Math with Ms. Wenndorf
Last week, 6th grade mathematicians took their second IB math test, which assessed Criterion B, Identifying Patterns. Questions on an IB math test are leveled, meaning they start out easy, but get increasingly difficult as the test progresses. The IB grading scale is from 0 to 8. Earning a 1 or 2 means students were able to answer only the easiest questions. A score of 3 or 4 means students were able to answer some harder questions, but struggled when the questions got more complex. On the IB scale, a score of 4 is considered meeting expectations. A score of 5 or 6 means the student was able to answer more complex questions, and apply their learning to unfamiliar contexts. A score of 7 or 8 (very rare! As yet never given by Ms. W!) means the student was able to answer very complex questions, and apply their learning in an unfamiliar context using mathematical skills that were not explicitly taught.
Be sure to check your child’s math test grade on Canvas, and read the teacher/student dialogue in the comments! As always, please reach out to Ms. Wenndorf with questions, and sign up here for a conference during office hours if we haven’t yet met with you. Conferences are such a great way to connect, and help the 6th grade teaching team improve your child’s experience.
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 the music classroom at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 21st in festive Christmas attire. 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
The 6th grade class attended the world premiere of the movie, Wonder last week. The class read and deeply studied the book last year in Language Arts and are currently reading the sequel right now.
In Humanities news, the 6th grade class has started their first IB Humanities unit! Our Statement of Inquiry focus is: Civilizations have developed at different times and locations bringing about change and innovation that often influence how we view them today. Over the past few weeks, we have been learning about 5 influential ancient civilizations (the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Greeks, the Roman civilization, plus the Maya and Inca civilizations). For our first IB Summative Assessment Task, students will write a research paper highlighting, in their opinion, the three most important contributions, that three different ancient civilizations have made to our current civilization. If time allows, students may also create a historical sites/artifacts slideshow. Don’t forget, the world countries test is on Thursday, December 21.
Math with Jeannie Wenndorf
6th grade mathematicians are beginning our 4th chapter in the new Upper School math program, College Preparatory Mathematics. Here are some distinctive features of this curriculum, and why this humble 6th grade math teacher loves it:
During class your child will often be working in a small group, which is designed to encourage students to engage in mathematical conversations. Collaboration allows students to develop new ways of thinking about mathematics, increases students’ abilities to communicate with others about math, and helps strengthen their understanding of concepts and ideas as they explain their thinking to others.
Because students are expected to work together to solve problems, the main role of the teacher is to pose the big problems and be a supporting guide during the solution process. Instead of just showing a process and having students mimic it, the teacher will be introducing the concept of the day and then circulating the classroom, listening to team discussions, asking questions of teams, working with the teams as they solve the problems, and initiating a closure activity at the end of each lesson to ensure the mathematics has been summarized.
The homework is titled “Review and Preview”, and consists of five problems on a variety of topics and skills. Known as interleaving, this mixed spaced practice approach for homework leads to higher learning and better long–term retention.
If you’d like to see math class in action, you are always welcome!
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 6th grade working on murals.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
The 6th 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 through the creation of each student’s name designed on their art portfolio. Grades for this assignment, as well as comments, can be found on Canvas! Currently, we are working on a collage unit and student are developing the skills of collage making as well as creating a piece of art about self-expression. Please feel free to come by and visit anytime!
The sixth 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.
Our 6th grade music students were able to spend most of their day last Friday in the Design Lab building their unique instruments. I was super impressed with their creativity and diligence in the Lab. A special shout-out goes to Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen for all of their expertise in assisting us. We are now using those instruments and have created three individuals “bands” who are composing an original composition using their instruments. Lots of creativity is swirling in the music room these days!
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.
Science with Mrs. Boyd
We have jumped right into the action this week in science class. 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 5 different specimens consisting of worms, cherry tomatoes, crawfish, raspberry branches, and a selection of fossils. On day 2, we formulated a testable questions 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.”
Next 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, the 6th grade Coastal OMSI field trip is quickly approaching. Remember we will leave on Monday, September 25 and return on Thursday, September 28. Students are not expected to come to school on Friday, Sept. 29.
Math with Ms. Wenndorf
I am so happy to be working with your kids! 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 new 6th grade math curriculum, which will cover all of the 6th grade standards, and half of the 7th grade math standards. You can expect homework to come home nightly (except Fridays), which will always have 5 “Review and Preview” problems, reinforcing concepts taught in class, reviewing previously mastered skills, and previewing skills to come (just try!). 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.
Hello incoming 6th graders! We are super excited to see all the familiar faces of our returning students and we look forward to welcoming our new 7 peaks families into our community. We will greet students next Wednesday at 7:50 in the commons where kids can reorient themselves to opening their assigned locker. We will also let kids know which homeroom they are in and direct them to that location to start the day. All school supplies will be provided by 7 Peaks, so do not worry about showing up with anything but a positive, inquisitive attitude and a lunch. We look forward to seeing you all!
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 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, 6th 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 be exploring more “project based” learning in the music room as we experiment with homemade instruments, dramatic play and unique rhythm learning and composing – all while having tons of fun in our well-appointed music room. 6th grade is tons of fun in music and I can’t wait to get started! 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!
So excited to have the 5th grade as part of our upper school this year! Welcome back to art. 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.