Special Presentation: Middle School Coding and Art Projects

Students in Mr. Martin’s Coding and Art Projects shared their final projects with classmates and special guest visitors on Tuesday, May 21. As Mr. Martin explained to his guests (including Mr. Chan, Ms. Emerson, and yours truly!), students declared their data types (variables), then explained their setup (values, screen sizes, background colors), and then showed their programming for their art project (the main code).

After students explained their code, the audience was treated to a presentation of their projects, in which cursors could be used to create unusual effects or drawings on the screen, objects were made to move, blink, or change colors, and even a “game” involving capturing a bouncing bat were demonstrated. I was impressed to see students, many of whom were new to coding at the start of the semester, create interesting, humorous and beautiful art based on the coding fundamentals learned over the past months. Bravo, digital artists!

A presentation by Olaitan E.
A presentation by Avalon G.

Middle School Talent Show!

On Thursday, our Middle School students proved, once again, that they have talent! Our community was treated to a fun show of vocal and instrumental music, dance, and even a comic sketch from Monty Python! Our students braved the stage to share their skills, to the delight of classmates and teachers alike.

This is one of our favorite annual events to showcase our students’ unique interests in a campfire-style spirit of supportive camaraderie–and, of course, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to take the stage, or to serve behind the scenes in preparing the set for their peers!

We can’t wait to see who will step up next year to share their special skills!

Middle School in May…

This week, students from the Service Learning Club organized a bake sale to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation, serving cupcakes prepared by our own Middle School students in Viewpoint’s kitchen! These treats are irresistible–and this little indulgence supports a fantastic cause.

Also this week, as part of a 8th grade Civic Engagement project, several 8th grade students organized an old-school Super Smash Brothers I Block playoff in round robin fashion, complete with “Challonge” tournament brackets programmed by our student event organizers. The competition was fierce, and a good time was had by all as Mr. Sweney graciously hosted this mixed-grades social event!

8th Grade Science Catapult Competition!

The mood was tense in Mr. Yates’ classroom as students carefully positioned and tested their devices. It was finally here: the 8th Grade Catapult Competition!

On Wednesday, April 24, I was privileged to view part of this event, as Mr. Yates’ F Block students’ hard work came to fruition. In this annual 8th grade science tradition, students apply their understanding of the principles of physics, along with a healthy dose of teamwork, to create a competition-worthy device. While I did not witness the conclusion of this event–which took place over several class periods–I did enjoy some very entertaining “near misses” as Mr. Yates and others dodged some of the farther ping pong ball launches!

Welcome to the 2019 Grade Greek Games Fair!

On Tuesday, April 30, our 6th grade students donned their “chitons” (our modern-day approximation of ancient Greek garb) to host our annual Greek Games Fair! Middle school students and parent guests navigated through a series of advisory “city-states,” where they competed in games of strategy, skill and chance. This festive tradition showcases our 6th grade students’ teamwork and creativity, as each station, inspired by Greek mythology, history, and culture, was designed entirely by our 6th grade students over several weeks in collaboration with their homerooms.

Our 6th grade students thank all of our student and family guests for joining them for a day of community and fun!

Add some poetry to your day! The Middle School celebrates National Poetry Month.

On Tuesday, April 23, the English Department hosted a special I Block Poetry Activity for our Middle School students. Students engaged in short poetry writing activities on a variety of themes at various locations around campus, such as a “blackout poetry” activity in the Fletcher Family Library, “sports-themed” poetry writing in the Paul Family Athletic Center, haikus inspired by nature on Marafino Terrace, poems dedicated to friendship at the Love of Learning Wall, and couplet in tribute to William Shakespeare in the Carlson Family Theater. Students shared laughs and inspiration over the creative themes as they engaged in this friendly National Poetry Month-themed spirit competition!



Viewpoint students enjoy a visit from animal guests during Earthchella!

On Wednesday, Viewpoint Students enjoyed a visit from scaled, feathered and furry friends from the Wildlife Learning Center! As part of our annual Earthchella celebration, educators from the Center introduced students to animals that had been rescued and rehabilitated, either after being injured, illegally trafficked, or given up by owners who were unable to care for these exotic animals. Students learned how these animals live in the wild, as well as how human activity has impacted their environment, and how organizations such as the Wildlife Learning Center are working to care for animals that cannot be returned to the wild.

It was also a fantastic opportunity to see unique species not native to California–such as a prehensile-tailed skink, a three-banded armadillo, a scarlet macaw, and a two-toed sloth–up close and personal!


Brownies and Books

On Friday, March 22, Middle School students met during lunch for Brownies and Books, a gathering of reading aficionados hosted by our librarians who share books and company over tasty treats! Students spent time relaxing with friends and stocking up on fun reading material to enjoy as they prepared to head off for our two-week Spring Break.

What great reading did you catch up on over the break?

Middle School Electives Fair

On Friday, March 8, our Sixth and Seventh Grade students and teachers participated in our annual Electives Fair, enjoying a beautiful sunny day on Litow Patio as students learned about the wide range of elective courses to explore in the next school year.

The Fair is just one opportunity for Sixth and Seventh Grade students to ask questions and get to know new teachers as they consider our diverse palette of creative and challenging elective course offerings. We invite students to speak to their advisors or to visit the Middle School office with any questions about opportunities to delve deeper into current interests or to discover new ones in the coming year!

Ms. Roskowinski and Mr. Feldsher discuss theater craft and theory with inquiring students.

Ms. Russell introduces students to Technical Theater.

Students test out strings instruments with Ms. McLeod.

Ms. Levin-Katchinskiy and Ms. Yates share ceramics projects and hand out squishy clay to table visitors!

Ms. Hicks presents beautiful examples of past Visual Arts student projects.

Middle School Alpin String Quintet performs at National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference


On Friday, March 1, the Middle School Alpin String Quintet performed at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference in Long Beach. This was a huge honor, as our student musicians opened the final general assembly!

I was delighted to be invited to our musicians’ dress rehearsal in advance of their performance, which you may also enjoy here. We are so proud of you, Alpin Strings!

Middle School Alpin Strings Quintet members Daniyar A., Alivia A., Sophia A., Riley P., and August Y. at the NAIS 2019 Annual Conference