Doherty

Doherty Closing Program

Under sunny morning skies, students and families celebrated an amazing year in the courtyard during Doherty’s closing program. The morning started off with a congratulatory message from Head of School Chris Garten, and a number of fun song selections sung by each grade, led by Doherty teacher Maria Eynon. The ceremony ended with the fifth-graders singing Fight Song, and an address from Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein, who asked the students to “practice wellness, laugh often, choose with no regrets, appreciate your friends, keep your friends, continue to learn, do what you love, and live as if this is all there is.” During the ceremony, on behalf of the Student Council, Guethlein presented a check to Terry Carr, husband of much-loved, long-time Doherty kindergarten teacher Jenny Carr, who passed away in February 2017. The Student Council held a juice and bagel sale to raise the funds for cancer research. Guethlein also acknowledged the retirement of 40-year Doherty teacher and alumna Sarah Roberts C’67. Student representatives from each unit, including Rebecca Jacobs and Maria Schaefer from Unit I, Dollie Stricker, Maggie Rubenstein, and Grace Kennedy from Unit II, and John Corbett from Unit III shared memories about the past year with humorous and tender stories. Fifth-graders closed the emotional, heartfelt program with two selections: One More Bridge to Cross, and the traditional, beloved song, Here Comes Summer. Unit III teacher Julie Guminey shared some wise words from Winnie Pooh. “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” she said. Click here to see more photos from the closing program.

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Major Awards at Doherty

Each year, faculty and administration on the Doherty Campus select fifth-graders to receive a number of awards based on academic achievement, a love for learning, citizenship, character, and leadership. The following awards were presented during the closing ceremony.

Laila Harrison

Congratulations to Laila Harrison, who received the Loveland Award. The Loveland Award is presented to a student who shows exceptional interest and excellence in the area of English and writing.

Phoebe Rubenstein

Congratulations to rising sixth-grader Phoebe Rubenstein, who received the Jane P. Hoeland Merit Scholarship Award. The Hoeland Scholarship was established to recognize a Doherty student who has demonstrated academic achievement, breadth and scope of interests beyond the classroom, leadership, citizenship, and character.

Ben Leisring
Amelia Schnirring
Matthew Wiles
Olivia Colby
Timmy Jordan

Doherty’s Student Council Citizenship Awards were presented to Unit II students Ben Leisring, Ameilia Schnirring, and Matthew Wiles and Unit III students Olivia Colby and Timmy Jordan. These awards are chosen by peer selection, honoring students who exemplify qualities such as responsibility and dependability, helpfulness and friendliness, that is inclusive of all members of the class.

Other awards presented at the ceremony include:

Marina Curtin
Dougie Schecter
Oliver Szabo
Nick Cohen

The Ohio Math League: fourth-grade winner Marina Curtin and runner-up Dougie Schecter and fifth-grade winner Oliver Szabo and runner-up Nick Cohen

Margaret Tenney

 Continental Math League: fifth-grader Margaret Tenney

Nicholas Astafiev-Holmes

Spelling Bee: winner fifth-grader Margaret Tenney and runner-up fifth-grader Nicholas Astafiev-Holmes

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Graduating Seniors Return to Doherty Campus

On the Doherty Campus, 21 graduating seniors dropped in to give hugs to their Lower School teachers and take a look at the campus they knew so well. The students started off their last visit to Doherty as Seven Hills students with a visit with early childhood teachers and Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein, followed by a walk through Jones Hall, where the students dropped in classrooms to give hugs to their former teachers. The Doherty visit ended in the Doherty library, where librarian Linda Wolfe and their parents awaited their arrival. The seniors watched a moving video of their time at Doherty and gladly accepted personalized “Seven Hills” chocolate bars, specially wrapped by Wolfe.

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A Gift of Peace

Unit III students who wrote to Toluca Lake Elementary in North Hollywood, California, in February, received boxes from their pen pals in late May in return. Patty Dawson’s class introduced the correspondence in mid-winter after completing research on and performing their peace poetry project. Dawson said the Seven Hills students, who sent messages of peace and poems to the Toluca Elementary students, were excited to receive messages from their west coast friends. Dawson said the Toluca Elementary students responded by sharing that his students studied Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ poem, “Mother to Son,” as a way to model their poems, entitled, Brother to Sister, and Sister to Brother. “The students used this theme with the idea that we are all connected as part of the human race,” said Dawson.

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Pre-Kindergarteners and Kindergarteners Step Up to Design Challenges

The Creation Studio is a great place to make and create, even for Doherty’s youngest students. Pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners stepped up to two different design challenges recently, putting their creativity to the test. Pre-kindergarteners were given an interesting challenge — design a tool that could be used to dig deeply into dirt to discover treasure hiding below. Students talked about how the tool would need to be shaped and what components it would need. They worked with a variety of materials to bring their designs to life. “The pre-kindergarten students got right to work to create the best design,” said Tracy Hickenlooper, Doherty director of program design and technology. “Once the design was completed, the student tested it in a tub of dirt. If it didn’t dig deep enough we discussed and identified possible improvements that could be made, and each student went right to work improving their tool.” Hickenlooper said students came up with a range of designs and students truly worked together to create amazing final products. In kindergarten, students were given a different engineering challenge — design a shoe. Students thought about the purpose of a shoe, what makes a shoe a shoe. They decided that measurable criteria were that a shoe had to stay on their feet for 20 steps and 10 jumps. “First, kindergarteners planned and sketched their design and decided what materials would be best to use,” Hickenlooper said. “After we reviewed their plans, the kindergarteners were ready to engineer. In every corner, you could see children measuring, tracing, cutting, and assembling.” Once the shoe was created, students had to test it following the two criteria that were decided upon. If it didn’t meet the criteria, students had to identify the problem and improve their design. “This activity was inspiring to see what’s possible when students are deeply engaged in their learning, and, in the process, discovered the budding engineers inside themselves,” Hickenlooper said.

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Fifth-graders Become Imagineers

Julie Guminey’s fifth-graders became Imagineers, creating amazing theme park rides in the Creation Studio. The end-of-the-year project asked fifth-graders to take on the role of Disney Imagineers and create a Disney theme park attraction that enthralls visitors from start to finish. Students were assigned roles, such as creative project manager, art designer, or storyteller, based on his or her strengths. They conducted extensive research about rollercoasters and theme parks, and learned all the associated lingo. They created backstories for their rides, as well as interesting activities for the queue. They made every decision, right down to the music. Fifth-graders shared their rides with their classmates, even giving details such as how tall one has to be to ride and the sounds the ride would make. Students designed rides based on everything from Despicable Me, complete with a giant minion as the centerpiece, to Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. Their peers asked lots of questions, and the presenters answered with well-researched replies.

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Doherty Students Selected to be Beta Readers

Four lucky Doherty students were selected by librarian Linda Wolfe to be beta readers for author Brian Wells’ soon-to-be-released novel, the second book in his League and the Lantern series. The students, fifth-graders Anish Patil, Avery Barter, Margaret Tenney, and Oliver Szabo, will read the final rough draft and answer specific questions about it. “Brian Wells will incorporate relevant ideas from their input into the final published work, coming out late in 2017 or 2018,” Wolfe said. “Our students are sure to have meaningful suggestions!”

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From The Buzz, May 26, 2017

Understanding the Underground Railroad

Following a morning spent visiting the Freedom Center in May, Unit III fifth-graders participated in Underground Railroad simulation, which outlined the journey slaves took to escape from the South and gain freedom to Canada. The exercise is designed to broaden the students’ historical knowledge and understanding of the time period. Fifth-graders had the opportunity to relive history through the specific role they were given. The hands-on activity correlates with students’ studies of early American history.

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Doherty Carnival

The Doherty Campus was transformed into the Doherty Carnival and Silent Auction on May 12. Booths for games, bouncy slides, carnival food, and more took over the gym and courtyard, filling the evening with activities for all ages. In addition to games, guests could visit a fortuneteller, get their faces painted, visit a petting zoo, and bid on a host of items in the silent auction. The carnival is hosted by the Doherty Parents Association and helps fund the organization. Thank you to the Parents Association for holding this popular annual event! Click here to see more photos from the Doherty Carnival.

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Doherty Library Buzzing with Activity

The Doherty Library has been buzzing with activity! In early May, Fancy Nancy’s mom, played by Laurie Hubert, visited pre-kindergarteners to read a Fancy Nancy book, a series about a young girl who loves all things fancy. They even had a fancy party after, said Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. In mid-May, fifth-grader Margaret Tenney served as Librarian for the Day. She read to several classes, including a book about a bear and a caterpillar who became friends. The Librarian for the Day even led students in a class dance after reading Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie!

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Girls on the Run Prepares Duffle Bags for Donations

Fourth-graders in the Doherty Girls on the Run club recently gave back to their community. The girls decorated 24 duffle bags filled with socks, headbands, pencils, and pens, and a journal. They donated the bags to NECCO, which serves foster children from birth to age 21. The duffle bags will be given to foster children in the process of being placed. In addition to preparing the bags, Doherty’s Girls on the Run participants trained for 12 weeks to compete in a 5K in early May. “Girls on the Run is a wonderful program to have at Doherty and we can see all the girls in the program are proud of their accomplishments with training for the 5K,” said Julie Brackett, After the Bell teacher at Doherty.

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Olympic Day

Students in pre-kindergarten through Unit III put their athletic skills to the test on Olympic Day, held May 19. Physical education teachers Ed Wiseman and Marty Gerhardt planned plenty of activities both inside the gym and on Doherty’s front lawn. Students participated in an obstacle course, completed a sack race, jumped around on hippity hop balls, and more. Fifth-graders in Unit III even squared off against faculty in a kickball game! Click here to see more photos from Olympic Day.

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From The Buzz, May 11, 2017

 

Rain Doesn’t Stop Mini Pig

On a chilly, rainy Friday morning in early May, pre-kindergarteners gathered at the starting line of the 13th annual Mini Pig, held on the Doherty Campus’ front field. Parents, students, and teachers pulled on rain boots and broke out their slickers to cheer on the young athletes. The pre-kindergarten students stretched before they took off running, motivated by the cheers of the crowd and stops at the hydration stations dotting the course. Children gathered on a platform to receive medals at the end of the race. The Mini Pig, created by pre-kindergarten teacher Cyndi Kenyon and coordinated by The Seven Hills School Athletic Department, is a collaborative event designed to promote physical fitness, health education, and overall fun. Click here to view more photos from the event!

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Unit II Students Enjoy Poet Tea

Librarian Linda Wolfe is always looking for projects to engage young readers in creative ways. Wolfe invited Unit II students to participate in the Doherty Library’s Poetry Postcard program. Each week, starting in September and ending in April, each participating student was given a postcard with a poem and a related challenge. “After reading the poem and completing the challenge, the postcards were returned to me,” Wolfe said. “Those completing the program were invited to a very special Poet Tea where they were treated to pastries and a bound copy of their work. Those who participated in the program two years in a row also received a gold balloon.” Participating students include Poni Larson, Grace Guminey, Amelia Schnirring, Colin Froehle, Ethan Avera, Halsey Ha-Martinex, Gauri Kulkarni, Emma Hassell, Andrew Quinn, Henry Lafley, Kaitlin Goodman, Dolle Stricker, Harper Holsinger, Tess Nelson, Graham Pietowski, Anna Pratap, Brandt Lopex, Annabel Presley, Quincy Driehaus, Sylvie Gumlaw, and Sloane Lipson.

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What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World is a classic song exulting the small pleasures in life. It was later adapted into a children’s book of the same name by authors Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. Pre-kindergarten teacher Ginger Rubin used the book as a basis for a lesson. After studying continents and children around the world, students spent each day talking about one page of the book. They researched scientific facts and made puppets for a puppet show later in the unit. “We learned about trees, roses, the blue sky, the night sky, rainbows, and more,” Rubin said. “We learned that skin color is based on our ancestors, the sun, and something in our skin called melanin.” When the puppets were completed, pre-kindergarteners rehearsed their show, practicing along with the song. “The presentation required teamwork, concentration, listening skills, following directions, good timing and stage presence,” Rubin said. Students took their show on the road, performing for Early Childhood students, Beginnings, and kindergarteners. “Parents were invited for multiple performances,” Rubin said. “The children did an amazing job!”    

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Second-graders Create Hand Pollinators

Design thinking flourished in Sherri Linville’s Unit II class. Second-graders recently created hand pollinators designed to pollinate poppies and jack-in-the-pulpit-flowers. After reading the book Mariana Becomes a Butterfly by Jeannette Martin, students took a cue from the book’s protagonist, Mariana, to create pollinators from cotton balls, pipe cleaners, and more. Using baking soda as the pollen, students dipped their pollinators into flower models, in this case a petri dish poppy and a test tube jack-in-the-pulpit, and applied their technology to a number of flower pictures to see which one worked. Students learned that even these common household items can be technology because they make a job easier.

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Making Fraction Burgers in Math

Math teacher Josh Betustak made fractions deliciously fun for students in Unit II, creating a lesson centered on fraction burgers. Students learned about fraction equivalents by mapping out ingredients they wanted to put on their foam fraction burgers. The different ingredients were assigned a fraction amount, so students added the pieces and stacked them in a burger of their own making. They recorded their fractions and named their sandwiches. “After they submitted their fraction burger recipes to me, I would then choose one burger recipe at random and the whole class would recreate the burger following the proper steps,” Betustak said. “When the burger was complete, the burger ‘chef’ and name of burger was announced to the class.” He added that the lesson taught students how to create and understand the relationship between equivalent and simplified fractions.

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From The Buzz, April 28, 2017

Lighting the Way

Imagining they were spelunking light engineers, students in Joan Claybourn’s Unit III class designed models of ancient tombs using cardboard boxes, in order to test a number of lighting systems. The students worked in small groups to outfit the interior of the boxes with images of hieroglyphics and positioned flashlights, craft sticks, yarn, tape, bulldog clips, and pipe cleaners to design lighting systems to light up the tombs in order to see the hieroglyphics so they could be copied. The students tested their setups by looking through windows in their boxes. As they looked into the box through a cutout window, the students used transparent film with graduated tints to determine the quality of light within the box. Claybourn used the tinted films as a lens to determine the utility of each lighting system and encouraged students to rework their light setup to accommodate darker films. Students continued to work throughout the lesson to increase visibility within their “tombs” by repositioning their flashlights—an exercise that required them to convene, reconvene, teardown, and rebuild their lighting configurations.

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An Introduction to Europe

They learned basic information about France, Germany, and Spain. But they also found out what horchata is, heard a brief bio about Antoni Gaudí, and learned that third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson was the first American to eat French fries. The varied lesson was part of first-graders’ study of the continents in Donna Breitenstein’s class. Breitenstein offered a closer look at countries within Europe in order to break down the information and give students a glance of the many different cultures and languages within the continent of Europe.

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Understanding the Path of Immigrants

Students in Julie Guminey’s fourth-grade social studies class are learning about the history and people of Ellis Island, known as the gateway to more than 12 million immigrants to the United States. The unit focuses on immigration into America from 1892 to 1954, including the push and pull factors and the challenges immigrants faced. “Once we are done learning about immigration, students will participate in an immigration simulation where they will pretend to be immigrants, from the year 1900, who have traveled to America and must pass through Ellis Island,” said Guminey. 

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Green Bean Market with Pre-kindergarten

Pre-kindergarteners in Judy Shuppert and Karen Lawrence’s classes have been working on their entrepreneurial—and nutritional—skills as they make their rounds through Doherty as the Green Bean Market. The young produce vendors sold fruits and vegetables in late April to students in all classes to provide healthy snacks and help fuel everyone’s day.

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Super Readers

Having the opportunity to meet a Newbery Award-winning author is one thing. Getting the chance to read the author’s book and meet that author is another. Several Doherty students who wanted that experience took time over spring break to read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, who visited the Lower School in late April. Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe celebrated the experience with an ice cream sundae party in the Doherty library, shortly after Lin’s visit. “Not only did the students love the book, Grace Lin’s visit at Doherty was especially meaningful to these students,” said Wolfe, adding that the love of reading is always a sweet deal. Students who read the book are Sydney Best, Sepha Schumacher, Shannon Speaker, Erin Jackson, Nicholas Stein, Grace Trindle, Daphne Nelson, Emily Mentrup, Ella Foraker, Olivia Colby, Billy Good, Devin Best, DeHaven Quinn, Marina Curtin, Norah Hubert, and Natalie Goodman. Congratulations to our super readers!

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From The Buzz, April 13, 2017 

The Wizarding World of Doherty

When Doherty first- through fifth-graders returned from Spring Break, they entered a world full of magic and wizardry, as their teachers wove a Harry Potter theme into their curriculum. The inspiration? Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe, who used a Seven Hills grant-funded trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando as her muse. Wolfe, who was among several teachers who received a Titcomb grant last summer, experienced the world of one of her favorite book characters, and applied it to a week of teaching. Throughout the week, Wolfe introduced her students to Harry Potter basics and took them through a whimsical tour of her own handmade backdrops and props from Harry Potter scenes, including a passageway, and floating candles and flying keys. She also conducted a sorting hat ceremony, shared her official golden snitch replica, engaged students in a contest to guess the number of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans in a jar, and presented a general history of Harry Potter. Wolfe also invited Doherty faculty of students in grades one through five to join in on the literary fun. Physical Education teachers Marty Gerhardt and Ed Wiseman taught students how to play Quidditch, a game they described as similar to handball with hoops, “beaters,” and “bludgers.” The fun didn’t end there, however. Doherty music teacher Maria Eynon taught tunes and dances from Harry Potter, Doherty art teacher Mimi Stricker made magical creatures with her students, and Lower School theater teacher Russell White directed the kids as they acted out various Harry Potter characters.

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Doherty, Down Under

Unit I students in Amy Kulhavik’s class have been learning about all-things Australia. “We’ve explored the continent, researched important people and places from Australia, and even tried a delicious Australian treat called a Lamington,” said Kulhavik. The students’ unit is part of a yearlong continental study in Unit I. The students work on a four-day study of each continent. Kulhavik teaches Australia and Asia, while Unit I teacher Donna Breitenstein teaches Europe and South America. Both teachers focus on Antarctica, Africa and North America. The students work coincides with their science unit on animal classifications.

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Globe Trotters

Students in Patty Dawson’s homeroom spun the globe to choose a country to travel to and learn about. Students worked in pairs to research the country. They created a poster with a travel log listing what items they packed for their journey, interesting facts they learned while they visited, how many miles they traveled, and their favorite sites, meals, and even their favorite souvenir, said Dawson. The poster also included a postcard they designed to send to someone back home.

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Lessons with Mother Nature

Prekindergarten for 2-year-olds in Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft’s class are thankful for April showers. They are, after all, gardeners with high hopes for their greens. The students have recently taken a good look at their square-foot gardens and they are quite pleased to see many little green sprouts in the garden. “We are very proud of our students,” said Brackett. “They get excited to roll up their sleeves and enjoy playing in the dirt and sand. We hope to weed in our garden, sweep the play structure, and do more planting.” Brackett also shared that her students will soon begin a unit on ocean life and earth life. “Soon visitors will see our classroom transform into a beautiful underwater world,” said Brackett. “We will also invite Mary Dudley from the Civic Garden Center and begin our study of the life cycle of butterflies.”

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Researching Egypt

Unit III students recently finished research projects that tied into the intensive, yearlong focus on Egypt, as well as the Cultural Arts Week focus. Unit III teacher Bill Schmidt said each student chose a topic pertaining to Egypt. “Some of students focused on Egyptian cuisine, transportation and the economy in Egypt, the Nile River, mummification, the Arabic language, pyramids, and Ra, the ancient Egyptian sun god,” said Schmidt. Students researched and listed individual facts onto notecards from a variety of sources. They were required to have at least one source from the Doherty library, one from an outside library, and one online source. Then, they arranged and assembled the facts into their own written product. “The kids did a fantastic job on them,” said Schmidt. “Working through this process helped them to understand how much thought and effort goes into writing this type of research paper.”

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From The Buzz, March 17, 2017

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Doherty Pancake Breakfast and Art Auction Benefits Cooperative for Education

On March 11, the smell of pancakes wafted through the crowded, and art-covered, Doherty cafeteria as families, faculty, and students enjoyed the Doherty Pancake Breakfast and Art Auction. The proceeds from the event benefit the Cooperative for Education, a local nonprofit that creates sustainable programs aimed at ending illiteracy and alleviating poverty in Guatemala. Faculty served pancakes to the hungry crowd. All the insect-themed art available for auction was created by students in Doherty, from the youngest children in Beginnings, the parent and toddler enrichment program, up to the fifth-graders. Doherty art teacher Mimi Stricker said the theme of the pieces was “Insects and Bugs: Finding Beauty in the Small and Sometimes Overlooked.” View more photos from the event here.

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Passion Projects

Passion Projects

What is Unit III passionate about? The answers are varied, some are surprising, some are not. They include hockey, growing food, and even making lip balm. These are just some of the interests Unit III students are exploring as they work on their passion projects in the Doherty Creation Studio. “Each student has chosen something about which they’re passionate to explore and research,” said Tracy Hickenlooper, Doherty director of program design and technology. Hickenlooper said all of Unit III is participating in the project. Each class discussed the difference between simply liking something versus being truly passionate about it. Students came up with three to five questions to drive their projects and then researched them. The fourth- and fifth-graders will present their work after spring break.

Passion Project 2

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Pre-Kindergarten Takes Off!

Pre-kindergarteners grabbed their passports and packed their suitcases for a “flight” to Egypt in early March. The mock flight is part of Doherty’s study of Egypt, which culminated with Cultural Connections Week held from March 13-17. Pre-kindergarteners boarded a plane, after going through security, staffed by pilot (and drama teacher) Russell White and the pre-kindergarten teachers as flight attendants. Throughout the flight, students flipped through magazines, watched the inflight movie, and even looked out their windows! When they landed in Egypt, they went through customs. Pre-kindergarten teacher Katie Dawson discussed the benefit of the mock flight and the study of a foreign country in a hands-on way. “Because the study of a foreign county can be abstract for pre-k students, the teachers strive to make the experience as concrete as possible,” Dawson said. “After landing in Egypt, each homeroom creates a city for the others to visit during their trip. These cities immerse the students in the varying geographies and culture of the country.” Check out more photos from the flight here.

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Unit I Builds Bridges

Unit I students in Amy Kulhavik’s class spent class time in February building bridges. Using a variety of materials, including paper, tape, and even plastic cups, students built their bridges and tested them. “The unit, developed by Engineering is Elementary, a program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, harnesses children’s natural curiosity, to promote the learning of engineering and technology concepts,” Kulhavik said. “This program integrates engineering with elementary science topics. There are literacy, social studies, and mathematical connections, as well.” Kulhavik noted that the project also covers the connections between scientific principles such as force, balance, and stability, in addition to the design of bridges and civil engineering in general.

Bridges 1

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Krauss

Service and Spanish Go Hand in Hand

As part of Doherty’s service-learning curriculum, Unit III students in John Krauss’ Spanish class helped collect food for local organization Open Door. Krauss incorporated the good deed into his class in early March, and students made over 80 lunches for the charity, using their Spanish the whole time. “After previewing vocabulary for the components of the lunches, students jumped right in with cooperation and teamwork to assemble sandwich ingredients, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh-baked brownies,” Krauss said. “These students are currently studying Spanish vocabulary for food and restaurants, and this activity also provided practical application of food preparation techniques.” Students worked together, coordinating to make sure they had enough supplies and a thorough workflow. Their work wasn’t over after clean-up, though. “Students reviewed the new Spanish vocabulary and their reflections on the activity,” Krauss said. “They agreed that it felt good to help others in need and that it was fun to cooperatively work as a team to pull off a project they had never done before.” Fourth-graders continued to use the vocabulary as part of their restaurant unit.

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Unit II Eats Like George Washington

Students in Sherri Linville’s Unit II class celebrated the U.S. presidents all month long in February. Students chose a president that interested them and researched him using books and their iPads. The final result was a report on the president of his or her choice. The students also read the book George Washington’s Breakfast together in class. The book tells the story of George Washington Allen, a young boy who wants to find out what his namesake ate for breakfast. “Like the main character in the book, the students became curious about what type of food George Washington ate for breakfast,” Linville said. They learned that the first president ate three hoecakes and drank tea for his first meal of the day. The students visited the Creation Studio to make their own hoecakes, a cornmeal pancake prepared on a hoe, or griddle. They ate the treat on Washington’s birthday, Feb. 22, and washed them down with tea. “Like the boy in the book, the students were delighted to celebrate Washington’s birthday by eating his breakfast,” Linville said. Students shared the activity with their parents via Seesaw, an online portfolio.

