Turning Point School Blog
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!
Dear Turning Point Community,
For the past 26 years, Christine Sabihon has dedicated an important part of her life’s mission to the success of Turning Point School. A beloved colleague, leader, confidant, and friend, it is on a bittersweet note that I share with you that Christine will be retiring at the close of the school year.
I speak for many when I say I feel truly fortunate to have worked alongside Chris for so many years. Her dedication to the school and passion for the students we have served over the years made this more than just a job for her; it has woven her into the fabric of Turning Point’s history and success.
Chris always kept foremost in her mind the importance of the work we do here on behalf of children. But as most of you know, this seriousness was tempered with a joyful spirit. Most often, you would be hard pressed to find a time when there was not a Turning Point Faculty or Staff member at her door or in her office laughing with her. In even the most trying of times, Chris has been a constant calming force, with a quick wit and infectious laugh.
Words fall short in expressing the magnitude of Christine’s impact on Turning Point, and the gratitude I feel for her service to our beloved school, and to all of us. When Chris came on board in the 1990-91 school year, she was an instantly loyal, kind, and fiercely driven member of the Administrative Team. She supported the mission, and used it like a compass to guide and direct her work as a steward of financial management, facilities maintenance and expansion, and of human resources. Chris has played an instrumental part in facilitating and managing our phenomenal school growth, including the relocation of the school from its original site to Culver City and the opening of the new site in 2001, as well as the construction of Building 2 in 2005. She is an invaluable member of the Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee, and has repeatedly demonstrated her business acumen in budget and investment planning. In short, Chris has been everything and more you could hope for from a colleague and a friend; we are all the fortunate beneficiaries of her service, her wit, and her wisdom.
Chris is looking forward to all of the possibilities retirement will present, and conveys her deep appreciation of and affection for all members of the Turning Point community. She continues to be touched by the kind gestures expressed by this generous and compassionate school community. I rest assured knowing that Chris will always carry a piece of Turning Point in her heart, and that her stamp on our beloved school will be forever felt. For this, we thank her.
Head of School
Level 3 enjoyed a fantastic day at Olvera Street during a Study Tour last week. Known as “the birthplace of Los Angeles,” Olvera Street is a Mexican Marketplace that was created in 1930 “to preserve and present the customs and trades of early California."
Students had a blast learning about the history of early Los Angeles by visiting some of the city's longest standing landmarks including the Avila Adobe (the oldest house in L.A.) and the Pico house, the city’s first grand hotel which was built by Pio Pico, the last governor of California under Mexican rule.
Students also practiced their Spanish by asking questions and ordering food at a Mexican café. The afternoon was spent taking in the lively and colorful culture of the marketplace and shopping for souvenirs. A great time was had by all!
Level 7 students honored the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with the 5th Annual Cupcake Wars. Students battled it out to see who could best capture The Tempest (Shakespeare’s final play) in cake, frosting, embellishments, and more.
Students designed, built, and presented their projects to their peers and a panel of judges, who rated each presentation on content, design, taste, and originality. Their creativity, humor, and demonstrated knowledge of the material was truly impressive.
All across the globe, festivals featuring sonnet slams, marathon readings, and a whole lot of “hey nonny nonny” are happening – but Turning Point is likely the only institution that celebrates his birth and death (he was born and died on the same day) with a cupcake battle!
After learning about the struggles our nation faced under the Articles of Confederation, students in Level 5 broke into groups and became their own state in Candy Country. They created trade rules, currency, and laws about bartering.
Students then chose what color lollipop they would like to represent their state's product. This choice was made without knowing how many of each color were in the unopened bag. Each state then received its product. Some groups had six lollipops to trade or sell while others had only one.
It was interesting to see how each group managed in the open market with so many different and specific trade laws. It quickly became evident that a new constitution was needed!
Level 3 recently went on a Study Tour to visit the Big Lab at the California Science Center. Students worked in groups to create roller coasters using pegboards on a wall. After assembling their tracks, students dropped a ball down the track and showed off what they had created. As a group, they reflected on their successes and areas for improvement, and then went back to make improvements on their original design and retest their roller coasters. This was a wonderful hands-on experience for Level 3!
Energy and anticipation are building as our middle school students prepare to say au revoir to Los Angeles and visit destinations beyond and abroad on their annual Spring Trips.
