Synthesis is a process involving other comprehension strategies. It is one of the most complex readings skills because readers have to be able to take the information that they learned from reading a text and combine it with their background knowledge in order to create a new understanding. In other words, they weave together what they read and their own ideas into new complete thoughts. As we synthesize, we deepen our understanding of topics, concepts, or ideas and expand our personal understanding of our own lives and those of others. Synthesizing allows readers to change their thinking as they read. Students are working to put together all of the comprehension strategies they have learned to form thoughts, opinions and conclusions. Synthesizing can be difficult because it involves so many pieces. As we learned about the skill of synthesizing, we immersed ourselves in quality mentor texts with many wonderful examples. I provided read aloud texts and asked my students to share their thinking.  To practice synthesizing, the students  participated in numerous learning activities including our daily read aloud on Zoom.  This gave us the opportunity to discuss how we synthesized, how our thinking changed as we gained more evidence from the text.. The more they think about the process as they read, the better they synthesize and the easier it becomes!

Synthesizing | Reading anchor charts, Anchor charts, Reading ...

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So Much More Than Bones

What is the skeletal system made of? What does the skeletal system do?  Are there other parts of the skeletal system besides bones?  We answered these and many other questions in our investigation of the skeletal system.

We not only discovered that our body has 206 bones, but also learned the names and locations of many important bones in our body.

We discovered that each and every bone in our body, no matter how small, has several parts.  Creating a model with food makes it that much more fun!

When you look at the human skeleton the 206 bones and 32 teeth stand out.  But look closer, and you will see even more structures.  The human skeleton also includes ligaments and cartilage which allow our bones to move and flex at the joints.  We discovered how difficult life would be without joints by covering our elbows with cardboard so that we were unable to move our arm.  Try picking up food and eating it!

Our culminating project was to take all the knowledge we gained through experimentation and research and created our own skeletal model!





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Distance Learning

As our community practices social distancing, we are learning from home.  Here are our guidelines and expectations as we work through this new normal.

Welcome to Distance Learning!


Getting Started:


  • Weekly learning  activities will be shared with parents for the upcoming week by Friday.  This will help you prepare for your child’s next week of learning and know what skills will be covered.
  • Learning activities for students will be posted by 9 am each morning (or sooner).  This will be only the daily lessons, so will change each morning. Please use the informative video linked in the parent lesson plans help your child locate the daily lesson plans.
  • I will do my best to respond promptly to emails and/or text messages between the hours of 8:45 am – 3:30 pm on weekdays.

General Format: 

  • Each day’s learning activities will be shared with students on Google Docs and will also be located on our blog. A tab has been created, titled Distance Learning.
  • Feel free to complete the daily activities in any order or at any time of day that works best for your family, but please create a learning structure for your child that is routine and consistent.

Adult Role:

  • It will be important for an adult to act as a facilitator of learning. Students may need help navigating and understanding activities and new concepts, as well as real-time encouragement, feedback, and positive reinforcement.
  • It will also be important for an adult to help students self-regulate when possible by encouraging them to try tough things in creative ways.  What a great opportunity for increasing our problem solving skills. Use that growth mindset!

Staying Connected:

  • Social and emotional needs are just as important as cognitive needs. Daily activities for your child to stay connected with me and their classmates will be included.
  • Each day, students will have the opportunity to join me and any available students for a group video conference via Zoom at 10:00 a.m.
  • Please check out this link for Zoom Expectations.  Watch this video for assistance with downloading Zoom on your child’s chromebook.

Materials Needed:

  • Reliable internet access and a device to access online materials (student chromebook recommended).
  • General school supplies including paper, pencil, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.

Please note:  I have done my best to plan learning activities that don’t require unique materials, but, if a lesson references something you do not have, feel free to adapt the activity as you are able.  Some activities require printing. If you do not have access to a printer, feel free to adapt the activity as you see fit.