Hoecakes

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From The Buzz, March 3, 2017

Kindness Retreat

Kindness Retreat

Seven Hills teamed up with Youth Frontiers on Feb. 23 to host the Kindness Retreat, a special, daylong retreat for fifth graders on the Hillsdale and Doherty campuses. Students participated in a day filled with dancing, music, group work, and more during a retreat dedicated to building community. “This retreat truly brought out the best of Seven Hills and showed why this school is special and unique,” said Doherty school counselor Angie Bielecki. Bielecki said teachers and counselors were present, and supportive, of the retreat, demonstrating the value of kindness and social-emotional needs. “The Kindness Retreat helps our students understand that they can create their community, and make it one where they can feel safe and respected,” said Judy Arnold, Lotspeich school counselor and chair of the counseling department. “Our partnership with Youth Frontiers is great because of the organization’s thorough programming and amazing leaders who make the experience fun and educational for our students.” Upper School students got involved as well, acting as facilitators throughout the day. “Upper School students served as role models through sharing, encouraging younger students to participate, and leading small group discussions,” Bielecki said. Upper students who participated in the retreat include seniors Harper Duncan, Emily Rauh, Katie Corbett, Jeremiah Weaver, Devin Williams, and Jake Moses; and juniors Cece Rauh, Kate Stein, Maggie Ellis, Rosie DeWitt, and Robby Shaffer. The retreat was a success, and students illustrated that at the end of the day. “At the conclusion of the retreat, students shared ways they wanted to be more kind to others and genuinely thanked their classmates for the kindness showed to them,” Bielecki said.

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Everybody Counts

Earlier this week, students at Doherty learned that everybody counts! As part of Everybody Counts week, the campus participated in activities that taught students about the importance of understanding the lives of people with physical and mental challenges. Unit I met Jan Danner and her guide dog Ivana. Danner, who is blind, told students about her day-to-day life and how she met Ivana, who was raised and trained at Seeing Eye, Inc. in New Jersey. Unit III participated in different classes with students from the Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati. Starfire takes adults and teens with disabilities on outings around the area. With the Starfire students, Unit III completed crafts, wrote poetry, and learned exercises. Dr. Eric Ornella, a local orthodontist, visited Unit II. Ornella lost his ability to walk in a car accident that occurred when he was younger. He explained to students that even though he is in a wheelchair, he still does many activities. He told stories about his experience bungee jumping and going to Hawaii. On the last day of Everybody Counts, Donna McCartney, a social worker with Shriners Hospital for Children, spoke at an assembly. Children learned about her work and life inside a hospital for children with burns. She emphasized that even though they are sick, these children have full lives in the hospital, go to classes, and work to get better. Students learned an important lesson, and each speaker highlighted how everybody counts. Click here to see more photos from Everybody Counts.

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A Lesson in Peace

What is peace? Ginger Rubin’s pre-kindergarten students discussed the word and its meaning during a recent lesson, which tied into the class’ Children Around the World unit. Rubin’s class began the unit in January. Using music, maps, and more, students explored the seven continents and cultures around the world. “One of our books helped us to say hello in many languages and another to say peace in many languages,” Rubin said. “When I asked the children, ‘What is peace?’ I heard about sharing and caring, words from a peace song we sang in the Winter Music Program, as well as ‘a piece of a puzzle’ and ‘a piece of paper.’” Students then discussed the different meanings of the same word before segueing into a lively discussion about peace. Rubin transcribed the pre-kindergarteners’ quotes. Students also drew pictures about peace and Rubin displayed them in the classroom. Children came up with many different meanings for the word, including “peace is a snowman,” “peace makes you happy,” and more. Rubin noted the Seven Hills values and their impact on her classroom. “In my class, the Seven Hills values are modeled and encouraged from day one in all we do each day,” she said. “Those values share many of the components of what peace is.”

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Veterans singing

Unit II Sings to Veterans

Unit II recently gave back to the community in a musical way. In late February, students spent an afternoon singing patriotic songs at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center for local veterans. “This is the second year the children have entertained both our veterans and the staff,” said Unit II teacher Sarah Roberts. “It is one way the children can thank our veterans for their service to our country.” Students sang several songs, including We Appreciate You!, I Believe, American Every Day, Yankee Doodle Boy, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Heart of America, When The Flag Goes By, Yankee Doodle, Oh I Love America, and more. According to music teacher Maria Eynon, students practiced their set list for a month.

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Personal Space

Pre-Kindergarteners Discover Personal Space

For younger children, the concept of personal space can be hard to understand. Students in the all-day pre-kindergarten program are exploring the idea in an ongoing project. “This particular project involved discovering how much space we take up when we lie down, the teachers traced the students’ bodies and the students were able to add details and color their outline however they chose,” said pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds teacher Julie Bracket. “Everything needs its own space to function.” Students also read the book Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook. The book tells the story of Louis, who learns the importance of the concept of personal space. The fun doesn’t end there! “We discussed how much space the students actually take up,” Brackett said. “Students will continue to do hands-on activities that explore the concept of personal space.” The personal space class is part of PERC (Pre-Kindergarten Educational Rotating Classes), which gives students the opportunity to take classes in a number of areas.

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From The Buzz, Feb. 16, 2017

Mindfulness Doherty

Working Together through Mindfulness

Doherty Counselor Angie Bielecki recently engaged pre-kindergarteners in a discussion about working together, collaboration, conflict, and ways to calm their feelings. During her regular visit to Karen Lawrence’s classroom in mid-February, she read from Is It Right To Fight? The class discussed the consequences of conflicts that range from verbal arguments to war and ways to address ways to resolve conflict. Bielecki he encouraged the students to think about ways to acknowledge and address different feelings, creating an early foundation for teaching students self-awareness and empathy. She concluded her lesson by passing around a Hoberman Sphere that offered students a tactile representation of mindfulness and mindful breathing. When the students inhaled, they expanded the toy; when they contracted the toy, they exhaled. Bielecki said the benefits of mindful breathing expand into so many areas of our lives; students can learn to acknowledge their feelings and take a breath before they speak to a friend, make a choice, or even steady their voices before presenting, to create a calm and peaceful classroom environment. “It is exciting to see our pre-kindergarten students develop this skill at a young age,” said Bielecki.

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Candy math Unit I

In Love with Math

One can learn a lot from a box of Valentines. Unit I students in Amy Kulhavik’s class emptied their Sweetheart boxes and got to work. The students studied the heart-shaped candies bearing amorous phrases, categorized them by color, counted each group, then graphed the number of each color on grid paper. The students also followed directions to answer questions about their flavor preferences and color quantities. “This lesson covered math skills like number sense and graphing,” said Kulhavik. “Graphing, in first grade, is a way for students to use representations or manipulatives to organize, record and communicate math ideas. The students also have to summarize the information they found.”

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Cheer Box

Cheer Boxes to California

Toluca Lake Elementary in North Hollywood, California, and Seven Hills have something in common. After initiating a reading partnership with students at Toluca Lake Elementary at the start of the year, Unit III students in Patty Dawson’s class are keeping the momentum going with a second project. Drawing from their recent Peace Poetry project, in which they studied the way peace is portrayed in a number of art forms, the students wrote original poetry depicting the similarities between themselves and their pen pals, drew pictures of their interpretations of peace, and packed the poems and drawings in a shoebox, which will be shipped to North Hollywood in March. Dawson said she hopes the gesture will spark an ongoing friendship with the school.

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Gift Socks

Socks of Love

Unit II students socked away warmth, happiness, and hope in a special gift that will be donated to clients at Open Door Ministry, a non-profit social services agency that serves the families in the Cincinnati area. As part of the students’ community service efforts, students collected a number of toiletries and wrapped up the gift by stuffing them in a pair of tube socks. Unit II teacher Joan Claybourn said the students enjoy partnering with Open Door throughout the year. “The children really make a connection with the recipients through taking the time to select the contents of the socks, spending time to prepare the gift, and knowing that their gifts are practical and will definitely be used,” said Claybourn. “Everyone can use a nice warm pair of socks.”

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Glen Helen

Fifth Graders Study Ecology, Geology, History at Glen Helen

Doherty fifth graders spent three days at Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center near Yellow Springs, Ohio. The students spent most of their time outdoors where they were immersed in the natural world, exploring and investigating the 1,000-acre outdoor classroom with Glen Helen naturalists as their teachers. The students went on a couple of hikes each day that focused on ecology, geology, and cultural history. Students also did crafts, music, sports, and drama activities with an emphasis on teamwork, collaboration and cooperation. “The program at Glen Helen provides a perfect hands-on experience and is such a compliment to the fifth grade curriculum at Doherty. The naturalists are amazing and inspiring,” said Tracy Hickenlooper, director of program design and technology. “Throughout the three-day experience, the fifth graders were able to develop a relationship with nature, gain a better understanding of themselves and their peers, and have a greater respect for the environment around them.” Click here to view a gallery of field trip photos.

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From The Buzz, Feb. 2, 2017

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Cloud Cover in Unit I

First Graders on the Doherty Campus had an uncanny ability to predict the weather in late January. For instance, on Jan. 24, in Donna Breitenstein’s class, the students knew it would be pretty cloudy. Afterall, they made the clouds right at their desks. The students worked with their teacher to put together the right ingredients—a mason jar, an aluminum pan, warm water, and a bag of ice—and after it was all in place, the students waited and watched the cloud form in the jar. When Breitenstein removed the pan from the top of the jar, the students exclaimed as they watched the vapor escape the jar. Breitenstein said the process required the students to use foundational elements of scientific method and follow specific guidelines.

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Peace Poetry

Unit III students delivered original works before an audience of family and friends, as part of a Peace Poetry project, inspired by peace activist, photographer, and author John Noltner, who has set in motion a global movement with his book, A Peace of My Mind. After researching a number of historical events and artwork, and discussing their own interpretations of peace, students worked with their teachers to craft their pieces, which were mounted, along with their photos, on canvas and displayed during the Peace Project presentation. Parents and students listened attentively as the students shared their poems at the Jan. 17 presentation. “The Unit III students owned this presentation,” said Unit III teacher Patty Dawson, who coordinated the project. “The original works of poetry that exhibited their personal visions of peace were astounding. Many of the audience members shared how much it touched them that these fourth and fifth graders related to the word peace in the way they did. It is clear that the students internalized the words spoken and their meaning.” Dawson said she began visualizing the project at the start of the 2016-17 school year after reading about the International Day of Peace. “When I saw John Noltner’s work online, read his book A Peace of My Mind, and attended his talk at the ISACS conference the faculty attended in November, I decided that it would be great to build on the theme of peace,” said Dawson. “I believe that the students are emerging activists, and gaining knowledge about such concepts as peace, and, also, making those personal connections allows them to build on their own set of values and ideas.”

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Fifth graders gear up for author Grace Lin's visit in April.
Fifth graders gear up for author Grace Lin’s visit in April.

Getting to Know the Author

When author Grace Lin visits the Doherty Campus this year, everyone will be excited. But a few Doherty fifth graders prepped for the visit over winter break. The students got a head start when they accepted a literary offer from Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. “Library students chose to participate in an optional reading project over the winter break to help prepare them for the upcoming author visit this spring with Grace Lin,” said Wolfe. “They read her novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and completed a work packet.” Wolfe said the students recently enjoyed a team competition answering questions based on their reading. “The depth and breadth of their comprehension was impressive,” said Wolfe, who sweetened the deal by hosting a sundae party after the competition and giving each student their own copy of the book to be signed by Lin during her visit.

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Doherty Families Take on STEM

It is certainly true that the Creation Studio serves as an inspiring workspace for more than just students. Unit I and II students and their families gathered on a Saturday in late January to accept the cardboard box challenge. With only their imaginations and recycled cardboard, they entered the Creation Studio to build whatever they could dream. “One family created a fairy tree house complete with furniture and dishes. Another father and son created a Russian fighter jet,” said Tracy Hickenlooper, Doherty director of program design and technology. “Other creations were a fort that can accommodate three to four students complete with windows that open and close, a telescope look out, and a back escape hatch and key pad to enter.” Hickenlooper said families also built a marble run, a princess castle with towers and a balcony, and a two-story cat home that included built-in cat toys.

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Learning about the Power of Soap

A good hand washing does away with dirt. Doherty’s pre-kindergarten-for-2-year-olds recently learned the science behind the properties of soap during a demonstration with local award-winning scientist Barbara James. Working with teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft, the young students learned that food coloring, which represents dirt, repelled from a cotton swab when dipped in soap. This is because the soap breaks down the surface tension of the water in the milk. They witnessed why soap has the power to clean their hands when they saw the oil-based milk move away from cotton swab to form ripples and patterns. Students also observed the effervescent qualities of an antacid tablet in water, and experimented with colored shaving cream—all inquiry-based activities that stimulated their minds and ignited their sensory experiences.

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From The Buzz, Jan. 17, 2017

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Peace through Poetry

In mid-January, Unit III students completed the “Peace Through Poetry” project, a multimedia initiative inspired by the work of American photographer and peace activist John Noltner, author of A Peace of My Mind. The assignment coincides with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and promotes finding peace within community. Unit III teacher Patty Dawson organized the project so that students could reflect on their own vision of peace. “In order to expose students to a variety of media, teachers read aloud portions of A Peace of My Mind and discussed the personal perspectives of peace portrayed in Noltner’s work, and the students listened as a peer read portions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech,” said Dawson. “Music was also analyzed for visions of peace including, the original hymn of We Shall Overcome, which became an anthem for the marches during the Civil Rights Movement, Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, U2’s Pride in the Name of Love, and Jack Johnson’s version of My Own Two Hands, featuring Ben Harper.” The poem Caged Bird, by Maya Angelou, was used as a muse for students to write their own free verse poem. Poems were presented in the Doherty gym for Unit III parents and Unit I and Unit II students. An exhibit in the entry wall of the gym displayed 13-by-30-inch canvases bearing the students poetry and photos taken by Doherty art teacher Mimi Stricker. Doherty teachers look forward to hearing from Noltner, who expressed via a social media posting his interest in posting some of the students work on his website, www.apomm.net.

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Fantastic Math Skills with Fantasy Basketball

Say Houston’s James Harden scores 35 points on your winning fantasy basketball team. If you are a Unit III student on the Doherty Campus, you get to show off more than your hoop skills. Students in math teacher Joshua Betustak’s class formed basketball teams, applied the rules of engagement, and focused on the number of math principles that apply to maintaining their score sheets. Betustak, who is teaching the course with Unit III teacher Patty Dawson, launched the first day of the students’ fantasy sports season by explaining the game and handing out conversion charts. For example, under the assumption that Harden brings in 35 points, the students must calculate that, at 0.1 points, Harden is bringing in 3.5 fantasy points. The students are also asked to assemble a team while managing a salary cap when selecting players, follow specific instructions to find their players’ statistics for the week, correctly add and multiply decimals, and analyze their players’ performance data. Betustak said the fantasy sport activity would keep the students in a constant mode of calculation and excitement, something that goes right along with inquiry-based learning.

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You Can Learn a lot from a Dinosaur

Karen Lawrence’s pre-kindergarten class can arrange their shoes inside the footprint of a T-Rex. This cool fact is one of many that captivated her four- and five-year-old students as they began their unit on dinosaurs. Lawrence said the dinosaur unit pulls together several learning concepts, including spelling, patterns, matching, predicting, and basic knowledge about fossils. “The students are also starting to have a basic understanding of the difference between herbivores and carnivores and what the earth was like before humans,” said Lawrence. “I am taking advantage of the cold, hardened ground outside to demonstrate how difficult it is for paleontologists to conduct their digs.”

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We Love Reading, Mate!

Doherty students learned about everything British during the last Bridges program of the school year. The Doherty Library was chock full of parents and children for last 2016-17 Bridges after school program in early January. “It was heartwarming to hear families sharing books about British Americans or books written by British authors,” said Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. “Students selected their favorite books from the myriad books provided for the program, and everyone enjoyed the informative and witty presentation about the similarities and differences between British and American culture.” Many thanks to parents Rebecca Preston and Anna Kennedy, who provided authentic British snacks. Head of Doherty Lower School Patti Guethlein presented a short program on Stonehenge and led the group in creating their own Stonehenge models. Bridges is a multicultural learning program coordinated by Wolfe and Guethlein.

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Head to Winter Wonderland in Pre-Kindergarten for 2-year-olds

From the polar bears in the North Pole to penguins in the South Pole, pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds returned from the holiday break to begin a unit on the winter season. Teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft have transformed the students’ classroom into a winter wonderland, launching the lesson with the beloved story The Mitten. “We are learning about patterning, matching, sorting, and comparing sizes,” said Brackett. “In the next few weeks, we will compare the size of our foot to the size of a polar bear’s foot.” Brackett said the students would also learn a snowman chant and a penguin march.

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From The Buzz, Dec. 16, 2016

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Doherty Holiday Program

Doherty students spread seasonal cheer during the annual Doherty Holiday Program, titled, One World, launching the beginning of the winter break at Seven Hills. The students, pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders, sang 23 multicultural songs celebrating a range of genres, including The More We Get Together, Reindeer Zone, Joyous Hanukkah, The Light of Kwanzaa, and True Colors. And of course, the hearty musical celebration wrapped up with Doherty’s traditional sing-a-long It’s Christmas! Congratulations to our student musicians and to music teacher Maria Eynon
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Sending Ripples of Holiday Cheer on the Ohio River

While the idea of a riverboat cruise for the holidays sounds cheery for many, the job of running the operation is a tough one to handle throughout the winter. Knowing that the men and women who work on Ohio riverboats often don’t see their families throughout the holiday season, former Seven Hills teacher Priscilla Dunn began asking her students years ago to design greeting cards for the riverboat workers. Through her thoughtful gesture, Dunn, who is now retired, established an activity that remains a tradition on the Doherty Campus. Now a joint project between first and fifth buddies, students work together to design the cards, which will be delivered to the riverboat workers at a later date. “We studied Cincinnati earlier this year so we know about the riverboat workers and we want to keep the tradition going because it’s for a good cause,” said Unit I teacher Amy Kulhavik. “Mrs. Dunn spoke to students and teachers about the riverboat workers and how they have to spend time away from their families during the holidays. These men and women will be away from their family so we love to create and decorate cards to brighten their holidays. It’s a tradition that the riverboat workers have grown to love and appreciate. It is a fun way to spread joy this time of year.”

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Visiting Scientists for Hour of Code

Hour of Code

Lower School students on the Doherty Campus recently took part in a hands-on coding workshop with University of Cincinnati computer science major Tessa Wiedmann and senior research scientist with the National Science Foundation Margie Serrato. The scientists shared ideas with our Lower School students in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) Lab (formerly the Creation Studio) on the Doherty Campus. Wiedmann and Serrato exchanged ideas with the students and answered questions, which focused on the differences between computer programming, computer science, and 3-D printing technology. Tracy Hickenlooper, director of program design and technology, said the scientists’ visit was part of Hour of Code, a global initiative by Computer Science Education Week. “Doherty students in kindergarten through fifth grade participated in Hour of Code, which reaches tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries,” said Hickenlooper. “Throughout the week, students across the grades came to learn about algorithms, programs, loops, and explored the limitless world of computing.”

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Independent Study

Fifth Graders Create Study Tools

Fifth graders in a math class taught by Unit III teachers Julie Guminey and Claire Laughlin are taking their comprehension of pre-algebra concepts to a new level. In fact, the students are unraveling the concepts they are learning by showcasing their knowledge in a creative way. The tool, adopted by Guminey and called an independent study notebook, is an innovative way for students to process their knowledge. It is, however, part of the routine for the students who take this particular math class. The method, which taps into students’ higher-order thinking, takes place when Laughlin or Guminey introduce a new math concept. After a few days of learning and applying the concept, the teachers write down the lesson and students record it in their composition books. Once the lesson is recorded, the students use ingenuity to capture the lesson in a creative way. For example, said Laughlin, a student may explain exponent rules by making board games, flipbooks, cootie catchers, or foldables, to name a few, that incorporates the information. Each lesson is followed by the creative projects within each student’s composition book. Laughlin said the exercise is a multifaceted lesson for the students. “It makes them, instead of asking question after question, really understand the lesson by requiring the them to think outside the box and create their own study tool,” said Laughlin.

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Bridges at Doherty

Unit II Studies African-American Authors

Unit II families pored over books by African-Americans and about the African-American culture during Bridges, an afterschool program that focuses on multicultural education in the Doherty Library. The entire group, including mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and/or caregivers, listened to the book Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, read by Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. Families also read a number of books that focus on African-American culture, such as books about Kwanzaa, which begins the day after Christmas and concludes on New Year’s Day. Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein led the group in a brief history of Kente cloth and a simulation activity.

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Pre-kindergarten-for-2-year-olds Give Gift of Warmth

Students in pre-kindergarten-for-2-year-olds celebrated the many ways to help and serve others by helping to make fleece blankets. The students, guided by teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft, began making the blankets by assisting their teachers in finishing the fringe edge of each blanket, which will be donated to Project Linus in mid-December. “The blankets so lovingly prepared by teachers and students on the Doherty Campus are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug,” said Brackett.

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From The Buzz, Nov. 22, 2016

Therapy pet at Doherty

A New Furry Friend

Doherty’s youngest students recently made a new best friend—Cooper the therapy dog. Cooper, who made his first appearance during the week of Nov. 14, will be visiting pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds through kindergarteners on the Doherty Campus. Cooper, a golden doodle and member of the Seven Hills’ Wiles family, recently began his hard work with Therapy Pets of Greater Cincinnati. In addition to adding warmth and fun to the classroom, Cooper offers his new friends a soothing confidence builder and help with social skills. Cooper’s weekly visits are coordinated by Doherty school counselor Angie Bielecki.

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Unit II Veterans Day

Unit II Honors Veterans

Unit II students honored the sacrifice and dedication of local veterans by participating in an annual exercise of gratitude. The students, along with their teacher Sarah Roberts, wrote colorful thank you letters, which were delivered to a local VA Medical Center. “We were privileged to have Doherty faculty member Shayla Aaron speak to the children about her military service and that of her husband, who was stationed in Iraq for 18 months,” said Roberts. “We are all very thankful for the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.” 

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pH Levels

Ecosystems and pH Levels

The scene is grim. In Doherty third graders’ imaginary village, Greentown, plants and animals have been dying due to an imbalance in their ecosystem. The town environmentalists have called upon the knowledgeable students to uncover the root of the problem. The third graders, who have been studying how to test the pH levels of water and soil, used their new expertise to help Greentown. Equipped with goggles, droppers, and pH level kits, the students tested for the alkalinity of soil and water provided in small bins in their classroom. Unit II Teacher Joan Claybourn said the students were excited to apply their studies and make discoveries based on their newly acquired knowledge.

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Expounding Upon Precepts in Writing

Unit III students recently tapped into their higher-order thinking that required them to write a multilayered chapter based on the New York Times best-selling tween novel, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. The assignment centers around the book’s plot, which involves a new student who has a facial difference and must navigate attending a mainstream school for the first time. “Much of the book, which focuses on empathy, revolves around the precepts that character Mr. Browne, a teacher, teaches the students each month,” said teacher Claire Laughlin. “These are short quotes that become sort of ‘rules to live by.’” At the end of the story, said Laughlin, Mr. Browne asks each of the students to write their own precepts, which mirrors the project Laughlin assigned her students. “The students pretended they were a character in the book and wrote a chapter in the story,” said Laughlin. “The chapters they wrote are from their characters’ points of view, a precept, and a picture, similar to the way Wonder is written.”

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Grandpersons’ Day

Students in pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds through fifth grade welcomed friends and families during Doherty’s annual Grandpersons’ Day. The students regaled their happy visitors with song and dance in a show of love and gratitude during the holiday season. Click here to view photos from the event.

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From The Buzz, Nov. 11, 2016

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Reading Salad

The words being read by Unit II teacher Jo Schnirring were complex and long for her second and third graders: metabolism, sucrose, polysaccharides. But the students noticed that their teacher was reading them aloud with ease. She even pronounced them perfectly. “Does that mean I understand what I’m saying though?” Schnirring asked her students. After slogging through an intricate passage of scientific concepts and terms, Schnirring said, “No. I have no idea what I just read. I read it but I don’t understand it.” She explained that sometimes people read words they don’t understand. Schnirring further drove home her point about the importance of reading comprehension by asking students to make a reading salad by tossing green pieces of construction paper in a bowl when she read parts of a book that required the students to think about what they were reading, and red pieces of paper were thrown in when the students heard parts of the book that were simply words, or text. “When the students completed the exercise, they found that more ‘thinking’ pieces were tossed into the salad than ‘text’ pieces, which helped them to understand that reading is about more than just words,” said Schnirring. “It is about thinking and understanding concepts.”

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A Sophisticated Spin on Book Reports

With a guided focus upon which to frame their presentations, Unit III students are delivering dynamic book reports for their classmates and teacher. Unit III teacher Patty Dawson asked her students to center their work around a particular theme while producing their presentations, which include an extensive visual—such as a 3-D model of a scene in the story—and conclude with a Q&A. Most recently, the students focused on bringing out the fantasy elements in their stories. While telling their stories, students placed the emphasis on any magical, science fiction, or whimsical element of their books, telling the stories through that lens. Dawson said this approach to book reports allows creative freedom while providing them a focal point around which to structure their narrative.

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Arachnid Study

After conducting extensive research about spiders, Unit II students put their studies to the test. As part of their yearlong STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) challenge, students worked in groups and as individuals to construct one of the many different spider web types using black construction paper and dental floss. They added an element of competition to the project by timing their work. “The students have learned quite a bit about spiders—the way they live, and the reasons for the different kinds of webs they weave—so they will apply this knowledge to this challenge,” said teacher Joan Claybourn. This challenge in Unit II is part of an ongoing series of in-class, STEM-related projects that take place each month.

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Pre-Kindergarten Visits Creation Studio

Pre-kindergarteners recently visited the Creation Studio to learn about simple machines. Tracy Hickenlooper, director of program design, said students experimented with an incline plane. “We started off with a flat plane and found without the force of a ‘push,’ their cars did not move,” she said. “But when the plane became an incline, the car did roll. Students got to explore inclined planes of various heights and what happens as the incline becomes higher.” The pre-kindergarteners created their own incline planes in the Creation Studio and back in the classroom. They also played on the incline plane on their playground—the slide!

