Specials April Newsletter!


Welcome to April! Read about all the exciting new developments happening in your child’s specials classes this month.


Kindergarten artists are wrapping up their unit on art around the world. After learning about Moroccan Pottery, artists learned about the tradition of headdresses. We focused on headdress rituals from three different native tribes: the Lakota/Sioux tribe from the Great Plains, the Aztec tribe from Mexico, and the Zulu tribe from South Africa. Kindergarten artists observed the lines, shapes and textures in these headdresses and reflected on the rituals for which they are worn. Then they designed headdresses to be worn for an important ritual in their own lives. Coming up we will learn learn about the Ghanaian tradition of Kente Cloth!

1st grade artists have been learning a lot about color over the past few weeks. They have learned about Primary, Secondary, Warm and Cool color groups and created a beautiful collection of paintings. In addition to identifying which colors belong to which groups, 1st grade artists have also spent some time discussing how artists make choices about color in their work. Sometimes they select colors to create a realistic representation, but other times it’s to express a feeling, emotion or idea. In the next few weeks 1st graders will wrap up this unit by learning about the cave paintings of Lascaux. Artists will view examples of these paintings to identify the earth tone colors and textures they see and analyze the subject matter the way explorers and historians did back in 1940 when the paintings were discovered.


This month in music we have been continuing to explore our singing voices with Voice Stories, and have become proficient in reading quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests. We have also started rhythmic dictation where the teacher or student plays a rhythm and the students independently listen and “write” the rhythm down using plastic eggs and popsicle sticks. This is building strong auditory skills, and a wonderful foundation for a lifetime of music-making! We will start the piano this month by learning how to find the middle “D” as well as how to play our quarter/eighth note and quarter rest rhythms on the keys. We are also beginning to prepare for our Kindergarten and First Grade play! Stay tuned for the exciting details, as we continue to grow and learn in music class!



This month we have focused on fitness movements such as planks, push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, and jumping jacks. The students have improved so much since the beginning of the school year! Over the next few months, they will be learning about the muscles in the body and how to live a fit life. This also includes discussions about nutrition. The students are working really hard in every class while having so much fun!

It’s also been an exciting month for yoga. Each class has learned and is memorizing the “sun salutation” sequence. This sequence is made up of 12 poses that we have learned over the past few months. They are memorizing the order of the poses with repetition of the names as well as the movements. I am so impressed by how quickly they learn.

Throughout this month I will be putting videos on the blog of students performing all of the poses they have learned so be sure to check it out at icsspecials.wordpress.com!


This month in Spanish we will finish our journey around the Spanish speaking world. After a few weeks in Spain learning about flamenco and fútbol (soccer), and another couple of weeks in Argentina experiencing tango and learning about gaucho life, we are now on our way north to Mexico. All students got to experience live flamenco during International Week. It was very exciting to hear the kids count in Spanish with the dancer and shout outOle at the end of a song. They even learned a few steps of this traditional Spanish dance!

As we move forward, we will begin working with maps to familiarize students with the parts of the world where Spanish is spoken. They are already recognizing some flags!



Specials February Newsletter!


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Over the past few weeks Kindergarten artists have been wrapping up their unit on color and painting. Throughout this unit they have learned about primary, secondary, warm and cool color groups. They identified what colors belong to each group and discussed how and why artists select colors for their artwork. Next week we will begin our unit on Art Around the World. In this unit artists will apply what they have learned about lines, shapes and colors to analyze and interpret artwork from different countries and cultures around the world.

1st grade artists just finished their Animal Masks. This project required artists to combine what they have learned about drawing, paper sculpture and color to create the appearance and texture of their chosen animal. They drew the face of their animal, they applied paper sculpture techniques to create the 3D aspects of its face, and then they painted their masks to describe the animal’s color and texture. In the next few weeks 1st grade artists will delve deeper into color by learning basic concepts of color theory while creating a collection of watercolor paintings.



