• Wednesday, April 19th (adults only)
  • 8:15 – 9:45 am (1.5 hours with brief discussion following film)
  • SPS 6th Grade Language Arts Classroom
  • FREE to all 

We are aware that many parents were not able to attend our evening screening this past Thursday, 4/13 due to schedule conflicts. Therefore, we are excited to offer a daytime opportunity to you to view this award-winning film about what matters most for students today. This film compliments Seven Peaks School’s movement and development of our Design and Innovation Lab opening Fall of 2017. We hope you can join us!

“The 21st century is going to be all about building, creating, and innovating. this remarkable film shows a path of how we can empower all of our children to do that.” — Sal Khan, Kahn Academy

Watch “Most Likely to Succeed” film trailer

Math

Our 7th grade classes have completed our unit on linear equations. Throughout the unit the students were asked to graph ordered pairs and equations, determine if two lines were parallel, or perpendicular, and write equations for lines given specific characteristics. The culminating activity was the summative assessment, where students had to record the drop height and bounce height of a bouncy ball. With this data they were able to create a scatterplot and write an equation that could model their data. Then they were able to use their equation to predict the bounce height of a ball dropped from 200 cm. I really enjoyed seeing their faces when we actually dropped the ball from 200 cm and they realized how close their prediction was to the actual bounce height. It was a very fun way to assess the students understanding and a great way for the students connect the math to a real life problem.

Science

After Spring Break, 7th grade students began a unit on Genetics. So far, we’ve studied the cell processes of Mitosis and Meiosis to give the students a strong foundation in the structure of DNA and chromosomes, and the role they play in making us who we are. One of my favorite ways to help students understand structure is to build models. Sometimes we use pipe-cleaners or clay, but this time we used a middle school favorite – candy! Students built 3D models of DNA using Twizzlers and colored marshmallows. This not only helps students understand the physical structure of DNA itself, but grasp the concept of complementary base pairing with the use of different colored marshmallows coding for each of the four nucleotide bases in our DNA. After successful verbal explanation of the structure and function of DNA with me individually, students were rewarded with being able to consume their DNA model. All in a day’s work (and fun) in science!

Language Arts & Humanities

The culmination of the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression unit of study for both Humanities and Language Arts went very successfully last Tuesday. The students presented their character skits to great approval and laughter from the audience of students, parents, and teachers. The goal, to teach the audience about historical characters and their connection to our studies, was easily achieved. The skits were informative, creative, and highly entertaining. Great work everyone!

In our next unit of study, students will be “drafted” into World War II for both HU and LA. This is a great unit with students learning the facts through the perspective of characters who would have lived and been involved in the war. More fun facts to come.

Math

One of my favorite units that I teach in 8th grade is our unit on quadratics. We completed the unit just before Spring Break and as a fun way to end this unit we  split into groups and launch marshmallows, gummy bears, and balls of clay from mini catapults. The students record the time the object is in the air and the distance the object traveled. With this data the students can create an equation that models the flight of their object. We then move the catapult up 150 cm off the ground and the students have to adjust their equation. With this new equation they are able to predict where their object will land. We place our target at that spot and fire away. Each group gets 4 shots to score as many points as possible (the closer to the bullseye the more points earned) and the group with the most points is the new champion and their names are placed on the coveted Catapult Contest Trophy.

Humanities

The 8th grade students have now wrapped up their Cold War work. I attempted to have them send a link to their website via email earlier this week. If you did not receive the link please ask them to show the site to you. When viewing the site pay attention to the details they have created and connections they made to the big idea of the fears and paranoia created by the war here in America. Each student wrote summaries of the different sections of the war with their interpretation explaining their understanding and connection to the Statement of Inquiry – “Distrust between nations can lead to mistrust and fear resulting in attempts to gain control of the other through scientific advancement.”

Tomorrow the students have the field trip to Redmond for the Junior Achievement Finance Park. This is a great connection to the world of personal finance they are headed toward. Students will be given life scenario including job, income, marital status, and children to work with. They then have to balance a budget with finding housing, buying a car and insurance, paying for food, clothing themselves and their children, etc. This is a real eye-opener for many and a great discussion point when they return home Monday evening. Please take that opportunity if possible.

Our next unit will begin soon on the Vietnam War. In studying the war students will form news broadcast teams, write news copy and present it on video they shoot and edit. This unit will take us to the end of the year.

Language Arts

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Last week in Language Arts, we pressed pause on the 8th graders’ personal research projects to prepare for our upcoming JA Finance site visit. Topics we’ve covered include income; saving, investing, and risk management; debit and credit, and budget. Monday’s simulation will pull all these topics together in a real-world experience that is both fun and enlightening. The students have been particularly interested in the subject of compound interest, both as it relates to savings and debt, so be sure to continue those discussions at home. They have a ton of great questions.

Stay tuned for more details on the research process as we resume that next week.

