See below with information about activities at Franconia Elementary.
Each month Franconia students and teachers gather for a celebration of learning. During this assembly children sing the school song, grade levels share poetry, songs, choral reading or other work they have been doing together, and we highlight special events that have occurred in the past month. Additionally, we talk about the Character Counts trait of the month as taught in the Book of the Month, distributed to each classroom. The All School Celebrations provide the context for us to celebrate learning and to grow into a more cohesive, caring school community who can blend rigor and joy in learning!
The band program begins with like-instrument lessons groups (e.g. flute with flute, trombone with trombone, etc.) and is open to students in grades four and five who have an interest in studying a band instrument. The instruments offered for study are: flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, and percussion. Students receive one small group lesson once every week, in most cases with other students who play the same instrument, and one band rehearsal with all of the band members in the school once every week. These lessons are scheduled on a rotating system so that children do not miss the same time of day every week. Throughout the year students learn proper instrument performance techniques, as well as how to read printed music. Students are invited to join the large, mixed instrument group (concert band) when they have achieved the benchmark that appropriately prepares them to understand and perform the music used for concert performances. There is typically one performance in the winter and one in the spring. If your child participates in band, you will receive more information about the performances from the band director. Information will include location and time of the concerts, meeting place for performers, and proper concert attire.
In addition to the band program, there is an elementary honors band program. See Honors Band.
Fourth and fifth grade students who sign up for the Orchestra Program will gain experience playing an orchestral string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass). To play in the orchestra for the Winter and Spring Concerts, students must pass the beginning benchmark from their lesson book as indicated by their teacher. All orchestra students receive one 30-minute small-group lesson per week and attend one 40-minute orchestral rehearsal with the entire group. Throughout the year, students learn progressive technical and musical techniques and develop skills for group playing and performance. Students participate in both the Winter and Spring Concerts. Exceptional elementary string students who pass the required benchmark are invited to participate in the SASD Elementary Honors Orchestra.
Chorus is open to all fourth and fifth grade students. There is NO audition process. We encourage all of our students to be a part of this fun and challenging ensemble! Rehearsals are scheduled into the school day with students having one rehearsal every week. Students are expected to perform in the winter and spring concerts. If your child participates in chorus, you will receive more information about the performances from the choral director. Information will include location and time of the concerts, meeting place for performers, and proper concert attire.
There are many things that we work on during our chorus rehearsals besides just learning correct tones and rhythms. We work on extending the range of our voices and how to use the proper muscles to provide support for singing. We learn how to pronounce our words so that the audience can understand them. We work on getting the correct tempo (speed) of the music that we perform, the correct dynamics (levels of loud and soft), and the correct style of the piece. We prepare a variety of music that touches on many different styles, time periods, and cultures. We teach many facets of music performance and have a lot of fun in the process!
Students in grades 4 and 5 may choose to participate in Reading Olympics, a competition sponsored by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. Each year a list of books is identified, and students then read as many of the books as they can. Teams then compete in 40-question sessions to see who can answer the most correct questions about all the books.
Franconia fourth and fifth graders participate in Student Council. Each class elects a representative who meets regularly with the faculty advisor. Student council operates a student store and sponsors many fundraisers for local charities throughout the year. In the past, Franconia students have raised money through crazy hat days, Funky Fridays, and student store proceeds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, Red Cross, Thunder’s Angels, and Ronald McDonald House. Additionally, they have donated toys for children at CHOP, sponsored food drives for the Keystone Opportunity Center, made valentines for vets and sent care packages to soldiers in Iraq. Helping children develop leadership skills and a sense of global citizenship are two of the goals of student council.