Monthly Archives: September 2018


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CYO cross country meet is Sunday, November 4th at the G.G.Park (Polo Fields). Race time schedules are as follows.

3rd-5th grade Boys/ Girls @ 12:30 pm      Distances: one one – quarter mile

6th- 8th grade Boys/ Girls @ 1:15 pm         Distances: two miles.

Sign-ups have started, and are on-going till October 19th. Please contact Mr. Tsokas with any questions/details.

Microscope Investigation

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This week the 6th and 7th graders learned how to use a microscope, how to focus a prepared slide, and how to make their own slides. Each student made an iodine stained cheek cells slide – using their own cells! Some students even made slides using their own hair and eyelashes. Students were fascinated with what they saw. Below are a few pictures from the investigation:




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Grades 3-8 have visited the library weekly and all students should be familiar with Melvil Dewey and the Dewey Decimal System.  The classes have enjoyed read alouds and participated in other various activities.  Middle School classes often have a lesson in Current Events from Scholastic.  Currently the 8th graders are creating media presentations for younger students about The NDV Library, showing them how to navigate the library set-up and various procedures.

Be sure to check out when looking for books for your child in his/her reading level. It is a great site as books are also listed by interests.

Book Clubs have started for grades 4, 5, 6, and 7-8.  We meet every other week in the library during lunch to discuss characters, the story line, and see if we can relate in some way to the book.   The students vote on the book they would like to read.


September Update!

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Greetings! As we’ve settled into the school year, our first projects are getting closer to completion. Here’s an update on where we are:

  • 6th Grade is in the final phase of completing their Fun Fact Card projects. We have been exploring how to create an outline of research about a topic and how to create a great looking one-page fact card for younger students. Once we’re done with the project, we will print our fact cards and put them in the library for other students to read.
  • 7th Grade is also working on a biography research project and they have been learning more about what’s hidden under the hood in Google Docs in the process. Students are now working on turning their outline into a biography complete with a title page, automatically generated table of contents, an infographic, and a media gallery. When students finish, they will have completed a fully featured e-book that they can share with others.
  • 8th Grade has been working on creating portfolio websites. These websites are an online representation of what the students feel is their best work from their years at NDV. We have been learning about creating websites with the new Google Sites (or Wix for advanced users), and the process of reflecting on previous work. We will revisit and update these websites throughout the school year. Currently, 8th graders have been learning the basics of graphic design and digital image manipulation with the iPad app Pixelmator. This week we created business cards, and next, we’ll learn how to superimpose an image on top of another.

What’s next? Here is a preview of what we will be doing in the coming weeks:

  • 6th Grade – Once we finish our Fun Fact Cards, we will do a quick boot-camp for slide presentation skills and best practices. Students will learn guidelines for great presentations while creating a short slides presentation about their favorite piece of technology.
  • 7th Grade – Once we finish with the writing and peer review process for our Biography Project, we will take a look at Khan Academy’s Pixar-In-A-Box activities. This set of lessons is a collaboration between Pixar and Khan Academy to teach students about all of the different domains and disciplines that come together to create Pixar’s award-winning films.
  • 8th Grade – When we finish learning about graphic design with Pixelmator, we will begin working on “TechTalk” presentations. These presentations are our version of a TEDTalk, where students will research a technology that will have a significant impact on our future and deliver a 5-minute presentation about what they learned to the class. The challenge is in the details: students will use slide presentations, but they will not be able to put any text on their slides. All information must come from note cards or memory. Additionally, students will be recorded while presenting and must do a self-critique. Our goal is to develop better public speaking skills while learning about how rapidly changing technological advances will change our world.

Checking out books!

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The Kindergarteners, first graders and second graders have started checking out books in the primary library! This is very exciting for them! Kindergarten and first grade keep their checked out books in the classroom for the week to read and share with their classmates. Second graders are able to bring their checked out books home for the week! The students are enjoying read alouds in the library about school and are looking forward to are next unit about fall!

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We have had a great September in 4th grade! We have been busy learning more about place value, studying rocks, discovering more about our great state of California, becoming noun experts and enjoying the book Because of Winn Dixie. We can’t wait to see what October has in store for our learning!

As the school year progresses, we have had many conversations about how to be responsible citizens. Classroom jobs teach us how to be active, responsible citizens in our classroom, but we are also learning about ways we can be active, responsible citizens in our city and world. Our very own 4th grader Samantha Shapiro’s poster was selected as a winner for the Global Climate Action Summit through SF environment. We are so proud of her and our class as they brainstormed and presented ideas of how we can take better care of our environment. We are truly setting the example of responsible citizens who care for their personal and global environment.

Check out Samantha’s winning poster: