Honors Assembly & Production Premiere

The Honors Assembly put on by the 7th graders was a great celebration!  Each of the 8th graders were highlighted with kind words and photos. Thank you 7th grade team for putting on such a thoughtful tribute to this class. During the break, student council brought popsicles for the whole school to enjoy!

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Production Premiere of “Camp Findakey” at Central Cinemas. The movie exemplified the creativity and humor of this class. They did a great job explaining their process during the Q & A session! We hope they look back on this movie in 20 years and enjoy it as much as we did tonight!DSC_0122 DSC_0117 DSC_0111 DSC_0107 20170609_174545

**Bonus picture- 8th Graders hanging out and being goofy before the Premiere.


Production Filming

Students are in the midst of filming the 8th Grade Production and it has been fantastic to see the way they are working together. Everyone is busy writing, acting, filming, directing, editing to prepare for our June 9th, Production Premiere, at Central Cinema.  They are applying all that they’ve learned about writing scripts, filming using various types of shots, and editing with Final Cut Pro. Each time a vignette group goes out to film they have a Ticket to Film and get assessed by a teacher using our On Set Feedback Form. Check out some photos from on scene shooting!

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2017 Production Ticket to Film - Google Docs
2016-2017 Production - ON-SET - Teacher Feedback Form - Google Docs



Investigating Parabolas

This week in math we are continuing our Quadratics Unit by investigating parabolas. Students are learning all the features of a parabola through investigations and making connections to what they learned about linear equations (x and y-intercepts). We started this investigation by seeing where parabolas show up in real life.  Students made the observations that they often appear in architecture and things that fall (gravity). Now we are making connections between factoring and graphing! Here’s their recent poster assignment: Investigating-parabolas-2 (1). Also, here’s a video of a student making the connection between catapults and parabolas.



“What’s the T?”: Tea Time Storytelling Circles


“What’s the T?”: Tea Time Storytelling Circles


We have started our “CREATIVE LANGUAGE UNIT: REALITY in 360.”  One of the elements of this unit focuses on  STORYTELLING.  WE WILL EXPLORE CREATIVE USES OF LANGUAGE BY LEARNING TO TELL STORIES.  STORYTELLING is an oral tradition that helps to pass knowledge down from generation to generation and across communities and cultures.  

We will be serving tea every Tuesday for Tea Time Tuesday.  Each student will be assigned a day to tell a story to their classmates.

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We launched STORYTELLING with each student telling a story about Spring Break and learning about cultural rituals such as tea ceremonies in Chile and coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia.  Each student was assigned a country to investigate and learn about that countries’ rituals, traditions, and ceremonies centered on tea or coffee.  Also, we invited Chris Shaw to talk about the connection between rituals and algorithm.  He connected the ideas of coding as a language to the symbols and words we use as coding for a story.  He stated, “Some rituals we create. Some rituals we are given by others.”


Chris Shaw is a Seattle-based ceramic artist, designer, and engineer. He is inspired by tea, its rituals, and its fluidity. Chris’ sculptural work consists of focused examinations of our concept of value. Drawing heavily on his training in mathematics, Chris seeks to form and reform an aesthetic topography through transformative experiences. The process employed in crafting each work combines abstract logic and intuitive perception.



  • 360 in this unit represents the circle in which we deliver our stories
  • We are all storytellers
  • We get to create reality by the stories we tell ourselves and others
  • We create history, because some ancestors dreamed of our reality today
  • Oral traditions are as sacred as the written word.
  • Understanding and creating narratives is a fundamental literacy skill—it is also a universal human activity that brings people together.
  • We can create new rituals and traditions through the stories we tell.


  • Hearing stories:
      • 1. Stimulates the imagination.
      • 2. Improves listening skills.
      • 3. Instills a love of language, reading, and creative writing.
      • 4. Improves language skills, such as vocabulary, comprehension, sequencing, and story recall.
      • 5. Builds community by providing a common experience and collective language of story catch words and phrases.
  • Storytelling:
    • 1. Increases self-esteem by building confidence in speaking before groups.
    • 2. Improves expressive language skills and stimulates inventive thinking.
    • 3. Promotes greater cooperation and stronger relationships among community members. If we know others’ stories, we are less likely to judge or misunderstand them.
    • 4. Encourages personal growth through risk-taking.
    • 5. Gives you techniques for gaining and holding an audience’s attention during an oral presentation (eye contact, use of voice, gestures, etc.)

(SKILLS Modified from Julie DeNeen, “30 Storytelling Tips For Educators: How To Capture Your Student’s Attention” Inform ED.)

High School Math Placement- What To Do?

Hello Parents! We received lots of questions during LTM’s about how students will be placed in classes in high school, especially in math. Each high school has a different process for math placement. Some have placement tests, others use teacher recommendations. Some schools require letters from teachers, others simply require teacher signatures on registration forms. Students are currently finishing Algebra 1. Depending on the student and what school she is attending, she might retake Algebra 1, OR move into the next course after Algebra 1, either Geometry or Algebra 2, depending on the math progression at her high school.

As you and your student register for classes this spring, inquire about what you need to place into your preferred classes. Some parents like to think about balancing classes or honors classes with out of school activities. Others think about how their student might adjust to a higher work load and what might be the best course load. If you are unsure, feel free to email the SGS 8th grade teacher directly (who needs to give you the recommendation) or have students bring in their registration guide and course descriptions and advisors can help navigate. We are happy to go over this with your student and make recommendations. Every student is different and we will support you and your family through this process!

*Helpful side note: each SGS student gets a letter verifying that they’ve met WA state history credit as part of their transcript.