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Posts Tagged ‘IB’
Saturday, April 20th, 2013
During their “How We Express Ourselves” Unit of Inquiry, Grade 4 students were challenged to compose a complex musical piece using pattern and story that would be performed on instruments they created themselves. The resulting song, titled “Circle of Spring,” used a rondo form and included sections that the composers referred to as elements of spring: a soccer game, kites and swings, a storm, and the Boise River.
Mrs. DeLaney guided the efforts to compose the song in music class whereas the instruments were created in Mr. Jay’s art class using found materials. Egg cartons, tubes, funnels, bottles, tape, rubber bands, and disposable trays never sounded so good! These wonderful creations produced sound by striking, plucking, blowing, or shaking.
This is a wonderful example of a Primary Years Programme Unit of Inquiry developed collaboratively between our two Grade 4 classroom teachers (Ms. Fitzharris and Mrs. Walker) and our Music and Art specialist teachers.
As a grand finale, the students performed “Circle of Spring” for parents. Bravo!
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
During their library class, our Grade 1 students were entertained by the Middle School Drama Group. The group read selections from Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices. The book is a collection of poems that celebrate the insect world, from the short life of the mayfly to the story of a fire fly.
The younger students learned that as the performers changed the rhythms, volume, and inflections of their voices, the emotions that the viewer felt differed. The same poem might sound funny, sad, frantic, or happy depending on how it was presented. The first graders just wrapped up a unit on poetry in which they read their own poems to the entire Elementary School and they are about to start a unit on insects after spring break. What a great transition!
Thanks to Mrs. Tabb for coming up with this great idea and thanks to our Drama Club members!
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
“What would your world be like in the absence of sound? That was James Castle’s world.” That was the question that the students explored with the help of Cort Conley, Director of Literature for the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and Troy Passy, a well-known Boise artist who currently has an exhibit at the Boise Art Museum. Cort first visited Grade 4 to discuss the life of James Castle, an “outsider” artist who once lived and created art in Garden Valley, and later, Boise, Idaho. A few days later, Troy shared a slideshow of Castle’s work, along with a handful of pieces he was inspired to create in Castle fashion.
To help the students relate to James Castle’s world, Troy and Cort passed out earplugs and had the students draw their own rendition of a Castle image, in total silence. After 15 minutes of silence, the students began building their own constructions using the recycled materials they had brought in. Partway through the activity, our Grade 4 class was joined by the Grade 2 buddies, and together they created their own Castle-inspired constructions. Troy and Cort repeated the lesson with the other 4th grade class in the afternoon.
You’re welcome to view their finished constructions and charcoal work, which is out in the hall by our 4th grade classrooms. What a delight it was to hear Emory G.’s exclamation at the end of the lesson, “James Castle is my favorite artist, now!”
Thanks to Cort Conley and Troy Passy for sharing their expertise with our students and thanks to Ms. Fitzharris for the great photos!
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Last week, the entire Grade 9 physics class toured the inner workings of the Lucky Peak Power Generation Station. This hydropower generation plant has 3 enormous generators that can produce up to 100 Megawatts (Mega – million) of power. The class walked all floors of the plant and actually could touch one of the turning turbine shafts that powers an electrical generator! The maintenance staff at the plant were impressed that the students knew so much about the generation of electricity. No student was surprised when the tour guides mentioned that the generator can become a motor if they don’t take precautions when a generator is shut off!
Thanks to the staff of the Lucky Peak Power Station and Physics teacher, Mark Anderson, for making this field trip possible.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Riverstone’s two choirs and two ensembles, were joined by the Middle School Drama Club on Monday evening for this year’s Winter Concert. This was the second of three performing arts productions held in just two days; surely a celebration of Riverstone’s commitment to the arts.
Many thanks to Music teachers, Damon Brown and Laura DeLaney, for organizing the event and Drama Coach, Brecca Chabot-Olsen, for guiding our students!
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
On Monday, March 4, students in grades 6 and 10 and the Riverstone Ensembles and Choirs presented the Fascinating Rhythms concert designed to teach the younger students about rhythm, meter, and steady beat. Among the highlights were Haida performed by the Elementary Choir with a focus of a steady beat and the Basque ostinatos (repeating rhythms) that the Grade 10 class taught the entire Elementary School. It was wonderful having our students improve their understanding of these key musical concepts by teaching them to others. The performances were creative and actively involved the audience. Thank you performers!
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
The Grade 10 music class has been exploring the Unit Question: “How does music communicate cultural values?” They have been focusing on the music and culture of the Basque people both in the Basque Country of the Spanish-French border region and in Boise, Idaho. As a part of their studies, they took two trips to The Basque Center last week. They learned about the Basque History and culture of Boise, had a traditional Basque lunch, and played an exciting game of pelota. They also experienced Basque music and dance through a music workshop put on by some of the best local Basque musicians.
Thank you to The Basque Center for hosting us!
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
“What breaks your heart?” was the question that author and humanitarian, Kathy LeMay, posed to Riverstone students yesterday. By sharing her personal journey from the oldest mill town in America to war-torn Bosnia and beyond, she inspired everyone in attendance. Her message was simple: No matter how old you are or what your personal situation is, you can create meaningful change with what you have, where you are.
After a question and answer session (great questions, by the way!), the students broke into their advisory groups to tackle three questions:
- What breaks your heart?
- What inspires you?
- What three things can you do tomorrow to change the situation that breaks your heart?
A representative from each group shared with the collective group what they had discussed. Although it is difficult to capture the feeling of the day in words, it was wonderful seeing our students think about the many ways that they could influence change without spending a dime. “Sharing an elegant smile,” using their talent as photographers or writers, improving awareness of current events, building a website, and volunteering for an organization were just a few of the many ideas presented.
Kathy’s presentation dovetails beautifully with our school’s commitment to service learning. Our Grade 6-10 students created displays highlighting their current service projects working with the Ronald McDonald House, Boise WaterShed, and Idaho Foodbank. They are also raising awareness of human trafficking.
During the remainder of the day, Kathy and her college, Alyssa Bregeut, spent time with our service learning coordinators, teachers, and students.
We are thankful for the gift of time with Kathy and Alyssa. We hope that our paths cross again soon!
We are also grateful for our behind-the-scenes sponsor of this event. Your generosity made this day possible.
To learn more about Kathy LeMay and her organization, Raising Change, please visit their website.
Sunday, February 24th, 2013
Immediately following the Green Show, Grade 2 students switched gears to their production of Twelfth Night. Set in sunny California, the addition of our surfer-dude narrators kept everyone on the same page, while our actors shared the story of shipwreck, mistaken identities, foolishness, and love.
There were two performances last Friday. On Tuesday, the students will be taking the show on the road to the Veteran’s Home!
There are many people to thank for supporting our Grade 2 students:
- For acting support and guidance, thanks to D.A. Smith from the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and parents, Caren and Tony DeAngelis;
- For set design and painting, as well as background music composition, thanks to our Grade 10 and 9 students for their collaboration with Grade 2 students;
- For our parents for their help with costumes;
- For the siblings who inevitably helped with memorization of parts;
- For our music teacher, Laura DeLaney, and art teachers, Jim Harper and Jay Nelson, for guidance with music and sets;
- For our amazing Grade 2 teachers, Trevor Lindsay and Pete Burton, for bringing out the best in their students.
Sunday, February 24th, 2013
In keeping with local tradition of a comedic Green Show, our Grade 2 students and their teachers created their own show combining pop culture, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol. The Green Show wrapped up with a hilariously written, Hey Will, set tune to of Hey Jude.