It is raining knowledge in 3rd grade! We have been learning all about weather across different times and areas. We began by understanding the processes of the water cycle, then studied weather and climate. The third graders have also explored the types of tools used to measure weather. Of course, their fascination with severe weather will lead us to our next design challenge: to design a solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard. This week, we were fortunate to have Bob Shaw, our local meteorologist, come visit and tell us all about high pressure and low pressure systems. With that said, the forecast calls for a lot of engagement, excitement and learning in third grade!
Music with Mrs. Miller
Our Holiday Sing-A-Long is right around the corner! We are so excited to show our parents all the hard work we’ve done in preparing for this fun evening. Please have your student to their classroom at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 21st in festive Christmas attire (dressy is not required). Our show will begin promptly at 6:00pm and following the conclusion, we invite you to join us to walking or driving to our neighbors at TouchMark and blessing them with a few Christmas carols. We will sing 3 songs as a school community at the end of our show – and you’ll have the lyrics on your programs to take with you to TouchMark. The residents are very much looking forward to seeing us and we are excited to have this Community Partnership in giving to others. Thanks for all your support!
How rewarding it is to see kids fully engaged in the design cycle! The fruits of our labor became a reality last week, as the 3rd graders completed their fold-out table for our reading room. We took time to reflect on the entire process, from need-finding with 2nd graders, to prototyping, and finally, building. The third graders utilized many real-life math applications throughout the process, from creating and designing (using Google SketchUp, measuring, etc.) to engaging in hands-on building (using drills, saws and nail guns). As a teacher, it was an absolute joy to watch students completely engaged in high-level learning. Bravo, 3rd graders!
Our 3rd grade writers were able to feel how their work affected others; by sharing compliments and celebrating each other’s work during our small moment narrative writing celebration. Most children were thrilled, as we all are, to feel that they had made something, an artifact that can stay in the world forever. Writing celebrations help our young students regard themselves as authors in a working, thriving community of other authors. In Ralph Peterson’s book. Life in a Crowded Place (1992), he explains that celebrations contribute to our sense of belonging by helping us learn to focus on others and their achievements rather than just our own. The 3rd grade writing created during our Small Moment narrative celebration is our announcement to the world: “Look! Here we are all authors.” Enjoy these pictures of our celebration, sharing our writing with our 2nd grade friends.
We have created a strong community of learners in 3rd grade. We have formed reading and writing partnerships during our workshops. Your child’s reading and writing partners will be by their side, supporting them as they work toward their self-selected goals. If you peek into the class, you may see your child sharing their thinking about their book with their partner, or sitting side by side, sharing their writing and their plans for future writing. Learning is a social act and our peers help to lift the level of our thinking, and support us in accomplishing our goals. As readers this week, we focused on Author’s Purpose by noticing the details authors include in their stories. In reading partnerships, third graders considered and shared their thinking by asking, “Why did the author make this happen?” or “Why did the author write this part this way?” Asking and considering these types of questions allows the reader to understand the story more deeply. As we say in third grade, reading is thinking, and there is a lot of thinking going on!
Art with Mrs. Santucci
Putting color theory into practice can be a challenge, but the 3rd graders tackled the challenge with engaging results. Choosing complementary colors, and a basic shape, the students learned how to change the value of a color and had a ball mixing paint to fill in their shape. Moving from color to line, the next challenge presented was to create a collage landscape using a different line pattern for each section-foreground, middle ground, and background. This project involved detailed application of design, an overlay of paint, careful glueing and an eye for composition. They have just finished, and the result shows the time and work they put in. Next on the journey of creative exploration in art class….clay and 3D design!
The third graders are using their creativity and math skills to remodel our 2nd-3rd grade reading room! After doing some need-finding by interviewing 2nd graders and measuring the room, they learned how to use Google SketchUp to create their initial designs. SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that is easy to learn and incredibly fun to use! We also spent some time researching how to make functional furniture and storage for small spaces (think Tiny House designs), while ensuring the room environment is conducive for learning and reflecting. The students will continue to fine-tune their designs next week, and hopefully we will land on our final design and the makeover magic begins! Enjoy the photo from our measurement “practice” session!
