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Eric's Room (Lower Elementary)

Eric's Weekly Update 4-14-17

posted Apr 14, 2017, 9:51 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Thursday, 4/13 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm
Friday, 4/14 Parent Survey Due
Friday, 4/14 Lottery Acceptance Deadline
Friday, 4/14 Lower-el Parent Input Forms Due
Monday, 4/17 Track Town Pizza Fundraiser
Wednesday, 4/19 All School Panoramic Photo 11am
Friday, 4/21 Upper-el Parent Input Forms Due
Mon. 4/24-Fri. 4/28 Volunteer Appreciation Week
Mon. 4/25-25 SE Asia presentations
Tuesday, 4/25 Project Fair 3:15-4:15pm & 6-7pm

This week…
We have been in mourning over the loss of a wonderful upper el student who passed away during Spring Break. We will miss Elijah Taylor, who was a wonderful and caring person. We have appreciated your outpouring of support and have received strength from your compassion. Ridgeline administrators and counselors, 4J district counselors and therapy dogs, and parents and students have all come together to help each other during this trying and emotional time.

Over the past few weeks we have been looking closely at Asia, and we enjoyed the great presentations given by the students. We played some Asia Bingo, discovered the many types and uses of seaweed, and used clay to create some pieces of art. This was done as an extension to the book A Single Shard, which is about a potter in Korea during the 12th century. We may not be master potters, but we know how to have fun with clay!

This week we also took a look back at the 1st and 2nd Great Lessons as we reviewed the many processes scientists believe made our world habitable and life-friendly.

The Philosophy Friday question: Is it ok to lie? Students talked about times it might be ok and times when it is always wrong. Remember, we are not trying to answer any of the Philosophy Friday questions for all humankind. We are just trying to get our minds to look critically at questions that aren’t always as easy to answer as they seem.

What do you think? Is it always wrong to lie? Is it ever ok to lie? Is omitting a piece of truth a lie?

Next week and beyond…
We may do some history lessons around Passover and Easter in the coming week. This is a great time to review Fundamental Human Needs, especially as they relate to spiritual needs.

I’m waiting to hear back from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum. Once they can confirm my preferred dates I can prepare the details of our trip. This is taking longer than I anticipated. Thank you for your patience.

I’m also hoping to take a field trip to Taste of India. When we think of food from Asia, we don’t always think of food from India. That’s a shame because the food of India is absolutely delicious! I have done this trip before and it’s a big hit. We rush in and then waddle out.

This trip will require parent drivers who also help students mind their manners and behave well in a public space. A trip like this means high energy can be expected from the students. I mention this as fair warning to all would-be chaparones:)

Finally, the Annual Project Fair is on the 25th of this month. I am hoping that the latest round of presentations will be done and ready to display in the classroom by that date so visitors have something nice to see.

This means any extra details and effort put into the posters, dioramas, etc. will be much appreciated. Below is the new presentation list in case your student has misplaced their sheet.

Bhutan- Audrey
Myanmar- Anna
Laos- Pan
Thailand- Keanan, Piper
Cambodia- Cassidy
Vietnam- Kinsley
Malaysia- Chloe
Singapore- Zach, Julian
Indonesia- Mylah
Gobi Desert- Lily
China- Aurora, Awen
Mongolia- Coren
Russia- Ezra
North Korea- Aubree
South Korea- Grant
Japan- Liam, Kenzo
Taiwan- Harlow
Philippines- Gabriel
Tokyo- Sachi, Rhia
Moscow- Erin
Forbidden City- Sylvia
China Sea- Temple
Tonga- Huxley

Eric's Weekly Update 2-23-17

posted Feb 28, 2017, 10:07 AM by Cynthia Friedman


Saturday, 2/25                   LuLa Roe Fundraiser for the Capital Campaign 1-4pm

Monday, 2/27                    Site Council 6-7:30pm

Friday, 3/3                         Character Chats 12-1pm

Friday, 3/3           Pasta Dinner 5-7pm

Tuesday, 3/7                     RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm

Wednesday, 3/8                Lottery Application Deadline 4pm

Saturday, 3/11                   OBOB Regionals at Willamette High School grades 6-8

Sunday, 3/12                     Daylight Savings Begins

Thursday, 3/16                  Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Friday, 3/17                       Lottery 10am



This week…

We had a rather rowdy group of students this week and that impacted the things we were able to do in Cultural Studies.  We were able to learn about the Mongols, their lifestyle, and leaders (both Genghis Khan and Timor or Tamerlane).  As part of our Asian studies we looked at the current political boundaries of the continent and reproduced the political map ourselves.  I was hoping to discuss the amazing inventions that have come out of Asia, but that will have to wait until next week.

The Philosophy Friday question:  If you received enough money to never need to work, how would you spend your time?  As you might imagine the responses were wild and varied.

Next week and beyond…

 A message from our music teacher:


Dear Kinder & Lower El Parents:


Your children and I have been singing together in music class for the past two months, and we are very eager to share some songs with you! Please come to our concert during Ridgeline’s Pasta Dinner on Friday, March 3 from 5-7pm (our performance is 6:15-6:30pm). We will be accompanied on ukulele by current members and future members of TRUE!


At 6:00, please escort your child to the corridor on the right-hand side of the stage so we can get all the kids on stage in an orderly fashion : ) Also, please be aware that this is a “dinner concert” - meaning there will likely be conversation and people moving about the room while they are performing. I could use a few parent volunteers to escort each class on/off stage and stay in the wings to assist if kids get antsy... Please email me ( or call 520-234-7045, if you would like to help or have questions. Thank you!


The order of the short musical program is:


Pearly Shells Hawaiian Hula Song (Kinders only)


Peace Like a River Spiritual (Kinders & Lower El)


Cidade Maravilhosa Brazilian song by André Filho (Select Lower El students only)


Count on Me by Bruno Mars (Lower El)


King and Lionheart by Of Monsters and Men (Lower El)


Best Day of My Life by American Authors (Lower El)

Eric's Weekly Update 2-11-17

posted Feb 13, 2017, 9:03 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Friday, 2/10                      Re-enrollment Forms Due

Monday 2/20                  No School---Presidents Day

Tuesday, 2/21                   Pre-lottery Information Session 6:30pm

Saturday, 2/25                   LuLa Roe Fundraiser for the Capital Campaign 1-4pm

Monday, 2/27                    Site Council 6-7:30pm

Friday, 3/3                         Character Chats 12-1pm

Friday, 3/3                   Pasta Dinner 5-7pm

Tuesday, 3/7                     RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm

Wednesday, 3/8                Lottery Application Deadline 4pm

Saturday, 3/11                   OBOB Regionals at Willamette High School grades 6-8

Sunday, 3/12                     Daylight Savings Begins

Thursday, 3/16                  Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Friday, 3/17                       Lottery 10am

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated on the 14th in the classroom.  Homemade or store bought cards are welcome, as well as a treat IF you are so inclined.  All participation is voluntary. If you plan on bringing Valentines, please bring one for every student. Also, please do not put names on them so that they can be passed out faster. Treats may be eaten at home with you.  You are most welcome:)

This week…

I would like to thank all those who helped make Chinese New Year a success in the classroom.  We had several parents working hard at the dumpling station, calligraphy table, and lantern-making table.  This helped so much and the students had a wonderful experience making their crafts.  I am also grateful for the haul of snacks and treats that were provided.  This added to the experience and made the Year of the Rooster a memorable event.

Our Grandparent’s Day went off without a hitch as well.  I learned many things about life in the ‘old days’ and I saw the students getting a glimpse of life in the not so distant past.

As you know, we have chosen new research assignments based on countries in Asia.  We are starting in Western Asia (Middle East) and will move toward the east as we progress through the rest of the year.  Many of these countries have or are experiencing unrest to varying degrees.  It may be prudent to steer them a bit as they are researching. I have included the country list at the bottom of this email.  Presentations for this round are due on the 27th of February.

The Philosophy Friday question we asked last Friday (with our grandparent visitors present was: If you had a friend who spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, how long would you allow them to be your friend?  Tough one, eh?  Negative self-talk is hard on the soul.

This week we asked: Is everything connected?


