Social Studies Weekly Plan

Middle School

This week, middle school students are beginning their study of the 1960s. There are multiple avenues and themes of study in this decade, but we’re starting with an overview and an examination of presidential leadership.

Middle school students continue to meet for live classes as they fit into their schedules. This week, 7th and 8th grade students had/will have live classes on Monday and Wednesday. Sixth grade students are meeting daily to go over assignments and have discussion. This group has especially enjoyed this time to go over lessons and connect, and I’ve been so grateful for the time with all of them!

In addition to their class meetings, students’ assignments for the week are listed below:

  • Tuesday/Wednesday: Who were the presidents of the 1960s? We’re going to learn more about JFK. Spend time on the JFK library site and choose one of his speeches to learn more about. This library allows you to listen and view your choice of his addresses to the country. Take notes. What do you notice about what he believes in and his character? Why do you think the American people supported him in 1960? Do some brief research. What sort of background is JFK from? What challenges has he faced, and what privileges has his life seen? 
  • Thursday: Time to learn more about LBJ. Follow the same process you did for JFK. Utilize the LBJ library site
  • Friday: Compare and contrast the styles of the two presidents. Consider the needs of the 1960s. How were they able to meet those needs for the American people? How did they fail?

High School

High school students have wrapped up their research papers on Reconstruction and are now scheduling individual meetings and joining office hours to design their next project. Students were provided with a list of possibilities but are also invited to think outside of those options in considering important events and issues in Missouri history. As we meet, students are working with me to create questions and focus areas of growth, in addition to crafting the style of project and identifying good locations for various sources.

Science Update

Middle School:

Students will be researching nuclear chemistry. The project starts with questions pertaining to a video.  Following this, students are asked to find answers to the questions using the internet, being sure to find good sources for their information and giving information as to where they found this information. This research wraps up our study of matter and its interactions.

Questions/Conversation Starters:

What are the different types of radioactive decay?

What is the difference between fission and fusion?

What are the pros and cons of nuclear energy?

High School:

Students will be exploring how predictions for precipitation are made using information gained during our study of humidity.  This is also incorporating science and engineering practices such as analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, and engaging in argument from evidence.

Questions/Conversation Starters:

What is the difference between relative and absolute humidity?

Describe the relationship between relative humidity and dew-point.

How does the relationship between air temperature and dew-point lead to predictions of precipitation?

The Science of Well-Being

High School Students,
Have you ever wanted to take a class at Yale??   Now is your chance…. for free!!:)   Join me this Spring as we make our way through distance learning with a 10 week online course on happiness and well being.   Email Mrs. Breckner if you are interested in this course (this is not required).   Zoom meetings can be scheduled to discuss material for those of you participating.
Note:  This is not for credit at The Summit.  If you register, choose the free option  (unless you want to pay $50 for certificate).  The website indicates reading/video/assignments may take up to 2 hours per week.   

Birthday Celebrations

Happy Monday morning! The Upper School has three birthdays this week, and a global pandemic won’t stop us from celebrating! Happy birthday week to Cooper, Bryn, and Reid!

This Week in Mrs. B’s Math Classes

Integrated Math

This week in Integrated Math, we will be exploring the third and final rigid transformation, reflections. We see reflections everywhere in the world around us when we take the time to look. To kick off the week, students will engage in an interactive simulation with reflections, followed by a few practice problems. Lastly, the week will end with a transformation art project, due 4/22, on which you will get to showcase your creativity as well as demonstrate your understanding of rigid transformations. 


Algebra 2

This week in Algebra 2, we will launch our in-depth study of exponential functions. Given the current pandemic, students are hearing phrases such as “growing exponentially” and “exponentially more” and seeing graphs regularly in the news. What better time to find out what those things actually mean?! 



In Pre-Calculus this week, we will use our newly-acquired matrix operation skills to solve systems of equations. Specifically, we will learn a strategy called Gaussian Elimination, named after a famous German mathematician, Carl Friedrich Gauss.

