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Summer Prep School: Week 1


Important Dates:
  • July 5: School opens
  • July 7: Juggling Performance by "Just Foolin' Around" featuring Rick Simpson and Jeff Peden followed by Juggling Workshop for students and faculty. Rick and Jeff demonstrate how juggler's use focus, technique, practice and team work.

Activity Photos | Class Photos

Class Summaries: Week 1

5th Library: Candice Lucas, Stacey Ehrig

Our first week flew by as we learned to use cooperation and communication to solve problems. Students practiced verbal and non-verbal communication techniques while solving problems.  Famous people were uncovered when students interviewed other members of the group. Our next challenge was to arrange the group in birthday order -- silently!!  Mrs. Ehrig and Mrs. Lucas tied us in knots.  When we untangled ourselves, we demonstrated kindness, trust, cooperation, teamwork and persistence.  We also learned about relative mapping - we'll never be lost next year.

5th English: Judy Adair, Stephanie Perlet

Our 5th (almost 6th!!!) graders are off to a great start!  In the first two days of Summer Prep, the students have already been working on our listening, speaking, and writing skills.  They had to listen when their partners described themselves, and then they had to orally present their partners to the whole group.  For the next activity, each student wrote brief phrases that described his or her life, interests, or likes and dislikes.  The kids were very active listeners (standing up and sitting down) when they heard about their classmates’ interests and discovered that they shared many in common. The students then transformed their individual descriptive phrases into dynamic, expanded, and complete sentences.  Our students are extremely enthusiastic and creative!

5th Learning Skills: Andy Morrow, Jennifer Soloman

Our students spent this abbreviated week focusing on organization and personal expression.  Students reviewed the reasons for maintaining an organized notebook and locker in 6th Grade and set up their own notebook for the Summer Academy.  Students also completed a “ME” Banner.  This is a colorful collage of pictures and words that visually expresses their interests and activities.  A key component of each student’s banner is a poem that shares his or her accomplishments, strengths, and goals for the future.  Next week we look forward to touring the school in preparation for 6th grade and focusing on organization and reading skills.

5th Math: Raina Debboli, Heather Kitchen

Day 1:  The 5th graders began the summer program by getting in groups of 3 or 4 and discovering the similarities they shared.  In order to do this they needed to generate a list of qualities or interests that all members shared in common.  For example, if 2 out of the 4 members did not share this quality they could not add it to their list.  After brainstorming for a few minutes they created and then presented a collage of drawings, words, and symbols that represented their shared interests.  They finished the first day by collecting data for a graph called “Number of Students from Pittsford Elementary Schools”.

Day 2:  We started off by engaging in a discussion about how the activity and the graph related to mathematics.  The students arrived at the conclusion that many math skills were used such as equality, majority, percents, decimals, and fractions.  We guided this discussion to further investigate how many ways fractions can be used in both the collage activity and the graph activity.  Together the students shared various ways fractions are used in their everyday lives as we compiled it onto our easel.

Students then practiced writing fractions in several different ways such as written form, fraction form and pictures.  They did a terrific job of working in groups and volunteering great ideas throughout the week.  We look forward to working with this group of students next week as we explore fractions through a variety if activities.

6 – 8 Upper School

English: Pamina Abkowitz, Jill Wahl

“It was a hot, sticky day.  I was sitting by the pool and I heard a noise…” That is the kernel that served as inspiration for a creative writing assignment in 6-8 English classes.  Incorporating adjectives, the class developed a story chain.  In a story chain, each student molds the beginning of a story from the given starter statement.  Then each passes his/her paper to someone else to develop the plot further.  Finally, a third or fourth student concludes the piece.   We are all eager to share the end products on Monday! 

One of our goals for this summer program is to teach kids how to write complete sentences more consistently.  We began this endeavor by reviewing some key parts of speech that included subjects, verbs, pronouns, and adjectives.  The musical video Grammar Rock provided the backdrop for engaging several of the multiple intelligences used for learning.  Ask your child to sing you a verse of “The Tale of Mr. Morton” or “Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla”.  They should also be able to spout off at least three powerful adjectives to describe anything!  These concepts will be vital to improving writing skills in the next few weeks and beyond. 

Technology: Brian Holliday, Terry VanDerLinden

The 6th grade students are starting out with a hands-on activity (water rockets.)  The water rocket activity will cover several of the Math, Science and Technology standards.  Through making water rockets students apply the principles of aerodynamics, Newton’s laws of motion and skills in measuring.

The 7th grade students are starting out with a hand on activity (model rockets.) The model rocket activity will cover several of the Math, Science and Technology standards.  Through making water rockets students apply the principles of aerodynamics, Newton’s laws of motion and skills in measuring. 

The 8th grade students will be working on their English skills through creating their own personal web page. Students have been introduced to web page design software and are currently exploring web sites for clip art and other material and that can be placed on their web page.

Learning Skills: MaryLynn Gleason, Dave Providence, Brett Provenzano

The 6th, 7th,and 8th grade study skills this week has been all about learning how to make transitions and how to organize one’s self to get from point A to point B.  Each group defined what organization means and how each person can make it work. We brainstormed what kinds of simple skills we already know and then we worked on developing an overview of the Summer Prep course, which took those very simple skills into the more complex and abstract tasks which will be confronted more and more as the students approach high school. In addition, we started working on our learning logs, which help students to reflect upon what they have done in a given day.  Why should the teachers do all evaluations?  Each student is being encouraged to evaluate themselves and how they viewed the daily activities.  And, how about those “To Do” lists?  We each have tasks we must do and those we want to do—but they need to be balanced! 

Next week we are going to be looking at how the brain works!  Why?  Because we really want to get those long-term memory skills working and the kids need to understand how the brain handles information so that they can know how to manage all the information they are asked to process during any given day.  Wow!  That’s a big agenda… however; just wait until next week when we get into working on “document-based essays.”  Parents, ask your kids about the DBQ’s because they know all about them.

Math: Jeremy Duntley, Kim Mrva

The first two days of instruction in math have enabled all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to become acquainted with the basic functions of the Geometer’s Sketchpad software.  Students have reinforced their Geometry knowledge as they create, name, and measure line segments and angles.  These practice days have allowed students to become comfortable with the tools and menus in Geometer’s Sketchpad before we proceed to more complicated applications.

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Pittsford Summer Prep School |  Peter Pappas, Director

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