The sixth grade class has moved on from studying how scientists think (The Scientific Method) to understanding how matter and energy flow through ecosystems. Currently, the class is delving into a Biome/Ecosystem Mural Project featuring:
- 12 animals common to their biome. Including at least one insect, one bird, one reptile, and one mammal.
- At least 6 plants common to the biome.
- A world map: coloring in the places where their biome is located.
- A description of the basic characteristics of their biome. Average temperature (summer/winter) and the average precipitation per year.
- Labelled abiotic factors found in their biome. Also an explanation of how these abiotic factors are used or needed by the biotic factors in their biome.
- A description of the adaptations of two plants on their mural and how those adaptations allow the plant to survive in its biome.
- A description of the adaptations of three animals on their mural and how those adaptations allow the animal to survive in its biome.
- The identification of at least three different decomposers found in their biome.
- Finally, the creation of a labelled food web of plants and animals found in their biome.
This will be one intensive hands-on project that requires students to apply all of the concepts they are currently learning in a creative and interesting way.
Our 6th grade music students were able to spend most of their day last Friday in the Design Lab building their unique instruments. I was super impressed with their creativity and diligence in the Lab. A special shout-out goes to Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen for all of their expertise in assisting us. We are now using those instruments and have created three individuals “bands” who are composing an original composition using their instruments. Lots of creativity is swirling in the music room these days!
The sixth grade field trip to the OMSI Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray in Newport, OR was a huge success. The class learned about marine mammals, coastal forests, water/wind/waves, cephalopods, shark ecology, marine birds and most importantly each other. Ms. Wenndorf and I experienced so many bonding moments between the sixth graders. From group skits at the campfire to kitchen party clean up, we all made memories on this trip we won’t soon forget. A tremendous thank you to our parent drivers/chaperones who made this trip possible – Heather Schock, Brian Vinkemulder, Rick with an H, Kendra Massari, Melanie Moss, Diane Dedrick, Eric Smith and Lee Haverland. We NEVER could have done this without you.
Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen
Our upper school students are lucky in that they get to come to the lab 3 days a week. We dove straight into teaching the upper school students the proper workflow in order to use our laser cutter. This involves learning Adobe Illustrator, a powerful and equally complex design program that is used to create projects the laser cutter can understand. Our 5th, 7th, and 8th grade students tackled Illustrator and learned the basics by designing personal bookmarks as well as class norms posters to hang in their classroom. Each student got to have their bookmark design “printed” on the laser cutter, and the top 4 class norms posters were voted on and “printed” as well. With this basic Illustrator skill-set, students have a great foundation for digitally designing their future projects and are ready to acquaint themselves with the other tools in the lab.
Our 5th and 6th grade classes also completed the egg drop challenge. Over two days the students came to the design lab and designed an enclosure that would protect an egg from a 10 ft fall. Having both done the challenge before, Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen were impressed by the creative solutions that were prototyped in the lab.
Additionally, our 6th graders took part in a shoe project to learn about the design cycle. The students interviewed their partner and tried to understand what they were looking for in a shoe. Once the interview was complete, the students used the design lab and our mobile design carts to prototype a shoe for their partner. After one iteration, the students reconvened with their partner to see what they liked and disliked. With diligent notes on how to improve their design, the 6th graders returned to the lab and made final revisions based on their partner’s feedback.
Science with Mrs. Boyd
We have jumped right into the action this week in science class. For our first full week of school we have been delving into the big idea – What do scientists do and how do scientists think (The Scientific Method)? On Monday, the class observed 5 different specimens consisting of worms, cherry tomatoes, crawfish, raspberry branches, and a selection of fossils. On day 2, we formulated a testable questions based on their previous observations. On Wednesday, we developed a hypothesis and designed an experiment to test our answer. Next, each student wrote a procedure, conducted an experiment and collected data. Finally, we had to draw conclusions and communicate our results to our peers. This was a very hands-on week of thinking and behaving like scientists. As Confucius says, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
Next week in science, we will conduct the Egg Drop experiment following the Design Cycle with the extra guidance and expertise of our 7th and 8th science teacher, Ms. Brannon. Watch out it could get messy!!!!
