Turning Point School Blog
This trimester, students in Game Design elective have been learning about games -- not just on the computer, but in the physical world as well. In addition to creating video games, students have been working in groups to create new card games, physics-based games (such as sports), and even a board game. One of their board games is called "Kingdoms," in which players use stacked cups to keep their opponents from kidnapping the king and queens hidden behind them. Students made cards to represent various events that occur during game play, such as weather events and magic, that either help or hinder the players' attempts to protect their royals or take their opponent's royals. Great job to all of these students for turning inventive ideas into fun and strategic games!
Please join us for the annual Middle School Winter Musical: Hello, Dolly!
Thursday, February 18 | 6:00 pm
Friday, February 19 | 6:00 pm
Saturday, February 20 | 3:00 pm
Admission is FREE but reservations are recommended. To reserve your space, please contact Jane McEneaney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turning Point Middle School is proud to present Hello, Dolly! Rehearsals began in early December on this ambitious production and we are in the home stretch to opening night! This year, we have double cast the principal female roles, making rehearsals more exciting than ever before. Our double cast stars are Level 8 students Madison L. and Kaia S. In all, roughly one-third of the Middle School will take the stage on February 18, 19 and 20 to bring this show to life.
Hello, Dolly! has featured such stars as Mary Martin, Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, and Ethel Merman. In the spring of 2017, it will return to the Broadway stage with Bette Midler in the starring role! Featuring such hits as “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” and the iconic title song, Hello, Dolly! promises to be an entertaining and engaging evening of musical theatre.
You don’t want to miss this adventure! Get your tickets today!
Turning Point School is honored to be recognized by the Council of International Schools as a school that is shaping the future on international education. In a blog post titled "Turning Point School – A Deep Dive into Global Citizenship,” the Council of International Schools interviewed Head of School Deborah Richman on the school's year-long process of achieving International Certification.
Blog post author Stuart McLay, Associate Director of School Support & Evaluation for the Council of International Schools wrote, "Turning Point was one of the pilot schools that achieved CIS International Certification in June 2015 and readers will note the aspects of the process, the benefits and the transformative nature of the activities. Holding up a mirror to current practice with an open-mind to change requires both confidence and commitment, but the example of Turning Point will surely inspire others to follow the same road to seek similarly beneficial outcomes."
Turning Point School achieved International Certification in June of 2015. The achievement of International Certification is a school-wide accomplishment that has fostered collaboration and whole-school discussion of values related to global citizenship. It has served as a catalyst for the entire school to reflect, take action, and move forward with a focus on preparing students to be stewards of the world.
Students in After School Chess have been having a great trimester of learning, strategizing, and fun! Each player has had a chance to play against a different opponent every week, including Ms. Parker and Ms. Short. Students have been practicing technique by studying strong opening moves and deciding how to maximize the board for success. We encourage our players to challenge their family members at home and test out their new skills!
Students participating in After School Karate are working hard and having fun! The class has been practicing the karate basics of stances, blocks, punches, and kicks, and has made wonderful progress understanding the fundamentals of martial arts. Students are also learning how to walk through the world respectfully and politely, using good manners with everyone they meet. Our young karate enthusiasts are proactive and eager to learn. The fun they are having, coupled with their dedication to appreciating the values of karate, will help them walk with confidence and kindness as they get older.
Hi! My name is Lee and I am in Level 3. I am having so much fun being the Head of Turning Point School for the day. My favorite part of the day was meeting with Mr. Segar to plan a display. We came up with a really cool idea to use marbles and chutes to make our display. I also liked reading books about Piggie and Elephant to Ms. Britton’s Primary class. I also helped Mr. Hong repair a Mac computer which was really cool because he let me put in the hard drive myself.
I took a break to have a delicious cheeseburger lunch with Ms. Richman and talk about the school. I told her that I like Turning Point School as it is and I would not make any changes. I don’t even want extra recess because I like my classes so much!
I really had fun taking pictures with Mr. Cressey. I zoomed in on everything and could even see people’s nose hair. It was also fun to sign checks and give them to Ms. Purtell. I can’t wait to help with dismissal later and say goodbye to my friends.
Thank you to my mom and dad for getting this fun day for me at the Spring Benefit!
Lee H., Level 3
Level 5 recently enjoyed a fabulous drama workshop led by Elementary Drama Specialist, Ms. Huppler. Students were lead through a series of activities to help them get in touch with the 18th Century character they have developed as part of their Revolutionary War studies. They created tableaus of their chores, attended school, and wrote in their journals. It was an agreeable activity. Huzzah!
Students in After School Yoga class have been doing a great job with their practice! In alignment with Turning Point's global initiatives, our yogis learn about the origins of yoga that stem from India's Hindu and Buddhist cultures. They also explore the classical language of Sanskrit, viewing many of the characters and even learning the Sanskrit names for some of the popular yoga poses.
In addition to learning about the origins of yoga, students build their knowledge of different poses including Warrior poses, Swimmer, Superman, Chair, Funky Chair, and even arm balances. Partner poses are a particular favorite! An emphasis on form and flexibility allows students to practice safely, and our yogis especially love relaxing during shavasana at the end of each class. Namaste!
