Learning Updates for January 24 to January 28

January 28, 2022

Seventh Graders Research Human Traits

In seventh grade science, we are learning what factors give rise to human traits. To investigate this, students identified a trait of interest. There were a range of traits that students were interested to learn more about, from hair color to skin color to height. Next, they did research to identify factors, both genetic and environmental, that give rise to that trait. This led to an in-depth exploration of how genes give rise to traits. Finally, students created posters on the trait they researched and presented their findings to one another. Students were intrigued to learn that most traits have both genetic and environmental components.

– Leal Carter, grades 7 & 8 science teacher

Arts Update: Third Graders Design and Sew ‘Power Plushies’

Thoughtful  *  Self Control  *  Helpful  *  Adventurous  *  Creative  *  Relaxed *  Happy

When the third graders were asked to identify ‘real life superpowers’ for a new exploration in the art studio, they generated a long list that included those words. They had no problem coming up with words, as in their classrooms they had just chosen their intention word for the new year, and had added three action steps to help them focus on their intention. In the art studio, students chose an additional intention word–a ‘real life superpower’–as a basis for a power plushie, or unique stuffed creature that they would then create. To begin the lengthy process, students sketched ideas for their power plushie and sought feedback from their peers; they made adjustments and finalized their design ideas before cutting out a paper pattern, or template for their creature. Students then traced their pattern onto two pieces of felt–one for the front, and one for the back–before tracing and cutting out detail pieces. Next week we’ll begin sewing; students will practice the whip stitch and backstitch on paper first, and then will stitch the pieces of their power plushie together. Look for these colorful and special stuffies after February break!

– Anne Armstrong, visual arts teacher and arts coordinator

Kindergartners Create In-Classroom Vet Office/Animal Shelter

Kindergarten students kicked off their community helper unit a few weeks ago. Every year, we welcome student choice by having an “election” in which the kindergartners can vote for the community helper they would like to learn about most. Although we held separate elections, the results in the two cohorts were surprisingly very similar! The children in Mrs. Hartvigsen’s group wanted to learn about animal shelter workers while those in Mrs. Pryor’s group voted for veterinarians.

This week, we transformed our dramatic play area to be a dual vet office/animal shelter. While some of the items are manufactured ones you can find in a store or online, we are excited to announce that the students have also been instrumental in crafting essential equipment and items from recyclable materials, such as a scale from cardboard and aluminum foil and pet carriers from empty boxes. The children have also been creative and have refurbished items they discovered in our collage or our makerspace, such as making pet collars and leashes from pipe cleaners, beads, string, and scrap paper!

– Betty Chu Pryor & Missy Hartvigsen, kindergarten teachers 


September 15, 2023

Second Graders See Themselves, Classmates In second grade, we have been working on building our community and using our collective intelligence to create norms and guidelines to ensure friendship, fun, and learning for all. After reading This Plus That, Life’s…

By John O'Neill, director of athletics |

September 15, 2023

After a handful of years as an intramural sport, volleyball is taking its show on the road and will take on interscholastic competition this year. The transition has moved the sport from the winter to fall season and attracted 23…


September 8, 2023

Join us in welcoming our 2023-2024 Associate Teacher Program (ATP) cohort! Our five new associates have been on campus since last week, participating in orientation, faculty meetings, and classroom set-up and planning with their mentor teachers. This fall, associates will…


September 8, 2023

PE Update: Don’t Call it a Comeback! Team Teaching Returns   We are thrilled to announce an adjustment to our physical education teaching model for this year that is actually a return to our roots. Back before the COVID-19 pandemic,…
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