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Snack and Chat

Every Wednesday, students in Unit II are getting one-on-one time with their guidance counselor. Guidance counselor Angie Bielecki hosts the lunchtime group Snack and Chat once a week in Doherty’s Secret Garden. Students have the opportunity to get to know their counselor and each other. “When the weather is nice, we spread out a blanket, eat our lunch, and play a getting-to-know-you game, so that we can build relationships with each other, and we talk about what a school counselor does,” Bielecki said.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 31, 2016

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Fifth Graders Conduct Sunlight Study

The garden beds around the Doherty Campus were the subject of a project by fifth graders in Bill Schmidt’s Unit III class. The class broke into three groups to conduct sunlight studies on each bed. “This project is a part of our unit on energy, which is a main focus in fifth grade science, and as a model of how to use the scientific process,” Schmidt said. “The sunlight study was planned and executed the last weeks of September.” Fifth graders would take turns monitoring the beds for one hour each to see how much sunlight the beds got. Every hour, using a map of the gardens, they colored where shade hit the beds. The groups also created bar graphs to illustrate the amount of sunlight that the beds received per hour. They also researched seeds to find which plants would grow best in each bed.schmidt-3

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Doherty Halloween Parade

Ghouls and goblins displayed their finery during the annual Doherty Halloween parade. Students and teachers at Doherty were dressed in a variety of costumes, ranging from the 471 Bridge to Olympian Michael Phelps, and even a box of French fries! Click here to see more photos from the Doherty and Lotspeich parades.

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Cincinnati PD Visits Pre-Kindergarten

Members of the Cincinnati Police Department paid a very special visit to students in the pre-kindergarten and pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds classes. Visiting officers included Mike Bell, the father of Michaela and McKenzie Bell, Doherty pre-kindergarten student and pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds student, respectively. Officers turned on flashing blue and red lights while students climbed on the motorcycle and into the car. They even got to test the vehicles’ microphones. Children were reminded of safety measures to take when riding in cars. “The officers also talked about the importance of wearing a bike safety helmet, crossing the street safely, and wearing a seat belt,” said teacher Julie Brackett. In the same week, students also met two helicopter medical doctors and talked about hospital helicopters.

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Second Grade Readers Sketch Outdoors

As part of the Global Read Aloud, librarian Linda Wolfe is reading books by author and illustrator Lauren Castillo to her second graders. On a sunny October morning, Wolfe read The Reader, written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Castillo. After reading the story of a young boy carrying a suitcase with his favorite book up a steep, snowy hill, Wolfe gave students their own suitcases complete with a sketchpad, similar to one Castillo used to carry. Second graders then went outside and sketched what they found in the Eco Garden.

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Local Musician Entertains Pre-K, Beginnings

Parents and children alike danced along to the songs of local musician David Kisor during the recent family music concert for pre-kindergarten for two-year-olds and Beginnings students. Kisor performed a variety of fun songs while children danced, swirled scarves, and mimicked the singer’s motions.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 13, 2016

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Mat Man Hones Skills in Pre-K

Pre-kindergarteners in Ginger Rubin’s class recently gathered around Mat Man to practice a variety of skills. Students listened to a song describing the parts of Mat Man, such as a hand or foot. As the song continued, the students placed the piece mentioned in the song to build the character, complete with a smiley face and body. The wood pieces used to build Mat Man are important because they are shaped like the parts of uppercase letters. “The program teaches letter formation by breaking down each letter into a combination of those wood pieces,” Rubin said. Mat Man is part of a program called Handwriting Without Tears, which is used at Doherty in pre-kindergarten and continued throughout the school. Handwriting Without Tears fosters writing readiness, printing, and cursive. “It’s terrific curriculum which makes letter formation clear and simple for the children,” Rubin said. “It’s been very successful for us.” Beyond handwriting readiness, Mat Man also promotes listening skills, knowledge of body parts, teamwork, and anticipation. Rubin even incorporated a lesson on shapes. “Each day that we made him, his body was a different shape including rectangle, oval, trapezoid, circle, triangle, and rhombus,” she said.

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Volunteers Make Book Fair a Success

The Doherty Library had more books on its shelves then usual during the annual book fair, held in late September. Librarian Linda Wolfe spent her summer selecting the best books for the weeklong event, as well as making her own personal recommendations. Wolfe credits the volunteers for the book fair’s success. Parents, grandparents, and guardians came to Doherty to usher students through the book fair and help them create wishlists. “So many parents and grandparents come in and take kids around,” Wolfe said. “It’s a wonderful outpouring of love from Doherty parents. They did a great job.”

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read-aloud

Program Connects Young Readers Around the World

Students in Julie Guminey, Claire Laughlin, Bill Schmidt, and Patty Dawson’s Unit III classes are reading and making connections around the world. Unit III is currently participating in the Global Read Aloud, which began Oct. 3 and ends Nov. 11. Dawson said teachers from around the world sign up to participate. This year, fourth and fifth graders will be reading Sara Pennypacker’s Pax, the story of a pet fox and his owner. Dawson said each teacher is doing the Read Aloud a little differently, and her class is paired with another class in California. Dawson’s students will blog weekly about an open-ended question she and her partner-teacher post. At the end of the program, the two classes will video chat about Pax.

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Homecoming Pep Rally a Fun Tradition

Doherty celebrated a great Homecoming tradition when the entire school gathered for the annual pep rally. Phys. ed. teachers Ed Wiseman and Marty Gerhardt helped lead the festivities. The spirited event included a celebration of lower school athletes, as well as a human tunnel, jump roping and hula hooping, a pushup demonstration by Wiseman, and sing-a-long of a traditional Doherty song. Doherty alumni and Upper School seniors Danny Rogers and Trey Kieser were on hand to stir up the crowd. View more photos of the pep rally here

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Real World Math

An ongoing lesson in decimals recently got a real world application. Math teacher Josh Betustak used old Doherty Book Fair forms to teach fourth graders about decimals. Students were given a problem—help a pre-kindergartener spend a $70 gift card at the book fair, choosing from a list of books with a variety of prices. Fourth graders had to spend as much money as they could, without going over their limit. “This could be something they do in real life,” Betustak said. He noted the assignment also serves as a lesson in estimation.

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From The Buzz, Sept. 22, 2016

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Tunnel Walk

Unit III students wrote messages of peace on paper doves on Sept. 9. The students carried the symbols of peace and hope during a mile-long walk across the Doherty Campus. They ended their walk after hanging the doves in the courtyard to memorialize the lives lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. Four years ago, Unit III teacher Patty Dawson established the Tunnel Walk to help students better understand the national tragedy and learn about heroes, like avid runner and New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who ran through Battery Tunnel carrying 60 pounds of gear. Siller saved the lives of others before losing his own on Sept. 11. The paper doves will remain in the Doherty Campus courtyard to commemorate the lives lost and the heroic efforts of many. 

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The Color of Observation

Pre-kindergarteners on the Doherty Campus recently exercised their observational skills through a color search activity. Guided by their teacher Katie Dawson, the students walked around the grassy areas outside Haile and Jones halls and selected a color based on their assignments. The students then took pictures of their colors with a shared camera. Once the students concluded the outdoor portion of their activity, they headed inside to discuss their findings. “We have been talking about color during the first few weeks, starting with discussions of our favorite colors and then moving to using watercolor paint to explore how colors mix and how colors look compared to others,” said Dawson. “Each child has had the opportunity to document color in our outdoor environment with their photographs.” Dawson said the children took photos of the grey and black they could see in the driveway, of green leaves, and “red that looks kind of brown” bricks, to mention a few. Dawson said the color search activity encouraged the children to use their observational skills to build an awareness of the variations of color that exist all around them. The students will display their photographs, along with their watercolor paintings, in their classroom. Dawson said color will be an underlying focus for the class throughout the school year.

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Cartography in Fourth Grade

Fourth graders recently participated in an activity that was a math/geography/language arts/art lesson—all wrapped into one. Unit III students in Julie Guminey’s social studies class designed maps based on the Doherty Campus. The young cartographers toured the campus and took notes for reference to create symbols and locations of buildings and streets around campus. They then converted the measurements of the buildings and streets to fit the scale for their maps. Using their measurements, they drafted the campus dimensions and landmarks on large graph paper and colored their maps.

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Doherty Students Recognized for Summer Reading

A group of dedicated Lower School students returned to Doherty with proof they belong in the Wolfe Pack Summer Reading Program. Doherty Librarian Linda Wolfe, who invited students to read several books over the summer, honored the students for their hard work by holding a celebratory gathering in her newly renovated library in late August. “The students in the Wolfe Pack Reading Program completed a rigorous program, which consisted of reading quality literature across multiple genres including poetry, historical fiction, biography, and award-winning books,” said Wolfe. “I am extremely proud of these students, both for their commitment to excellence and for their love of story.”

Top Row

Timmy Jordan, Vikas Kothari, Margaret Tenney, Nicholas Astafiyev-Holmes, Owen Shiver, Erin Jackson, Grace Guminey, Lidya Tesfaye, Anish Patil, and Sydney Best

Middle Row

Avery Barter, Oliver Szabo, Halsey Ha-Martinez, Emma Hassell, Andrew Quinn, Devin Best, Madeline Jordan, and Nicholas Stein

Bottom Row

Annabelle Presley, Sylvie Gumlaw, Graham Pietroski, Anna Pratap, Brandt Lopez, Kaitlin Goodman, and Ethan Avera

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Sailing into Kindergarten on Beach Day

As they donned beach gear and sunscreen, the new kindergarteners on the Doherty Campus entered a world of learning outdoors. The patio where they normally have recess became a sandy shoreline full of unique learning opportunities. The students fished for letters and sight words and sorted seashells in water tables nearby. They practiced writing numbers in the sand and used their reading skills to get into a good book on their make-believe beach. The seaside activity was an extension of a newly acquired outdoor education grant said kindergarten teacher Lindsay Pietroski. Pietroski, along with kindergarten teacher Cyndi Kenyon, applied for the grant. “We want to develop outdoor learning curriculum for not only science, but social studies, math, and language arts as well,” said Pietroski. “Learning in nature is so valuable for our students in every aspect of their learning experiences.”

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From The Buzz, Sept. 8, 2016

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Lego Olympics

With the Summer Olympics offering context and excitement, Unit II students grouped up to participate in the Lego challenge. Asked by their teachers, Jo Schnirring and Joan Claybourn, to follow numbered instructions on their cards, the students completed a number of brief assignments using their Legos. The students worked in groups of three and four while completing their projects in the Creation Studio. Some of the assignments included, “You found a dragon’s egg. Build a dungeon to house your new pet,” and “You have been hired to design a new car. Build your new model.” Claybourn said the assignment brought students together so they are able to experience team work early in the school year. The activity also gave Claybourn and Schnirring an opportunity to assess how the students worked in groups. “We are continuing to focus on teaching STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) in very intentional ways,” said Schnirring. “Lego Olympics allows the students to work toward a common goal using a number of disciplines.”

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DSC_0091Social Studies Day

Unit III students on the Doherty Campus kicked off their first week of school with various activities including Colonial games and Revolutionary War drilling. The events were all part of Social Studies Day, an opportunity for students to participate in hands-on activities that relate to the area of study in fifth grade curriculum. Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin said the very hands-on, simulated archaeological dig, helped students better understand the importance of the work of archaeologists to uncovering secrets and mysteries of the past. “The students worked through a simulated archaeological dig using replicas of artifacts that would have been found in the 17th century,” said Laughlin. “Social Studies Day really brings these different eras to life for the students and prepares them for their studies throughout the school year.”

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DSC_0141A Rainbow of Lessons

The students shuffled around the Skittles on a paper towel on their desks, organizing them by color. Their partners, using a written guide, asked them to write down their favorite color before closing their eyes to taste each one. After tasting one of each piece of the treat, their partners asked them to state whether it was their favorite color. Unit I teachers Amy Kulhavik and Donna Breitenstein checked in with the students to gather their perceptions of the activity, noting many times that the students did not always like the flavors that corresponded to the colors they liked, and that sometimes their favorite flavors were not what they thought they would be. The lesson? “We want the students to know they can get it wrong,” said Kulhavik. “Do scientists get it wrong?” She asked the students, who nodded affirmatively. “Yes!” Kulhavik added, “We used our senses to make guesses on whether or not we could taste our favorite color. Many of you learned what a hypothesis is and that it is OK if your hypothesis is not correct. This is a great way to show kids that their mistakes are a big part of learning.”

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DSC_0037Science Day

The first few days of school on the Doherty Campus were all about hands-on discovery for Unit III fifth graders. The students started off their school year not in classrooms, but in small groups, making symphonies with water-filled drinking glasses, observing color wheels in motion, and better understanding a number of optical illusions. The discoveries, led by volunteer Seven Hills parents, were all part of Science Day. “The students participated in four stations to experiment with the properties of light and sound,” said Unit III teacher Bill Schmidt. “Science Day is all part of a hands-on, discovery-based introduction to energy.”

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img_2716Recipe for Teamwork in PreK-2

Seven Hills youngest students received a lesson in collaboration and taking turns all wrapped up in a cooking class. The pre-kindergarten-for-2-year-olds worked alongside teacher Julie Brackett to make a batch of blueberry muffins during the second week of school. “We worked as a team taking turns and counting stirs,” said Brackett. “We were able to reap the rewards of our hard work with a delicious snack.”

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From The Buzz, June 6, 2016

Doherty CLosingDoherty Closing Program

The Doherty Closing Program sent fifth graders to Middle School with a musical farewell. The program was held May 31 in the school’s courtyard. During the courtyard ceremony, Head of School Chris Garten shared opening remarks with families, friends, and faculty. He lauded the efforts of Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein and applauded the fifth graders for their hard work, thanking them and their parents for everything they do for Doherty. Throughout the ceremony, music teacher Maria Eynon directed students in Units I-III as they sang songs like Born to Make Music, Forever Learning, and a medley of Lean on Me and Don’t Stop Believing. After the performance, Guethlein spoke, reminiscing about the past and looking toward the future. Students had the opportunity to reflect as well, and did so eloquently and with enthusiasm. Student speakers included Oscar Nelson and Anna Pratap from Unit I, Norah Hubert from Unit II, Will Gabriel from Unit III, and Happy Quinn, representing student council. The ceremony ended with all of the students in Doherty joining in a rousing version of Here Comes Summer! To view more photos of the Doherty Closing Program, click here.

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Major Awards at Doherty

Each year faculty and administration on the Doherty Campus select fifth grade students to receive a number of awards based on academic achievement, a love for learning, citizenship, character, and leadership. The following awards were presented during the closing ceremony.

Ariane Briquet
Ariane Briquet

Congratulations to Ariane Briquet, who received the Loveland Award. The Loveland Award is presented to a student who shows exceptional interest and excellence in the area of English and writing.

Anna Papakirk
Anna Papakirk

Congratulations to rising sixth grader Anna Papakirk, who received the Jane P. Hoeland Merit Scholarship Award. The Hoeland Scholarship was established to recognize a Doherty student who has demonstrated academic achievement, breadth and scope of interests beyond the classroom, leadership, citizenship, and character.

Neal Kohli
Neal Kohli
Sage Willke
Sage Willke

Doherty’s Student Council Citizenship Awards were presented to Unit II students Neal Kohli and Sage Willke and Unit III students Maggie Motch and Mia Mason. These awards are chosen by peer selection, honoring students who exemplify qualities such as responsibility and dependability, helpfulness and friendliness, that is inclusive of all members of the class.

Maggie Motch
Maggie Motch
Mia Mason
Mia Mason

Other awards presented during the closing ceremony were:

Margaret Tenney
Margaret Tenney
Oliver Szabo
Oliver Szabo

Ohio Math League (fourth grade): Margaret Tenney (top scorer) and Oliver Szabo

Samantha Froehle
Samantha Froehle

Ohio Math League (fifth grade): Anna Papakirk and Samantha Froehle (tied)

Erin Finn
Erin Finn

Continental Math League: Erin Finn

Spelling Bee Winner: Samantha Froehle

Spelling Bee Runner Up: Margaret Tenney

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Snaap

Seven Hills Network of African-American Parents Honors Students

Students and families who are members and supporters of The Seven Hills Network of African American Parents (SNAAP) honored Seven Hills students of African-American descent during an annual end-of-year SNAAP banquet on the afternoon of June 5. The Rev. Jerome Weaver, a Seven Hills parent, gave the invocation. Head of School Chris Garten and Head of Upper School Matt Bolton applauded the students and their families for a year of dedication, persistence, and purpose. Retired Procter & Gamble engineer and CEO of the Bearden Group, LLC, Pervis Bearden, Sr., delivered an inspiring address, congratulating the students for their achievements and asking them to reflect upon the hard work of their families who have supported them along the way. “Your families have allowed you to bend but not break, to stumble but not fall,” said Bearden. “Your families have empowered you with a great source of inspiration and instilled in you that not having is no excuse for not getting.” The banquet also included a libation memorial ceremony, an African tradition, which was officiated by the Rev. Weaver. The ceremony concluded with remarks from Seven Hills 2016 graduates Nia Page and Brandi Bryson, as well as Seven Hills alumni Lauren Weems ’15 and Joshua Weaver ’15. Many thanks to parents Chantal Weaver, Leslie Bryson, and Erica Vaughn, and several other parents on the SNAAP committee for organizing the event. We also thank community members Felicia Maupin, of Felicia’s Events and Designs, and Monique Colbert, of Pounds of Faith, who provided decorations and desserts, respectively, as well as Millie’s Place Restaurant, and Muzic Company. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

The SNAAP honorees for 2015-16 school year are as follows:

Rising sixth graders

Xavier Coach

Dylan Cooke

Ric DeLyons

Jaden Sims

Sohana Thompson

Aiden Williams

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Estimation 1

Estimation Carnival Tests Math Skills Through Games

Fourth graders shared their knowledge of calculation and estimation in May during the annual Estimation Carnival. In groups, the students created games based on estimation for Unit III fifth graders to play. The fair featured 10 booths, and students visited each one. The games had an array of names like “Smile” and “Dressed for the Test.” Participants were awarded prizes, ranging from stickers to candy, for good estimates. For her game, fourth grader Alexa Kecman adorned her arms with colorful bracelets. Participants, teachers, and students alike, then had seven seconds to estimate how many bracelets she was wearing. Unit III teacher Regina Daily emphasized the games were the students’ ideas. Some students found creating the games to be a bit of a challenge because the ideas had to be original. Daily said the project, which is completed on and off throughout the school year, allows students to study fractions, probability, and rounding. A special note in the carnival program states the event was created “with the intention of providing fun and formidable feats of mental, mathematical skill.” The Estimation Carnival is a Doherty tradition. It began around 1999 and has been a component of fostering’s student’s critical thinking and cooperation skills ever since.

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Wax Museum

Wax Museum Teaches Unit III About Impactful People

Doherty was filled with famous faces in late May when Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin’s fourth and fifth grade students posed as influential people from the past and present as part of a living wax museum. Teachers, students, and parents visited the museum to learn more about a variety of celebrated figures. Each icon had a button on his or her display. When a visitor pushed it, the “wax figures” talked about their lives. Presentations included former presidents Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, Apple founder Steve Jobs, playwright William Shakespeare, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, artists, and sports figures from football, hockey, and baseball. Laughlin said the wax museum incorporates language arts and writing curriculum, but several students portrayed figures they learned about in science or social studies. “Students were asked to pick a person that they were interested in learning more about,” Laughlin said. “I encouraged them to pick someone they considered a hero, or someone who has made a positive impact on society.” After picking a person, students completed a 12-step process. They researched their person, wrote a rough draft and speech, edited, and created a tri-fold poster display. Click here to see more photos from the wax museum.

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Fractured Fairy Tale

Fractured Fairytales Foster Public Speaking

Children in Unit II teacher Sarah Roberts class made their stage debuts at the end of the school year. Roberts’ second graders performed Slurping Beauty, and her third graders brought the tale of Goldilocks Strikes Again to life. Each play puts a new spin on a classic fairy tale, in this case Sleeping Beauty and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, respectively. It is a tradition in Roberts’ classroom to stage plays at the end of the year. “It supports our drama program and the children have an opportunity to practice speaking in front of an audience,” said Roberts.

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Economics Presentation

Unit II Students Learn Real World Economics

Doherty Unit II students recently learned about economics in action. Seven Hills parent Brian Wiles visited the classroom May 20 to talk to students about how he uses economics in the day-to-day workings of his businesses. Wiles is the owner of Pioneer Fencing and TSJ Media. As part of a yearlong economics lesson for Unit II second and third graders, teacher Joan Claybourn said parents are sometimes asked to stop by to share how economics applies to their businesses. This makes each presentation unique. As Wiles talked, students were eager to raise their hands and ask questions. They were able to use the correct vocabulary because of their in-depth study of economics. “They learn a lot of vocabulary and the concepts of advertising, credits, debits, supply and demand, and more,” Claybourn said.

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Theme Park Rides at the Center of Project-Based Lesson

Seven Hills fifth graders in Unit III teacher Julie Guminey’s class were on an educational roller coaster. To be more specific, they designed their own theme park rides. For their end-of-the year projects, fifth graders took on the role of Disney imagineers, the people who design Disney parks. The idea came from Tracy Hickenlooper, Doherty Director of Program Design and Technology, Diversity Coordinator, and Outdoor Program Director. Hickenlooper recently attended a conference featuring Disney’s imagineer program. She thought the lesson would be a perfect fit for Guminey’s class. Guminey said the lesson combines elements of math and language arts. Students also put their skills as writers, researchers, and inventors to the test. Hickenlooper called it “project-based learning.” The fifth graders developed the driving question, “How can we design an attraction that is popular and everyone wants to visit, which will increase sales and visitors?” Students conducted extensive research on roller coasters and theme parks. They learned terms like “weinie,” a visual icon in Disney Parks that attracts tourists. “They got a lot of background on theme park vocabulary and design,” Hickenlooper said. The class was broken up into two teams and, based on their skills, students were assigned roles within their groups. There were project managers, storytellers, art designers, and more. The groups developed rides centered on films Zootopia and Inside Out, keeping the quintessential Disney phrase, “We make the magic,” in mind as they worked. The young imagineers designed three pieces for their attractions —a backstory and story, a queue, and the ride itself. The projects culminated in five-minute presentations during the final week of school. Students created different visuals, ranging from a model of their coasters, to clay sculptures of characters featured on the ride.

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Doherty Carnival

Doherty Carnival

Families and faculty alike enjoyed the May 13 Doherty Carnival and Silent Auction. The Doherty Parents Association hosted the popular, annual event, which helps fund the organization. The evening was filled with fun activities for all ages. Attendees played games, visited a fortune teller, had their faces painted, bid on gift baskets, and much more. Proceeds from the carnival go toward teachers’ classroom wish lists. Thank you to the Parents Association and volunteers for holding this amazing and fun event! Click here to see more photos from the Doherty Carnival.

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From The Buzz, May 13, 2016

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Mini Pigs Soar at Doherty

Doherty pre-kindergarteners were off and running during the 12th annual Mini Pig on the Doherty Campus front field in early May. After a round of stretching exercises and mental preparation, the students were off, running past cheering schoolmates, hydration stations, and an adoring throng of family members. The Mini Pig, created by pre-kindergarten teacher Cyndi Kenyon and coordinated by The Seven Hills School Athletic Department, is a collaborative event designed to promote physical fitness, health education, and overall fun. This year, Kenyon and the students were in the spotlight when they received a visit from WLWT Channel 5. Click here to view footage from the event.

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IMG_1737Pre-kindergarteners Make Present-day Papyrus

Pre-kindergarteners on the Doherty Campus have a very keen idea of how paper is made. That is because the students actually made their own paper from recycled paper products. As part of a learning experience and tribute to Earth Week in late April, the students in Katie Dawson and Cyndi Kenyon’s class broke down reused paper from the recycling bins at school to make paper pulp and, eventually, paper. “Each student dipped their recycled paper into water until it broke down into pulp, then pressed their own piece of paper,” said Dawson. “We wanted them to be part of the process, which has helped them to understand the elements of paper and what a precious resource it is.”

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DSC_1568Visiting Author—David FitzSimmons

Students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade on the Doherty Campus learned the art of capturing photos of wild animals during a late April lesson with visiting author and wildlife photographer David FitzSimmons. After sharing stories from his work as a children’s book author, FitzSimmons returned the next day to teach photography techniques to the students, said Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. “Students from kindergarten through fifth grade came to the Doherty Library to hear how David captures his wild animals with his trademark white background,” said Wolfe. “Aided by student helpers and three of our fifth grade student techs, the students then had the opportunity, using David’s custom light boxes, to photograph an animal and choose the shot they wanted to take home via the iPad application, SeeSaw.”

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IMG_1273Unit II Tells the History of Cincinnati

Third graders in Unit II teacher Jo Schnirring’s class recently brought Cincinnati history right to the doorstep of the school community. As part of the curriculum, which incorporates local history, Unit II designed displays and shared their findings in creative ways in early May. The subjects of the students’ work included history of all things Cincinnati, including University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Carew Tower, and many more.