Tips for At-Home Learning:

  • Choose a dedicated learning area in your home to gather general school supplies for ease of access.
  • If your child (or you) get frustrated, take a break from the activity, and try again later.
  • Consider planning intentional time for “off-screen” activities.  Creative pursuits, physical challenges, exploring nature, reading, building, games, cooking, puzzles (and more!) will be just as important for your child’s overall well-being.
  • For other helpful information, click here.
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Spirit Week!

Summit Spirit Week 2020

This coming week is Summit Spirit Week! Show off your Raven pride during our special themed days! Dressing out is not required to have Summit spirit. Each day is an optional, no-cost dress out theme day. Clothing should always be school appropriate. Students may choose to wear their regular uniform as well.

Monday, March 9th: Specials Day – Celebrate Summit Specials Classes by dressing as a favorite musician, artist, or athlete… or anything that represents those specials classes!

Tuesday, March 10th: Spanish Day – We attend Spanish class everyday! Dress to attend a fiesta! Any Summit Spanish shirt, Hispanic flag colors, taco outfits, etc. Note: This is still a PE day, so be sure you can run around and move freely in your outfit.


 We will host an all-school picnic on Tuesday! Parents are welcome to attend. Tinga Taco’s food truck will be on campus for hot lunch! School lunches are available for $5 (pre-order or order morning of by 9:00 am, just like normal): 2 beef tacos, 2 chicken tacos, or a half order of nachos. The whole food truck menu will also be available for purchase with cash or card (for adults or upper school students).

Wednesday, March 11th: College & Career Day – At The Summit, we prepare our students for life! Dress for your future career or to support your favorite college/university!

Thursday, March 12th: Pajama Day – We love our 8:45 a.m. start time at The Summit! Dress comfy in your school appropriate pajamas. Remember that students should wear regular close-toed, close-heeled shoes for walking around the building and for PE class!

Friday, March 13th: Ravens Reach Out Day – Not only are Summit students intelligent, they’re also good citizens! For the third year in a row, we are participating in our Raven Reach Out Day, when our entire school (Beginners through High School) volunteers in the community. Dress in Summit Spirit Wear, pants, and shoes appropriate for light yard work. Check your emails for more information.

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Why Student Led Conferences?

Parent-teacher conferences provide parents with updates on their child’s progress and opportunities to see their student’s work. They also open communication between school and home.  However, students are usually absent during traditional parent-teacher conferences. One way to fix this is to put students at the helm, as they are the ones who are responsible for their work and progress.

There are so many positives to student led conferences!  They empower a student to take ownership of their own learning.  Students get to revisit what they have accomplished throughout the school year.  Seeing so many gains motivates them to work harder.  Students learn to constructively self assess.  They must reflect on the quality of their work, their classroom behaviors and participation in daily classroom activities.  This reflection helps them develop the ability to look at themselves with a constructive eye.  They ask themselves:  What am I doing well?  Where do I need improvement? What parts of my learning do I enjoy?  Student led conferences also improve those all important communication skills.  Public speaking and presentation skills are so very critical.  Student led conferences allow students to practice these all important skills that will make such a difference in their adult lives.  Growth is emphasized during student led conferences, they are not about just what we’ve learned, but also the goals students have set for themselves and how they plan to accomplish them.  This puts focus on both continued growth and accountability.

Parents and teachers alike can learn a great deal about their child/student by listening to what they say, and don’t say, when presenting their conference materials.  Do they light up when talking about a certain subject?  Do they seem frustrated with parts of their learning?  Students’ responses and our observations during the presentation can be quite enlightening.

I look forward to sharing this experience with you!

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A Day of Discovery!

Our trip to the Discovery Center was a huge success!  We had such a wonderful time!  I was so very proud of my students.  They were respectful and polite.  They received so many compliments about their behavior.

