Images

May 2019 Newsletter
May 2019 Newsletter

 

It has been a great year at Pinnacle Prep! We are excited about the upcoming spring production. The Tigers will perform a fun spoof on the Goldilocks story in their play, Goldilocks on Trial. It will be our opening show before the Black Panthers and Owls’ production of The Giver. Play dates (for both shows) are scheduled for May 21st and 22nd at 6:30 p.m.  The show will end at approximately 8:00 p.m. 

*Everyone will be performing on both days.

Pre-K & Kindergarten

April has come and gone quickly.  I was excited to see the progress your students have made.  I see progress in both motor and memory skills for each child.  We really enjoyed learning about rockets and space. We learned the rainbow’s name, Roy G. Biv as a mnemonic to remember the colors of the rainbow in order.  In each new section I’m really working to pair the material with a song, like our Roy G. Biv song, to stimulate multiple areas of your child’s brain. Our songs come with movement because studies have shone that melody and movement not only stimulate your child’s interest and enjoyment, they also stimulate multiple areas of the brain and motor coordination.  Feel free to ask them to teach you some of their songs and the movements that go with them.  The first hour of each day fills me with such joy since it’s an opportunity for their personalities to really shine.

   In my second class I have some students who have really taken off and are reading and some who have grown in their developmental reading skills. The best way for you to support their reading and reading readiness at home is to read to then each night.  If there are what we refer to as CVC words, consonant vowel consonant words {dig, fit, cot…} in the stories. as your child to sound them out.  You can ask them prediction and comprehension questions as you read to them.   It’s amazing the number of questions you can ask about an 8-10 page book.

   Play is extremely important at this stage in their lives. So many skills develop through play.  When it’s not raining, please go to the park or kick a ball in the yard.  Many are also old enough for organized athletic activities that build everything from communication to motor skills. 

   Looking forward to finishing the year strong!

Kindergarten

The blooming flowers are a reflection on how much the students are learning and retaining. It is so exciting to see this happen.  The students are enjoying the joys of discovery in their language. We have learned about the wonderful language in poetry, and we have kept working on our comprehension during our reading time. Our craft time has taken a turn! We started out in space and went on to focusing on to plants and flowers that are plentiful in our environment.  Kids are learning with hands-on work in cutting, pasting, painting, writing, and using the number line.

We are focusing on the number zero and all the infinite ideas in grouping and counting. We have practiced this with hopscotch. Please continue to read at home because the kids are understanding beginning, middle and end of a story. Try playing a game with them by letting them tell you the end (conclusion) of the book you’re reading.  The possibilities are endless in these years of discovery.

Lower English

We are almost at the end of another great year at Pinnacle Prep School!  

We have been working on a variety of review items such as spelling, grammar, and handwriting.  Every morning, students work on D.O.L. (Daily Oral Language) or pre-cursive handwriting. For the remainder of the year, we will be learning about root words and prefixes and suffixes.  These include: pre, non, sub, ing, ed, and er. Students are still enjoying our “making words” lessons and our “mini sight word” books. They look forward to the books every Thursday! Also, third grade is continuing to practice cursive.  

Also, we are reading short stories every day in class as well as dissecting poems. With every story, the students are also learning vocabulary and how to look up definitions in a dictionary and in the provided glossary.  Some of the themed poems for this month will include camping and the circus. You can find these poems, and other activities, in their journals. The students are writing every day in their journals for D.O.L., story responses, spelling, and other word lists and charts.  The students did a great their butterfly and rainbow assignments; we have learned a lot about nature. Future assignments include a continuing study of poetry, animal research with note taking, and important members of our community. Students have been practicing acrostic poems all year; we are going to learn how to write a cinquain and a diamante.  For every writing assignment, the students go through the writing process (pre-writing, rough copy, edit/revise and final copy). Every child receives one on one attention during the editing phase as well as mini lessons throughout the week.

