Specials News and Updates

ART with Ms. Bolick

Hello St. Gabriel!  Second quarter is FLYING by in the art room!!!  With so many holidays during this time, students keep busy creating artworks that celebrate those holidays while “sneaking” in some great techniques and concepts.  All grades are learning the elements of art: Line, Shape, Color, Value, Form, Texture and Space.  We are using a wide variety of materials from pencil & marker drawing to watercolor and oil pastels.  Many projects involve “mixed media” – where students learn how to use different art materials together in one finished creation.  A great example of this is “Crayon Resist.”  This is when students learn how the wax in crayon pushes watercolor paint away.  It’s like magic painting right over crayon details and seeing them pop right out from behind that watercolor! 

We have also learned about famous artists and their masterpieces.  Seeing works from great artists like Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch and Kandinsky help inspire students’ artwork.  Creating an artwork in the style of a great artist can teach so much about the artist’s style and life.  Coming up in the New Year, all students will participate in the fundraiser “ORIGINAL ARTWORKS.”  This fundraiser lets students create an artwork that can be printed onto t-shirts, coffee mugs, notebooks, magnets and more!  These items make wonderful gifts for family and friends.  Look for more information in the New Year.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for CHRISTMAS CRAFT NIGHT on Tuesday, December 13th!!  Come to St. Gabriel School that evening from 6-7:30pm for fun and FREE holiday crafts and snacks!! It’s a great way to celebrate being a part of our amazing St. Gabriel family and have fun as a family.  I hope to see you all there!!

Thank you for letting me be a part of your children’s creative life.  I am so blessed to be here at our school doing what I truly love each day!


Kristin Bolick

LIBRARY with Mrs. Chase

Our Fall Book Fair was a huge success! Thank you for stopping by and purchasing many of the great books Scholastic Book Fairs had to offer.

Kindergarten: I will continue to read and discuss books that match the topic or letter of the week. We will follow up each story with a discussion and highlight the beginning, middle and end of each. Topics will include Native Americans, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Winter. Students will be moving around the library and may borrow the ever-popular “Ready to Read” (beginning chapter books).

First grade:  First grade students are moving around the library again and may borrow our very popular New True (nonfiction/informational) titles! Legends and folktales will be introduced this quarter as well as comparing fiction and nonfiction titles. Animals in the winter will be included this quarter.

Second grade: Students are using their shelf markers as they borrow and browse the fiction and nonfiction/informational sections. Biographies are highlighted this quarter and will include Helen Keller and Martin L. King, Jr. Students will participate in book discussions as we read many seasonal titles. Discussions will concentrate on the parts of the story.

Third grade: Illustrators and examples of different ways to illustrate a book will be our focus at the beginning of this quarter. We will also continue our study of fiction book genres as we read many Native American and Christmas legends retold by Tommie DePaola. Scholastic News keeps us informed of current news around the world.

Fourth and Fifth grades: Students will begin this quarter by identifying nonfiction text features. We will move on to main ideas of nonfiction texts and supporting key details.  Fourth and fifth grade teachers and I will collaborate on research projects using iPads as we follow the Common Core and Essential Standards. Our fourth grade students have recently researched Spanish speaking countries in collaboration with Señora Mullis.

PE with Mrs. Dumser and Ms. Martin

K-2nd grades:   At the start of the 2nd quarter we worked with manipulatives such as scarves, ribbon wand exploration and beanbag exploration.  Manipulatives allow students to improve basic skills that may later be applied to many individual and team sports. They are important tools to help develop and strengthen hand-eye coordination.   We will also be working on our underhand toss and overhand throws.  We will be teaching the students the proper technique to throwing. Students will be introduced to balance, stunts and tumbling this next quarter. Stunts are primarily designed to increase balance, coordination, flexibility, agility and strength. 

3rd - 5th grades:  In the 2nd quarter, students will be working on Hockey, Tsegball, Handball and Badminton. These sports deal with working together as a team; we focus on including everyone and encouraging how to become a good teammate while always stressing good sportsmanship.  Another unit we will teach in the 2nd quarter is gymnastics, dance and tumbling. These activities are fun and will help improve balance, flexibility and muscular strength.  It is also a lot of fun and the kids enjoy them quite a bit.  We will learn traditional dances as well as some of the new movements, like the Whip and Na Na.  The students love to move and learn new steps.  The unit culminates with a ribbon wand routine each group choreographs themselves.

with Señora Mullis

The classes learn about the cultural celebration of “El día de los muertos” by watching videos, reading stories, and completing worksheets about the Day of the Dead. Closer to Thanksgiving or “el día de acción de gracias” the students will practice a “Gracias antes de las comidas” prayer. The big event during Advent will be the celebration of the school mass for “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” on Friday, December 9, 2016 (the feast day is on December 12). All classes will be collaborating with Music class to practice the Spanish songs for the mass. They will be learning about the beautiful story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The 3rd and 5th graders will be helping with the mass. In preparation for “las navidades” or Christmas we will be singing popular songs like “Felíz Navidad” and “Noche de Paz” or Silent Night in Spanish. We will read some bilingual storybooks about Christmas or “las navidades”, and wishing everyone a ¡Felíz navidad y año nuevo!

