Turning Point School Blog

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Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Nov 21, 2014 

To culminate Level 7's Geometry Unit, Ms. Pritchet's Pre-Algebra students are working on two types of projects. Some students will be working on a Floor Plan Project to create their ideal classroom. They will create a 2-D blueprint of their design on poster board. Other students will be working on an Area/Volume House-Flip Project where they will be remodeling a house in order to flip it and sell it for profit. Both projects will integrate Pre-Algebra and Environmental Studies. Students will apply the mathematical skill of finding the area of geometrical shapes and implement sustainable elements into their designs.

Finally, for both projects, the students will use the SmartLab to create a 3-D Google SketchUp of their project that includes 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.


Turning Point School - Posted Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 

Last week, Level 4 students went on a Study Tour to the California Science Center to experience the lab, Boats and Balances. By building their own model sailboats, students investigated design and energy needed to move across the 40' x 20' Water Works pool.

After becoming familiar with the boat names, students were given a variety of sizes for each part of the boats. They were encouraged to experiment with changing parts to see how they affect the performance of their boat. By keeping data in a class chart, students discovered the importance of balance in sailing.


Turning Point School - Posted Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 
This trimester of Chess has been so much fun! All of our budding game-players have learned a great deal about chess and strategy over the past few months. They had the opportunity to use an over-sized chess board and pieces for team matches, as well as play one-on-one and with partners. It has been wonderful to see how much each child has progressed!


Turning Point School - Posted Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 

Turning Point School is honored to be displaying an art exhibit by well-regarded artist and Level 5-8 Spanish Specialist Substitute, Rodofo Buonocore. The exhibit has been installed in our Artist Gallery in Building 2.


Mr. Buonocore studied painting and drawing in Buenos Aires as an apprentice to the Argentine artist, director, and writer Jorge Acha (1946-1996). He had several well-received exhibitions in Buenos Aires before immigrating to Los Angeles in 1990.

Throughout his early career, Buonocore's focus was on mastering the art of drawing and integrating the play of light and shadow into his work. In his atmospheric, evocative paintings, Buonocore plumbs the inner feelings of the characters who people his urban landscapes, his point of view serving to magnify and expose the complexity of human thought and emotion. His work has been described as "realistic portrayals of deep psychological exploration, visible yet subtle proof that the very depths of the soul are made accessible through the artist's detailed observation of minimal poses and gestures." John Walsh, Director Emeritus of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, calls Rodolfo Buonocore "a confident painter who tackles challenging material with impressive assurance and gets beautiful results."

We encourage you to stop by our Artist Gallery to view his breathtaking work. The Gallery is located on the second floor of Building 2, next to the Board Room and Mrs. Akana's office.

You may also learn more about Mr. Buonocore and view his work at www.rodolfobuonocore.com.

Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Nov 17, 2014 

Students participating in the After-School Class, Hands in the Dirt began this session by planting dill, rainbow carrots, lettuce, and baby beets. The students were very eager to see which plant would sprout first. Our gardeners were very happy to see the plant change from a tiny little seed to beautiful (and soon to be delicious) vegetable plants.

The class has also been able to experience the joys of the harvest, and one of their favorite activities was making pesto sauce from the fresh basil they harvested from the garden They also conducted a tasting experiment where they used freshly-picked mint in different ways. While this semester's Hands in the Dirt class is coming to a close, our young gardeners have developed a passion for gardening and harvesting that will continue to flourish!

Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Nov 14, 2014 
Students in Level K celebrated the 50th day of school today! They acknowledged this milestone day by engaging in some "nifty fifty" activities, including counting out 50 pieces of breakfast cereal, building with 50 LEGOs, making "50th day of school" hats and bracelets, and drawing pictures of what they might look like in 50 years. A wonderful time was had by all!
Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Nov 14, 2014 
Primary students had a wonderful time putting together "big puzzles" with their Big Buddies last week! 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. Every week, "Big Buddies" work with their "Little Buddies" on a variety of activities that include reading, puzzles, and games. While providing Level 8 students with a chance to shine as leaders in a unique setting, the Buddies program presents Primary students with a role model from within the community.

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 

After a comprehensive application process, Ms. Paige Montesano is now an official TED-Ed Club facilitator, and Turning Point is now part of a group of more than 100 schools in 27 countries with whom our students will collaborate to research, discuss, and share new information.

Through video technology, students in the Middle School Global Awareness elective will team up with students worldwide to develop public speaking skills and highlight personally significant local and global issues. The program also gives students access to incredible virtual guest speakers. For example, in a recent live video event, the editor of The New Yorker spoke to students around the world about creative writing. Turning Point is very excited about the opportunity for students to collaborate internationally!

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 

In Book and Cooks, students rolled up their sleeves and had a special celebration for the last day of After School Classes. Our friends had a wonderful time exploring seasonal foods, well balanced snacks, safe cooking practices, and even some sprinkles of Spanish along the way!

Some of their favorite pairings included Dragons Love Tacos and a turkey taco bar complete with all the fresh fixings, Camp Rex with trail mix and s'mores, The Enormous Potato with sweet potato fries, and Betty Bunny loves chocolate cake with chocolate cake and rainbow sprinkles.


Turning Point School - Posted Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 
Middle School students are in the finishing stages of a project based on artist Piet Mondrian's Cubist-inspired translation of New York, such as his famously unfinished "Victory Boogie Woogie."

After reading Mister Orange by Dutch author Truus Matti, students applied techniques for painting lines on a map of a Los Angeles area that has personal significance. They also created three essential symbolic colors to bring into their renderings. Stay tuned for news of when these will be displayed as a mural in Building 2!

Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Nov 10, 2014 

Turning Point's Girls' Swim Team (pictured below with Coach Snyder and Coach Colley) had an impressive showing at the Pacific Basic League Championship held Saturday morning at Brentwood High School. Despite facing much larger teams of 20+ students from competitors such as Crossroads and St. Matthews, our mighty team of four earned 6th place overall out of nine teams.

Individually, each swimmer saw at least one best time, with Emma S. taking 3rd in the 100 Individual Medley and Isabelle S. taking a very close 4th place finish. Gemma F. took 5th in the 25 Breaststroke (out of 30 total swimmers for that event) and Liora S. took 6th in the 25 Freestyle (out of 48 total swimmers for that event). Relay finishes were tightly contested with Turning Point taking 2nd in the 100 Medley Relay (with a team best time of 1:11, nearly a 3 second improvement). Last but not least, the girls finished the morning with a 4th place finish in the 200 Relay.

Great job to all four swimmers, and thank you for a great season of swimming! 


Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Nov 3, 2014 

Assistant Head of School and Middle School Division Head, Gaby Akana, attended the Project Zero Perspectives: Making, Thinking, Understanding conference in San Francisco earlier this month.

Co-hosted by the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE), the conference brought researchers and authors, including David Perkins (Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World) and Ron Ritchhart (Making Thinking Visible), to highlight four themes necessary for preparing our students for the interconnected world of the future: Educating for Global Competence; Encouraging Creativity and "Maker Thinking" in Children; Growing Up in the Digital Age; and Making Learning and Thinking Visible.

After attending inspiring workshops, keynote speakers, and plenary panels, Mrs. Akana returned with practical tips and exciting ideas for implementing creative inquiry-based lessons and age-appropriate thinking protocols to make learning visible in our classrooms. This conference provided momentum for Turning Point's continued emphasis on digital citizenship, intercultural competence, and fostering creativity in our students. She looks forward to sharing this with the professional learning community of teachers at Turning Point.
Turning Point School - Posted Saturday, Nov 1, 2014 

Four Middle School students, along with Level 7 Environmental Science and Level 8 Community Leadership teacher Mr. Kline, attended an Environmental Summit at Mirman School last week. Nick M., Zoe D., Miles C., and Sasha K. will be representing Turning Point School as they work collaboratively with at least ten other area independent schools to create a Green Map of Los Angeles.

During the first meeting, students discussed how the Green Mapping process works, explored each school's strategy moving forward, and debriefed issues of concern such as format and logistics. We will report back on the success of this project as it develops!

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 

Season playoffs are upon us. Starting this today with the Cross Country finals and ending next Saturday with the Swim finals, we'll have over 75% of our Middle School participating. 75% is a huge number! Congrats to all our students for making this such a great season.

The schedule of playoff games is below. Please come out to support our teams! We'll keep you updated as our teams progress through the brackets. Go Tornadoes!

Thursday, October 30
  • Coed Cross Country at Cheviot Hills. Boys run at 3:30 pm and girls run at 4:00 pm
  • Level 6 Girls' Volleyball playoffs - First round at Turning Point vs. Archer at 4:15 pm
Monday, November 3
  • Level 6 Coed Football - First round of playoffs at Syd K. Park (Time TBD)
  • Level 7/8 Coed Football- First round of playoffs on Monday (Time and Location TBD)
Tuesday, November 4
  • Level 7/8 Girls' Volleyball playoffs - This team is defending its championship from last year. (Time TBD)
Saturday, November 8
  • Swim finals Saturday, November 8 at Brentwood Upper School at 9:00 am.

Ms. Maria Escobedo - Posted Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 
Our Level 4 students welcomed the fall season with curiosity, friendship, communication, creativity, and participation in the Symbolic Migration project. The Symbolic Migration project, organized by the Journey North citizen science program, invites students from Canada, the United States, and Mexico to build bridges of friendship through conservation and ambassadorship.

As we learned about the Monarch butterflies' migratory patterns and the Monarch habitat conservation efforts in the small town of Angangueo in the Mexican state of Michoacán, we were able to appreciate the interconnections that exist between neighboring countries and our shared responsibility for the environment.

The first phase of the project began with students creating a class Symbolic Butterfly that carried Spanish messages of gratitude and friendship for students that live and attend school near the monarch sanctuaries in Angangueo, Michoacán.

As an extension of friendship, each student also included a hand-made butterfly. In a cross-curricular effort, Ms. Sloan worked closely with students to explore anatomy, symmetry, and drawing and painting techniques to create beautiful hand-painted butterflies that vibrantly represent each student.

These Symbolic Butterflies have now flown away to their Mexican destination and their arrival will coincide with Monarch butterfly arrival. Once the Monarchs are ready to embark on their return journey north in the spring time, students who received a butterfly will send a return butterfly with news of the Monarch butterflies and goodwill wishes to each student participant as symbol of continued friendship and unity.

To deepen our commitment to sustainability, and to invite participation from our wider school community, Ms. Bindel and her Hands in Dirt friends, as well as members of the garden team, came together to build a school butterfly garden. Ms. Baron, with great attention to safe and informed gardening practices, led the team in planting multi-colored California native wildflowers and milkweed.

We are thrilled for the connections that have been formed near and far, and look forward to the ongoing opportunities to lead and effect positive change in our community.

UPDATE: A few monarch caterpillars were spotted today in the butterfly garden, all on milkweed plants. We are very excited that the monarchs are already finding the milkweed and laying their eggs in our garden!

TURNING POINT SCHOOL
8780 National Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
info@turningpointschool.org
phone: 310-841-2505
fax: 310-841-5420
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