The third graders are using their creativity and math skills to remodel our 2nd-3rd grade reading room! After doing some need-finding by interviewing 2nd graders and measuring the room, they learned how to use Google SketchUp to create their initial designs. SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that is easy to learn and incredibly fun to use! We also spent some time researching how to make functional furniture and storage for small spaces (think Tiny House designs), while ensuring the room environment is conducive for learning and reflecting. The students will continue to fine-tune their designs next week, and hopefully we will land on our final design and the makeover magic begins! Enjoy the photo from our measurement “practice” session!
4th grade has been working on learning meters, rhythms, the grand staff, and the note names of the lines and spaces. They’ve been doing so well that they earned a Quaver day – where they can use our amazing online curriculum to reinforce their knowledge through fun music theory learning applications.
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.
How do animals’ adaptations allow them to survive in their environment? What happens when their environment changes? These are the guiding questions that drive our inquiry into animal adaptations. The third graders have been engaged in hands-on experiments that allow them to understand and experience how animal adaptations help support survival in their ecosystem. We will take our understanding of adaptations one step further as the third graders will investigate biomimicry and use this concept to design an invention to help humans. Enjoy the photo taken in the science lab this week. Students were investigating how blubber helps keep animals warm in cold waters!
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.
The third grade classroom is buzzing with learning! The children are already showing impressive reading and writing stamina during Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, and they have been open-minded and curious as they explore math concepts. I feel fortunate to be teaching such a wonderful group of respectful learners. My motto with all the kids is, “This will be your best year ever!” Our first science unit is focusing on ecology and the interdependence of living and nonliving things. We took that idea of interdependence and used it to reflect on what each student can do to support their learning community. Each child was asked what role they will play in the success of our classroom. I encourage you to check out our hallway bulletin board which shows each child’s individual “gift” they will bring to the classroom this year.
I am so excited to unlock your child’s amazing potential this year, and make it their best year ever! Like many teachers, I have clear routines and expectations. I aim to create an environment that is welcoming and comfortable, but also stimulating to the students. With that said, for me as a teacher, cultivating a strong classroom culture is the number 1 priority. As a school, we are not just in the business of curricula, test scores, or data. We are in the business of relationships. And when relationships are the business of the classroom, the product is community and learning. Here’s to a wonderful year of building relationships, community, and learning!
I am thrilled to see you all on Wednesday morning. The classroom doors will open at 8am, and pick-up will be at 3:05. Be sure to pack snacks (we’ll have snack twice a day) and a lunch for your child. — Mrs. Jenson
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, 3rd 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 continue our study of recorders, xylophones, drumming, singing, dancing and playing – 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 to 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
As the year comes to a close, the third graders have been practicing gratitude to all those who have supported them on their educational journey. We have been engaged in activities that allow us to express gratitude toward our classmates for their important contributions. Students also have had time to self reflect and think about their very own important role in the success of the class community. So much to be grateful for.
Gratitude also grants perspective — even in kids. When you take into account the sheer amount of opportunities, privileges and material possessions most kids enjoy through no effort of their own, it’s easy to see why many of them feel entitled. Practicing gratitude, on the other hand, underscores the fact that all those toys and lessons and creature comforts don’t just pop out of thin air. When kids recognize that the things they own and the opportunities they have come from someone other than themselves, it helps them develop a healthy understanding of how interdependent we all are — and they may be more inclined to treat others with genuine respect.
Third grade would like to share their deepest gratitude to all the parents for their never-ending love and support, to the teachers for helping us grow, the volunteers for their tireless support, and our classmates for helping us thrive. With that said, we all are so grateful to be a part of this amazing learning community. My deepest gratitude to you all, and grateful for SUMMER!
Several weeks were devoted to groups learning various strategies for researching and organizing information about a specific animal. The focus of this Lucy Calkins reading unit of study was more on the process of researching than the creation of an end product. This freed us to invite the students to draw on their creativity to design and present an interactive and engaging way of sharing their research with their peers.
After brainstorming a list of possible ways to share their research findings, the groups presented their learnings through games, scavenger hunts, comics, and nonfiction documentary styled day-in-the life stories, while including key vocabulary and concepts. From here we asked the students to reflect on their group work experiences and identify, “What Makes a Supportive Learning Partner?”. We used these reflections to support additional group work. The students next paired with someone who had studied a different animal and together they identified interdependent relationships that they observed in a video on the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park (check it out!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q. This activity was a springboard for discussing humans’ role and responsibility in our global ecosystem. Students were then challenged to create an image and a powerful message to humans about their responsibility in maintaining the balance of our global ecosystem, told from the point of view of animals (either researched, or observed in the Yellowstone video.)
The concluding piece to this unit will tie back to the individual student’s reflections on his/her own role in maintaining balance in our classroom / school / global ecosystem.
Project based learning is happening in 3rd grade! To supplement our study of area, perimeter and geometry, the third graders are designing and building a miniature 3D version of a tiny house! The size of the houses will all be the same, but each student is creating a unique version based on their own ideas, imagination and application of skills.Third graders are responsible for designing and building a tiny house. It will include the layout, picking furniture, and using real-world math skills to finish the project. This project based learning activity focuses on the real-world application of math concepts used in building and designing homes, while practicing problem-solving skills (which are one of the most sought after skills in the workforce today), collaboration, and using their imagination. It allows for differentiation, so students can work at a pace which allows them to be most successful. Be sure to stop by the classroom to check out our tiny home prototypes!
The 3rd graders were deeply engaged in Earth Day activities last week! First, we had a visit from Jackie Wilson at the Environmental Center with a specific focus on water conservation. We learned that while nearly 70% of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1% of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields.
Students also engaged in the design cycle by creating a robot out of recycled materials. They first started their project by addressing an environmental problem, then brainstorming possible solutions. Once teams decided on a best solution, they drafted different robot designs with features and tools that would help solve the problem.
Finally, on Friday, SPS parent and Forest Service employee, Kevin Foss led the third graders on an informational river walk along the Deschutes River. During the walk, 3rd graders learned about sources of rivers, and how, over time, rivers change course and carve a path through the land. What a wonderful week full of hands-on learning experiences!