Life at Valley

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.

Peer Portraiture

5th Grade artists got into pairs and they began their work by looking at the shape of their partner’s jaw, noticing that it was more of a U-shape or a V-shape. They then painted their facial features, noticing the distance and relationships between them. Lastly, they added hair texture and other characteristics unique to them, like freckles and clothing details.

Ancient Rome Storytelling

Illustrating and authoring comic strips about the myth of Romulus and Remus kept second graders engaged this week in the work of re-telling, organizing and synthesizing the ancient story.

Tree Fort Exploration

Students are exploring and investigating our plum trees on the upper school playground from a new vantage point this week. The new tree fort is creating a special place for student exploration, friendship fostering, and creative play.

Salmon Life Cycle

After raising salmon from eggs, alevin, fry to parr, 3rd through 5th grade walked to the arboretum and students carefully released the growing fish into their natural habitat for life in the Puget Sound.

Ice Castle Build

Students engaged in playful, imaginative work, science experimentation and community building by constructing colorful structures of ice for a St. Patrick's Day event.

Musical Harmony

Prek-5th grade students preformed a 7 part arrangement of the popular song "Happy" as arranged by our own music specialist, Sari Breznau, at this years graduation.
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