Monday, September 18, 2017

Welcome to Pyramid Project

I am super excited to be teaching Pyramid Project this year.  It was a great first class (outside of me forgetting the binders)! 

Homework this week is as follows:

1.  Read and ANNOTATE String, Straightedge, and Shadow.  It's due in 4 weeks.

2.  Write daily in your LOG book keeping track of Patterns, I Wonders, Core Book Studies, and Math lessons.  Ok, so you don't have the LOG book that's part of your Pyramid binder, but you can still be writing down patterns you see, keeping track of your math and Core book studies.  And if you see something that makes you think, "Hm, I wonder why that is..." jot it down.  We'll talk more in depth about these things in the coming weeks.

3.  Fill out and bring your SIGNED Goal Worksheet and School Tips pages that I emailed on Thursday night.

4.  All students need to also be actively working on their class presentations, keeping their due dates in mind.  These dates will only be changed because of illness or comparable circumstances.

That's it!  Thanks everyone and happy pattern seeking!  Let me know if you have any questions!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Math, math!  It's everywhere!  What an awesome class.  We learned about the definition of mathematics (ask the students what it means to quantify.)  We figured out that math is in everything and is everywhere.  It was not a terrifying discovery.  Everyone in this class has an amazing mind, and we love learning together.

Time is winding down, so everyone needs to be about the work of finalizing their Science Projects and completing the requirements for the Inteligro Award.  Students have the list of requirements in their binders, so please encourage them to check them off.  Ask them to tell you what they need to do!  Everything is due no later than January 19th, so don't delay.

Next week we will discuss Coming of Age in the Milky Way.  Each student has two chapters for which they are responsible.  Annotate, annotate, annotate.  Be prepared to share what was so interesting in your chapters.  What did you learn?  What were some a-ha's and epiphanies.  We can't wait to hear them. 

Our Inteligro Math discussion will be on January 5th, so everyone has time to finish that book.  Also be preparing for your math exam, which will be on January 12th.  Lastly, we are planning a field trip to the Pierce College Planetarium on December 15th.  We would like to leave at 9:30 a.m. SHARP, so we can be back in time for the party.  Please let us know if this a hardship for you.

Thanks - your Pyramid Project mentors

Saturday, November 12, 2016


This week learned about creating our masterpieces in our mind and in our hearts before we actually execute them in reality.  This element of spiritual creation: pondering, figuring, guessing, and planning is the first step in creating anything.

Students were challenged to Begin With the End In Mind ESPECIALLY when it comes to their Science Fair Projects.  Students pondered their science fair projects and then filled out a Science Project Planning sheet with roadblocks over the next 10 weeks such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, vacations, family in town, etc. 

We also had a great discussion on The Phantom Tollbooth.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy this book.  We ran out of discussion time, so everyone is asked to bring a favorite quote from the book to share next week.


1.  Write down the actual steps you will take over the next 10 weeks to complete your science fair project.

2.  Next week we will have a presentation by Adam on planes. 

3.  You need to skim and find parts that interest you in the Milky Way book.  Please annotate them and BRING YOUR BOOK TO CLASS.  If you know there's a book discussion that day, it's pretty imperative that you bring the actual book we read.

4.  Continue working on your science fair project.

Also - please consider this a reminder for the following:

1.  Parent Night is January 26th.  Please make sure it is on your calendar.

2.  Parent Night is when students will be awarded their prisms for completing the Inteligro Award.  Please check and see where you are in regards to earning your prism.  We want everyone to receive it.

3.  On January 12th you will have an in-class math exam.  This is made up of questions from your own math study.  You can either bring a post test from your math curriculum OR keep track of problems you've worked on through the course of the semester and use them in your final exam.  The exams must be approved by the class mentors.  Don't forget to work on this.

Please let either Diannalynn or I know if you have any questions or concerns about Pyramid Project.  We certainly enjoy working with your students.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Asking the Right Question

We had a great presentation from Katie Blanchard on light and reflections.  We learned about terms like refraction, light stream, refractive index and much more.  Quite interesting Katie - thanks!

  • Next week we will have a binder check-up, so make sure to WRITE DOWN your I Wonders, Patterns, and log your math lessons! 

  • Kaleigh will present on Nicolaus Copernicus.  We have enjoyed all of the presentations so far.  Please consider your presentation and what visual (pictures, presentation, experiment, etc.) you will use to delight the class.  The more exciting, the better!

  • Finish reading and annotating The Phantom Tollbooth.  The discussion will be led by Noah!!

  • Don't forget your I Wonders, Patterns, and log book entries WRITTEN DOWN!!!  I've got a great one for this week.

  • Also we will be reviewing your Science Fair projects.  It has come to our attention that only ONE student has actually made progress on their science fair project.  That is a sad state of affairs and will make it hard to accomplish this goal in time for the Science Fair itself.  So here's a reality check:

11/10 - Pyramid Project class
11/17 - Pyramid Project class
11/24 - Thanksgiving Day: No Class
12/1, 8,15 - Pyramid Project class
1/5, 12, 19 - Pyramid Project class
1/26 - Parent Night/Science Fair

So projects are due on 1/19, so that leaves students approximately 10 weeks until it is due.  I don't know about you guys, but I can procrastinate 10 weeks like nobody's business!  Parents, please have a mentor meeting (or two) with your Pyramid Project student and help them develop a timeline that will help them be successful with their science fair project.  Please ask Diannalynn or I for any help you might need.  Also, please let us know well in advance of any special set up needs for the January Science Fair.  Thanks!

