Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Applebee's Fundraiser

Our next fundraiser is upon us.January 27, we will be hosting an Applebee’s pancake breakfast from 8:00 - 10:00 AM at the Happy Valley Applebee’s. There are two ways for students to help us make the most of this fundraiser.

  1. Over the next few weeks families are asked to help us sell as many tickets as possible. Our goal is to raise at least $1000. Tickets are $10 each, with our profit being $6.00 of that. So we need to sell just under 200 tickets to meet our goal. That seems like a lot, but when we divide that by 24, it’s only about 9 tickets per family. We will also be advertising to all Cascade families, which will help. For their $10, attendees will receive pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee, milk, juice, and soft drinks. You will find 8 tickets for your 8th grader to work on selling in your student's backpack today. We can accept cash or checks made out to Cascade Heights Public Charter School. If you need more, please let me know and I’ll get you another set. If you have not sold the original 8 by January 15th, please return to them to school so we can pass them out to others. There is a limit of 300 total tickets we can sell, and we would love to sell out.
  2. The second way to help is to work the day of the fundraiser. Students 14 and older will help seating people and clearing dishes. We need 10 people to help, so everyone that is able is highly encouraged to work that day.

Memorization Techniques

Memorizing lines can be quite difficult, but we have spent significant amounts of time in class as a group, in small groups, and individually. 

Here are some tips for memorizing that may help over the long weekend. If you are able to come in and work with individuals or small groups during the week, I would very much appreciate it.

Tips for Memorizing Lines

Here are some tips and tricks for memorizing lines!

Don’t try to memorize too much at one time. Instead, break it up into parts. If you are trying to memorize a poem, don’t do the whole thing at once. Memorize just one stanza at a time.
You can sometimes “chunk” information. Remembering 10 numbers in a sequence is hard (3 0 7 5 5 5 8 2 9 4). But remembering 10 numbers in telephone format is a lot easier (307- 555-8294).
Repetition over time is the most important method of getting information into your head and retrieving it readily. Don’t cram; the information won’t stick. Repeat the information frequently over time.
Writing things down and saying them out loud are wonderful ways to help you remember things. When you use these two strategies, think about what you are trying to remember. Just don’t say things out loud when they will annoy other people.
Adding a tune to what you are memorizing can be really helpful. The best example is the alphabet song, which you probably learned when you were four or five years old. Isn’t it unbelievable that you could remember all 26 letters at that age?
The Rehearsal 2 app. This is hands down my favorite way for actors to learn lines. It’s the scene partner that never gets tired of running lines with you. If you can get past the fact that it’s $19.99, this is a game changer. You can highlight the lines in the app, record the other character’s lines, and use it as a teleprompter, which will scroll through the script as you are reading it. Then it just keeps playing on a loop. The secret for me is to whisper my lines and read the other character’s lines out loud when I’m recording, so I don’t get too caught up in the way I’m saying my lines, but I know how much time I have to say them. I will literally put my iPad on a chair and pretend I’m running lines with someone. It’s so much better than a tape recorder. Love it. (Time: Approx. 30 minutes for a 12-page scene.)
Run the lines with someone many times. Preferably an actor, not your friend who was an extra on “Blue Bloods” one time, likes to coach you, and keeps reading the stage directions out loud. The first time you run through it, just listen to the words. Focus on pausing between each line, really absorbing what’s being said and going over the scene many times in many different ways, playing with intention, actions, and pacing. Try it sitting and standing, and allow yourself to make mistakes and explore every way not to do it, while also getting more and more comfortable with the lines. Focus on the “why” and the circumstances, which will help you learn the scene on a deeper level. If you forget your lines, you can find your way back because you really understand what’s going on. (Time: Approx. 30 minutes to an hour.)
  • Cook, clean, or go jogging.
    While you're repeating the words, do something with your hands and feet. Do some cooking, clean your bathroom, or go for a run. This will occupy the parts of your brain you don't need for memorizing.
  • Take your time.
  • This technique requires lots of time to work its magic. So if you have to be off book by next month, start now and take your time.
  • Whisper instead.
    This technique requires you to talk a lot. It may be hard on your voice. If you need to, whisper it instead.
  • Remember to breathe.
    It may sound simple, but it isn't. People like to hold their breath subconciously. But if you breathe, it will help you remember the text better.

Twelfth Night

We are less than 15 days from the curtain rising on this amazing production. I am quite pleased with how hard everyone is working and can't wait to see what the final product looks like.

In the coming three weeks we will be increasing rehearsal time, working on costumes, make up, play bills, and programs.

If you are available, I could use extra hands!

Volunteer Needs:
1. Readers - I need people who are willing to listen to students practice their parts. This can occur at any time during the day. Just come down to the room (after checking in at the office of course) and I'll send someone out with you.

2. Costumes - I need 2 people to help students try on costumes, put names on bags, and inventory what we still need. 

3. Cast Party Taco Bar Donations - The day of the event, students will stay at school with me. We will have a short recess, then have our cast party. This is the celebration of all of their hard work and a chance to blow off some steam before the night performance. I will be sending out a list of needed items so people can sign up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November Update

Upcoming Events: 
November 14 - High School Field Trip
November 16 - Middle School Music Concert 
                         5:45 - Students arrive 
                         6:30 - Concert begins
November 22 - 23 - School closed for Thanksgiving
December 14 - Twelfth Night Performances
                         1:00 - Matinee
                         3:30 - Cast party
                         6:00 - Night performance

History - We have finished our work on Civics and are moving into the end of European colonialism with a focus on the Indian Independence Movement. 

Science - Physics is still the core of what we're doing! We've covered forces and work. This month we shift to energy before putting together our physics midterm, Rube Goldberg machines! 

Reading - Non fiction work continues via Readworks while our literature focus is on Twelfth Night! In class we are reading the play and discussing the layers upon layers of content. At home, students are working hard (or should be) at memorizing their parts. Soon we will be doing stage make up lessons, costume fittings, and start staging. 

Writing - Our current unit focuses on using literary devices to make writing come alive for the reader. Last week we wrote about the highlights of autumn while this week we are focusing on our strongest emotional reaction. 

High School Readiness:
  • Milwaukie Academy of the Arts applications are now being accepted. If you are considering MAA, please get the application in this week. 
  • La Salle testing is coming up. Get those applications going. 
  • Clackamas Middle College testing is occurring now. Schedule a time at the Harmony Campus or at the Oregon City Campus. I've only received one letter of recommendation request, please don't wait until the last minute. 
Thank you to Mrs. Dorr, Mr. Cooper, Mrs. Haight, and Mrs. Hibpshman, and Mr. Campbell for helping with the sock hop. We made a total of $700.00, which is a great start. 

Our next fundraiser is the Applebee's Pancake Breakfast at the end of January. In the next week or two we'll get tickets to sell. This has the potential to raise in the area of $1500 if we reach out to everyone we know. More details will come home next week!