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Upper School Updates- Jan. 27

Dear Upper School Parents and Guardians,

What a strange week! As one 8th grader shared, the snow storms didn’t come at the right times! She was right about that - Monday was a dismissal I’ll remember for a while. We sledded on Tuesday and dragged our sleds on the flooded turf on Thursday. The sun is out today, and we have an exciting 7th and 8th grade winter dance to end the week. Below you will find information about Wellness Week, Samson Strolls, pictures from this week, and the Ask-Me-Abouts.

Wellness Week: Will Slotnick, who runs Wellness Collaborative, will be visiting Upper School students during the week of February 6. He will focus on alcohol, drug, and tobacco education and adjust his conversations to the development ages of the students. Will discusses tools for peer pressure, stress management, and overall social and emotional wellness, which fits seamlessly with the focus of Jean Skaane’s Upper School wellness classes. Through his discussions, students will develop healthy coping strategies, become more aware of their values, and improve their capacity to make healthy decisions based on those values.

Will will be available for an informational parent meeting on Tuesday, February 7 from 3:00 - 3:45 in the Dodge Writing Center. Please join us as he gives some insight into his conversations with our students and answers your questions about substance abuse risks and education for adolescents. In addition to Will’s visit, there will be yoga classes on Tuesday and a focus on wellness throughout the week.

Samson Strolls: I visited 8th Grade Science with Ms. Barston. Please click here to learn more about the class. If there is something you would like to see this semester, please email me!

5th Grade Art, Monday Mix Up, and Geo Bee: Please click here to see a slideshow of 5th graders in art class and with their buddies for the Lunar New Year. We also introduced “Monday Mix Up,” which we will do once a month when 5th and 6th grade homerooms open their doors for a variety of activities during community time.

Student-Led Conferences: Yesterday and today, I met with the students and discussed our move to Student Led Conferences in April. Stay tuned for an email next week with more information.

Please ask your students about:

5th Grade:

Math: Wrapping up our unit on multi-digit multiplication using the US standard algorithm.

Social Studies: Finishing our unit on wealth distribution in the United States. How is wealth distributed in our country? Up next is our food insecurity unit. Stay tuned for food drive messages!

Literacy: What dilemma has our protagonist Sophia found herself in?

Science: What does it mean for an organism to grow?

Wellness: What’s a body sensation, and what does it have to do with my emotions?

Music: Tamboo Bamboo- How have I taken everyday objects to create music?

Spanish: What’s the weather like? Whether my birthday is in Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter, and what activity I do, whether there’s rain or snow!

French: The book I'm putting together about what I do each season.

6th Grade:

English- Why the town, “the Protectorate,” in our novel, Girl who Drank the Moon, is problematic?

Science - why does fire run up a hill faster than going down?

Math: How I am learning about various angle relationships and how to measure them.

Geo/World Cultures: How am I doing on starting my Africa map work?

Spanish: How I did on the test, and maybe one of the sentences I wrote. How to know whether to use “ser” or “estar” in a sentence?

French: How to tell you about what I have. Everything from family members to pets and even class materials.


  • What’s happening in the brain when we practice mindfulness?

  • What’s the Samurai + the Fly video all about?

  • What can we eat with a banana to sustain us longer and have greater energy?

  • What’s the difference between compassion + self-compassion; and empathy + sympathy?

7th Grade:

English- What should Juana and Kino do with the pearl?

Math (Carver) - How to spot parallel and perpendicular lines on a graph or from their equations

Math ( Carbo) - How to figure out loan interest and monthly payments and how I solved math problems created by Czech students.

Science - osmosis/diffusion design your own experiment

Music - Working on the 7th-grade play. How well have I memorized the first scene?

History - Supreme Court cases involving students’ first amendment rights

French - the clothing brand I am creating!

Internet Literacy (Section 3) - Ask me to show you how amazingly sophisticated my Google search skills are! I can search by date, just one specific website, conversions, run calculations and even search for images!

Science: Passive Transport Lab

Spanish: My city project where I give directions to popular destinations


  • What’s happening in the brain when we practice mindfulness?

  • What’s the Samurai + the Fly video all about?

  • What can we eat with a banana to sustain us longer and have greater energy?

  • What’s the difference between compassion + self-compassion; and empathy + sympathy?

8th Grade:

Math (section 1) - how to graph the inverse of a function. How to translate a function Math (section 2) - how to model and solve motion problems

History: How exactly did Hitler rise to power in Germany, and what happened as a result? Why didn’t anyone stop him?

French: The song Je m’appelle Mercy and why the child was named Mercy.

Science: Brookwood Labs Project

English: Why did we make natural history posters of the North Shore?

Spanish: Finishing the book “Sueños de la Isla” and the Dominican Republic, which characters I like/dislike, and some life lessons!

Wellness (8A):

  • How does tracing and sketching your hand serve as an anchor for a mindfulness practice?

  • What song(s) from the 8A “Chill” and “Hyped Up” playlists calmed and/or energized you?

Enjoy the weekend!

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