Turning Point School Blog
Our Primary and Level 8 friends had a blast at their final Big Buddies gathering of the year. Students played games, discussed summer plans, and topped off the afternoon with an ice cream social. The Buddies Program is a long-standing tradition at Turning Point, assigning Level 8 students to a Primary classroom to form strong and long-lasting bonds with younger students throughout the school year.
Thank you to this year's graduating Level 8 students for truly shining as role models, leaders, and friends to our younger students!
Bravo to our talented musicians in Levels 3-5 and Middle School Band for an incredible performance in this year's annual Spring Concert! The concert is the culmination of all the learning and exploring our students have done in their music curriculum and electives throughout the school year.
Pieces performed at this year's concert included the song "Meet the Instruments" written by our Levels 3-8 Music Specialist Ken Harrison, the traditional Irish folk song "Danny Boy" by the Middle School Band, Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" (performed by the After School Violin Ensemble), and an arrangement of the popular song "Hello" by Adele.
Formal music education begins with Recorder Ensemble in Level 3, and then advances to Beginning Band in Levels 4 and 5, where students select an instrument they would like to study over the course of the year. In Middle School, after one trimester of mandatory music instruction, students can choose to continue exploring their musical talents in Band Elective. These students create, perform, respond, and connect to music through the continued study of a wind or percussion instrument. Band Elective students end their year with an adjudicated performance at a music festival, followed by a day at a favorite theme park! Levels 7 and 8 students are invited to continue with Band, as repertoire is consistently updated.
In Core Literature, Level 2 read The Cabin Faced West which is about a girl named Ann who is settling the western part of Pennsylvania with her family in 1784. Ann and her family had to clear the land and build a log cabin in which to live. Using the knowledge they gained while reading the book, Level 2 students then built their own cabins, collecting items from outside to create the perfect scenery.
Students then gave presentations to their friends in Levels K and 1, describing their houses, summarizing the story, and explaining why they chose their decor. The Level 2 students were so proud to share their knowledge and choices, and the younger students loved getting a glimpse into their future as Level 2 students at Turning Point!
Thank you to everyone from the Turning Point Community who joined the fun on Big Sunday! Along with families from Hillcrest Drive Elementary, we painted, planted, designed, cleaned, raked, bagged, bundled, and beautified the Hillcrest campus. We also had fun with a cake walk, crafts, delicious lunch, and games. Special gratitude goes to our PSA Community Service Committee and all the volunteers for making it a day to remember!
To view more photos, visit our Turning Point School page on Facebook.
After reading The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl, Level 3 students staged a "Mr. Fox Trial," where students served as lawyers, defendants, prosecutors, and jury in the case of Mr. Fox versus the Farmer. Mr. Fox stood trial for his alleged crime, while the prosecution tried to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Fox was guilty of stealing the farmer's food. After an impressive round of arguments from both the prosecution and defense (moderated by "Judge Boylan") the jury deliberated and ruled in favor of the defense. Long live Mr. Fox!
In April, Turning Point’s two Robotics teams participated in the Spring Showdown Robotics Tournament at LEGO Land in Carlsbad. Nearly 40 local and regional teams were on hand to demonstrate their critical thinking and collaborative acumen throughout the event. In addition to the competitive rounds, teams also exhibited professionalism and enthusiasm while sharing their love of science and robotics with each other and their families.
In connection with Level 8’s study of WWII and reading of the memoir Farewell to Manzanar in Humanities, students began an exploration of Japanese culture this week. Students studied the ancient art of origami and emulated Sadako Sasaki‘s "cranes of hope" by making their own pieces. Inside each of the students’ cranes they wrote a question about the Japanese Internment Camps; with each question we see our students’ curiosity and commitment to learning about this moment in our history.
After completing the cranes and participating in an investigation into the Japanese internment, as well as studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students reacted by composing poems that capture the essence of a haiku through the use of juxtaposition in imagery. One student’s poem reads:
Paper cranes of hope,
Story of sorrow
This project illustrates our students’ strong sense of empathy. Looking ahead, Level 8 students will be introduced to traditional Japanese dance and drumming as they continue their guided study of WWII, Japanese Internment Camps, and Universal Human Rights.
