Michelle, Actress & Scholar

Class of 2026

Dedicated to pursuing both creative pursuits and academic challenges, Michelle's typical days are filled with friends and the acquisition of knowledge. 

7:00 AM | Before School
Michelle gets up at around 7 am. She gets ready for school and usually has a bagel for breakfast before leaving her house. She arrives at Sage Ridge at about 7:50. She organizes her books in her locker, grabs her zippie (SRS slang for zippered binder) and Zuca (a big, wheeled backpack) to get ready for her first class.

The Sage Ridge day is split into 6, 1-hour class blocks with a morning break and mid-day lunch placed evenly between. Students take 8 classes and drop 2 each day. 

8:00 - 9:00 AM | Coding
The coding class is just beginning and so they do an engineering experiment with Mr. Arnold. They make boats out of aluminum foil, and put them in water to test how many pennies the boat can carry before sinking. For the first run, their boat holds 36 pennies, but the second time around Michelle’s class is able to get 49 pennies on the boat before it sinks.

9:00 - 10:00 AM | Spanish
At Sage Ridge, every student in grade 6 experiments with the two foreign languages offered at the school. For six graders like Michelle, they take Spanish and Latin, each for half a year, which allows them to make an informed decision about which language they would like to take for all of seventh and eighth grade. Michelle thinks Spanish class is really fun, and this language skill is very useful in America. But, she’s still keeping an eye out to try Latin next semester. Michelle says that Sra. Mariano engages the class with games and flashcards. “We have a game where we put words on the board, and then we slap words to match those.” 
She mentions that they also play a Spanish themed version of Jeopardy.

10:00 - 10:25 | Break
During break, Michelle goes out to the playground and has a snack, such as crackers and blackberries. She uses the 25 minutes to hang out with her friends.

10:25 - 11:25 AM | History
Feeling refreshed, Michelle goes on to her History class, where she’s learning about the Geography of Asia. The class is working hard to prepare for an upcoming quiz. “It’s cool to learn about places and cultures,” Michelle says. She loves traveling for this reason. In fact, she has visited many Asian countries, such as Malaysia, where her mother was born, and China where she went to visit cousins on her father’s side.

11:25 AM - 12:25 PM | Advisory
It’s advisory time! This period is also used for a 6th grade meeting, but more often this is reserved for the advisory groups to meet and connect. Michelle is in Ms. Dolan’s advisory with ten other kids. “We play advisory games sometimes, or we might finish some of our homework.” The advisory groups are also just beginning to give into the new social-emotional curriculum that SRS is implementing across all grades. Michelle thinks advisory is a great way to connect to other students, since she feels closer to her friends in the same advisory.

12:25 - 1:15 PM | Lunch
For lunch, Michelle eats in the Great Space and chats with her friends. 
“Food trading is very popular here, ” Michelle says, especially Oreos that are typically worth a whole $1 bag of chips.

1:15 - 2:15 PM | English 
The sixth grade English class is currently reading Red Scarf Girl, a memoir about a girl in China who lived through the Cultural Revolution. In class, the teacher reads the book to them, or students read it themselves. Occasionally they also go over grammar concepts.

Students often have discussions, where everyone shares their point of view about the book. They also analyze elements of the book, asking questions such as “Why do you think the characters made a particular choice?” Sometimes they’ll also partner up to answer questions.

2:15 - 3:15 PM | Science
Today Michelle’s class is learning about clouds, and also building models of clouds. They research about clouds, particularly how clouds are formed. Their current unit covers weather and natural disasters. Their Outdoor Education trip was to the Marin Headlands so they also learn about how the ocean affects the weather and the ocean ecosystems to connect that trip back to the classroom. They also will complete an interdisciplinary project with their history/geography class. Students will research a country and the natural disasters that are a concern to that area. 

Additional Classes
Two classes are dropped each day, but here is a glimpse at what else enriches Michelle's experience:
Michelle also takes Physical Education. Currently, her class is playing volleyball. Michelle likes it a lot, and she thinks it’s nice to be inside as it is getting a little colder outside. The other class Michelle did not have today is Math. Right now, her class is learning about ratios. 

After School
This semester, Michelle is participating in theater by being in the cast of their winter production, Matilda.  She is playing both Alice and Amanda. “It’s a really fun way to express my creativity,'' she says, adding that she feels being very true to herself while doing it. Michelle has not been involved in theater for very long. Last year, Mrs. Crain made an exception by admitting her after her plea and an amazing performance in her audition. This year, many fifth and sixth graders are participating Matilda. Michelle used to have ballet lessons every Wednesday, but as a middle schooler, she’s too busy to fit that into her schedule. Luckily, according to Michelle, she’s still able to do her dance moves, act and sing with her friends all at the same time in theater!

- Written by Luxi Sun ('20)

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