Turning Point School Blog
Level 2 students received their very own passports to keep track of all the global learning they are doing this year. For the holiday season, they have been studying different winter holidays around the world. Did you know that in Sweden, the Christmas gnome Tomten delivers presents on Christmas Eve?
In Australia, our winter is their summer, so families often go to the beach to eat Christmas picnics and build sandmen. The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah originated in Jerusalem, Israel with the story of a miracle.
Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas, or in German... Frohe Weihnacht!
On December 16, Global Awareness elective students participated in a TED-Ed web video conference with schools from around the globe.
There are 68 other schools from different countries that are participating in the TED-Ed clubs, and today we met with students from Kansas, Poland, and California. We had conversations about our research topics; we collaborated, asking and answering questions about our topics. We also discussed our day-to-day lives; we learned about each other’s class schedule and afterschool activities.
At the end of the conference, we discussed ways to battle stage fright and our favorite TED talks. Overall, this was a great learning experience, and we look forward to doing it again soon.
Turning Point alumna Laila Rodriques (currently a member of the Class of 2015 at Marymount) will perform this weekend as part of the prestigious National Children's Chorus, which is one of the few youth arts organizations in the world to have its concert series presented by major music halls.
Seraphic Joy takes place this Friday, December 19 at 7:30 pm at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, one of LA's most breathtaking architectural structures. With music by Bach, Rachmaninov, and Handel, as well as John Rutter's electrifying Gloria, the more than 100 young chorus voices will be joined by brass, percussion, and six thousand nineteen pipes of the Cathedral's majestic Dobson pipe organ. To learn more or purchase tickets, visit the National Children's Chorus website.
The National Children’s Chorus is quickly establishing itself as America’s leading treble chorus, with a set of ensembles based in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
Collaborating with some of the finest music companies in the nation, the group has performed live with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera Company, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, the Kronos String Quartet, Center Theatre Group, and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra.
Students of the National Children’s Chorus are represented by more than one hundred schools throughout its cities, and meet weekly for rehearsal and musicianship study. The extensive curriculum includes college-level conducting, composition, music theory, sight-singing in the Kodály Method, and individual voice training in the bel canto style under the guidance of Michael Dean, Voice Department Chair at the UCLA School of Music.
Break a leg, Laila!
Parents in Levels 4-8 joined students from Mr. Isles’ coding class for a “Code and Coffee” event in the SmartLab last week. Students demonstrated innovative coding technology, and then coached them through their own coding sessions.
This was our culminating activity in the international Hour of Code Week. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. The goal is to provide students (and parents!) with a brief introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.
Zip-Zap-Zop is an improvisational comedy class that allows students in Levels K-5 to explore creatively while communicating. One of the improv games students have been playing is called "Presents." In the game, children act as though they have a present in front of them, describe the wrapping paper in as much detail as possible, open it up, and then act out using the gift. The rest of the class has fun figuring out what the present is!
This is the beginning stages of "object work" with improv and is a wonderful use of imagination. "Presents" is a great game to play with the whole family over the holidays, no matter what the age!
Congratulations to Mr. Matt Kline and the Level 8 Community Leadership team for being selected to participate in the 2015 Algalita POPS (Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions) International Youth Summit! Our group will join 90 other youth leaders from around the world in a three-day program that will challenge students to explore their role in the plastic pollution movement. The Youth Summit takes place From February 27 - March 1 at The Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA.
The Algalita POPS Youth Summit offers students a chance to learn about current scientific research on plastic pollution, share their action projects with their peers, and work directly with mentors to help improve their projects’ next steps.
The students on the Turning Point team - Vanessa P., Ben P., Tyler A., and Madison C. - were selected from a pool of 209 applicants (a total of 90 were selected). They will be showcasing a project idea that they came up with in class: to make the school community less wasteful by eliminating the need for plastic water bottles. Their goal is to not only raise awareness about the effects of plastic production, but open people's eyes to the truly simple solution to this ongoing problem.
We are so proud of our Turning Point team for being selected for this honor. On behalf of the entire school community we thank you for playing such an important role in caring for our environment!
Turning Point, along with tens of millions of other students in over 180 countries, is currently celebrating the Hour of Code week from Dec. 8-14. The Hour of Code aims to promote computer science by providing hour-long tutorials that introduce programming to all ages in over 30 languages.
Our global economy is rapidly changing and our industries need more students to be competent programmers and problem solvers. Learn more at hourofcode.com/us and start programming today!
In the slideshow below, Mr. Reynolds teaches block coding to students in Level 2.
Level 6 students visited the SmartLab to explore virtual or augmented reality programs on smartphones, ipads, and an Oculus Rift. David Nelson, parent of a Middle School student and Project Manager for the Interactive Media & Games Division at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, led the demonstration to promote computer science and the "Hour of Code" week that will run from December 8 - 14.
On Thursday, December 2, Level 6 students culminated their trimester of Performing Arts with their annual Choral Concert. Their performance was not just about singing; it was about inspiring others to make cultural connections across the globe, through time and history.
