We continue to be creative in the Art room this trimester. Kindergartners are completing a cave art painting and will move on to snow people. First grade is finishing a Van Gogh “Windy Day” collage. Mrs. White’s class just finished African masks and will move on to a Louise Nevelson geometric/free form drawing..Second grade is finishing up their Monet bugs and will move on to fish mosaics. Third grade will be starting clay soon as soon as they are finished with their Chinese fans. Fourth grade is finishing Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles which is a drawing that shows perspective. Fifth grade is in the midst of their printmaking unit and this project should be completed soon. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding your student’s art education. Heather Mescher, Art Specialist



We have three events happening in the next few months in gym class. In February we will be doing Jump Rope for Heart. Jump Rope for Heart is a program where the students will be raising money for the American Heart Association and the Erskine PE Program will receive a percentage of the money raised. I am excited about this event and I really believe in the value of jumping rope and doing community service at the same time. I will be trying to get the students to use some more of the online fundraising tools in the program this year. The second event that the students always look forward to is our gymnastics unit that will take place during March. This is a fun unit and safety is a big concern. The third event is our bi-annual fitness testing. This test really does a good job of measuring fi tness. Any extra time you can spend with your child encouraging them to do their best would be appreciated. All children should be physically active a minimum of 60 minutes per day. And, it also helps to have a time set aside for stretching muscles and working on arm and abdominal strengthening exercises. (For example, doing sit-ups/push-ups and stretching in the morning and before bedtime.) Fitness testing is a tool to help young people increase their strength, fl exibility and endurance as they learn the basic principles of physical activity and fi tness. Intramurals are being held again this year before school from 8:10-8:45 for 4th and 5th graders. Girls can come on Day 1 of our Specials rotation while boys can come on Day 2. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I love working with your students. They are great kids and I feel lucky to be at this school. I would encourage you to contact me with any concerns, questions or comments you may have. You can call 558-2364 or e-mail me at jpelechek@cr.k12.ia.us or stop by and see me anytime at school.



We are happily keeping to the beat in the music room. The 5th grade is learning about chords, which are three or more notes at the same time. Using popular music (Happy by Pharrell) and instruments (boomwhackers and xylophones), we explored different chords (major/minor) and the way each chord sounds. Musicians need to be able to distinguish between single note melodies and accompaniments based on chords. The 4th grade is working on playing and singing as an ensemble. Using four groups of instruments (xylophones, rhythm sticks, woodblocks, drums) and a variety of folk songs students are learning how to play and sing together. This engages multiple areas of the brain which will support learning in other subjects (such as math). The 3rd grade has been clapping, speaking, playing, and singing new rhythms using dotted half notes, and soon we will be moving on to learn songs that were sung during the Civil War, which will tie in well with their history unit. The 2nd grade is practicing keeping a steady beat while speaking rhythms. Some of this is improvisation as the students have to think of their favorite part of winter, and speak it with a rhythm to match the beat. This can be a fun challenge for the grade, as we bounce a ball around the circle and the person with the ball must say their favorite part while bouncing the ball to a steady beat. The 1st grade is reviewing So, Mi, and La and identifying it throughout the songs that we are singing. They are also clapping and playing short rhythms using quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests. The Kindergarten is learning about the four different voices: speaking, singing, whisper, and shouting. They know ways to change each of those voices too: fast/slow, high/low, loud/soft. The students are also practicing keeping a steady beat while we sing and play instruments and listen to songs. I am having a blast getting to know all of the wonderful students here and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me via email, esnyder@cr.k12.ia.us. Liz Snyder, Music Teacher



Spanish Practice Games!