Welcome to the 7th Grade Information Page

Welcome to our classroom page!  Here, you will find weekly updates on our classroom happenings, event/field trip information, and any other items that you need to know.  Thank you for stopping by!

Nora's 7th Grade

Week 30

posted Apr 21, 2017, 5:00 PM by Nora Bowman

We waited......and waited.....and this week, we were able to enjoy the greens from our Tower Garden.  Thank you to everyone who was able to send in salad options!!!!  We all fell in love with Ciara's Potato Leek Soup, and Jordyn's homemade cookies!  Thank you for your support!

This week, we continued our research on our Renaissance topic, and brain stormed different ways we could present our learning.  We also continued to build our Poetry Portfolio, and added 6 word memoirs and concrete poetry.  Next week, we will look at Black Out and Paint Chip Poetry.  

In math, we continued our work with expressions and equations, as well as revisit ratios and simplifying.  

In Science, we completed Biodiversity, and will explore Biomes next week.  Students were given the "homework" assignment of collecting clear 2 liter bottles, with the labels removed.  We will create our own Biome in class with them.  

We have been practicing the play that our writing team created, with Natasha, on Tuesday's and Fridays.  The play will take place the evening of May 18th, and during the day on May 19th.

End of year field trip!  We are scheduled to leave on Sunday, May 21st, and return on Friday the 26th.  We will set up camp at Spring Lake, in Santa Rosa and will spend a day at California Academy of Sciences, a beach day at Dillon beach (Bodega Bay), and a hike through the area we are camped in.  We are still planning out the other days, and we will let you know as soon as we have them scheduled.  Devon will be sending out a more detailed letter explaining the trip, if you do not receive it, please let me know so I can forward a copy to you.

As you are probably already aware, State Testing is approaching.  We are scheduled to take the Math portion May 8th, 9th and 10th.  We will take the ELA portion May 15th-18th.  Please, please, please have your students to school, each day and on time.  

Yearbooks can be purchased online, until April 30th.  Please see the attached flyer.  You can also clink here, and enter the code 10138151665191.​
An insightful article was shared with us, and on the IA facebook page.  I found in very interesting and thought it deserved to be shared.

Lastly, Christine shared a quick 7 minute audio clip about conflicts between siblings, however, this video also applies to conflicts between children.  This is just more information about how conflicts can be handled at home and here, at school, as well as at home.

Have a great weekend!

Nora & Dominique

Week 31

posted Apr 21, 2017, 4:59 PM by Nora Bowman

Happy Friday!!!  They seemed to be coming by faster and faster!

We are transitioning from our Renaissance research, to creating a way to teach others about their topic.   More information will come out about when their creations will be on display for your enjoyment.

We are continuing our studies of Ecology in Science, and Expressions and Equations in Math.  We are starting to transition into solving for unknown variables, and will then progress into inequalities and what they mean.  WE ARE STILL IN NEED OF CLEAR 2 LITER BOTTLES FOR OUR BIOME PROJECT!!!!  PLEASE SEND THEM IN, IF POSSIBLE.

Hopefully, you have received the detailed email regarding our end of year field trip.  We will NOT use passenger vans, and will most  likely need to rent a couple minivans.  If you have a vehicle that can transport several students, and are will to drive, please contact us.

Yearbooks will be available to purchase online, until April 30th.  You can click here, and enter the code 10138151665191.​
A reminder about state testing.   We are scheduled to take the Math portion May 8th, 9th and 10th.  We will take the ELA portion May 15th-18th.  Please, please, please have your students to school, each day and on time. 

Other important dates....
Murder Mystery Play - Thursday, May 18th (6pm), Friday (time to be determined, but during school day)
End of year Field Trip - Leaving Sunday, May 21st at 7:00 AM.  It is really important that they are here on time.  We have quite a drive, and want to get to our location before it gets dark.   Cargo van will leave with me on Friday, May 19th.  All items need to be at school Friday.  Students will be able to take a small bag with lunch, snacks, books and other things they might need for the drive up.   We will return the evening of Friday, May 26th, and will keep in touch about timing, while driving back.

We will have some smaller field studies scheduled (beach day, hike), and will let you know as soon as those are scheduled, so we can arrange for drivers.

Have a great weekend!

Nora & Dominique

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Week 28!!!! Spring Break

posted Mar 25, 2017, 11:06 AM by Nora Bowman

We made it!!!!!  All of our hard work, over the last 12 weeks, came to life Thursday night.  This was a multifaceted project that stemmed in a few different directions, each supporting the idea of eating locally, supporting our community and making better choices for ourselves, all while reinforcing all academic content.  We cannot thank you enough for supporting your students through this process.  We are so incredibly proud of them, and you could see the pride radiating from them as they presented and owned their project!

