MUN Conference is coming to SPS soon
If your teen has seemed a bit more argumentative of late, it may be due to our current studies on the art of argument. During the past month of Language Arts, students studied the vast array of persuasive techniques employed by authors and speakers. Students were challenged to put these techniques into practice by creating “mini” commercials. The products students chose to sell ranged from laundry products (including Tide Pods, of course) to humorous, fictitious products, such as the “butter stick.”
Our unit will conclude with Seven Peaks’ first ever Model United Nations (UN) Conference. The Model UN conference will be a collaborative project between Humanities and Language Arts and will involve students in “substantial researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, as well as critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership” (bestdelegate.com).
Look for more information about our Model UN Conference coming in the next few weeks. We can’t wait to host our parents as students participate in this valuable experience, addressing real-life issues and employing their best persuasive techniques!
Welcome to 2nd semester, with a special welcome to Nick Atkin (and family!), who has joined our 6th grade class. To mix things up a bit, the 6th graders have sorted themselves into new homeroom groups. As a teaching team, we believe that giving students choice and ownership in their learning is both important and empowering. We want our kids to reflect on who they are as learners, have skills to set themselves up for success in the classroom, and be supportive of one another in reaching their learning goals. We know that when students feel safe and valued, they will thrive as learners. These pictures how our new homeroom teams participating in a balloon tower challenge, as they work on becoming a productive team.
The 6th grade was also well represented at the ice skating social last weekend, which was a great opportunity to play together, take risks both socially and physically, and build community. We recognize that the middle school years can be emotionally taxing for kids (and their parents!), and feel grateful to partner with you in raising up our kids. Let’s continue to work together in teaching our kids to navigate conflict in relationships, build resilience, and create a community where everyone belongs. We are the village!
Art with Mrs. Macauley
6th Grade art has been surreal lately! Students studied the surrealism movement from the 1920’s, with Salvador Dali, through modern day surrealism artist such as, Vladimir Kush. Students took their knowledge gained of the movement and created their own interpretation of the subconscious mind. Surrealist artists and writers alike, believed that our dreams and subconscious thought held more importance than our logical state of mind and created strange and fun art that represented this ideal. The 6th graders had fun getting weird and discussing dreams and random thoughts. Their mission was to create realistic looking objects or scenes with something distinctly out of place! The idea is that we are looking through their “shades” into their subconscious mind! Look for this fun and random art in the middle school wing!
Welcome to 2nd semester!
Our 5th grade mathematicians are getting a taste of pre-algebra, with an introduction to variables, order of operations (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, anyone?), generalizing patterns with algebraic expressions, and using algebraic thinking to solve complex problems. This unit is foundational to student success in middle school math, and it’s fun to see and hear the buzz in the classroom as students work collaboratively to wrap their heads around this new way of thinking about problem-solving.
It was great to see so many 5th graders at our ice skating social last weekend, playing together, taking risks together, and enjoying each other. What a gift for students to be in this Seven Peaks environment, developing healthy relationships with their teachers, and with each other, as they enter their middle school years. Thank you, as always, for partnering with us in educating your kids.
Art with Mrs. Macauley
In 5th grade art the students have been working hard to finish up their renaissance prints. They learned all about renaissance architecture as well as collagraph printing and then combined their knowledge to create beautiful collagraph prints. Look for the prints hanging in the Upper School wing! We have since launched into our ceramic heritage heads unit, which started with a family interview about each student’s ancestry (hopefully this sounds familiar:). Once information is collected each student will find a way to honor their heritage in their work, creating a ceramic interpretation of someone from their heritage!
Becoming stronger writers
The 3rd grade classroom was transformed into a setting fit for a Fairy Tale writing celebration! The 3rd grade writers have produced pages of writing, tackled multiple revisions, learned from a variety of mentor texts, and perhaps most importantly, studied how to tell and write a good story! This writing unit stemmed from the oral tradition of fairy tales, providing children with the opportunity to read their published fairy tales to others. Not only have these third graders transformed into excellent fairy tale writers, they have become stronger writers in general. The things they have learned about writing strong fairy tales are things they will carry with them as they write other stories throughout the rest of their lives.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
It’s all about African Masks in art class these days. We started out by talking about the use of masks in cultures around the world and specifically Africa. Then we set about designing our own style of African mask on paper. Once the students had a design, their job was to create this into a 3D piece of art using paper and cardboard,. Once they created a form, paper mache paste was adhered to solidify it. The students are currently in the middle of this project and are excited to move onto the paint and pattern stage as paper mache paste can be quite messy. The most fun part of this project is watching the student’s creative minds at work to come up with unique pieces that still fit within the parameters of the lesson.