Next week and beyond…

Next week we will take a look at those warm and fuzzy Mongols.  They were known to be on the Neighborhood Welcoming Committee in days of yore.  We will also learn about linear and volume measurement and maybe temperature and density.  Finally, we will look at some of the inventions that had roots in Asian technology and thinking.

Eric and Emily



Western Asia and Middle East




Harlow, Maeve




Mylah, Aubree




Audrey, Julian




Kenzo, Sylvia


Cassidy, Chloe


Piper, Awen






Temple, Gabriel

Saudi Arabia

Zach, Erin


Keanan, Huxley


Pan, Anna

United Arab Emirates

Coren, Grant







Asian Countries Research


Use some or all of the ideas below to help you find out interesting things about your country.   2nd and 3rd graders are expected to prepare a poster or other medium to make the presentation interesting.  You may use pictures, drawings, flags, and text, etc. to share information on your poster.  Write and glue neatly.  You are trying to impress your audience! Please practice what you are going to say many times before the day you are scheduled to present.  It is a good idea to have the information you will be saying out loud glued to the back of your poster so that you can use it during the presentation without having to look at the front of the poster. This makes it makes it easier for the audience to hear what you are saying.  1st graders can be expected to answer more of the questions (4+) now that they are gaining more experience.


o   Oceans, waterways, lakes, and rivers

o   Major landforms (mountain ranges, deserts, peninsulas, etc.)

o   Animals

o   Plants

o   History of the country (perhaps past vs present)

o   Type of government

o   Population

o   Weather

o   Foods

o   Entertainment

o   Languages

o   Biggest industries (mining, agriculture, textiles, etc)

o   Countries that border yours

o   Flag and its meaning

o   Music

o   Major religions and holidays

Eric's Weekly Update 12-4-16

posted Dec 5, 2016, 1:48 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Gym is on Monday and Wednesday. Dance is on Friday. We have been asked to pass on to you that appropriate footwear for these activities is appreciated. Boots and hard-sole shoes can make participation difficult. Please help remind your critters on those days so they can have a safe activity.

Saturday, 12/3 Student Marketplace & Continental Breakfast 10am-12pm
Tuesday, 12/6 RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm
Thursday, 12/8 Courageous Kids Parent Meeting 6:30-7:30pm
Mon.,12/12-Fri.12/16 Joy of Sharing
Wednesday, 12/14 Grades 6-8 OBOB Meeting 3:15-4:30pm
Thursday, 12/15 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm
Mon. 12/19-Mon. 1/2 Winter Break
Tuesday, 1/3 NO SCHOOL – Planning Day
Wednesday, 1/4 Classes Resume

Several students in our class are participating in Kidsports 3rd grade girls basketball. If your child or someone you know is interested in participating in this program, please contact Randy Schindler at

This week…
I hope everybody enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. The kids shared all the details of their fun as part of our writing in the classroom.

Don’t forget about all the excitement to be had at the Marketplace activity on Saturday. I’m hoping to see you there!

This week we spent a lot of time discussing heraldry, shield design and construction, and even the many ways shields were used. They were surprisingly useful. With designs now on paper, the students will set out to design their own shields. I’m hoping to have these home by Winter Break.

Our Philosophy Friday time was spent considering the following: If you had 30 seconds to share a message with the entire world what would you say? Our follow up questions were related to previous questions regarding what we want to leave behind when we are gone, and what we may see as our cosmic task. With such disparate circumstances in the world, what message of hope could be shared that would make a difference? Would your message be one of peace, or hope, or endurance, or strength?

Next week and beyond…
In the coming week we will work on our shields as I mentioned, as well as comparing a virus to a bacteria. As part of our geology studies we will look at the famous volcanoes of Europe. We will be doing some work in this area for a few weeks.

The week before Winter Break we will enjoy the second round of presentations by the students. This comes up fast, so please remind your student to be prepared. Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 10-20-16

posted Oct 25, 2016, 2:32 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Gym is on Monday and Wednesday.  Dance is on Friday.  We have been asked to pass on to you that appropriate footwear for these activities is appreciated.  Boots and hard-sole shoes can make participation difficult.  Please help remind your critters on those days so they can have a safe activity.


