Archive for the ‘Heritage Happenings’ Category

Club 26944

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Yesterday, PHS was flashed back to 1975!
“Welcome to Club 26944,” began one of our Fourth Graders at yesterday’s Mothers’ Day assembly. “This is a place of respect, where we seize every opportunity to let all of our members shine!”
And shine they did as our Fourth Graders shared stories of learning life lessons from their moms.
“All the moms at Club 26944 became members,” explained Catherine, “because they are forward thinking and want us to belong to a school community that respects individual gifts.”
“And,” continued Marcus, “we want all you moms to know how grateful we are for joining this exclusive club and for all the wonderful things you do for us!”
These students went on to celebrate the Disco Era with music and dance under the direction of our fabulous Ms. Deb Wilcox, which was further enlivened by two surprise faculty guests at the Club – Mr. Ahn and Mr. Zack!
What a delight to conclude the program with all our moms joining their children and sharing disco dance moves with each other!

Under the Tuscan Sun!

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

“When our school seems to shine, With our teachers divine, That’s Amore!” sang our beautiful students to our teachers on Tuesday, as our faculty enjoyed the very “Under the Tuscan Sun” Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.
Amid lemon-and-sunflower-decorated tables, our parents feted each member of our staff with an amazing luncheon, complete with gifts and favors! The setting was relaxing and truly “Vita Bella”!
Bouquets of thanks to each and every parent, including those supervising the playground, as they recognized our amazing staff and made this fantastic event possible!

Visit to Renaissance Fair

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Our Second Graders extended their study of Shakespeare and the medieval era by visiting the Renaissance Fair at Sante Fe Dam in Irwindale last Friday. As their first activity on this special Fair day for school children, our students experienced a very novel activity – hand washing clothes. The cooling effects of the splashing water were an additional bonus for our young workers! Moving on to other features of the Fair, our PHS children had a “royalty sighting” of the Queen and her court, heard musicians playing medieval instruments, and caught sight of “real” fairies.
“We watched an actual jousting match,” reports Second Grade teacher Mrs. Esturain, “and cheered on ‘our’ mounted knight – the one in blue and gray!” This prompted a few of our students to purchase toy swords and shields and shout the medieval expression of delight, “Huzzah!” – a fitting description of their days’ experience at the Renaissance Fair.

The Real Talent Show!

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Such talent! Yesterday’s annual Talent Show was a glorious event! As proud as I am of this year’s wonderful participants, I am even more pleased with our Kindergarten through Eighth Grade audience, with their smiles and hands ready to clap throughout the two-hour event!
From concert-level piano performances to Knock-Knock jokes, our children entertained and delighted us as they shared their many talents.
Innovative technology was put to use by Ms. Shirley Omori, enabling families to view the Talent Show via “Instagram Live.” We heard from parents, a former teacher in Texas, and a former student attending school in Switzerland – all watching our amazing Talent Show LIVE!

Second Graders Present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Our Second Graders wowed their audience yesterday afternoon in the Amphitheater with their presentation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. With an abbreviated scrip interspersed with current observations, the action was fast-paced. Confidence and individual personalities were obvious as these young thespians demanded, swooned, rebuffed, slept, and even (very briefly) left mortality in this delightful presentation! One child’s head even temporarily morphed into a donkey’s! But after all, it was just a dream.
“It’s amazing,” remarked one of the Second Grader’s grandmothers, “that these young children can learn all these lines so well. They were obviously enjoying themselves. And with this experience, they should have no trouble speaking in front of large groups in the future.”
Having mastered the characters of Hermia, Lysander, Puck, Titania, Bottom, and many more, these Second Graders are well prepared for future roles in Peninsula Heritage productions and beyond.
Thanks go to Mrs. Esturain for her love of Shakespeare in inaugurating this wonderful event, and to Miss Mervette and Miss Carolina for their assistance in working with the Second Graders. Gratitude is also extended to Mr. Charley Miller for the perfectly timed lullaby music in the sleep scenes, for the background music, and for the sound system!
Kudos to all for an event charmingly presented!

STEM + Entrepreneurship

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

STEM studies and entrepreneurship are blooming in Mrs. DeMarti’s Third Grade class this month! The children watched the “Cain’s Arcade” viral video and decided they wanted to build their own arcade games. Tie Dying ShirtsWith one cardboard box per student, they each designed and built a game, which they will debut for parents and visitors on Thursday, March 23, from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon. Seeing themselves as socially conscious entrepreneurs, these students decided that all fees collected at the Third Grade Arcade will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund.
Since one of the Third Graders already has his own business, http://rainbowsandfaeries.com/#, Drying the Tie Dyed ShirtsMrs. DeMarti asked Nikolas if he would tie dye a shirt for each class member. The answer was yes and the results are beautiful! The Third Graders will be wearing their new shirts when you come to visit on March 23rd. See you then!

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!

Behind the Scenes

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Once again, our youngest students amazed us with their recent performance at our All-School Assembly on Dads & Granddads Day.
So let’s take a peek behind the scenes and see how our talented faculty plan and rehearse for this amazing event. At Peninsula Heritage, this is never a cookie-cutter approach. Rather, the songs and the choreography are selected to highlight our students’ particular likes and abilities.Dancing
Way back in December, Miss Deborah Wilcox, our Dance and Drama teacher, came to the Primary Center and began leading movement games with the children; the children learned to know and trust Miss Deb, and vice versa. She taught the students the songs and provided the teachers with the written words and a CD of the songs, so the teachers could incorporate these in the course of a day’s activities.
For the speaking parts, each child shared with one of her teachers what things they like about their dad. These thoughts were transcribed onto strips of paper, and during rehearsals in the classroom, each child stepped to a pretend microphone and spoke his part.
“These children are like sponges!” remarked teacher Christy Burden. “Within a short time, each child knew everyone else’s part!”Three Beards
For their costumes, the children brought in several of their favorite t-shirts, and working with Miss Deb, the best shirt was chosen for the performance.
Now it was time to bring it all together, still in the classroom in order to build the children’s confidence. With tape strips on the floor to aid the students in their dance and speaking positions, they rehearsed and became comfortable with the flow of the performance. Only then did they go out into the Amphitheater for their final rehearsals. This approach is designed to build self-assurance at each level of the performing process.
We all saw their fabulous performance! The children were enthusiastic and projected energy and happiness as they sang, danced, and spoke their parts – a wonderful example of our extraordinary Performing Arts program AND our talented students!

Volcano Eruptions in Science

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

This week our Primary Center students learned about volcanic eruptions. Starting with a diagram of a volcano, science teacher Mrs. Wendy Nguyen explained how hot lava Ingredients for Volcanorises from a subterranean magma chamber, erupts out of the mouth of the volcano, emitting an ash cloud, with hot lava traveling down the side of the volcano.
Some of these young students knew that there are volcanoes in Hawaii and even knew of the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980. Mrs. Nguyen explained that some volcanoes are sleeping (dormant) and others are awake (active).Demonstrating Volcano
Using a clay model volcano filled with baking soda and a drop of red food coloring. Mrs. Nguyen poured in vinegar so the children could see an acid-base reaction taking place, producing a gas (carbon dioxide) and water, seen as red liquid bubbling out of the mouth of the volcano model.
“We want to see it again!” exclaimed the children. Each student then had the opportunity to replicate the demonstration, followed by a delicious treat. Mrs. Nguyen had created a model volcano made from chocolate Rice Crispy treats. Using red soda poured onto lemon fizz powder, the students witnessed another volcanic eruption – except this one they could eat! Slices of the chocolate volcano were enjoyed by all!

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!

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