Specials Spring Newsletter

SPRING SPECIALS NEWSLETTER
 






Specials are Essential Newsletter

Teaching Art, Music & PE  

Here are some highlights and reflections on the school year:

May 6th, 2021

We have enjoyed being back in person with your students, this spring, even with the occasional quarantines. Although there have been necessary adjustments, like sanitizing equipment, it feels almost back to normal! As a team, we have worked towards consistent expectations for students, including creating choice boards for students when they are in quarantine (see below for links). 

SPRING NEWSLETTER

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL (SOMEWHAT)



Art

by Bethany Conrad & Emily Myers


We started the semester with an introduction to 3D art such as cardboard animals. The main idea here was thinking about all the different parts needed for a sculpture to balance on it’s own and creating a design that can be seen all the way around the artwork. When students were at home they could access some of these project ideas through google classroom or our classroom website (ARTatHome). The main 3D project (and the one kids get the most excited about) is our annual clay project. Especially since our clay unit was cut short last year, due to the pandemic, everyone was very anxious to start and complete their clay sculptures. The project options were: clay amplifiers (5th and 6th), coil pots (3rd and 4th), creating something with two pinch pots (2nd), pinch pots and attachments (1st), and pinch pot basics (K). We are ending the semester with fiber arts and wire sculpture.  Check out our school Artsonia page to see some examples. If you are not familiar with Artsonia, it is the program we use to share finished artwork with families.


For the school celebration of Read Across America week, we hosted a school wide Dr. Seuss Art competition. All participating students had their art hung outside the art room for a month (mid March- mid April). Those selected as finalists got the opportunity to do a chalk wall mural or paint the art room windows with the Seuss-tastic designs!


  


It was especially fun to host our first “Family Paint Night” to help Heritage raise money for curriculum purchases next school year. This was a great community event and we enjoyed seeing all of the variations that came from our pre-recorded painting demonstrations. Click here for some shared photos from the event.




Coming up, check out the District Art Show for featured Heritage artists! 


Last, we just received word that we are recipients of Westerra Credit Union’s School Grant Program for Spring of 2021. We will use this grant to help pay for the materials and the installation of this year’s 6th grade legacy project!

Highlights:

Mrs. Conrad: I really enjoyed getting back to the normal groove of things this semester and trying out some new projects! I was so grateful to work with Mrs. Myers this school year and can’t wait to take all we have learned with co-teaching and this unconventional school year to apply to a fresh start next school year.


Mrs. Myers: In many ways 2nd semester looked a little more normal around Heritage and it felt great to get in a grove. Even when challenges were presented students and us teachers did a good job of being flexible and changing on the fly when needed. That is what we have all had to adapt to in these weird times we are living in right? Even though we are in a pandemic, learning and creating never stops!  I am proud of our students, and all the hard work and the beautiful art that was created as a result of working through adversity. Co-teaching with Mrs. Conrad has been the best, and I am so grateful we have this opportunity to work with each other and with our wonderful students!






Physical Education

by Amanda Lelo


During the spring semester in Physical Education we covered many sports and activities! 


We started the semester with frisbee games and practiced our accuracy and release through challenge games. Frisbee is a fun lifelong sport that will get you moving and challenge your reaction time!

                                                                                 

We then moved on to Spikeball!  Spikeball is a cross between volleyball and foursquare. You have two teams with two players each, three hits per team, who have to hit the ball off the net and try to get the other team to be unable to return the ball to score points.  Spikeball is a student favorite that was modified for younger grade levels. We played a version where you throw & catch off of the net!


Next came volleyball! I love teaching our volleyball unit and seeing all of the students grow and excel in new skills.  I also had students share that they joined or will be joining volleyball teams this year! During this unit we practiced our bumping, setting, serving, and spiking.  Younger grade levels practiced volleying skills with trainer volleyballs, beachballs, and balloons!  They also played modified 2 v 2 & 3 v 3 games!


Basketball was a unit that was taught during our remote learning in December and in-person at school this spring!  I think students would agree it is more fun to shoot on a basketball net than a laundry basket. : )  During this unit we practiced our dribbling, passing, and shooting.  We ended the unit with 3 on 3 gameplay.  During this time students chose if they wanted to play in a “recreational” or “competitive” bracket and practiced refereeing for their peers!