Science

After finishing our study of electricity and magnetism, 8th graders have moved into our second to last unit, Light and Sound Waves. I enjoy teaching this unit because of all the real-world applications and examples it provides every day. Students have already learned general properties of waves, and are now studying light. Next week, we’ll study vision and corrective vision measures such as contact lenses, lasik eye surgery, and glasses. We will also dissect a cow eye to give students a deeper understanding of eye anatomy and function. After finishing light, we move into sound waves and hearing where we follow a similar path of real world application-based activities. As a fun final project, students complete a short individual research project on a topic within the unit of their choosing. Some prompt possibilities include why your voice sounds different to you than someone else, how chameleons and octopus are able to change colors quickly, and why sunsets, sunrises, and rainbows are so colorful.

Our final Bend Food Project collection day took place this past Friday and we thank families who donated green bags of non-perishable foods. Our total weight collected was 973 pounds which exceeded the 708 pounds collected in February. We are happy to announce that our 6th grade students contributed 259 pounds and, due to their efforts, will be receiving a treat. But, as we all know, it is not about treats. It is about students learning compassion and awareness of the many individuals and families in Bend who need support.

In the addition to these two collection days and in partnership with Whole Foods, we provided 200 turkeys and $500 check made payable to The Giving Plate food bank during our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in November. SPS is looking forward to continuing to serve our local community in need throughout years to come! A special thanks to 8th graders, Sydney and Stephanie who assisted as part of their Community Project.

Cultivating a positive classroom community is a priority at Seven Peaks. This is why it is important to remember that the little things do matter. While academics is important, honoring and celebrating each child as a unique spirit is essential in creating a happy, respectful community of learners. We recently took pause between writing units to focus on poetry. After reading the mentor text, “The Best Part of Me” by Wendy Ewald, third graders reflected on what they considered an important part of their body, and how this part reflected who they were as an individual and what they value. It was so heart-warming to see these children so engaged in this activity, and they beamed with pride when sharing about what made them unique. I encourage you to check out the bulletin board outside the third grade classroom, which features stunning black and white images along with student-created poems celebrating the the amazing gifts of each third grader.

Art

Portraits, Clay Elephants and Weaving! With many projects in process, the third graders are in full gear using all the different parts of their creative minds as they move between mediums, wow-ing this teacher at all turns. Currently in the middle of weaving, on their own painted looms, the students are honing their skills of listening, following directions, helping each other and being patient with themselves as they see what they can do when they slow down and enjoy the process. Following this weaving unit, they will be embarking on the famous 3rd grade mask-making project using their own faces as the mold! Hold on, this is a favorite with some challenges along the way. When overcome, however, the students can’t help but be proud and excited at what they have accomplished.

Spanish

Buen trabajo, Elementary Spanish! I am so proud of all my students this year. My greatest reward in teaching them is seeing their improvement in their conversational skills and written sentence constructions we have been working on since the beginning of the year. I am definitely witnessing it in the classroom. I know some parents have shared with me their enjoyment in having their kids help, by listening and speaking, in the Spanish-speaking countries your have recently vacationed in this past Spring Break. I expect that, and told them before they left, not to be shy. However, practicing their conversational skills with strangers is never as easy as doing it in the comfort and familiarity of our classroom at SPS. I can not begin to tell you how grateful I am for the loving atmosphere, enthusiasm, happiness and the great attitude your kids bring to class everyday. Their willingness to learn, participate, and practice with their peers always goes beyond my expectations.

I would like to witness with your own eyes the progress they have made. In the next few days you will be receiving an email from me inviting you to watch them “show off” how they are developing their gift of a second language. I know they can’t wait and I hope you can find the time to come to watch them. If you are not able to attend, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to meet with you during a time that is more convenient.

The end of the school year is quickly approaching. In the final two months, I will be gradually immersing your kids further in to the language. There will be a little confusion during the first couple of days, but I know by experience they will find it a lot of FUN. Let’s all remember that, at their age, FUN plus IMPROVEMENT is what should be about! Muchas gracias for sharing and trusting all your child to me.

The fourth grade class has been studying Informational Reading and Writing for the past several months. For the final project in this unit, the class is creating a biography piece based on the life of their Touchmark senior buddy. This project requires students to apply what they have learned to create a meaningful piece based on a real person they have formed a special bond with. Our Touchmark buddies have led most interesting lives filled with triumphs and tragedies. They have experienced ups and downs and have so much knowledge to pass along to the 4th grade crew.  

To start this project the class had to formulate high-level questions based on their buddy’s early life, main accomplishments plus advice/legacy. The questions the class created impressed and surprised me because of their depth.  For example, what did you enjoy doing as a child?  Describe what your mother and father were like. If you could change anything about your life, what would you change and why? What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?  Why? What is the hardest obstacle you have faced in your life? What advice do you have for the younger generation

Last week, the 4th graders interviewed their buddies and took structured notes. As I told several parents, “ I cried at least five times”, as I walked around the room listening to the extremely personal interviews. I heard one resident detailing the challenge of having a child with a clubbed foot.  Another sharing the recent passing of her long-time love. The interviews were honest and raw.