We visited the many different exhibits the Discovery Center had to offer, but the highlight of the trip was The Inventor’s Workshop we attended!    Each team created a game with the supplies provided.  They had to work cooperatively to plan their game, create it and write clear directions that others could follow.  They even had to use each and every supply provided in their game.  The students discovered that this feat was much more difficult than they expected.  Every one had their own ideas, which made it difficult to work together.  Many groups discovered that their plans were not detailed enough which caused a struggle when trying to use all the supplies.  The greatest issue was writing the instructions!  They discovered that their directions were missing quite a few details, thus making it very difficult to understand how to play the games!

What a wonderful day!!

Exploring the Discovery Center…

Creating our games…

Riding the high wire bike…

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Valentine’s Day…A Day of Kindness

As we discuss in our classroom, kindness should be practiced each and every day, but especially on Valentine’s Day.  Our day was spent celebrating one another and focusing on kind acts.  Our literacy block was spent doing activities with a very special book that has a message we should focus on all the time.

We discussed why Valentine’s Day is special.  I had a lot of insightful responses!

Matt…It reminds you how much you love your family and friends.

Johnathan…It’s a day to care for people

Grace…It’s about love and being kind.

Deacon…It’s a day to be kind and nice.

Becca…It’s all about love and kindness.

Aurora…It’s a special holiday to show everyone that you care about them.

Samantha…It’s a day that people can show how much they care about others.

Tyler T.W….It’s a day where everyone can love each other.

Hutton…It’s about kind people

Dash…It’s a day to be kind.

Tyler T….Everybody doesn’t get enough love so we need a day to show it.

During math, we practiced our knowledge of fractions with a Valentine Fraction packet!  So much fun learning!

Of course, as expected, the highlight of the day was enjoying our Valentine snacks and sharing our Valentines!

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The 100th Day!

The 100th day of school is an exciting time in the second grade classroom! Quite literally, this day signifies the 100th day of class in the school year. The symbolic representation, however, is much greater than that. The 100th day marks a special opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate major milestones in each child’s academic, social and emotional achievements.  We celebrated the 100th Day of School across the curriculum.  Take a look at a few of the activities we participated in throughout this special day.

We did 100 Day STEM activities:

We created with 100 coins!


Look what you can build with 100 cups!

We created so many structures with 100 straws and twist ties.

How about 100 Legos?

It’s amazing what you can do with 100 pipe cleaners!

What can you make with 100 dominoes?

In math, we discovered so many different ways to make 100!

We put together 100 piece puzzles…they were quite tricky!


We even used the scientific method to investigate the amount of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!

A wonderful day of learning and fun!!

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The Joy of Play

PLAY/plā/-engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

  • Play is self-chosen and self-directed.
  • Play is activity in which means are more valued than ends.
  • Play has structure, or rules, which are not dictated by physical necessity but emanate from the minds of the players.
  • Play is imaginative, non-literal, mentally removed in some way from “real” or “serious” life.
  • Play involves an active, alert, but non-stressed frame of mind.


  • The Make It station was a huge success!!!

    Dressing up and pretending is always fun!

    What’s better than fort building?

    Building things takes our creativity to new levels.

    Arts and Crafts stayed busy the entire day.

    The craft station was always busy.


    Another special day at the Summit!!





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Let’s Play!!!!!

Global School Play Day

Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 5, 2020 is the Global School Day of Play!  The Summit will join thousands of schools all over the globe by participating in a day dedicated to unstructured, screen-free play for all students.  At The Summit, we celebrate learning on a daily basis, but we are excited to help spread the word that play is more than just fun.

Students in Lower School will have access to many themed zones of play throughout the day, including creativity, movement, imagination, music, building, sensory, and more.  We don’t want to give away all the details just yet- students will get to discover and explore the Lower School classrooms and shared spaces to stumble upon their many varied opportunities for play.

Parents are encouraged to keep an eye on The Summit’s social media outlets for glimpses into our play throughout the day.  Students may wear their Summit uniform or dress out in Spirit Wear and jeans at no charge. School lunch will be in “sack lunch” form (see February lunch menu for details.)

Want to learn more about the importance of play? Check out these great resources:

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