Pickleball was a fun and new sport we tried out this year!  Pickleball is a paddle ball sport (similar to a racquet sport) that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood to hit a wiffle ball over a net!  It is a lot slower paced than tennis which leads to students being able to pick up skills faster.  During this unit we practiced our serving and striking skills.  We ended the unit with 1 on 1 and 2 v 2 gameplay.  Younger grade levels practiced striking skills with paddles and rackets.  We modified skill practice using beach balls and larger balls! 


We are ending the year with our running unit.  It has been fun to see students really excel and enjoy this lifelong sport!  During this unit we learned about the difference between dynamic and static stretching and how they can provide benefits depending on when they are performed.  Everyday we set a running lap goal for the day, went through a series of dynamic stretches, and then went outside to run for 20 minutes!  Students were rewarded with a necklace and toe tokens for every mile they ran! The younger grade levels practiced moving their bodies at different paces.  One example is through an activity called an “Animal Run” where students practiced moving at “animal paces.”  Cheetah: sprint, horse: run, pig: jog, and turtle: walk.  We discussed when it is appropriate to use different speeds so our body is able to continue to move in activities!  


Highlights:

This spring, we introduced “Sportsmanship Player of the Week.”  Every Friday students voted for one boy & girl of their choosing to be nominated for this award! Winners earned a prize and got their picture taken to be put up in the hallway for school wide recognition!  This is an award for students who really demonstrated respect for their peers and the game all week!  It is truly an honor to be chosen by your peers. : )


Finally, I am so proud of students putting in their best effort this semester! It has been a year so different than others!   Specifically I wanted to give a shoutout to students during our running unit.  I was really impressed by the effort students were giving and pushing themselves to meet their lap goal!  You could see how proud and self-accomplished students were after running.  I hope students are encouraged to keep up with running goals outside of school and not look at distance running as “punishment” for their body.  Rather, I hope they view it as a fun, mood boosting, stress relieving lifelong activity. : )

Music

by Lindsay Igoe


We started our Spring Semester working with instruments! 


Grades K-2 worked on recognizing instruments of the orchestra (both visually and by sound), through games and listening lessons, including Instrument Bingo, Name the Instrument, and Sergei Prokofiev‘s “Peter and the Wolf.” Their energy and love of learning make working with these little “rascals” so much fun!     













Grades 3 and 4 continued their work with recorders (using the Recorder Karate program). I  have been so impressed with the commitment these kiddos have had, practicing and testing weekly (many opting to stay after school to test more often!) Several students have earned their “black belts” and have earned the honor of playing at our end-of-the-year Memorial Day Program.


Grades 5 and 6 worked hard on ukuleles! Both individually and in groups, we worked on the musical chords of C, F, G Am, D, G7, G, Dm, and Em! We worked on some fun and popular songs such as “Stand By Me”, Count On Me”, and “Three Little Birds.” Mrs. Wolach was so impressed with their musical abilities, she would often come out into the hallway to listen to students who were practicing outside my classroom!


                                                    


Quarantined students in all grades adjusted beautifully to the music choice board Music At Home found on my webpage.


This last quarter of the year, ALL grades (K-6) have been working on an All-School Memorial Day Music Program, which will be recorded and sent out to the Heritage Community and to the DCSD school board! This program is in honor of our Veterans and those who have given their lives, fighting for our country. With songs, poems, and instrumental solos, this program is sure to be a fantastic musical experience for our Heritage students. Our program will take place on Friday, May 21st and ALL students are asked to wear “patriotic” clothing that day, or at the very least, “Red, White and Blue!” So look in your closets for some fun “4th of July” clothing that you bought last summer and hopefully your kiddos haven’t grown too much that they’ll still be able to squeeze into them! 


Highlights:

I am so thrilled at the musical talent and dedication of our wonderful Heritage students! Their enthusiasm and love of learning inspire me every day! This last quarter of the school year has been especially nice as we have been able to add singing back into my classroom (with CDC safety guidelines enforced, of course!) I’m crossing my fingers and toes that we will be able to bring our Exploration Choir back in the fall, as we have some AMAZING singers here at Heritage!

 

Heritage Elementary, DCSD