Resource Classes

In order to talk about art, you need the vocabulary to describe, analyze, and interpret what you’re seeing. Thinking of the right words becomes easier the more art terms you know. The idea isn’t to sit and memorize the list, but to consult the word bank regularly and gradually you’ll remember more and more terms. Here are some describing words I am teaching your child in the art room.

Color Words: natural, clear, compatible, distinctive, interesting, lively, stimulating, subtle, clashing, bright, harmonious, intense, rich, saturated, strong, vibrant, vivid, dull, pale, muted, cool, warm, light, dark, mixed, contrasting, complementary.

Tone Words: dark, light, smooth, varied, constant, graduated, contrasting.

Composition Words: arrangement, layout, structure, position, landscape format, portrait format, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, angled, foreground, background, middle ground, centered, asymmetrical, symmetrical, balanced, unbalanced, lopsided, overlapping, cluttered, chaotic, spacious, empty, flowing, fragmented, formal, rigid, negative space, positive space.

Texture Words: flat, smooth, raised, rough, coarse, incised, scratched, uneven, hairy, sticky, soft, hard, shiny, glossy, reflective, satin, frosted, matte.

Mood Words: calm, content, peaceful, relaxed, tranquil, gloomy, miserable, sad, somber, tearful, unhappy, aggressive, angry, chilling, dark, frightening, distressing, energetic, exciting, stimulating, thought-provoking, boring, dull, lifeless.

Form / Shape Words: 2D, flat, abstracted, simplified, stylized, 3D, realistic, natural, depth, space, sharp, detailed, blurred, obscured, overlapping, indistinct, distorted, exaggerated, geometric, linear, long, narrow.

These are examples of terms your child will learn in the art room. As you can see, some of the art words can be used to describe other subjects as well. Art is math, history, social studies, language arts, music, and science. Author C. M. Rubin said, “If you have embraced the discipline, resourcefulness, inventiveness, persistence and passion it takes to create original works of ART – then you know what it means to have used all of your brain and you will be better prepared to compete in the global economy.”


Welcome to the music room!  Here all children will be involved in many varied and creative musical experiences.  Each visit to the music room will be filled with listening, singing, moving, and instrumental playing experiences.  All these processes will enable our children to grow and develop into well rounded individuals.  Hopefully, they will have an enhanced understanding of themselves and other peoples of our world. My goal is for them to begin their journey on a life-long love for all styles of music.

The standards for Kindergarten General Music serve as the foundation for further music instruction. Students are introduced to basic musical concepts through singing, playing instruments, listening, and moving. Emphasis is placed on beginning to obtain musical knowledge, skills, and understanding as performers, composers, and listeners. Students investigate personal feelings and preferences evoked by musical experiences.

The standards for Grade One General Music emphasize the language and production of music. Instruction focuses on the development of skills in singing, playing instruments, listening, moving, and responding to music. Emphasis is placed on performing simple rhythms and developing aural skills related to pitch, musical form, and instrument identification. Students investigate the purpose of music and how people participate in music in everyday life.

The standards for Grade Two General Music enable students to continue developing musical skills and concepts in singing, playing instruments, listening, performing, responding with expression, creating/composing, and moving with a focus on fine motor skills. Emphasis is placed on ensemble playing, notating pitches and rhythms, and identifying orchestral instruments. Students investigate the roles of music in various world cultures and explore how music evokes personal ideas and emotions.

The standards for Grade Three General Music enable students to continue building mastery in the areas of music literacy, including singing, playing instruments, listening, moving, and creating/composing music. Students also develop skills and understanding through the study of rhythm, musical form, and melodic notation. Students investigate the roles of music in various cultures and reflect on their personal motivations for making music. Students will also be exposed to ensemble playing by playing the recorder.

The standards for Grade Four General Music emphasize a deeper understanding of musical concepts, including singing, playing instruments, listening, creating, composing, and performing. Students continue to expand their knowledge of orchestral instruments and music from various cultures. Students gain understanding of music styles and listen to, analyze, and describe music. Students will explore further ensemble playing by playing the ukulele, recorder and autoharp.

The standards for Grade Five General Music enable students to use their music knowledge and skills to synthesize information and create music. Students continue to read, write, and compose music, using increasingly complex rhythms and meters. They begin to develop choral skills, including singing in two- and three-part harmony. Students explore and perform a variety of music styles and develop personal criteria to be used for describing and analyzing musical performances. Students will have one final ensemble playing experience by playing the ukulele, recorder and autoharp. They will also be introduced to middle school music elective options of band, orchestra and chorus.

Feel free to visit the Virginia Department of Education website to see a breakdown of the Music SOL’s

Follow Mrs. Mort on Twitter to see great activities that students do in music! @MauraLMort

Physical Education

The purpose of physical education at W. W. Gordon is to help students acquire the knowledge, processes, skills, and confidence needed to engage in meaningful physical activity both in the present and for a lifetime. The practice of leading a physically active lifestyle will bring about personal enjoyment, challenge, satisfaction, and a health-enhancing level of personal fitness. As a result of physical education instruction, the student will be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate competence in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
  • Apply movement principles and concepts to learning and developing motor skills and specialized movement forms.
  • Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of personal fitness.
  • Demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviors in physical activity settings.
  • Demonstrate a physically active lifestyle, including activity within and outside of the physical education setting.

Welcome to STEAM! This is a brand new resource class this year at Gordon Elementary! Our students will get the opportunity to develop their problem solving skills while exploring each of the STEAM domains: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. As students explore, they will also practice their skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The goal is to help students learn difficult concepts through application and hands-on experiences.
Dena Brown is our New STEAM teacher.

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