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History of Musical Instruments - Kathy Shares

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In our research time on Friday mornings we have begun to study the history of musical instruments. In cooperative groups, students have been given the task of finding out about their assigned instrument, and more specifically, how it evolved into the instrument it is today. To help us with this task, Kathy Schenley, our talented resource teacher, visited River Class and shared her family of recorders and viola da gamba. 
River students learned all sorts of interesting facts about whistles and how they evolved into instruments that were able to produce more precise notes, like recorders. Kathy shared the more familiar recorders like the soprano and alto and the less familiar ones like the bass and the Garklein, which is the smallest recorder. 
Kathy also shared her viola da gamba (pictured below), explaining that instruments like these often came in families. We learned that the thicker strings make lower sounds and unlike a modern cello it has frets and 6 strings. The instrument is h…

A Saxophonist and Soupbones

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Soupbones (aka Bradley) brought his drums and other rhythmic instruments to share
We had so much fun last Thursday. In the morning, Soupbones (Bradley's nickname) taught us lots about drums and rhythm. Bradley, formerly in the famous Blue Man Group, had us up and moving to his expert drumming. He explained how a metronome works and how polyrhythms mean many rhythms. A drummer takes lots of rhythms and puts them together. We learned about the whole drum set and the origin of drums - Africa. How do we play drums? Various drumsticks and even hands work. We learned that bigger drum heads make lower sounds, that a drum key can change the tightness of a drum head to make a different sound, and so much more.  Click here to see more and more

Saxophonist, Jim Henderson is Annie's special guest in dance class.
Jim Henderson, saxophonist, and former CFS teacher visited our dance class to not only teach us about his family of saxophones but to play for us and to read some poetry by Langsto…

A Holiday and Music Sharing

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(Article written by Carys) More information about St. David's Day here: St. David's Day
On Thursday, February 28th, my mom, Ingrid, came to share about Saint David's Day, which takes place on March 1st. My mom told us the longest place name in the world and the story of the red dragon and the white dragon. One of the students got to try on the traditional Welsh costume. The leek represents the boy and the daffodil represents the girl. My mom even handed out Welsh flags!



We are inviting parents to come and share their musical gifts with us. We welcome anyone from novice to experts. John recently came to share a number of instruments including a Hawaiian guitar (pictured above), two types of flutes, a mandolin, and a banjo. Earlier in the school year, Tom (pictured below) came to River Class to share his Spanish guitar. We look forward to more musical shares as the year progresses. Thanks to all the parents who have volunteered!


Our 100th Day of School

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We recently celebrated our 100th Day of School. Fun was had by all! We began with calendar time and children were very excited to say 100 in unison. Children shared their collections of 100 with each other in cooperative groups. Students had fun guessing what was in the boxes.

Students set up their collections ready for Sky Class students to visit. We had a large variety of collections and children were creative in how they set them up for viewing.

Our day was filled with 100-themed activities. These included making necklaces with 100 beads, decorating glasses and crowns, reading a 100-day story, bouncing balls, shooting hoops, jump roping, and more. Now it's time to start the countdown to summer vacation!


Safety, Sound, Science, and a Celebration

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We've had a lot of fun in River Class lately. Three special guests have delighted us with their talents and expertise. Plus, we had our second birthday celebration (one more to go). Michael, a previous River Class parent and former sound designer came to talk to us about sound. Bill, an engineer and current parent of a senior, came to talk to us about safety. Ken, a scientist, came to show us some chemistry magic.
In our sound lesson with Michael, he played with pitches of some of the students’ voices, making them sound very different, much to the children's delight! He even played a sound so high, that the kids could hear it, but not the adults! He demonstrated that humans have a rudimentary echolocation, like a bat and showed us a sound "magic trick" called the McGurk effect, which (for most people) demonstrates that what we see can affect what we hear.

In our safety lesson with Bill, we learned about fire safety and what to do in case of a fi…

Our First Dance Class of 2018/19

We had a terrific first dance class with Annie, our wonderful dance teacher. Annie typically begins the class with a story, which she reads to the whole class. The movement part of dance is done in halves. Today we had two stories: Black? White! Day? Night!: A Book of Opposites, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and Dance! by Bill T. Jones. River students enjoyed the chance to explore both of these books under Annie's direction, making predictions about the opposites. Bill T. Jones' book showed us how we can move parts of our body and/or our whole body, which we further explored in dance class.

It was a packed first class! Children learned a Humpty Dumpty rap with different movements, they learned to move different body parts, and they even got to use a scarf as a prop. Most importantly, children learned about their personal dance space and the group dance space and how to move appropriately and considerately when sharing a space with others. We ended the session with a calming relaxa…

FOCUS ON LIBRARY

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The LS Library is one of my favorite places to be, not only because I love children’s literature, but because of how much energy the students bring to exploring books, asking questions and generating new ideas every day!

In addition to other free-time options throughout the week, Sky/River class has its own special time each Monday afternoon to check out books and read in one of the cozy spots in the library. Each week the students spend time getting better acquainted with the geography of the library and the self-checkout system, which helps build confidence in their ability to search for and check out books independently. The students have access to the online catalog, but we find at this stage, browsing shelves can be a more efficient way to discover the next great read!

Recently, the most popular non-fiction sections in River/Sky Class have been animals, sports, gaming, and geology. This month we also focused on “wordless” picture books that include beautiful illustrations and inv…