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From The Buzz, April 14, 2016

IMG_4754Doherty Punctuates India Study with Holi Celebration

Lower School students on the Doherty Campus recently enjoyed celebrating the Hindu culture as they tossed brilliant streams of color powder into the air and on each other during a celebration of Holi, which took place just before spring break. Students, teachers, and administrators celebrated the jubilant event on the front field of the Doherty Campus, with teachers sprinkling colors on the students first, before the students joined in. The Holi celebration, which signifies renewal and love, was part of Doherty’s Cultural Connections Week and the culmination of Doherty’s yearlong interdisciplinary study of India.

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IMG_7295Literary Lessons in Pre-K

In the fashion of children’s book character Norman, a clever mouse who works as an art museum doorman by day and artist afterhours, pre-kindergarteners in Ginger Rubin’s class designed multicolored wire sculptures. After counting the 18 books written by author Don Freeman found in the Doherty library, Rubin’s students read Norman the Doorman, which served as muse for their projects. Rubin said the activity marked the beginning of a study of Freeman and his Corduroy books series. “Norman the Doorman is about a mouse who makes wire sculptures from mouse traps he has disassembled,” said Rubin, adding that the book series will also end with a hands-on project. “After the students read Pocket for Corduroy, each child will sew a button on their Corduroy’s overalls.

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P1020887The Spelling Strategy

An effective, efficient, and logical way to teach spelling starts with teaching the rules of English orthography. Working from linguistic knowledge that the English language is about 85 percent predictable, Unit I students are employing “Best-Bet Spelling,” a spelling strategy that helps students unravel the orthography of English words. “If children learn the rules and patterns that make up that 85 percent, then statistically speaking, they have a very good chance of success with both decoding and spelling accurately,” said Unit I teacher Kirby Schuchter. “Best-Bet Spelling is a way of teaching how the sounds that make up the English language are spelled. There are many letter combinations that can be read in multiple ways. There are also many sounds that can be spelled in multiple ways.” To take it a step further, Schuchter and Unit I teacher Amy Kulhavik also explained to their students that certain sounds in the English language are spelled most frequently in a predictable order. “If students know that order, then they can use it to guide their spelling in a logical way,” said Schuchter. Each Unit I student is currently learning the different sounds of the long A, which is spelled in a number of ways. As an activity, the students placed letter cutouts to list the many spellings for the A sound in words, in the order of frequency in which they appear in the English language, a spelling strategy and rule the students are sure to take with them as they continue to develop vocabulary and spelling techniques.

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DSC_0857Cross-Divisional Student-led Presentation on Social Media

Equipped with information recently gleaned from their digital citizenship unit, students in ninth grade advisories presented their findings to fifth graders on the Doherty and Hillsdale campuses. The students shared a number of points on the safety and appropriate use of the Internet and social media. The ninth graders, who were invited by school counselors Judy Arnold and Mitzie Moser, shared their insights and experiences with the fifth graders with information ranging from the importance of time management when using social media, to using common sense. The ninth graders offered smart advice that encouraged students to think before they post, post only pictures and information they “wouldn’t mind their grandparents reading,” and only interact with close friends on social media. Ninth grade advisory leader and Upper School English teacher Meredith Brown said the ninth graders, who have already met with Middle School students, will meet with them for a second time this spring to answer questions and share suggestions and experiences.

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IMG_1555Introducing Math Sequences in Pre-K for 2-year-olds

Pre-kindergarten for 2-year-old students are gaining knowledge about math patterns while they work intently on creating bracelets using alternating patterns. Teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft are asking their students to count out the number of beads they wish to place on their bracelet, then guiding the students as they design patterns with the beads. “We teach the students patterns by repeating the sounds sometimes by clapping on our laps, then our hands, so the students can hear the alternating sequential rhythms as well,” said Brackett. “For example, we may clap hands for the green bead, then pat our laps to signify the silver bead. We are using math skills by encouraging the students to count and create number combinations for their patterns.”

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From The Buzz, March 17, 2016

 

DSC_0213 (1)Unit II Book Fair

Unit II students recently held their annual book fair, an extensive project that requires students to read a book and dissect it into a number of story elements. The students’ research culminated in a book fair in the cafeteria, in which students explained their books and offered impromptu presentations. “Each month our students are assigned a book project to complete. This month the genre is contemporary fiction,” said Unit II teacher Joan Claybourn. “The project is based on the reading/language arts curriculum. Our students choose books at their level and then are required to pick out the setting, plot, main characters, problem, resolution, and then give a recommendation.” Claybourn said the students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity to present the information, as well as focus on public speaking. Click here to view photos from the book fair.

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IMG_1890Tapping Creativity through Journal Hacking

Students in Patty Dawson’s Unit III class recently learned the process of “journal hacking,” a process of quickly writing what comes to mind as a creative writing tool. When Dawson asked the students the question, “What is light?” the students wrote down their immediate thoughts. Many prompts followed, and the creativity flowed. The students further used their ideas about light to write poems in their journals about their impression of what “light” is. “After constructing their poems, the fourth and fifth graders created a parallel circuit in their journals that literally lit up their poem, adding another meaning to the term, ‘hacking’ their journal,” said Dawson. “The students are now eagerly awaiting their next endeavor that connects physics and writing.”

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DSC_1701Pre-K “Flies” to India

As part of Cultural Week and a year-long study of India on the Doherty Campus, pre-kindergarteners in early March, took a pretend “flight” to India. The young students made their way through pretend TSA security checks and Customs, and finally embarked on “Namaste” airlines as they began their trip with pilot Mitzie Moser. Head of Lower School on the Doherty Campus and “Customs Officer” Patti Guethlein examined students’ passports with a friendly greeting and a few questions. Once students were in the air, they took an educational voyage replete with an in-flight movie, window seat views of Indian geography, construction paper sleep masks, and refreshments. The “flight” to India is part of a school-wide, yearlong, interdisciplinary study of India, on the Doherty Campus. The study culminates in Cultural Connection week. Click here for a gallery of photos from the flight.

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DSC_0501Pancake Breakfast

Doherty’s Pancake Breakfast and Student Art Auction on March 12 was a huge success. Funds raised at the all-school event went to Cooperative for Education, which creates sustainable textbook, computer center, reading, and scholarship programs in Guatemala. The event was a largely collaborative undertaking. Art teacher Mimi Stricker organized art projects for all students from toddlers in the Beginnings Toddler & Parent Enrichment Program through Unit III, the Student Council made banners and signs and put together the keynote for an all-school assembly before the breakfast, music teacher Maria Eynon directed a lively dance show that conveyed a message about helping others, Spanish teacher John Krauss incorporated Guatemalan culture into his classes, and kindergarteners made table decorations for the breakfast. During the event, teachers flipped pancakes, and students helped clear and clean tables. Doherty’s Service Learning Committee is composed of several faculty members, including Mimi Stricker, Mitzie Moser, Sarah Roberts, Judy Davis, John Krauss, Patty Dawson, Lindsay Pietroski, Maria Eynon, Bill Schmidt, Jo Schnirring, Julie Guminey, and Claire Laughlin. Said Stricker, “This student driven event builds community and raises awareness, empowering our students to have a voice and help other students and teachers across the globe.” Click here for a gallery of photos from the Pancake Breakfast and Student Art Auction.

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IMG_6895 (2)Sinking their Teeth into Unit on Dinosaurs

Pre-Kindergarten for 2-year-olds recently conducted an archaeological dig—in the library with Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. The students “dug” for dinosaur bones and teeth by searching for them in the library. They learned that if the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus rex were opened and laid end-to-end, they would measure eight-feet-long and hold 60, nine-inch teeth. After the pretend dig for the dinosaur’s teeth, the students helped arrange the triangular-shaped teeth in a circular pattern on the library floor. The entire class found they could all easily fit in the T-Rex’s mouth! The students later enjoyed listening to a dinosaur-themed story read by Wolfe. The library activity is part of the students’ dental unit, which spans the exploration of teeth and bones of several creatures.

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IMG_1826Doherty Unit III Teacher Attends Society of Colonial Wars of Ohio Governor’s Luncheon

Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin presented her work on teaching Colonial studies to Ohio dignitaries and lawmakers at the University Club in mid-March at the annual luncheon for the Governor of the Society of Colonial Wars of Ohio. Last year, Laughlin was awarded a scholarship to attend the six-day Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia, which was funded by the Society of Colonial Wars Ohio. “I had the opportunity to exchange ideas with historians, meet character interpreters and become part of the story in Williamsburg,” said Laughlin. “I learned interactive teaching techniques and developed instructional materials that allowed me to bring history to life in my classroom.” As part of her experience, Laughlin was invited by the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Ohio to the society Governor’s Reception at University Club downtown. Laughlin was one of two keynote speakers to present at the luncheon.

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From The Buzz, Feb. 25, 2016

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Kindergarten Travels the Globe

In the fashion of one of their favorite characters from the Flat Stanley book series, kindergarteners on the Doherty Campus recently made their very own “Flat Stanley” paper doll versions of themselves and mailed them to family and friends around the world. The students have been tracking the paths of their paper dolls, as friends and family receive the paper dolls and mail them to other locations, said kindergarten teacher Lindsay Pietroski. “Through this project they have expanded their love of books and reading by listening to various Flat Stanley chapter books and reading letters with their classmates,” said Pietroski. “They are discovering ways of life in other parts of our country and around the world through these letters, postcards, and pictures.” Pietroski said each child is marking the points of travel on the classroom map while learning about the 50 states, the seven continents of the world, as well as, the postal system and collecting stamps from around the world. The Flat Stanley series is about a boy who becomes flat when a bulletin board in his room falls on him. He mails himself around the world in an envelope to have adventures and learn about other places, said Pietroski.

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P1020786Building Bridges in Unit I

Using five sheets of paper, Unit I students each designed ways to build a bridge, as part of Engineering is Elementary, a curriculum-based program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. “This project harnesses students’ natural curiosities about engineering and technology concepts,” said Unit I teacher Amy Kulhavik. “It integrates engineering with elementary science topics, with literacy, social studies, and mathematical connections as well.” Kulhavik said Unit I students have been testing the structural soundness of their bridges as part of the experiment. Said Kulhavik, the project, new this year, allows students to discover and discuss the connections between the scientific concepts of force, balance, and stability, as well as better understand the field of civil engineering. 

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image1The American Revolution, in Print

As part of a recent social studies project, Unit III fifth graders designed a newspaper that highlighted several important aspects of the American Revolution. The students also wrote the content of the newspaper, which includes three stories based on facts from researching the time period and studying it in class. “The students were asked to choose from a Revolutionary War story, such as one of the major battles, events, or tax acts, a Revolutionary War leader story, or an unsung hero story—a group or an individual that played a key role during the War that may not have received the attention they deserved,” said Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin. The students also included pictures with captions, advertisements, and weather forecasts that reflect the time period in United States history.

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P1000331Walking City

Unit II third graders recently participated in a program from the Cincinnati Museum Center called “Walking City.” The students explored how geographic factors kept Cincinnatians confined to the downtown basin and learned why Cincinnati remained a walking city longer than most other comparable cities. “The students were able to use a 2’x3’ period map, a map key, advertisements, and illustrations to perform a series of tasks that helped them understand what life was like in 1863 Cincinnati,” said Unit II teacher Jo Schnirring.

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IMG_7100Pre-Kindergarten Science

Pre-kindergarteners in Ginger Rubin’s class recently donned lab coats and goggles to conduct experiments with color mixing. Each young scientist was given a piece of white cotton yarn and small jars of yellow, red, or blue dye. Each end of the yarn was placed in one of the jars. The students learned about the concept of predictions, then made their own after an hour of frequent observation. “The results were very concrete,” said Rubin. “The colors had been absorbed by the yarn, met in the middle and a new color was formed.”

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From The Buzz, Feb. 4, 2016

IMG_1493MLK Convocation

Wearing African kente cloth and all black, Unit III fifth graders presented a moving convocation on the Doherty Campus in mid-January. This year’s focus was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The students’ presentation built on King’s quote “History has thrust something on me which I cannot turn away.” During the convocation, the students described King’s successful boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama, bus lines. King was not a dreamer. Rather, he was a doer, the students told the crowd. His efforts, not his dreams, inspired others to join hands to work together for freedom. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader,” the students said, reciting one of King’s motivational quotes. Students who presented in the convocation are: Kaki Ackermann, Sam Adams, Henry Anning, Josh Berning Ariane Briquet, Xavier Coach, Ric DeLyons, Graham DeWitt, Ruth Drath, Erin Finn, Samatha Froehle, Will Gabriel, , Isabel Ginns, Kalista Godsman, Beau Goldstein, Jack Good, Ainsley Hubert, Biz Kohnen, Charlotte Lafley, Mia Lutz, Owen Lutz, Mia Mason, Zach Mason, Ashley McLennan, George Mentrup, John Mullin, Anna Papakirk, Alex Petren, Happy Quinn, Willim Setzer, Sohana Thompson, Kye Uchiyama, Anna Wabler, Will Wiles, and Aiden Williams. The convocation, written every year by Unit III teacher Regina Daily, honors Dr. King and sets the tone for Black History Month in February. Many thanks to Daily, creative dramatics teacher Russell White, music teacher Maria Eynon, and Unit III teachers, who coordinate the event each year.

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IMG_1750Sending (Virtual) Help to Mars

Fourth graders in Mrs. Dawson’s science class recently prepared to blast off to Mars, with a very defined mission in mind. After researching Mars and comparing it to life on Earth, the students created a written explanation of how they would provide basic needs for humans traveling to Mars. “Each group wrote a plan and designed a rover on paper, using the application Google Sketch-Up, that will carry out specific tasks of providing food, water, shelter, transportation, communication, clothing, proper atmospheric components for breathing, and a means of health and nutrition,” said Dawson. The students are currently working on the final step in the unit, which includes building the rover they designed out of reusable/recyclable materials, and presenting to their class their rovers and the research that supports their design.

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IMG_1085Learning Ways to Purify Water

Third graders in Unit II learned how to build filters to clean dirty water in Joan Claybourn’s science class. After learning that water can be purified and even made potable through the use of a number of household items, such as cotton balls and small pebbles, which could be used to create devices and systems that can filter the water. The project ties in with the students’ study of ecology in Unit II, said Claybourn.

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IMG_5358Unit III Students Produce Skit for Beginnings Toddlers

Unit III students designed and produced an original presentation based on the Pete the Cat children’s book series for the Beginnings Parent & Toddler Enrichment Program in late January. Six students, who volunteered to adapt a presentation from the book I Love my White Shoes, performed a skit, which included a lesson on color names, for the toddlers and their parents. The students then led each parent and child through a craft activity involving placing different colored shoes on pictures of Pete the Cat, a popular character known for his affection for his newest shoes. The students worked with Doherty Librarian Linda Wolfe to produce the presentation.

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Pre-kindergarteners Grasp Concept of Predictions

The abstract concept of predictions is a skill students will use across disciplines, throughtout their careers, and beyond. Pre-kindergarten teacher Karen Lawrence saw an opportunity to teach the concept to her students in early February. “With Groundhog Day coming up, we discussed predictions and predicted, after gathering some data, what we thought the groundhog might or might not see,” said Lawrence. “We then graphed our predictions, and looked at how our data correlates with what Phil said.” Lawrence said students’ familiarity with Puxtawney Phil allowed them to focus on their thought process as they learned more about predictions. Now the students will be able to use the same skills in science and reading classes, and have the confidence in grasping the true meaning of the concept.

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From The Buzz, Jan. 14, 2016

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Unit III Postcard Project Delivers Deep Dive into U.S. Geography

The idea of a class of about 65 students collectively receiving postcards from each of the 50 United States in a matter of a few months is staggering, but that is exactly what Unit III students achieved when the last postcard from Wyoming came in after the winter break. Teachers Claire Laughlin and Julie Guminey launched the Great State Race, an Amazing Race-style endeavor with their students, in October, which required them to receive at least one postcard from each of the 50 states. Laughlin and Guminey required all postcards to be postmarked from the corresponding state and include at least one social studies fact about the state written on the postcard, including climate, landforms, government, history, immigration, or economics. “Our students not only learned about U.S. geography and other social studies facts from all the 50 states, they also practiced their writing skills by writing letters and emails to family members and business owners to ask them to help us reach our goal,” said Laughlin. “We received postcards from so many different people—from family members to national park rangers, to even museum curators.”

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image1-3 (1)Studying Native American Homes

As a culminating activity to a unit on Native Americans, Unit II third graders on the Doherty Campus were challenged to construct a Native American home modeled from those built 500 years ago. The students worked in small groups after studying specific types of homes from a variety of cultural regions discussed in late fall. The students built a number of models, including pueblos, hogans, longhouses, and igloos. Using materials found in nature or from the Creation Studio on the Doherty Campus, the students pulled together a number of disciplines as they incorporated geography, social studies, project math, and art to build their final product, said Unit II teacher Jo Schnirring.

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DSCN2015Pre-K2 Studies Polar Animals

Pre-kindergarten for two-year-old students on the Doherty Campus returned from winter break to a new unit on the polar regions and polar animals. The students also painted pinecones and crafted them into penguins. “The Classroom is transitioning into a winter wonderland and this transformation includes a dramatic play area with a an ice cave and ice fishing activity,” said teacher Julie Brackett, adding that the fishing activity encourages the students to focus on numeral recognition as they pretend to ice fish with numbered fish and magnetic fishing poles. Also, during this study of polar animals, said Brackett, the students will measure their feet and compare them to the size of a polar bear’s foot.

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IMG_1748Unit II Studies Mold Growth

As part of their study of habitats in Unit II, second graders have been researching and observing specimens to decide if mold is a living thing. After considering the conditions in which they’ve seen mold occur, the students worked to recreate them in order to produce mold. “They put orange slices and bread in plastic bags, added moisture and kept their experiment in a dark, cool place,” said teacher Bill Schmidt. “After weeks of careful observation, they decided that mold follows the same life cycle as other living things, and therefore, is alive.”

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IMG_6512Bridges Program Shares Tenets of Hinduism

Unit II families enjoyed a Bridges program on Hinduism in the Doherty Library after school in early January. Students and parents explored information and storybooks focused on Hinduism and created prayer beads. “Seven Hills parent Dr. Reena Patil presented a fascinating description of the basic tenets of Hinduism supplemented by slides,” said Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. “Everyone had a wonderful time and left with a better understanding of the world’s third largest religion.”

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From The Buzz, Dec. 18, 2015

DSC_0113Happy Holidays!

Doherty students took audience members on a multicultural journey during their annual blockbuster holiday program in December. “Our songs focused on a number of cultural observances, from Las Posadas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas,” said Doherty music teacher Maria Eynon. Students from pre-kindergarten through Unit III fifth grade sang a number of selections with a culmination of an all-school sing-along. Congratulations to our students, Mrs. Eynon, and creative dramatics teacher Russell White. Click here to view photos from the Dec. 18 holiday program.

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image5Stitching Together Art & Literature

Unit III fifth graders completed their end-of-book project for Leon and the Spitting Image by Allen Kurzweil, with a hands-on art lesson. “The book is about Leon, a fourth grader whose teacher is Miss Hagmeyer, a woman obsessed with sewing and learning through doing,” said Unit III teacher Claire McLaughlin. “She insists and requires all her students to sew an “animile” a month.” An animile is a stuffed animal of sorts that does not exceed four Stitches of Virtue in the inseam. Students had the opportunity to learn about the Stitches of Virtue and create their own “animiles” using a needle, thread, felt and other materials to practice their stitches. Lastly, students wrote a description of their “animiles” to share with the class.

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FullSizeRender-1Inventing on a Dime

As part of a project entitled, “Inventions of the Past and Innovations for the Future,” students in Regina Daily’s Unit III class worked in groups to collaborate on a number of inventions. Using very few materials and very specific directions, the students teamed up to create a back scratcher out of items such as a wash cloth and wooden spoon and a spaghetti eating utensil out of items that don’t include an actual fork. The students also were tasked with finding an alternate use for a coat hanger. Daily asked her students to repeatedly test their devices for optimal functionality. “The idea is to have the students work collaboratively to come up with realistic solutions to problems,” said Daily, who added that the invention unit would continue in the New Year. The students also worked on a fourth project, in which they convened to address needs of the future. Click here to view a video of three students who invented the “solar potato.”

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IMG_6379Science in Books

Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe recently introduced her students, in pre-kindergarten through Unit III, to five books on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) shortlist. Each student then voted on the book they thought should win the top award. After a tally of votes, Wolfe announced that the school winner was When Whales Cross the Sea by Sharon Katz Cooper. Wolfe, who frequently engages her students in national discussions and trends around new and classical literature, will reveal the national winner to her students in the New Year. Wolfe said, “It is exhilarating to experience the wonder on the students’ faces as they absorb new and amazing information like ‘The mother whale completed her 5,000 miles journey south just in time to deliver a healthy 1,000 lb. baby,’ or ‘If you are at North Beach in New Jersey, at just the right time, you can see thousands of female horseshoe crabs (each with a male hanging on to the back of her shell) emerge from the sea to lay their eggs.’”

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DSC_0802National Computer Science Education

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade participated in Hour of Code during the week of Dec. 7, in recognition of National Computer Science Education week. Director of program development & technology integration Tracy Hickenlooper taught coding principles and practices to the students throughout the week. “More than 15 million students worldwide participated in the Hour of Code during the week,” said Hickenlooper. “There are three courses for the students to work through. Our students are learning to create algorithms, practice computing, and develop programs. Students are creating computer programs that will help them learn to collaborate with others, develop problem-solving skills, and persist through difficult tasks.” Through collaboration and problem-solving, said Hickenlooper, students are learning how to direct and order movement commands in sequential steps in a program. “By the end of the course, students created their very own custom game or story that they can share.”

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IMG_4191 Spelling Bee

Congratulations to the Unit III fourth and fifth graders who participated in the Spelling Bee, which took place at school in early December. The winner, fifth grader Sam Froehle, will go on to complete an online test to see if she qualifies for the next round. Fourth grader Margaret Tenney was the runner up.

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From The Buzz, Dec. 3, 2015

DSC_0755Grandpersons’ Day

Students of all ages launched into the holiday season with the special people in their life during Grandpersons’ Day on the Doherty Campus. Students gave wonderful onstage presentations and shared a special memory with their guests. Students also recited poetry and sang musical selections to celebrate the season. Thank you to all of the special visitors who attended the festivities. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

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IMG_0104Immigration and Ellis Island

Fourth graders in Julie Guminey’s social studies class took their studies a step further when they dressed up to portray the immigrants who underwent inspections on Ellis Island in the late 1800s and early 1900s. “The students are studying Ellis Island and past immigration to America,” said Guminey. “They have discussed the hardships of travel and going through inspections.” The students also participated in a simulation, in which each student played the part of an immigrant coming to Ellis Island and also played the role of an immigration officer working at Ellis Island.

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IMG_1607Testing the Physics of Airfoils

After studying Bernoulli’s Principle that the pressure and density of fluids are inversely related, fourth graders had the opportunity to create an airfoil, or wings of an aircraft, using various materials, including balsa wood, fabric, cardboard, and different weights and widths of wire. “The only limit was that the airfoil could not measure larger than 3” by 6”,” said Unit III teacher Patty Dawson. “After much sanding, bending and assembling, the students were ready to test. They attached their airfoil to a balsa cube, measured the weight in grams and then applied a push and pull of  ‘wind’ through a homemade wind tunnel to see if there was a difference in weight.” Dawson said the students also tested their airfoil for lift with an angle of attack, which they measured and recorded. “The project began with predictions and the students hypothesizing about which airfoil would achieve the greatest lift. They recorded their findings on a graph and then drew conclusions,” said Dawson. The students concluded that the two airfoils that were 42-44 grams in weight and made of balsa wood had the greatest lift, even though the sizes and designs were different.

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P1050956Glen Helen

Unit III students spent three days at Glen Helen Outdoor Educational Center. Trail groups ventured into the 1,000-acre outdoor classroom with naturalist teachers. Students learned about the environment and how to protect it through hands-on authentic experiences. The students explored native ecosystems and searched different macroinvertebrates in streams to determine water health. The Glen Helen trip also emphasized cooperation and teamwork! Click here to view a gallery of the field trip.

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IMG_3735 (1)Pre-K2 Gets Taste of Year-Long Cultural Study

Students in pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds recently received a cultural lesson from India, the subject of Doherty’s annual intensive study of a country for the 2015-16 school year. Pre-kindergarten for 2-year-old teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft invited Indian dancers Sirisha Nalgonda and Jamuna Tamilmani to share a number of steps with the toddlers, who were excited to hear the music and learn something new. Doherty’s study of India is part of an intensive, yearlong focus on the language, culture, geography, and history of a country. These studies culminate in Cultural Week, which takes place in the spring.

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DSC_0632Ribbon Cutting for New Kemper Playground

Students and their teachers enjoyed a festive occasion in mid-November, as the school community celebrated the new Kemper Playground with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Officiated by Doherty Parent Association President Lessa Trindle, Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein, and Head of School Chris Garten, the students clapped and cheered for their new digs. “On behalf of the Parent Association and the school community, we just want to thank everyone for making this happen,” Trindle said during the ceremony. Kemper Playground was made possible by a generous challenge grant from the Hauck Foundation, which led to many gifts from members of the school community. The expansive playscape features a number of amenities, including slides, swings, a jungle gym, spider web crawler, a clatter and lily pad bridge, gym bars, a curved chute slide, and many more manipulatives.

