East High School
Students in Jon Balcerak's Advanced English 10 class acted out a scene from “The Grapes of Wrath” in which a tractor driver explains to frustrated farmers that he is bulldozing their land and knocking down their houses because it is his job to do so, a job offered to him by the bank that bought the farmers' land, and that he has to feed his family somehow. The discussion they had along with the scene was about whether the driver has moral ground to stand on, and whether a large group of seemingly powerless people can make a difference against a powerful entity like, in this case, the bank.
Students at Madison have been very engaged in artmaking this year. In the art studio, they are making discoveries and gaining new experiences. Through experimenting with a variety of materials and art-making techniques, students are developing creative thinking skills. They have been learning basic art concepts including the Elements of Art. While creating art, students focus on expressing ideas, ways to communicate visually and making art that has meaning – all of which support the development of their own artistic voice. Students are excited for the upcoming district art show Feb. 23.
Second-graders are continuing to learn about service jobs where people "serve" or "help" others. They are identifying service jobs within our community and categorize them based upon the type of services they provide. Students will think critically to answer the question, "Why are service jobs important to our community?" Can you think of what our community might be like if there were no service jobs?
Wauwatosa Montessori Lower Elementary students took part in presenting to the WMS PTSA at their January meeting. First, the classroom teacher explained to parents the role of "The Great Lessons" in Montessori curriculum and how they are using storytelling to stimulate the imagination of a child using impressionistic materials, which give some facts but spark creativity. Students then discussed and presented to parents how the Great Story of the timeline of life was presented to them – a story was presented two to three times while the teacher unrolled the timeline and discussed different details each time.
Third- and fourth-grade students from Roosevelt School attended an interactive program, The Orchestra Sings, (Link Up, Carnegie Halls’ Weill Music Institute) with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Students have been exploring melody, one of the universal elements of music. Composers and musicians create melodies which can be sung or played on instruments. Students have studied pieces by Dvorak, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Papoulis and Cabaniss along with a traditional song (I Bought Me a Cat) and joined the orchestra as they played the themes on their recorders, danced, or sang along.
St. Joseph Catholic
Last week, we joined other area schools in celebrating Catholic Schools Week. Activities here at St. Joseph Catholic School included an All School Mass, Open House, Ice Cream Social, Book Fair, Forensics award ceremony, Comedy Sportz assembly, Buddy Bingo, Student and Teacher appreciation days, and several other enjoyable events. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the many things that make our school community special!
The students at Underwood Elementary are learning about their hearts and the circulatory system in physical education classes. They're also helping the American Heart Association raise funds through Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart. These events engage elementary students with jumping rope or playing basketball while empowering them to improve their own health and help other kids with heart health issues. And both programs are great ways to satisfy the physical education standards as determined by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the American Association for Health Education.
Dollars raised through Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart give back to children, communities and schools through American Heart Association programs in a variety of ways, including ongoing discovery of new treatments through research.
The senior kindergartners are 100 days smarter. To celebrate 100 days of learning, the class will participate in literacy and math activities throughout the day. Activities will include grouping their 100 collections into groups of ten, determining if it takes 100 licks to get to the inside of a Tootsie Pop, doing 100 exercises and making creations out of 100 items.
Third-graders at Washington are learning how authors use the sequence text structure in nonfiction text. The students had a choice of three different books around the theme of drawing. They could read how to draw animals, faces or landscapes. The students read their book of choice and then wrote the sequence of the steps to complete the drawing. Students were then paired with a peer from the classroom down the hall to work remotely on a Google presentation teaching others how to draw their particular picture. Students worked on the skill of communicating online with their partners and many other technology skills. The students then took a gallery walk around the Chromebooks in the room to view the presentations of their classmates.
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the WCS community celebrated an International Day as part of our weeklong Catholic Schools Week observation. Students dressed in the colors of an international flag, or wore clothing reflective of their heritage. An International Lunch was served. Students had an opportunity to attend two cultural presentations. Parents and community members talked to students about customs and life in their country of origin. Our presenters talked about their countries: Sudan, Latvia, Canada, Mexico, Niger and Italy. A Peace Corps volunteer spoke to the Middle School about her experience in Madagascar. On Thursday, our Middle School students had the opportunity to learn about the Ojibwe Tribe.
West High School
Tosa West Choirs are currently gearing up for three upcoming performances. Chanteurs and Chamber Choir are currently rehearsing for Cabaret, Feb. 14-15. This is a performance focused on vocal jazz, musical theater, and Broadway music. The atmosphere is unique. The audience sits on the stage, decorated to fit the theme of the year – love songs – right in front of the performers, who are both choirs and individual acts. Refreshments are offered.
Concert Choir members are rehearsing a number of duets, to be performed at the District Solo/Ensemble festival here at West on March 4.
All three choirs are also preparing songs to be performed with all the choir students in the district, from elementary school to high school. This large choral event is March 28 at East High School.
Wilson Elementary & Wauwatosa STEM
Wilson and WSTEM are working on kindness initiatives throughout the month of February. With our theme of "Love is an Open Door," we are encouraging acts of kindness not only throughout February, but throughout life. Simple things like holding the door for a friend, sitting by someone new, telling your teacher "Thank you," can go a long way.