Mr. Reis instructs students in more than half a dozen instruments!
Course Descriptions for Music, Visual Arts, Drama and SLWRP
Beginning Band (Grades 6, 7, 8) -- Concert Band (Grades 7, 8)
Beginning Guitar (Grades 7, 8) -- Volunteer Before School – Carolers
All classes utilize a sequential method of teaching to develop and nurture a lifelong love of the subject, as well as making connections to other disciplines and life experiences.
Music instructor, Mr. Reis, developed the first U.C. system-approved curriculum for class guitar instruction. This curriculum is used to teach music at Wood Middle School. He teaches students how to read music and identify rhythms, articulations, and dynamics. These skills prepare students to learn new and challenging pieces for the spring concert. Currently, guitar classes are in rehearsal to perform at “Night of the Arts” to be held in March.
Several events and projects are planned in collaboration with the art and drama programs. Events include a field trip to see a local performance of the musical “All Shook Up”, and attendance at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Projects include designing and painting a school mural, and writing and performing original music for a spring play. Students also have a chance to volunteer as carolers every year.
Wheel - Intro to Studio Art (Grade 6) -- Studio Art (Grades 7, 8)
Advanced Art/Ceramics/Intro to Sculpture (Grade 8)
Classes focus on skills that relate to an understanding of elements of art and principles of design. Assessment is based on progressive theories of art education from Harvard University. In the department we collaborate with and integrate content from Science, History, Math and English. There is an emphasis is on reflective, creative and analytical writing.
The class integrates technology with the use of a state of the art Promethean Board in the classroom. Art history is at the touch of a finger with Google Art Project. This gives the class access to museums and galleries all over the world. Art classes work in collaboration with the science/SLWRP class in celebrating Wood Middle School as an Ocean Guardian School. Artwork is featured on www.stopwaste.org.
Some fun projects the classes plan to work on are Mexican yarn painting, ekphrastic poetry, metal repousse masks with creative storytelling, ancient ceramic amulets, personal symbolic amulets, website business plan, multicultural functional pottery, linear perspective (reflection writing process).
In addition to the above projects, the classes will work on portraits for orphans. Students are linked with orphans from around the world and create a gift of a portrait. Students will also create sculptural teapots telling a story of students’ and their family’s journey to California.
The Art department teams with musical theatre students to create stage props for upcoming musicals, while the band instructor assists with the musical score. Art students also go on field trips to see theater performances with the drama and music students.
Vibrant school mural projects are created by the Art department. Open studio hours after school are provided for students, and there are a number of opportunities to earn community service hours.
The Art department offers progressive theories based on traditional education. The future vision is to expand Arts Integration through Common Core.
Art teacher, Ms. Lindsey Shepard, is currently completing an Arts Integration Certificate program through the Alameda County Office of Education. She holds a teaching credential from Mills College and a BFA from California College of Arts & Crafts with a major in Ceramics and Glass.
Drama -- Musical Theatre
The Wood Middle School drama program strives to instill knowledge and skills to students in two main areas:
- Acting: Principals of improvisation and mime, visualizing space and creating floor plans, developing characterization, voice projection and developing voice flexibility, principals of blocking, running an effective rehearsal and overall rehearsal etiquette.
- Design & Technical Theatre: Understanding the world of the play, set design, costume design, basic stagecraft (painting and building), running light and sound equipment, vocal music, choreography and dance.
Classes in the drama program prepare different plays throughout the school year. Our productions for the 2012-2013 school year are as follows: “Archangels Don’t Play Pinball” about a modern Italian farce with politics that includes singing and dancing; “The Diviners” by Jim Leonard is a modern, somewhat spare and poetic drama set in the 1930’s; and “Picnic” by William Inge is a classic mid-century drama, realistic and hard-hitting performance.
Collaboration with other arts programs includes original music for the play “Archangels Don’t Play” written by music instructor Anselmo Reis. The Art department is helping to make the set for the play “The Diviners”. In addition, a team-taught class is being planned by the art and drama instructors which will teach students about set design and stagecraft. Students of the drama program will have opportunities to attend various field trips with students from the art and music programs to locations such as the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon.