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P1000200Environmental Science

Using models of materials such as oil, water, dirt, and rocks, third graders on the Doherty Campus have been incorporating engineering and design to develop a way to clean an oil spill in a body of water, such as a river. “They have tested various materials to help them decide what materials they want to use and how they want to use them,” said Unit II teacher Joan Claybourn. “They have a budget that they must not overspend for materials.” Claybourn said the process the students have been using along the way includes the following steps: ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve.

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DSCN1598Happy Diwali!

Lower School students enjoyed learning about Diwali’s rich culture and brilliant festivities. In Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft’s pre-kindergarten for two-year-olds class, the students made rangolis (colorful art patterns usually made of geometric shapes) and diyas (small clay pots holding a candle), ate sweet treats, and received gifts during the Hindu festival of lights. Diwali is a five-day holiday associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and marks the beginning of the fiscal year in India. The holiday usually falls between October and November. This year, Diwali began on Nov. 11. Thank you to the parents who shared the history, stories, and principles of Diwali with the school community this month.

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P1000218Thank You Veterans!

Students on the Doherty Campus designed cards for patients at the Cincinnati V.A. Medical Center. Their teachers, Bill Schmidt and Sarah Roberts, delivered the cards to the Medical Center on the afternoon of Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The Seven Hills School also would like to thank members of our school faculty who have served.

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IMG_4476Head of School Reads to Unit I Students

Before opening the book Cranberry Halloween, Head of School Chris Garten told the students gathered before him that reading to students is one of his favorite things to do. The Unit I students leaned in for a treat – a tale told by an animated Garten, who took on the roles of the main characters, Maggie and Mr. Whiskers, and asked questions of the students throughout his visit.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 30, 2015

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Understanding the Concept of Density in Pre-K

One glass jar, maple syrup, oil, and water can teach anyone a lot about density. For Cyndi Kenyon and Katie Dawson’s 3-year-old pre-kindergarteners, the lesson was a discovery-rich launching pad for the love of science. While their teachers poured the substances into glass jars, the students gathered around, waiting with rapt attention to see what would happen next. The students watched three distinct layers settle and form. Then they dropped a number of items into the jar, such as little plastic frogs, pennies, and small wooden shavings. While students observed the placement of items, Kenyon and Dawson explained why certain objects sunk, why others seemed suspended in the middle of the jar, and why others floated. The students responded with wide eyes and requests to continue the experiment with more items!

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DSCN1045Working Together

As part of a cross-divisional collaborative effort, Unit III students and pre-kindergarten for 2-year-old students worked together on a fall cleanup on the Doherty Campus. Together, the buddy pairs raked, gathered, and bagged leaves. The group gets together occasionally throughout the year for various projects. “Our students enjoyed working with their older friends,” said pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds teacher Julie Brackett. “They learn so much from the interaction they have with students and they have become very comfortable with our buddy visits. It’s a very intentional, exceptional learning experience for both our younger and older friends.”

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image2 (1)Engaging in a Friendly Debate over Frindle

Fourth graders in Claire Laughlin and Julie Guminey’s classes came together in late October to participate in their first debate based on the book Frindle by Andrew Clements. The students, who worked in two different groups, used their recently-acquired knowledge of debate etiquette to state evidence, both in the book and in real life, and support their claims. In the book, the main character, Nick, invents the word “frindle” meaning “pen” and his 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Granger, is against this idea. One group took the side of Nick, arguing that students should be allowed to use the word “Frindle” whenever and wherever they want. The other side supported Mrs. Granger’s claim that “frindle” is not a word and should not be used.

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IMG_6088Doherty Campus “Reads for the Record”

Students on the Doherty Campus joined more than 1.2 million people across the world, who pledged to read children’s book favorite Not Norman (Kelly Bennett) on Oct. 22, as part of a national campaign. Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe led the literary cause by raising awareness about the special day and reading Not Norman to groups of students throughout the day. The students enjoyed being part of the fun, many of them constructing paper goldfish in solidarity for Norman, an unloved goldfish whose owner grows to appreciate him. Read for the Record is a global campaign which generates public support for high-quality, early learning by mobilizing millions of children and adults to take part in the world’s largest shared reading experiences.

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abbAfter The Bell

Registration is now open for winter 2015-2016 Enrichment Programs on our Doherty and Hillsdale Campuses. For registration form and detailed program descriptions click here

One-day Special Events:

  • Acting Workshop – 4-5 p.m., Nov. 11 on the Lotspeich campus. (Gr. 1-5)
  • Yoga & Creativity – 4-4:45 p.m., Nov. 13 & 20 on the Doherty campus. (Gr. Pk-1)
  • Photography – 4-5 p.m., Nov. 18 on the Doherty campus. (Gr. 2-5)
  • Soccer fundamentals and agility skills – 4-4:45 p.m., Nov. 18 on the Lotspeich Campus (Gr. Pk-1)

Winter Session: November 30 – February 5:

  • Books Good Enough to Eat – 4-5 p.m., Mondays on the Doherty campus (Gr. Pk-K)
  • Drawing & Painting – 4-5 p.m., Mondays on the Doherty campus (Gr. 1-5)
  • Bricks 4 Kidz – 4-5 p.m., Tuesdays on the Lotspeich campus (Gr. 1-4)
  • Tennis – 3:30-4:15 p.m., Tuesdays on the Lotspeich campus (Gr. Pk-1)
  • Photography – 3:30-4:30 p.m., Wednesdays on the Lotspeich campus (Gr. 5)
  • Chess – 4-5 p.m., Wednesdays on the Lotspeich campus (Gr. 1-5)
  • Creative Expressions – 4-4:45 p.m., Wednesdays on the Doherty campus (Pk-K)
  • Discovery Kids: Puterbugs – 4-4:45 p.m.,Thursdays on the Lotspeich campus (Gr. Pk-K)
  • Tennis – 3:30-4:15 p.m., Thursdays on the Doherty campus (Gr. Pk-1)
  • iPadding – 4-5 p.m., Thursdays on the Doherty campus (Gr. 1-5)
  • Yoga & Creativity – 4-4:45 p.m., Fridays on the Lotspeich campus (Gr. Pk-1)

Please contact Jill Romerill at jill.romerill@7hills.org or Linda Clark at linda.clark@7hills.org with any questions.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 15, 2015

Creation

Creation Studio

With the definitions of the words “Think,” “Create,” and “Innovate” posted on the classroom wall close by, students on the Doherty Campus are joining the maker movement. Using recycled materials, fabric, wooden planks, 3D printers, and much more, the students are conceptualizing, taking apart, designing, and rebuilding. The Creation Studio was designed and introduced this fall by Doherty Director of Program Development & Technology Integration Tracy Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper welcomes students to create in the new classroom space on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:45 to 8:20 a.m.

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PERC

Teacher’s Summer Grant Offers “PERC” to Pre-K Students

Every Thursday, pre-kindergarteners who stay on the Doherty Campus throughout the afternoon have opportunities to participate in a number of enrichment classes that otherwise would not have been available. Pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds teacher Julie Brackett calls her program PERC (pronounced “perk”), which stands for Pre-kindergarten Educational Rotating Classes. On any given Thursday, from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., the students will take classes in a number of areas, including gardening, fitness, music, cooking, and multiculturalism. “I have included a few additional professionals from the community for some of the classes to enhance our community feel,” said Brackett. “This opportunity for the children is to focus on healthy, happy living.” The PERC program, made possible through summer grants for Seven Hills teachers, is funded in part through the Haile Foundation. It will run for 36 weeks.

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Kindness Letter Writing Project

Students in Unit III will be writing three separate letters this year to students and adults who make a difference in their lives, said Unit III teacher Patty Dawson. The first letter will provide the students with an opportunity to make a connection with someone new. The second letter is intended to pay someone a compliment and celebrate his or her uniqueness. The final letter will express gratitude and thanks. “Instilling kindness is one of the values at Seven Hills and Unit III is proud to be spreading kindness throughout the school community,” said Dawson.

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DSC_0236Schoolwide Safety Week

Students in pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds through Unit III recently participated in a school-wide safety program conducted by the pros –Cincinnati Police officers. The students’ comprehensive program included a number of hands-on workshops and visits to safety stations throughout the campus. The students had opportunities to learn about bike and neighborhood safety, watch a K9 demonstration, and enter a real SWAT vehicle. Many thanks to Cincinnati Police officer and Seven Hills parent Mike Bell.

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IMG_6782Buddy Books

Unit III students and their younger pre-kindergarten friends paired up for their first activity together in the buddy program. As an introduction to the program for the year, pre-kindergarten students in Ginger Rubin’s class meet their Unit III buddies, who have designed a special book for them, which includes the name and picture of their older buddy, and information about the older buddy. “I like to have the younger buddies look through the book in between visits so they can start building a connection with who their older “buddy” is,” said Rubin. This year, three Unit III students paired up with one younger student. The Buddy program on the Doherty Campus is a longstanding initiative that pairs the oldest students on the Doherty Campus with their younger peers. The program fosters friendships, community, and trust throughout the student community.

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Tunnel Walk

On Sept. 11, 2015, Doherty Unit III students participated in Tunnel Walk, an annual remembrance and reflection of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This year Unit III teacher Patty Dawson asked her students to focus on acts of kindness that happen naturally during devastating events. At the conclusion of the one-mile walk around the Doherty Campus, each student hung a “kindness cloud” in the breezeway that connects the driveway behind Faran Hall with the courtyard in front of Faran Hall. Written on each cloud was an act of kindness the student is planning to carry out this year. The Tunnel Walk is based on the Tunnel to Towers Run, which was started by NYC firefighter Stephen Siller’s siblings. Stephen Siller was off-duty when the Twin Towers were hit by planes on Sept. 11, 2001. Upon hearing what was unfolding, Siller left his vehicle outside Battery Tunnel and ran, with 70 pounds of gear on his back, through the Tunnel to the scene at the Towers. Siller lost his life in the Tower collapse.

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Book fairBook Fair

Students and their families enjoyed browsing through hundreds of books and multimedia selections during the week of Sept. 14, at the weeklong book fair. “We love having this event every year,” said Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. “The parents enjoy having a special opportunity to select books with their children and we often have books that are not even out in the stores yet.” Each year the book fair marks a labor of love by Wolfe, who said she spends a great part of her summer choosing books for her students so they are exposed to the best new literature. Wolfe also featured the book Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, and installed a unique interactive art form related to the children’s book. “I ‘planted’ paper flowers in the library for the students to pick,” said Wolfe. “They were then given the choice of offering them to others or keeping them. This provided the students with a similar experience to the storyline in the book.” Wolfe said she also Tweeted about this learning experience, which captured the attention of Lawson, the author with whom she now corresponds.

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IMG_0028Gardening Education

Students from pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds to fifth grade, to young toddlers in Seven Hills’ Beginnings Parent and Toddler Enrichment Program participated in a three-day gardening workshop on the Doherty Campus. “I incorporated a unique gardening adventure enjoyed by more than 50 students over three days across the grades,” said pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds teacher and Doherty Campus Beginnings Director Julie Brackett. “Each grade level took on a specific responsibility in our school garden in this very collaborative learning event.” The students worked with Cincinnati Garden Center gardening educator Mary Dudley, who presented a number of responsibilities to the students. Working as a group, the students sorted and planted seeds, read about germination, harvested sunflower seeds, and cleared and composted the sunflowers from the pre-kindergarten garden bed. Brackett said 2-year-old pre-kindergarteners and families enrolled in Beginnings planted seeds and made bird feeders.

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DSC_0544Shake and Quake

Unit I student architects built structures for an experiment using toothpicks and gumdrops. After measuring the projects, Unit I teachers Amy Kulhavik and Kirby Schuchter tested the soundness of the structures by shaking them. The gumdrop models passed the “shake and quake” test if the structure remained standing. Shake and Quake is a project that runs in conjunction with the Unit I study on cities.

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firefightergratitudeGratitude for Local Firefighters

Students in Unit II paid a visit to neighborhood Fire Station 23, at 1623 Madison Road in Cincinnati, on Sept. 11, 2015, as a show of gratitude for the daily heroic efforts and sacrifices made by men and women in our police and fire departments. The students hand-delivered their appreciation for local firefighters when they walked to thank the firefighters for always being there when they are needed. The children presented them with cookies and thank you cards.

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From The Buzz, Sept. 11, 2015

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Kindergarteners Use iPad App to Share Classwork with Parents

After studying and finding shapes in their indoor environment, kindergarteners paired up for an outside shape hunt around the Doherty Campus. Once they spotted a shape, the students used iPads to take photos in their outside school environment. “We viewed and talked about the shapes when we returned to our classrooms,” said kindergarten teacher Jenny Carr. Carr said both students and their parents enjoyed using an app called SeeSaw, which allowed the students to capture and share their learning throughout the day. Parents are invited to view their child’s SeeSaw journal with each new entry and have an immediate, personalized window into their child’s learning.

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IMG_3174Social Studies Activity Day

On August 21, the fifth graders at Doherty spent an afternoon immersing themselves in activities that correspond to the social studies curriculum. Through various hands-on activities, simulations and cooperative learning opportunities, students will explore early American history. “They discovered what it was like to be part of the militia by marching in a Revolutionary War drill, they learned about the importance of dancing in the late 17th century, and learned the steps and music to Gathering Peascods, said Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin. “They also explored ancient artifacts in an archaeological dig. With the help of parent volunteers, the students had a fun-filled day that piqued their interest and prepared them to delve right into the curriculum!”

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DSCN0257Exploring Textures in Pre-K-2

Toddlers in pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds at Doherty are using their tactile senses to explore textures in sensory tubs. Teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft have been introducing a number of items, such as dried beans and a cascading water table, to engage the young students in intentional play and multisensory discovery.

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DSC_0269Lessons from a Life Saver

As part of their study of scientific inquiry, Unit I students recently
conducted an experiment using Life Savers® candy, predicting whether they would dissolve quicker in warm or cold water! “Each student received two Life Savers along with a cup of warm and a cup of cold water,” said Unit I teacher Kirby Schuchter. “They noted the start time, made their predictions, and observed the candy dissolving.” Students also enjoyed an experiment to find out what happens when colors are mixed together. Students chose two different colors of food coloring and predicted what the outcome would be.

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Science Activity Day

Fifth graders studied the properties of light and sound during the annual all-day Science Activity Day, during the first week of school. With the help of parents, students used pitchforks, balloons, glasses filled with varying amounts of water, music boxes, tie-dye equipment, rainbow-colored wheels, and glasses with colored lenses to carry out dozens of experiments.

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From The Buzz, June 11, 2015

DSC_0570Doherty Closing Ceremony

Congratulations to our 28 Lower School students and rising sixth graders on the Doherty Campus! With the theme “This is the Day,” students in units I through III regaled families with remembrances and a number of beautiful songs directed by music teacher Maria Eynon. The students also listened to inspiring, congratulatory messages delivered by Head of School Chris Garten and Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein. What a beautiful Tuesday morning ceremony on the Doherty Campus courtyard! Click here for more photos from the closing program on the Doherty Campus.

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Major Awards at Doherty

Each year faculty and administration on the Doherty Campus select fifth grade students to receive a number of awards based on academic achievement, a love for learning, citizenship, character, and leadership. The following awards were presented during the closing ceremony.

Loveland Award

222713Congratulations to rising sixth grader Beau Goldstein, who received the Loveland Award. The Loveland Award is presented to a student who shows exceptional interest and excellence in the area of English and writing.

Hoeland Scholarship Award

Caitlin Drew
Caitlin Drew

Congratulations to rising sixth grader Caitlin Drew, who received the Jane P. Hoeland Merit Scholarship Award. The Hoeland Scholarship was established to recognize a Doherty student who has demonstrated academic achievement, breadth and scope of interests beyond the classroom, leadership, citizenship, and character.

Student Council Citizenship Award

Matthew Bennett
Matthew Bennett
Xavier Pasquier
Xavier Pasquier

Doherty’s Student Council Citizenship Awards were presented to Unit II students Matthew Bennett and Xavier Pasquier and Unit III students Rosalie Hoar and Anna Papakirk. These awards are chosen by peer selection, honoring students who exemplify qualities such as responsibility and dependability, helpfulness and friendliness that is inclusive of all members of the class.

Rosalie Hoar
Rosalie Hoar
Anna Papakirk
Anna Papakirk

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DSC_0306Broadway Beats Revue

Fifth graders on the Doherty Campus delivered a bright, comical, and engaging revue – “Broadway Beat” – this spring on the Doherty Campus. The students had fun with a rising star storyline, performing a number of solos, duets, and ensembles with energy and wit. Congratulations to our talented fifth graders, music teacher Maria Eynon, and theater teacher Russell White. Bravo! Click here for more photos.

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DSC_0138Seven Hills Network of African-American Parents Honor Students

Students and families who are members and supporters of Seven Hills Network of African American Parents (SNAAP) honored Seven Hills students of African-American descent during an annual end-of-year SNAAP banquet on the afternoon of June 7. Seven Hills parent Theo Nelson gave an invocation. Head of School Chris Garten applauded the students and their families for a year of dedication and purpose. Global Research & Development Director at Procter & Gamble Illya Thomas delivered a poignant keynote message entitled, “Success is a journey, not a destination.” The banquet also included a signature libation memorial ceremony, officiated by Seven Hills parent and Board of Trustee member Jan-Michele Kearney. Many thanks to parents Erica Vaughn, Leslie Bryson, and several other parents in the SNAAP committee for organizing the event. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

DSC_0156The SNAAP honorees for 2014-2015 school year are as follows:

Rising sixth graders

Gabrielle Christmon

Ric DeLyons

Jack Fechter

Kamaia Hall-Edwards

Asher Kearney

Rising eighth graders

Khepri Campbell

Jarin Davis

Brandon Dinan

Brice Hill

Ty’Asia Hudlin

Class of 2015

Adam Buford

Isaiah Daniels

Bryden Goings

Sydney Jones

Jared Nelson

Joshua Weaver

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Doherty TraditionDoherty Tradition

In an end-of-year tradition, seniors who attended the Doherty Campus returned to see their teachers. They enjoyed lemonade and popcorn in the library, sat on the reading rug and watched their fifth grade video. Both teachers and the soon-to-be graduates enjoyed reminiscing while sharing the students’ next life steps.

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IMG_0595Girls on the Run

Students who participated in this season’s Girls on the Run team ran a 5K in early May. The students raised $1,005 for Run For a Reason, which is an optional fundraiser to raise money that helps give girls in financial need scholarships to join the Girls on the Run program. Team adviser and Unit III teacher Julie Guminey said the team was the top fundraising team for Girls on the Run Cincinnati this spring season. The girls proudly received a traveling plaque, which will be on display on the Doherty Campus until the end of the fall 2015 season.

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 3.10.52 PMNew Recreational Structure Coming to Doherty Campus!

The play area Doherty Campus will have a fun, new look when students return to school this fall. The big toy students have enjoyed for so many years will be removed this summer to make way for the Kemper Playground – an expansive play area more than twice the size of the current structure. The playground will feature a number of amenities, including slides, swings, a jungle gym, spider web crawler, a clatter and lily pad bridge, gym bars, a curved chute slide, and many more manipulatives. Director of finance & operations Robert Horne said the playground will encompass the land where the existing playground area is and expand into the footprint of the Kemper Hall area.

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Seniors Visit Lower Schools for Culminating Activity

As part of the seniors’ culminating activity, seniors participated in a number of projects, partnerships, and activities with students at the Lower and Middle schools. Led by experiential learning director Nick Francis, the seniors worked alongside the students, on both the Doherty and Hillsdale campuses, in music and drama classes, as well as in Spanish, physical education, and art classes. Several students also had lunch and participated in activities with Middle School students.

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IMG_2136Tell a Friend! Now Enrolling: Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds

The Seven Hills School’s Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds program provides a warm atmosphere where young children can explore and learn, guided by our Early Childhood expert teachers. We are excited to now accept applications for the Pre-kindergarten for Two-year-olds Program on the Hillsdale and Doherty campuses. Students who attend the program must turn 2 by Sept. 1 of their enrollment year. To learn more about the Pre-kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds program visit www.7hills.org/ec/prek2.

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From The Buzz, May 14, 2015

FullSizeRender 2Data Mappers

Unit II math students turned their curiosities about popular car colors into a data collection study with Unit II and III math teacher Vaishali Sarbhoy. While observing from the fence overlooking Madison Road, the students marked tallies on paper and clipboards as cars drove by. “After collecting the data, we came back to our classroom and created a graph which showed that silver is the most popular color,” said Sarbhoy. “We also talked about how this data could be used and what group of people would use the information.”

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DSC_0170Doherty Carnival

Seven Hills families thoroughly enjoyed the Doherty Carnival and Silent Auction, a beloved tradition and carnival-style funding event for the Doherty Parents Association. Students and families enjoyed a number of games and the opportunity to bid via silent auction for a number of theme-based gift baskets. Proceeds from the event go toward teachers’ classroom wish lists. Many thanks to Doherty Parents Association and an army of volunteers. Click here to view photos taken by Judy Davis.

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DSC_0019Estimation Carnival

In its 11th year, Estimation Carnival brought together math, cooperative learning, and the art of business transactions. As part of the signature project, Unit III teacher Regina Daily’s math students brainstormed estimation games for the carnival, designed the guide booklets, and ran the show during the two-day event. The purpose of the carnival was to engage classmates and faculty in guessing games that incorporated quantity, quick thinking, and measuring. Students in Daily’s class said the process of planning the event taught them how to respectfully agree and disagree with their teammates, run a business, and sharpen their estimation skills. Daily said she always starts off the unit with a discussion about the “Law of the Geese,” an explanation of the birds’ instinctive collaborative efforts often told in academic settings. “The students learn that everyone has a role in the project and they learn how to work together to produce this event,” said Daily.

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_LHC8426 2 Third Graders Tell the History of Cincinnati

Third graders in Unit II teacher Jo Schnirring’s class recently researched a slice of Cincinnati, Ohio history. They designed displays and gave compelling presentations this week. The subjects of the students’ work ranged from the history of all things Cincinnati, including Graeter’s Ice Cream , University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Carew Tower, and many more. Great work third grade! Click here to view a gallery of photos of their presentations.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 2.00.03 PMFifth Grade Trip to the Farm

Fifth graders last Outdoor Program activity was a camping trip at Doherty Campus administrative assistant Becky Wichman’s farm. They all had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect. The students enjoyed working together to set up tents, hiking, playing games outdoors, and, of course, eating s’mores.

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P1040930Pre-K-2 Celebrates Moms and Dads

Students in the pre-kindergarten for two-year-olds program on the Doherty Campus celebrated their Moms and Dads in mid-May. The students, along with pre-kindergarten teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft, hosted a Moms’ Tea party and Donuts with Dad event in a very fun two-event celebration. The students made beautifully hand painted note cards, designed flower arrangements, and released butterflies in the eco-garden on the Doherty Campus for their moms’ gifts and painted real hammers for their Dads. Students also shared a doughnut with their Dads and gave them handmade ties to wear for the party.

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Acting out the Underground Railroad to Study American History

Following a morning spent visiting the Freedom Center in early May, Unit III fifth graders participated in an Underground Railroad simulation, which outlined the journey slaves took to escape from the South and gain freedom to Canada. “It was designed to broaden the students’ historical knowledge and understanding of this specific time period,” said Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin. “The fifth graders had the opportunity to relive history through the specific role they were given.” Laughlin said the hands-on activity correlates with students’ studies of early American history.

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From The Buzz, May 14, 2015

DSC_0266Mini Pig a Huge Success!

Pre-kindergarteners launched their run with determination and focus on the school field during the 11th annual Mini Pig on the Doherty Campus. After a round of stretching exercises and mental preparation, the students were off, running past cheering schoolmates, hydration stations, and an adoring throng of family members. The Mini Pig, created by pre-kindergarten teacher Cyndi Kenyon and coordinated by The Seven Hills School Athletic Department, is a collaborative event designed to promote physical fitness and community awareness among some of the Seven Hills’ youngest students. Click here to view photos from the Mini Pig race.

 

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IMG_0944Using STEM to Study Italy

As part of a yearlong study of Italy, students researched the country through the use of math, science, and technology during two separate lessons taught by Unit II and III math teacher Vaishali Sarbhoy. Earlier this spring, students researched the history and construction of a landmark, such as The Pantheon, Coliseum, and Trevi Fountain, then built a scale drawing, which they used to create a 3D clay model. In addition, in early May, Unit III students used the Prezi computer application to present brochures they designed to tell a story of Italy.

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IMG_5446Visiting Illustrators

Doherty students enjoyed a very animated and colorful April visit from children’s book illustrators Jeanette and Christopher Canyon. The event was organized and hosted by Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. The Columbus-based illustrator and singing duo shared with students eye-popping, musical presentations that matched their body of multi-media artwork. The Canyons’ visit inspired a number of art projects, including a gallery of 3D sunshine projects and a wall of animals crafted by everyone on the Doherty Campus, from two-year-old pre-kindergarteners to Unit III fifth graders. The art is on display in the library. Students enjoyed learning about Jeanette’s polymer clay technique – she uses a pasta maker to squeeze out threads of clay. Students also enjoyed singing along to Jeanette and Christopher’s acoustic guitar tunes. Because many of the Canyons’ children’s books are inspired by the lyrics of singer and songwriter John Denver, the Canyons sang a number of Denver songs. The Canyons have illustrated a number of books, including Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef, Over in the Jungle-A Rainforest Rhyme, and Sunshine on My Shoulders, to name a few.

