All in a K-9 Day’s Work

Students in Room 5 enjoyed a special visitor as part of our studies on the role of K-9s in public safety. Springfield Police Department’s Officer Kendrick and his K-9 partner, Gryff, visited Clear Lake to talk about their work in public safety. Officer Kendrick has worked in law enforcement for 22 years and has had several K-9 partners. He and Gryff have been partners for two years. Officers Kendrick and Gryff demonstrated basic commands, sets of commands similar to those required for annual re-certification, and the bond they share working together.

Students absolutely loved the presentation and learned so much. One student, who happens to live in Springfield, said she didn’t know there was a police department in Springfield until today. Another student said Officer Kendrick taught her about the job of police officers and K-9s. She really liked learning about the training the dogs get. Students were unanimous that Gryff is the cutest visitor we’ve had!

To see more photos of Gryff, visit our classroom photo album. Also, mark your calendar for the annual K-9 competition at Silke Field in Springfield on June 20th! More information will come home in Tuesday folders later this year when it becomes available.

Wondering about weather?

Often around this time of year, the Willamette Valley sees periodic adverse weather conditions such as ice or snow. The District Office and Transportation Department are responsible for determining delays and cancellations and try to make these decisions early in the morning to give families as much time as possible to make arrangements for their children. For parents, obtaining this information can be quick and easy if you know where to look. Of course, our local news stations maintain a running list of schedule delays and cancellations on particularly treacherous days, but there are some other resources available to you:

Flash Alerts — This subscription allows you to sign up using your mobile number and/or email address for alerts from Bethel School District, as well as other area organizations. You select which agencies you want alerts from and they will send you a text or email anytime one of those organizations release information on the system. This is my personal favorite.

Twitter — Follow Superintendent Chris Parra (@Bethel_Supt) for weather delay information, as well as other district updates.

Clear Lake Blog — Building administrators in the district also post information about delays and cancellations as it becomes available, and you can find these posts right on our own Clear Lake blog where Principal Karyn Bayer keeps families informed about building events and updates.

Cue the Qball!

Last week, we were greeted by the joyous sounds of the annual Bethel Education Foundation (BEF) Grant Parade! Each year the BEF raises funds to support our district classrooms through their grant program. Grant applications can be for anything–books, cameras, art supplies, etc.–and are scored through a blind scoring process. The process can be very competitive, so wining a grant is very, very exciting! This year, 33 classrooms had grants funded, including our class. 

Our application was for a fun new tool called a Qball. This is a ball that looks much like a playground ball and can be tossed, rolled and generally handled by busy little ones, but has one special feature you won’t find in a playground ball–a microphone! The microphone connects to a bluetooth speaker and amplifies the kids’ voices when they speak into the ball by sending the signal to the speaker! We have placed our order for our new tool and it should be here when we return from winter break. 

Want to learn more about it? Check it out here

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 4th and Thursday, December 5th. 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.

Surgeons! Contractions, Stat!

Let’s face it. Grammar can be a bit boring. That is, if you let it! We decided to put down our grammar books and pick up our scalpels this week to conduct some Contraction Surgery! Students were given a set of words (“patients”) that they had to cut apart, create contractions with, and document on each patient’s chart notes. We donned our gloves and face masks and dug in elbow-deep to save these characters. The kids thought it was hilarious that I dressed up as an attending physician and coached them through their surgeries, referring to them as “Dr. Beason”, “Dr. Walters”, etc.

We are happy to report that at the end of our surgeries, our patients all pulled through, even the ones who had to have a follow up surgery. Want to see more fun from Operating Room 5? Check out our online photo album!

Students Investigate Making Predictions

2nd graders had a great time this week investigating prediction making. Utilizing supplies generously donated by classroom parents (thank you!!), we began by talking about what predictions are and why scientists make predictions before starting their experiment. We also drew pictures in our Science Journals to show what we expected to happen. From there, each student got a tray of supplies to run the experiment themselves. You’ll hear in the video how much fun they thought that was! From there, we made observations about what we saw and documented these in our journals. We then discussed how scientists can benefit from experiments–both when they work out like they expect and when they don’t! This is the first lesson in our unit on prediction making and the Scientific Method.

Learning in the 21st Century: Google Classroom

google-classroom-logo2We are using a tool in our classroom called Google Classroom. Google Classroom 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. Students must have a signed parent permission form on file in order to access this resource. If your student does not have a signed form, I will be in touch with you to answer any questions you may have and ask whether you’re willing to give your child permission. Continue reading Learning in the 21st Century: Google Classroom

Get Private Access to the Room 5 Photo Albums

Did you know our room 5 family keeps photo albums of the activities, events and day-to-day happenings going on in our room? Even better, did you know they are digital albums families can enjoy from home or on the go, too? We like to keep things private from the general public, so we keep our albums on a password protected site, but you can access them by signing up as a parent or member of the Room 5 family!

To sign up, simply go to our Shutterfly Photo Page and enter your information for a FREE Shutterfly account. If you already use Shutterfly, you can just login as yourself and it will send me an email asking for permission to let you join. No one is allowed to join that hasn’t received my approval. This way, we can help ensure that our kids’ photos stay safe. 

Once you’re in, feel free to look through our albums or even add your own photos! You can also download photos to save on your personal device or print at local retailers. Shutterfly teams with Target and Walgreens, too, so you can print your selected photos directly to the store to pick up today!

If you have questions or need help signing up, just email me, and I’ll get you all set up.

Classroom Request for Science Supplies

Students of all ages LOVE science experiments. Learning concepts through hands-on experiences never fails to engage and energize the learning in the classroom. We would like to get started with a unit on making predictions–a cornerstone of scientific inquiry and studies–and need some supplies to make this happen. The items we are looking for are generic, around-the-house type items. We’re hoping families can contribute an item or two to get us going. 

To help organize which items we need, how many and who can help, we have set up an online signup that is as simple as a quick click! Once you’ve signed up for the items you can contribute, simply drop them off at school or send them in with your child. We’ll start our experiments as soon as we have the supplies we need. We’ll be posting photos, too, in our classroom photo album so you can join in on the fun from home!

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