Donors Chose Room 5!

As everyone knows, budgets in school districts can be tight. Money for “extras” like headphones for every child in a classroom isn’t always available, and teachers have to be resourceful sometimes to make these kinds of visions come to fruition. Most recently, I took to Donors Choose to request funding for a class set of headphones. The class is fortunate enough to enjoy a cart of Chromebooks paid for by Bethel Education Foundation Grants and supplemented by Clear Lake’s Parent-Teacher Organization. The trouble had been that many of the educational sites and programs students were accessing in class had audio components students needed to hear. Further, since these applications are all individualized for each student’s skill level, no two kids were hearing the same audio at the same time. It turned the classroom into a gymnasium at times, hearing all of the different sounds and directions from 30 different computers at the same time! Continue reading Donors Chose Room 5!

Water, Water Everywhere!

Students at Clear Lake got a fun surprise last week just in time for the jog-a-thon, courtesy of CATCH and Lane County Health. CATCH–Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health–is a three-year grant provided through Lane County Public Health that is designed to encourage healthy habits in children. You may have heard your student talking about “Go, Slow, Whoa” foods or asking to look at nutrition labels on food products in your home or at the grocery store. These are skills and activities from our CATCH curriculum. Along with healthy habits, the CATCH grant, now in year three, provides a sum of money for the school to use on ideas, products and events to further the cause and help students better understand and integrate healthy habits. These water bottles are one of the outcomes of that grant.

I have asked that students keep their Clear Lake water bottles at school for the remainder of the year. They have all been marked with each child’s name, and I have made arrangements to have them washed on a regular basis. Students will be able to fill their water bottles in the morning when they come in, during independent work times, transitions and free time. This will allow for students to have regular and frequent access to water throughout the day. Healthy habits make for healthy kids!

Clear Lake Walks & Rolls to School

Students at Clear Lake will participate in the National Walk and Bike to School Day–also known as the Walk and Roll to School event–tomorrow, May 15th. Schools, cities, volunteer groups, public health and law enforcement agencies and parents alike participate in Bike to School Day events to celebrate the benefits of choosing student-powered transportation.

National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for communities across the country to join together to celebrate safe, active transportation and, where needed, to bring attention to necessary changes so more people can safely bicycle to more places. Participation in the annual event grows every year and as of today, over 2,500 schools in 49 states have registered events on the official Bike to School Day website, walkbiketoschool.org.

“Bicycling is a wonderful way to exercise, have fun and can be a means for some students to get to school,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.  “National Bike to School Day is an opportunity for communities to highlight the many benefits of bicycling and promote bicycle safety for Americans of all ages.”

A special thank you to Pat McGillivray’s son, Kelley, for putting together this fun video from last year’s event for us to share with our students and families!

Library Schedule Change as of April 26th

Room 5 is adjusting our library schedule slightly to help accommodate access to the library and computer lab for state testing for Clear Lake’s 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Students in the intermediate grades will complete a series of Language Arts, Math and Science tests this spring, all of which are done on the computer. To do this, they will need a quiet work environment. Since our lab and library are connected, classes are not able to utilize the library during testing sessions. One of the sessions is schedule for our regular library time, so we are adjusting to a morning slot to make the lab available.

For us, though, this means a change in when we need to bring in library books. Normally, we bring them in on Friday mornings to turn in. However, our new library time will occur right when the students come into class at 9:05am. Mrs. Brown will need time to check in books beforehand, so I am asking that students now return their books one day earlier–on Thursday. This will allow Mrs. Brown the time to check in books and have checkout materials prepared for our new Friday slot. This new schedule will remain in force for the rest of the school year. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email Mrs. Cox.

RESCHEDULED: 2nd Grade to Learn About Pedestrian Safety

**Please note the NEW dates listed at the bottom of this post. We rescheduled due to the snow days we had back in February.


The City of Eugene’s River House Outdoor Center in partnership with Bethel Safe Routes to Schools is bringing Pedestrian Safety Education (PSE) to Clear Lake Elementary School. The Pedestrian Safety Program is a 2-session unit that is being conducted in the 2nd grade classes. This program is designed to teach students the basics of safe walking, street crossing, and the importance of road awareness. Students will first learn safety information in the classroom, followed by a walk around the school’s neighborhood.  

Parent volunteers are great to help monitor students during the 45–60 minute community walk. On the community walk, students walk through the residential neighborhood streets using skills learned in class. If you are able to volunteer for the community walk, you will help model safe behavior and coach students as they practice identifying safe crossings and crossing at both marked and unmarked intersections. You will help remind students to be aware of the road and to pay attention to traffic signals. Please email me if you are interested in volunteering. 

Be sure appropriate outdoor clothes are worn on our walk days. 

