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Academic Program Blog

Student Council Elections 

Saint Mark's students proved that democracy is alive and thriving during Student Council Elections.  Candidates ran for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  The first step was the Election Rally where candidates gave their speeches, often with a little help from their campaign managers.  Voting took place at The Polling Place.  After the votes were tallied, the new Student Council visited each classroom in grades one through six to be formally introduced. We thank all the candidates and their campaign managers for their enthusiasm and participation. Congratulations to the new Student Council!

Preschoolers and STEAM


Mrs. Montes’ class kicked off their Letter of the Week study with “A” and an apple theme. The children had so much fun with all of the week’s activities; they didn’t realize it was actually a comprehensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) project.  The week’s learning opportunities included examining, describing, and measuring the apples, comparing their weights, tasting them, and finally baking delicious mini Apple Pies.

Kindergarten and ABC Bootcamp

Kindergarteners are introduced to the alphabet, learn what the letters liik like, how to write them, what they sound like, and what words start with these letters.  Then, throughout the year, students continue to practice, review, and reinforce foundational skills.


Preschoolers Take the Classroom Outdoors

Preschoolers explore and create in The Outdoor Classroom.  Located on the upper yard of the preschool, The Outdoor Classroom provides open-ended learning experiences that incorporate many of the same elements you would find inside the classroom:  science, language arts, mathematics, art, sensory experiences, and table manipulatives (small motor).  The space is designed with the whole child in mind as the various activities enhance social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and creative development.

Third Grade Marshmallow Challenge

Learning the importance of teamwork, cooperation and collaboration, third graders started the year by taking part in the marshmallow challenge. Utilizing 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of string, 1 yard of tape and working under an 18-minute time limit, third graders worked together to construct the tallest freestanding structure to hold their marshmallows.  

Second Graders Study Ice Age Mammals in Science 

As part of their science curriculum, second graders explore Ice Ages and the mega fauna that existed 2 million years ago.  During their unit of study, students choose an Ice Age mammal to research and present, and visit the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum.  

Sixth Graders Construct Vocanoes and Watch Them Erupt

As part of their study of volcanoes and plate tectonics, sixth graders constructed volcanoes applying their knowledge of the different types of volcanic structures and how they form.  The shell of the volcanoes were constructed from cardboard, covered with paper mache, and then painted.  Then, they stood back and watched the eruptions caused by the vinegar and baking soda chemical reaction. 


Fourth Graders Combine Reading, English, and the Performing Arts

First, the fourth graders read James and the Giant Peach as a class.  Next, they chose three writing activities from a menu of options including creating a recipe, writing a script for a commercial, and filming a news story from the Empire State Building. Finally, they performed selected scenes from the novel in the new outdoor classroom.   

Fifth Graders and the Design Process

As part of their models and designs unit in Science, fifth graders learned and applied the design process to build go carts and catapults.    

Saint Mark's Teachers Flip Out!

The flipped classroom is a model in which the typical lecture and homework elements are reversed, or “flipped.”  Teachers record a short video lesson that is viewed by students at home in the evening (as homework.)  This is beneficial because the students can watch the lesson as many times as needed, pausing in particular parts if necessary. 

Then, instead of lecturing during class time the following day, students complete their homework in class.  Because students watch the lesson the night before, teachers can spend their valuable class time giving the students individual attention.

For more information on Flipping, please click here.
To see a 6th Grade Flipped Grammar Lesson, click here.
To see a 6th Grade Flipped Math Lesson, click here.



2nd Graders and S.T.E.A.M.

Can you say rhombicuboctahedron?  In geometry, the rhombicuboctahedron is an Archimedean solid with eight triangular and eighteen square faces.  

For Saint Mark’s second graders in Mrs. Johnson’s and Mrs. Yamamoto’s class, it was an integral part of a STEAM project that combined a science study on ice age mammals with social studies, mathematics, and art projects that included not only learning about ice age art, but also creating their own ice age drawings and building a cave (this is where the rhombicuboctahedron came into play!)  After each class built their own cave to house their ice age mammal drawings, the two caves were joined to form a double rhombicuboctahedron cave.



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