Math with Ms. Wenndorf
In 5th grade math, students are becoming masters of long division. We are making reasonable estimates, interpreting those pesky remainders, and using place value blocks and money to understand why the long division algorithm works. This group of kids has a wide range of experience and skill with division, yet they are incredibly supportive of one another. They write appropriately challenging problems for each other without judgment, offer coaching as needed, and celebrate each other’s successes. We are also intentionally working on teamwork skills, such as productive communication, equal participation, staying on-task, and prioritizing mathematical understanding. It’s rewarding to see kids take ownership for their own learning, and develop the teamwork skills needed to be successful in 6th 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!
Humanities with Ms. Boyd
A huge congratulations to the fifth grade class for collecting so many donations for The Giving Plate. The class enjoyed filling food bags, then loading them onto the Giving Plate truck, as well as dressing up and running laps during the Turkey Trot. Thank you parents and family members for all of your support and school spirit!!
In Humanities news, the fifth grade has started a Native American research project. This project will involve research, note taking, paraphrasing and synthesizing information based on a specific Native American tribe. The students will first study the region their tribe was located within and how this region’s environment affected the food, homes, clothes, ceremonies, religion and art of the Native peoples. Don’t forget, the 50 states test is on Thursday, December 21.
Math with Jeannie Wenndorf
In 5th grade math, we have been digging deep into multiplication, learning many strategies for multiplying factors. Students have been stretched to look for connections between the different strategies, and to multiply any size factors with confidence. Parents, do you know why the standard algorithm for multiplication works?? Ask your child to explain it to you!
Last week, we participated in the Noetic Math Contest, which consists of 20 very challenging problems for students to solve independently. The kids had great attitudes, truly enjoying the challenge of doing hard work! They are growing in their ability to persevere when the solution isn’t apparent, justify their thinking to one another, and make mathematical conjectures of their own to test.
Language Arts with Mr. Wenger
During the first several weeks of school we spent a lot of time establishing a strong and productive classroom community. Now, as the leaves begin to fall off the trees, we are heading into the more academic section of our school year. In Language Arts, the kids have started to work on their first personal narrative. We have introduced and practiced several writing strategies designed to help kids generate ideas worth writing about. It has been great watching the kids begin to compose stories about themes and experiences that they value! Enjoy this photo of the kids working together to prep their pumpkin for decorating to our school wide pumpkin decorating contest.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
The 5th graders have had a busy couple months in the art room. What a wonderful class of enthusiasm and creativity. So far this year we have been reviewing the elements of art as well as just completing a unit on Picasso inspired self portraits. Please visit the middle school wing soon to see your child’s fun and creative contour line drawing self portrait! Currently, we have launched into color theory and the students are busy demonstrating their color knowledge through Op Art. Please feel free to come by and visit anytime!
The fifth grade class has moved on from studying how scientists think (The Scientific Method) to understanding how matter and energy flow through ecosystems. Currently, the class is delving into a Biome/Ecosystem Mural Project featuring:
- 12 animals common to their biome. Including at least one insect, one bird, one reptile, and one mammal.
- At least 6 plants common to the biome.
- A world map: coloring in the places where their biome is located.
- A description of the basic characteristics of their biome. Average temperature (summer/winter) and the average precipitation per year.
- Labelled abiotic factors found in their biome. Also an explanation of how these abiotic factors are used or needed by the biotic factors in their biome.
- A description of the adaptations of two plants on their mural and how those adaptations allow the plant to survive in its biome.
- A description of the adaptations of three animals on their mural and how those adaptations allow the animal to survive in its biome.
- The identification of at least three different decomposers found in their biome.
- Finally, the creation of a labelled food web of plants and animals found in their biome.
This will be one intensive hands-on project that requires students to apply all of the concepts they are currently learning in a creative and interesting way.
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.
Science with Mrs. Boyd
We have jumped right into the action this week in science class with me. For our first full week of school we have been delving into the big idea: What do scientists do and how do scientists think (The Scientific Method)? On Monday, the class observed two different specimens: worms, cherry tomatoes, crawfish, raspberry branches, and a selection of fossils. On day two, we formulated a testable question based on their previous observations. On Wednesday, we developed a hypothesis and designed an experiment to test our answer. Next, each student wrote a procedure, conducted an experiment and collected data. Finally, we had to draw conclusions and communicate our results to our peers. This was a very hands-on week of thinking and behaving like scientists. As Confucius says, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
This week in science, we will conduct the Egg Drop experiment following the Design Cycle with the extra guidance and expertise of our 7th and 8th science teacher, Ms. Brannon. Watch out, it could get messy!!!!
In other news, Ms. Wenndorf and I will be heading to the coast with the 6th grade class Monday,September 25-Thursday, September 28. Mrs. Ferchland and Mr.Wenger will be covering all of the 5th grade classes while we are away.
Math with Ms. Wenndorf
I have so enjoyed getting to know this great group of 5th grade mathematicians! For the last week, we have been engaging in mathematical exploration, learning what it means to have a productive, mathematical mindset, and explicitly learning how to be a productive team member. Beginning Monday, we will dive into the 5th grade math curriculum, which begins by exploring foundational concepts of place value. You can expect homework to come home nightly (except Fridays), which will reinforce concepts taught in class, and include review questions that spiral back to important skills students tend to forget. Please join me in encouraging your student to take their time, think deeply, and communicate their thinking.
SEL with Amy Parks
Upper School started their Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons on Fridays. SEL is the process of developing the fundamental life skills needed to effectively and ethically handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work, in other words, developing the whole child. Our first lessons focused on the science behind SEL and the connection between our breath and our brains. We watched Dr. Dan Seigel show us his hand model representation of our brain/body connection and the need to be able to calm ourselves. You can see it here: Dan Seigel Hand
Students practiced communication, trust, and patience with many movement activities such as untangling themselves from a group knot, supporting each other in partner activities and learning to power through a challenging activity as they drew a star while looking at it only through a mirror. The focus is caring for ourselves and caring for others.
Benefits mentioned by students at the end of class were feeling more calm and connected! We will continue to build community, compassion for ourselves and others, and learn ways to stay focused as emotional or difficult things come up in their lives.
Welcome to the Upper School, 5th graders! Your teachers will be eagerly waiting for you in the commons at 7:50 on Wednesday morning, ready to hand you your schedule and your locker combination. Mrs. Boyd will be your homeroom teacher, so you’ll be starting your day with a familiar face in a new classroom (okay, 3 familiar faces if you include Mrs. Ferchland and M.C. Flufferton). We will be providing all the supplies you need, but please bring a backpack and a lunch to keep in your locker. We can’t wait to see all your smiling faces, and welcome our new 5th graders, Annika and Kennady!
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 this week. — Sra. Jylan Maloy
The Design Lab is welcoming all upper school students starting on day one. Their classroom teacher will join the students in a lab tour and some get-to-know Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen activities. We will model design thinking as we discuss ways to make sure that the design lab is a safe, comfortable and inspiring place for them. 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. Upper school students will be in the design lab three times per week during the afternoon, with additional time available in the morning if the lower school is not using the lab.
Welcome back to school, 5th 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 to art. I am so excited to have the 5th grade as part of our upper school this year! Looking forward to a year full of fun and creativity. My name is Hope Macauley, and for those of you who have had me in the past, my new last name will take some getting use to for all of us, me included! This year in art we will be creating with a wide range of materials and will be working through a number of art movements, looking at the masters within each. We have lots of new and exciting things going on this year from exploring and learning about our new glass kiln to utilizing the design lab as an extension of the art room! See you soon.