Math Update from Mrs. B

Dear Parents and Students,


I hope this message finds you well. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate this unprecedented time in education. I wanted to inform you all that after receiving feedback from parents and students on the first three weeks of distance learning, I have made some minor changes to the format of my math classes. This is what to expect starting this week:


  • A weekly work plan posted to Classroom on Monday mornings outlining the objectives for the week
  • The first thing on your work plan will be a “Monday Message from Mrs. B” video where I’ll give an overview of the week (and test out my new green screen skills!)
  • Your work plan will contain a variety of both required and optional (optional indicated with a double asterisk, otherwise required) assignments and activities with due dates throughout the week (think: less is more)
  • All required assignments (other than Khan Academy or IXL) will be posted on Classroom where you can submit your work
  • Open help sessions scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (see schedule for your specific class time)
  • Office hours by appointment on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1:00-3:00
  • Less Khan Academy and IXL, more interactive, open-ended, creative ways to learn 
  • Assessment of learning will be ongoing as you submit your required assignments rather than in a weekly quiz on Friday’s
  • Regular updates on the Upper School blog about what’s going on in class!


Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the updated format of my classes. Again, thank you for bearing with me as I continue to seek to improve our virtual teaching and learning experiences. 


Best regards,


Mrs. B

Argument Research and Writing in High School English

High school English students began a new unit of study this week: argument writing research. Students were offered choice in topic selection and in whether they would work independently, with an accountability partner, or with a group during the research process. After collectively brainstorming a list of potential topics, students drafted formal proposals. Some even chose to continue their Passion Project research from last semester by proposing a related issue. To round out the week, students created concept maps, which will help them formulate research questions on Monday.

Our work during this unit will be skills-driven. Students will research and write about a topic that matters to them and our society, all while honing key research and writing skills that will serve them in college and beyond. Specifically, our unit objectives are:

For the research process: writing varied and specific research questions, navigating online databases, using advanced search techniques (truncation, Boolean operators, etc.), identifying stakeholders, balancing source perspectives, and other skills as needed

For the writing process: writing a debatable, defensible thesis; employing the Harris Moves for argument writing; creating smooth internal and external structure; establishing “voice” while maintaining credibility and formality; other skills as needed

Parents and guardians, please feel invited to talk with your student about his or her research topic in the coming days and weeks. Your support from home is so appreciated. Have a nice Home Stretch Holiday!

Ms. Brown

A look inside Middle School Language Arts…

Parents and Guardians,

The following was posted to Middle School Language Arts Google Classroom classes this afternoon as a broad look forward at our next two weeks of distance learning. I hope sharing it here will allow you to engage your student in conversation about his or her Passion Project research.


Salutations, and happy end of the week! I hope you have made time to take care of yourself during distance learning. Today, and every day, I encourage you to do something that brings you joy. Go outside. Play a game. Write. Make art. Stick your head out a window and SING, and let your neighbors think you’re weird. I know that stay-at-home life isn’t what we’re used to, but remember that you’re in control. Make time for happiness.

Speaking of happiness, I hope you’re enjoying engaging with your Passion Project topic. We’ve learned a wealth of skills so far: conducting preliminary research, concept mapping, writing varied and open-ended research questions, assessing source credibility, constructing and formatting a works cited page for multiple source types…and last but certainly not least, reading for information.

Next week, we’ll move into the research note taking part of our process. You might be thinking: I know how to take notes. I don’t need a lesson on this. But be encouraged! Research note taking is all about separating the wheat from the chaff (there’s an idiom for you…look it up) and organizing said wheat into carefully constructed research categories. Research note taking is a skill that will serve you in every future research project you take on, no matter the class or level. More information to come about this on Monday.

I also want you to start thinking about the type of product that could best showcase your Passion Project research. Remember, this entire endeavor has been about the research PROCESS, so your product can really be your own. Think about what fits with both your topic and your personality/style. Will you teach your classmates using a traditional presentation (either pre recorded on Loom or live on Zoom)? Will you create a podcast episode? Will you go more visual and use your graphic design skills to create an infographic? Or could a more tangible product work with your topic like a diorama or a piece of art? In true Summit style, the sky’s the limit for your end product. When it’s time to propose your product (probably near the end of next week), I’ll simply ask you to share what you plan to do and how that will allow you to showcase what you’ve learned in a thorough and engaging way.