Enjoy your Spring Break, and we will see you back on Tuesday, April 4th!

Nora & Dominique

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Week 27!

posted Mar 17, 2017, 5:40 PM by Nora Bowman

We cannot believe that Exhibition Night is already here!  We cannot wait to see you, Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, from 5-7:30.  This will be set up to resemble a Farmer's Market, and all students are expected to be there the entire time.****WE NEED EASY UPS!!!!  IF YOU HAVE ONE WE CAN BORROW, PLEASE SEND IN ASAP****

We will be presenting all of our hard work, which includes our small space gardens, recipes using locally grown products and our infographic which highlights the location they chose to visit.  Students are encouraged to find a time to make their recipe with their partner, at home, if it is something that doesn't need to be made fresh.  We decided that the guacamoles, tortilla chips, watermelon fresca, strawberry jalapeño salsa should be made at school, on Thursday.   If this is not possible, please let me know, and we will find a time next week.  We will have time during the day, on Thursday.  Also, if your kiddo needs to keep their food warm, a crock pot would work best.
***WHAT WE NEED:  Your student will small forks, napkins, small plates or sample cups***  If you cannot provide these items, please let me know, and I will make sure they have what they need.

The day after exhibition night, we will go Balboa Park and Sea Port Village for a fun scavenger hunt.  Devon recently sent out an email, requesting drivers.  This will be an all day trip, leaving at 9:30 and returning by 3:15.

After learning about the process of photosynthesis, and respiration, we finished our science unit with some hands on activities, proving that photosynthesis and respiration occur.
- Ask your student what is needed for photosyntheses to occur 
- What 2 products are formed as a result?
- During respiration, what happens?
-  What experiments did you do to prove that photosynthesis occurs?

In math, we completed our combining like terms unit and will be moving onto finding equivalent equations and the distributive property.  But first....we will work on our combining like terms, In and Out challenge problem, next week.  We also celebrated Pi day with a friendly competition!!!  The most numbers memorized prize went to Lulu with 62 words!!!!  The best part, is we got to enjoy "pi" with each other.

Coach Curry and Coach John helped students prepare for the fitness gram with some dynamic exercises and fun races.  Dominique and I participated in the races...we were very sore!

Most students have received feedback on their infographics from their peers, the business owner, Dominique and myself.  It was a very authentic experience to receive praise, clarification and questions from the locations they went to, regarding the infographic.  We can't wait to share them with you!

Wednesday was the talent show, and two of our students (Lulu and Payton) gave an amazing performance.  Fortunately,  the entire class was able to see them perform the next day at morning meeting!

See you next week!

Nora & Dominique

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Week 26

posted Mar 10, 2017, 5:01 PM by Nora Bowman

Happy Friday!  In less than 2 weeks, we will be at our next Exhibition Night!  We are getting excited, nervous and anxious to see it all come together, and to show you, and our community what we have been doing.  We also invited locations we visited to come see the work we have done, and to stand beside us, if possible.

This week we focused on completing the construction and planting of our small space garden.  We have also been observing to see how our designs are working, and what needs to change or modified.  We will experiment with a cayenne pepper, tobacco and water mixture, as a deterrent for squirrels and bunnies.  Some groups still need to get their plants, and they will need to either get them this weekend, or bring money to school on Monday, and we will make a final trip to Home Depot.    We used an infographic website called Piktochart to create our invitations.  We will also use this website to create our location resource.

Our recipe tasting went very well!  Thank you for supporting your student in this part of the project.  They received feedback on their recipes and were able to reflect with their group about the modifications they will make on their recipe!  The next presentations of these recipes, will be on Exhibition Night, however, some students have asked if they can make a second tasting.  We will discuss this at our next class council.

The Book Fair is taking place after school today until 6pmand Wednesday (15th) until 6pm.  On all other days, it will remain open during main traffic at dismissal.  Our class is scheduled to go on Tuesday, the 14th, from 11:00-11:30.

We have decided to set up our exhibition night to resemble a Farmer's Market.  If you have an easy up or canopy that we could borrow, we would greatly appreciate it.  We would need it anytime before Tuesday, March 21st.  We are also looking for hanging lights, if you happen to have any laying around.  If for some reason, the weather takes a turn for the worse, we will set up inside.