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P1000663Learning about Birds of Prey

Unit I first graders were amazed by special feathered visitors from Raptor Inc., a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of birds of prey through education, rehabilitation, and conservation. Students saw a falcon, an owl, and a red tail hawk, which, due to injuries, cannot be released in the wild. The students were especially excited to hear the screech of Storm, the visiting barn owl.

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A Show of Talents

An annual recital on the Doherty Campus showcases students’ variety of talents, including musical, dance, or otherwise. Congratulations to our performers! Click here to view photos from the recital.

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From The Buzz, April 16, 2015

DSC_0187Awash in Italy

They recreated the Coliseum and Uffizi gallery, dressed as Roman dignitaries, crafted Murano glass, constructed 3D gondolas and umbrella cafes, stomped grapes with their bare feet, made homemade pasta, and designed “Italian” shoes. These stunning visuals on the Doherty Campus don’t even scratch the surface of the intensive studies the students and their teachers have engaged in throughout the year. In an amazing culmination of Cultural Week, students from pre-kindergarteners through Unit III fifth graders wrapped up an extensive unit on all things Italy. From the moment pre-kindergarteners headed to their make-believe Flight 2726 of Ciao airlines at the “airport,” the students delved into multi-layered study that only could have been more vivid if they had actually traveled to the country itself. Please click here for a gallery of gorgeous photos taken by Reading Specialist Judy Davis.

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DSC_0013Pre-K “Flies” to Italy

As part of Cultural Week and a year-long study of Italy on the Doherty Campus, pre-kindergarteners took a pretend “flight” to Italy. The students visited Rome, Florence, Venice, and Lucca. The students also enjoyed a return flight from Italy. The young students made their way through security check and Customs, and finally embarked on their “plane” as they began their trip. Head of Lower School on the Doherty Campus and “Customs Officer” Patti Guethlein examined students’ passports with a friendly greeting and a few questions. Once students were in the air, Director of Finance and Operations and “Pilot” Robert Horne took students on their educational voyage replete with an in-flight movie, window seat views of Italian geography, construction paper sleep masks, and refreshments. Thank you to Seven Hills parent and Via Vite Italian Bistro owner Cristian Pietoso for sharing the beautiful Italian language with the students during their “flight” and enhancing the educational experience. Click here for a gallery of photos from the flight.

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IMG_0977Learning about Rome

As part of their yearlong study of Italy, pre-kindergarteners on the Doherty Campus donned Roman clothing made by their teacher Judy Shuppert. The students also designed necklaces, which depicted the jewelry men and women wore in Ancient Rome. Shuppert, who designed and sewed the Roman clothing, led the students down the hallway to visit Head of Lower School on the Doherty Campus Patti Guethlein and others in the administrative offices. Before making the short trip, the students posed in front of the “Coliseum,” a student-crafted backdrop in the pre-kindergarten wing.

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DSC_0065GPS in Spanish

As part of their unit of study on communities, Unit III fourth graders on the Doherty Campus used Spanish vocabulary to guide classmates to secret locations around campus. Working in pairs, each student took turns acting as the Spanish-speaking GPS unit while their partners accurately processed these Spanish instructions to arrive at their destinations and also to make the return trip back to the classroom. Spanish teacher John Krauss said the exercise enables students to think ahead, judge options, and determine outcomes while speaking and thinking in Spanish. Krauss also said the activity leads into the final unit assessment of each student’s project to plan their own city. “One of the main goals of Unit III Spanish classes is to apply speaking and listening skills to real-life situations,” said Krauss. “Being able to find our way around a city abroad or help visitors around town will be a helpful skill to have in the upcoming years. In Unit III, Spanish is our tool to open up possibilities all over the world.”

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DSC03077Unit III Swimmer Competing in Junior Olympics

Unit III student Samuel Adams recently competed in the Junior Olympics Ohio Swim Meet. Sam qualified to compete in the Ohio LSC Age Group State Championship Meet, which was held in mid-March at Bowling Green State University. “The athletes of Ohio Swimming have made a commitment to their sport and part of that commitment includes the time management necessary when juggling school work, practice time and competition,” said Ohio Swimming Age Group Vice Chairman Todd Billhimer. “We believe our athletes have shown that this is a very educational exercise.”

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P1000640Beckoning Bluebirds

Students in Unit I are doing their part to encourage the repopulation of bluebirds in the area. After researching the habitats and habits of bluebirds, the students constructed birdhouses with reused materials, paying close attention to details. Knowing the bluebird is a cavity dweller who lives near open fields, the students are hoping the backyards on the Doherty Campus will be just the right environment!

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From The Buzz, March 12, 2015

IMG_2932

Pre-K2 Studies Makeup of Red Blood Cells

Seven Hills’ youngest students literally grasped the concept of the composition of blood cells during a unique, tactile lesson in early March. While students toddled over to their activity bins, eager to play with small red orbs, ping pong balls, and foam strips, their teachers, Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft, guided them through a learning experience. They learned that red blood cells carry oxygen, white cells fight infections, and platelets heal cuts. “We added water in the sensory table to help it all move, which represented the plasma,” said Brackett. The students also met with Dr. Jon Bath, a vascular surgeo and Seven Hills parent, who invited the students to listen to his heartbeat and talked about the difference in speed between a child’s heartbeat and the adult’s heartbeat.

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FullSizeRenderFifth Grade Kindness Retreat

The fifth graders from the Doherty and Hillsdale campuses spent the day together in early March, dedicated to building community during their annual Kindness Retreat, led by Youth Frontiers of Minneapolis. Ten Upper School students were trained as small group leaders for the day. The Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat inspires character by engaging a single grade level of students in activities that emphasize the value of kindness. The program empowers students to be everyday heroes by using kindness to include others, be respectful, and make the school a better place. Students learn that bullying is much more than physical fighting, and includes verbal taunting and social exclusion. The retreat also helps teach students a positive and safe way to handle bullying situations. Thank you to the following Upper School students who served as kindness retreat facilitators. They are: Margaret Cox, Audrey Ditty, Kevin Jarmusik, Andrea Johnston, Maddie Samson, Jacob Stavsky, Jules Baretta, Jackson Callow, Jeff Dedeker, and Lindsay Finn.

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IMG_5041Visiting with a National Book Award Committee Member

Unit III enjoyed an opportunity to meet Sam Bloom, a former Newbery Medal Award committee member, who currently works as a children’s librarian at the Blue Ash Public Library. Bloom explained the process of how he was selected to be part of the committee, as well as the difficult task of choosing an award-winning book. The students were amazed to learn that Bloom has read more than 700 books and reviewed them based on theme, character, plot, setting, and presentation. He brought with him a wonderful collection of previous and current Newbery winners and gave a brief description of each story. Bloom also is a Sibert Committee Member for 2015, current Coretta Scott King Committee member for 2016, Cincinnati and Hamilton Public Library employee, and husband of Middle and Upper School Associate Librarian Gail Bloom. He inspired the Doherty 4th and 5th grade students and teachers by enthusiastically exploring the best books that have been published in the last year and by sharing interesting information about how award committees work.

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Vaishali classMoney from Around the World

Unit II math students turned their classrooms into a forum of currency exchange when they brought in money they or their families have collected during their travels. During math teacher Vaishali Sarbhoy’s lesson on “Money from around the world,” students used magnifying lenses to view the details on the coins and paper money. “We were able to work with money from 23 countries,” said Sarbhoy. “They compared the size and value of the different coins and paper money, and they found words written in French, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Hindi, and other languages.” Sarbhoy said the students were intrigued to learn that Queen Elizabeth’s image could be found on coins from different countries, and that one Singapore dollar is worth more than one U.S. dollar.

Vaishali class2

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P1000605One World, Many Cultures

The Cincinnati Museum Center’s Program on Wheels presented One World, Many Cultures. The program allowed Unit I students to step inside the lives of children from Peru, China, and Kenya. The children took part in a dragon parade, told stories with musical instruments, and dressed up as young Masai.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 11.10.48 AMCreating Conversations – April 16

Parents of children in pre-kindergarten through second grade will not want to miss the final Creating Conversations event of the school year. Child psychologists Dr. Andrew Sweeney and Dr. Shelby Werner will share evidence-based parenting techniques for improving the parent-child relationship with children in pre-kindergarten through second grade. This final event for the 2014-15 Creating Conversations series will take place on April 16 in the Lotspeich library. The Seven Hills School speaker series, Creating Conversations, welcomes you, your family, and friends to attend these free-of-charge events. To learn more or register for the April event, go to www.7hills.org/CreatingConversations.

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From The Buzz, Feb. 26, 2015

 

DSC00275

Contraction Surgery

In a very hands-on exercise, students in Kirby Schuchter’s Unit I class learned about contractions from start to finish. The students learned about the usage of contraction by performing “contraction surgery.” Using their “surgical” zigzag scissors, the students cut two words and made them one by using an apostrophe, which served as a bandage.

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P1000012Water Purifying

Third graders in Unit II received a fascinating lesson on water purification from the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. A representative from the county presented the program in mid-January. The presenters explained that dirty water can be purified and even made potable through the use of a number of household items, including cotton balls and small pebbles. The educational visit tied in with the study of ecology in Unit II, said teacher Joan Claybourn.

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photoBeginnings – Session II

As the cold weather keeps most young toddlers limited to the indoors, this week families enrolled in the Beginnings Program for Toddlers and Parents enjoyed an opportunity to give their children additional freedom to explore sensory learning in all areas of the classroom and in the Commons. “We engaged with touch, movement, and observation of sensory play with play-doughs, instruments, and manipulative materials,” said Doherty Beginnings Director Julie Brackett. “Beginnings families also enjoyed the trampoline, crawling tunnel, magnetic wall, texture stepping stones, balance beam, and explorative wall touch panels during our Commons time.

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DSC_0082Winter Poetry Presentation

As part of a lesson on presentation skills, individual expression, and appreciation of the arts, Unit I students performed poems by various authors for their winter poetry presentation in mid-February. The students enjoyed showcasing their talent as they performed onstage for a full audience, which included many of their parents, grandparents, classmates, and teachers.

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IMG_4735Learning about Book Awards

Unit III students explored the process of book awards during an educational presentation and interactive activity in February. Librarian Linda Wolfe explained to students the criteria used to select winners of awards, such as the Caldecott Medal in the United States. Wolfe’s student reading group, “The Wolfe Pack Battle of Books” voted for four books in the running, ending up with Draw by Raul Colon and The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat. “Hot debates and some lobbying erupted over these books,” said Wolfe. The students chose Draw, while the Caldecott winner was The Adventures of Beekle. Wolfe said fifth grader Corinne Kieser’s artwork was randomly selected to represent this schoolwide book contest.

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From The Buzz, Jan. 29, 2015

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Pancake Breakfast and Art Auction

Doherty’s Pancake Breakfast and Student Art Auction on Jan. 24 was a huge success. Funds raised at the all-school event went to The Cooperative for Education, which creates sustainable textbook, computer center, reading, and scholarship programs in Guatemala. The event was a largely collaborative undertaking. Art teacher Mimi Stricker organized art projects for all students from toddlers in the Beginnings Toddler & Parent Enrichment Program through Unit III, the Student Council made banners and signs and put together the keynote for an all-school assembly before the breakfast, music teacher Maria Eynon directed a lively dance show that conveyed a message about helping others, Spanish teacher John Krauss incorporated Guatemalan culture into his classes, and kindergarteners made table decorations for the breakfast. During the event, teachers flipped pancakes, and students helped clear and clean tables. Doherty’s Service Learning Committee is composed of several faculty members, including Mimi Stricker, Mitzie Moser, Aimee Burton, Sarah Roberts, Judy Davis, John Krauss, Vaishali Sarbhoy, Patty Dawson, Ann Vanoy, Lindsay Pietroski, and Maria Eynon. Click here to view a gallery from the event.

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FullSizeRender

MLK Convocation

Unit III students shared a message of legacy and hope during an annual convocation inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Jan. 21 convocation honored King, noting his vision of freedom, equality, and justice for all people. The student-led program focused on a number of historical highlights relating to King’s courage, nonviolent methods of leadership, and legacy. The students, decked in all black, and draped in Kente cloth, each recited powerful statements about King’s impact on Black history and the Civil Rights movement. The recitation concluded with, “Light one candle for our own Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the hope that the light will not die.” Seven Hills’ Martin Luther King Convocation, written every year by Unit III teacher Regina Daily, honors Dr. King and sets the tone for Black History Month in February. Many thanks to Daily, creative dramatics teacher Russell White, music teacher Maria Eynon, and Unit III teachers, who coordinate the event each year.

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IMG_0216Unit III Book Discussion

Students in Julie Guminey’s Unit III class have been reading Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. The book offers many opportunities for discussion among the students about friendship, understanding kids from different backgrounds and how they may cope with difficulties in their lives. “The students end up connecting to Doug, the main character, as they read the book, and learn to care for him even though, at first glance and appearance, Doug is not a likable kid,” said Guminey. “Once you get to know him and learn more about where he comes from, the reader learns to appreciate him and understand him.” Guminey said the students’ indepth discussions allow them to listen respectfully and actively, as they ask and answer questions pertaining to the book and learn more about what happens to the main character.

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IMG_3740Mecklenburg Gardens

Unit II third graders visited the historic Mecklenburg Gardens, a Cincinnati tradition since 1865. The students enjoyed a classic German meal that included chicken schnitzel, bratwurst, mettwurst, and spaetzle with cheese. The restaurant has the original Germanic architectural elements intact, including heavy timber beams, stained glass windows, fireplaces, immense mahogany bar, and several wood paneled rooms. Students were given a brief history of the venue and the opportunity to ask questions about the building. This trip runs in conjunction with the third grade unit of study on Germany.

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image4Revolutionary War Living History Museum

Unit III social studies students transformed their classrooms and hallways into a museum of history in late January. The students carried out a research project on a famous hero or heroine of the American Revolutionary War. “The students chose a person they were interested in learning more about, wrote a research paper and had a chance to present their person in our Living History Museum,” said Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin. The students, dressed up to depict their heroes, then welcomed student and faculty visitors. Students had the chance to talk about their hero or heroine and answer questions.

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Much is in store for the next After the Bell mini and spring sessions. Seven Hills families will have the opportunity to register students for a number of enrichment activities on the Doherty Campus, including Wake Up Garden, Gym Skills, Books Good Enough to Eat, and Lego building, cross-stitch, and art classes. The deadline for spring session registration is Feb. 4. Click here for more information on After the Bell offerings in February.

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From The Buzz, Jan. 15, 2015

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Space Studies in Unit I

As Unit I students learn about space, they also are getting a unique literary and musical lesson in the history of the Underground Railroad. Students in Kirby Schuchter, Amy Kuhlavik, and Anne Vanoy’s classes studied the moon and its phases, constellations, and planets as they read The Drinking Gourd by F.N. Monjo and sang the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” “The term “Drinking Gourd” was used by slaves in the south to discreetly describe the Big Dipper constellation, which gave slaves a point of reference so they would not get lost while they attempted to escape slavery,” said Schuchter. Unit I students further applied their knowledge during a trip on Jan. 9 to Drake Planetarium.

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After the Bell

Students are working with clay, enjoying a new chess class, learning to weave, dancing, and taking guitar lessons in a broad variety of enrichment opportunities offered in the After the Bell afterschool program on the Doherty Campus. “These classes are so wonderful and exciting for our students,” said After the Bell teacher Julie Brackett, who also teaches pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds and the Beginnings Program for Parents and Toddlers. “Our upcoming spring enrichment classes are looking exciting too!” Click here for more information on After the Bell offerings in February and the spring season.

 

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Adding and Multiplying Decimals

Unit III math students in Vaishali Sarbhoy’s class added and multiplied decimals to create a key used to design pictures of flowers and snowmen. Students worked from a price list of shapes – hexagons cost $0.10, trapezoids $0.05, diamonds were $0.07 – to build flowers and snowmen. The activity required students to add or multiply decimals as they “purchased” the shapes necessary to create the images. Each student shared their finished product with the class as they explained the process. Some students’ drawings were luxuriously appointed, with manufacturing costs at more than $1.50 per flower or snowman, while others were more economical, costing the designer about $.75.

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Italy in Books

As Doherty’s yearlong study of Italy continues, the school community is gearing up for Cultural Connections Week, a lively, innovative tradition of weeklong, campus-wide activities across the grades. Librarian Linda Wolfe and art teacher Mimi Stricker will work collaboratively with students, focusing on the city of Siena and the small Italian island of Osirini. Wolfe offered the following picture books to inspire students as they learn more about Italy and prepare for their art projects: Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment by Wendy Macdonald, Tony’s Bread by Tomie dePaola, Caterina the Clever Farm Girl by Julienne Peterson, Papa Gatto: An Italian Fairy Tale by Ruth Sanderson, The Goat-faced Girl: An Italian Folktale retold by Leah Marinsky Sharpe, and The Adventures of Bella & Harry Let’s Visit Venice by Lisa Manzion. Cultural Connections week is launched by the pre-kindergarten simulated flight to Italy, Doherty’s country of focus, that will take place just before spring break in March. Last year, pre-kindergarten students “flew” to Chile, and to France during the 2012-13 school year.

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IMG_4657Doherty Bridges

On Jan. 12 Unit II students and their parents and caregivers met in the Doherty Library with librarian Linda Wolfe after school for an optional American cultures program on being Korean American. After the adults and children shared books on the topic, Seven Hills alumna Dorothy Corbett spoke to the group. “Everyone was spellbound as Dorothy described Korean food and how to calculate your birthday the Korean way,” said Wolfe. Head of Lower School on the Doherty Campus Patti Guethlein led the students in making Korean dance masks based on the book Behind the Mask by Yang Sook Choi.

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pancake2Pancake Breakfast and Art Auction

Students, teachers, and families are gearing up for the Pancake Breakfast and Art Auction on the Doherty Campus. The event, which will include a silent auction of student art with a pop art theme, music, dancing, and assemblies, is the result of the extraordinary collaborative efforts of students, faculty, and staff. The Pancake Breakfast will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, on the Doherty Campus. Admission for the event is $5 per person or $20 per family. Funds raised at the Breakfast will go to The Cooperative for Education, which creates sustainable textbook, computer center, reading, and scholarship programs in Guatemala. Click here for more information about the event.

 

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IMG_2221Beginnings

Seven Hills is thrilled to offer our successful Beginnings Parent and Toddler Enrichment Program for the winter session. The program is designed for parents or caregivers and their 12-36 month old children. Session II of Beginnings on the Doherty Campus is offered with a choice of two days per week: Mondays classes will meet from Jan. 12 – May 4 from 9 -11 a.m., and Friday classes will meet from Jan.16 – May 8 from 9 – 11 a.m. To learn more or to register, please visit us at www.7hills.org/beginnings or contact Beginnings Doherty Director Julie Brackett at Beginnings.Doherty@7hills.org.

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From The Buzz, Dec. 19, 2014

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Holiday Assembly

From pre-kindergarteners to fifth graders, students sang merry songs of good cheer, ushering in the holiday season, and bringing smiles to their families during the traditional holiday assembly. The songs derived from a wide variety of countries and styles from traditional Holiday sounds to Jazz to Rock & Roll. Students sang about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, and the winter season. “The holidays help us remember that we should always be the best we can be, respect our traditions and individuality, and appreciate what makes us one human family,” said music teacher Maria Eynon. “And most of all, that we have the power to be a positive light in the world, reaching out to others and helping whenever and wherever we can.” Congratulations and happy holidays to Eynon and our students. Click here to view pictures from the show. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

image6Gift of Warmth for the Holidays

Unit III students, with the help of some wonderful parents, spent the afternoon of November 12 working on flannel cloth pieces, pinning patterns, cutting out the fringes, and tying them to make cozy flannel hats for people in need as part of their community service project. Once the hats were made, students visited Open Door in mid-December to drop off hats and sandwiches to people in need. “The people at Open Door look forward to getting these hats every year!” said Unit III teacher Claire Laughlin. The project also incorporated “Gross-out Day,” a unique lesson that helps students to understand the definition of gross, which equals 144. The students overshot their goal to make 144 hats, making a total of 199!

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naturalNaturalization Ceremony

Doherty fourth graders had the honor of attending a Naturalization Ceremony on Nov. 7 at the Potter Stewart Courthouse in Downtown Cincinnati. More than 30 countries were represented as the participants took the final step to become U.S. citizens. This annual trip provides a real-life connection to the immigration unit that is part of the fourth grade social studies curriculum.

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IMG_2934Learning about the Real Rudolph

Kindergarteners in Jenni Carr, Lindsay Pietroski, and Aimee Burton’s classes engaged in an in-depth study of their friend Rudolph during a special unit on deer in early December. The study began with an art project – students made antlers and painted their noses red. They also read various versions of Rudolph and sang Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Students concluded their unit with a visit from Dan Stricker, father of Seven Hills students Dolle and Gus Stricker, who introduced students to the different type of deer and explained their behaviors in the wild.

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DSC_0963Hour of Code

Unit III students joined 53 million others across the world for Hour of Code week, which ran Dec. 8-14. As part of the initiative, the students wrote code for an hour in the morning for the week. The global event, launched by President Barack Obama, encouraged children and their educators to become interested in coding. Math Teacher Vaishali Sarbhoy said students used applications such as Scratch and Tynker to write code in the multifaceted unit on computer programming.

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IMG_2445Spelling Bee

Twelve enthusiastic participants from four Unit III homerooms participated in the Unit spelling bee as part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest. All students worked very hard, said teacher Regina Daily. The honors went to Mia Mason, with the winning word “notoriety.” Kamaia-Edwards Hall was the runner-up. Mia will represent the school in the online contest in January 2015. Students who participated in the spelling bee were: Evelyn Astafiev- Holmes, Ariane Briquet, Kamaia Hall-Edwards, Lea Jaarvi, Mercer Kruzner, Charlotte Laffley, Charlie Leeper, Mia Mason, Ilana Mclaughlin, Julia Moser, Anna Papakirk, and Anand Patil.

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From The Buzz, Nov. 25, 2014

DSC_0217Grandpersons Day

Students of all ages launched into the holiday season with the special people in their life during Grandpersons Day. Students gave wonderful on-stage presentations and shared a special memory of their guests. Students also sang musical selections to celebrate the season and recited poetry. Thank you to all of the special visitors who attended the festive event. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

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Doherty Store

Unit III students who run the Doherty Store received business lessons from the pros – Seven Hills parents who work at Procter & Gamble and own a local business – during a Nov. 19 workshop. “The students run a real school store with roles in human resources, finance, and marketing,” said Unit II and III math teacher Vaishali Sarbhoy. “We brought in professionals who work in these same areas.” Students heard from Mark Jeffreys, an associate marketing and advertising director at Procter & Gamble and stepfather of Evelyn Astafiev-Holmes; Saurabh Saksena, who works in finance and consumer goods with P & G, and is the husband of Sarbhoy; and Maria Papakirk, owner of Camp Washington Chili and mother of Anna and Stratton Papakirk. The students discussed profit margins, management do’s and don’ts, and marketability. The students shared some of their business rules with their guests and responded with gratitude, interest, and specific questions.

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Entomology Unit

Third graders in Joan Claybourn’s Unit II class invited the Cincinnati Museum Center to enhance their study of insects. During their visit the students learned more about the characteristics of insects and participated in activities that demonstrated insects adaptations and enriched related vocabulary. The students donned glasses with distorted lenses to experience firsthand the complex vision of the housefly. During the visit the class was able to hold hissing cockroaches, and they really did hiss!

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The Magic School Bus Visited Seven Hills

Kindergarteners enjoyed a wonderful, surprise visit on Nov. 18 from Ms. Frizzle (portrayed by Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein) and the Magic School Bus. Ms. Frizzle heard about the Kindergarten Super Scientists and she came all the way to the kindergarten classrooms to meet the students! The students excitedly boarded the bus and Ms. Frizzle took them on a field trip through the five senses. While aboard the bus, students learned more about the senses and how they work with the brain to help them smell, taste, hear, and touch.

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Anna Papakirk, left, and Riley Moser
Anna Papakirk, left, and Riley Moser

Two Students to Perform in The Nutcracker

Congratulations to Unit II student Riley Moser and Unit III student Anna Papakirk. The young ballerinas will perform with the Cincinnati Ballet in their production of Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker. “This is a tremendous honor and takes a great deal of dedication on the part of the dancer,” said a representative at the Cincinnati Ballet. The Cincinnati Ballet will present two student matinee dress rehearsals for the production on Thursday, Dec. 18, and Friday, Dec. 19. Students will be able to see the show for $10 per student. For more information about seeing Riley and Anna perform in the matinee, email thonebrink@cballet.org

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Please Help Spread the News!

Seven Hills is thrilled to offer our successful Beginnings Parent and Toddler Enrichment Program for the winter/spring session on both campuses. The program is designed for parents or caregivers and their 12-36 month old children. With session II registration now open, we are reaching out for your help. We know you are the best ambassadors for informing others in the community and we invite you to please let your friends and acquaintances know of this unique program, or join us yourselves. Session II of Beginnings on the Doherty Campus is offered with a choice of two days per week: Monday classes will meet from Jan. 12 – May 4 from 9 -11 a.m., and Friday classes will meet from Jan.16 – May 8 from 9 – 11 a.m. To learn more or to register, please visit us at www.7hills.org/beginnings or contact Julie Brackett at Beginnings.Doherty@7hills.org.