One expectation will hold true regardless of what you choose to create: your audience will be larger than just me. Passion Projects are all about learning from each other. Even in a digital environment, I want you to connect with your peers. Experience the joy of learning about your classmates and what they love. So, start thinking about creative options. Next week, we’ll work together to brainstorm a list of products that could work in a digital environment, and the week after next, you’ll create your product of choice. Stay tuned for details.

I’m so proud of the effort you’ve been giving this unit. Your critical thinking skills are on display with every assignment you submit. Keep up the great work as we move into the final weeks of our Passion Project work, and enjoy your long weekend!

Ms. Brown

Yoga: Distance Learning Style

The Summit high school yogis are continuing to practice, even when far apart. Each Tuesday, students explore a new yoga YouTube channel and choose a short class to take. Next, they write a brief reflection about the style and pace of the class, key poses offered, and how they felt about the experience overall. This work allows students to take classes from a variety of instructors while developing an awareness of their personal preferences. On Thursday afternoons, we meet on Zoom for a live class, which is designed in response to what students share in Tuesday reflections. Many students have expressed an interest in becoming more comfortable in a common transitionary pose: three-legged dog. Next week’s live class will be delivered workshop-style, and I’ll share important tips and tricks all geared toward mastering that specific pose. Parents, guardians, and students, if you’re interested in beginning or continuing a home yoga practice, the following are some of my favorite free online yoga resources. Namaste!

Patrick Beach and Carling Harps: Co-owners of Commune Yoga in Seattle, free weekly classes posted to their YouTube channel

Adriene Mishler: Founder of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, one of the largest collections of free online classes available, new content posted regularly

Sumits Yoga of Springfield, MO: During the stay-at-home order, instructors are rotating to offer free live classes Monday-Friday at noon on their public Facebook page, videos are posted for later viewing

This Week in Social Studies

Sixth Grade

Students in sixth grade maintained as much “normalcy” (to borrow a word from Warren G. Harding) as possible last week. Each day, we were able to meet and have live discussions of the material we’re studying to understand the 1950s. This week, students will move into a more individualized approach to the Civil Rights Movement, allowing them to understand this time more fully.

Seventh & Eighth Grade

In seventh and eighth grade last week, we were also able to have a few live class meetings and enjoyed discussing the material together. This week, we will have at least one meeting together to discuss the Civil Rights Movement and then move into more individualized study of this time period. 

The daily plan for middle school students was posted to their History Classroom pages this morning and is outlined below. Each day, students will have a checkpoint posted to Classroom with a question they should answer or an assignment to be completed. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

6th – Students should answer the question posted in Classroom and spend some time exploring the Civil Rights movement today. 

7/8th – Students who are able will have a live class today. The link is posted in Classroom. We’ll use our time to discuss the foundations of the Civil Rights Movement and its importance to this era. 

All students should ensure they have completed the work assigned last week and that they are current in their assignments. 

Classroom check-in: answer the question posted after you interact with/listen to the lesson.

Office Hours: 11-noon and 1-2 pm

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Students should go to Classroom and watch the linked video about the Civil Rights movement. They should take notes on what they see and answer the questions in Classroom. 

Classroom check-in: answer the question posted after you interact with/listen to the lesson.

Office Hours: 11-noon and 1-2 pm

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Students should select their own source to understand the Civil Rights movement. They should think broadly here about the fight for Civil Rights – they have freedom to explore what that looked like from multiple groups and perspectives. They may also consider finding a primary source on YouTube (a speech, footage of a protest or a march), finding a letter someone wrote, or a selection of photographs that give insight. 

Classroom check-in: answer the question posted after you interact with/listen to the lesson.

Office Hours: 11-noon and 1-3 pm

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Students should check in and answer a series of questions in Classroom regarding their research and learning this week. 

Classroom check-in: answer the question posted after you interact with/listen to the lesson.

Office Hours: 11-noon and 1-3 pm


High School

High school students completed an assignment about the Gilded Age and machine politics in Kansas City last week, and they are currently working on individualized research papers regarding the Progressive Era and its effects in Missouri.