Wood Middle School offers a comprehensive theatre experience for students of all skill levels. The scope of activities and quality of productions has distinguished Wood Middle School from other middle school drama programs for many years. The Drama department is committed to tapping into students’ talents and providing an outlet to express their creativity, physicality, imagination, and voice. Drama also provides many opportunities for students to practice their teamwork and presentation skills.
Drama teacher, Mr. Moreno, has been working with youth in theatre for 21 years. He has done graduate work in Theatre & Film at Boston University, advanced work at the University College of Wales, holds a BA in directing from U.C. Santa Barbara and an MA in Theatre from San Francisco State University.
SLWRP (Service Learning Waste Reduction Project) Class
The SLWRP class focuses on the San Francisco Bay Watershed and health of its ecosystem. The class gives students the opportunity to be leaders in overseeing the school recycling program throughout the school year. For example, every Wednesday students work in teams to collect, weigh, record, and analyze our paper recycling program. In addition, students produce a SLWRP Recycle Times of their work. Each trimester students contribute to the SLWRP Recycle Times. So far students have produced two volumes as of Spring 2013, and are currently working on volume 3.
Students also work in teams at the beach to collect marine debris with specific focus on polystyrene and plastic “nurdles”. You can find our data on www.pelletwatch.org. Once nurdles are collected, they are sent to be analyzed by Dr. Takada at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology . During the second trimester student will send more than 2,500 nurdles to Dr. Takada and researchers at the University of Tokyo to be analyzed. These nurdles were collected from 9/10/12 to 1/24/13.
Students also prepare for field trips to Crab Cove to work with Naturalist James Frank and the East Bay Regional Park District to develop a curriculum for the Mobile Fish Exhibit that targets 3rd – 5th grade students. Our students were asked to participate and write curriculum based on previous work to install a public information sign at Crown Beach (for which the school received special Congressional recognition) and for students’ work as NOAA Ocean Guardians (for which the school received an NOAA award).
During the spring trimester students will take a field trip by ferry to the San Francisco Bay Model education center in Sausalito to see this magnificent model of our Bay and how it was formed. Students will use binoculars to view wildlife in the area.
During the 2012-2013 school year, all students wrote letters to their parents providing information about the “Bag Ordinance” which went into effect January 1, 2013. Students who returned the letter signed by parents earned one hour of community service.
SLWRP has received local, state and national recognition for its program with service-learning and protection of our oceans. This class uses engineering and science problem-solving to prepare students for civic responsibility as citizens.
For one trimester the students become real hands-on scientists. Ms. Frechou loves her students; they teach her as she teaches them!
Mr. Ponsaran, a seventh grade English and History teacher here at Wood Middle School, is the Activities Director and administrator of the Leadership Program. The leadership program incorporates a democratic decision-making process. The students learn many valuable skills such as the philosophical underpinnings of leadership or a “Shared Collective Leadership”, project management, accounting procedures and protocols, marketing, logistics of event planning, strategic planning, fundraising (small scale to large scale), organizational development, committee work, voting process, Robert’s Rules of Order and Parliamentary Procedure.
Some of the activities sponsored by the leadership program include school-wide fundraisers, bi-weekly lunch fundraisers, school dances, bi-weekly spirit days, event staffing, award ceremonies, Parent Night, work with the PTA, school plays, support and fundraising for sporting events, and volunteering as literacy volunteers.
This program strives to serve the Wood Middle School community, foster democratic process and guide students to learn about themselves through leadership activities. Students are prepared for High School Student Government and School Service Organizations. This is a unique opportunity to lead, serve and learn!
Mr. Ponsaran has a Master’s Degree in Humanities and Leadership from New College of California.
Posted by: Kai Dwyer
Posted by: Kai Dwyer
Posted by: Kai Dwyer