Life at Valley

Growing into our Potential

Maintaining the intimate setting and the close-knit community that are the hallmarks of Valley, 2015 brings a campus expansion that bolsters innovation in teaching and enrichment activities for the entire school. The campus refurbishing project will establish newer, larger classrooms; create a library learning center to enrich the student experience; improve effectiveness with a fully-functional administrative hub; and provide a cohesive master plan for Valley’s future.

Dissection Investigation

Students dissected pig hearts in 2nd grade this week! Children used their senses to explore the hearts while they learned what it does for a body. Currently 2nd graders at Valley School are studying the human body. Three amazing parent volunteers brought in the pig hearts to dissect in small groups with the children in this exciting hands on experience.

Artists' Exhibition

The Second Annual Valley School Art Show was a great success! Each student at The Valley School exhibited a favorite work of art. It was a sight to see all the artwork thoughtfully presented together! There were drawings, prints, paintings and sculptures. Artworks inspired by Matisse, Dubuffet, Op Art, atmospheric perspective and artist’s books, color mixing, Eric Carle, portraiture, contrasting line and color, and more were all represented. There were even some sculptures inspired by the building project at Valley. It was an awesome display of the creativity and talent at The Valley School!

Snails on Show

Our first graders shared their wealth of knowledge on snails this week with older students around school. They showed off their science learning with live displays of snail weight, diet, habitat, reproduction, and speed. In addition to the science that fills first grade, the class has also worked on snail inspired art, literature and writing.

Valley Alumni Spotlight: Petra Thompson

One of class of 1996 alum Petra Thompson’s fondest memories of The Valley School was of the quiet time she got to enjoy in aftercare with Roanna. Growing up in Madison Valley, Petra walked to and from school every day and because both of her parents worked she was lucky enough to spend extra time in what she describes as her “home away from home.” Her relationship with Valley endures today not just in the friendships she made but also in her current role as Valley School Board member.

We talked with Petra during a rare break in her busy schedule working for Fitmob, a fitness technology startup company that launched in Seattle five months ago. Prior to fitmob, Petra spent 9 years at lululemon athletica in leadership and organizational development. We were curious to learn about the path that Petra took from the Valley School to where she is now and to hear about her perspective on and vision for the Valley School today.

4th Graders Interview New Head of The Valley School, Alan Braun

He is a universal blood donor (O+ type). He does not drive a Ferrari (and probably never will). And when he was in fourth grade, he dreamed of becoming a fire fighter.

These were just a few of the fascinating insights our current Valley School fourth graders drew from the new head of school, Alan Braun, when they recently sat down to interview him for this profile piece. The following is a window into that conversation:

Tradition endures—and creativity sparks—at Valley

Every student and parent has that one special lesson from Valley, the one they will always remember. Maybe it’s the ritualistic Archimedes bath in first grade where kids literally get their feet wet studying ancient Greece. Or is it the snowy landscape of kindergarten, frozen in a study of the arctic? You’ll still find many of those treasured units in the classroom. We think there would be riots if we took them away! But our incredible faculty are also innovators, pedagogical tinkerers, and they work each year to approach a unit from a fresh angle or to shake things up and bring in topics the students have never encountered. Here’s what’s happening in several of our classrooms right now—from the classics you remember to cool new units that may yet become new traditions.

Wheels and Axles

Third graders experimented with wheels and axles last week. They looked at working examples such as bikes, carts, doorknobs and roller skates. In their Greek and Latin Roots class with Jacob they read about the history of the Latin root ‘Rota’. They have continued to design some of their own fantastic vehicles including refreshment carts for the Seahawks Stadium, an animal cart to take stray animals to the vet, and a Microsoft delivery van. They sketched designs and started constructing them out of milk cartons.

Fairy Tale Times

The 5th grade publication of the Fairy Tale Times is hot off the press! Students explored journalism techniques, refined their peer revision skills, and practiced writing for a broad audience as they re-interpreted classic fairy tales. They imagined classic characters reacting to real-life situations through writing, advertising, comic strips, crossword puzzles and more in this culminating project.

Math At Our Fingertips

Mathematical learning is literally at the fingertips of our Valley students. We explore and work using manipulatives and consistently stress process instead of product only. Having partner and class discussions and using real life situations, hands-on activities bridge the connection between the abstract and symbolic language of mathematics.
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