In other news, the 6th grade Coastal OMSI field trip is quickly approaching. Remember we will leave on Monday, September 25 and return on Thursday, September 28. Students are not expected to come to school on Friday, Sept. 29.
Math with Ms. Wenndorf
I am so happy to be working with your kids! For the last week, we have been engaging in mathematical exploration, learning what it means to have a productive, mathematical mindset, and explicitly learning how to be a productive team member. Beginning Monday, we will dive into the new 6th grade math curriculum, which will cover all of the 6th grade standards, and half of the 7th grade math standards. You can expect homework to come home nightly (except Fridays), which will always have 5 “Review and Preview” problems, reinforcing concepts taught in class, reviewing previously mastered skills, and previewing skills to come (just try!). Please join me in encouraging your student to take their time, think deeply, and communicate their thinking.
SEL with Amy Parks
Upper School started their Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons on Fridays. SEL is the process of developing the fundamental life skills needed to effectively and ethically handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work, in other words, developing the whole child. Our first lessons focused on the science behind SEL and the connection between our breath and our brains. We watched Dr. Dan Seigel show us his hand model representation of our brain/body connection and the need to be able to calm ourselves. You can see it here: Dan Seigel Hand
Students practiced communication, trust, and patience with many movement activities such as untangling themselves from a group knot, supporting each other in partner activities and learning to power through a challenging activity as they drew a star while looking at it only through a mirror. The focus is caring for ourselves and caring for others.
Benefits mentioned by students at the end of class were feeling more calm and connected! We will continue to build community, compassion for ourselves and others, and learn ways to stay focused as emotional or difficult things come up in their lives.
Hello incoming 6th graders! We are super excited to see all the familiar faces of our returning students and we look forward to welcoming our new 7 peaks families into our community. We will greet students next Wednesday at 7:50 in the commons where kids can reorient themselves to opening their assigned locker. We will also let kids know which homeroom they are in and direct them to that location to start the day. All school supplies will be provided by 7 Peaks, so do not worry about showing up with anything but a positive, inquisitive attitude and a lunch. We look forward to seeing you all!
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 upper school students starting on day one. Their classroom teacher will join the students in a lab tour and some get-to-know Mr. Lenz and Mr. Seehausen activities. We will model design thinking as we discuss ways to make sure that the design lab is a safe, comfortable and inspiring place for them. 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. Upper school students will be in the design lab three times per week during the afternoon, with additional time available in the morning if the lower school is not using the lab.
Welcome back to school, 6th 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 be exploring more “project based” learning in the music room as we experiment with homemade instruments, dramatic play and unique rhythm learning and composing – all while having tons of fun in our well-appointed music room. 6th grade is tons of fun in music and I can’t wait to get started! 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!
So excited to have the 5th grade as part of our upper school this year! Welcome back to art. Looking forward to a year full of fun and creativity. My name is Hope Macauley, and for those of you who have had me in the past, my new last name will take some getting use to for all of us, me included! This year in art we will be creating with a wide range of materials and will be working through a number of art movements, looking at the masters within each. We have lots of new and exciting things going on this year from exploring and learning about our new glass kiln to utilizing the design lab as an extension of the art room! See you soon.
All this week students have been participating in a simulations of the Greek Olympics. Each table group is from a different polis (city-state): Megara, Argos, Athens, Corinth, and Sparta. Each polis has different values and strengths that have been largely formed by their geography. Students are also researching a famous Greek person and learning about how their contributions can still be seen in our modern world. The assessment of this project is IB Criterion B: Investigating.
Students got to choose between Black Ships Before Troy, an abridged version of The Iliad, and an abridged version of The Odyssey. Next week they will form groups and dramatize a section of the book, complete with a script and costumes!
The link below is to the student’s 30-second public service announcement for the City of Bend’s Clean Water Works contest. The students did a great job and maybe one of the teams will win.
Next week we will be starting our unit on the human body systems. If anyone has a speciality and would like to do a presentation that would be great, just let me know. The students love having guest presenters in class.
Did you know that in addition to academic knowledge students learn Approaches to Learnings (ATLs) at Seven Peaks School? Through participating in literature circles, students have done a wonderful job of developing of communication, collaboration, and organization skills. Students have also just completed an illustrated plot diagram of their literature circle novel. Making literature visual can help us understand the writing techniques an author used to make the book come alive.
