Mrs. Boyd is one of our several veteran staff members. She began working at Seven Peaks School in September 2009 as a classroom Instructional Aide before she became our 4th Grade Teacher in September 2012.

Mrs. Boyd has a MA in Elementary Education and a BA in Psychology form Allegheny College. She believes a teacher’s role is to coach, guide, model, and promote student growth and learning. Her motto, “encourage every student, every day, to reach his or her highest potential”. 

As all of our staff members, Mrs. Boyd is very dedicated. She is often the first onsite in the morning and sometimes spends her weekends preparing lessons. She loves SPS for its small class sizes, parent involvement and her “awesome” co-workers and thoughtful students. She is enjoying her new position this year as our 5th/6th grade humanities/science teacher. 

Greetings Seven Peaks Families,

I want to thank you for joining us at last week’s Back to School Night. We hope the time spent with our board was beneficial and the time spent in your child’s classroom was informative. Although our teaching staff could not cover all they wanted to that evening, please know they welcome and encourage further communications with you whether it is via email, phone calls and/or face-to-face conversations.

I think it was the late 1980’s when I first read aloud to my sixth grade class Gary Paulsen’s, Hatchet. My students loved the book and so did I. It was fun coming into class after recess to read the next chapter of this adventurous story. Classics never wear out. And so it was last Friday with our 5th grade students. Many of you were at the Athletic Club to see the kids’ Hatchet inspired boats race toward the finish line. What a fun event for our school. In future years, it will be interesting to see how the design lab will hone the students’ boats and their sea-worthiness!

As I was watching the event on Friday and seeing the unbridled joy on the 5th grade faces, I couldn’t help but think how Hatchet’s classic status is like that of our school. Some things are basic and foundational. Literacy. Seven Peaks is committed to academic excellence through a strong and challenging language arts program in all grades. A well-rounded child — Our students working in teams to crate a cardboard boat that will provide enough buoyancy to reach the finish line. A sense of belonging — Along with parents and grandparents, gathering together to celebrate their accomplishments and the spirit of innovation.

So thanks for choosing and trusting Seven Peaks with your child’s education. We have a very talented and creative staff dedicated to enriching experiences for all children.

Happy October!

Kent

Language Arts with Elsa Foote

It’s hard to believe that September has already come and gone. Our first month in Language Arts has flown by, and the progress students are making already is inspiring! For the past week, students have been learning how to annotate and identify literary devices in a text, while exploring classic short fiction such as “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Annotation will continue to be a skill focus throughout our year together in Language Arts. The benefits of learning this vital skill include better retention, an improved ability to write about/discuss a text, a focus on active, alert reading and increased stamina.

Next week in Language Arts students will present their assigned short story to the class, developing their skills as professional, public speakers – a major component of the Common Core State Standards.  Upon completion of our short story unit, students will take a brief intermission to complete the NWEA test before beginning our first class novel of the year, The Outsiders.

October marks the first month for our “Book of the Month” program. In case your child hasn’t shared information with you about this component of 7th grade Language Arts, here is what you need to know:

  • Your child should be reading daily at home. There is no time requirement, but 30 minutes or more is optimal.
  • Each month students are required to read a minimum of one book outside of class.
  • The book students select should also be brought to Language Arts daily.
  • Students will select a genre for each month from the list of required genres (see the Canvas modules for this list).
  • Selecting three books per month allows students to have a backup option, if their first selection ends up not being a good fit.  

An essential part of this program is student choice: whatever your child chooses to read, make sure they are truly interested in their selection.

Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen

Our upper school students are lucky in that they get to come to the lab 3 days a week. We dove straight into teaching the upper school students the proper workflow in order to use our laser cutter. This involves learning Adobe Illustrator, a powerful and equally complex design program that is used to create projects the laser cutter can understand. Our 7th grade students tackled Illustrator and learned the basics by designing personal bookmarks as well as class norms posters to hang in their classroom. Each student got to have their bookmark design “printed” on the laser cutter, and the top 4 class norms posters were voted on and “printed” as well. With this basic Illustrator skill-set, students have a great foundation for digitally designing their future projects and are ready to acquaint themselves with the other tools in the lab.