We learned what it takes to ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.  There were some tricky riddles to solve - I stink at it!  We decided however, that asking the right questions is a wonderful skill to employ in working on a science fair project.  We had great input by all and we sure appreciate teaching this class. 

Genevieve & Diannalynn

Friday, October 21, 2016

I Wonder!

We missed Teacher Genne in Pyramid yesterday!  Hope she's 100% soon.

Yesterday was a full day in class!  We reviewed looking for equations, learning new things by looking up words we (think we) already know in the Webster's 1828 Dictionary, and generally starting to really study and think deeply about verses in our Core books.  Everyone committed to doing that this week, in their own core book studies.

Then we wondered.  We discussed the power of curiosity, and looking at things in a way we haven't before... even the mundane... like cats drinking.  Roman Stocker, a scientist at MIT was watching his cat drink milk one day and wondered if he did it differently than the dog, as it seemed.  His curiosity led him to mention it to friends and fellow scientists, then on to a serious study of how cats, large and small, lap up milk, a collaborative scientific paper being published, and breakthroughs in biomechanics.  All because he paid attention to something most of us consider mundane, and wondered!  What they learned is that cats don't actually scoop up the liquid, they quickly break the surface tension with their tongues and use inertia to pull it back up before closing their lips around it.  So we all became cats, sort of.  We tried it out, dipping our hands in water and catching it with the other hand.  Some of us were better at it than others, and Kaleigh decided to try it the cat's way, with her tongue.  A straw will probably serve her better.  But the take away is to be more curious!

Noah had some great questions as he helped lead our book discussion on String, Straightedge and Shadow.  And even though we don't have a class full of math-lovers, we had a very thoughtful discussion.  I really liked talking about the people or events we wished we could have been there to meet/see.

We also learned all about the Pot Belly Stove from Kaleigh. 

Our next book is The Phantom Tollbooth.  A reminder that even if you've read it before, you need to re-read it with the characteristics of a scientist in mind.  That discussion will be held in 3 weeks.  But don't wait until then to get started on Coming of Age in the Milky Way.  It's a great read, but not a small or quick one.  So get a jump start on that!

I also handed back all the science fair proposals.  Most need some more detail, specifically about HOW you're going to run your study and learn what it is you're trying to discover.  You can start the experiments now, but please bring your fleshed-out proposals back next week.

Emma, your 2nd presentation is next week.

And everyone, don't forget your logbooks!  And pull out (and use!) those bookmarks for Phantom Tollbooth and Coming of Age in the Milky Way.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Principles, Laws, and Equations

Is your mind still blown?  You should ask your scholars that question and then have them tell you all about our discussion today.  It was pretty much AWESOME!  I so enjoyed helping them to think about their core book (the scriptures) a different way.  They were all left with the following challenge:

1.  Use the equation If this.... then this.... in their search for patterns this week.  I'm excited to see what they'll find.

Please encourage your scholar to WRITE DOWN their log entries.

2.  Really STUDY your core book this week: look up words, draw equations, make connections, etc.  If you only get a sentence read, but you learn a ton, then mission accomplished.


1.  Finish String, Straightedge, and Shadow.

2.  Record Log Book entries.

Attached is the schedule for presentations.  I encourage everyone to think outside the box when it comes to your presentations.  Be creative.  Think about what you would enjoy in a presentation. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Oh say, what is truth?

Hello Everyone,

Here's another week of the Pyramid Project blog.  This last week we discussed the important questions:  What is truth?  How do we know something is true?  Everyone had great insight and we appreciate everyone's participation in our class.  It is an important question to continue to discuss as home.  Ask your students what they think and share with them your own insight.

Happily we have quickly come together as a group and everyone is working well together.  We had a great presentation from Emma on Marie Curie. 

This next week the students have the following due:

1.  Their outline for the science fair project.  They each received a worksheet that details what their science fair outline must include.  This is a written outline with as much detail as possible.  Those who don't have a solid plan in place will be asked to continue to work on their outline until it is finished. 

2.  The book String, Straightedge and Shadow is due on October 20th.  I know our student assistant Noah has been diligently reading through this book, and he will be excited to lead a great student discussion this week. 

3.  Every week is an accountability section in class.  Students account for the number of times they have recorded in their Log Books.  The account, of course, is just a written verification that they have completed their agreed upon number of math lessons and core book student as well as written down I Wonders and Patterns noticed.  So far, everyone is taking a leisurely approach to their Log Book.  Unfortunately this will not make it possible for students to achieve the Inteligro Award at the end of the semester, so I encourage everyone to not wait to write in their Log Books!!

Lastly - I listened to a conference call on mentoring mentees this week.  The presenter shared lots of great insights, but in talking about mentoring students she shared the idea of a 2nd Witness.  Either that 2nd Witness is us as the classroom mentors or you as the home mentor.  It makes such a difference when we work together and back each other up.  I would strongly encourage you to have weekly mentor meetings with your students and ask them to share what they've been learning in class.  Also follow up with them on their math and core book study goals that they set with you.  It will make a huge difference and will ensure success.  Please let us know how we can support what you are doing at home.

Your Pyramid Project Mentors:  Genevieve and Diannalynn