen the synapses between brain cells!
Research shows that these synapses grow stronger through active participation in the arts. These essential activities at an
early age can actually create new neural pathways and fortify those that are already present! For example,
neuroscientists feel that the combined arts used in rhythmic movement activities (words and music) can help the young
brain develop to its fullest capacity. At infancy a child has all the synapses needed to speak any language, to learn and
appreciate music and movement, and to create visual art..but these synapses must be used in order to be developed.
Stimulate Healing
Dr. Bruce Perry (and the CIVITAS Healing Arts project) has found the amazing healing effects of the arts on young children
in trauma. Through neurobiology, we can see how the brain is affected by trauma and how the arts can actually help the
brain development of children who are exposed to traumatic experiences at an early age. CIVITAS research has shown
that specific parts of the
brain are stimulated by specific artistic enrichment modalities. For example: the base or brain stem responds to touch;
the midbrain to music-making and movement; the limbic region to dance, art, play therapy, and nature discovery; and the
cortical region to art, storytelling, drama, and writing. Through artistic stimulation, children's brains are healing and
growing!

Learning Activities With Visual Art...


Encourage children to use their hands to manipulate
clay, finger paint, weave, paint, and draw. This helps build
fine motor skills - the same skills that children need to
learn how to write letters and words.
Ask children to express their feelings using color,
texture, and structure. Children often use colors in their
drawings and paintings to express a mood. And the
textures of clay provide a perfect place to work out
frustrations!
Use art materials to observe, predict, experiment, and
problem-solve. Open-ended art activities in which children
have to make choices as to how to create a sculpture or
picture help foster the development of these scientific
thinking skills.

Try yoga, jumping, running, and dancing games to help


children develop large muscle skills, strength, balance,
rhythm, and coordination.
Use rhythmic clapping games, tip toe dances, and finger
plays to develop small muscles of the hands and feet.
Through singing repetitive songs and circle dancing
games, introduce the math skills of patterning,
sequencing, and counting.
Engage children in rhyming songs and in singing word
games to build the essential language learning skills of
communication, listening, and speaking.
Use music and movement to express emotions and
develop autonomy and social interaction. This helps foster
social and emotional development.

Invite children to talk about their art with words and


stories in order to promote language development.

Learning Activities With Creative Drama and


Storytelling...

Use discussions with other children and shared


experiences to shape social and emotional interaction
skills. By inviting children to "title" their art, you invite
them to use art as a language.

Invite children to act out and create stories to develop


vocabulary, sequencing, listening, and memory skills.

Introduce new art materials, such as painting with


feathers. This invites children to build a strong sense of
success and mastery.
Learning Activities With Music and Movement...

Explore familiar fairy tales and nursery rhymes to


encourage children to learn to distinguish between
fantasy and reality.
Encourage children to act out their own feelings and the
feelings of others in stories and dramatic play center
activities. This helps provide a greater understanding of
their own feelings and those of others.

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Explore play themes with a variety of culturally diverse
materials to promote multicultural awareness.
Invite children to express a "story" with their bodies. This
provides opportunities for children to develop body
awareness.
The Arts Stimulate Heads and Hearts

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As humans we are a combination of emotional mind and
rational mind. These two "minds" work in tight harmony
to create our experience of life. Activities in the arts
invite children to play with the balance of "head and
heart." There are no wrong answers in creative activities.
And risk taking is definitely encouraged! Through
improvisation and experimentation with the arts in a nonjudgmental environment, children learn more about
themselves and their world