This was an exciting week in science – we completed our first major dissection! Students did wonderfully and had a great time. These types of activities are the ones that students remember for years to come, which spark a love and curiosity for science, and inspire students to continue their scientific discoveries into their future academic careers. It’s so fun for me to see students loving science!

This activity was a perfect way to wrap up our comparative reproduction unit. Our next unit will begin after Spring Break where we’ll study one of my favorite topics within science, Genetics. Between now and spring break students will be actively participating in My Future My Choice, a healthy decision making curriculum that covers topics like peer pressure, healthy relationships, growth and development, and sexual health. This curriculum is state-adopted and has been taught around the state and at Seven Peaks for many years. If you have any questions about the curriculum, please feel free to email me or stop by my classroom. I have the full curriculum and a parent informational brochure available for viewing.

Language Arts

  • “When she says _______, does she mean…?”
  • “If I were Billie Jo, I would feel…”
  • “I hear what you’re saying, but I disagree. I think…”
  • “Why….?”
  • “That totally connects back to…!”

If you could peek into our Language Arts classroom as we wrap up our reading of the Dust Bowl-era historical fiction novel Out of the Dust, you’d hear students engaging in higher level discussions like the snippets listed above. What’s even more exciting is that very rarely now are these discussions prompted by me. We read a section together, and then spontaneously, the questions and insights flow out of the kids. They’re making personal connections to the characters, asking great questions, and demonstrating sensitivity toward those who lived through the economic and ecological hardships of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Their knowledge and curiosity will serve them well as they continue their study of the time period in Mr. Conrad’s upcoming 20s/30s unit.

If you haven’t conferenced with us lately, we’d love to see you! Mr. Conrad and I host conference hours every Tuesday morning from 8:30-10:00, but we’re flexible if you can’t make that time. We have students’ IB report cards for the first semester and would love to discuss your child’s progress with you.


Our classes are wrapping up the unit on World War I this week and looking forward to beginning our unit on the Roaring 20’s and Great Depression. The last work completed by the students was attempting to write a peace treaty to end the war. This provides students with the challenge of how to approach such a daunting task. They grappled with ideas such as is one country to receive and accept the blame for all to move on? If so, does that country have to pay to rebuild the devastation caused in Western Europe? They were also attempting to provide direction for the future with addressing the new technologies studied. Should chemical warfare continue to be allowed, should it be controlled, or should it be prohibited for example? These ideas really push students to think of real world scenarios.

Speaking of real world scenarios, our upcoming studies of the 20’s and Great Depression have many connections to our current times. For example, the start of the 20’s dealt with how to deal with immigration and racism from groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. There was new leadership in 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt was elected and he took our country in a new direction – sound familiar? These ideas and many more will be explored with the intent of leading students to the discovery that history truly does repeat.

Be aware of an interesting show on NBC currently – Timeless. This science fiction show brings in great American and world history in an interesting and unique format; time travel. Each week they travel back to attempt to make changes to a group that may be controlling the direction of America. This part is a bit tough to follow but the times they travel to are often connected to history we have or will study. Just last night, they traveled to the 1950’s and interacted with Joseph McCarthy. I suggest you view the show and determine if it is appropriate for your student, some themes are adult in nature and there is violence. The premise of the show gets you thinking, connecting history, and considering may “what if?” moments.


The Seven Peaks Math Team took first place this past weekend in the annual Mathcounts competition held at Crook County Middle School in Prineville. SPS sent one team of four students and one individual to compete in the competition. The members of the SPS math team were Stefanie Bartels, Kira Gilbert, Cameron Zipper, and Jimmy Plumleigh, and our lone individual competitor was Myles Sanchez. These students did a fantastic job working diligently through three rounds of math covering concepts from probability and statistics to geometry. This is the 6th title Seven Peaks has won in the competition and the second title in two years. The team will travel to Wilsonville in March to compete in the state competition. Great job Mathletes!


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Winner to receive their choice of one item from the amazing line-up of Live Auction offerings including driving a Porsche around a race track in Los Angeles. Drawing to be held March 4th at 7:30pm. Items range in value from $600 – $8,390. Only 100 tickets will be sold. Winner does not need to be present in order to win.