Middle School Electives Curriculum Updates - Quarter 1, 2018 - Dragons News

Monday, October 8, 2018

Middle School Electives Curriculum Updates - Quarter 1, 2018


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Design Thinking

Quarter 1 of Design Thinking begins with the introduction of the Stanford Design Thinking Process. Students will be working individually or with a partner to develop products meeting the criteria of assigned challenges. Through these products students should show application of the design process (empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test). Students will be assessed on this process using Next Generation Science Standards: Engineering Design. Parents can support their students by talking with them about their projects, asking how and why they came up with their idea and what changes they would make to their project.


Digital Storytelling

In Quarter 1, Digital Storytelling students have been working toward identifying: “What does it mean to be creative?” and “How do you create a story that is worth telling?” The first project had students drawing a digital image on Adobe Illustrator, exchanging images with a partner and writing a 1 page story based on that image. Students then split into groups to creating a video telling one of these stories. For the remainder of the quarter, students will use photography to tell a story working with photo composition and Photoshop. Student will be assessed using the ISTE technology standards. Parents can talk to their students about the characteristics of what makes a story people want to hear.


Beginning Band

In Quarter 1, Beginning band students have been trying out all the different instruments available for study this year. Students have made their instrument choices. Now they begin learning how to hold, care and use their instruments to make music together. Parents can help their student succeed by creating a well-lit, distraction-free space in the home for regular practice, and be encouraging by asking students to play pieces from class for them.   


Intermediate Band

In Quarter 1, Intermediate band students have been reviewing the fundamentals of musicianship, and rehearsal procedures and expectations.  Posture and breathing are reinforced each lesson. Parents can help their student succeed by creating a well-lit, distraction-free space in the home for regular practice, and be encouraging by asking students to play pieces from class for them.  We are working on learning more notes and rhythms, and have begun preparing sheet music for our Winter Arts Days program in December.



Wind Ensemble 

In Quarter 1, Wind Ensemble students have been reviewing their notes and rhythms, and have begun concert preparations for semester one performances.  Posture and breathing are reinforced each lesson. AMIS audition music has been passed out and a chair audition will be taking place soon. Parents can help their student succeed by creating a well-lit, distraction free space in the home for regular practice, and by taking their student to band or orchestra concerts during the year.



Intermediate Orchestra

In Quarter 1, the G6 and G7/8 Orchestras are underway reviewing their notes and rhythms, musical terms, and basic major scales. Each lesson also focuses on tone quality, intonation, and ensemble routines.  AMIS/KIMEA audition music has been distributed with an audition due date of October 7th. The Orchestras are busy preparing concert repertoire for the upcoming semester performances. Now is a great time to get students back into a good practice routine where they can reinforce what they’ve learned in class at home. Ask for your musicians to play some of their concert music for you so they can practice playing for an audience!


Choir 7/8

In Quarter 1, Choir students started this quarter learning basic vocal technique that includes proper posture, diaphragm breathing, rounded and relaxed tone. Each student has been auditioned and assigned to a suitable choir section. Students will sing compositions arranged for SAB voices.  Some sight-reading and basic theory studies will be implemented into lessons. At home, parents can encourage their child to practice the songs they’re learning in class.


Diverse Problem Solving

In Quarter 1, Diverse Problem Solving is off to a fast start!  We have started the year by looking at what characteristics problem solvers have, with a focus on the need to be frustrated to truly be challenged. The students are practicing their problem solving skills through a rotation of activities.  Student learning is assessed through open-ended questions given to the students about their work in class, and their learning towards becoming a better problem solver. Parents can support the students by asking their children about their experiences in class and trying some various problem solving activities together at home!

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