Devon's 7th grade class is hosting a talent show, where tickets will be sold, to help offset the costs of upcoming field trips.  The talent show will take place March 15th, from 6-8pm.  Tickets can be purchased ahead of time for $1, or at the door for $2.  We will be selling snacks, if you are able to bake or donate snack type food or drinks, send them in.  

Coach Curry and Coach John have continued to work on basketball skills, as well as some fun skill based games.

In math, we are continuing to work on Combining like terms and will move onto simplifying expressions and equivalent equations.  We have created an order of what we would order from In N Out.  Their challenge will be to take that information, assign variables to the different items, and combine the like terms.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Nora & Dominique

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Week 25

posted Mar 4, 2017, 10:25 AM by Nora Bowman

Good Morning!  It has been such a nice treat having our beautiful weather back, not that we haven't appreciated the rain, it is just nice to have some warm sunshine, and to be able to go outside and build.

All students have been able to visit their location, and we are on the the next step of our project.  We will review the information, images and videos they took, and decide how to put it together and create their resource.

We are so close to completing our small spa gardens!  We were hoping to be able to plant today, but it looks more like Monday!  It has been an incredible experience watching our kids design, create small scale models, then build their creation with their own hands.  They are all very different from each other, and they have learned so much while building.  They were able to see that some of their original measurements didn't work, that the structure needed more support, and a few other challenges that came up....BUT....they modified and persevered through it all.  We have had many discussion about how many mistakes it takes to come up with a final product, and how mistakes lead us to evaluating, modifying and enhancing what we already had.  It is a rarity that our first attempt is near perfect.

We were able to get some plants donated.  They are tomatoes, peppers, and squash.  Students were informed that if they individual preferences for their garden, to go get their plants this weekend, or bring in money and we will make a trip to home depot or a local nursery.  

What do we need help with?  Small rocks (for drainage), water sealer, gardening soil, plants, old pots....

A few of our students were able to get expert chef feedback, on their recipes, from Freddy (Natasha's husband).  The remaining groups will present the recipe on Thursday.  They have 2 options.  They can prepare their food at home, or they can prepare it here, however, it is extremely important that they go through the process themselves  (if they do it at home).  

Dominique and I got a special treat, and were able to watch a skit our students are working on in Spanish!  It was amazing to watch, and we hope you get the opportunity to, as well.

Our 2nd Parent's Night Out was successful and we raised about $200!  Thank you to all of the students who helped out.  Being the only adult, I couldn't have done it without them.

Have a great weekend!  

Nora & Dominique

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Week 24

posted Feb 24, 2017, 5:29 PM by Nora Bowman

It is hard to believe that next week, we will enter into March, then a few shorts weeks away from that, we will be at our next exhibition night!.

Our next field trip will be the week of March 20 (date to be determined soon).  We are planning on heading down to Balboa Park and Sea Port village for some group activities, scavenger hunts, team building and some well deserved fun.

Spread the word that this Friday is another "Parents Night Out", hosted by the 7th grade planning committee.  If you know anyone, who has young children, and needs a night out, send them our way.

RECYCLING COMING SOON!  Our 7th grade planning committee is in the process of organizing a weekly recycling program.  We will collect cans on a designated day, and take them to a nearby recycle center.  What do we need help with?  We may need someone to drive the recyclables once a week to the local recycle center.  This can be a shared responsibility between multiple parents.  As soon as we get the details ironed out, we will make the official announcement, and send out a sign up sheet.

In math, we continued to build our knowledge of "Combining Like Terms".  Your child can practice these skills on IXL, or by logging into their Gooru account and playing some of the games that are loaded into their current unit.

Our small scale gardens are nearing completion!  We are hoping to have them finalized by the end of next week, and planted the week after.  We are also going to try out our recipes, and receive feedback from a professional chef.  About half of our class has made it to their farm/business location.  From what we have seen, their interview skills have been very impressive!

Don't forget the Milton's Secret event which will be happening next Monday!!

Just an advance reminder to make sure you have our next exhibition night on March 23. Please make sure this is on your calendar!

I did a horrible job taking photos this week, and last week....sorry.  I will be more mindful of capturing moments during our day.

Have a great weekend!

Nora & Dominique

Week 23

posted Feb 17, 2017, 4:24 PM by Nora Bowman

Hello Families!  We hope your long weekend is off to a great start!  A few reminders, we do not have school on Monday, but are excited to be back on Tuesday at 8:45am!

Don't forget the Milton's Secret event which will be happening next Monday!!  It should be a great event, and child care options are available. How IA families can help:

1. Share the Facebook event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/383897658650803/?ti=cl 
2. Purchase tickets and share the Eventbrite link:  http://miltonssecret.eventbrite.com
3. Promote by word of mouth and post a flyer where appropriate. 
4. Volunteer the night of the event (contact Christine Hengesteg

Funds raised support our Mindfulness Program at IA!  We hope to see you there.

