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The Unified Arts Newsletter

RMJ Unified Arts Newsletter
2012- 2013


Dear Families
     Greetings from the Unified Arts Team! This newsletter gives us the opportunity to update you on the concepts and activities that your children are being taught in their specialties. 
Below you will find news from each of the Unified Arts Specialists at RMJ.


From the Visual Art Teachers, Ms. Omartian and Mr. Carr:
Filename: j0289797.jpg Keywords: citrus, dining, foods ... File Size: 65 KBFilename: j0289821.jpg Keywords: industries, patterns, Photographs ... File Size: 65 KBFilename: j0182745.jpg Keywords: industries, Photographs, textures ... File Size: 69 KBFilename: j0201495.jpg Keywords: backgrounds, cloths, designs ... File Size: 120 KBFilename: PH02177J.jpg Keywords: backgrounds, buildings, fences ... File Size: 83 KB
      Art has an essential role in learning. It is the one subject that holds us to using and refining all of our senses. To use and develop our senses is to learn to perceive (to see) from many perspectives. Comprehension being our school instructional goal, it makes sense to continue the pursuit of art in art classes, academic classes and at home. Drawing is a developmental process that precedes language and writing development. All children around the world draw. Drawing helps children to make story, recall story and document their understanding of the world. Drawing is important to writing development. Drawing is at the beginning of our humanity. As parents it is very important to encourage drawing at all ages. Drawing activities for toddlers through third grade is essential. Provide your children with drawing pads and drawing materials. Encourage your children by hanging their work up, to keep drawing journals, having them retell what they were drawing, and to give drawings as gifts.


From our Dance Instructor, Ms. Mickens:

     Filename: j0332964.wmf Keywords: ballerinas, ballets, couples ... File Size: 18 KBThe Dance Program at Rebecca Johnson is the first of its kind in the Springfield Public Schools and has been in place for the past 5 years. We dance, we teach, we share. 

      I have a love and passion for children and for dancing and I try to instill that passion into the students.  My goal is to empower young people to win through the arts and their education.

     I offer instruction in ballet, tap, African, modern, ballroom and hip hop. Using movement and creativity, I introduce many learning concepts to the students. Socialization, musical awareness and the multiple intelligences are all incorporated into the curriculum. The program is designed to develop basic dance vocabulary, musicality, coordination and technique.  I am committed to making dance a meaningful, life changing-experience for all children.


From our Library Specialist:
    Filename: j0424750.wmf Keywords: academics, books, icons ... File Size: 4 KB Reading is a fundamental tool for any activity. Studies have repeatedly shown that students who “read for fun” perform better in school.

     Research has shown that when parents are actively involved in learning at home, their children become more successful both in and out of school.  Remember – you are your child’s 1st teacher! YOU can make a BIG difference in your child’s educational success in school & in the future!

     So, if your child doesn't already have a city library card, please have them get a form from me. After it's filled out, your child may return it to me, & I'll bring it to the city library. Your child will receive a library card in the mail!


From our Music Instructor, Mr. Calcasola:

    Filename: j0441798.png Keywords: clefs, cropped images, cropped pictures ... File Size: 36 KB During the school year, students from kindergarten to fifth grade will be focusing on dynamics. In all music we use a variety of loud and soft sounds that have a great effect on how we perceive what we hear. The word dynamics refers to these differences in volume that make music exciting.
Encourage students to sing songs at home that they have been working on in school. Ask them to demonstrate soft, quiet singing. Have them also demonstrate strong, more powerful singing while never allowing them to shout.  


From our Physical Education Instructors, Coach and Mr. Purdy:
Filename: j0320776.wmf Keywords: balls, bowling, bowling balls ... File Size: 27 KB
 The K-3 classes will be introduced to bowling.  Bowling incorporates rolling, balancing, and transferring weight.  The children get very excited as they watch their rolling ball knock down the pins.  At home your family could make your own set of bowling pins by saving empty two liter soda bottles.  Then, find a medium size ball and a safe space in your home to set up your own bowling area.  Have your children try to show you how to set up the pins, and then you will be all set for a fun, family activity on a cold snowy day.  You can help your children with math skills by simply keeping score for a few frames.  

Filename: j0303460.gif Keywords: athletes, balls, games ... File Size: 19 KB The 4-5 graders will be learning the basic skills of personal aquatic safety.  Check to see if your children can describe a safety slide, a superman glide, a ball float, a jellyfish float, and the back float.  These are the basic skills that help your child stay safe in the pool.  Many of the students are beginning to demonstrate a beginning level swimming stroke and are feeling secure as they practice during their swimming lessons.  Our goal is to help your children develop the skills that will keep them safe in the water.

     Personal hygiene is important for your child's health.  Children practice the proper way to catch a sneeze or a cough in their bent elbows.  They learn the importance of proper hand washing in preventing illnesses like the flu.  Please, take time to reinforce these practices at home.  Consider talking to your older children about personal hygiene and providing them with deodorant. 


From our Instructional Technology teacher, Mr. Daggett:

     Filename: j0433050.jpg Keywords: businesses, computer screens, computers ... File Size: 443 KB Provided by: iStockphoto.comDuring the school year our students will be learning about computer and internet safety. We will also learn about the computer and its various components, hardware and software, online researching resources, and word processing skills.

Also during the school year our students will begin a new topic to study, Multimedia Presentation. This is a topic that students truly enjoy. Students will learn how to create a Multimedia Presentation using the software program called Microsoft PowerPoint. Each of the grades will create a slide presentation that is aligned with the state curriculum from one of their core subjects. The 3rd grade students will create a presentation on the solar system, the 4th grade students will create a presentation on the water cycle, and the 5th grade students will create a presentation on the major bone groups of the human body. After the students have created their slide presentations, individual students will have the opportunity to present their projects to their class.

The Arts Team would like to thank you for your support and help during the school year.



Rebecca M. Johnson
55 Catharine Street
Springfield, MA 01109

tel: (413) 787-6687
fax: (413) 787-6697


This page is written and maintained by the Rebecca M. Johnson School.
If you have any comments, or suggestions, please e-mail us at daggettd@sps.springfield.ma.us

Last Modified on October 2, 2012
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