arts & enrichment news
Greetings from Ms. Lisa's Photography Elective!
Our last trimester is underway with a new group of Hollywood Schoolhouse Photographers. They proudly wear their badges as they learn how to use their cameras. We have started with ISO and shutter speed, practicing on students and their pets in our Pet Photography Studio. Ahead we will learn depth-of-field and create our exciting annual 'close-up' contest!
6th Grade Art: Painted Self-Portraits
The final in a series of artworks exploring different ideas of what a portrait can be, 6th Grade students just finished painting self-portraits. This assignment was the most straightforward artwork in the project, though technically the most challenging. For this assignment we looked at the contemporary paintings of Kehinde Wiley. Wiley poses his mostly African American subjects in postures inspired by renaissance paintings. Wiley also places his subjects in front of elaborate, often baroque, patterns. Some 6th Graders chose to place themselves in front of elaborate decorative patterns as well. Enjoy!
Performance News & Introduction of the 6th Grade Band
In Performance Class, ECE Students have been exploring how to express themselves through movement and dance. Students have also been telling and acting out stories through song and movement. Our Elementary children have been exploring scene work and building confidence through classroom spotlight speaking activities. Our 2nd through 6th Grade Students are also learning traditional square dancing.
We have also formed a 6th Grade Band with our extremely talented 6th Graders in Music Class. The students are accompanying themselves on the piano, guitar, bass, drums and viola. The 6th Grade Band is working hard on songs they will be performing for Fine Arts Night. We are very proud of all our talented performers!
A Library Update from Ms. Sarah
Over the past few weeks, the Schoolhouse library has been like a nest for me and my passion for reading. This space has also proven to be a haven for students and their creative ideas about some of the most important themes in our lives: honesty, kindness, individuality and respect. I have so enjoyed crafting Storytime with some of my favorite books (as well as some new ones!) in line with these themes.
I would like to highlight one of the books I shared and the amazing project that ensued after some of my students were inspired by this incredible biography - Seed by Seed: the Legend and Legacy of Johnny Appleseed.
Quick summation: Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman was a farmer from Massachusetts who lived over 200 years ago. He committed his entire life’s work to planting and sharing apple trees and literally changed the landscape of our nation by simply traveling across our land to cultivate his trees, year after year.
He also devoted his life to spreading positivity through the implementation of five ideals he claimed to have learned from spirits and angels. They are as follows:
1) Use what you have
2) Share what you have
3) Respect nature
4) Try to make peace where there is war
5) You can reach your destination by taking small steps
Six students in particular took a liking to Johnny Appleseed’s life story. They requested more literature on him and his work and continued to discuss the five ideals inside and outside the library. I quickly realized we had an opportunity to spread the Appleseed way here at our Schoolhouse.
These six students have embarked on a magnificent journey - much like Johnny Appleseed himself - to spread love, kindness, responsibility and positivity in our community. As of this week, each student has chosen one of the ideals to personally embody. Over the next five weeks, all of them will begin planting “seeds” of positivity throughout our school.
I look forward to sharing more updates on this particular project and the work of many others as the students and I continue to explore our love of learning and the sweet serenity of stories that inspire us to grow.
Sunsets and Silhouettes by Kindergarten Artists
Sunsets and silhouettes are the focus of our Kindergarten students in the Art Studio these days. Students are learning the elements of colors and shapes as they talk about the colors of sunsets and how silhouettes are made. To culminate this unit, students painted in watercolors using the wet and wet technique. They cut out shapes in the form of buildings, houses, trees, birds, airplanes, helicopters, and more in black paper to represent the silhouettes. We can’t wait to share their work with you!
Ms. Alena’s Music Students Learn New Instruments
It’s instrument time here in the HSH Music Program! Our 4th Graders started learning ukuleles last week, and the 3rd Graders have started to learn recorders. It took our 3rd Grade students only one day to learn Hot Cross Buns, and here you can take a look at some of our 4th Grade students who have already learned some chords on the ukulele!
2nd Grade Readers’ Theater in the Learning Center
Each week, 2nd Graders visit the Learning Center for small group instruction in math and language arts. One of the components of their language arts program is Readers' Theater. The purpose of this creative endeavor is for students to become familiar with the genre of Readers' Theater, learn how to read and perform previously written plays, and ultimately write their own plays – from writing lines, designing scenes, and constructing costumes, to performing their original plays!