Please be reading at home with your child every night.  Students need to be doing a combination of reading aloud to you and reading to themselves.  You can have students write a short summary or write about their favorite part after reading to assist with reading comprehension.  Please be filling out the reading log that has been going home. If your child is reading their own book at home, please fill out the log indicating the book and how many minutes they read.  I have sent home a current, master spelling list. Please study these words at home with your child. They can write them, spell them out loud or use in a sentence. Even writing them in pen or marker makes it fun for the kids. These are words that they should have memorized and be able to spell correctly in their writing. Please send reading logs back to school every Friday.

Also, students have been divided into groups for field trips.  Please ask your child what their group name is and don’t forget to look at the calendar to see if your child has any field trips coming up. The students are having a great time on their field trips! Please continue to check the calendar!

Lower Math

Second Grade

Second Graders loved making their own Gallon man. They were also excited to learn their times tables. They are all doing amazing in multiplying numbers till 3×12. We will continue to work on times table. Kids will start learning probability and statistics, in which they will learn to draw tallies and read graphs and answer questions. We will continue to practice the math facts.

Third Graders

Students successfully completed a chapter in Fractions, where they learned to compare and order fractions, and add and subtract fractions. Kids are now working on decimals in which they will learn to convert between and fractions and decimals and vice versa. We will learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide decimals and money. We will continue to practice our math facts.

Fourth Graders

Students successfully completed working on decimals. Kids are now working on angles and their measurements. We will then continue working on reviewing all the chapters learned, practice problem solving strategies, and review math facts.

Upper Math

Fourth Graders​​ will be introduced to concept of Algebra. We will be working on equations and Functions. Students will be learning
how to graph equations. We will continue working on problem solving strategies and applications.

Fifth Graders will be working on Metric Measurement, Area and Volume. Students will work on metric units of length, capacity,
and mass. We will be working on area of squares, rectangles, parallelograms and triangles. Students will be introduced to
concept of Surface area and Volume. We will continue working on problem solving strategies and applications.

Sixth Graders ​​will continue working on Percents. Students will be working on concepts of Sales Tax, discount, Simple Interest and Commission. We will continue working on problem solving
strategies and applications.

Algebra 2​​ students will be working on Trigonometric Graphs, Identities and Equations. Students will be working on graphing trigonometric ratios. We will be solving various trigonometric equations and verifying trigonometric identities.

Upper English

Happy May! This will be a busy month for my English classes as the students continue with course work while they also rehearse for our upcoming play productions.

Please make sure you’ve marked your calendars for our performances on May 21st and 22nd at 6:30 p.m. (Both plays will be performed each night.) Also, check the Pinnacle Facebook page over the next few weeks for pictures and videos from our rehearsals. 

Thank you for your continued support of the arts. We love bringing literature to life!

Science Lab & News

April was packed with science adventure. Several of our students trekked to the Historical Park at Farmers Branch where we learned about early settlements in the DFW area. Students also learned about prairie school life, cultivating crops and the interdependency between pioneer families. As a bonus, the students got to see a wandering bobcat and played some pioneer games.
This month in honor of Earth Day, we explored the special properties of water. Water has several unique properties that not only make it essential to survival but also make life possible in the first place. Connecting water molecules to each other are hydrogen bonds, and these unique bonds are what makes water so special. The hydrogen bonds in water make the molecules cohesive, which means they stick together really well.

The cohesion of water is much stronger than most other liquids, and this is very important. For example, water and nutrients move from tree roots to other parts of the plant with cohesion. Water also has a lot of surface tension because of its hydrogen bonds. If you look very closely at a droplet of water, it almost looks like it’s coated with plastic because it holds together so well. We conducted several experiments to help us see the surface tension of water in action.

We also had fun learning about superhero science. Students learned about the difference between the element krypton and the fictional kryptonite. We created our own fluorescent “kryptonite” crystal structures using a supersaturated borax solution and yellow/green highlighters.

