Parent Conferences This Week

UPDATE 12/8: Due to inclement weather, conferences scheduled for today are cancelled. We will be re-scheduling conferences for a TBD date in January. I can be available for a limited number of conferences this coming week (week of 12/12). Please watch our website and messages for more information in the coming days. Stay safe out there!

UPDATE 12/13: Conferences have been rescheduled for Thursday, January 5th. Your scheduled time remains the same as your December conference date. Please see our blog post from 12/13 for more details.


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 7th and Thursday, December 8th. You should have received a paper in your child’s Tuesday folder last week 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 are unable to come during your scheduled time, please let me know so that we can reschedule. All of our conference slots are full (and then some), but we can arrange to meet next week, instead.

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.

On a Mission: Random Acts of Kindness

kindnessAs part of Clear Lake’s emphasis on fostering a positive school environment, we will be celebrating Random Acts of Kindness all month long in room 13.

A random act of kindness is a simple act which brightens someone’s day. It can be something significant, like creating a certificate to recognize someone for a job well done, or something smaller, like holding a door open for someone. It can be planned in advance or happen on the spur of the moment.

Our schedule for the month will be sent home in tomorrow’s Tuesday Folder. Check it out! You’ll see that every day has a theme. Here’s how can you help at home: Let your child see you being kind to someone else. Encourage them to be kind to you, their siblings, and their neighbors. Point out kind acts you see others perform in real life and in books or movies.

Help us spread kindness. Kindness is contagious–pass it on!

What a Bunch of Turkeys!

A big shout out to one of our room 13 families! We would like to thank Theresa Richardson (Paij’s grandma) for her thoughtfulness. This morning, these adorable turkeys were delivered to our room as a treat for our class. Move over, Pinterest, these guys are SO cute! Thank you, Theresa!

Theresa was also the one responsible for assembling the Halloween glow sticks last month. We’re grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives.

To all of our room 13 families, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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

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… 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!