This year, the Winter Musical is Hello, Dolly! One of the pivotal scenes takes place in a millinery shop in New York City in 1896. The character of Irene Molloy is the play’s milliner and her assistant is Minnie Fay. The play is double cast, so the role of Irene is shared by Sana and Anna, while the role of Minnie is shared by Azia and Amy.
Last Friday, Sana, Anna, Zaia, Amy, and Ms. McEneaney ventured out to the Louise Green Millinery to learn about hat making. Louise Green was kind enough to take them on a tour of the workshop, where they watched artisans steam hats onto wooden blocks, sew wire and ribbon into the edges of the hats, and carefully hand stitch flower petals into place. Louise Green’s clientele ranges from celebrities to Kentucky Derby attendees, and the hats are of the highest quality, handmade with vintage fabrics and flowers.
The girls were particularly excited when Louise invited them to try on hats in the shop and agreed to pose for a photo op! Many thanks to Louise Green for hosting us so graciously. And thank you to alumni parent, Shirine Partiyeli (Nikoli, ’10), for making the introduction.
Last week during our Family group meetings, Turning Point students and staff worked together to create pinwheels to raise both awareness and funds to support youth in global conflict areas through the Healing Classrooms Challenge. Thanks to our Level 8 Community Leadership students, a total of 492 pinwheels have been counted and are on their way to the Students Rebuild organization.
For each pinwheel created, the Bezos Family Foundation is donating $2 to the International Rescue Committee, which helps Syrian youth recover from crisis Collectively, we raised a total of $984 which will help create secure, nurturing learning environments for conflict-affected children.
The Turning Point Family Program provides a multi-age environment that encourages continuity and builds a sense of community among Faculty, Staff, and students. Faculty and Staff “Elders” facilitate monthly Family meetings designed to help younger students benefit from interaction with older students, encourage older students to practice responsible modeling, and inspire all members of the Turning Point community to learn, share, and grow together.
In the Tornado Times After School class, students in Levels 2-5 have the opportunity to learn how to brainstorm and investigate interesting and relevant story ideas, conduct interviews, as well as edit and layout their own journalism pieces to publish in a Turning Point student newspaper. Students explore their skills in writing, art, and photography to document school events and uncover interesting stories about the Turning Point community.
Last week, students moved around the building interviewing and photographing teachers, administrators, and peers. Our budding reporters displayed a high level of professionalism when entering classrooms and offices, and remembering to introduce themselves and fully explain their objective before politely asking if their subjects would mind being quoted.
This week, after a short conversation about current events and news, students typed up their quotes and inserted photographs into their stories. They were able to start editing their photos, and some have even begun the layout process for the completed newspaper.
Did you know that Turning Point offers a class on Art Installation? In this middle school elective, students create art installations by working with unique sculpture materials and backgrounds, including large drawings and paintings they create themselves. By using the SmartLab resources, this class will also explore the use of photography, sound, video, and kinetics (moving electronics) in the Visual Arts.
This year, the Art Installation class has joined forces with the SmartLab to create a student-driven installation to raise awareness about plastics pollution in the ocean. Lessons in tinkering and making are being done in the context of physical and scientific principles on ocean-related themes – Automata, Magnetics, Sound, and Liquids.
The full integration of the SmartLab and Art Installation classes has resulted in many creative and exciting activities, such as making a pop song about ocean waste to distribute on a CD, smaller-scale programming to animate elements of the project, and much more. The students are burning with ideas and are collaborating on a collective vision for an important cause, showing passion and ownership while demonstrating Core Values such as global awareness, innovation, and curiosity.
Ms. Purvey (Art Installation instructor) and Mr. Reynolds from the SmartLab will be bringing in guest artists as the team starts to build out the installation space. They are already getting excited to show their installation to the school community during the Festival of the Arts and at the Middle School STEAM Expo on March 18.
In November of 2015, Turning Point families donated 20 complete Thanksgiving meals to families from a local Los Angeles public elementary school. Recently, we received a package of kind notes and cards from the families, expressing appreciation for the generosity of our students and parents. Turning Point School has developed a wonderful tradition of giving back to the community, and we thank all of our families for their generosity of spirit, time, resources, and good will!
To culminate Level 7’s Trimester 1 Geometry Unit, Ms. Pritchet’s Pre-Algebra students worked on two types of projects. Some students worked on a Floor Plan Project to create their ideal classroom/school. They created a 2-D blueprint of their design on poster board with the area measurements and flooring costs. Other students work on an Area/Volume House-Flip Project where they remodeled a house in order to flip it and sell it for profit. Both projects integrated Pre-Algebra and Environmental Studies. Students applied the mathematical skill of finding the area of geometrical shapes and implemented sustainable elements into their designs.
Finally, for both projects, the students used the SmartLab to create a 3-D Google SketchUp of their project that included all specifications used to make their ideal classroom or remodel their house. 21st Century Learning meets STEAM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) for a fantastic Level 7 learning opportunity.
During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13), Turning Point students in Levels K-8 joined over 100 million students from around the globe to participate in an Hour of Code. Students explored computer programming by instructing their peers and teachers how to build various structures out of paper cups. On Friday, Dec. 11, we held our 2nd Annual Coffee and Code event in the SmartLab where parents had the opportunity to be a part of this global event and learn how Turning Point’s students are applying their programming skills in Middle School.