Our hungry caterpillars grew and grew. They finally made their chrysalis’ and transformed into beautiful, energetic painted lady butterflies. By releasing them, we contributed to the health and stability of our schoolyard ecosystem.

Our older students attended the Frontiers of Flight museum. Students experienced a hands-on timeline of our journey to the sky and beyond. 

April 2019 Newsletter
April 2019 Newsletter

 

The month of April will be filled with adventure! Our activities are posted on our calendar. We will be taking several field trips throughout the month.

On field trip days please remember:

  • Arrive by 8:30 am sharp.
  • Dress in uniform.
  • Closed-toe tennis shoes are required.
  • Completely disposable lunches in brown paper bags with names on the bag.
    • No lunchboxes.
  • Send a disposable water bottle with their name on it.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray are necessary.

Finally, remember pick-up is 2:15-2:30 every day. Please be on time as the kids will be exhausted and the teachers have other obligations.

 

Field Trips

Wolves and Tigers will be going on a field trip to the Farmers Branch Historical Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. The Farmers Branch Historical Park is a museum with a long history. We will be taking a tour of the historical park, a tour of the gardens and receive instruction from a Master Gardener.

Pandas will be going on a field trip to the Andrew Brown Park on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. We will be having a picnic at the park full of nature adventure and exercise.

Zebras will be going on a field trip to the Dallas Arboretum on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. They will be learning all about butterflies. What will happen to Cathy Caterpillar? This fun, interactive program brings metamorphosis to life with a big book story about the butterfly life cycle and an outdoor puppet show.

Black Panthers and Owls will be going on a field trip to the Dallas Children’s Theater on Thursday, April 11, 2019. They will be watching Tuck Everlasting. What if you could live forever? What if you were asked to keep a shocking secret? Young Winnie Foster suddenly finds herself faced with these dilemmas when she ventures from her routine one single summer morning. What she encounters at the foot of a magnificent tree in the woods on her family’s land brings her face to face with monumental life choices.

Tigers will be going on a field trip to the Dallas Arboretum on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. We will learn about the diversity of life a freshwater ecologist might find in a wetland ecosystem. Using grade-appropriate scientific equipment, students learn to make their own wet slides from a water sample and make observations and inferences about the creatures living in our Texas Native Wetlands. Students will explore organisms from various kingdoms that make up the unseen freshwater ecosystem.

Black Panthers and Owls will be going on a field trip to Frontiers of Flight Museum on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. From early flight to modern space exploration, the Museum offers a unique learning environment for students of all ages. The educational programs are designed to apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics principles to the area of aviation and space flight. They will also participate in Flight to Flight. In this program, students will compete in aerospace challenges demonstrating three firsts in flight: The Wright brothers, Sputnik I, and Apollo 11.

 

Pre-K and Kindergarten

We have been making great progress in our reading. We have read so many books this past month and will continue to practice our reading during the month of April. We are going to enjoying games, puzzle time and reading aloud about how April showers bring May flowers.  We will be learning about who flowers bloom and about the wonderful butterflies. Students will enjoy painting all the birds chirping that we can hear from our window along with the flowers and bees that they have seen in our park visits.

Our class has been learning about symbiotic relationship of the bee and the flower. We will learn how the bee is made perfectly to spread the pollen from one flower to another flower by providing pollen buckets. In the fact, the bee has a sticky substance on its underbelly. When the hair on their antenna, body and legs gets covered with pollen they spread it to other flowers. Keep an ear out to make sure you get all the students’ happenings this month. We’re planning many field trips and looking forward to enjoying all the wonders in nature.

 

Lower English

Happy April Fool’s Day!  

We have been working on a variety of review items such as spelling, grammar, and handwriting.  Every morning, students work on D.O.L. (Daily Oral Language) or pre-cursive handwriting. We have been working on a grammar project that not only introduces prepositions and reviews nouns, verbs and adverbs, but also teaches alliteration. I’m looking forward to putting all of the pieces together! The students are also continuing to practice rhyming words and counting syllables.  Students are still enjoying our “making words” lessons and our “mini sight word” books. They look forward to the books every Thursday! Also, third grade has started cursive handwriting. They have learned several letters and are working on three letter words.