SCHEDULED TIMES (students will go with their math teacher)
Mrs. Cox*                                Feb. 28 May 3           11:40 am – 12:40 pm
Mrs. Brandon*                       March 1 May 7         11:40 am – 12:40 pm

ALERT: Verizon Service Disruption for Classroom Messages

1/25/19 UPDATE: Great news!! I just received official word that Verizon has agreed to reverse the service fee they were planning to impose on the Remind app we use for class messages. This means there will be no service disruptions to Verizon customers and you will continue to receive text messages from our classroom. Hurray! 


Due to a new fee imposed by Verizon, Remind (the app/website used to send families updates and reminders) will no longer continue providing free text notifications for devices on the Verizon Wireless network. As a result, Verizon Wireless customers will not be able to receive or send text messages for our class as of January 28, 2019. This does not mean you cannot still get our class announcements; read on:

If you have Verizon Wireless as your phone carrier and currently receive Remind messages by text, download the app or turn on email notifications for your account. Both of these options are free of charge.

On your Phone: Turn on Smartphone Notifications (RECOMMENDED)
Download the free Remind app on the iOS App Store, on Google Play, or at rmd.me/a. If you don’t already have a Remind account, create one using the phone number where you receive Remind texts. Make sure to enable push notifications from Remind on your phone.

On your computer: Turn on Email Notifications
Go to Remind.com on any computer. As above, if you don’t already have a Remind account, create one using the phone number where you receive Remind texts. Turn on email notifications for your account so you don’t miss any messages.

Want to keep receiving classroom messages by text?
The Remind team is working hard on a solution to make text messaging available again to everyone affected by the Verizon decision. In the meantime, you can help by taking a few minutes to ask Verizon to reverse the fee impacting text messaging on Remind. You can contact Verizon customer service here: www.remind.com/verizon-fee

Room 5 Awarded TWO BEF Grants!

The Bethel Education Foundation (BEF) is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that was organized in August 2009 to support Bethel schools. The mission of the Bethel Education Foundation is to enhance and invest in educational excellence in the Bethel School District. As part of this mission, BEF awards mini grants to teachers annually for a variety of teacher-produced projects. This year, we were fortunate to be awarded not one, but TWO grants from the foundation.

Our first project, A Technology Intervention, will fund the purchase of six Chromebooks with the primary goal of integrating technology into our math block. Bethel School District is in the rollout phase of  introducing the Response to Intervention model in math, which means students will need to have independent activities available that can help ensure they are continuing to be actively and meaningfully engaged while the teacher works with small groups of students at the back table during intervention time.

Fortunately, there are a variety of online resources available that students will access on the Chromebooks as they rotate through the technology station, completing tasks such as daily fact fluency practice, accessing highly-engaging online math games such as Prodigy and Zearn and practicing math skills using online interactive math manipulatives. These programs are designed to meet students where their skill level is currently and help them build on those skills, helping students feel a sense of  success while filling gaps in learning that will keep them from accessing grade level materials easily.

Our second grant, Magic in Math, will provide supplies and materials to transform math lessons into unforgettable experiences to help students retain content. Based on the book The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King, the idea behind this project is to incorporate games, hands-on activities, engaging mini-lessons, interactive notebooks and mini-room transformations—think math plus a little drama!—into math instruction to help draw in students. Continue reading Room 5 Awarded TWO BEF Grants!

Parent Conferences Next Week

It’s that time of year again! Time to meet with your child’s teacher and find out more about what we’ve been learning during the first third of the year.

Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, December 5th and Thursday, December 6th. You should have received a paper in your child’s Tuesday folder with your scheduled time. If you do not know when your conference is, you can email me or phone the school at 541-689-0511. The front office has a copy of our conference schedule and will be able to help you even if we are in class and I’m unable to take your call right away. If you can’t make your scheduled time, please let me know so that we can reschedule. 

I would encourage you to bring your child to the conference with you, too. They have lots to share about what they’ve done so far this year, and it is a perfect opportunity to help your child develop ownership of their learning.

Donors Gift Monthly Books

Students in Room 5 received a gift today–their very own copy of No, David!–from several very generous donors. Donors provided enough funding to purchase each child one book each month from our Scholastic Book order. This means that by year end, each child will have nine books to start or add to their at-home library! As a child, I remember the joy of seeing that red and white Scholastic box come into our classroom, knowing that it contained brand new books to enjoy. Now, 2nd graders in our class can enjoy both new books purchased for our classroom library or by their parents and look forward to a brand new book for them to take home.

As a teacher and a mom, I value the joy of reading immensely. In fact, this is why my only homework requirement is to read! Hopefully, this will help to spark that same love of reading in your child and give them something to read for their weekly homework. I also hope you will join me in extending a most gracious thank you to our donors who made this possible. (Feel free to add your comments below!)