News from Ms. Lisa’s Yearbook Staff
Ms. Lisa's Yearbook Staff is hard at work. Our yearbook 'Pet Page' is filling up! We have been photographing many students with their pets using everything we have already learned about exposure, depth-of-field, and composition. They also recently had a visit from Mike Conlon, our representative from the Jostens Yearbook Company. He helped us learn about designing pages. Soon, the staff will be going underwater, with their underwater cameras, to capture some unique portraits of our graduating students. Yearbook students learn many skills while on the yearbook staff, among them; collaboration, photography, journalism, design, creative thinking, brainstorming, all while having fun!
Art Studio News
In 2nd Grade, Ms. Vianne’s students have started their series on the Principle of Balance by beginning to learn about symmetry. They have been discussing what symmetry is and observing pictures of different symmetrically balanced objects and objects found in nature. They can’t wait to share some of their upcoming artwork with the community!
Ms. Alena’s Music News
Here are our adorable Caterpillars preparing for this years winter show “The Nutcracker.” They are singing the Chinese Dance. You can see they’re really getting into it! Performing at this young age introduces students to their singing voices and project-based learning, as well as teaches them self confidence, team work, stage presence, and much more!
And here are our 1st Graders hard at work using this fun activity to learn about how to feel music in 6/8 timing. The 1st graders are learning to count 6/8 timing using groups of 3 micro-beats or eighth notes on top of each macro-beat (dotted quarter note). Music theory can be fun!
Kindergarten News from the Learning Center
During the past few weeks, Kindergarten students have been exploring the concept of opposites. The purpose of these lessons is two-fold - to develop an accurate understanding of opposites and to build vocabulary. This extended study provides the students with concrete examples of antonym pairs as well as increases their vocabulary through the use of explicit words. While discussing the definitions of opposite words, the children develop their ability to differentiate between the meanings of words. For example, the elephant can be enormous and the mouse can be tiny instead of big and little. Increasing vocabulary is key to developing expressive speaking, fluent reading, and creative writing skills.
To practice this idea, Ms. Ceci began by reading several books featuring drawings or photos of opposite pairs: Left or Right? by Karl Rehm and Kay Koike; Exactly the Opposite by Tana Hoban; and Faster, Slower, Higher, Lower by Michael Berenstain. For the culminating project, the students drew and labeled opposite pairs. These drawings are so creative and demonstrate their understanding of opposites. They are on display in the Learning Center for you to visit and enjoy!
Dia de los Muertos
¡Feliz Día de los Muertos! The 6th Grade Spanish students have been working hard on their Día de los Muertos reports and presentations. Upper Elementary students do a Día de los Muertos project each year, with increasing complexity and detail. This year, the children had to research one of four topics—Las Catrinas, authentic Día de los Muertos foods, the celebration of the holiday outside of Mexico, or Aztec and Spanish contributions to the holiday. Each child wrote their own report and gave presentations to the rest of their class. They have done a great job with this assignment, and the information that they have researched and presented surprised both them, and Maestra Ryan! Nice work 6th Grade!
We also want to thank families for their participation in the Día de los Muertos altar at the front of the school. Please continue to bring in your pictures of your loved ones. We are very proud of the 5th graders for their beautiful altar this year!
Technology & Photography News: Creating Digital Posters and Underwater Photography
Ms. Lisa’s 4th - 6th Grade classes learned how to create digital posters using an application called Piktochart. The students learned how to resize text, change colors, layer shapes, and insert images. They practiced these skills by creating presidential posters using unusual candidates. They also created posters to advertise our very own Farmer’s Market, which sells vegetables from our community garden.
Ms. Lisa’s photography students donned costumes and went underwater with brand new underwater cameras and were tasked with creating portraits of each other. The students worked hard, had fun, and produced beautiful results. See for yourself!
5th Grade Fantasy Shoes
One theme that is infused throughout the first trimester of 5th Grade art is reality/fantasy. Mr. Robby spends a lot of time working with students on observational drawing skills. Several projects begin there, with a rendering of a thing, and end with a fanciful transformation. The Fantasy Shoe project is one such assignment. It starts with a realistic drawing of the kids own shoes, and ends with a work of art. This year, after students did contour drawings of their shoes, they were encouraged to experiment with line weight to experiment with value drawing (a skill we'll get to shortly). Then students used watercolor pencils and their imaginations to make completely unique fantasy footwear.