Also, we are reading short stories every day in class as well as dissecting poems. With every story, the students are also learning vocabulary and how to look up definitions in a dictionary and in the provided glossary.  Some of the themed poems for this month will include April Fool’s Day, rainbows, frogs and clouds. You can find these poems, and other activities, in their journals. The students are writing every day in their journals for D.O.L., story responses, spelling, and other word lists and charts.  The students did a great job writing about spring and nature. Upcoming assignments include: different forms of poetry about rainbows, frog research (note-taking), and storytelling. Students have been practicing acrostic poems all year; we are going to learn how to write a cinquain and a diamante.  For every writing assignment, the students go through the writing process (pre-writing, rough copy, edit/revise and final copy). Every child receives one on one attention during the editing phase as well as mini lessons throughout the week.

Please be reading at home with your child every night.  Students need to be doing a combination of reading aloud to you and reading to themselves.  You can have students write a short summary or write about their favorite part after reading to assist with reading comprehension.  Please be filling out the reading log that has been going home. If your child is reading their own book at home, please fill out the log indicating the book and how many minutes they read.  I have sent home a current, master spelling list. Please study these words at home with your child. They can write them, spell them out loud or use in a sentence. Even writing them in pen or marker makes it fun for the kids. These are words that they should have memorized and be able to spell correctly in their writing. Please send reading logs back to school every Friday.

Also, students have been divided into groups for field trips.  Please ask your child what their group name is and don’t forget to look at the calendar to see if your child has any field trips coming up.

Lower Math

Second Grade

Second Graders are amazing with their geometric skills, in which they learned different types of 2-D and 3-D shapes, types of lines. We will be starting to learn fractions in which kids will learn how to write different types of fractions. We will continue to work with basic math facts and reading clocks.

Third Graders

Third Graders worked on the unit on Geometry, in which they learned different types of lines, angles, polygons, and triangles. Students also worked on how to calculate the area, perimeter, and volume of different figures. Finding out symmetry, the difference between congruent and similar figures. We will be starting our new unit on fractions in which kids will learn equivalent fractions, estimate, compare and order fractions, add, subtract and multiply fractions. We will continue to practice our math facts and problem-solving strategies.

Fourth Graders

Fourth Graders are working on Decimals, in which kids learned about conversion between fractions and decimals and vice versa, Decimal place value until thousandth place, estimate compare and order decimals, add, subtract, multiply and divide decimals. Problem-solving strategies. We will start review once we are done with this unit.

Upper Math

Fourth Graders​​ will continue working on fractions. We will continue working on adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, probability, and part of a number. We will be starting with the concept of decimals (tenths and hundredths). Students will learn to compare, round and estimating with decimals. We will also learn to add and subtract decimals and divide money. We will continue working on problem solving strategies and applications.

Fifth Graders will continue working on percents. Students will work on Algebraic Expressions and Equations which will include solving equations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students will also be introduced to the concept of Integers.  We will continue working on problem-solving strategies and applications.

Sixth Graders ​​will continue working on percents. Students will work on decimals, fraction, and percent. Students will work on applications of percents which will include finding the percent of a number, rate and finding the original number. Students will be introduced to concepts of Sales Tax, discount, Simple Interest and Commission. We will continue working on problem solving strategies and applications.

Algebra 2​​ students will be working on Sequences and Series. Students will be working on arithmetic and geometric sequences and series, infinite geometric series and recursive rules for sequences.  

Upper English

March has been a busy month for our 3rd/4th and 5th/6th grade English classes. We are finishing work on our current novels and preparing for the next books: Hatchet (3rd/4th grades) and Tuck Everlasting  (5th/6th grades). 

