February is Heart Health month, all month long!

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Valentine's Day

While today is the celebration of Valentine’s Day, and there’s lots of sweetness here at Westside School, it’s important to also note it’s American Heart Health month too!

Happy Valentine's Day from Middle School students
Middle School students take a sweet break
The Westside Lower School P.E. classes are learning about the most important muscle in our bodies – their hearts. Great lessons such as the difference in resting pulse as compared to when someone is exercising, what aerobic means, and how many days and hours of play each week is ideal were focused on. Other heart healthy discussions centered around getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods, watching stress levels, not smoking, and exercising EVERY day. Students are encouraged to make smart choices….they’ll stay with them for life!
Valentine's Day love III
6th grade humanities students head into Mid-Winter break having competed a rigorous six week schedule since the beginning of January. The Greek Gods and Myths unit has come to a close, with students becoming rookie journalists and reporting stories involving mythological creatures. They have just finished reading Lord of the Flies, and while empathizing with how they would have organized themselves differently – if stranded on an uninhibited island in the middle of nowhere – the students are planning for their final character analysis essay. This will further the Character Education work they have been integrating into the unit. Additionally, students are well into the revision process of the year-long novel writing project. Students are improving their writing mechanics by applying grammar skills to their initial drafts. Publishing of the novels is expected to take place in April.

Seattle Taxi

In the seventh grade math class, students are finishing up a unit working on equations and inequalities. As part of the review, the class put together a demonstration of deriving an equation for taxi prices in Seattle. We had two data points: from teacher Mark’s house to the airport was a distance of about 10 miles and a cost of approximately $25. From teacher Sarah’s house to the airport was a distance of about 15 miles and a cost of approximately $35. The intent was to tie the work the class is doing in looking at equations to a real-world situation that would help to gain insight into how math informs everyday situations.

Sarah Haper-Smith photos

In 7th grade science, students are continuing their journey into the physics of our world, and are currently playing with motors and batteries, as they design experiments to find out how to maximize their ability to lift a given load. Recently, the Pre-K class was invited up to visit, since they are also studying batteries and circuits. It was such fun to have them visit, and the seventh graders were not only welcoming, but did a great job describing their experiments in kid-friendly language! One of the most important lessons of late has been when designing and carrying out an experiment, it’s very helpful to keep track of mistakes so as to avoid repeating them! Next, students will be developing an understanding of the various types of simple machines, and discovering just how helpful they can be.