Language Arts with Elsa Foote

It’s hard to believe that September has already come and gone. Our first month in Language Arts has flown by, and the progress students are making already is inspiring! For the past week, students have been learning how to annotate and identify literary devices in a text, while exploring classic short fiction such as “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. Annotation will continue to be a skill focus throughout our year together in Language Arts. The benefits of learning this vital skill include better retention, an improved ability to write about/discuss a text, a focus on active, alert reading and increased stamina.

This week in Language Arts students will present their assigned short story to the class, developing their skills as professional, public speakers – a major component of the Common Core State Standards.  Upon completion of our short story unit, students will take a brief intermission to complete the NWEA test before beginning our first class novel of the year, How to Kill a Mockingbird.

October marks the first month for our “Book of the Month” program. In case your child hasn’t shared information with you about this component of 8th grade Language Arts, here is what you need to know:

  • Your child should be reading daily at home. There is no time requirement, but 30 minutes or more is optimal.
  • Each month students are required to read a minimum of one book outside of class.
  • The book students select should also be brought to Language Arts daily.
  • Students will select a genre for each month from the list of required genres (see the Canvas modules for this list).
  • Selecting three books per month allows students to have a backup option, if their first selection ends up not being a good fit.  

An essential part of this program is student choice: whatever your child chooses to read, make sure they are truly interested in their selection.

Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen

Our upper school students are lucky in that they get to come to the lab 3 days a week. We dove straight into teaching the upper school students the proper workflow in order to use our laser cutter. This involves learning Adobe Illustrator, a powerful and equally complex design program that is used to create projects the laser cutter can understand. Our 8th grade students tackled Illustrator and learned the basics by designing personal bookmarks as well as class norms posters to hang in their classroom. Each student got to have their bookmark design “printed” on the laser cutter, and the top 4 class norms posters were voted on and “printed” as well. With this basic Illustrator skill-set, students have a great foundation for digitally designing their future projects and are ready to acquaint themselves with the other tools in the lab.

The sixth grade field trip to the OMSI Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray in Newport, OR was a huge success. The class learned about marine mammals, coastal forests, water/wind/waves, cephalopods, shark ecology, marine birds and most importantly each other.  Ms. Wenndorf and I experienced so many bonding moments between the sixth graders. From group skits at the campfire to kitchen party clean up, we all made memories on this trip we won’t soon forget. A tremendous thank you to our parent drivers/chaperones who made this trip possible – Heather Schock, Brian Vinkemulder, Rick with an H, Kendra Massari, Melanie Moss, Diane Dedrick, Eric Smith and Lee Haverland. We NEVER could have done this without you.

Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen

Our upper school students are lucky in that they get to come to the lab 3 days a week. We dove straight into teaching the upper school students the proper workflow in order to use our laser cutter. This involves learning Adobe Illustrator, a powerful and equally complex design program that is used to create projects the laser cutter can understand. Our 5th, 7th, and 8th grade students tackled Illustrator and learned the basics by designing personal bookmarks as well as class norms posters to hang in their classroom. Each student got to have their bookmark design “printed” on the laser cutter, and the top 4 class norms posters were voted on and “printed” as well. With this basic Illustrator skill-set, students have a great foundation for digitally designing their future projects and are ready to acquaint themselves with the other tools in the lab.

Our 5th and 6th grade classes also completed the egg drop challenge. Over two days the students came to the design lab and designed an enclosure that would protect an egg from a 10 ft fall. Having both done the challenge before, Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen were impressed by the creative solutions that were prototyped in the lab.

Additionally, our 6th graders took part in a shoe project to learn about the design cycle. The students interviewed their partner and tried to understand what they were looking for in a shoe. Once the interview was complete, the students used the design lab and our mobile design carts to prototype a shoe for their partner. After one iteration, the students reconvened with their partner to see what they liked and disliked. With diligent notes on how to improve their design, the 6th graders returned to the lab and made final revisions based on their partner’s feedback.