This week we began a unit on ancient Greece with the statement of inquiry: “The development of government and culture of an ancient civilization continues to affect the modern world.” Our study will focus on the geography, culture, and political systems of Greece. In addition to the Olympics and democracy, the ancient Greek civilization has left us an indelible legacy of art, literature, math, and science.
We are focused on finding percentages. It would be great to ask your student how to find percentages when out shopping to reinforce this concept. Example: 30% of $20 (Find 10% then multiply by 3)
6th graders are doing amazing work in class preparing for their upcoming Spring Show on Thursday, May 25th at 2:00pm. Please make plans to join us and see our xylophone piece (Captain Obvious), Pachelbel’s Canon in D on Boomwhackers, a sampling of our Scoring for Animation unit and a fun Rhythm stick routine! Your students are amazingly creative and many of them have willingly taken on leadership roles and it’s been a treasure to watch them grow and mature. Thank you for sharing them with us in music. Please also check your Canvas email for an important MS update.
We have started working with fractions, decimals and percents. I want students to be able to have a fluid understanding of fractions, decimals and percents. This is a great topic students can use in their everyday life. When shopping encourage students to find the best deals by finding unit rates and by understanding sale prices with percent discounts. Great life skills.
Students have been making a video for the City of Bend – Clean Water Works contest. I am have been very impressed by the videos they have produced. I will be sending out links to the videos, so be on the lookout for your students video.
6th grade pancake breakfast has been a success. I appreciate all the supplies and volunteer help. Students are learning a lot of skills in the kitchen. Maybe they will even cook breakfast for you soon.
6th grade students have just finished an investigation of the three major monotheistic religions that culminated in a poster collage. Students conducted independent research and used creativity to show what they learned about these religions. The collage included symbols and creative images from all three religions, and answered inquiry questions such as “What can learning about other religions help us learn about people around the world?” When we return from Spring Break we continue our study of how belief systems can change the identity of a society.
The Central Oregon Regional Battle of the Books competition took place in Sisters, OR on March 11th. The following sixth graders competed:
Alex Laakmann, Lola Mora Moreno, Stella Hannagan, Kate Holdredge, (Luke Neilson competing with this team in the school wide battle but was unable to attend Regionals).
This sixth grade team, The Wisdom Warriors, made it to the 3rd round at regionals. The Wisdom Warriors beat seventh & eighth grade Seven Peaks teams to qualify for the Central Oregon Regional competition. Many thanks to Julie Zipper and Hazel Chapple for supporting the team!
The 6th graders have done a wonderful job of with the last math unit! I am very pleased with their understanding around factoring and properties of exponents. We will take a short review unit into operations with fractions then continue on to Decimals, Percents and Proportions. This is probably my favorite math unit of the year. It will be a fantastic time.
Remember the Noetic Learning National Math test will be April 6th. We will be preparing for this after spring break and I know the students will do well.
Science has been a blast lately. We have started an engineering unit and a “passion project.” Students have loved the hands on activities of building structures and testing them out. A good spring break project would be for students to build a structure that can hold as many books as possible. We did this in class and one group was able to get 11 math textbooks. Wow!!
The “Passion Project” is an activity in which is similar to Genius Hour. Students are able to pick a topic in which they want to learn more about. Students will be presenting their topic of research in mid-April.
Our 6th grade students have been keeping busy in music this spring! Twice a week, students are expected to journal for 10 minutes on a given musical prompt – and reading their writing each month is a highlight for me – to see more inside their hearts and hear what drives them. It’s a privilege to teach these burgeoning young adults – thank you so much for sharing them with us here at SPS!
We completed our original Pop Opera, in which we wrote, directed, and scored a Pop Opera where the customer database of Sephora was hacked and our narrative was able to create a solution to their problem. Students worked in teams and did a beautiful job! Thank you to those parents that were able to join us for our performance.
We are now working on our stick routines, which we’ll showcase during our Middle School Spring Show on Thursday, May 25 at 2:00pm. Your students will be performing a variety of work that you’re sure to enjoy. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us!