One of the core NGSS science standards for second grade is “Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.” In collaboration with Ms. Brannon, the second graders have been bringing this concept to life! They explored the steps of the scientific method by first observing plants around school that are in various conditions. They made a hypothesis of what makes plants grow, based on these observations. Next, they identified which variables they would be testing and observing. One team is exploring sunlight by keeping one plant out on the windowsill and one inside of a dark closet. The other team is exploring the variable of water by not watering one plant and normally watering a second plant. Every few days, we venture down to the science lab to observe and record what has been happening. We’ve been working on using descriptive, scientific language when completing this experiment. We will then use this new knowledge to help keep plants thriving both in the classroom and in the greenhouse. Science is all around us!
Music with Mrs. Miller
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?”) We are also preparing for our Veteran’s Day assembly that will take place on Thursday, November 10th at 8:30am. Please make plans now to join us for this very special assembly. Ask your students about “American Tears” – they’re working hard to memorize this wonderful song honoring our veterans.
Our first unit in second grade is community building. To begin, we focused on our roles and responsibilities in the classroom. We looked at the school-wide expectation of RISE and interpreted them in terms of what this looks like in second grade (come see our display in class). We also defined what jobs were needed in class so that there is a shared responsibility among all of us. We then started discussing how to handle conflict, an inevitable part of being in a community. After reading some texts, we defined our own ways of managing conflict when it arises. Our strategies include walking away, ignoring the person, saying no/stop firmly, asking them how they would feel in the same situation, inviting them to play, and asking for help. Finally, we have been exploring both positive and negative consequences of choices we make in everyday situations. It has been a great connection to our core virtues of respect and responsibility!
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. Blunda’s 2nd grade class joined us early on with their cubby project. Students partnered up and interviewed each other about what they would like in their cubby. Ideas ranged from shoe holders, to shelves and curtains. The idea was to have 2nd graders learn how to empathize and understand their “customer” which is a key facet of the design process. Once interviews were complete, they came to the lab over several days to plan, measure, and construct their partner’s cubby accessory.
The second graders dove right into the design cycle and were proud to be the first class to take on a project in our new Design Lab. The challenge: design an ideal cubby for a classmate. They began the first phase, Empathize, by getting to know a classmate and identifying their needs through an interview. Mr. Lenz helped them move into the next phase, Define, by expressing the biggest need their partner had in their cubby. The three primary cubby needs that arose during the process were: privacy, decoration, and hook/shelf organization. Next came the Ideate phase where they brainstormed and sketched different ideas. During the Prototype stage, they had to get rulers out to measure the dimensions of the cubby in order to being creating. Over several days, work continued both in the design lab and in the classroom. They learned patience as they saw that good things take time! As the students finished what they were making, they continued to check in with their partner and test to ensure that it met their needs. What an exciting first engagement in the design process! Feel free to come check out the cubbies outside of the second grade classroom to see the spaces come to life.
Welcome/Benvenuti to all of our second grade students and families! I feel so honored to be joining the Seven Peaks community, along with several other new friends in second grade: Peter, Addison, Cade, Graham, Lily, and Russell. I’d also like to introduce you to our class mascot (see photo), whose passion is to sit and read with anyone and everyone. Start thinking of what we can name him!
What I value most in education is building relationships and community, both with students, parents, and our town. With a safe, structured, and welcoming classroom, we can all feel confident in taking risks, thinking critically, making mistakes, and as a result, learning and growing without limits!
On Wednesday (and the rest of the year), the classroom doors will open at 8:00 and close at 8:15 to begin instruction. Make sure to pack a healthy snack, lunch, and a big smile!
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, 2nd 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 and 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
It’s hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close! In these final weeks, second graders have wrapped up their learning about money and are now exploring measurement and time. As summer nears, they are reminded that the world is full of learning and to see their environment as an opportunity to think deeper: to add/subtract toy prices at the store, use sidewalk chalk to count change, compare angles/vertices on different pieces of playground equipment, measure the length of a popsicle (before eating it!). This summer, students are encouraged to take learning outside and get creative!
Please be on the lookout for a summer homework packet coming home with your child. It is imperative that your child continue to work on math/reading/writing skills over the summer in order to not regress. It has been a fantastic year full of smiles, tears, challenges, ah-ha’s, Growth Mindset moments, and most of all, FUN!
Second graders truly embraced a Growth Mindset when competing in the Noetic Learning Math Contest last month. This 45-minute, 20-question paper/pencil exam put their critical thinking skills to the test as they tackled different types of problems. Leading up to the April exam, students met in small groups to review previous test questions and discuss various solving methods. The goal of the contest was for students to further develop their problem solving strategies and to ultimately understand that math is FUN! The national results were posted beginning of May, so parents and extended family members joined us last week for an awards ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments. This test was optional and out of 15 students, 14 chose to participate! Of the 14, 4 made “National Honorable Mention” (they scored in the top 50% in the country) and our top scorer, Jonas M., received a “Team Winner” medal. Each student who participated demonstrated a powerful shift in their mathematical abilities, Growth Mindset, and overall confidence…all evidence of true accomplishment!
Wrapping up our Simple Machines unit, second graders partnered with their fifth grade buddies to build a z-pulley on the playground! First, students tried lifting a fifth grader off the ground with only one pulley. Even with all their strength, the fifth grader did not budge off the ground. By creating a z-pulley, with two pulleys and two Prusik knots, students discovered that you can use less force if that force is extended over a longer distance. It was a great opportunity for students to learn, firsthand, how z-pulleys are used in crevasse rescue situations to make work easier.
Second graders immersed themselves in a week full of Earth-focused activities. The week began with a presentation from the Environmental Center. Students (and teachers) were shocked to learn that 500 tons of garbage are dumped into our Bend landfill every DAY! Students also discovered that not all items that “should” be recyclable actually are. This FAQ page helps to de-mystify/answer recycling questions in Deschutes County. Students then created paper mache globes, a messy and fun art project. Individually, each student brainstormed three different “commitments” he/she could make to protect the Earth better: use fewer plastic bags, conserve water by taking shorter showers, or using a reusable water bottle (to name a few). Students attached these “commitments” to the bottom of their paper mache globe as a way to remember their choices have a big impact on the Earth and those around them. The week finished off with students bringing in recyclable material to create a “Recycled Robot to help conserve Earth’s resources.” Full of curiosity, creativity, and perseverance, students set out to create robots that would save animals, plant seeds, and grow grass. Each group worked through the design cycle and inspired one another to problem solve and collaborate together throughout the process.