Our first grade class is learning about empathy through design thinking. The students interviewed and observed their parents to learn more about what their parents enjoy.Then they brainstormed ideas of things that their parents could use and appreciate, based on what they learned through the interview. They took this list of ideas and zoomed in on one that they will make in the Design Lab, and give to their parents as a holiday gift. This design thinking unit integrates in all that we have been learning in science about parents and offspring, what we’ve been learning in social studies about communities, kindness, and active listening, and our reading and writing strategies.
Music with Mrs. Miler
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!
Last Friday, the first graders walked into a classroom transformation! Their classroom had turned into Mario Kart Land. They spent the morning going through the design process as they designed cars that they would later wear for the Mario Kart math games. Their cars needed to be able to stay up on them the whole time, as well as, be able to collect gold coins. After the students finished their car prototypes, they tested them out while doing Mario Kart Math. In one game, the students were solving challenging addition problems and then finding a gold coins that had the same sums. Later, they went to the gym with their fourth grade buddies and raced to put sticky note addition problems onto the correct number posters that were all around on the gym walls. It was a day full of student engagement as they worked hard to complete a TON of math problems!
We are all about student engagement in first grade! As we work on our penmanship and spelling, why not get up and move around the room while doing it? One of the activities that we have been enjoying is “Write the Room”. The students go around the room with a clipboard, paper, and pencil, while finding the sight word task cards. Their job is to make their words look exactly like the words on the cards. Not only is this an activity on sight words, but also on paying attention to details. It is a simple activity that has the students excited to get to school early in order to get a head start on their mission to “write the room”. For every five sight words that they can make look exactly the same (handwriting and spelling) as the cards, they earn a class point. The students earn these class points through several activities where they are showing traits such as self control, perseverance, respect, responsibility, and doing their best work. When they get 25 points they can “buy” a letter for our puzzle that eventually spells out a classroom experience that they get to enjoy together, such as Pajama Day or extra project time in the Design Lab!
First grade has been working on this month’s character trait of Self Control. They have worked so hard so that they earned the opportunity to teach Silly Sally about it. Silly Sally is one of Mrs. Collins’ characters that loves to be silly but doesn’t always show self control. The students spent the day helping her show self control in her behavior and school work. They helped her rewrite her sentences correctly, put her stories in order, and even helped her build her vocabulary by explaining the emotions behind each emoji.
First grade has been loving our reading workshop time! The students have worked on finding good fit books for themselves to add to their book boxes. After learning a new reading strategy, the students spread out around the room and practice their reading strategies with books that they’re interested in. During this time they get to conference with the teacher and associate and show their growth and set goals. On Fridays, we have Flashlight Fridays, where we dim the lights and get to read with flashlights! This class LOVES to read!
With Halloween just around the corner, students are enjoying some fun Halloween songs from Quaver in class! To take a peek at one we learned, visit this link for a little “Monster Groove” http://bit.ly/2yHKvqd (do you spy the references to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?”)
Matholomew the Mad Mathematician came to visit our classroom today! Numbers had been taken and disguised as addition problems. The students helped him solve all the problems around the room to find the numbers. Then they took on a bigger challenge and used process of elimination to find some harder numbers, such as “It is not 3+11, It is not 4+9…” until there was one number left. This first grade class solved a ton of math problems while giggling and using their imaginations!
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.
Ms. Collins’ 1st grade class has enjoyed a lot of lab time. They started out by coming to the lab with a classroom table that needed the legs to be cut. After giving input on the best procedure, 1st graders measured the legs and disassembled the table so that Mr. Lenz could demonstrate the band saw, which he used to cut the legs to size.
We have had an amazing start to this school year. Our focus had been on being problem solvers as we establish our classroom community. One of our coffee tables was so tall that we had to stack up the pillows to sit at it. This was not leaving enough pillows for everyone. We recognized this problem. Then the students interviewed each other to find the need, and discovered that the table was too tall to sit at with pillows. They then brainstormed lots of amazing ideas and came to the conclusion that we should cut down the legs of the table to be at the correct height. The students measured and we decided to take 5 inches off the bottom of each of the four legs. They all helped carry the solid wood table down the hall to the design lab where they learned about safety, tools, and saws. Then we were able to solve our problem by cutting down the legs to make our table the perfect height for all of us to sit at together while each using one pillow.
Welcome Back! We are so excited to get this school year started! A lot of time has been invested in preparing our classroom and now we can’t wait for it to be filled with collaboration, laughter, curiosity, and learning! This year will be focused around empathetic thinking within communities. We will learn about all types of communities and how we can be problem solvers, and it starts right here in our own classroom. Our Woodland Fort Classroom will be full of adventure this year as we gain valuable 21st century skills! We’ll see you on Wednesday at 8:00am! — Mrs. Collins & Ms. Tami
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 1st grade students and families! I am Mrs. Sara Miller and I am so thrilled to be your music teacher this year. In music, we focus on being tuneful, artful and beatful 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, work in new spaces and 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