by Lauren Railey, Head of School
Due to a long weekend mid-October followed by two weeks of conferences, Middle School students had not participated in a Focus Day since October 9. However, on Friday, November 6, students participated in exciting Focus Days that connected deeply to our curriculum in the Middle School.
Eighth graders enjoyed off-campus field trips based on their languages of study. Spanish students toured the Dia de Los Muertos exhibit at the Oakland Museum. In addition, they had the opportunity to visit the Pacific Worlds collection, where they viewed artifacts and participated in hands-on activities that connected back to their sixth grade social studies unit on Polynesian Cultures.
French and Chinese students traveled to Stanford to visit the Rodin exhibit and toured the French and Asian exhibits at the Cantor museum on the Stanford campus. The docent leading the French students spoke entirely in French!
Seventh graders participated Panathanaea, a culminating unit for Ancient Greece in which students broke into various city-states, dedicated altars to their patron gods or goddesses, competed in Athenian’s own version of the Olympic games, prepared Greek food, and were challenged by Plato’s ethical dilemma of the Ring of Gyges. Lastly, our thespians performed Aeschylus’ tragedy The Oresteia for friends and family. On to Rome: Carpe Diem, as they say!
Sixth graders spent part of the day learning Scratch programming (a first experience with coding for many of them) and created their own animation sequence. They also worked on pattern recognition skills and developed their own patterns to try to stump their classmates and teachers. Learning how to code helps students develop a different set of analytical reasoning skills that can be applied in both the classroom and the tech world. Students will have further opportunities for programming in various electives and future Focus Days.