This week we will begin drafting the actual biographies. The students will formulate their thesis statements and plan their body paragraphs. They will add in transition words, figurative language and higher level word choice. Today as I watched them sharing their ideas and pushing themselves to write more and more complex sentences, I beamed with pride because of the dedication they have to their subject matter. They care so deeply about their buddies and they want to write the  “best” piece they can. Their learning has become very personal.

Spanish

Buen trabajo, Elementary Spanish! I am so proud of all my students this year. My greatest reward in teaching them is seeing their improvement in their conversational skills and written sentence constructions we have been working on since the beginning of the year. I am definitely witnessing it in the classroom. I know some parents have shared with me their enjoyment in having their kids help, by listening and speaking, in the Spanish-speaking countries your have recently vacationed in this past Spring Break. I expect that, and told them before they left, not to be shy. However, practicing their conversational skills with strangers is never as easy as doing it in the comfort and familiarity of our classroom at SPS. I can not begin to tell you how grateful I am for the loving atmosphere, enthusiasm, happiness and the great attitude your kids bring to class everyday. Their willingness to learn, participate, and practice with their peers always goes beyond my expectations.

I would like to witness with your own eyes the progress they have made. In the next few days you will be receiving an email from me inviting you to watch them “show off” how they are developing their gift of a second language. I know they can’t wait and I hope you can find the time to come to watch them. If you are not able to attend, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to meet with you during a time that is more convenient.

The end of the school year is quickly approaching. In the final two months, I will be gradually immersing your kids further in to the language. There will be a little confusion during the first couple of days, but I know by experience they will find it a lot of FUN. Let’s all remember that, at their age, FUN plus IMPROVEMENT is what should be about! Muchas gracias for sharing and trusting all your child to me.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the buzz in 5th grade is all about BizTown! Students have been hard at work learning about personal finance, including how to write checks, use a debit card, and balance a checkbook. We’re learning about philanthropic opportunities to support people in our community that have unmet needs (perfect timing with our Ronald McDonald House service project!). In the coming week, students will explore what kind of job they might be well suited for, and the characteristics of a good employee. All this preparation will culminate in our overnight field trip to Portland where students will get to be grown-ups for a day. This is such a unique and memorable experience for our kids, where they will learn the importance of time management, working with a team, and why their parents are so tired and stressed after working all day!

As always, this experience wouldn’t be possible without the support of our awesome parent community! Thank you for driving kids across the mountain, sleeping on the floor at the zoo, and wearing highly unfashionable green aprons as you supervise and support our kids in their businesses. This is an experience your kids won’t soon forget!

Spanish

Buen trabajo, Elementary Spanish! I am so proud of all my students this year. My greatest reward in teaching them is seeing their improvement in their conversational skills and written sentence constructions we have been working on since the beginning of the year. I am definitely witnessing it in the classroom. I know some parents have shared with me their enjoyment in having their kids help, by listening and speaking, in the Spanish-speaking countries your have recently vacationed in this past Spring Break. I expect that, and told them before they left, not to be shy. However, practicing their conversational skills with strangers is never as easy as doing it in the comfort and familiarity of our classroom at SPS. I can not begin to tell you how grateful I am for the loving atmosphere, enthusiasm, happiness and the great attitude your kids bring to class everyday. Their willingness to learn, participate, and practice with their peers always goes beyond my expectations.

I would like to witness with your own eyes the progress they have made. In the next few days you will be receiving an email from me inviting you to watch them “show off” how they are developing their gift of a second language. I know they can’t wait and I hope you can find the time to come to watch them. If you are not able to attend, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to meet with you during a time that is more convenient.

The end of the school year is quickly approaching. In the final two months, I will be gradually immersing your kids further in to the language. There will be a little confusion during the first couple of days, but I know by experience they will find it a lot of FUN. Let’s all remember that, at their age, FUN plus IMPROVEMENT is what should be about! Muchas gracias for sharing and trusting all your child to me.

Family partnership is valued

  • Friday, April 28th
  • 8:00 – 9:00 am
  • Seven Peaks School Gym

Join staff and students as we honor each and every one of you for partnering with SPS. We can not express, in words only, our appreciation for the many ways our students and staff are supported by your willingness to share your time and passions. Your commitments enhance student learning and experiences. Whether you are a classroom rep, serve lunches, help with fundraising, drive on field trips, facilitate a club or elective, provide staff lunches, coach athletics, assist in classrooms and so much more, we thank you!

Enjoy socializing with fellow Peaks’ Parents while enjoying a continental breakfast, a special student performance and see what volunteer opportunities are available for 2017/2018! Hope to see you all.