April 2011

Knightingales in action

Attributions: 
Tiare Spencer, SJHS Staff Writer

Every year Mrs. Walker conducts an eighth grade all-girl choir class known as Knightingales.  There are currently 65 girls in Knightingales, and everyday they work on classical pieces as a choir.  In seventh grade most of the girls participated in a mixed choir known as the Apprentice Singers, but when students hit eighth grade they had to divide into seperate boys and girls choirs. This helps prepare and develop the students voices for Master Singers when they will be mixed again as a boys and girls choir.  Kahaia Stewart, an eighth-grade Knightingale at SJHS, said, “It’s a bummer we don’t have the boys here, they always liven things up.  But it’s a good opportunity to help us focus on our voices.”

So far this year the Knightingales have made great progress.  Mrs. Walker, choir teacher at SJHS, said, “The Knightingales are amazing this year.  With about 65 girls in the choir, there is nothing we can’t accomplish!” 

But when the students  reach ninth grade, the girls and boys who made tryouts are combined into a mixed boys and girls choir.  Amanda Ripley, an eighth-grade Knightingale at SJHS, said, “I’m really excited to be combined with the boys again next year, it will be flippin’ awesome!” The Knightingales said that everyone should take choir, because it’s a great opportunity to make friends.
   

Jazz Band Plays “Excellent” Music

Attributions: 
Hollie Coulon, SJHS Staff Writer

Jazz band is where students learn how to play their instruments better and also sharpen there skills in song playing. “It gives the students extra performing opportunities,” Mr. Booth, SJHS band teacher said. The students learn songs from all sorts of genres like jazz, Latin, rock, and R&B (Rhythm and Blues). Currently the jazz band class is learning Superstition by Stevie Wonder, a jazz version of the Sesame Street, and a song by Santana. Jazz band is learning these songs so that they can play them for a concert in May. The class is performing during school in an assembly.

The jazz band class is an auditioned group of ninth-grade students. The students who want to be in jazz band have to audition in front of Mr. Booth, band teacher. The auditions for jazz band this year were held in November. The jazz band is practicing every Friday for one hour after school. They will be practicing until their concert in May.
 
Instruments are a key role in a band. The type of instruments all depend on the type of band. The instruments in the school's jazz band are saxophones, trumpets, trombones, keyboard, bass, and percussion.

Getting Vocal in English

Attributions: 
Tiare Spencer, SJHS Staff Writer

Most students think that English is all about reading and writing, but there are many more genres of learning to add to it.  The eighth graders in Mrs. Breakwell’s English class wrote songs about a movie called West Side Story.  Mrs. Breakwell said, “I thought writing some songs would be a nice alternative to writing an essay, and I thought it would be a good chance for multi-genre work since we were experiencing a musical.”

The students in Mrs. Breakwell’s  English class had the chance to experience and display their musical sides.  The students got together in groups of four and brainstormed lyrics that would display the way they understood  the movie.

Eighth-grade student Sean Tedrow said that West Side Story is like the gangster version of Romeo and Juliet, and that  students worked on writing the songs for two days.  After writing the songs, students had the opportunity to perform their song for the class.  Leilani Hansen, another eighth-grade student, said, “It was really great, because I got to work with my friends as a team.”  According Mrs. Breakwell, the students seemed to enjoy the assignment, because they got to expand their creativity past a normal English assignment.

Most of the students rewrote the lyrics to an original song (songs they hear or listen to on the radio), or they chose to do a rap.  They were assigned to write the lyrics in a way that displayed the outcome of the movie, and the way they felt the story played out.  So the students in Mrs. Breakwell’s class got to experience the “other side” to English this year.

3,2,1 Action! Radio shows with Mrs. Rice

Attributions: 
Renae Lovelace, SJHS Staff Writer

Eighth-graders in Mrs. Rice’s English class have the opportunity to participate in radio shows for a book that they have read.  They read parts of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Then they listened to the radio show. Mrs. Rice said “We talk about verisimilitude, which is the literary quality of seeming real. Then we research apocalyptic events and make our own apocalyptic radio shows. We write scripts, select sound effects, table read, and then record the shows.”

These radio shows took place in the teacher's lounge. According to Mrs. Rice she likes to do them in the third term because usually by then the students are comfortable with each other.     Abby Mangum and Lauren Baxter, eighth graders at SJHS, added “We really enjoyed the radio shows! They were fun and you get to make sound effects and make up stuff!”

Mrs. Rice added, “I do them to talk about setting shifts in fiction and how setting builds verisimilitude. I also do it to promote multi-modal literacy, provide an authentic circumstance to practice reading fluency, and capitalize on the strengths of my students.”

In the end the radio shows were fun and everyone enjoyed them.

The Princess Bride: A thriller that will keep you on your feet

Attributions: 
Ali Earnshaw, SJHS Staff Writer

Almost everyone knows of the classic movie The Princess Bride. It’s a story of romance, swordplay, giants, an evil prince and a beautiful princess. But does anyone really think about it as a quest? Mrs. Breakwell, an English teacher at SJHS, is teaching her students about the quests cycle. According to Mrs. Breakwell it was a good idea to apply the quest theme into our school learning.

In Mrs. Breakwell’s class students read stories and use the quest cycle to find what the character’s quest is.  If you look at a story you can easily find the quest. First look for the hero (the main character). Then you look for the call; the event that pulls the hero to their journey. Third you find the helpers and the hinderers (someone who wants to stop them on their journey). Fourth, you look for the journey; this is the hero’s actual adventure. Fifth you look for the transformation; this is how the character changed along their journey. The last step is the treasure, what the hero received from his/her journey.

For the last few days of February and the beginning of March, Mrs. Breakwell decided to watch The Princess Bride. She wanted her students to experience an example of the quest cycle. Fairy tales are often some of the best quests, such as a princess trying to find her way home; or trying to find the prince of her dreams. At the end of watching the movie her students will have to answer some questions that will go along the line of the quest cycle, including what was the main character searching for, who the main characters are, and what the characters had to go through to get where they were going.  Annie Anderson, an eighth grader here at SJHS, said, “The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies; it’s hilarious. The quest cycle was interesting to learn about too.”

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