Students have been calling and trying to schedule their visit to a local organic farm, or business who supports and uses local resources.  Unfortunately, we are learning some life lessons...not all business are willing to let us interview, take pictures and promote their business.  If you have any resources or suggestions, please feel free to send them in.  About half of our groups have been consistently reaching out, with no success.  
  - Consider asking your student: "Why did you choose that location?"  "What words for your lexicon can you apply to what you know about your location?"  

In math, we are working on continuing to work with combining like terms, the distribution property, simplifying expressions, and we will be getting into solving for unknown variables.  This will be a hands on, and minds on experience as we work form the abstract level, to the more concrete.
- Where in life do you might need to combine like terms?  Why do you think it is important to simplify equations?  Can you think of a real life example where the distributive property would help?

We worked on our basketball skills in Physical Education with Coach Curry, and everyone enjoyed a game of "Knock Out".  A few students had the pleasure of "knocking" their teachers out.  

We are still working hard on our small space gardens, and most students are about 1/2 way done.  This is 100% hands on, and they are using strictly manual tools!  We are anxious to complete them, plant and watch life grow.  We are very thankful to have Jeff and Stephanie helping with the groups that are building.

We have 2 Garden Towers purchased for our use, by Christine, in order to support our project.  We are super excited about these towers and a fe students have already assembled one and the seedlings have already started sprouting.  We each researched a different plant and all the aspects about it, including the benefits of growing in a Garden Tower vs. the ground.  We cannot wait to see life springing from the tower, and we also cannot wait to use our crops in our cooking.  We have also entered into a larger unit that leads to Ecosystems.  We are starting with a unit on plants, since we are growing them, and will move towards ecosystems.  It is our intention to schedule a trip to the Biosphere in Arizona.  This trip will be spread over 3 days, and the estimated cost will be about $60 per student.  More information about this trip will come soon, and we are looking to go towards the end of April, beginning of May.
- What 3 items are needed for photosynthesis to occur?  What are the products created as a result of photosynthesis?  Where on the plant does photosynthesis happen?  Where in the plant cell does photosynthesis happen?  

Speaking of big field trips, hopefully you received the email about the end of year trip from Devon.  If you did not, please let me know and I will resend it.  We are estimating this trip will cost about $150 per student.  It will be a week long trip in the Santa Rosa area and will consist of different adventures and experiences.  We are still working on the details.  We are also fundraising to offset some of the costs.  Our parents night out raised over $300, and we are planning on hosting that once per month (maybe more).  We will also start recycling (details to come).  If you are a family on a tight budget, we recommend the following:  make small payments once a month or 2 times a month, have your child participate in fundraising to help out.

We have been continuing to work on receiving feedback on our work, ideas and writing.  We focus on being kind, specific and helpful.  Most students gravitate towards kindness, and are increasingly stepping out of their comfort zone by being specific with their peers and helpful.  We have been working on understanding that feedback isn't always positive, but is constructive and meant to help us evaluate what we created and enhance it.  Regardless of the field we are in, it is very rare that our first draft of something, whether it be writing, creating a recipe, drawing plans for a house, making a video, etc, is ever perfect.  It is important that we look to others for feedback, so we can make our first draft into a better second one, and an even more spectacular final product.  Sometimes it is hard for students to hear that the suggestions of "Have you thought about stronger descriptive words" or "Did you consider how the weight of the soil, water and plants would impact the stability of your garden".  A perfect example that I have given students is when I create something to give or present to them, without having someone else look at it.  We will usually find a typo or two and/or a spelling error (you probably find a few errors in my emails).  We, for the most part, cannot see the mistakes we have made, and need fresh, new eyes to look at it.  It is for this reason that we are working on it, and will continue to do so, as it will only help them in all areas of life.

If you are able to drive a couple students to conduct interviews and take pictures, please please please sign up.  We still have a few groups who will need a driver. ​
Have a wonderful weekend!  

Nora & Dominique

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Week 21

posted Feb 3, 2017, 4:41 PM by Nora Bowman

Happy Friday!  We hope you have a relaxing weekend planned.

What did we do this week?  ALOT!   So much that we blinked, and it was Friday again...how does that happen?

In Math, we have moved on to the distributive property, combining like terms and solving equations.  One common struggle that came up was understanding that in an equation like   3x + 2 - 5X + 8 =, you can only combine the like terms (3x and -5x) and (2 and 8).  There is always extra practice on ixl.com!  We will continue building these skills.