4th grade has spent the last couple of weeks diving deep into our study of energy. We have learned so much! Through interactive games, demonstrations, videos, and activities students now understand: what energy is (and isn’t), different forms of energy, and how energy is transferred and transformed. Some highlights were going to the design lab to explore potential and kinetic energy with marbles, ramps and pumpkins, and then going to the science lab to design to build windmill blades that would capture the kinetic energy of wind in order to generate electricity. What a fun couple of weeks!

Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen

Ms. Gaines’ 4th grade class has also enjoyed a lot of lab time. Beyond the spaghetti/marshmallow challenge, they have used the lab for a bridge building challenge and ramp experiments. 4th graders came in with the task of designing as many different bridges as possible with only one piece of paper, and each bridge had to hold 10 screws. After enough designs, students took their best one and added screws until failure. The strongest bridge held over 500 screws!

To supplement Ms. Gaines’ lessons on kinetic and potential energy, the 4th graders came to the design lab to run a ramp experiment. Students ran 3 trials of 5 different ramp heights where they timed how long it took for the ball to travel 1 meter. As a fun supplement, students learned how the law of conservation of energy prevents a mass on a pendulum (in this case, a pumpkin) from hitting their face if released from that height. Ask Mr. Lenz for some great slo-mo reaction videos!

Wow! What an eventful week in 5th grade. The kids started off the week with a few quiet, focused, all-business NWEA testing sessions. As the week progressed, we finished the novel Hatchet and began to prepare for our culminating boat-racing project. Using only cardboard and a limited amount of duct tape, the kids had to build boats that would (hopefully) carry their entire team across the length of a swimming pool. The teams of three, spent time discussing boat design, drawing models, making prototypes and finally creating their team boats. The action at the swimming pool was positive, encouraging and supportive as teams cheered each other on regardless of the nautical success of the boats. Many ships sank, but everyone had a great time!  This 5th grade class feels like a team that we could do anything with. Good thing, since this week we are all off to Camp Tamarack for yet another adventure.

Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen

Our upper school students are lucky in that they get to come to the lab 3 days a week. We dove straight into teaching the upper school students the proper workflow in order to use our laser cutter. This involves learning Adobe Illustrator, a powerful and equally complex design program that is used to create projects the laser cutter can understand. Our 5th, 7th, and 8th grade students tackled Illustrator and learned the basics by designing personal bookmarks as well as class norms posters to hang in their classroom. Each student got to have their bookmark design “printed” on the laser cutter, and the top 4 class norms posters were voted on and “printed” as well. With this basic Illustrator skill-set, students have a great foundation for digitally designing their future projects and are ready to acquaint themselves with the other tools in the lab.

Our 5th and 6th grade classes also completed the egg drop challenge. Over two days the students came to the design lab and designed an enclosure that would protect an egg from a 10 ft fall. Having both done the challenge before, we were impressed by the creative solutions that were prototyped in the lab.

How do animals’ adaptations allow them to survive in their environment? What happens when their environment changes? These are the guiding questions that drive our inquiry into animal adaptations. The third graders have been engaged in hands-on experiments that allow them to understand and experience how animal adaptations help support survival in their ecosystem. We will take our understanding of adaptations one step further as the third graders will investigate biomimicry and use this concept to design an invention to help humans. Enjoy the photo taken in the science lab this week. Students were investigating how blubber helps keep animals warm in cold waters!

Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen

The first few weeks of school brought a lot of activity to the new design lab. As new teachers to Seven Peaks, we have been working hard to understand the school, its students, and collaborate with teachers in order to integrate design thinking with their current lesson plans. So far everything has gone extremely well, and the kids’ excitement and curiosity for the design lab has made the space even more rewarding. We are finally approaching 100% as we put the final touches on the design lab space. We worked long days all summer and built the lab from scratch with the help of other staff members, students, and volunteers. Recently we shut down the lab for two days to complete the installation of a dust collection system, but now that we have it in place, we can begin woodworking projects that require air filtration to keep our lab clean and safe.