Ms. Erica Brannon, Science
I have had a wonderful time getting to know your students over the past week! I can tell we are going to have a great year. We are diving straight into some exciting but serious topics as we start our 8th grade year. While I believe all units are important, our current unit on the Nervous System, Brain Development, and Drug Education may be an exceptionally important topic as 8th graders are beginning to grow into young adults, make more of their own decisions, and decide for themselves what their future may hold. We begin this unit by learning about our nervous system and how it allows us to perceive and respond to our world around us. Next, we spend some time learning about neuroplasticity and brain development where we learn how our brains have the amazing capacity to grow and change as we go through our lives! As adolescents, your students brains are growing, changing, and forming new connections all the time. The last part of the brain to fully develop is the frontal lobe, which is responsible for reasoning, problems solving, and decision making – this may explain why the early-mid teenage years can be some of the most interesting and challenging times for students and their parents. I hope this unit helps students to learn a little more about themselves and the changes they’re currently experiencing. The final section of this unit is on drug education, where we study the harmful short and long term effects of various drugs on the nervous system and the body in general. I’ll touch more on that in the next Highlight in two weeks, but wanted to give parents a heads up in case you have any questions about the upcoming content. In the meantime, here’s a funny graphic about the developing teenage brain☺
Mr. Greg Conrad, Humanities
Students were fantastic with their reintroduction to school routines. Working with Mr. Vallier and the middle school team they were able to create important and usable “norms” to follow. These will help lead students to success in our classes. We are beginning our first unit on the Constitution. We focus on the Bill of Rights and its connection to the mock trial we will run. Mrs. Holdredge and I have posted our office hours, Tuesdays from 8:30 till 10:00, and you can sign up via Signup.com. I look forward to seeing many of you soon.
Volunteer need! I am looking for one or two volunteers with a legal background. The volunteers will work with students in preparing for trial and one will also act as judge for the trial. I do not have exact dates yet but volunteers will be needed multiple days starting in one or two weeks. The time frame will be from 1:05 to 3:00 pm on select days Monday through Thursday and 9:50 to 11:30 on Fridays. Please consider and connect with me about your interest and availability. Thank you.
Mrs. Amanda Holdredge, Language Arts
Hey, everyone! We’ve had a productive first week in Language Arts and wrapped up our discussion of The Outsiders today. I was impressed with the students’ insights and contributions to class discussion. Tomorrow, we’ll begin laying the foundation for our Challenge of Ideas unit, in which we’ll be studying the classic short story “Flowers for Algernon.” Please stay tuned for more details…this is unit is a fan-favorite among 8th graders.
Parents, Mr. Conrad and I are now offering weekly office hours on Tuesday mornings from 8:30-10:00 (we are flexible if those times don’t work for you). Please sign up via SignUp (follow the link on the Seven Peaks website), especially if you would like assistance in navigating and understanding Canvas.
See you tomorrow night at Back-to-School night!
Mr. Joe Kenneday, Math
Hello 8th grade families. We had a great first week of school last week and I have really enjoyed catching up with the returning 8th graders and meeting our new students. Not much has been happening as far as math goes, just a lot of getting to know the students and them getting to know me and the procedures for the class. Last week we did do a little math magic in class that was supposed to be shared with you at home. For those who missed out on the magic please ask your child about the slides below. Pretty amazing tricks if your math is correct.
Bonus points for anyone who can explain why the tricks work! Bring your answer to Back to School Night.
Mrs. Melissa Landolt, Physical Education
Hello! My name is Melissa Landolt and I am your child’s physical education teacher and also the Middle School Athletic Director. This is my 7th year at Seven Peaks and my 10th year teaching PE. I am a Central Oregon native who grew up in Madras. I have lived in Bend for 15 years with my husband. I enjoy watching and playing all types of sports. During the summer I love to travel and hang out at our beautiful lakes. This year my classes are going to learn and practice many skills. They will be encouraged to be physically active, develop cooperation and teamwork, increase personal fitness and motor development, and participate in many fun games and activities. I am looking forward to a fun and active year!
Ms. Hope Royes, Art Teacher
We are gearing up for a great year in the art room! I have been teaching at Seven Peaks for 10 years now and have worked to develop and art program that allows students to explore a wide range of mediums, artists and art movements. We will start out the year with a unit reviewing the elements of art while designing each students portfolio. We have a lot of exciting projects this year and I am looking forward to getting to know each student as we kick off the school year. Please email me with any questions you might have about the art program at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in volunteering in the art room you can find the website to sign up through the SPS website under Volunteer.