Roots of American Music in Fifth Grade
History. Culture. Music. Creativity. Experience. On April 30 our fifth-graders experienced the “Roots of American Music” performance and workshops. Roots Music Collective members Crick, Dan and Zack began on a variety of instruments with the blues at the Crossroads, and continued through jazz, country, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and on to funk, disco, rap and hip-hop. Each stop along the timeline, they talked about how the music, instruments and rhythm changed to give each its unique sound tied to the culture of that time ~ all coming from the roots of the blues.
Then the kids got to actually write their own blues song in small groups for Roots to perform! Ask them what their group wrote about, and have them sing it if they can. Blues has an A, A, B structure to it (with lots of variations). What did other groups sing the blues about? What was meaningful and what made them laugh? How can you use the blues to express the emotion of something troubling at home?
On Friday, April 26 Blades and the Bruins community outreach team held a playoff spirit rally at Spofford Pond!
Miraculous Mice in Kindergarten
Cole School kindergarteners had three tiny, quick friends visit on April 8. They learned that mice are omnivores who eat lots of different things and live in lots of different habitats. There are also more of their species in the world than any other mammal. Ask a kindergartener what happened in the story that the Drumlin Farms educator read? Were there predators, friends, and somewhere safe to take a nap?
Kids Shine in Boxford Talent Shows
Talent. Courage. Collaborating. Planning. Shining. On March 22 and 29, the Spofford Pond and Cole School stages were filled with stars, and the rooms beamed with bright smiles.
Three Talent Shows – two at Spofford Pond and one at Cole – featured dancing, singing, gymnastics, piano, guitar, flute, drums, light shows, basketball, hockey skills, hula-hooping, martial arts, creative costumes, science experiments, comedy, magic acts and skits. With a total of over 130 kids involved in 80 different performances, there was much to applaud and celebrate.
The Boxford PTO extends our warmest gratitude to the event organizers Jill Robinson, Lee McCann, and Sam Stevens, along with Boxford Cable’s Brad Sweet, hosts Luke Dumouchel and Brian Middleton-Cox, all the invaluable parent and student volunteers, and every single dedicated performer who made the shows truly amazing. Thanks also to the parents, family, friends, teachers and community who were there to cheer them on.
May we all be reminded that with ideas, courage, practice and support we can make meaningful things happen ~ and have a lot of fun together, too!
Photos courtesy of Geskus Photography:
Wingmasters Raptors in Grade 5
Rehabilitator Jim Parks shared descriptions, insights and stories about five feathered guests: a red-tailed hawk, an eastern screech owl, a barred owl, a great horned owl, and an American kestrel (falcon). His articulate and fascinating presentation covered where these birds of prey live (here in Boxford!), what they eat, and how they have unique adaptations in their feathers, colors, eyes, speed, and sound in flight. Ask a fifth grader why these birds of prey often hang out around schools, and which one had the most surprising weight? Why did we see the imprint of one in the snow? And what did the screech owl’s call sound like?
A Tortoise and a Rabbit in Kindergarten
Mass Audubon Drumlin Farms brought two animals friends to our kindergarten on March 11. They discussed the similarities and differences between the tortoise and the rabbit ~ their bodies, physical adaptations, habitats, diets, and how their babies are born. Ask a kindergartener why a tortoise has a hard shell, or why a rabbit has tall ears and fast feet?
Author/Illustrator Timothy Basil Ering at the Cole School
On March 6, during Read Across America week, students in grades K-2 were treated to an engaging, entertaining, inspiring and informative visit from Author/Illustrator Timothy Basil Ering. Ering connected deeply with the kids through humor, playfulness and his own enthusiasm for what he does. He began with a quiz about silly and hilarious facts throughout his presentation, and then continued with visual slides and enlightening discussions about where ideas come from, different uses for illustration, what one learns in art school, how mistakes can become something new, and what inspires him and his artwork and stories.
Ering described amazing adventures and opportunities one can have simply from doing what one loves to do. And he gave kids so many great bits of advice: what to say to a scribble, how to start simple, to never give up, to practice, practice, practice, and how to find creative inspiration anywhere in the world ~ by seeing ideas everywhere, and using your imagination. He described how a single idea can grow into bigger ideas, and all kinds of different ideas.
Ask a Cole School student what pictures and videos he showed~ was there a lobster, and a shark? How did his experience with a lobster become so much bigger, for him as an artist, when Xbox called him? What did his imaginary lobster do? What were some of the other questions he asked in his quiz? Was there a selfie with a moose? What are some of the other cool things he has been able to see in different places because of being an author/illustrator?
May we all go out into the world and be inspired to create an imaginative story from what we experience!
Earthview Experience for Sixth Grade
The Earthview Inflated Globe from Bridgewater College visited the Spofford Pond gym on March 1. Sixth-graders got to see the world from different perspectives by looking from the outside, and then from the inside! They talked about geographical regions, identified types of geographical features, and discussed how geography affects culture and life in different areas. Ask a sixth-grader what they learned, and why they had to keep looking down at Antartica as they entered the globe.