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From The Buzz, Nov. 13, 2014

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Veteran’s Day

Unit II students in Joan Claybourn and Sarah Roberts’ classes honored United States veterans by crafting displays for a bulletin board and writing letters to veterans on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Roberts said the letters would be given to veterans at the VA Hospital to thank them for their service to our country. Roberts said a parent would deliver the letters to patients at the VA hospital. “We are also putting the names of family members who served our country on our bulletin boards,” said Roberts. “The project has been historically educational and moving for all of us.”

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Learning about Freedom Quilts

After visiting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Nov. 5, Unit III fourth graders learned about and designed Freedom Quilts. The quilts, used during the time of slavery, incorporate patterns and designs that translated into secret codes of communication for conductors of the Underground Railroad. Teacher Julie Guminey further explained the historic nature of the quilts by reading to the class The Patchwork Path by Bettye Stroud, which depicts the story of a little girl who traveled north as a slave and eventually achieved freedom with her father. After learning the true use of the freedom quilts, students colored paper squares of their own to form freedom quilts that will be displayed in the hallway outside their classrooms.

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Please help spread the news!

We are thrilled to offer our successful Beginnings Parent and Toddler Enrichment Program for the winter session. The program is designed for parents or caregivers and their 12-36 month old children. With the winter registration now open, we are reaching out for your help. We know you are the best ambassadors for informing others in the community and we invite you to please let your friends and acquaintances know of this unique program, or join us yourselves. Session II of Beginnings on the Doherty Campus is offered with a choice of two days per week: Mondays classes will meet from Jan. 12 – May 4 from 9 -11 a.m., and Friday classes will meet from Jan.16 – May 8 from 9 – 11 a.m. To learn more or to register, please visit us at www.7hills.org/beginnings or contact Julie Brackett at Beginnings.Doherty@7hills.org.
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Pre-kindergarten Studies Science with Cool Critters

It isn’t everyday someone invites you to sit atop a tortoise, feed Cheerios to a chinchilla, or heft a boa constrictor onto your shoulders. Pre-kindergarteners in Katie Dawson, Ginger Rubin and Cyndi Kenyon’s classes enjoyed these experiences and more during a Nov. 6 visit with Cool Critters Outreach, a local non-profit animal rescue and education organization. The young students had an opportunity to touch and feed a chinchilla, sit on top of a 75-pound tortoise, and run their hands along the smooth and slippery scales of a boa constrictor. The science focus offered students an opportunity to study natural science; and demonstrate respect and care for living things and the environment.

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P1030800Glen Helen

Unit III students spent three days at Glen Helen Outdoor Educational Center. Trail groups ventured into the 1,000-acre outdoor classroom with naturalist teachers. Students learned about the environment and how to protect it through hands-on authentic experiences. The students explored native ecosystems and searched different macroinvertebrates in streams to determine water health. Students also worked together to decrease the amount of wasted food in the cafeteria. The Glen Helen trip emphasized cooperation and teamwork! Click here to view a gallery of the field trip.

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Pumpkin Math

Unit I students celebrated the fall season with math activities involving pumpkins. The students estimated weight, circumference and seed counts. As the pumpkins progressed in size, they were able to estimate more accurately. Students found that the seeds were very hard to predict.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 31, 2014

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Studying the Science of Paper Airplanes

After studying the principles of flight including thrust, drag, lift and gravity; the axes of motion for flight, roll, pitch and yaw; and what controls those axes, elevators, ailerons and rudders, Patty Dawson’s fourth grade science students created paper airplanes. The initial planes were created from templates, allowing the students to identify what features would enable the plane to fly and move in a certain manner. The students then designed their own plane based on a goal they set for the motion they expected from their plane. The students designed planes that could bank left or right, planes that could roll, climb, fly straight, and even boomerang or loop. This project culminates the flight and aerodynamics Unit for the fourth graders.

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Happy Diwali!

Students in Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft’s Pre-kindergarten for two-year-olds program enjoyed learning about Diwali’s rich culture and brilliant festivities. The students made rangolis (colorful art patterns usually made of geometric shapes) and diyas (small clay pots holding a candle), ate sweet treats, and received gifts during the Hindu festival of lights. Diwali is a five-day holiday associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and marks the beginning of the fiscal year in India. The holiday usually falls between October and November. This year, Diwali began on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

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How does 3D printing work?

Unit III students got an up-close look at the inner workings of 3D printing during a special workshop with fifth grader Oliver Vecellio, who recently received one for his birthday. Oliver and his father Andrew took classmates through a tutorial. Students selected a design and engaged the high-tech machine. The printing, which took about three hours, incorporated a number of pieces, including a disk and a mechanism that spun material onto a plate to create 3D characteristics. Students enjoyed witnessing the complex creation take shape right before their eyes.

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SunWatch

Unit II third graders enjoyed a field trip to SunWatch Village. SunWatch Indian Village offered students exploration and learning both indoors and out. Students watched an introductory film in the indoor theatre, viewed artifacts, and learned about the history of the village and its inhabitants in the Interpretive Center. The experiences allowed students to immerse themselves in the 800-year-old lifestyle by visiting the reconstructed structures, located in their original locations.

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Unit I Happenings

Students in Unit I have been busy learning a number of lessons that incorporate scientific inquiry, art, and literature. Anne Vanoy’s students read the story of a scarecrow in The Little Old Lady Who was not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. The students then put the parts together to create a scarecrow. In Amy Kulhavik’s social studies class, students made delicious firetruck crackers during safety week, and mapped out the cities of Cincinnati and Columbus in the state of Ohio with candy pieces. Kulhavik’s students also completed an experiment in the science lab to determine what happens when a popcorn kernel is heated. The students created a hypothesis and recorded the results. The experiment helped the students determine why things occur when an element is added.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 16, 2014

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Helping Guatemala through Cooperative Education

Fifth graders gathered in the Spanish classroom to meet and hear from Juan Tacaxoy, a recent graduate from Cooperative for Education’s programs in Guatemala. Cooperative for Education is a Cincinnati-based organization that aims to help Guatemalan school children break the cycle of poverty through education and is supported as part of Doherty’s service learning program. Juan spoke about growing up and going to school in Guatemala as well as his experiences here in the United States since July. “This was a great opportunity for students to practice their Spanish by asking questions as well as hear authentic conversations in Spanish,” said Spanish teacher Señor Krauss. Students reflected afterwards on their admiration for Juan’s accomplishments and gained a deeper understanding of the connections they make through Service Learning. Juan said Cooperative for Education changed his life and the lives of countless other Guatemalan students. Doherty fifth grade students enjoyed practicing their Spanish while talking with him.

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Biomes

Unit III students in Mrs. Guminey’s class researched and constructed models of various biomes as part of an environmental geography project during the first week of October. Students worked meticulously using small boxes to design environments that reflected aquatic, grasslands, dessert, tundra, or forest biomes. Mrs. Guminey said having the hands-on experience with the different textures of earth and images of various animals offers students a lasting reference to the environmental diversity in our world.

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“Camp out” with reading

First graders in Mrs. Schuchter’s Unit I class wiggled into their sleeping bags, grabbed their favorite books, and flicked on their flashlights under the “night sky” in their dim classrooms for a reading session at “Camp Schuchter.” Mrs. Schuchter said she decided to transform her classroom into a campsite theme after learning how much her students enjoy camping.

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Fifth Grader Named “Honor Camper” by Camp Ernst

Congratulations to fifth grader Charlie Leeper, who was among two percent of the 3,000 campers to win the prestigious YMCA Camp Ernst Honor Camper Award. A tradition since 1928, Honor Camper was created by Camp Ernst founder Willard L. Wade to recognize campers with outstanding character and leadership. Camp Ernst’s staff of more than 100 nominate and vote on campers they believe display the YMCA core character values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility at the end of each weeklong session. After the counselor’s votes are tallied, the Honor Campers are publicly recognized during the week’s closing campfire. “Charlie is a very influential camper who has made an impact on her peers through sincerity and kindness in real, everyday terms,” said Camp Director Elizabeth Cochran.

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Fourth Grade Biking Trip

The Outdoor Program participated in a fourth grade biking trip on September 28. They biked 13 1/2 miles and then stopped for lunch in Morrow. After lunch they biked back to the Loveland Station on what turned out to be a beautiful fall day. Students put in a lot of trail time, biking a total of 27 miles. They wrapped up their hard work with a special treat – Italian ice!

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From The Buzz, Sept. 28, 2014

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Debate in Fourth Grade

On Sept. 22, Unit III students engaged in a gritty debate around the book Frindle by Andrew Clements. The debate centered around the positions of Frindle book characters Nick Allen and language arts teacher Mrs. Granger. Half of the students took the student’s side – that students should be able to use the word “frindle” whenever and wherever they want. The other half debated Mrs. Granger’s side – “frindle” is NOT a word and students should not be allowed to use it. Students were responsible for working in cooperative groups, identifying main points to support their side and use evidence from the text to support their reasons. They were also encouraged to use real world examples. Fifth graders were the moderators and asked questions, challenged students thinking and made sure the debate was well organized.

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Book Fair

Students and their families enjoyed browsing through hundreds of book, CD, and DVD selections during the week of Sept. 15, at the week-long book fair. “We love having this event every year,” said librarian Mrs. Wolfe. “The parents enjoy having a special opportunity to select books with their children and we often have books that are not even out in the stores yet.” Among many other selections, Mrs. Wolfe said parents can pick up The Man Who Planted Trees by Jim Robbins at the Doherty Book Fair. The book is about David Milarch’s quest to clone trees to combat deforestation. “This is one of the most interesting nonfiction books I have ever read,” she said. The book fair ends on Friday, Sept. 26.

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Shake and Quake

Unit I student architects built stunning structures for an experiment using toothpicks and gumdrops. After measuring the projects, the teachers tested the soundness of the structures by shaking them. The gumdrop models passed the “shake and quake” test if the structure remained standing. Shake and Quake is a project that runs in conjunction with the Unit I study on cities.

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Study of Owl Pellets

The Doherty 3rd grade science class unlocked some mysteries of the food chain when they dissected owl pellets during their ecology unit. In their study about the interdependency among animals, the students inspected sterilized pellets to find out what happens to the indigestible material left in the gizzard such as teeth, skulls, claws, feathers, and other things too dangerous to pass through the rest of the owl’s digestive tract. To safely excrete this material, the owl’s gizzard compacts it into a tight pellet that the owl regurgitates. The regurgitated pellets are known as owl pellets.

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Peek Into the Past

Unit I students recently took a trip to Sharon Woods’ Heritage Village. The program gave students an opportunity to visit several restored 19th-century buildings, participate in hands-on learning activities, recognize similarities and differences between their lives today and the lives of the people more than 130 years ago, and discover how change happens over time and that certain innovations can activate change. Students also experienced elements of an 1870s-era lifestyle through their senses and different learning styles. The activity strives to introduce young learners to lifestyle characteristics of 19th century southwest Ohio through the concepts of family life, transportation, communication, and changes over time.

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From The Buzz, Sept. 11, 2014

 

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Tunnel Walk – Sept. 11 Memorial

In a show of empathy for off-duty firefighter Stephen Siller and others who ran through the Brooklyn Tunnel to help others during the Sept. 11 tragedy, Mrs. Dawson’s Unit III students will walk for more than a mile around the school campus today. Prior to this culminating activity of the Tunnel Walk, the 4th and 5th grade students have been involved in classroom discussions based on literature and videos that relate to people who make a difference in the lives of others. Students will create paper bricks that will state a personal goal of how they plan to make a difference in the lives of others in the year ahead. The individual students will hang their brick in the “tunnel” on the Doherty campus that separates the Music Room from the Science Labs at the conclusion of the walk. The Tunnel to Towers Run is a 5K run that now takes place in many states around the anniversary of the events of September 11th, 2001.

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Social Studies Activity Day

Social Studies day is an opportunity for students to participate in hands-on activities that relate to the area of study in fifth grade curriculum. During the first week of school, students are actively engaged in various activities including Colonial games, an archaeological dig, and Revolutionary War drilling. “Students get a real feel for how things were back in these different eras,” said Unit III social studies teacher Mrs. Laughlin. “They rotated between three stations, led by parents, and spent approximately 25 minutes at each one. It was a great way to kick off our fifth-grade social studies curriculum and it allows an opportunity for our parents to come in and see their children in action!”

 

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Science Activity Day

Fifth graders studied the properties of light and sound during the annual all-day Science Activity Day, during the first week of school. With the help of parents, students used pitchforks, balloons, glasses filled with varying amounts of water, music boxes, tie-dye equipment, rainbow-colored wheels, and glasses with colored lenses to carry out dozens of experiments.

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Wheel Away

Mrs. Vanoy’s first graders read Wheel Away by Dayle Ann Dodds, a start-of-the-year tradition for first graders. The students adapted the patterns of the story and scripted a presentation using words for sounds to go with the nouns of their choice. Once everything was in place, students incorporated acting skills to illustrate their creations.

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After the Bell Mini Sessions

After the Bell will soon offer registration for Mini Session I, which will take place from Nov. 4 – 14, 2014, and the Winter Session, which will take place from Nov. 17, 2014 – Jan. 30, 2015. The sessions for students attending Doherty and Lotspeich will include but not be limited to children’s theater, mad science, and Bricks 4 Kidz, lessons in building and playing with LEGO bricks. The program descriptions will be available online on Oct. 6 via the parent login at 7hills.org. For more information, please call 513-728-2336.

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Doherty Moving up

Doherty Closing Ceremonies

Students on the Doherty Campus enjoyed a culminating ceremony of memories, musical selections, and special acknowledgements with their families and teachers during closing week. Students in Units I through III performed musical selections and reminisced over the past school year as they gave speeches to a standing-room-only crowd. Head of School Chris Garten and Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein congratulated students and faculty for a year of purpose, hard work, and friendship, and welcomed Doherty’s fifth graders to the Middle School next school year. Click here to view a photo gallery of the events.

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Major Awards at Doherty

Loveland Award

Congratulations to rising sixth grader Wes Gardner, who received the Loveland Award. The Loveland Award is presented to a student who shows exceptional interest and excellence in the area of English and writing.

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Hoeland Scholarship Award

Congratulations to rising sixth grader Kurt Drath, who received the Jane P. Hoeland Merit Scholarship Award. The Hoeland Scholarship was established to recognize a Doherty student who has demonstrated academic achievement, breadth and scope of interests beyond the classroom, leadership, citizenship, and character.

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Student Council Citizenship Award

Doherty’s Student Council Citizenship Awards were presented to Unit II students Zach Mason and Phoebe Rubenstein, and Unit III students Talbot Anning and Corinne Kieser. These awards are chosen by peer selection, honoring students who exemplify qualities such as responsibility and dependability, helpfulness and friendliness that is inclusive of all members of the class.

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Chicks Hatch at Doherty

As part of a long-standing tradition introduced 23 years ago by Doherty kindergarten teacher Jenny Carr, kindergarteners learned about the mystery of how chicks learned to hatch from their eggs. This year Doherty kindergarten received three chicken eggs, said Mrs. Carr. The eggs were kept warm in an incubator. “The kindergarteners could hear the chicks peeping and eagerly watched with amazement as the chicks used their pecking tooth to help them hatch,” said Mrs. Carr. “The children enjoyed naming, visiting, and holding the chicks.” The chicks, named Coco, Boo and Sky, loved the children as much as the kindergarteners loved them. Mrs. Carr began the kindergarten tradition 23 years ago during a trip to Mt. Healthy Hatchery with former Seven Hills parent Janna McWilliams, mother of Seven Hills alumni Wills `09, Ainsley`10, and Adair`12. Thank you to Mrs. McWilliams for her continued support of this educational program.

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Poetry Café

In late May, students in Mrs. Dawson’s and Mrs. Guminey’s classes joined together for the annual Poetry Café. The Poetry Café is an event where the students perform their original poetry. Students at Doherty begin reciting poetry in first grade and continue to explore different poets and genres of poetry throughout the following years. The Poetry Café represents the culminating activity in this journey of exploration of this genre of writing and reading. After creating original works of poetry in various genres, the students began working to appreciate the necessity of creating voice and movements when presenting their works. The result was a spotlighted, and black backdropped “stage” on which the “poets” presented their poetry to parents and faculty. There were two shows, allowing for several of the students to serve the guests as their classmates performed. It was a true poetry café with an incredible amount of writing talent being represented.

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From The Buzz May 30, 2014

 

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Estimation Carnival

In its 10th year, Estimation Carnival brought together math, cooperative learning, and the art of business transactions. As part of the signature project, Unit III teacher Regina Daily’s math students brainstormed estimation games for the carnival, designed the guide booklets, and ran the show during the two-day event. The purpose of the carnival was to engage classmates and faculty in guessing games that incorporated quantity, quick thinking, and measuring. Students in Mrs. Daily’s class said the process of planning the event taught them how to respectfully agree and disagree with their teammates, run a business, and sharpened their estimation skills. Mrs. Daily said she always starts off the unit with a discussion about the “Law of the Geese,” an explanation of the birds’ instinctive collaborative efforts often told in academic settings. “The students learn that everyone has a role in the project and they learn how to work together to produce this event,” said Mrs. Daily.

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Poetry Postcards

In mid-May, 40 second and third grade students celebrated their yearlong participation in the optional Poetry Postcards program offered by Doherty librarian Linda Wolfe. Each week, the participating students received a postcard with a poem and a related activity in the mail. The students read the poem to a parent, completed the activity, and brought the postcard back to the library. Mrs. Wolfe invited those who finished the project to a poet tea in the library, where each student received all their postcards bound into their own book.

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Budding Herpetologists

Unit I teacher Kirby Schuchter’s lively lesson on reptiles included a recent hands-on visit to the science lab where Unit I students were able to catch an up-close-and-personal view of the corn snake during a presentation from their Unit III peers. The corn snake has been cared for all year by “Lab Rats” – two students who have helped Mrs. Schuchter. This year’s “Lab Rats” are Emma Cohen and Caitlin Drew.

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A Lesson on Birds of Prey

Students received a lesson on birds of prey during a special visit from Raptor Inc., a local non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of birds of prey through education, rehabilitation, and conservation. Unit I students had an opportunity to see a falcon, an owl, and a red tail hawk. All of which, due to injuries, cannot be released into the wild.

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Donating to Brain Tumor Research

Doherty’s Student Council worked together to vote on a special donation to the University of Cincinnati’s Brain Tumor Center. Moved by the story of Seven Hills parent Brian Wiles’ illness two years ago, his children Sophie and Will Wiles presented information to the Doherty Student Council for consideration and the Student Council voted to approve the project. UC Brain Tumor Center representative Cindy Starr said the medical staff at the Center are very moved by the acts of the Wiles siblings, and by the generosity and leadership of the Student Council. The Sophie and Will presented the check to a UC representative on May 29 in the courtyard in front of the Doherty Campus community. Many thanks to the Wiles family for inspiring this event. Click here to view a brief article posted by WLWT Channel 5 News.

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From The Buzz May 16, 2014

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Mini Pig

With stretching exercises for little legs and arms, mini hydration stations, and an adoring throng of onlookers on hand for the frenzied race, pre-kindergarteners launched their run on the School field. The Mini Pig, created by pre-kindergarten teacher Cyndi Kenyon and coordinated by The Seven Hills School Athletic Department, is a collaborative, signature event designed to promote physical fitness and community awareness among some of the School’s youngest students. Click here for a photo gallery of the event. Click here to view Fox 19 News coverage of the event on May 2.

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Egg Drop in Third Grade

Doherty’s third grade students were challenged to create a way to keep an egg from breaking when dropped from a high area. The students worked in groups using items found around the house, such as egg cartons, bathroom tissue tubes, and empty yogurt containers to build their containers.

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Beginnings for Toddlers and Parents Program

Students and parents in Beginnings for Toddlers and Parents Program recently learned about the metamorphosis of the butterfly in a series of lessons taught by Beginnings teachers Julie Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft. Mrs. Brackett and Mrs. Ravenscraft engaged Beginnings families in the butterfly release after several theme-based lessons on butterfly activities. The butterflies were released in early May in the Eco Lab Garden.

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Robotics

Students studied the mechanics and function of robots then brought their knowledge to life during a popular robotics class provided during After the Bell afterschool programs.

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Down on the Farm – Doherty Farm Art Installation

In a collaborative art project, third, fourth, and fifth graders learned about art installations, researched and picked an animal, built the structures from recycled materials using plaster, and then creatively painted the appropriate colorings for each animal. “Each student had to problem solve, think critically, and create their animals out of recycled trash,” said art teacher Mimi Stricker. “There was a lot of creativity, hard work, and imagination flowing through the art room.” Mrs. Stricker said the students not only created the animals but also painted backdrops, built grass and used real hay for the installation. Mrs. Stricker said the project required students to draw from techniques they have learned and honed over a number of weeks. Students also learned how to mix colors and create different colors, tints, shades, and tones unique to their animal. Click here to view a gallery of the art installation.

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From The Buzz April 24, 2014

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Fifth Grade Play a Huge Success

Doherty’s Unit III students rocked out on stage during a lively fifth grade play showing that they love rock n’ roll! The performance, directed by music teacher Maria Eynon and Creative Dramatics Teacher Russell White was a toe-tapping success! Click here to view a gallery of photos taken by Judy Davis. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Virginia Trip

Fifth graders participated in the much-anticipated Virginia Trip over the Spring Break. They stepped back in time to experience the ideas and dreams of the people who lived and worked to create the great country of America. Students spent four days visiting the Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Victory Center, and Monticello. Click here to view a photo gallery of the trip. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Everybody Counts

Jan Danner and her seeing-eyed dog visited Unit I as a guest speaker for Everybody Counts. She shared with the class how the visually impaired benefit from seeing-eye dogs. In addition, students in Unit I hosted a bake sale to raise money to assist a regional company in purchasing a seeing-eye dog for someone in need. The children made treats and sold the goodies for a quarter to their classmates and to Unit III after lunch. The students raised $150.49 for this worthy cause. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Earth Day

From the youngest to the oldest, this week Doherty students have been celebrating not only Earth Day, but also Earth Week! The observance started off with a convocation run by pre-kindergarten teacher and Green Team advisor Cyndi Kenyon. Mrs. Kenyon said some of the fourth grade Green Team students introduced each day of the week with a particular focus, such as “no power hour on Tuesday,” “water conservation on Wednesday,” “garbage-free lunch on Thursday,” and “get outside on Friday.” Students also enjoyed a guest speaker from the Cincinnati Zoo who explained ways the Zoo is conserving water and electricity. Mrs. Kenyon said every class at Doherty will be taking a photo of a natural place around the Doherty Campus. The photos will be on display in the school cafeteria.

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Study of Insects

The Cincinnati Museum Center’s Program on Wheels presented insects to Doherty third graders. The students were able to see up-close-and-personal the creatures that make up Earth’s largest population. They discussed the characteristics of an insect, and saw the world through the eyes of a fly, and learned amazing facts about insect defense, including camouflage and mimicry.

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From The Buzz April 10, 2014

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Flight to Chile!

Their bags were packed and their passports were in order. Pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners recently arrived at the “Doherty Airport” on “Flight 2726,” made their way through security check and Customs, and finally embarked on their “plane” as they began their trip, as part of the school’s unit of study on Chile and Cultural Connections week in March. Head of Doherty and “Customs Officer” Patti Guethlein examined students’ passports with a friendly greeting and a few questions. Once students were in the air, Director of Finance and Operations and “Pilot” Robert Horne took students on their educational voyage replete with an in-flight movie, window seat views of Chilean geography, and refreshments. The flight was the launch of Cultural Connections, the culmination of Doherty’s yearlong, in-depth study of the South American country of Chile. Click here for a gallery of photos from the flight.

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Eco-Friendly Solution

When Unit II students began complaining about environmental implications of plasticware in the lunchroom, teacher Sarah Roberts saw a project. “I suggested to my math class that we do some investigating into regular silverware,” said Mrs. Roberts. “First we canvased the school on (online survey engine) Survey Monkey to see if they wanted to use silverware, and if they thought plastic ware was bad for the environment.” Students came away with strong data that they would prefer silverware. The students interviewed key people in the cafeteria. Students also researched prices for silverware, determined the days they would need certain pieces of silverware, and assembled a “silverware squad” who will be in charge of collecting silverware before the trays are emptied. Once students built a strong case for bringing silverware to the cafeteria, they presented their findings to Seven Hills Director of Finance and Operations Robert Horne, who offered to purchase the silverware. The project is a great example of student-driven efforts. Mrs. Roberts’ math class will also perform a monthly inventory of the silverware to make sure they are not losing pieces.

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Contraction Surgery

Kirby Schuchter’s first graders recently learned about contractions by performing “contraction surgery.” The students grafted two words into one by cutting with their surgical tools – zigzag scissors – and using a bandage for the apostrophe. Mrs. Schuchter said the very hands-on, literal approach to understanding contractions helps to solidify students’ concept of the grammatical usage.

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Grace Arya during a Skype session with uncle Darius Arya, who is spoke fro Rome, Italy.

Grace Arya during a Skype session with uncle Darius Arya, who spoke from Rome, Italy.