Kindergarten: The students learn “la calabaza” pumpkin song and “la calavera” skull song. We read the story Clatter Bash. They practice vocabulary for food “las comidas” and classroom objects “el salon de clase”. They learn to say “Yo doy gracias a Dios” which means, “I give thanks to God”.

First Grade: The students work with the skeleton to learn the parts of the body in Spanish “las partes del cuerpo”. We read the story The Festival of the Bones. Lessons 2&3 – “el salon de clases”, lesson 4, “los colores y los días de la semana”. They will practice “números y colores” with “el pavo”, the turkey. Lesson 5 is counting to 20 in Spanish and “las formas”, the shapes.

Second Grade: Lesson 15 – Vamos a contar hasta 40, y la ropa (clothes). Lesson 16 ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? (birthdays). Lesson 17 – Nuestra escuela (school). The students will work on a birthday project and fashion project.

Third Grade: The students will practice “tengo hambre” (I’m hungry) and other expressions. Lesson 2 – review contar hasta 50 y las emociones (emotions). Lesson 3 – nuestra casa (house) complete a house building project. Lesson 4 & 6 – los cuartos de la casa, se vende la casa. Lesson 7 – la cocina.

Fourth Grade: The students need to complete “el placemat” project and “el restaurant” project. Lesson 16 – “me gusta/ no me gusta”. Lesson 17 &18 – los animales del zoológico. Lesson 19 - ¿En qué edificio vives?

Fifth Grade: The students will complete a Christmas and New Year greeting for the Hispanic pen pals. Students will learn about Spanish genders and plurals. The students will learn a song about the Spanish pronouns. Lesson 3 – Action words (verbos). Lesson 4 – la hora (time).

MUSIC with Mrs. Heskamp

This is what St. Gabriel students have been learning in Music the first and second quarters…

Kindergarten  We continue to learn to match pitch, keeping a steady beat, and playing music with percussion and rhythm instruments.   Students are also hearing and dancing to different genres of music. We focused on learning Nursery Rhymes for cadence, rhythm and learning new pitches.   They sang various holiday songs and discovered the music of the Nutcracker. Kindergartners are exploring sound (found sounds) around us as we read stories. The students try to match vocal sounds and rhythm instruments to recreate sounds in a story. We are getting ready to learn about notes and what they mean; plus more singing and dancing games. Let’s do it Kindergarten!

First Grade​  These students have been playing singing games to learn SOL, MI, LA, and FA pitches and hand signs. Students have learned where notes are placed on the staff and the rhythm of quarter notes, eighth notes, and rests.  They have used Rhythm sticks with songs to learn Left and Right and other directional words to the beat of music.  Students enjoyed dancing and movement activities of all sorts.  They have done well learning mass songs and holiday songs for each season. We are did a unit on Christmas songs, especially the various ways carols can be sung or played.  A favorite was “Carol of the Bells!” Ask your child about Music Maestro.  It contains interactive Smartboard lessons and games about notation, pitch, tempo, etc.  They love it!  Great job, First Graders!

Second Grade  Second Graders enjoyed learning the songs for their All Saints Mass as well as other mass songs.  We continue our unit about instruments of the orchestra.  Students watched videos of live performances and played games to match instrument families.  They have learned to compare and contrast how instruments are played and how songs can be sung.  We will continue this unit next quarter with various learning centers and games. We have learned many rhythm patterns and enjoy playing percussion instruments.   Next up- more singing and dancing games!  Let’s go 2nd Graders!

Third Grade  WOW- the 3rd Grade Nativity Performance was beautiful!!!  I am so proud of what these students accomplished in a very short time.  Now we are back to learning the recorder- not an easy task.  But as soon as we learn more notes, I hope to add fun Pop songs to our list of songs!  I am looking for more choir members, and have asked my 3rd graders to recruit!  If your child is interested, please let me know via school email.  I am planning to introduce more music genres next quarter with songs and dances. Can’t wait!!!

Fourth Grade  I am so grateful for the 4th graders.  They are true role models for singing during Mass!  These students are reviewing recorder notes and songs from last year and are forging ahead.  Like the 3rd graders, they need weekly practice at home. Please help remind your child to bring their recorders/folders to class.  Soon we will be adding Pop tunes to our list of songs.  I hope to add barred instruments as well!  Next quarter students will learn about composers and more genres of music. Keep it up 4th Grade!

Fifth Grade  I can’t believe I’ve been teaching this bunch since 1st grade!!! They are doing a fantastic job learning about music genres, and teaching me more about the music THEY enjoy.  They have played barred & percussion instruments- and will continue to do so.  That means reading music, understanding notation, and staying together while playing.  They have and will continue learning about World Music and have made instruments.  We are reviewing instrument families because we will attend the Charlotte Symphony in March. We are very excited for this opportunity to see a live performance from composers we have studied. I am especially proud of how these students help their prayer partners during mass and set a good example by singing the mass music.  Way to go 5th Grade!