Performance, Music, and the Schoolhouse Scoop
Students have been working hard in Mr. Ray’s Classes which include all Performance classes, 6th Grade Music class, and the Schoolhouse Scoop Elective. Here are a few highlights from our amazing students!
Our 2nd through 6th Grade Performance students have been successfully integrating STEAM into their curriculum. They call it “Machine”, where the entire class picks what type of machine they will be working together to creatively execute with their bodies. So far, there have been some amazingly creative machines in class, and equally impressive teamwork and team building.
All Performances classes have been introduced to “The Nutcracker” and have been given some challenging choreography. Preschool through 1st Grade has also been integrating ribbon props in class! Mr. Ray has been teaching a few new dance steps for “The Nutcracker” and classes have been in open-class auditions for lead, solo, and supporting roles. Mr. Ray has been closely watching not only comprehension and execution of the choreography, but also how well students listen and show kindness in the classroom. More information regarding the Winter Show will be sent very soon!!
We were also happy to hold 3rd - 6th Grade auditions for the Talent Show last week! We look forward to showcasing acts that reflect our theme of Inclusiveness, Diversity, Good Choices, Inspiration and Positivity. The Talent Show will take place on October 31st from 2pm to 3pm.
The 6th Grade Music class is working on some surprise pieces for the Winter Festival. They are singing a Classical 16th Century Latin Canon with Ms. Alena’s 5th Grade Music class which will highlight some amazing harmonies. In addition, the 6th Grade Music class is also working on a contemporary holiday favorite in which they are also creating their own accompaniment. This will definitely be an event not to miss!!
Lastly, you may have seen the Schoolhouse Scoop elective class videotaping and interviewing around campus. The Schoolhouse Scoop class has captured some great events and highlights around HSH and is working hard to bring you their first video episode! Stay tuned to be entertained and informed from Episode 1 of Schoolhouse Scoop coming soon.
Extra! Extra! Read All About it!
From Preschool to 4th Grade, we are all off to the start of a great new year in the Library! Our Preschool and Junior Kindergarten students are exploring all of our favorite things through books, like fire trucks, all kinds of animals, and fairy tales. 1st Grade students are discovering well known children’s author, Todd Parr, both in their classrooms and in the library.
Our 3rd and 4th Grade students were given the opportunity to collaborate as they chose which book we would read aloud during library time. This definitely involved some intense discussion… See photos below of negotiations over book choice in the 3rd Grade! Luckily that enthusiasm and collaboration paid off with great book choices… See photo below of 4th Grade students soaking up the rays of the sun as they wait for library time!
1st Grade News from the Art Studio
The school year is off to a great start in the Art Studio. All students have been reviewing and learning more about the Elements of Art, and doing projects using a variety of media, such as watercolors, oil pastels, and tempera paints.
In 1st Grade, students have been studying about overlapping and parallel planes; an introduction to the study of perspective and depth. They are currently working on depicting buildings on the street using watercolors and the wet on dry technique. They can’t wait to share the finished product with the rest of the Schoolhouse community soon!
6th Grade Rehearses for Community Circle
Last Friday, 6th Grade students and their Kindergarten buddies performed "This Little Light of Mine" at our Welcome Back Community Circle. It is a children's gospel song with lyrics by Avis Burgeson Christianson with the tune written by composer and teacher, Harry Dixon Leos.
During the solo parts, the students are using a tool called call and response. In music, call and response refers to a succession of two distinct phrases, usually played by different musicians, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or response to the first. It is a tradition brought to our country by people of African heritage who used it most commonly in religious observance, public gatherings, and sporting events. It can also be heard most frequently in soul, rhythm and blues, funk, gospel, hip hop, and rock and roll.
We hope you enjoy this clip of the 6th Grade students rehearsing.
Welcome to the Learning Center
In keeping with Hollywood Schoolhouse’s mission to know, value, and encourage each child, the Learning Center provides various kinds of extra support to children in Kindergarten - 6th Grade. All students have access to Learning Center Services either through visiting the Learning Center or through classroom visits from Ms. Kaye and Ms. Ceci.
The Learning Center Director, Ms. Ceci, the Coordinator of Student Support Services, Ms. Kaye, and teachers work collaboratively each year to plan and implement all group and individual activities. We enjoy working together to make sure that each student at Hollywood Schoolhouse learns in an environment that is tailored to their needs.
We look forward to an exciting year!