“I leave work each day with a heart that is full, because I get to spend my day laughing, learning, and creating memories with my students. The community that is found within the classroom is my favorite part of being a teacher. It’s my passion to create a safe, loving environment where the students focus on individual growth and take ownership in their learning. When I sit down to plan and create lessons, it brings a smile to my face to envision the laughter and engagement that my student will have while learning. I have spent the last few years teaching 5th grade, and before that, I taught Kindergarten and 1st grade. I love aspects of both ends of the primary grades, and have developed curriculum and resources for grades K-6. I am so excited to be joining Seven Peaks School, and look forward to getting to know each one of my students and their passions, talents, and needs, as well as, collaborating with the parents and staff to see each child grow to their full potential.”
— Kayla Collins, 1st grade teacher, Seven Peaks School.
Having an empathy mindset: Chrissy Boyd on Design Thinking
One of my biggest takeaways from our Design Thinking training at the Nueva Design Thinking Institute in San Mateo, CA was centered on the Core Mindset I: Needfinding Through Empathy. Nueva has shifted the goal of Design Thinking to focus on designing for others and their needs, having an Empathy Mindset. Thus, making Social and Emotional learning (SEL) a driving force in the process.
In a nutshell, students start the process by identifying the needs of a user, then design solutions, creating user centered projects. Students follow specific stages( below) for each project, with the teacher as their guide and mentor. The stages are easy to understand and do give students a method for tackling any challenge they may encounter in life. The Focus stage( #2) is the empathy piece of the puzzle. In addition, during the last stage, Collaborate( #6) an immense focus is placed on creating positive team norms, making sure students feel safe and empowered to share their ideas and visions.
Research/Deep Dive- Students observe, ask, listen and research. What is the challenge?
Focus-What is the need of the user? Understand the thoughts and feelings of the user, be empathetic to their situation and how you can improve it.
Generate Ideas-Brainstorm ideas
Make Informed Decisions-Analyze and Choose
Prototyping Cycle- Create Prototypes, Seek and Incorporate Feedback
Collaborate-Team Dynamics (SEL), Motivate and Inspire, Project Management, Reflection
I love the idea that our students at SPS can be involved in changing our community and eventually our world. One example of an DT idea I am working on involves helping the Touchmark Memory Care residents that the upcoming 5th and 6th graders have already formed relationships with. What can we do to improve brain function and memory issues with our current buddies? This is a huge issue facing our world and our friends at Touchmark.
I can’t believe that the year is coming to a close! I am going to miss seeing all the kids faces in the halls next year! In the last few weeks of school the first graders have been, and will continue to be, learning and growing. Looking back I can’t believe how far we have come this year. The kids have been having a blast this week with our team STEAM challenges. So far we have built marshmallow/raw spaghetti towers, made miniature weight bearing rafts and created solutions for a variety of hypothetical tasks on various planets in our solar system! It is so much fun to stand back and watch them work in teams respectfully and use all the skills they have learned this year to work together to solve complex and challenging problems. They should be very proud of themselves! I feel lucky to have spent this year learning with them and I can’t wait to see where second grade takes them! Thanks for all your support this year, we couldn’t have done it without you!
The 3rd graders enjoyed a day on Mt. Bachelor while studying winter ecology. During our snowshoe adventure, we learned about winter ecology at Mt. Bachelor and the geology of Central Oregon, the Deschutes National Forest watershed and the plants and animals found throughout the area. Enjoy pictures of or snowshoeing adventure!
The 3rd graders engaged in productive struggles as they learned a new hobby this month! Students were assigned the task to teach themselves a new hobby. The requirement was that this had to be something they had never done before and was entirely new for them. Each student was asked to keep a journal tracking their progress, noting struggles they encountered along the way, and how they navigated these hardships. Students were able to share their new hobbies with the class and reflect on their progress and perseverance.
Also speaking of productive struggles, the 3rd graders were recently given a math problem-solving task as part of our fractions unit. They were asked to figure out how many small post it notes it would take to cover an entire “big pad” post it note. It was amazing to watch kids go through a trial and error process while experimenting with and estimating using wholes and parts of wholes (fractions at work!). They all approached this problem differently and it was very rewarding to watch these kids embrace mistakes, share ideas, and persevere in their problem-solving efforts.
Third grade has been excelling at their Recorder Karate, as well as focusing this past week on research of an instrument in groups of two. Their research is documented on Google Slides, and they’ll present their findings after we return from Spring Break. It has been fun to assist the students with ways to utilize the technology available to us, like co-working on the same document on their own Chromebook, learning how to insert videos and change backgrounds. These students are going to be vastly prepared for their middle and high school years with knowledge of presentation skills such as these.
We also have had a good amount of students audition for our Spring Show, which is called Summer Camp this year! We’re heading out for lots of fun at Camp Runamok on June 1! Please encourage your student to hop on Canvas (click on MUSIC) from their homeroom page and listen to our songs. The more they listen at home, the more fun we get to work on in class with our choreography and movement. Please put this very special evening on your calendars now – we’ll also be celebrating Beth Basham’s Retirement that same evening.
7th graders are finishing up My Future My Choice. The program went wonderfully this year, and I’m so impressed with the way students showed maturity during all the lessons. I encourage you to talk to your child about what they’ve learned during the 10 lesson series. When we return from Spring Break, we will be delving into an exploration of DNA and genetics. Students will participate in a research project about some simple dominant/recessive traits, and learn how traits are passed on from generation to generation. This is one of my favorite topics within science and I’m looking forward to sharing it with students! Have a great Spring Break!