Level 4 recently studied Spanish colonization in the Americas and learned how buildings played a role in daily life. Students put their creativity and knowledge to the test by designing and drafting an aerial view of what a Spanish presidio, pueblo, or mission would have looked like. Next, students took their 2D drawings to the SmartLab and collaborated in the virtual world to create a 3D model in Minecraft. In their groups, students used sandstone, bricks, wood planks, pick axes and more to construct their pueblos and missions with all of the necessary amenities from the past.
Enjoy the latest issue of our student newspaper, The Tornado Times! Crafted as an After-School Class, The Tornado Times provides budding journalists in Levels 2-4 the opportunity to brainstorm and investigate story ideas, conduct interviews, and then edit and layout their own pieces for publication.
In this issue, students ask members of the community how they "Go Green", write reviews of Star Wars and Minecraft, interview local rock stars, and even provide fun word search and crossword puzzles!
View the complete issue here. Great job to Adrian, Liam, Sarah, Miranda, Parker, Meredith, and Riley!
Students in Level 2 recently read the book Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty, which is about a boy who builds unique creations - many of which land him in hot water with his parents and teachers. When Iggy's class takes a field trip and the bridge they plan to cross collapses, Iggy saves the day by coming up with a plan and building a suspension bridge to get them back to land safely.
After reading the book, students engaged in a STEAM activity by working in groups to create their own bridges using every day items such as popsicle sticks, post-it notes, pipe cleaners, tape, and string. They even "tested" their bridges by adding weight.
Everyone did a fantastic job demonstrating their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) skills. Most importantly, students got excited to imagine all the things they can make, build, and explore on their own!
Turning Point School was thrilled to be one of the pioneer schools to experience Google Expeditions in our Levels 3, 4, and 6 classrooms earlier this week. Google Expeditions is a virtual reality platform built for the classroom. It allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips, immersing students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life giving students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.
With the help of virtual technology, Turning Point students visited and learned about the Seven New Wonders of the World, explored the Underwater Caribbean, Antarctica, and more. Students seemed especially fascinated with the virtual technology tour of The White House, where they paused to appreciate a Georgia O’Keeffe over one of the fireplace mantels!
While nothing replaces hopping on a bus for a Study Tour or Class Trip, Expeditions provide an unparalleled opportunity for supplemental learning. Seeing the brilliant ways teachers integrated virtual reality in their classrooms has taught us so much already.
Last week, Level 5 enjoyed their annual trip to Riley’s Farm, where students lived like soldiers from the Revolutionary War for a full day. They marched, learned etiquette, attended a court case involving smuggling, played colonial games, and even threw tomahawks! After a night of sleep on a cot in a room without heat (brrr!), they entered the Civil War. Level 5 had a great time spending a full day exploring the causes and outcome of this unique war, and were particularly enthralled with how music was used during battle.
Levels 7 and 8 Spanish students celebrated Cinco de Mayo by learning about its history through research, reteach, and share. Level 7 groups focused on WHO was involved, WHAT happened and WHEN the events unfolded, WHERE it took place, HOW it is celebrated, and the WHY of it all.
Level 8 students dove into what Puebla, Mexico has to offer culinary enthusiasts. They researched the ingredients and dishes that are a staple in that state, and then replicated menu items for their Middle School classmates and teachers to enjoy. They created sweets such as Polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies), Rompope (homemade eggnog), Buñuelos (flour tortillas sprinkled w/cinnamon sugar), Gelatina Mosaica (jello w/condensed milk), Agua Fresca de Fresa (strawberry water), and a savory bite of Pico de Gallo con Totopo (chips). In class students wrapped up their learning experience by creating comic strips depicting their understanding of the Battle of Puebla.
¡Felíz Cinco de Mayo!
The After-School Players present You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown on Friday, May 13, at 5:00 pm, in the Building 2 Theatre.
Join us as the Peanuts characters come to life on the Turning Point stage: Schroeder at the piano, Charlie Brown and Lucy at the psychiatry booth, Linus with his blanket, Sally and her new philosophy, Snoopy and Woodstock fighting the Red Baron, and the whole gang at the baseball game. This musical rendition of the beloved comic strip will touch your heart.
Admission is free, but reservations are strongly recommended. Contact Performing Arts Coordinator, Jane McEneaney, at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your seat. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is theatre for the whole family!