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!

Sign up to donate by clicking the button below:
Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

Donors Chose Room 5!

As everyone knows, budgets in school districts can be tight. Money for “extras” like headphones for every child in a classroom isn’t always available, and teachers have to be resourceful sometimes to make these kinds of visions come to fruition. Most recently, I took to Donors Choose to request funding for a class set of headphones. The class is fortunate enough to enjoy a cart of Chromebooks paid for by Bethel Education Foundation Grants and supplemented by Clear Lake’s Parent-Teacher Organization. The trouble had been that many of the educational sites and programs students were accessing in class had audio components students needed to hear. Further, since these applications are all individualized for each student’s skill level, no two kids were hearing the same audio at the same time. It turned the classroom into a gymnasium at times, hearing all of the different sounds and directions from 30 different computers at the same time! Continue reading Donors Chose Room 5!

Water, Water Everywhere!

Students at Clear Lake got a fun surprise last week just in time for the jog-a-thon, courtesy of CATCH and Lane County Health. CATCH–Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health–is a three-year grant provided through Lane County Public Health that is designed to encourage healthy habits in children. You may have heard your student talking about “Go, Slow, Whoa” foods or asking to look at nutrition labels on food products in your home or at the grocery store. These are skills and activities from our CATCH curriculum. Along with healthy habits, the CATCH grant, now in year three, provides a sum of money for the school to use on ideas, products and events to further the cause and help students better understand and integrate healthy habits. These water bottles are one of the outcomes of that grant.

I have asked that students keep their Clear Lake water bottles at school for the remainder of the year. They have all been marked with each child’s name, and I have made arrangements to have them washed on a regular basis. Students will be able to fill their water bottles in the morning when they come in, during independent work times, transitions and free time. This will allow for students to have regular and frequent access to water throughout the day. Healthy habits make for healthy kids!

ALERT: Verizon Service Disruption for Classroom Messages

1/25/19 UPDATE: Great news!! I just received official word that Verizon has agreed to reverse the service fee they were planning to impose on the Remind app we use for class messages. This means there will be no service disruptions to Verizon customers and you will continue to receive text messages from our classroom. Hurray! 


Due to a new fee imposed by Verizon, Remind (the app/website used to send families updates and reminders) will no longer continue providing free text notifications for devices on the Verizon Wireless network. As a result, Verizon Wireless customers will not be able to receive or send text messages for our class as of January 28, 2019. This does not mean you cannot still get our class announcements; read on:

If you have Verizon Wireless as your phone carrier and currently receive Remind messages by text, download the app or turn on email notifications for your account. Both of these options are free of charge.

On your Phone: Turn on Smartphone Notifications (RECOMMENDED)
Download the free Remind app on the iOS App Store, on Google Play, or at rmd.me/a. If you don’t already have a Remind account, create one using the phone number where you receive Remind texts. Make sure to enable push notifications from Remind on your phone.

On your computer: Turn on Email Notifications
Go to Remind.com on any computer. As above, if you don’t already have a Remind account, create one using the phone number where you receive Remind texts. Turn on email notifications for your account so you don’t miss any messages.

Want to keep receiving classroom messages by text?
The Remind team is working hard on a solution to make text messaging available again to everyone affected by the Verizon decision. In the meantime, you can help by taking a few minutes to ask Verizon to reverse the fee impacting text messaging on Remind. You can contact Verizon customer service here: www.remind.com/verizon-fee

Room 5 Awarded TWO BEF Grants!

The Bethel Education Foundation (BEF) is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that was organized in August 2009 to support Bethel schools. The mission of the Bethel Education Foundation is to enhance and invest in educational excellence in the Bethel School District. As part of this mission, BEF awards mini grants to teachers annually for a variety of teacher-produced projects. This year, we were fortunate to be awarded not one, but TWO grants from the foundation.

Our first project, A Technology Intervention, will fund the purchase of six Chromebooks with the primary goal of integrating technology into our math block. Bethel School District is in the rollout phase of  introducing the Response to Intervention model in math, which means students will need to have independent activities available that can help ensure they are continuing to be actively and meaningfully engaged while the teacher works with small groups of students at the back table during intervention time.

Fortunately, there are a variety of online resources available that students will access on the Chromebooks as they rotate through the technology station, completing tasks such as daily fact fluency practice, accessing highly-engaging online math games such as Prodigy and Zearn and practicing math skills using online interactive math manipulatives. These programs are designed to meet students where their skill level is currently and help them build on those skills, helping students feel a sense of  success while filling gaps in learning that will keep them from accessing grade level materials easily.

Our second grant, Magic in Math, will provide supplies and materials to transform math lessons into unforgettable experiences to help students retain content. Based on the book The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King, the idea behind this project is to incorporate games, hands-on activities, engaging mini-lessons, interactive notebooks and mini-room transformations—think math plus a little drama!—into math instruction to help draw in students. Continue reading Room 5 Awarded TWO BEF Grants!