Skyping with Rome to Learn about Archeology

Darius Arya, uncle of fifth grader Grace Arya and eighth grader Thomas Arya, Skyped with Unit III students to discuss Mr. Arya’s work as an archaeologist based in Rome, Italy. While students and teachers watched from the big screen during the Skype session, Mr. Arya shared his experiences with excavation in many areas of the world, as well as his efforts in educating students and adults on the history of Roman culture through his videos produced by the American Institute for Roman Culture.

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Unit I students visit the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).

Unit I students visit the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).

Arts, Artifacts, and Customs During Cultural Connections

Unit I students got a behind-the-scenes look at the Design Architecture Art and Planning Program (DAAP) at University of Cincinnati during Cultural Connections week. Students met professors, students, and staff and also had an opportunity to visit classrooms, labs, and the library. The students also had an opportunity to observe DAAP students using cutting-edge technolog, create drawings, build sculptures, and construct 3D figures. Thank you to Sepha’s dad, Brian Schumacher, for coordinating the visit. Unit I students in Amy Kulhavik’s social studies are learning about Australia. The students have learned about the land, culture, and animals. They also made and tasted an Australian treat called a Lamington. While studying Chile during Cultural Connections week, students in Unit I made a three-legged pig, which to many in the Chilean culture represents good luck and good fortune. Donna Schiff from the Cincinnati Ballet came to Doherty to teach Unit I students about ballet. As a part of Doherty’s unit of study on Chile, she also taught the children some South American dances. Unit I students also visited the Cincinnati Art Museum in order to view, study, and discuss South American art.

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From The Buzz March 13, 2014

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Regional Spelling Bee

Congratulations to Doherty fifth grader Emma Cohen and seventh grader Felix Karthik, who represented Seven Hills very well at the Regional Spelling Bee at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in downtown Cincinnati. Sixty-seven students from the area qualified for the Bee. Emma spelled “diatribe” correctly but was eliminated in round two when she misspelled “plausible.” She tied for 49th place in the region. Felix advanced to round six after spelling “filament,” “androcentric,” “halal,” “durwan,” and “corrode” correctly before missing “rescindable.” He tied for 10th in the region. Both students handled themselves with grace and aplomb onstage in front of a large audience both in the theater and online. This year, a one-hour special about the Regional Spelling Bee was broadcast on WCPO on March 7.

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Blue Ash Children's Librarian Sam Bloom

Blue Ash Children’s Librarian Sam Bloom

Learning about the Newbery Medal

Unit III enjoyed an opportunity to meet Sam Bloom, a former Newbery Medal Award committee member who currently works as a children’s librarian at the Blue Ash Public Library. Mr. Bloom explained the process of how he was selected to be part of the committee, as well as the difficult task of choosing an award-winning book. The students were amazed to learn that Mr. Bloom read almost 700 books and reviewed them based on theme, character, plot, setting, and presentation. He brought with him a wonderful collection of previous and current Newbery winners and gave a brief description of each story. Everyone left with a must-read list of books! Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, written by Kate DiCamillo, is the 2014 Newbery Medal winner.

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Kindness

Kindness Retreat

Lotspeich and Doherty fifth graders and their teachers worked together in a very unique day-long program called the Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat at the Hillsdale Campus in late February. The fifth graders sang and danced in organized groups with retreat leaders Jorge Figueroa and Maddie Lenarz-Hooyman before huddling together in small groups to discuss the importance of kindness. The students discussed several points, including naming an adult or classmate who often shows kindness and taking action to ban certain unkind acts from the School. The Kindness Retreat, based in Minneapolis, is sponsored by the Guidance Department. Upper School students who served as retreat facilitators were juniors Alexander Hunter and Sydney Jones, and seniors Zachary Abraham, Ashok Dheenan, Samuel Ellis, Molly Ellis, Devin Garrett, Alanna Quinlan, Reena SenGupta, Sarah Shim, Hannah Silverman, and Phoebe Um.

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Poetry and Valentines

Unit I students performed poems by various authors for their winter poetry presentation. Students learned presentation skills, individual expression, and an appreciation of the art. Said Unit I teachers Anne Vanoy, Elisa MacKenzie, Judy Davis, Amy Kulhavik, and Kirby Schuchter all agreed that the children did a fantastic job and enjoyed showcasing their talents.

Unit I students also designed valentines for the residents of Montgomery Care Center. The residents, who received a card on their dinner trays, especially enjoyed seeing pictures of the students designing their valentines.

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From The Buzz Feb. 20, 2014

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Annual Pancake Breakfast and Art Sale Benefits Education in Guatemala

Doherty’s Pancake Breakfast and Student Art Auction was a huge success. Funds raised at the all-school event went to The Cooperative for Education, which creates sustainable textbook, computer center, reading, and scholarship programs in Guatemala. The event was a largely collaborative undertaking. Art teacher Mimi Stricker organized art projects for all students from toddlers in the Beginnings Toddler & Parent Enrichment Program through Unit III, the Student Council made banners and signs and put together the keynote for an all-school assembly before the breakfast, music teacher Maria Eynon directed a lively dance show that conveyed a message about helping others, Spanish teacher John Krauss incorporated Guatemalan culture into his classes, and kindergarteners made table decorations for the breakfast. During the event, teachers flipped pancakes, and students helped clear and clean tables. Doherty’s Service Learning Committee is composed of several faculty members, including Mimi Stricker, Mitzie Moser, Aimee Burton, Sarah Roberts, Judy Davis, John Krauss, Vaishali Sarbhoy, Patty Dawson, Ann Vanoy, Lindsay Pietroski, and Maria Eynon. Click here to view a gallery of photos from the Pancake Breakfast.

 

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Currency Around the World

Unit II students in Vaishali Sarbhoy’s math class recently took their lessons global when they learned about money from more than 20 countries. The students observed similarities and differences between currencies and used magnifying lenses to spot unusual designs, famous people, animals and birds etched on coins and paper money. The students were intrigued to learn that the dollar is also the currency of Singapore, New Zealand, and Canada.

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Experiential Learning in Unit III

Unit III students recently enjoyed a rock climbing trip with the Outdoor Program. The students learned how to climb rocks and walls. The program also included a trip to Doherty administrative assistant Becky Wichman’s farm in Verona, Kentucky, where students learned how to pitch tents and hike.

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Olympic Snowboarding in Pre-Kindergarten

As part of the Science Tuesday program at Doherty, pre-kindergarten teachers Ginger Rubin, Katie Dawson, Cyndi Kenyon, Karen Lawrence, and Judy Shuppert held an Olympic event that exposed their students to the physics of snowboarding. Using small wooden boards and paper dolls, the young students learned about inclines, momentum, gravity, and friction. Each class participated in a different downhill event and each child entered the competition with their paper dolls.

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From The Buzz Feb. 5, 2014

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation

Unit III students shared a message of hope and courage during an annual convocation inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The convocation honored the Tuskegee Airmen and the 555th First All-Black Parachute Infantry Battalion, also known as the “Triple Nickels,” who served in World War II. The student-led program focused on a number of historical highlights related to the pilots and soldiers who simultaneously fought for their country and civil rights. Seven Hills’ Martin Luther King Convocation, written every year by Unit III teacher Regina Daily, honors Dr. King and sets the tone for Black History Month in February. Daily, creative dramatics teacher Russell White, and music teacher Maria Eynon coordinate the event each year.

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Ice-cold Art

Students in the Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds Program explored the senses using colorful paint-sicles on paper. The ice painting allowed the students to appreciate art in a multisensory learning environment. Teacher Julie Brackett shared that children best retain the most information when they are able to use their senses, adding that sensory play also sharpens students’ problem-solving and decision-making skills.

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Happenings in the Doherty Library

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Doherty teacher and librarian Linda Wolfe and music teacher Maria Eynon led the Unit I students as they sang sleighing songs and performed a short puppet play based on the book One-Dog Sleigh by Mary Casanova for the Beginnings Parent and Toddler Enrichment Program. Students and teachers offered a big thanks to Sepha Schumacher’s dad, Brian Schumacher, who created a prop for the performance.

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Caldecott Week was an exciting time in the Doherty Library with librarian Linda Wolfe. The students carefully examined eight amazing books before individually voting for the book each thought should win the Doherty Caldecott medal, modeled after the Randolph Caldecott Medal, which recognizes distinguished picture books by American authors. This year, Doherty students selected Aaron Becker for his beautiful wordless book, Journey, but Kadir Nelson’s Nelson Mandela and Lemony Snickett’s The Dark weren’t far behind. The American Library Association Caldecott Award went to Locomotive by Brian Floca.

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Doherty students celebrated Dragon Appreciation Day (Jan. 16) with teacher and librarian Linda Wolfe. Students made dragon bookmarks, and enjoyed poetry about dragons written by former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis.

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From The Buzz Jan. 17, 2013

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Learning about World Religions

Parents, grandparents, and caregivers met recently with Unit II students in the Doherty Library after school to study books and complete a craft focusing on Islam. The exercise, led by teacher and librarian Linda Wolfe marked the conclusion of the Bridges program that offers information about the five major world religions this year, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. The multicultural program has grown by leaps and bounds and is enjoyed by both the parents and the students.

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Knots of Love

As part of an ongoing effort to embrace community service, character education, and goodwill to others, Unit I students tied “knots of love” in fleece scarves for an annual winter donation to Open Door ministries. The students hope their scarves warm up someone’s day! Unit I students and teachers thanked student Dougie Schecter and his mother, grandmother, and brother for helping during the charitable event.

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After the Bell Winter Schedule is Here!

Students will have the opportunity to participate in another round of animated and collaborative afterschool fun in Seven Hills’ After the Bell programs on the Doherty and Hillsdale campuses. This season, students have varying choices of dance class, circus lessons, tumbling and gymnastics, aikido, yoga, chess, and more! Please click here to view the new schedule. For more information, please contact Julie Brackett at Julie.brackett@7hills.org, or return the registration form at the link.

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From The Buzz Dec. 20, 2013

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Grandperson’s Day

Students of all ages launched into the holiday season with the special people in their life during Grandpersons’ Day. Students gave wonderful on-stage presentations and shared a special memory of their guests. Students also sang seven musical selections to celebrate the season and recited poetry. Thank you to all of the special visitors who attended the festive event. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event.

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Visiting Beechwood Home

Unit II students performed a few holiday songs for residents of Beechwood Home, an assisted living facility in Cincinnati. Music teacher Maria Eynon assisted the class in this holiday tradition.

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Wonders of the Rainforest

As part of their yearlong study on Chile, students in kindergarten through Unit III had the opportunity to see a program on the wonders of the rainforest. The educational production showcased live animals and products from rainforests around the world. The program also explored survival, natural history, geography, natural behaviors and conservation education. Doherty students enjoyed the show, which promotes awareness and enthusiasm for wildlife conservation education.

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Let’s Cook up an Opera!

Students in kindergarten through Unit III recently enjoyed a spectacular performance by the Cincinnati Opera. The introduction to opera performance was presented to the students in the form of a unique cooking lesson. Students learned all the “ingredients” that make up an opera, and a cast of lively young singers stirred up the lesson with clever narration and savory musical selections. The School community offered a hearty thanks to the Dauer family for bringing the show to Doherty.

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From The Buzz Nov 26, 2013

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Pre-Kindergarten for Two-year-olds Cook with Chef Jimmy

Students in the Pre-Kindergarten for Two-Year-Olds learned lessons in the culinary arts during a class with Seven Hills’ Chef Jimmy. The students grew and collected the herbs in the Eco garden.

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Outdoor Learning

Fortified with high-protein foods, and supportive parents, some Unit III students in Mrs. Dawson and Mrs. Hickenlooper’s classes participated in high-energy activities. A few students rode on the 26-mile Loveland Bike Trail with the Outdoor Program, and, on a different day, others canoed down the Little Miami River. The canoeing trip was fifth graders’ first Outdoor Program Trip of the Year. The students also enjoyed a swim during a halfway stop down the river. Many thanks to the parents who attended the trips.

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Make a Difference Day

Unit III students contributed to making a difference in their world by cleaning up the courtyard. They raked up the pine needles, collected many bags of leaves, and spruced up the flowerbeds. Mrs. Hickenlooper, Mrs. Dawson, Mrs. Daily, and Mrs. Guminey said they appreciated the students’ hard work in fall weather. Make a Difference Day is a national effort. This year the observance took place on Oct. 26.

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National Sloth Day

Did you know there are three-toed sloths and two-toed sloths? That sloths move at about .16 miles per hour on a fast day? Mrs. Wolfe shared a lesson on sloths with Doherty students in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, in observance of National Sloth Day on November 19. The activity, which included a J. Patrick Lewis poem “Three-Toed Sloth,” incorporated lessons in geography, literature, art, and science.

The poem:

Three-Toed Sloth

He bats around a luna moth,

He counts up all his toes,

He wears the smile of the sloth

That everybody knows.

He races to the tallest limb-

.16 miles per hour

(The fastest ever time for him),

And looks down from his tower

In the rain forest above Brazil

To watch the world below.

If he could speak, the sloth would shout From all the treetops….WHOA!

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From The Buzz, Nov 7, 2013

Mrs. Carr's class adapted the book "The Golden Apple."

Mrs. Carr’s class adapted the book “The Golden Apple.”

Literary Adaptation in Kindergarten

Kindergarten students have been learning about all things autumn. As an end to their Apple unit, each class read an apple-themed book and performed a play that correlated with it. The stories were: The Golden Apple, The Mouse and the Apple, and That Apple is Mine. The children were thrilled to be involved with every aspect of their plays from set design to directing! In addition to painting beautiful sets, students expanded the stories and helped write the scripts, designed and made costumes or puppets to depict the characters, and performed their plays in front of student and faculty audiences.

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Kindergarten students were very proud to be the “Big Kids” as they preformed for Pre-K, two year olds, and Seven Hills’ Beginnings program. The adaptation project was a rich experience for students and teachers because the children learned problem solving, collaboration, and public speaking skills. Each storyline also carried a moral or lesson. Said Mrs. Pietroski, “They were so proud of themselves because they understood that they had worked together to produce a beautiful project.”

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Eco-Friendly Scarecrow

A new friend will watch over the eco-garden this season. Second graders in Mr. Schmidt and Mrs. Robert’s classes designed and created a scarecrow made almost entirely out of reused or biodegradable items, and posted the figure in the garden. Although students used sturdy materials, including clothing from the Resale Shop, to construct the scarecrow, they know it won’t last long. Much of the scarecrow can be composted, and/or enjoyed by critters.

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The Kemper House

Pre-K teacher Mrs. Rubin recently presented the story of the Kemper House to Unit I. Mrs. Rubin is the great, great, great, granddaughter of Judy and James Kemper who settled in Walnut Hills and built Kemper House in 1804. Mrs. Rubin shared the history of the house that has now been relocated to Sharon Woods Historical Village.

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What Happens Before the Pop?

During a look at the practice of Scientific Inquiry, Unit I students in Mrs. Kulhavik’s class completed an experiment that involved observing a popcorn kernel as it was being heated. The students created a hypothesis and recorded the results during the observation. The experiment helped the students determine why things occur when an element is added.

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From The Buzz, Oct. 10, 2013

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Our Amazing Ecosystem

In Mr. Schmidt’s class,Second Grade students discussed and modeled relationships of living and non-living things within an ecosystem during a hands-on lesson entitled “Web of Interdependency.” Using string and badges bearing the photos of different forest biomes, such as owls, mice, trees, earthworms, soil, rivers, and the sun, Mr. Schmidt led students through an exercise that illustrated the striking connections between all living things.

“They stood in a circle and were asked to name a connection between their element and any other element in the group. For example, the mouse is eaten by the owl, or the earthworm loosens the soil for the tree roots,” said Mr. Schmidt. The connections became visible when students unraveled a ball of twine as they passed it between one another, forming a web. When all connections were made, Mr. Schmidt asked them what would happen if the owl were missing. Students observed that when the “owl” drops part of the string, the web deteriorates.

“We discussed why an owl would cease to be a part of the ecosystem in the case of deforestation or water pollution, then we removed other elements affected by those problems,” said Mr. Schmidt. “This gave us a visual illustration of the fragility of an ecosystem.”

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Safety Week

District Two of the Cincinnati Police Department kicked off the beginning of Doherty’s Safety Week in early October. The students were up close and personal with members of the Cincinnati Police S.W.A.T. Team, and heard how dogs are used on their Street Patrol. The students learned about “Stranger Danger;” the use of police equipment and gear, such as helmets, vests, and communication devices; how a crime scene is handled; how, when, and why they dust for fingerprints; internet safety, and pointers on bike safety; and how to carefully cross a street.

Captain Jeff Butler, District Two Commander, and the members of his Cincinnati Police Department Team gave all the students, from Pre-K through Fifth Grade, a memorable experience.

Unit III Teacher Mrs. Regina Daily said students enjoyed being in the S.W.A.T. vehicle, watching the police dogs respond to officers’ commands, and learning about the fingerprinting process.

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Big Hugs!

Safety Week touched more than Doherty Students. Captain Jeff Butler, District Two Commander said the visit made his week! Capt. Butler wrote a heartwarming letter to faculty shortly after the Safety Week visit: “The smiles on the faces of the officers and comments each has made to me is refreshing and invigorating,” wrote Capt. Butler. “In our line of work, we usually deal with stressful events with some level of negative contact. The opportunity to see joy and innocence is priceless and reaffirms why we chose our professions. On a personal note, the hugs from the two-year-olds made my day!”

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Shake and Quake

Young architects exercised their physics knowledge as they built structures for an experiment using toothpicks and gumdrops. After measuring the projects, teachers put them through the test by shaking the structures to simulate an earthquake. Students passed the “shake and quake” test if the structure remained standing. The spirited lesson for the group of promising designers, builders, and architects was part of Mrs. Elisa MacKenzie’s Unit I students’ lesson on the study of cities.

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After the Bell

Lower School students are enjoying lively enrichment opportunities after school as they participate in After the Bell. The program offers a number of classes in yoga, chess, hip-hop dancing, Aikido, the Circus program, gymnastics, and cooking. Although classes began two weeks ago, lessons can be prorated to accommodate students who are interested in taking classes from now through the week of Dec. 9. To register, please call 513-728-2336.

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From The Buzz, Sept. 25, 2013

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Inspired to Serve

Unit III Doherty Teacher Patty Dawson was flipping through an issue of Runner’s World and came across an article on Stephen Siller, the 34-year-old firefighter and father of five who, on his day off, geared up and ran through Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to aid in the rescue of terrorist attack victims on Sept. 11, 2001. He even hitched a ride on an incoming fire truck to speed up his mission to serve.

“Siller died trying to save lives, the ultimate show of humanity,” said Mrs. Dawson. “He was off-duty and didn’t have to go. I have been thinking about how to turn this into a lesson for children who don’t know what Sept. 11 is. So many of our students hadn’t yet been born at the time.”

Seven Hills teachers observed the Sept. 11 memorial in a number of ways; Mrs. Dawson was inspired to share her appreciation for Siller and the hundreds of servicemen and women who lost their lives to save the lives of others. She and fellow Doherty teachers worked together to create “Local Heroes,” a unit that centers around the observance of the attacks, but extends to the education of connectedness, community, and human responsibility.

“I wanted to put it in a format the students would understand and focus on every day heroes, national and American heroes everyone making difference,” said Mrs. Dawson.

The fourth and fifth graders in Unit III also discussed the positive impact they continue to make through the Open Door project, an ongoing initiative to deliver 80 to 100 lunches every month to a drop-in center in East Walnut Hills, right down the street from Doherty – a local effort that feeds dozens in the neighboring area.

The observance also included visits from Seven Hills own Upper School students Shane DiGiovanna and Jessie Siebold, two students who have shown extraordinary commitment to their communities. Freshman DiGiovanna, who has a very rare skin condition, now sits on a board at Children’s Hospital in order to help advise doctors who treat his and others with similar conditions. DiGiovanna plans to raise money to donate iPads to Cincinnati Children’s.

Jessie, a senior, formed and manages a successful tutoring program for students at the neighboring John P. Parker Elementary School. During lunchtime, Siebold and several other students tutor students at the elementary school.

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“These are outstanding students,” said Upper School Dean of Students David Brott, who asked Shane and Jessie if they would like to participate in the Local Heroes program. “They wanted to help out and said, ‘I’m not really a hero,’ but they both agreed.” The students’ presence proved otherwise, however. The fourth and fifth graders at Doherty were very intent on learning more about DiGiovanna and Siebold. The discussion was lively, and fourth and fifth graders were focused and intent as they learned more about Siebold’s and DiGiovanna’s work.

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A Very Big Thank You

The Doherty Unit II students hand-delivered their appreciation for local firefighters when they walked to the neighborhood Fire Station 23, at 1623 Madison Road in Cincinnati, to thank the firefighters for always being there when they are needed. The children presented them with cookies and thank you cards.

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Taking Care of the Environment

Doherty Extended Day students are working to make their playground beautiful! The diligent students, along with many Pre-K students, tended to the playground as part of their “We take care of our environment” service project for about three weeks during outdoor time and recess. The students enjoyed the utility and recreation of digging, manipulating the wheel barrel, and spreading mulch.

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Chilean Independence Day

Unit 1 joined the rest of Doherty in beginning a year-long study of Chile. Sept. 18, Dieciocho, is part of Chile’s independence celebration. Seven Hills students participated in many of the activities that Chilean enjoy during their celebration, including eating grilled meats, dancing the “cueca,” and playing with a number of toys. Doherty students also flew kites, played with spinning tops, and a game with cups and balls called “el embrue.”

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From The Buzz, Sept. 12

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New Pre-K for Two-Year-Olds Program Off to Successful Start

Little arms stretch high, smiles abound, feet stomp, pint-size students gather in a circle, and ears listen. Seven Hills’ new preK-2 class on the Doherty campus is off to a bounding, successful start. Since the start of school, Seven Hills’ youngest students and their caring teachers have adjusted beautifully to the new program.

“The environment in our Pre-K for Two-Year-Olds Program is so purposeful. It is so carefully designed that the kids actually use the classroom as it is intended to be used,” said Head of Doherty Patti Guethlein. “More than a year ago, Seven Hills’ teaching team researched and incorporated best practices in order to assemble the most effective framework for education for two-year-olds. The program is successful because our teachers put so much careful work into its design.

“The result is a fantastic start for our students’ first school experience,” said Pre-K for Two-Year-Olds Program teacher Julie Brackett. “They have quickly become comfortable, and are enjoying the variety of activities. For example, they are learning to line up, wash hands, sit in group, and are enjoying their environment.”

Guethlein said the new class, led by Brackett and Nikki Ravenscraft offers new opportunities for children to participate in a broad spectrum of instruction. The students also participate in music and Spanish language classes, library centers, and structured play. Guethlein said Seven Hills’ Pre-K for Two-Year-Olds Program surely will double, and develop a waiting list in time.

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Lessons in Friendship

Doherty Kindergarten is buzzing with excitement these first few weeks of school. The children began with a Friendship unit in their classrooms, learning each other’s names and engaging in many activities that inspire new friendships and getting to know one another. Kindergarteners have enjoyed making class “Friend” books and singing friendship songs. They are building cooperation and problem solving skills while playing games, role-playing in dramatic play, and building with blocks and Legos. The children have shining smiles and say, “Kindergarten is so much fun!”

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Seasonal Portraits

As parents, visitors, and children walk through the upstairs hallway of Haile Hall, they are greeted by life-size representations of Doherty Kindergarteners. The shirts are designed and painted by the children themselves and are paired with photographs of their smiling faces. It is fun to watch this display change, highlighting various Kindergarten activities that appear as though each child is holding their creation. The children enjoy making such things as hats and masks for their photos to wear.

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Social Studies Day

Fifth graders recently enjoyed a preview of what they will be studying in Social Studies this year. The students had the opportunity to participate in an archeological dig. As items were unearthed, they had to determine what the items were and how they were used in colonial times. Children enjoyed playing the colonial games of hoops and sticks, and trap ball. They also were enlisted in and “drilled” for the Continental Army. They learned commands, how to march, and how carry a musket.

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Science Day

Fifth graders had a wonderful time exploring the scientific concepts of sound and light through various activities. They listened to sound waves in shells, observed how water in tumblers could make music, watched rainbows appear and disappear, and also created new colors while tie-dying! Thanks to all the parent volunteers who helped with these activities.

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Bonding Activities

In late August, Unit III students had the unique experience of participating in team building activities. These activities were designed to allow students to have fun while getting to know one another. At the same time, these activities required the students to communicate and work as a team. While working in small groups, students used cooperative working skills to move together on a wooden board. In another activity, students threw beach balls to one another while saying the names of their group members. In another activity, the students had to find a way to free themselves out of intertwined ropes. The favorite activity of the afternoon was tie-dying t-shirts. Students will wear these unique t-shirts during special activities throughout the school year. What an amazing way to start the new school year!

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Washington DC Trip

In mid-June, excited fourth graders from both the Doherty and Lotspeich campuses boarded the bus for a wonderful end-of-the-year trip to Washington, D.C. They visited Mt. Vernon, the Ford Theatre, the Galleries, and U.S. Rep Steve Chabot’s office at the Capitol. Students also went on a four-hour bus tour of the historic sights in the city including the White House, museums, memorials, and the Arlington National Cemetery. The highlight of the trip was a visit with Congressmen Chabot and John Boehner, at the Capitol. Everyone felt it was a great way to end the fourth-grade year.

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