The students have written some excellent essays related to their reading. They’ve also continued to make steady progress in their vocabulary and grammar skills.

The 5th/6th grade will attend a production of Tuck Everlasting  at The Dallas Children’s Theater on April 11th. This will be a fantastic opportunity for them to see a performance of the literature they’re studying.

We will begin rehearsals for our spring play productions this month. You’ll be receiving emails with more detailed information about the plays soon. We are looking forward to an educational and exciting end to our school year!

Science Lab News

March has been a whirlwind of a month in the science lab. Our younger students are learning about thermal energy. We studied how thermal energy is transferred, measured, and used.

Our upper students are digging into the laws of motion. Students explored potential and kinetic energy as well as Newton’s Laws of Motion. We are now transitioning into our engineering unit. We are not winding down! The next couple of months will be packed with learning and experiments.

 

 

March 2019 Newsletter
March 2019 Newsletter-converted

Kindness

During the month of February, we have been focusing on kindness. Being kind creates happy, caring children, a greater sense of belonging, and improves self-esteem. At Pinnacle Prep, we believe in a well-rounded education. Thank you for all of your support!

Pre- K and Kindergarten

We are soaring high with all the decoding of our language skills. We are making sure to look and sound out short or long vowels with our word lists.  We also listening to all the clues in learning if we are using the correct consonant blends to decode our reading in story time.  We have also learned to use our context clues with pictures that surround the passage to understand concepts and piece ideas together. We work together to make a list of all the ideas the students are coming up with when reading a book at the beginning of the week and finish at the end of the week.  We have been reading the King & Kayla adventure books. At the start of class we read the story and use our listening ears to understand concepts to learn for our day.

During the month of March, we look forward to all the awakening of animals that have come out of hibernation and blooming fauna.  Our days will be longer with anticipation of sunnier days. We have had a glimpse of spring by watching a video of the Holland Tulip gardens in the Netherlands. Their beautiful hues, lush exhibits and great displays of the colors of spring.  We will be examining all the different parts of the spring flowers. We will be learning about roots and end with the germination for new flowers to enrich our lives.  May you all get out and enjoy our marvelous environment. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!

Lower English

Happy Spring Pinnacle Prep School students; we are looking forward to warmer weather. We have been working on a variety of review items such as spelling, grammar, and
handwriting.  Every morning, students work on D.O.L. (Daily Oral Language) or pre-cursive handwriting. We are continuing to review nouns and verbs.  We will also study irregular verbs and adverbs. Students will also be working on identifying and writing different kinds of sentences: interrogative, exclamatory, statement and command. You can find these grammar activities in their interactive notebooks. We continue to review syllables and learn about different prefixes and suffixes as well.  Students are still enjoying our “making words” lessons and our “mini sight word” books. They look forward to the books every Thursday! Also, third grade has started cursive handwriting. They have learned several letters and are working on three letter words.

Also, we are reading short stories every day in class as well as dissecting poems. With every story, the students are also learning vocabulary and how to look up definitions in a dictionary and in the provided glossary.  Some of the themed poems for this month will include  weather, flowers and nature. You can find these poems, and other activities, in their journals. The students are writing every day in their journals for D.O.L., story responses, spelling, and other word lists and charts.

The students did a great job writing about If I Were President and Things That I Love. Upcoming assignments include: When it Rains, Spring is, and making a floor plan with a descriptive essay. For every  writing assignment, the students go through the writing process (pre- writing, rough copy, edit/revise and final copy).  Every child receives one on one attention during the editing phase as well as mini lessons
throughout the week. Please be reading at home with your child every night.  Students need to be doing a combination of reading aloud to you and reading to themselves.  You can have students write a short summary or write about their favorite part after reading to assist with reading comprehension.  Please be filling out the reading log that has been going home. A new book is sent home on Mondays and they are due back to school on Fridays. If your child is reading their own book at home, please fill out the log indicating the book and how many minutes they read.  I have sent home a current, master spelling list. Please study these words at home with your child. They can write them, spell them out loud or use in a sentence. Even writing them in pen or marker makes it fun for the kids. These are words that they  should have memorized and be able to spell correctly in their writing. Please send reading logs back to school every Friday.

