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!
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.
The 7th grade mathematicians have entered into a unit of data. They are working hard to understand the realities and limitations of real-world data collection, intrinsic error, representative populations, and the various sampling methods. That’s just the beginning, of course! The real fun begins with data analysis, and your “statisticians” are mastering implementation of the many visual representation tools and how to decipher the story that the data is telling. “Data is just data, let it lead you to valid and reliable inferences” is one of the many phrases they are becoming familiar with, as they work hard to understand the need for objectivity when building their critical analysis skills.
Humanities with Mr. Conrad
Our 7th and 8th grade Humanities mock trials were both a wonderful success. The prosecution and defense teams in both classes presented their cases like an episode of Law and Order – “bong-booong.” Using critical thinking skills and collaborative teamwork the classes prepared for trial by writing opening statements to introduce their team perspective to the jury, created detailed questions to promote evidence to support their case using their own witnesses, determined what questions could be asked on cross-examination to attempt to trip up the opposing team, and plead their case using facts and emotion to assert their team perspective of guilty or innocent. Each and every student played their role perfectly presenting the jury with a tough decision. The trial centered around the charges that “JC Roberts” possessed, and possessed with the intent to sell, anabolic steroids. In 7th grade, the defendant was found guilty on one count and not guilty on the other. In 8th grade, the defendant was found not guilty on both counts. The trial was very professional and I loved Geoff Chackel’s comment that our students literally out-performed actual attorneys he’s seen in court. I see some future attorneys in our classes.
I appreciate the large gallery of parents and relatives who came to view the trials. That support truly helps students understand your interest and encouragement in their studies. I also thank all volunteers who helped prepare students and those who sat on the jury, we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.
“W🍀W. So well organized. Love how the students take it so serious. I can tell they are growing up. Thanks for being such positive role models. I can see the respect”.
❌⭕️💜🍀 — Quote from Nancy Hoffman
Humanities with Mr. Conrad
Our students are engrossed in preparing for our mock trials on December 21st. Both 7th and 8th grades are currently working to go to trial on a case involving suspicions, uncertainties, possible lies, and the illegal use of anabolic steroids to improve the performance of a high school track student. Students have written opening statements, are currently writing questions for witnesses, and will compose closing arguments all in prep for the trial. These are all complex and challenging ideas that require teamwork and critical thinking.
In preparation, our students visited the Deschutes County Courthouse last Tuesday and Wednesday and were able to view video arraignments and speak to Deschutes County presiding judge, Alta Brady. This, in my humble yet correct opinion (yes, that’s supposed to make you laugh) was a fabulous extension of the real world into the classroom. Students were able to ask Judge Brady questions and learned that the process we are going through is very connected to actual criminal trials. It was also the opportunity to ask questions about possible careers in law and to see the complexities of court. I feel an impactful experience for our students was how many young people were in jail awaiting trial, many commented on how young the defendants were.
Speaking of defendants, our 7th grade student on trial is Jack Duettra and our 8th grade student on trial is Jaxon Giordano. Come watch the trials and consider volunteering to be on the jury to decide their fate. A reminder email and request for jurors will be sent next week, I hope many will be able to attend the trial.
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 Mrs. Foote
Over the past few weeks, the 7th graders have inspired me with their thoughtful engagement as we study the seminal coming-of-age novel, The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton’s timeless exploration of identity development amid the forces of peer pressure has resonated with many students as they, too, attempt to “stay gold.” In preparation for their first I.B. assessment, students have been crafting personal narratives about a pivotal moment in their life that has shaped their identity. This topic has been challenging for many students, due to its intimate nature. However, I am happy to report that I have been blown away by each student’s ability to craft a powerful, personal story.
Science with Erica Brannon
We are now fully immersed in our Chemistry unit! So far we’ve covered the basics of atomic structure and types of chemical bonds, providing us with the foundation to start the fun part of this unit next week: chemical reactions! As an extension of our chemical bonding activity, students learned how difficult it is to break the covalent bonds that hold water molecules together. We succeeded when we tried using electricity through the process of electrolysis – the bubbles in the attached picture means the water molecules were being broken down into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas! Students have been hard at work using various models of atoms at at each stage of our discovery process. Models of our scientific topics are extremely useful when the real thing is either too big or too small to actually use in class, and we’ll continue to use these throughout the year.
Science with Ms. Brannon
Hi 7th grade families! I am so happy to have finally started a science rotation! I’ve loved getting to know each and every one of your children over the past week, and I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know them better as we learn about some exciting science topics. We are currently almost finished with our introductory science unit covering the scientific method to prepare us to think like scientists and to be able to excel during the next two years in the IB program. After this unit concludes, we’ll dive into Chemistry where we study atomic structure, chemical reactions, and applications of chemistry.
Language Arts with Mrs. Foote
Grammar, usage, and mechanics – words that typically inspire shuddering and groans from students. Last week, students were introduced to my Harry Potter-themed “Grammar House Cup.” I am thrilled to report that I have seen tons of enthusiasm from students about this addition to Language Arts. Starting next Friday, each student will work on completing an individualized “game board” focusing on a grammatical skill set. The game board will lead students through a variety of self-paced activities to strengthen and improve their writing. In addition, students can earn points for their “house” by catching grammar and spelling mistakes in the real world.
In the coming weeks, we will continue our novel study of The Outsiders, which is part of our larger unit on identity. Over the course of this unit, students will develop their craft as narrative writers and improve their ability to read classic fiction. My hope is that each student will complete the unit knowing and understanding that our identities are a product of our experiences, relationships and the choices we make.
Math with Mrs. Hovey-Vicknair
We are settling into our new math schedules this week and charging forward into more complex representations of linear relationships. I can already tell with the smaller class sizes that we are capable of deeper understanding and more “aha” moments. This week we are solidifying conceptual understanding and procedural fluency working with single variable linear equations and entering the realm of the “multi-variables”. Our initial work with manipulatives and multiple representations of data should lend nicely to grasping the idea of multi-variable linear equations. We also are continuing to make connections to linear relationship found in the real world.
Art with Mrs. Macauley
The 7th graders have had a busy couple months in the art room. 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 wrapping up a collage unit that will become your students customized sketchbook cover and beginning to plan for the quickly approaching Empty Bowls unit. Empty Bowls is a local fundraiser to raise money for the local organization, Neighbor Impact, to help the less fortunate in our immediate community. There is a Canvas announcement posted on the art page with all the details if you would like to attend the event! Please feel free to come by and visit the art room anytime!