Turning Point School Blog

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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 - Posted Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 

Level 2 learned all about the Indian holiday of Diwali through a special presentation from one of our very own moms. 

They learned that Diwali is celebrated for five days and that the main day is known as the "Festival of Lights." On this day people light up diyas and candles all around their house. The students then got to paint their very own candle holders in preparation for this day.

Turning Point School - Posted Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 

The Tornadoes swim team has just completed their last qualifying meet for Championships on November 8 at Brentwood. While the individual qualifying meets are not scored, each swimmer saw a best time or a first place finish in at least one individual event. Isabelle S., Gemma F., Liora S., and Emma S. have also proven to be a relay team to contend with finishing first, or tied for first, in their heats in both the 100 Medley Relay and the 200 Freestyle Relay at the last two meets (St. Matthews and Brentwood).

Emma S. (Level 8 and team captain) and Isabelle S. (Level 6) won't be done swimming at the end of the middle school season this year. Emma will be focusing on her long distance training with Royal Swim Club and training for December Invitationals in Palm Springs where she will be competing in the 1000 and 1650 (one mile) freestyle. As of October 17, USA Swimming ranked Emma 8th in the state for 13-14 girls in the mile swim (for the 2014-15 Season). Isabelle S, also a topped rank swimmer with Team Santa Monica, is qualified for the same Invitational in the 50 backstroke for 11-12 year old girls.

Congratulations to all four for a great season in both the middle school league and club swimming!
Turning Point School - Posted Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 

Turning Point School was delighted to welcome Dr. Michael Thompson as our guest on Monday, October 27. During the day, Dr. Thompson spoke with students in Levels 4-5 and Levels 6-8, as well as members of our Faculty/Staff. He concluded his visit with a presentation to parents on "Raising Responsible Children." This presentation was part of the 2014-15 Parent Speaker Series, which is made possible by support from William and Carol Ouchi.

Dr. Thompson is a renowned author, psychologist, school consultant, and international speaker on the subjects of children and parenting. His books include Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of BoysMom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems; and The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Find Success in School and Life.

Thank you, Dr. Thompson, for a wonderful visit!

Turning Point School - Posted Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 

Level 2 students recently traveled to Underwood Farm in order to learn even more about how fruits and vegetables grow. They picked vegetables from out in the fields, defeated the corn maze, saw many different types of animals, and even got to pick a pumpkin! 

Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Oct 24, 2014 

Middle School students are busy planning, designing, and building games for the Halloween Carnival on Friday, October 31! Each year, our Level 7 and Level 8 students have the honor of creating the games, then leading our Primary - Level 3 students through the Carnival. We are excited to see what these creative and talented students are planning for this year's signature event!

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 
In Level 5, students started their unit on fractions by participating in a Project Based Learning group activity. Each group had to determine the best way to cut an 8.5" x 11" cake into eight equal pieces. Students worked together to explore different ways of cutting their cake, and will present their findings and recommendations to the rest of the class.

This is the first of several Project Based Learning activities that Level 5 will participate in this year. The same groups work together over the course of the year, and typically spend several lessons working on their project. An important goal of Project Based Learning is to help students learn to work effectively in a group. As such, there are no individual grades given for these projects, but rather one group grade.

cbaker - Posted Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 

We would like to share the exciting news and extend a warm welcome to our newest Board Member, Mr. Brendt Stallings. Brendt joins the Board of Trustees this October in his 3rd year as a Turning Point parent. He and his wife, Tracey Letteau, are the proud parents of four current students: Mason (Level 6), Ramsay (Level 3), Camille (Level K), and Graham (Primary).

Brendt is an Executive Vice President at DoubleLine and the founding partner of DoubleLine Equity LP. He was previously associated with TCW for sixteen years, most recently as a Group Managing Director and head of the firm's Small and Mid-Cap Equity team. He is also a CFA charterholder.

In addition to his Turning Point contributions and other professional work, Brendt serves on the Board of Directors for Agere Pharmaceuticals and Inglewood Park Cemetery, where he is also a Trustee of the Endowment Care Fund.

Brendt is a graduate of Stanford University and earned his MBA from Dartmouth College. His financial savvy, professionalism, generous support, and commitment to Turning Point School will serve our Board and community well.

Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Oct 20, 2014 

It's time for the Annual Turning Point Book Fair! Our PSA volunteers worked hard today, beautifully displaying this year's selection of books and other fun items. We are excited to officially open the Book Fair to our students and parents tomorrow and Wednesday. See you there!

Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Oct 20, 2014 
In the Core Literature program, Level 2 reads a book called "Tornado" which is about a boy and his dog. The students read many chapters detailing the adventures of the two main characters. As part of this unit, the students are able to take part in pet share. They bring in their pets and share their adventures with the class. The teachers are even able to bring in their furry friends! Be on the lookout for dogs, cats, bunnies, and even a few reptiles!

Ashley Cockerham
Turning Point School
Level 2 Head Teacher


Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Oct 17, 2014 

In our After School Classes program, students in Beginning Sculpture have been exploring their artistic sides with various materials and projects. 

In their second week, they made red clay pinch pots, which students were able to creatively design. Last week, the class started working on a Wassily Kandinsky inspired recycled art sculpture. First, students chose a color for the base of their sculpture and painted it. After painting, they rolled tubes of colorful construction paper to create cylinders. The cylinders are then glued on to the base to create the sculpture. 

The class is looking forward to their next project; creating four-legged animals. Many thanks to Ms. Norton for leading our students through such fun and enriching activities!

Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Oct 17, 2014 

Level 3 recently completed a project where they worked in small groups to make Recycled Superheroes. Each group member was responsible for making a part of their superhero's body (head, torso w/arms, or legs) completely out of recyclable materials from home. The groups came together in class to put their superheroes together, name them, and create a list of super powers that are used to help the environment. Students loved the opportunity to work creatively and collaboratively on this project!

Level 8 Community Leadership Team - Posted Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 

This year, several Level 8 students are taking on the responsibility of maintaining our Turning Point Garden. We would like to provide members of our community with organic, locally grown, fresh herbs and greens. We will deliver herbs to families that submit email requests to tpsgardenproject@gmail.com. Currently, you can request the following herbs: Basil, Lemon Basil, Mint, Chives, Thai Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Kale, and Dinosaur Kale.

The bags (made from 100% recycled paper) of herbs will be given to the students to bring home. If we have any additions to the herbs in our garden we will be sure to update our list and notify families through the Wednesday Weekly.

Thank you for participating in our garden project!

Sincerely,
Level 8 Community Leadership Team

Turning Point School - Posted Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 

Level 5 students welcomed "Explorer in Residence" Denis Belliveau this week, as they wrapped up their Social Studies curriculum on early European exploration. Denis spent two years retracing the steps of Marco Polo's 25,000 mile journey from Venice to China and back, and brought to life some of the amazing discoveries Marco Polo made on his trip through the Silk Road.

On Monday, Denis led students through a conversation on why exploration began - largely as a result of Marco Polo's stories and the discoveries people made during the Crusades. He shared some of the goods discovered on the Silk Road, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, Lapis Lazule, and paper money. On Tuesday, students made geometric designs, decorated in part by a small amount of Lapis Lazule paint that Denis made in the classroom with egg whites. When completed, the designs will hang together in the hallway and form a large mosaic. 

Many thanks to Denis Belliveau for creating such a wonderful hands-on learning experience for our Level 5 students!

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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