Rose Quartz Update
History with Ms. Freck:
Wow! We have started the year with a dramatic subject. We are in the Medieval Times this year, and it is was not all turkey legs and court jesters. Since many of the students have learned about European history during this, we decided to go in a completely different direction. We are starting with Japan first, then China, and will keep moving our way West from there. We have learned about the hierarchy of Japan and all the waring that went on for over 700 years. Please feel free to quiz them on some important vocab words that they definitely have a great handle on, including Shogun, Daimyo, figurehead, Ronin, Samurai, and (everyone's favorite) Ninjas. All of your amazing learners have soaked up this time period with great enthusiasm. We are about halfway through a graphic novel version of one of the most famous historical Samurai stories titled 47 Ronin. We have acted it out in class and really gotten into what the story says about the culture of Japan during this time. It is said that to know 47 Ronin is to know Japan.
Literature with Dr. Thomas:
We started the year with a high-interest graphic novel, The New Kid, to explore issues of identity, adversity, and the nuances of adolescence. The students really enjoyed the book! We celebrated finishing the text by watching an interview with the author, trying our hand at drawing cartoons, and vegan snacks! We are now shifting gears and reading an American classic, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. We will examine how adversity impacts our identity, how we change over time, and how our environment impacts us. Throughout the remainder of this unit, students will practice literary analysis through discussion and writing.
Writing with Ms. Cody:
Students began the year considering the unique perspective(s) writers use to tell a story or share information. Part of developing as a writer is understanding and analyzing why certain perspectives are used and what can be inferred through the associated experiences. Students have practiced honing their personal and group perspectives through an individual persuasive essay and a group debate piece. As students move through September, their writing will pair with their literature class and Maya Angelou’s memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. They will continue to explore Angelou’s perspective and how it was shaped by her experiences.
Math with Ms. Rodgers:
Our Algebra students are a bright group of students and I am enjoying working with them very much. We have spent the first few weeks of school learning about the real number system ( irrational and rational numbers). We have also reviewed the order of operations, writing, evaluating, and simplifying expressions. We are currently working on writing inequalities and will be moving on to solving equations and inequalities.
Science with Ms. Rodgers:
The 5th- 8th grade science classes have started off our year with a unit on the Nature of Science. Students have learned that science is both a body of knowledge and a process that we can use to answer questions about the natural world. We’ve learned the differences and similarities between scientific laws, theories, hypotheses, and assumptions/opinions. Finally, students learned about and practiced the steps of the scientific method which we will continue to apply as each class engages with their science curriculum. Through our History of Science Timeline project, students have researched famous scientists and their contributions to science. As we complete this unit with a test, each class will begin focusing on the life science standards for their grade level.
Art with Ms. Cornwall:
Hello families! I am looking forward to meeting you all in person. I am very excited to share what we have been working on in art class this month.
Most of the teams are working on the same projects, but this will change in the middle of September. I just wanted to gauge each age group and their skill level so I could have an idea of what everyone’s strengths are and what we can work on with future projects. So far, we are doing two large projects each month. From August to mid-September, we learned about Surrealism, and we are getting ready to learn about Realism and Expressionism in our future lessons.
During our first week, we began creating backgrounds for our Self Portraits, which is a great "Getting to Know You and Your Materials" project and a fun way to start the school year. We learned about different brainstorming techniques such as automatic writing and automatic drawing to get our creativity flowing.
We practiced drawing thumbnail sketches in our sketchbooks that helped us plan and prepare for our final project.
During our second week, we learned about Surrealism and talked about artists such as Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo. We watched a short surrealism video on Youtube by “Tate Kids” that you can search if you would like to watch it.
We drew our Self Portraits in a surreal style and drew a minimum of three objects that
hold some sort of memory or meaning. This was a great way to learn more about each student and their own individuality. These projects were intended to push creative thinking instead of realism. Each student presented their self-portraits to the class, and we learned how to have a positive art critique. This was a great way to make each student feel special about their
work, and it gave them experience in understanding and explaining their creative process in front of people.
This last week, we began working on our next project, where we will be making "dreamscapes" by using mixed media materials and collage. We learned about “juxtaposition” and how to pair images that don’t usually go together to make an interesting piece. We will be using creative techniques that are all inspired by surrealism to complete this project.
The Rose Quartz team has a smaller class size, so we also completed the same self-portrait project, but we were able to take it a few steps further. Since the class size is smaller, we were able to develop other skills during our first project and focused on the elements of art. We touched base on the anatomy of drawing a face, and we learned how to abstract it. We focused on the importance of line variation while creating a project. We talked about the importance of composition and balance in our pieces before we finalized them.
Our artist critiques were closer to a college-level critique, where we offered each other constructive criticism and positive feedback.
Yoga with Ms. Hurst:
Students have jumped right back into their yoga practice, and I am impressed with the yoga knowledge they already have! We are focusing on being mindful of our breathing as we practice, working on lengthening our inhales and exhales for equal slow, steady breaths that will calm our bodies and mind. We are also working on building strength and moving with control- especially during high to low plank. Students are being introduced to binds in order to take their practice to the next physical level. We end each class with a long mediation to allow them to soak up their practice and have stillness in their body and mind.