Writer’s Block? Try a Quick Write!

Ever been asked to just “write something”? Inevitably, you’ve probably had a teacher (or two?) who gave you a blank sheet of paper and asked you to ‘write them a story’ or ‘put some thoughts down’. Ha! What a seemingly insurmountable task. Besides, what do we use writing for in real life? To make notes, capture thoughts or share a message. But, sometimes, getting something down on paper can be incredibly difficult because you can’t wrap your mind around ‘what to write’. Enter Quick Writes!

Today during writing time, Room 13’s students were introduced to the concept. Continue reading Writer’s Block? Try a Quick Write!

Clear Lake 4th and 5th Graders Vote!

Today’s the day! Students across the nation are taking part in Every Kid Votes!, a mock presidential election organized through our social studies curriculum, Studies Weekly. Each student had the opportunity to vote for his or her choice in the election of our next national leader and will follow the votes of students across the US today. Throughout the day, we will check in on the current poll results–just like adults will do next week!

Leading up to our vote, we have learned about how a person becomes president–everything from the electoral college to the minimum requirements a person has to meet to be eligible to be the president to interesting facts about past presidents like one who served as BOTH Vice President and President, but wasn’t voted into either position! We also discussed what it means to have a responsibility to vote and that our vote is completely confidential. We are eager to see who wins this mock election–in each of the past mock elections Studies Weekly has done, the kids’ vote turned out to be the same as our actual elected candidate!

Learn more or watch the live coverage (November 1, 2016 only) at everykidvotes.org.

Learning in the 21st Century: Google Classroom

google-classroom-logo2We are using a new tool in our classroom called Google Classroom. Google Classroom. The site allows the teacher to post questions, announcements and assignments on a class “feed”. The feed looks a lot like a stripped version of a typical social media platform, except the content on the page is restricted to only those items posted by the classroom teacher. The site is closed to the public and only registered students and the facilitating teacher have access to it. Our Google Classroom is managed locally by the district technology department. Continue reading Learning in the 21st Century: Google Classroom

Memoirs: More than a Memory

We started discussing memoirs in class today. What is a memoir? A memoir is a story about a person’s life written from the individual’s own point of view. It differs from an autobiography in that it focuses on a time within a person’s life, not a story about the person’s life in its entirety.

For example, I have been sharing a memoir with the class about a college roommate I had as a freshman. We discussed how I included a number of events that took place over about one year’s time: meeting my roommate, dorm move-in day, the experiences she and I had over the course of the year, and then moving out of the dorms. My story doesn’t include my life as a child or my experiences in high school. It doesn’t even talk about the classes I took in college or graduation. It is focused on a specific time period of time of my life: my freshman year of college and a particular theme: the relationship I had with my roommate. Continue reading Memoirs: More than a Memory

Oh Boy, OBOB!

Every year, students from Clear Lake participate in the Oregon Battle of the Books competition. 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, promote academic excellence and promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students.

One of the challenges schools 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.org… Continue reading Oh Boy, OBOB!

Room 13 Gifted with Story of A.C. Gilbert by Local Author and Generous Donor

Our classroom was recently gifted with a class set of books written by local author Robert Young on the history of A.C. Gilbert. The story of Gilbert, a well-known toy manufacturer from the early 1900’s, paired nicely with several informational text selections on the role of toys in history our reading program recently presented. And, of course, the students have been thrilled to read and learn about toys!

We are also exploring museums in more depth–what they are, why people create and contribute to museums and how museums help teach us about our world–and The Magic of A.C. Gilbert has been a wonderful segway, as several students have visited the A.C. Gilbert Museum in Salem making this particular book come alive for them. Following the reading of the book, we also practiced and presented a short reader’s theater on Gilbert’s life story. Ask your student about Gilbert and reader’s theater–I think you’ll be impressed with what they’ve learned!

The books were generously paid for by Wal-Mart on West 11th. Thank you, Wal-Mart!

Students Participate in Annual CL Spelling Bee

Clear Lake held its annual spelling bee today, celebrating a year of learning and hard work. Students were given a written exam to qualify for the semi-finals and were given an oral exam to move on to today’s final. Two students in our class qualified for the finals: Wyatt Holly and Gabriel Ares (pictured here).

The competition was tough, and both boys did amazing! Gabriel reached the final round, coming in second overall in the fourth grade bracket. Well done, gentlemen!

Tayshaun to Throw Honorary First Pitch

Room 13 is delighted to announce that Tayshaun Stirtz will thrown the honorary first pitch at the July 11th Em’s Game at PK Park in Eugene!

Students at Clear Lake recently participated in a community partnership program with the Eugene Emerald–Em’s–baseball organization that works to promote reading and literacy at local schools. Students were asked to create reading goals in conjunction with their teachers and were responsible for “completing” their bookmarks by listing the books, minutes or pages read. Students who completed their bookmark received tickets to an Em’s game this summer.

Specific schools are recognized at each game. Clear Lake’s game night is July 11th where our very own Tayshaun will throw the honorary first pitch! We are thrilled for Tayshaun and hope everyone comes out to support him and the Clear Lake family. Go Em’s!!

Parents: Prevent Summer Slide this Summer

As summer approaches, parents often start looking to ways they can help their student continue learning and prevent what educators often refer to as “summer slide”–the steps backwards students often take at the start of a new school year when they haven’t utilized the skills and content they’ve learned the previous school year while on summer break. But, fear not, there are many simple things you can do at little to no cost to help ensure that your student is ready for school this fall while enjoying the time you have at home with them.

Bethel’s Director of Teaching and Learning, Brian Flick, has put together information for families interested in helping their child(ren) over the summer. In fourth grade, we studied place value, fractions, decimals, area and perimeter, all of which students will continue to develop skills in in fifth grade. Brian’s post offers a number of ways to integrate these math skills into your everyday activities. Reading each day is also highly encouraged. As soon-to-be-fifth-graders, students are able to do this on their own and often enjoy winding down in the evenings with a good book. My own children at home love this because I let them think they’re staying up later to do it!

Checkout Brian’s blog to learn how to help your child over the summer.