4th grade has been working on learning meters, rhythms, the grand staff, and the note names of the lines and spaces. They’ve been doing so well that they earned a Quaver day – where they can use our amazing online curriculum to reinforce their knowledge through fun music theory learning applications.
We are also preparing for our Veteran’s Day assembly that will take place on Thursday, November 10th at 8:30am. Please make plans now to join us for this very special assembly. Ask your students about “American Tears” – they’re working hard to memorize this wonderful song honoring our veterans.
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.
The third grade classroom is buzzing with learning! The children are already showing impressive reading and writing stamina during Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, and they have been open-minded and curious as they explore math concepts. I feel fortunate to be teaching such a wonderful group of respectful learners. My motto with all the kids is, “This will be your best year ever!” Our first science unit is focusing on ecology and the interdependence of living and nonliving things. We took that idea of interdependence and used it to reflect on what each student can do to support their learning community. Each child was asked what role they will play in the success of our classroom. I encourage you to check out our hallway bulletin board which shows each child’s individual “gift” they will bring to the classroom this year.
I am so excited to unlock your child’s amazing potential this year, and make it their best year ever! Like many teachers, I have clear routines and expectations. I aim to create an environment that is welcoming and comfortable, but also stimulating to the students. With that said, for me as a teacher, cultivating a strong classroom culture is the number 1 priority. As a school, we are not just in the business of curricula, test scores, or data. We are in the business of relationships. And when relationships are the business of the classroom, the product is community and learning. Here’s to a wonderful year of building relationships, community, and learning!
I am thrilled to see you all on Wednesday morning. The classroom doors will open at 8am, and pick-up will be at 3:05. Be sure to pack snacks (we’ll have snack twice a day) and a lunch for your child. — Mrs. Jenson
Bienvenidos! I am looking forward to seeing you all following a super busy and fun-filled summer. I’m excited to start off this year with you and look forward to sharing our new Spanish classroom, which I designed with each one of you in mind! We have a great year planned with a lot of new vocabulary to learn, conversations to share and cultures to experience! Hasta luego, amigos! See you next week. –Sra. Jylan Maloy
The Design Lab is welcoming all lower school students starting on day one. Your classroom teacher will join us on a lab tour and get-to-know me, Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen. We will model design thinking as we discuss ways to make sure that the design lab is a safe, comfortable and inspiring place for all students. A common question regarding design thinking is about curriculum: It is important to emphasize that design thinking is intentionally not a stand-alone curriculum. The goal is to integrate these concepts and skills into existing units of study. My role as lead design thinking teacher is to help classroom teachers find meaningful and relevant ways to incorporate design. Lower school classes will use the design lab on an as-needed basis, with the entire morning blocks reserved for lower school use.
Welcome back to school, 3rd grade students and families! I am Mrs. Sara Miller and I am so thrilled to be your music teacher this year. This year in music, we will continue our study of recorders, xylophones, drumming, singing, dancing and playing – all while having tons of fun in our well-appointed music room. I teach Pre-K through 8th grade music at Seven Peaks as well as enjoy cooking, reading and walking in my spare time. I have a fun family of 7 that also keeps me hopping, with kids ages 16-14-10-8-5. I look forward to getting to know each one of your families – feel free to stop by the music room any time and introduce yourself!
Welcome Back Artists! Looking forward to a new adventure in art this year as we welcome new students and work in new spaces to create new things. We have one amazing art room now and we have worked hard to prepare it for all ages. I look forward to welcoming your young artist to the new space and am excited to start creating with them! Every year I am amazed at your students ability to problem solve, try new techniques and mediums and persevere through challenges to see their hard work pay off. See you soon! — Mrs. Santucci