The 5th-6th grade classroom is a hub of activity, with students working independently, in small groups, grade groups, or as a whole class, all in the same day. As students prepare for middle school and beyond, Mrs. Reifsteck, or Mrs. R as she is affectionately called, is mindful of helping them develop study habits, awareness of individual learning styles, and the development of character based on God's Word.
In the first trimester we get involved in National History Day, with many of our students going on to compete at the county, state, and even nationally! The history day project involves a multitude of learning strategies: research, writing, analysis, thesis statements, organization as well as oral presentation. The middle trimester the students get involved in “Caravans” which is a geography simulation game where they “travel” around the world learning about other countries, cultures, and geography. This complements our school's missions’ emphasis in January. The last trimester there is an emphasis on science projects, experiments, and inventions.
Significant learning takes place out of the classroom. Each year students look forward to Outdoor Education at a nearby Christian camp (usually Alliance Redwoods in Occidental) or the environmental learning program at historic Fort Ross, overnight at the school, along with various field trips.
In all of our studies, we delight in pondering the truth of the Bible, whether it's the glory of order in mathematics, the consistency of physical laws, the creative mind of God to create Redwood trees and weather patterns, or the soul-satisfying melody of music. In addition to what is true, good and beautiful across the subjects, we specifically spend time in the Old and New Testament each day and memorize Scripture.
Other academic pursuits include: Spelling bees, Math Olympics, English grammar, reading novels, literature circles, book reports, writing, math (problem-solving with 4 basic operations, fractions, decimals, percents, pre-algebra), history and geography, science, P.E., technology, art, music, and Spanish.
We work hard, have fun, and learn a lot!!
Julie taught 5th-8th grades at St. Luke Lutheran School in Santa Rosa before joining the teaching staff at PHCS in 2016. At PHCS she taught the lower grades before replacing the retiring 5th-6th grade teacher Ms. Kinser in 2020.
She was born and raised in Sonoma County and is glad to continue to call it home.
She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Elementary Education and her teaching credential from Concordia University in Irvine, CA. After all that hard work, Julie took a break from teaching and education to work in customer service and caregiving. During this time, she met her husband John and now they have 2 young daughters, Annie and Olivia.
Julie leads her classroom with lots of enthusiasm and mutual respect. Julie also enjoys spending time crafting, reading, camping, and enjoying the outdoors with her family and friends. She and her family spend a lot of quality time out at the ocean, playing in the sand, and discovering tide pools.
She is a member of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and her favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:28 "And God works for the better of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." This verse has guided her throughout her life journey and helped her appreciate the blessings in her life.