Lower Math

Second Graders did an awesome job learning their 2 times tables and measurements. They are now working on subtracting numbers with regrouping and its related word problems. We will be starting our new topic on Geometry in which kids will learn different 2D and 3D shapes, types of polygons and types of lines. We also practice our addition, subtraction and multiplication facts daily. Third Graders are doing a great job working on measurement and time, in which they learned about converting between customary units of capacity, metric units of length, renaming units of measure, choosing the right measuring tool, reading temperature, reading calendar and time and calculating elapsed time. We will be starting our unit on geometry in which kids will learn different types of lines, angles and triangles. They will also cover congruent and similar figures, symmetry, calculate area and perimeter and problem solving.

Fourth Graders are doing a wonderful job in geometry where the kids are learning different types of lines, angles, angle measures, congruent and similar figures. Kids also drew symmetrical figures using graph sheets. They learned to calculate area and perimeter of irregular shapes followed by customary units of measurements and conversion. They are now working on transformation and coordinate geometry. This will be followed by a unit on decimals in which kids will learn decimal place value, compare and order decimals.

Upper Math

Fourth Graders​​ will continue working on Fractions. Students will learn the concept of Improper Fractions and estimating mixed numbers. Students will be working on adding and subtracting mixed numbers. We will be learning the concept of multiples which will help in adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. We will also be working on Probability and part of a number. We will continue working on problem solving strategies and applications. Fifth Graders will be working on Ratios, Proportions and Percent. Students will be working on ratios as fractions and proportions. We will be working on scales and maps. Students will relate fractions to percent and percent to decimals. We will also learn finding percent of a number and uses of percent. We will continue working on problem solving strategies and applications.

Sixth Graders ​​will be working on ratio, proportion and percent. We will start with ratio, rate and equivalent ratios. Students will learn solving proportions. Students will work on Decimals, Fractions and percent. Algebra 2​​ students will be working on Quadratic Relations and Conic Sections. We will start with midpoint and distance formula. Students will learn graphing and equations of parabola, circles, ellipses and hyperbola. Students will also work on classifying conic sections. We will also practice solving Quadratic systems.

Upper English

Happy March!

Our English classes have been busy this past month with novel studies, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. The 3rd/4th grade class finished reading The Indian in the
Cupboard  and made models of Indian longhouses like the one discussed in the book. (You can see the students with their awesome longhouses on our school Facebook page.) The 5th/6th graders completed reading and studying The Giver. It was a powerful book that led to some great class discussions. They also
worked on posters that depicted themes, characters and plot as part of this novel study. These books were very popular with all of the students. We’ve begun new books in both classes: Bridge to Terabithia (3rd/4th grades) and Where the Red Fern Grows (5th/6th grades). The students are already enjoying these classics. I’m excited to see their composition and project accomplishments with this literature!

Science Lab News

We have had a fun month discovering the properties of matter. They learned that matter is anything that takes up space and has weight. Also, they learn that solids, liquids, and gases are matter and they have properties (size, shape, texture,or color). We had a fun demonstration for the whole school using dry ice. Students observed a liquid, solid, and gas while discussing the properties. We are moving on to energy and motion. By taking a look at the energy of motion all around us, Pinnacle Prep students learn about the types of energy and their sources. They first learn about the two simplest forms of mechanical energy: kinetic and potential energy, as illustrated by pendulums and roller coasters. They have come to understand that energy can change from one form into another. Our older students have also learned how equations can be used to determine the magnitude of force and energy. Understanding mechanical energy, or the energy of motion, is at the root of so many engineering applications in our world. I plan to introduce some engineering activities after our break.