Entitled Be the Change, students used music to tell the stories of nine individuals (mostly children) whose individual acts of courage or determination helped change the lives of many. They sang songs from the United States, Kenya, South Africa, Pacific Islands, Lebanon, India, Jamaica, and Nigeria. Many of the songs they sang were in other languages, and contained melodies that are unfamiliar. Students embraced this challenge as an opportunity to recognize music as the identity of a culture.
The narratives students retold came from Canada, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Colombia, Malawi, Kenya, and Uganda. The text was excerpted from storybooks, first-hand accounts, and a variety of programs and speeches. They contained the words of Robert F. Kennedy, spoken during his visit to South Africa in June of 1966; the writings of Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu; and the humble poetry of young Mattie Stepanek.
By studying and expressing the semester's curriculum in their performance, Level 6 students inspired all of us - young and old - to BE THE CHANGE.
Students in this trimester of Yoga had a wonderful first lesson last week. They began by discussing the origins of yoga that stem from India's Hindu and Buddhist cultures. They explored the classical language of Sanskrit by viewing many of the characters, and even learning the Sanskrit names for some of the popular yoga poses!
They learned many poses including Sun Salutations, Crow Pose, Boat Pose, Plank, Cobra, Chair Pose, Down Dog, Superman, Cat Cow, and Swimmer. New students to this class received their very own yoga mats that they will use during this trimester of classes and then take home at the end of the session. Our returning students were able to take home their very own package of yoga cards, and will be receiving and learning to use other helpful yoga equipment. Namaste!
Members of the Tornado Robotics team recently competed at the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE (FLL) Qualifying Tournament on November 23rd at the AGBU High School in Canoga Park, CA. Family members of the team were on hand to cheer them on to their highest point total and finish in their brief three year history. The team finished 10th out of 22 teams and was the closest it has ever been to qualifying for the Regional Championship. The team, which meets after school on Fridays, will soon be back in action as it prepares for its second competition of the year, the Spring Showdown, which will take place at Legoland in March. Go, Tornadoes!
All photos courtesy of Turning Point parent, Doug Brandt.
The spirit of goodwill and gratitude is flourishing in our community! From the Week of Thanks to Giving Tuesday, we are joyfully celebrating generosity at Turning Point.
Turning Point's Week of Thanks (November 23-30) was dedicated to our thoughtful supporters. We hope you were able to view all the special "thank you" posts from Faculty and Staff last week on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, but if you missed the photos you can view them in the slide show below.
We are incredibly proud that so many people joined us on Giving Tuesday to give a little something more to any organization close to their heart. As you know, part of our Mission, Philosophy, and Core Values is to inspire students to "make meaningful contributions in a challenging and changing world." Just as we rely on support from the larger community to deliver a quality education to our students, we also appreciate and embrace our ability to similarly provide for others.
We extend a special thank you to the Alumni, Friends, Grandparents, and Parents who are making a pledge in support of our Annual Giving Campaign as their way of joining the world in a global celebration of generosity this holiday season.
Yesterday during Level 1 playground time, some students went to check on the chrysalises in our Butterfly Garden to see if they had hatched. To their surprise none of the chrysalises had been broken. However, one chrysalis was so clear they were able to see the colors of the monarch butterfly inside. By the time Level 1 Co-Teacher Ms. Bindel returned with a camera to take a picture of the chrysalis, the butterfly had broken through!
The After-School Players recently performed a theatrical preview of their spring production of The Little Prince. Featuring the Aviator, Prince, Rose, Business Man, Conceited Man, King, Lamp Lighter, and Geographer, this performance was as charming as it was endearing. We look forward to all the magic this troupe will bring to the stage as they remind us about the “important things.”
I was excited when I heard I was Head of School for a day and got my schedule. My day as Head of School was super fun, but I never knew how packed Ms. Richman's schedule was. I even got business cards and I got to sign checks. The S.A.V.E.S. Assembly was the scariest part of the day. I stood up in front of the whole school and spoke to them. After the assembly I went with Mr. Cressey to take photos and look at the technology software that he uses at assemblies. When I met with Mr. Davis I was excited to see the different marketing items for Turning Point and I thought they were cool and they represented the school well. When I met with Mr. Segar to talk about the ball run course display they might do I was excited about the ideas that he had.
It was fun going to lunch with Ms. Richman at the Point Café. I found out that we both go to Australia. I think Ms. Richman is fun and funny. Then we came back and I met with Ms. Baker to post on social media. I liked seeing the likes my posts were getting and it is great that so many people support us on our Facebook page. When I met with Ms. Sabihon to sign checks and discuss facilities I asked her to maybe add a larger playground. Then Ms. Akana told me about the Middle School International trips. She told me about the different places you go like Grand Canyon, Dominican Republic, Italy, and Spain. Now that I know the trips I cannot wait until I am in Middle School next year.
My favorite part of the day was just being the Head of School and having fun. Thank you mom and dad. You are the best and thank you for getting this item for me.
Aden, Level 5