The seventh grade students are continuing to work on their historical character. The research they have conducted is being used to create a “character brochure” to express the interesting information of their character, focusing on a connection to the era. Students recently worked to write a brief connection to the era that was then placed on their brochure. This information is connected to Language Arts and Mrs. Holdredge’s classes. Students will be using the researched information to write a personal narrative based on their character. The personal narrative will be used in turn to create a skit connected to the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression.
We are just now beginning learning about the Great Depression. There are many connections to current times we will be exploring especially how President Franklin Roosevelt led our country in a new direction. There are many current news articles about President Trump and his new directions that I will work to bring into discussion.
Parents, this is a great time to remind students of continuing their work ethic and best efforts in class until the end of the year. Please help support their education at home by checking in with them, keeping up with completed assignments, and being prepared for class. Thank you.
Al Capone. Coco Chanel. Babe Ruth. Mary Pickford. Who needs dry, dusty textbooks when we can bring the 1920s and ‘30s to life through engaging, inquiry-based, student-led activities? The kids are making great progress on their personal narratives, told from the point of view of the historical figure they’ve been researching in Humanities. This is such a fabulous project, in which the students not only show off their research-based knowledge but also see these famous men and women as real people and serve as a conduit for the voices of the past. Stay tuned after Spring Break for an invitation to the culminating skits the students will perform for your entertainment!
Parents, Mr. Conrad and I have conferenced with most of you but would love to see you one more time this spring. Our office hours are every Tuesday from 8:30-10:00, but we are flexible! Just let us know if you need a different time/day. Please click here to schedule a meeting: http://signup.com/go/b3j6Xe.
Our annual Pi Day celebration was a huge success. This year the 7th grade students discovered how the number 3.1415926… is derived (the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter), some interesting facts about circles (why are manhole covers round), and some students participated in a contest to memorize the most digits of pi. Oh and did I forget to mention the students also got to eat a few slices of pie. Thank you to all those who helped make our celebration a success.
7th grade is busy working on a variety of performance pieces in order to get ready for our Spring Show on Thursday, May 25th at 2:00pm. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for this fun and informational performance. This year, we’re adding bucket drumming – which has been a great way to learn rhythms and teamwork.
Students also recently completed their Composer research projects, where they put together Google slideshows sharing history, facts and famous works by their composers. We learned a lot and it’s a great exercise in assisting students with developing their academic writing skills as we study plagiarism, citing our works and how to utilize academic integrity in their writing.
Second graders recently completed their Ancient Egypt unit with a culminating festival. Families, friends, and other classrooms had a chance to view Google slideshow presentations, handmade Egyptian “artifacts”, and an upbeat Egyptian song with dancing. Students spent the last month learning about Egypt’s geography, the importance of the Nile River, pyramids, mummies, The Sphinx, King Tut, and Hieroglyphics. Then in teams, students chose one of these topics to go deeper and create a Google slideshow presentation. Students loved using Chromebooks as a learning tool to expand their knowledge on a topic! Every day leading up to the festival, they were actively engaged in the process of creating their presentation and artifacts. Working in groups encouraged teamwork, clear communication, and active participation.
The festival ended with an Egyptian-themed “Gangnam Style” song and dance, plus the enjoyment of Ancient Egypt foods: olives, bread, cheese, vegetables, hummus, eggs and root(beer). The festival was a wonderful culmination to our unit and a fun way to celebrate their learning!
I have to commend each one of our 2nd graders for the diligent work they’ve put into learning recorders over the last couple of months. As you read in my previous email, 2nd grade is a year younger than our usual start time with recorders. These students have overcome many obstacles physically and mentally and are excelling in their work with the recorders! I’m proud of the effort each one of them have put into learning some fun songs and receiving recognition on our Recorder Karate Hall of Fame wall.
We also have had a good amount of students audition for our upcoming Spring Show, which is called Summer Camp. We’re heading out for lots of fun at Camp Runamok on June 1! Please encourage your student to hop on Canvas (click on MUSIC) from their homeroom page and listen to our songs. The more they listen at home, the more we get to work in class on our choreography and movement. Please put this very special evening in your calendars now – we’ll also be celebrating Beth Basham’s Retirement that same evening.
- Friday, April 7th
- 6:00 – 8:00 pm
- Seven Peaks School Gym
- $10.00 per person (includes dinner, dessert, bingo cards, prizes)
- $5.00 per person at the door without dinner
- Invite family and friends outside of Seven Peaks!
- Reserve your seats no later than April 4th
- Reserve seats here!
A fun-filled night with family and friends! We will get to know each other better as we share dinner and play Bingo. At SPS, we are more than a school; we are a community!
- Thursday, April 13th
- 6:30 – 8:30 pm
- Seven Peaks School Gym (19660 SW Mountaineer Way, Bend OR)
- FREE to all attendees
- Donations are welcome and appreciated!
Join us for a FREE screening of this award-winning film and an evening of dialogue about what matters most for students today. This film compliments Seven Peaks School’s movement and development of our Design and Innovation Lab opening Fall of 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity!
“The 21st century is going to be all about building, creating, and innovating. this remarkable film shows a path of how we can empower all of our children to do that.” — Sal Khan, Kahn Academy
Watch “Most Likely to Succeed” film trailer
Click here for flyer