8th graders entered another science rotation after the New Year where we began a study of Motion and Forces. This unit is our first of three physics-focused units where we’re able to make many connections to the real world and participate in many hands-on activities and labs in class. The unit culminated with a student favorite, designing and launching homemade bottle rockets, where we combined all the knowledge and understanding of forces and motion into a fun and hands on lab.

In PE, the first unit of the year was Invasion Game Creation. Students were able to create their own invasion game and teach it to the rest of the class. The second unit was badminton. Along with skill development, students learned rules and terminology of badminton. We had a lot of fun playing in tournaments and putting skills into practice.

7th graders entered another science rotation after the New Year where we began our study of cell structure and function. This unit is full of hands-on activities and real world applications, and provides students with a strong foundation for our next unit on Cell Division and Genetics. One of the highlights of this unit is the time spent learning how to use microscopes and looking at various cells underneath them. At the end of the unit students spent time focusing on our IB Global Context of Scientific and Technical Innovation while we studied stem cells and their various applications in the medical field.

In PE, the first unit of the year was Invasion Game Creation. Students were able to create their own invasion game and teach it to the rest of the class. The second unit was badminton,  Along with skill development students learned rules and terminology of badminton. We had a lot of fun playing in tournaments and putting skills into practice.

In science news, the 6th grade has just completed IB Criterion A (Knowing and Understanding) in regards to Space Systems, by creating an 11 paragraph mural on Our Solar System. The murals are quite complex, comparing relative sizes of the main objects in our solar system, as well as their massive distances from each other. Group members were also asked to write paragraphs about each of the 11 main objects, choosing their most in depth as their IB focus paragraph. These paragraphs not only explain facts about the planets, but have specific details and in depth scientific explanations and judgements. For example, why does Uranus have rings and why does it orbit so slowly around the Sun? The last part of this Space Systems unit, focuses on a second IB Criterion D (Reflecting on the Impacts of Science). During this project the students will be asked to choose a related space topic/issue of their choice, then:
  • Summarize the ways science is applied to solve this problem
  • What are the implications of this application
  • Use scientific language, clearly and precisely
  • Document sources correctly
In addition, the 6th grade class is taking a visit to the Worthy Observatory in Bend to get a private sky viewing by Grant Tandy, Observatory Manager. This will be a great way to end this awesome Space Systems IB unit.

In science news, the fifth grade class is finishing up our Earth Systems unit with an in depth study of our local hydrosphere here in Bend. This week the class conducted a hands-on experiment testing samples of water from our school’s drinking fountain and from the Deschutes River. Our results were very positive and matched the majority of our predictions, we have a very healthy hydrosphere!! We also had a visitor, Kolleen Miller, from the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council stop by to discuss our local watershed and the importance of protecting it.

In the Design Lab, the fifth grade had another special visitor, Cassandra, who stop by to be interviewed for our new design challenge: How can we support a local Special Olympian or Paralympian? When completing a design cycle is it important to understand and be empathetic towards your user and their needs. The fifth grade class created, then asked our visitor many deep level questions, in order to better understand what it is like to have challenges in life and the satisfaction you feel when you overcome them. In addition, we brainstormed ways we could help this athlete reach her Olympic goals. Our ideas are coming together and it looks like a Carnival Fundraiser may be coming to SPS soon!!

Fifth grade has been learning basic skills, rules and the positions of basketball. To maximize class involvement they will play modified versions of the game. We will continue to focus on fitness, sportsmanship and the importance of following the rules.

The 4th grade students have been learning about natural disasters caused by plate tectonics, as well as non-fiction research reading and notetaking and our current design project wonderfully combines both skills. Students started their project by utilizing research skills to investigate the challenges to the current natural disaster warning systems.  Through their research students found out that the main challenges for Tsunami, Earthquake, and Volcanic warning systems are: getting the word out in rural and poor areas, knowing where and how to evacuate, and getting the evacuation message out in time.  Once the students discovered the needs they then set about brainstorming and prototyping solutions to the problems.  The students have created new and improved ideas for warning systems which include apps, siren drones, digital informational signs, underwater cameras, sleek warning watches, and so much more. After the students pitch their ideas to each other we will be mailing off the ideas to the Red Cross and FEMA.  Children really can change the world.

Our first unit in PE this year was frisbee.  The focus being on throwing and catching.  Students have also been increasing their fitness levels by running, exercising and playing a variety of tag games.  The 4th graders are currently practicing their basketball skills.

The third graders have been immersed in learning all about local government! Students researched and reported on the various services the local government provides, and engaged in a design thinking challenge to help solve the city of Bend’s parking problems. We had a local law enforcement visitor, Officer Krauger, speak to the class on Wednesday, and on Friday, we visited Bend City Hall. My hope is that each child will understand the important role our government plays in keeping the community safe and productive, as well as the role each citizen plays in making our community a better place.

We have been keeping it moving in 3rd grade PE! The year started with a review of basic PE procedures and we quickly progressed to skill development and playing games. The kids have been working hard on their basketball skills in our current unit.

As a culminating activity for our inquiry into the Earth and how it has changed over time, the second graders took a field trip to the High Desert Museum. They participated in a Discovery class focused on erosion. Our program leader was impressed by all that our students already knew! To further their understanding, the kids played a game simulating the movement of water on Earth and used a dirt/mud box to better visualize water erosion. The students investigated the difference between a straight stream and a meandering/curvy stream in terms of erosion, and then they were put to the test. They were asked to design a solution that would prevent or stop erosion from happening. Using a variety of materials, the students came up with clever creations and then tested their system’s effectiveness. We love field trips and how they add to our growing knowledge of the Earth!

Second grade has been practicing a variety of skills in PE.  Our focus has been hand eye coordination, moving safely in open space, dodging and fleeing, starting and stopping, and teamwork!  We are currently in a basketball unit.

First grade math is action packed and balanced with stations where we work on procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, and real-life application. This last week at the conceptual understanding station, the students filmed themselves teaching how to regroup when adding double digit numbers. They used manipulatives to represent how we trade in ones for tens. They were amazing teachers that showed great higher level thinking in their ability to explain what regrouping is and how it works. While they were filming, one group was working at the real-like application station with Mrs. Collins, using their knowledge of addition and subtraction to solve real-life math problems that may occur in the school. The rest of the students were at the procedural fluency station racing the computer with their math facts. All the students get to participate in every station, as they rotate through all three stations each day.

First grade PE has been action packed by practicing skills and learning how to jump rope.  We have been playing many types of games that require hand eye coordination. Students have also been working on dodging and fleeing by playing variations of tag.