Monthly Department Focus - Elective Classes

Each month our newsletter highlights a different department at OGMS.  Our hope is to provide you with an overview of what is happening in classes within the various departments or just provide gentle reminders on ways to help students have success.  This month we spotlight our specialists:

PE/Health- The year in our Physical Education/Health classes, we have gotten off to a great start as students have settled into the
routines of our work. Most of the students are showcasing responsible behaviors in a number of ways. Mrs. Atkins, Mrs. Brandhuber, Mr. Collinsworth and Mr. Souza have been impressed with the work-ethic, positive behaviors, and high levels of mental-engagement shown by the students this year.  PE uniforms are generally being taken home for laundering weekly--and most kids have established a system that ensures that the uniforms are back on campus for class. A common strategy used by the students is to bring the uniform on Monday and bring it home on Friday. Please remind your child to stay hydrated throughout the day and it is encouraged that students bring water bottles to our classes. It is also a good idea for students to wear sunscreen on days we will be outside for class. All OGMS families are encouraged to continue to support their children’s fitness health by planning fitness-building activities that can be done together, discussing and modeling healthy nutritional choices, enforcing adequate sleep patterns, and hugging your kids at least 3 times a day—even when they do the goofy things that middle school kids are prone to do (or perhaps especially when they do the goofy things).


Art- This year Ms. Adelaide Anderson is joined again by Ms. Carla Prinster. Students have been focusing on the creative process of self-expression by designing a unique art portfolio cover that reflect your students’ personal identity. We are currently reviewing and building upon the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Students will incorporate these elements in a variety of creative projects throughout the semester.

Music/Choir-CHOIR - Students in 7th and 8th Grade Choir over the course of the year will have an opportunity to reinforce many techniques used to sing as a unit.  Skills include working on: Pitch, Tone Quality, Note/Rhythm Reading, Dynamics, Breath Control, Proper Breathing, and Blending as a group. We also work on various System’s Thinking tools, Collaboration, and Creativity and Innovation to further support some of the Deep Learning Proficiencies.  Students are doing a great job and the year ahead will be an exciting one for all.

*Our first Choir Concert will be Wednesday, December 7, 2016               

EIGHTH GRADE GENERAL MUSIC – Students are studying the History of Rock Music.  They are learning how music and society affect each other.  Students will be composing their own Blues Songs, complete with lyrics, melody, and harmony, and performing them on the piano.

SEVENTH GRADE GENERAL MUSIC - Students are currently learning how music and culture are connected.  They are learning about a variety of music around the world.

SIXTH GRADE GENERAL MUSIC: Students are listening to and learning about various styles/genres of music.  We will be starting basic note reading soon.  Students begin Choir second quarter to have the experience of what it is like to be part of a choir. First semester Sixth Graders in General Music will have an opportunity to sing at our concert on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.  Information to follow!

All General Music Classes will be working on Garage Band (a music writing program on the computer) Compositions.

BandThe band program is moving right along.  The first couple of weeks have been spent working on routines, procedures, and good rehearsal etiquette.   We have been reviewing basic concepts and working on improving the skills that students already show some mastery of. 

 6th and 7th grade students have begun working towards their first concert and the 8th grade students are almost finished memorizing the music for their performance at Catalina Foothills High School at the end of the month.  In addition to learning this music, students have been working on reading rhythms and playing major scales.  The beginning band students are learning their first notes and even producing a good sound. 

 All families have been asked to review the band website, including the performance schedule, and put dates in their calendars.  Instruments should be taken home to practice daily to reinforce what they learned in class.  Parents, please have your students perform for you at home!

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