Heritage Happenings from the Head of School

Patricia Cailler

Head of School


Heritage Celebration – 4th Grade

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

The Fourth Graders’ Heritage Celebration culminated their social studies and language arts exploration of immigrants and diversity in California. Under Mrs. Gilbert’s excellent direction, the students created collages including specific items from the country they chose to share. They also brought food from that ethnicity to share, and parents were invited to the class to enjoy this celebration.
One aspect of the event centered on three paper loops on which each student wrote. The first loop included a student’s similarities with other children; the second loop stated the differences that make them unique, and on the third loop the students wrote about understanding and affirming each and every individual. These loops were connected with all the others in the class, giving a visual image to the children of how they can recognize differences while working together harmoniously.
Another element of the project focused on proverbs that we use in the US and their counterparts in other countries. For instance, we are all familiar with “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The Danish version is, “You can force a man to shut his eyes, but you can’t make him sleep.” The American proverb, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” has its Korean equivalent in, “My house burned down, but it was a relief – the bedbugs died”!
One Fourth Grader shared his talented mother who added the holiday spirit to the Heritage Celebration in the accompanying video! Click HERE: Heritage Celebration

Hour of Code

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Peninsula Heritage’s Computer Science teacher, Ms. Stella Demis, shares news about our students’ participation in this week’s international “Hour of Code”!
Our students’ success as adults will depend a great deal on their understanding of technology. During December 8-14, designated as Computer Science Education Week, our students will be furthering their knowledge of one of the 21st century’s foundational skills: computer coding. In this way, we are preparing PHS students to be at the forefront of creating the technologies of the future.
This week we are joining other students worldwide to reach the goal of 100 million youth participating in the “Hour of Code.” Each class here at PHS, starting with Kindergarten, is receiving coding instruction using www.code.org. This site enables students to grasp an overview of coding and to create a visual design according to their own instructions. Beginning with direct assistance in Kindergarten, each grade’s students work at ever more independent levels in this coding process.
Coding has always been an integral part of the PHS Sixth Grade computer science curriculum. This year we will be using Kahn Academy instruction in learning Java programing language. Our Seventh Grade students demonstrated their knowledge of various computer coding languages during last week’s presentation of their “Genius Hour” projects!
You may wish to try a little coding yourself !

Genius Hour

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Inspired by Google’s employee policy of required time to pursue an individual area of interest, Ms. Lomeli created a “Genius Hour” for her Seventh Grade students each Friday afternoon beginning in September. Working on a project of their own choosing, the Seventh Graders presented their completed work today in our School Library. Invited guests for this presentation included the Sixth Graders, the parents of the Seventh Grade, Head of School Mrs. Cailler, and other faculty and administrators.
One student used C++ programming to create a mathematics problem-solving program that was interactive – a Sixth Grader spontaneously presented a problem today and the program solved it!
Three students, including one very talented girl, created their own video games using the Construct 2 program, while another wrote and read a short story in the mystery/thriller genre.
Another Seventh Grader used MikuMikuDance to create three animated skits using sound tracks from SpongeBob episodes – even the characters’ mouths moved with the words!
“I was truly amazed,” commented Ms. Lomeli at the conclusion of the presentations. “not only with the creativity but the perseverance of these students in solving the many problems they faced to complete their projects. It was also very gratifying to see how supportive they were toward each other.” Our PHS Character Qualities are truly internalized in our students!

The Mayflower

Friday, November 21st, 2014

“Why are the children in this class sitting on their desks wearing old-fashioned clothing?” a visitor to Peninsula Heritage School might have asked this past Monday.
Fifth Grade teacher Mrs Kimarie Lynn, her associate teacher Mrs. Terry Metzenbaum, Language Arts Enrichment teacher Mrs. Kat Banales, and any of the Fifth Graders will quickly explain that they were crossing the Atlantic Ocean on board the sailing ship Mayflower. This “voyage” is only one part of the week’s simulation of colonial life experienced by this class as they study early American history.
Since the Mayflower had to carry more passengers than originally planned, the Pilgrims were very crowded onboard. The children learn that they will have to endure terrible storms and 65 days of sailing before the ship, blown off course, lands far to the north of their original destination. This vessel also made several false starts before actually beginning its voyage, so the freezing temperatures and snows of December greet the Pilgrims as they arrive in North America.
Before the children leave the ship (their desks) they create a Mayflower Compact with rules to govern themselves after they disembark. Each student signs the document with the name of an actual Mayflower voyager, using a quill pen and sealing it with wax and a stamp.
Colonial Week continues each day for these students dressed in colonial attire, including amazing colonial science, colonial PE, even colonial Spanish, and concluding on Friday with the Trade Fair and a Colonial Breakfast. These PHS Fifth Graders are fortunate to have lived, felt, thought, and experienced far more than can be learned from the pages of a history book!