Break a leg, second grade!
After weeks of working hard with their book clubs, it was finally time for our second graders to take the stage. Each of the three groups performed a “twisted fairytale” by looking at a traditional story from a different lens. For example, one group told the story of the three little pigs from the wolf’s point of view. A second group imagined what would happen if the fairy godmother left her assistant in charge, and the third shared a new adventure of the gingerbread man. Before performing, the students practiced many times to ensure they were fluent readers. They thought about the volume of their voice and how they could change their voice depending on the content. They also created costumes and sets to bring the stories to life. The theater was such a hit that an encore was demanded and the students performed for their PreK, Kinder, and 3rd grade friends as well as their parents! Bravo!
Art with Mrs. Santucci
Zentangles!! Yes, this is what has been filling the time of our 2nd graders recently. They have learned all about this fun style of doodle design and have practiced and created their own beautiful pieces! We will culminate this unit in some beautiful zentangle decorated fish that will be a part of their class auction piece. Look for this bright yet simple piece at the online auction on March 5th. We have had so much fun making art while learning how to create beautiful line patterns.
Creating handmade gifts
This has been an exciting week with Valentine’s Day and the 100th day of school. The first graders used these holidays to practice what we have been learning in science and social studies. The students went through the design thinking process to create their Valentine boxes. Then, with a focus on kindness, we worked on our social studies trait of collaboration by interviewing each other and designing balance toys to give as gifts. We also blended the two holidays together by coming up with 100 Acts of Kindness that we did around the school.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
The first graders have been busy learning all about famous artists who have shaped the art we see around us today. They loved studying about Henri Matisse, his bright colors and simple shapes, and have had a ball trying their hand at cutting shapes from large colorful paper. It is so fun to just start cutting and then see what interesting shapes emerge. They each created their own piece of art then worked together to create a beautiful Matisse style piece of art for our annual auction. Look for it online on March 5th!
We are continuing our artist studies with Wassily Kandinsky and are exploring his expressionist used of line, shape and color and how we can show emotion in our art. When you see these pieces, ask your student what emotions or feelings they wanted to show when they created it.
Dodgeball in the classroom!
Kindergarteners were invited into our middle school to participate in a special kind of game called Gaga Ball. Gaga Ball, also known as Israeli dodgeball, is played with a circular court, one ball, and an undefined number of players. Middle school students have been designing a Gaga court as a new playground structure during their Design Elective and wanted to test their prototype court in a classroom with the kindergartners. The game was so well received, the court is now in construction phase and will soon be seen on our playground. Thanks middle school students for introducing us to a new and exciting game!
Art with Mrs. Santucci
It’s all about castles and fairy tales in art right now. We learned how to draw castles adding extra elements to make them look like they have dimension. The kids enjoyed adding their own personality to the pieces by choosing to add things like windows, flags and a variety of other details.They finished them off with bright watercolor paints. Moving forward, these young artists will create a 3-dimensional castle using wood pieces and paint. It will be so much fun to see what they create with their vivid imaginations and a few materials! Look for these in the art show coming up in May.
We are LOVING LEARNING in Pre-Kindergarten!
This week we celebrated our love for science with some hands on science inquiry. We talked about which Valentine’s candies might sink and which float and discussed the different properties that each candy had that made them sink or float.T he kids formed their own hypothesis, collected data and wrote the results of what they found from their experiments.
On Friday, we celebrated the 100th Day of School with our Kindergarten friends and our 2nd grade buddies. Our day together was spent learning about ways to make 100 and groups of 10 by graphing, sorting, adding, measuring and even using some geometry. The highlight of our celebration was the 100 exercises we did with our Kinder friends! We have all worked so hard in these first 100 days of school! It’s been so fun to see what a LOVE for learning our sweet little ones have!
Art with Mrs. Santucci
It’s all about castles and fairy tales in art right now. We learned how to draw castles adding extra elements to make them look like they have dimension. The kids enjoyed adding their own personality to the pieces by choosing to add things like windows, flags and a variety of other details. They finished them off with bright watercolor paints. Moving forward, these young artists will create a 3-dimensional castle using wood pieces and paint. It will be so much fun to see what they create with their vivid imaginations and a few materials! Look for these in the art show coming up in May.