In this session, students will help bring history to life! Using a multidisciplinary approach, we will explore the San Diego area through a week of local art, literature, history and immersive activities. Step back in time and experience San Diego as our predecessors knew it! We will follow local history through music, games, food, and more. Older students will also have a chance to pursue a small research project and design a 10-minute lesson that shares a piece of local history: for instance, presenting an autobiography as an important player in San Diego's past, designing an art piece that represents a pivotal moment in local history, or guiding us through a poem by a local author. This class is facilitated by Claire Tam, a Pacific Ridge history teacher, who based this course off her own childhood experiences attending similar camps at the Louisa May Alcott House in Concord, Massachusetts.
Public speaking and knowing how to express oneself persuasively are skills that will serve young people both in the classroom and beyond. In this two-week sequence, students will develop these abilities in two ways. During the first week, we will work on developing presentation skills and creativity through a variety of speech styles, ranging from humorous or dramatic readings (in which students select, interpret, and deliver a short piece of drama or literature) to original oratory (in which students research, write, and present a short evidence-driven speech). In the second week, we will build on these skills with an introduction to debate. Students will work together to research a topic, write an argument for or against the resolution, and present their case through a combination of pre-written speeches, cross-examination, and extemporaneous speaking. For both weeks, the final day of the session will conclude with an opportunity for students to showcase their work for parents, friends, and other guests. While this has been designed as a two-week track (week 2 will use many of the pacing, enunciation, and projection skills we practice in week 1), students are welcome to enroll in one or both weeks. This class is facilitated by Claire Tam, a Pacific Ridge history teacher and advisor/coach to the PRS Speech and Debate team. She also competed in both speech and debate events while in high school and worked as a public speaking tutor for three years at Wellesley College.
This one-week course will cover the basics of blogging. Students will learn how to find their niche, start a website and develop a stream of engaging content. During the course, we’ll discuss what makes a blog successful and how to build an audience. For students over the age of 13, we’ll also discuss successful social media techniques to leverage an audience. Students can bring laptops, but computers will be available. At the conclusion of the course, students will understand the practices behind building and running a successful blog and will have a webpage they can use going forward.
Grades: Rising 9th and incoming Upper School Students
Instructor: Richard Masland (9th Grade Dean)
This week-long course enhances academic skills that foster a successful transition to high school. Students improve classroom skills such as note taking, active reading, collaborative learning, and test taking. They also learn productivity strategies and tools such as time management, test preparation, goal setting, motivation and concentration. Finally, the class introduces students to the nature of high school disciplines (Biology, History, English, etc.) and the general expectations of those disciplines. Students leave with a clear understanding of the various academic and student support services available on campus. While this class is an excellent introduction for students new to Pacific Ridge, returning students can benefit from the skills and strategy review as well.
Instructor: Sarah Peeden (Assistant Head of the Middle School)
This week-long course is designed to help incoming 7th grade Pacific Ridge students develop the skills needed to be successful in middle school. Students will improve classroom skills such as writing, note taking, active reading, collaborative learning, and Harkness discussion skills. They will also learn productivity strategies and tools such as organization, time management, test preparation, goal setting, motivation and concentration. By introducing and using the technological platforms required of them during the year, such as their Pacific Ridge email account, PowerSchool Learning, and Google Drive, students will be ready to hit the ground running on the first day of school. Students will also leave with a clear understanding of the various academic and student support services available on campus. The transition to a new school and into middle school is exciting and fun, but it can also be challenging for students. This course is designed to help new Firebirds with the transition and to help them fine-tune some of the skills they will need in middle school.
In this workshop, Middle School students will practice and gain confidence in all aspects of the essay-writing process, especially the ability to argue persuasively for a specific position. They will learn how to read for writing, brainstorm, develop a strong thesis statement, use supporting evidence, expand and analyze ideas, draft, and gain comfort with revision as the most important part of the writing process. This essay-writing workshop will benefit all Middle School students, whether they are building their writing foundations or simply wish to gain more practice and confidence with persuasive essay writing.
In this workshop, Upper School students will practice and gain confidence in all aspects of the essay-writing process, especially the ability to argue persuasively for a specific position. They will learn how to read for writing, brainstorm, develop a strong thesis statement, use supporting evidence, expand and analyze their ideas, draft, and gain comfort with revision as the most important part of the writing process. This essay-writing workshop will benefit all Upper School students, whether they are building their writing foundations or simply wish to gain more practice and confidence with persuasive essay writing.
Start Algebra II on the right foot! After a year of Geometry, the foundations of Algebra can be a bit rusty. The goal of this workshop is to provide a strong review of the important concepts of Algebra I. Analytical skills are stressed more than simple mechanical skills, as students work on many models represented by linear, quadratic, and exponential functions as well as systems of equations. The graphing calculator Texas Instrument (TI-84) is used as a learning tool. Don’t be stressed at the beginning of your next math class!