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Students at TJL had the opportunity to play holiday classics using
unconventional instruments called “boomwhackers” in music class during
the month of December. Boomwhackers, hollow plastic tubes that are tuned
to a musical pitch, are played just as their name suggests—creating a
boom by whacking them on the floor.
Music teacher Mrs. Courtney Kassinger, who has been working with her
students to help them perfect the art of sight-reading, taught students
songs for Hanukkah earlier in the month, as well as the cultural
significance behind each song. As Christmas approached, Mrs. Kassinger
taught them holiday classics such “Let it Snow”, “Jingle Bells” and
more, expounding on the stories behind them as well.
For example, students learned that Jingle Bells was originally written
as a song for Thanksgiving but somehow became adopted as a Christmas
classic. Students also learned that bells were used on sleighs to alert
people that someone was approaching, and other interesting facts.
“I love learning about songs ‘behind the scenes’,” one student said during the lesson.
Students attempted playing simple songs like jingle bells, but were also
put to the test with difficult compositions like portions of “the
Nutcracker”, and left their classes humming seasonal songs and enjoying
the buzz of holiday spirit.
During the week of Dec. 10, kindergartners at Washington Drive made
gingerbread houses to conclude a week of gingerbread-themed lessons in
celebration of the fast approaching holidays.
Some of the different gingerbread lessons included gingerbread I-Spy,
counting different types of gingerbread men on a platter, creating a
gingerbread man in disguise, and more.
On Dec. 13, family and loved ones visited their kindergartners to help
them build gingerbread houses. Using frosting as glue, marshmallows for
snow, and many other sweet treats as building materials, students built
their houses around milk cartons with a holiday Yule Log crackling on
the Smart Board in the background.
When finished, students were proud of their creations, and were excited to bring them home for the holidays.