Archive for the ‘Eighth Grade’ Category

BEYOND Differentiated Instruction

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Peninsula Heritage offers students the opportunity to learn academics at their own personalized pace, with small group instruction. For instance, in mathematics, students can advance one, two, or even three years above their class and still be with their age-appropriate peers for their other subjects, which nurtures appropriate social-emotional growth.
In the Eighth Grade, a full year of Geometry is offered to those who have previously excelled in mathematics. In addition to this rigorous curriculum, the small class size allows students to independently pursue mathematical processes that are of particular interest to them.Chris's Cross Line Theorem
For instance, last week during class one student formulated the idea that there might be an easier way to manually (i.e. not using a calculator) square two-digit numbers. In an instant, this young mathematician was off and calculating, trying one approach after another. Within twenty minutes he raised both hands in victory. He had created what he called Chris’s Cross-Line Theorem for Squaring Two-Digit Numbers. Then, each of his classmates put forth a two-digit number to test the new Theorem, and each time it worked!
The following day this student learned that his new Theorem had already been discovered by others in the mathematical world. Although disappointed, his Geometry class had already learned the famous situation of independent discovery: both Isaac Newton in England and Gottfried Leibniz in Hanover (now Germany) developing differential and integral calculus independently. This PHS student realized that the true joy was in the process of discovering!

Differentiated Instruction in Mathematics

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

“Differentiated instruction” has recently become a buzz word in education, but Peninsula Heritage School has been actively engaged in differentiated instruction for years!
One example is the mathematics program throughout the school. Since math is taught during the first hour in the elementary grades, Explaining the Riemann Zeta Functiona gifted Kindergarten student, for instance, leaves his class during this time and walks to the First Grade room where he is a part of the First Grade math class. This is the same throughout the school, and we have students who are two (and sometimes three) grades above their age group in math. However, these students return to their age-appropriate class for the balance of their subjects as well as recess, lunch, and P.E. This configuration nurtures all the students’ social/emotional growth.
In the Seventh and Eighth Grades, the math courses offered at PHS include pre-algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry.
In addition to their coursework, Eighth Grade students in Geometry are assigned presentation topics in three categories on a rotating basis: Famous Mathematicians, Mathematical Current Events, and Subtopics of Mathematics. Today, one of our students gave a Current Events presentation about the latest work on the Riemann Zeta Function, complete with computer-generated graphs and equations.
While these student presentations are only four minutes in length, they introduce our students to the world of mathematics beyond Geometry and also give them additional practice in presenting information in front of a group.
Congratulations, Samantha, on today’s presentation!

VEX IQ Robotics

Friday, January 6th, 2017

A group of our PHS Eighth Graders have been selected to attend an advanced robotics course (VEX IQ & Robotics) at the PV Net, PV Net ReSizeda non-profit STEM/ technology education center located at the Promenade on the Peninsula mall, next to the Pottery Barn store. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn more about robotics and programming.
If you’re new to robotics, VEX IQ is a robotics platform designed to transform STEM learning for young students. Our Eighth Graders can immediately become engaged in individual and group robotics projects and create robots with this intuitive, toolless system.
Our thanks go to PHS parent Mrs. Kate McKenna, who has graciously offered to drive these students to the PV Net for these classes, and to Sixth Grade teacher Eileen Mahoney for coordinating the details of this course.

Historic Ribbon Cutting

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Our school’s new membership in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce will be in evidence this Sunday at our Middle School Ribbon Cutting / Open HouseChamber of Commerce 2016 Membership Plaque starting at 1:00 pm on our Middle School campus. Chamber CEO & President Eileen Hupp, Member Services Director Ann Sidler, and the giant Chamber scissors will be present to actually cut the ribbon!
We invite each of you to come to the Middle School campus for this special event! Our Head of School, Patricia Cailler, will welcome Mayor Steve Zuckerman and a special visit by California State Assemblyman David Hadley. The pastor of St. Luke’s, Rev. Sunny Kang, members of the Chamber Board, members of our PHS Board of Trustees, parents, and PHS faculty will be joining us. Please enjoy our beautiful new classrooms and science lab, as well as the ambiance of the school patio with cookie treats.
This will be a historic day for PHS – see you there!

June Graduate’s Family Writes

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

We would like to share the following note from the family of one of our 8th Grade graduates addressed to “Everyone at PHS”:
“Once in a lifetime, you may be lucky enough to be in a place Middle School Sign w Ribbon Cutting Bannerwhere you feel pure contentment, where you are surrounded by loving, supporting friends, and where you know you will fit in and be cared for every day.
How fortunate were we to find that place in Peninsula Heritage School! Even more fortunate for us was to have the privilege of being here for 8 years! We cannot begin to express our gratitude for all you have given us.
PHS will be a part of us forever. We love you!”

Zia Fitness

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

“During my experience at Zia Fitness,” writes one of our Sixth Grade girls, “I learned a lot of things that I never would have even thought about. I really enjoyed learning about self-defense, testing my reactions on the vision board, and using the TRX bands!”
A recent addition to our Middle School physical education program includes monthly visits to Zia Fitness Studio in south Torrance (www.zia-fitness.com). PHS parent and Zia proprietor George Toney, worked with our PE teacher, Mrs. Kim Nygaard, in designing programs to teach self-defense and physical fitness to our Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade students. Through the generosity of Mr. Toney and using the incredible resources of Zia Fitness and its certified trainers, our students build self-confidence and real-world awareness, improve their self-discipline, and have fun through games and adventures at Zia.
In addition, Mr. Toney is offering fitness classes, gratis, for PHS faculty and staff, and Mrs. Nygaard has classes for PHS students on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. Sign-up information for Kindergarten through Third Graders is available in the School Office. PHS parents are cordially invited to visit this new facility (The Pyramid Building, 22939 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance) and learn all that it has to offer!

Construction Update

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

As you know, construction is well underway on our new 7th & 8th Grade buildings on the St. Luke’s campus across the street! The windows and a good portion of the outside work are completed, which is fortunate now that the “El Nino” rains have arrived. The construction focus is now on the interior of the three buildings. Dry wall is up, and carpets, tile flooring, counter tops, and cabinets have been selected. We are very excited about this fabulous new addition to our school, as we look forward to inviting our parents, alumni, and members of our community for an Open House to experience these beautiful new facilities.

Thank you, Mrs. Harunk!

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

“I love art, and I love children!” These are the sentiments of Mrs. Patty Harunk, our Art Teacher this year. Mrs. Harunk was very active as a parent here at PHS some years ago, and now that her twin daughters, Katie and Kellie, are in college, Patty has rejoined us.
We are very fortunate to have her leading our Art At Your Fingertips (AAYF) program, an outreach of the Palos Verdes Art Center. Along with our wonderful volunteer parent Docents and Helping Hands, PHS students this week enjoyed creating “Giants of the Earth,” an artistic presentation of the California Sequoia trees.
In addition to AAYF, Mrs. Harunk teaches art to our PHS Middle Schoolers as part of their elective wheel. For the first trimester of this year, the Eighth Graders have already completed three very unique projects, including “Pinwheels for Peace,” an artistic representation of students’ striving for peace from the global level down to personal interactions. These students will soon be fashioning totem poles that represent themselves, using the medium of clay.
Thank you, Mrs. Harunk, for sharing your wonderful talents with our PHS students!

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