It is a really exciting time in music class! We have been learning about the differences between high and low notes as well as long and short sounds using instruments like hand bells, boomwhackers, gongs, triangles, and woodblocks. We have also started to explore quarter notes and eighth notes by using The Kodály Method of counting and reading rhythms. Students have practiced this method through chanting and body percussion. They have also used magnetic board manipulatives and popsicle sticks to visualize quarter notes and eighth notes. In a few months we hope to be reading and writing our own rhythms. We are well on our way to becoming excellent musicians!




It’s a great time to be in Movement class! The students are improving their throwing and catching skills. They have also mastered all 22 of the yoga poses introduced so far. This month I will be adding three new poses for students to try. Additionally, for the next month I will be teaming up with Ms. Bargman to work on some teamwork and community building exercises. To do this we combine our two Kindergarten classes for the first 15 minutes of class. During this time they come up with questions to ask that they think will help them get to know each other better. Then they spend some time in partners talking and share what they learned with the class. So far it’s generated some amazing results! Kindergarteners are sharing special things about themselves with new friends and are familiar with more friendly faces as they walk down the hallway. We look forward to community and team building with 1st grade as well!



This month in Spanish we are using a familiar children’s story, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? (Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, que ves ahi?) to learn about animals. Students will engage in a variety of activities to reinforce their new vocabulary. In kindergarten, we will be acting out the story, with each child representing the animal of their choice. In first grade, the students have started to keep Spanish journals, to document their learning. If you have the book at home, feel free to challenge your child to tell you the name of the animal or its color in Spanish! The translations are below:

Brown bear-oso pardo

Blue horse-caballo azul

Goldfish-pez dorado

Red bird-pájaro rojo

Yellow duck-pato Amarillo

Purple cat-gato morado

Black sheep-oveja negra

Green frog-rana verde

December Newsletter!

Lots of exciting updates this month! Check them out below!


This month in art, Kindergarten and 1st grade artists are learning about color and painting. Kindergarten artists began by learning about the primary colors: red, yellow and blue. First, they viewed examples of paintings by Mondrian, Miro and Van Gogh to identify the primary colors they used. Then they experimented with these colors by creating entirely primary color paintings. In 1st grade, artists will apply color to animal masks. In our last class they viewed examples of animal masks featured in the The Lion King Broadway musical to identify how the artists used color and texture to make the audience believe their were actually animals on stage. Then they designed their masks by making a sketch. In the next few weeks they will sketch their designs onto their actual masks, learn paper sculpture techniques needed to create 3D details and texture on their masks and lastly paint them with colors that describe the animal they chose.


This month in Yoga we are learning Volcano Pose, Frog Pose, and Airplane Pose. That means that by the end of this month all of the classes will know 19 yoga poses! In Movement, the students are practicing throwing and catching. They are learning the correct technique for throwing as well as how to aim for a target with their throws. Remember to ask your child to demonstrate what they have been learning!


This month we will be beginning to read quarter notes and eighth notes, as well as assessing our knowledge of the difference between high and low notes. Don’t forget: the ICS Winter Concert is Thursday, December 17th at 9AM at the Brooklyn Friends Lower School. Come and hear some joyful music!


Hola! Slight changes have been made in Spanish at ICS. As Miss Nina is now with her kindergarten class, I (Miss B) have taken over the Spanish program. We will continue with the same curriculum and all class routines Miss Nina put in place. This month we are starting our winter unit, which will be a nice preparation for the winter break. While reviewing the content learned so far, we will be focusing on winter themed projects and songs. Look out for ourmuñecos de nieve (snowmen). For a more detailed list of our target vocabulary and resources that you can use at home check out ICS Specials blog!

September Newsletter


Dear Parents,

Welcome to September! Every month you will receive a newsletter from your child’s specials teachers. At ICS special classes include Music, Art, Movement/Yoga and Spanish.

In this monthly newsletter we will try to provide information about class content, important announcements and helpful tips and resources for things you can try at home to help support learning in our classes.

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