We’re Heading to the Dump March 17th!

The 4th and 5th grade classes at Clear Lake Elementary will be starting a unit on waste reduction soon. As part of our studies, we will be visiting local waste management facilities, including Bring Recycling, the central receiving station for Lane County Waste Management and Short Mountain Landfill. This trip promises to stink!

We also need chaperones to join us on our journey. Volunteers will be assigned 4-5 students to lead on the trip. If you would be interested in joining us, please let me know. Volunteers need to have a completed and approved Volunteer Criminal History Verification form on file. If you have not filled out this form in the last year, you can do so online at mrscox.com/volunteerform.

I am sending home this letter with students today with more information and details on our upcoming trip including what to wear, when we’re leaving and returning to school and how we are handling lunch.

Resources for Great Constructed Responses

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As part of our Journeys program, students are asked to respond in writing to the stories we read. We call this a “Constructed Response”. The goal of Constructed Responses is to have kids dig deeper into their thinking. We want them to consider why things happened, the cause and effect relationship of characters and events in the story and compare and contrast ideas, among many other things.

To help students develop their thoughts, identify trends in the story, find text evidence to support their ideas and opinions and create thoughtful responses, we utilize a model called “RACE”. Continue reading Resources for Great Constructed Responses

Room 13 Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Box Contest Winners: Jordan, Spencer, Ryland, Tru & Colton

Room 13 celebrated Valentine’s Day today with a valentine exchange, cookie decorating and, of course, our Valentine Box Contest! The box designs students came up with were remarkable! We saw everything from monsters to cowboy boots to basketball courts. As part of our festivities, students voted for their favorite box in each category.

We are delighted to announce the winners (a clean sweep of boys, I might add!):

  • Cutest: Ryland with his monster box
  • Sports Theme: Tru with his basketball court
  • Sweetest: Colton with a red, white and pink heart themed box
  • Most Original: Spencer with a teal and brown wrapped box
  • Overall Favorite: Jordan with the Flash!

Oh, Bob! (OBOB)

Gabriel, Maddox and Rolan advance to the Clear Lake semi-finals on February 10, 2016.

Eleven students in room 13 participated in the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) program this winter. 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, to broaden reading interests, to increase reading comprehension, promote academic excellence and to promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students. Continue reading Oh, Bob! (OBOB)

Jim Dine Inspired Art!

Students in room 13 recently studied Jim Dine, an American artist who pioneered “pop art” with the likes of artists Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow. Dine was featured 1960’s art shows alongside artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Jim Dine’s artwork often features hearts, which was timely with Valentine’s Day just around the corner!

After talking about the theme of his work and examining the many mediums he worked in, we also discussed how he created texture in his pieces and about the technique of embossing in aluminum — repoussé or repujado. We then took our turn at trying pop art. The students’ resulting artwork were these beautiful aluminum embossed hearts!

Whooo’s Reading? We are!

owl-green-polka-dotYou’ve likely heard your child talking about “Whooo’s Reading” recently. Wonder what they’re talking about? We recently started using Whooo’s Reading, an online program designed to motivate students to read, talk and write about what they’re reading and develop comprehension skills.

Students have an owl-avatar that they can dress, accessorize and customize. To do this, they have to earn coins to ‘purchase’ various garments and accessories. How does a student earn coins? By reading and then logging in to report how long they read and what it was about! A variety of Common Core-aligned comprehension questions are presented for students to select from to report about what they’ve been reading. As they answer questions, log their reading minutes and interact with their classmates’ responses to the questions, they earn coins to spend on customizing their owl. Continue reading Whooo’s Reading? We are!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly

Students from room 13 performed as part of a school wide assembly celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day today. Saleena, Ryan, Kaylin, Hyde, Addison, Wyatt, Maddox, Gabriel and Morgan recited the poem Following Martin in remembrance of Dr. King. Students from throughout the school recited poems, played music and performed skits. Our most sincere appreciation to Mrs. Kelley who coordinated the festivities.

What is this new math, anyway?

Math assignments coming home today look so much different than what you and I remember math homework looking like. Remember the long, tedious class lectures followed by endless pages of algorithms needing uniform responses? Yeah. Me, too. Now, though, assignments are asking for students to explain their thinking process, show the problem solving steps they used and develop responses beyond the “right” answer. But, rest assured of this: the core concepts in math haven’t changed. Two times two still equals four, ¼ of a pie is still more than ⅛ and angles measuring 90 degrees are still called “right angles”.

So, how do you help your student when the math assignment that has come home looks nothing like what you remember in school? Panic not! There are a number of resources you can turn to if your child is stuck. Continue reading What is this new math, anyway?