In addition to your child’s homeroom teacher, students at Manzanita have the pleasure of learning with a variety of specialist teachers. Below is an introduction from each such individual.
Physical Education with Mrs. Sipe
A quality physical education program is offered to students as part of our curriculum. We will be using activities approved by our district and implemented at each elementary school. Research has shown that students who participate in at least three 60-minutes of physical activity each day do as well or better than others on standardized academic test scores.
Physical education is designed to teach activities that are inclusive, highly active, integrate academic and wellness concepts, and are fun for all students. Additionally, instructional units are designed to develop students’ motor, cognitive, and social skills.
This is not the “old school” physical education some of you might remember. Students won’t waste time waiting in lines for a turn, be a target in a dodgeball game, or be chosen last for a team. All students will have many opportunities to practice and participate in high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Physical education class will be held once a week. Please remind your child to dress appropriately for physical activity every day. For comfort and safety purposes, he/she should wear sneakers and clothes suitable for activity.
Physical activity must be done regularly to achieve health benefits. Therefore, your child’s participation is very important. If your child is sick or unable to participate in all activities, please let me know via note or phone call prior to the scheduled class.
Experts recommend children receive at least 60 minutes of physical activity each and every day. Please help your child meet these recommendations by helping them to seek opportunities to be active outside of school. This means that occasionally your student will have activities to do outside of physical education class. Please take these seriously and help your student finish each assignment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
Manzanita Physical Education
Music with Mr. Fagan
My name is Jae Fagan and I am your child’s music teacher for this year! My overall goal is for each child to develop the concepts, skills, and attitudes for a lifetime enjoyment and appreciation of music. This is accomplished through a variety of experiences, such as singing, playing instruments (Drums, ukulele, recorder, etc.), listening, moving, improvising, creating, expressing, and performing/musicals.
Music is an important part of the overall education to students. Not only does it promote other subjects, but on its own is a tool that can be used throughout life. Musical training helps develop language, reasoning, memorization, engagement, and emotional development to name a few. I am proud to be in a district that offers such a comprehensive arts program and
supports the development of the overall student.
Throughout music this year your child will be exploring many aspects of music. Each grade level builds upon the previous, and adds on to the complexity of what your child learns starting in Kindergarten with pitch matching and pattern recognition. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me. I am very excited for this year, and look forward to teaching your child!
Art with Ms. Inglee
Welcome back, Mustangs! I am so excited to begin another great year of art!
At Manzanita, we provide a quality Art Education curriculum that focuses on a body of knowledge, benchmarks, and performance activities that are aligned to both the National and Arizona Standards for Visual Arts. Art at Manzanita focuses on fostering students’ awareness and understanding of visual art and the word around them as they develop their own creative potential
Every student in grades 1-5 attends art once a week for 55 minutes (kindergarten for 30 minutes). Each unit that we explore introduces students to concepts and content that includes art history and culture, elements and principles of design and relevant vocabulary. Students explore the artmaking and design process through a variety of media, including painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and digital media.
Student work will be stored in their portfolios throughout the year leading up to our schoolwide Art Show on Tuesday, May 3. Mark your calendars!
Art can be messy! Smocks are available for students on those especially messy days, but please also note the day of the week your child attends art. Messy-approved clothing recommended!
Please take a moment to explore our art room website and sign up for updates from our classroom blog.
Thank you for supporting the arts!
Spanish with Sra. Cortez and Sra. Kumar
We are excited to be teaching Spanish at Manzanita. We have planned a fun and productive year for your child. Students will actively communicate in Spanish through paired sharing, small and whole group activities as well as songs, games, and kinesthetic movement.
Students in Kindergarten will receive one hour of Spanish per week in two 30-minute periods. First through fifth grade students will receive a total of two hours of Spanish per week. The focus of the elementary Spanish program is to develop proficiency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading at the level according to their cumulative experience with language. An understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity is woven throughout the curriculum as well. Heritage Learners and Native Speakers are invited to both share their rich language and cultural experience and increase their unique language skills.
Underlying the lessons are the program’s measurement topics of: Person-to-Person Communication (Interpersonal), Listening and Reading for Understanding (Interpretive), Oral and Written presentation (Presentational), Cultural Competence, Making Connections Through Language (e.g. connections across disciplines), and Communications Across Communities. These measurement topics closely align with Arizona State Standards and the “five C’s” of the National Foreign Language Standards. To view the benchmarks for each grade level and the proficiency targets, please visit the District website at: http://www.cfsd16.org.
In the coming weeks, you will be invited to practice the grade level vocabulary and language tasks with your child by visiting our webpage on the Manzanita website. We will also have Spanish speaking experiences outside of school that you will be invited to attend during the school year. We love teaching Spanish and are looking forward to a wonderful and exciting year with your child. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Monica Cortez Graciela Kumar
Manzanita Spanish Manzanita Spanish
Robotics with Mrs. DeBenedetti
I am thrilled to be serving Manzanita - as well as Ventana Vista – as the new Robotics teacher. Manzanita is truly my home, as it is here that I have spent the last ten years in first a third, and then a fifth grade teaching position. Transitioning from a third to a fifth grade classroom allowed me to see some of my previous students, and truly appreciate how much they grow, learn, and accomplish throughout their elementary careers. Moving to a position where I will be able to witness and encourage student achievement from year to year is a particularly exciting opportunity for me.
This year, we are pleased to announce that all grade levels – kindergarten through fifth grade – will participate in Robotics! As in previous years, grades 2 – 5 meet for 1 – 2 hours, once a week for 8 – 10 weeks. This year, Kindergarten and first grade will meet for 45 minutes to an hour, once a week for 4 weeks. Most of the third through fifth grade classes will attend Robotics in the first half of the year, while kinder through second grade classes will attend the second part of the year.
All classes begin with an introductory lesson about the latest advancements and trends in robotics, the expectations for collaborating with a partner using a Driver/Navigator metaphor, and a building challenge on which partners will need to work together in order to solve.
The remaining weeks for each grade level focus on developing skills in collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, math and computational thinking, and science and engineering practices. Students work with their partner through a series of self-paced, grade-specific programming challenges and earn certificates of completion. The ultimate goal is to reach Robotics Engineer – the fourth and highest level of achievement!
Parent volunteers are always a huge help. There is something for everyone in the robotics lab! Please come engage in the learning process by questioning students about their thinking, sharing your observations of their robot runs, acting out what they are trying to do, helping them to reread directions, and offering words of encouragement as they persevere to accomplish their missions. You can sign up to help in your child’s class by following the link on their teacher’s website to Google Forms. If you have additional questions, please email me. For more detailed information about the Robotics curriculum, you can visit the CFSD website, and follow the drop down menu of options under “Academics and Programs” to “Elementary Program.”
Teacher Leader of Science and Engineering Practices