Hurry and “Book” It: OBOB is Coming!

Every year, students from Clear Lake participate in the Oregon Battle of the Books competition (OBOB). OBOB is a statewide reading program sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries. The goal of the program is to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, broaden reading interests, increase reading comprehension, support academic excellence and promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students.

One of the challenges schools often face in operating the program is purchasing and providing enough books for everyone to participate. Clear Lake has been very fortunate to have a Media Coordinator, Leslie Brown, who secures copies of all of the OBOB titles for our school library. Sometimes, though, with so many kids wanting to join in this exciting event, the specific title a student wants isn’t always immediately available because it is checked out to another kiddo. Enter DonorsChoose.orgContinue reading Hurry and “Book” It: OBOB is Coming!

Not So “Itsy Bitsy” Spiders

This week in reading we are learning about spiders. We have read a variety of selections, both fictional and informational, that discuss the various types of spiders, spiders that are venomous vs. ones that are harmless, how spiders spin their webs and even how they keep from getting stuck in their own web. One of the spiders we’ve learned about is the Orb Spider. This video shows a type of orb spider — the Spiny Orb Weaver Spider — spinning its web. Notice how the spider pulls down on each of the spoke webs to attach the next row of silk. Fascinating!

Clear Lake Walks & Rolls to School

Students at Clear Lake participated in the National Walk and Bike to School Day–also known as the Walk and Roll to School event. 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,

“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 for us to share with our students and families!

Students Brave Heat to Raise Money

Kids at Clear Lake strapped on their running shoes and braved the heat to raise money for the school today. For 30 minutes, students raced around the Shasta track collecting popsicle sticks as they completed laps. Students used these sticks to track how many laps they did so that they can collect from their sponsors they’ve been securing pledges from for the past couple of weeks. Some sponsors gave flat donations and others opted to donate on a per-lap basis. Donations will be collected over the course of the next few days, so if you or someone you know wants to contribute to our fundraising efforts, you still can! Donations are due to the school by Thursday, May 18th.

Students, congratulations on doing such an awesome job! Despite the heat and pollen count, you ran hard and made me proud.

*** Breaking News! 5/11/17: Maddison England was selected as one of seven students in the district (one from each school was drawn) to be entered into a drawing for a $400 voucher for a new bicycle! Our fingers are crossed for Maddison!

See also: Jog-a-thon Flyer

4th Graders Visit National Parks Free

Did you know that as a parent of a 4th grader that you can get free admission to all national parks? The White House, in partnership with the Federal Land Management agencies, launched a nationwide program called Every Kid in a Park to provide all kids in the fourth grade access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass. This pass provides free access to national parks across the country!

You can visit the campaign’s website to download your own free pass or look for a printed copy in this week’s Tuesday folder. Passes are good through August 31, 2017, so you can have fun in our national parks all summer long!

State Testing is in Full Swing

Signs posted in the hallways encouraging students to do their best.

Students began their first of four state assessments this week. Our first test was in English Language Arts and was a multiple choice/short answer test with approximately 40 questions. The questions adjust in difficulty as students enter correct or incorrect answers–i.e. when a student misses a question, it provides a less difficult question next or a more difficult question, if the student answered correctly. Questions are weighted to give a final score.

Next week, we will start the second English Language Arts test. This exam asks students to read two articles and then respond to prompts by writing an essay. It will easily take students all week to complete this task, if not longer. We will get a week-long break from state testing the week of May 8th and then will resume testing May 15th. We will do two math tests–a multiple choice/short answer test (week of May 15th) and a problem solving test (week of May 22nd).

Students are reporting that they are getting lots of rest and exercise–kudos to students and their families! Please keep up the great work! You can find out more about our state tests here.

Kids in the Kitchen: A Kids’ Cooking Series

Students learn how to make a banana pineapple yogurt parfait during their first cooking class!

Our class completed the first of several weekly cooking classes today. The classes, called Kids in the Kitchen, is a free service offered by Oregon State University’s Extension Service here in Lane County. Over the course of the next eight weeks (for a total of nine classes), students will get the opportunity to learn about food safety, using kitchen equipment, following recipes, applying math skills in cooking and will get to taste some delectable foods they make for themselves.

The first class consisted of a lesson on proper hand washing, including a fun little experiment with “seeing” the “germs” on their hands by using a black light and a special lotion that replicates what germs would look like on our hands if we could see them. We then washed our hands and used the black light to see a second time what was left on our hands after what we thought was a good hand washing. Students were shocked at the amount of “germs” left behind! Next, we practiced proper hand washing and learned how to “speed wash” with a large group of students. Continue reading Kids in the Kitchen: A Kids’ Cooking Series

State Testing Starts Next Week

Students in third through eighth grade are given a battery of assessments as part of the state testing conducted each year. These tests help to determine how well students are progressing towards grade level expectations and whether they have met the standards associated with their enrolled grade level.

Our class will begin testing starting on Monday, April 24th. We will start with the English/Language Arts (ELA) assessment. On this test, students are given a passage to read and then a series of multiple choice questions on that passage asking them to identify things like main ideas, the point of view and the author’s purpose.

To learn more about the state tests, check out our webpage to find out:

  • Which tests 4th grade takes;
  • What is assessed on the tests;
  • See our schedule of upcoming exams;
  • Learn how to help your student prepare;
  • and more!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

DJ and Randy make the first contribution to the “Selfies with Staff” album!

You know how the saying goes–“A picture is worth a thousand words”. So, while I love wordsmithing posts for our class website, what is better than photos!? I think of them as little windows into your child’s day here at school. Well, guess what? Now, in addition to the photos I post here on our class page, we now have a class Shutterfly website where everyone can contribute, view, download and print photos!

Our Shutterfly account is completely free; you only pay for prints, if you choose to print any. Have you joined us for a field trip? Add your photos! Did you come into class and participate in an event or activity? Post your pics! Help with the Jog-a-thon and have pictures to share? Put them here! We love the idea of sharing the photos everyone has taken so even if I missed getting a snapshot of something fun or exciting happening, someone else usually has captured it. Now, we can all see and enjoy those moments. Continue reading A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Coming Soon: A Trip to the State Capitol!

Clear Lake 4th and 5th grade classes are gearing up for our upcoming field trip April 19th to our State Capitol in Salem! We will be leaving school around 9:10 and returning around 2:30. Students are encouraged to bring a sack lunch from home or get a free one from school. Our 4th and 5th graders will be touring the Senate, House, Governor’s office, and even the “Gold Man” on top (weather permitting).

From the winter music play to our social studies, our students have learned a lot about our government and we’re ready to see it in action! We ask that our students wear nice clothing and comfortable shoes for this field trip. Music and books are encouraged for the long bus ride. Music devices must have headphones and not be able to connect to the internet. The same school cell phone rules apply–turned off and remain in your student’s backpack.

I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the three parents who have volunteered to chaperone. It should be a fun, exciting and learning-filled day.

Stay tuned for more information after Spring Break!

Want to see more about what we’ll be doing? Check out the capitol virtual tour!