February News from the Specials Teachers

Students have been doing an excellent job in Specials! Many classes are starting to earn 5 stars on their “Yelp” review, which is a report of how they did each day in Art, Music, PE, STEM, and SEL.

Jess Naitove

STEM with Ms. Jess 

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We will be starting a unit called “Wild Weather”!  We will ask questions such as “How can you prepare for a big storm?” and “How many different kinds of weather are there?”.

1st grade

This month, we will focus on the sun and shadows.  We will ask questions such as “What does your shadow do when you’re not looking?” and “How can the sun help if you’re lost?”.

2nd grade 

In 2nd grade, we will begin the unit “Work of Water”. We will ask questions including “If you floated down a river, where would you end up?” and “Why is there sand at the beach?”.

3rd grade

In 3rd grade, we will finish our mission to Mars and start our next unit, “Weather and Climate.”  We will ask questions such as “How can you predict when it’s going to storm?” and “What’s the best place to build a snow fort?”.  

4th grade

This month, we will finish our outer space missions and begin our next unit, “The Birth of Rocks.” We will ask questions including “Could a volcano pop up in your backyard?” and “Will a mountain last forever?”.

5th grade

We will be continuing our current unit–Chemical Magic! This unit focuses on questions such as “Why do some things explode?” and “Could you turn something worthless into gold?”. We will explore various properties of matter and how they react with one another. 


PE with Coach Cat

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In January, classes learned the rules of volleyball and got to play.

In February, we are focusing on two fun activities: Striker Ball and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Cones!

Striker Ball is a continuous game that works on many aspects, such as moving, defensive, position, striking, reaction time, and strategic play. I will use 6-8 big cones to make a circle and space them about 3-5 feet apart. More than one circle will be set up so that all students can play simultaneously. The circle size can be adaptive to fit the needs of the students. 

How to Play: each student will stand in the "goals" (spaces) of the cones. Students cannot move freely within the circle. To score a point, students must strike the ball using the palm of their hands through another player's cones. The ball can never be kicked, stopped, or picked up with hands. 

Head, Shoulders, Kness, and Cones is another fun game focusing on reaction time, color recognition, and cardio. 

How to Play: students stand across from a partner with a come directly between them. Students put their hands on their heads, shoulders, or knees, depending on what I call out. If they hear me say, “cone,” they need to be the first one to grab it. I can also put down three different color cones or bean bags and call out a color. This variation would be great for younger students. Another variation is when one of the students grabs the cone/bean bag; they must run to a designated side of the field before another student tags them. This variation will only be used if we can go outside. 

SEL with Ms. Renee

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In January, we began with our Rose and Thorn activity, which gave everyone in the class a chance to share what’s happening in their world and to be heard by their peers. We moved on to lessons in Apologizing and Conflict Resolution.

February finds us exploring perspectives. Grades K-2 will listen to the Munchy & Jumpy story Bunnies are Not Turtles to learn about the skill of perspective-taking.

Perspective-taking is critical when building social awareness. Students will have lots of practice learning new and different perspectives.

Here is a link to an optical illusion page where you can see who has a differing perspective on a picture:

K-2 is also continuing to work on maintaining personal space. We’ll read Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader, and practice using respectful touch in Kindergarten. 


Grades 3-5 Will also focus on perspective-taking. 


All grades will revisit Empathy and Sympathy.



Art with Ms. Bradford

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Ms Bradford


In January, all grades reviewed class procedures and got ready to continue our travels around the world. Students finished making art from the European region.

In February, we are traveling to Africa to find inspiration for our next project!

Throughout the unit, the emphasis will be on fostering creativity, critical thinking, and cultural understanding.

Our projects will allow students to express themselves and encourage them to explore and appreciate the diversity of the African continent.

View the full newsletter here.


Mr. H’s Music Notes

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We had a busy and fun-filled January in Music including basic skills reviews.


We are all set for a busy February in Music. There will be some review of topics covered in previous months and some new things as well. We are also watching clips of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.



  • Barred Percussion, keeping a steady beat and simple rhythms.

1st Grade - Peter and the Wolf

  • Instruments of the Orchestra, Barred Percussion, and simple rhythms.

2nd Grade

  • AB and ABA musical forms, basic skills review, Instruments of the Orchestra. 
  • Continuing learning the basics of the violin and learning the Treble-Clef Staff.

3rd Grade - Instruments of the Orchestra

  • Continuing learning the basics of the violin.

4th Grade - Barred Percussion, Latin

  • Percussion, small percussion ensembles.

5th Grade - Barred Percussion, Latin

  • Percussion, small percussion ensembles.

We will use unconventional instruments in the small percussion ensembles, such as buckets, small and large cups, bins, etc.

If anyone has baby blankets that they no longer need or want, please bring them in. We can use them for instrument covers.