Bonjour, Quebec! Our Level 8 students will experience incredible historical sights, archeological wonders, and delicious cuisine on their eight night trip to Montreal and Quebec City. With an emphasis on French culture immersion, students will explore and learn about the 350-year, French-influenced history of Montreal and Quebec City. Students depart on Tuesday, April 19 and return on Wednesday, April 27.
Students in Level 7 will trek into the highlands of the Dominican Republic where a mountainous landscape provides the perfect backdrop for an environmental service learning project. Students will explore the area's rich biodiversity and work together with local students and community members to build sustainable solutions to the shared conservation challenges they face. Students will depart on this seven-night trip on Friday, April 22 and return on Friday, April 29.
Level 6 students will traverse the expanses of the Mojave Desert en route to their four-night trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Students will explore the splendor and history of the Grand Canyon, journey through time on a Colorado River floating expedition, and visit Sedona and the Wupatki National Monument. Students depart on Monday, April 25 and return on Friday April 30.
The Middle School Spring Trips provide students with real-world experiences as a foundation for a lifetime of “learning through doing.” Each trip is designed to provide opportunities for students to expand their knowledge, deepen their friendships, interact with a broader community, and develop their independence. By experiencing unique places and cultures domestically and abroad, students will become increasingly culturally competent and adaptable; they will be well-prepared for an ever-changing globally connected world. All the while, life-long memories will be made.
It’s tax season, so there will be “no taxation without calculation” in Ms. Pritchet’s Level 7 Pre-Algebra classes! The students were given hypothetical taxpayer scenarios to pay their federal income tax. They were given W-2 and 1099 forms in order to fill out their 1040EZ or 1040A forms to be filed by April 15.
The students will be learning a 21st century skill by understanding the taxation process and why federal and state governments collect income taxes. They also learn a life skill by gaining an appreciation of a general preparation for entering the work force.
In preparation for International Village, each student will also research how taxation is managed in their respective assigned countries.
Thank you to the parents who were able to join us for our annual Festival of the Arts gallery tours! Our middle school Art Docents had a great time showing off all the fabulous artwork adorning our walls and hallways, including the nearly finished 30' x10' wall mural which is being installed in Building 2.
Every one of our students, from Primary through Level 8, had a hand in working on this mural with visiting artist Raul Baltazar. This video provides a sneak peek into how the mural came to life. Please be sure to stop by the second floor in Building 2 to enjoy and appreciate the creativity and hard work of our community!
Our mentoring program with Weemes Elementary School - an LAUSD school near the USC campus - continues to pay great dividends for students from both schools. Good teaching requires a deep understanding of the material. Our students, in teaching their mentees, are deepening their development of critical thinking and leadership skills. Earlier this month, students began their athletic mentorship of the Weemes students. With equipment purchased thanks to money raised via the Hoop-A-Thon, Turning Point students are encouraging their mentees to find joy in an active lifestyle and to compete in a healthy way.
Please enjoy the accompanying photos, which provide a sense of the work our students are doing and of the value of your generous donations to the Hoop-A-Thon.
Are you the parent of a toddler who loves to learn, socialize, experiment, and discover? Do you know parents who are looking for fun, inspiring ways to engage with their young children?
Registration is now open for the spring sessions of both our popular Toddler Program class and our new Messy Makers class. Both are open to families inside and outside of the Turning Point community, so please forward this message and help us spread the word!
April 19 - June 21, 2016
Calling all parents of Toddlers ages 12-28 months! Engage with experts and other parents in exploring parenting techniques and approaches specific to the toddler years. Come join us as we learn from each other and from visiting experts, with the goal of parenting with confidence and joy!
Toddlers 12-20 Months: Tuesdays, 9:45 - 10:45 am
Toddlers 18 - 28 Months: Tuesdays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Cost for the 10-week program: $450
We welcome all toddlers who like to play and make a mess! These 6-week “sensory play classes” are specifically designed for toddlers. Our movers, crawlers, and walkers will work side by side with parents in a variety of MESSY, hands on activities using their five senses to stimulate early brain development. All classes are led by Turning Point Head Teachers who are early childhood professionals. We look forward to guiding you and your child through an amazing experience every messy week.
Messy Makers I
1-2 year olds
April 22 - June 3, 2016
Fridays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Messy Makers II
2-3 year olds
April 18 - May 23, 2016
Mondays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Cost is $210 for each 6-week session
If you have any questions or would like more information, please call Zack Hinkle, Director of Auxiliary Programs, at 310-841-2505 x160 or email email@example.com.