We are almost finished with A Monster Calls, and wouldn't you know it....they stopped playing it in the theaters....we will have to wait for it to come out on DVD.  One of the themes behind this book supports the Mindfulness that we practice at IA.  Thoughts can control many aspects of our life, but it is our actions in life that are most important.  We have been practicing the idea of not letting our thoughts control us.  

We gave feedback to our 2nd grade buddies, who are making inventions for their current project.  We also practice giving constructive feedback that is kind, helpful and specific.  We reinforced this concept by giving each other feedback on the prototype of their small space garden.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of the supplies we needed in order to make quiche!  It was wonderful to see the creativeness in the ingredients they chose.  We reinforced proportions while cooking as well!  Most students are bringing home their leftovers to share :).

We learned about food waste and added vocabulary to our Lexicon of Sustainability notebook.  Ask your students what percentage of food goes to waste.  Ask about the term "Gleaning" and why so much produce is left behind after harvest.  

Coach Curry continued to work on basketball techniques and skills.  I have personally witnessed several students improve, just by listening and using his techniques and skills.

If you haven't already signed up for a Portfolio Review time slot, please click the link and find a time that works for you.  We do require 100% attendance.  Portfolio review week is also half days, students will be released at 12:30 each day.​

7th grade is hosting a fundraiser next Friday, to help offset field trip costs.  We will host a "Parents Night Out", where 7th grade will watch younger students while their parents enjoy some quality time together.  If your students wants to stay and help watch younger students, please have them see me.  If you would like to sign a younger sibling up for this event, flyers can be found in the office and online.  
Hopefully you saw the e-mail from the IA account about the viewing of Milton's Secret. This is a really huge event for our community... please help by spreading the word and purchasing tickets! More information can be found on the Facebook event page or in the e-mail from Genia.

We hope you enjoy your weekend, see you Monday!

Nora & Dominique


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Making dough with 2nd grade

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Mixing Ingredients

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Our Final Product

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Week 20

posted Jan 27, 2017, 5:29 PM by Nora Bowman

Happy Friday!  It feels like I just sent last week's message yesterday.  The time just keeps flying....I guess that means we are having fun :)

Thank you to the parent drivers!!!!  We had a brief, but informative, trip to one of our 2nd grade buddies house.  His parents have designed and built a large aquaponics system.  It was a fun time with our buddies, please we got to see and innovative growing system.  We even have our own mini aquaponics system in class!  Hopefully we will start to see some growth in the near future.
- Ask your student what an aquaponics system is, what are the components and how it allows for a symbiotic relationship between the plants and the fish.

Students are working in small groups to create recipes made with locally grown products.  We are also working on our small space garden to address one of the challenges of growing your own produce....space.  After submitting their designs, students applied measurements, then downscaled them to create a small scale model of their final product.  We will be working with Jeff to start constructing their gardens over the next few weeks.
- Help your student look around your house for things they might need. (Old Rain gutters, home depot buckets, pallets, wood)
- Ask your student about their recipe and if their ingredients can be purchased locally?

We continued to building our knowledge of food sustainability by learning about seeds, seed sovereignty, seed swaps, GMO type seeds, and how the diversity of our naturally grown foods are diminishing.  We taste tested the different between conventionally grown tomatoes and carrots and the Heirloom variety.  One student said, "I don't eat tomatoes, but I would eat these".

We will practice cooking next week, starting off with the different ways to cook an egg, and the physical changes that are taking place.
HOME HELP!!!!! - If you have chefs knives that you no longer, or we can borrow, please send them in. - Spare Cutting boards - Pans  
**We are getting cutting gloves to ensure maximum safety.**

By the end of the week, we will bake a quiche, using our cutting skills, measurements, proportions, timing and creativity skills.  Things we need...
- EGGS - organic brown if possible
- Flour - Organic if possible
- old pie tins
- Unsalted butter

We had the pleasure of having 3 health experts speak to our class.  Please ask your student about Dr. McCarthy, Dr. Hengesteg and Lauren.  We learned some very interesting information about the effect certain types of food have on our bodies, and much more.
- what was the most interesting thing you learned from your guest speakers.  Why have digestive track medical issues increased so much?

Coach Curry worked on basketball skills, which was enjoyed by all!

If you have not signed up for a Portfolio review time slot, please do it as soon as possible.  We do require 100% attendance.  ​

If you were unable to pick up your students report card today, they are available in the front office.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend!  See you Monday!

Nora & Dominique


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Mary and our small aquaponics system
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