Book order forms went home today.  If you would like to purchase a Scholastic book, please be sure to use the coupon ($5 off a $10 order) and place your order by the Friday the 28th.  We get all kinds of free books for the class with your purchases!


Saturday, 10/22                LuLaRoe Fundraiser to benefit Capital Campaign 11am-1pm

Saturday, 10/22                Skate World DDD Costume Party 4:30-6:30pm

Monday, 10/24                   Site Council 6:00-7:30pm

Wednesday, 10/26             Picture Re-takes

Thursday, 10/27                Field Trip - Diana & Eric

Monday, 10/31                   NO SCHOOL – conferences

Tuesday, 11/1                   NO SCHOOL – conferences

Sunday, 11/6                     Daylight Savings Ends – clocks back one hour

Monday, 11/7                    RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm –  *note date change*

Thursday, 11/10               Science Circus to benefit Capital Campaign 7-8pm

Friday, 11/11                     NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day


This week…

What a wet and slippery week we had. Our field trip to the orchard was gray and definitely wet at times, but I think we avoided the worst downpours.  We had only one slightly stuck car and no injuries.  Thank you to all those drivers who allowed us to muddy their cars and who stood in the rain with us.  Bonus points and good karma will be your reward.

As part of our Ancient European studies we looked at the role of the knight and more specifically armor.  It is a fascinating and ingenious invention to answer the problem of better and stronger arrows.  The process of one-upmanship hasn’t really stopped. 

We also learned about Daedalus and Icarus, and Perseus and the Gorgon.  The Greeks were such marvelous storytellers.

Our Philosophy Friday question for consideration was “ Is life fair?”  This is the first of several big questions.  What does ‘fair’ mean?  Is it the same as equal?  Would you make the world fair if you could?  (BTW, most students answered “no” to this last question.)

What do you think?


Next week and beyond…

Next week we form our first research groups.  Returning parents know what that means.  Our first area of study will be Northern Europe.  Students will choose a country and do some simple research to share with the class.  I will give the students examples of what is expected and then most the work will be done at home, although I often provide materials to help with the presentations boards, etc.

We take a look at the Romans and their culture in the coming weeks, and try to decide on our theme for the upcoming Book Fair.

Field trips:  Mount Pisgah, October 27th.

Mt Pisgah Field Trip


On Thursday, October 27, our class will join the kindergartners for a trip to the Mt. Pisgah arboretum.  We will board a 4J bus at 9:00 and arrive on site about 9:20 or so.  Nature guides will lead small groups along the trails while drawing their attention to the fall season points of interest.  At 11:30 all groups will join together for lunch under the pavilion.  Please plan lunch items accordingly.  We anticipate being back at school by 12:30.


This trip will require a $5.00 participation feePlease attach it to this form.  If this presents a financial hardship, please contact the office for a scholarship.


Monies collected previously for the tractor ride at Detering’s Orchard ($2.00 which went unused) will apply toward the bus rental so the only fee is for the Pisgah tour.

This trip is rain or shine so please send your child prepared for the weather.  We have been asked NOT to bring umbrellas. 

Due to limited space on the bus, we can accept only the first 4 chaperones that want to come.  Chaperones must have background check paperwork on file.

Any who wish to join us on site by driving personal vehicles must also have background check paperwork on file in the school office.



By signing below you are allowing your child to attend the field trip as described above.







_______________________________         _________________________

     Parent signature                                            Child




Eric's Weekly Update 10-10-16

posted Oct 10, 2016, 2:24 PM by Cynthia Friedman

If you have not yet paid for your child’s entry into the Science Factory, we are still accepting the $5 entry fee.

Gym is on Monday and Wednesday. Dance is on Friday. We have been asked to pass on to you that appropriate footwear for these activities is appreciated. Boots and hard-sole shoes can make participation difficult. Please help remind your critters on those days so they can have a safe activity.


Tuesday, 10/11 Laughing Planet Restaurant Fundraiser
Friday, 10/14 NO SCHOOL – Statewide In Service
Monday, 10/17 Upper El Bike Safety Begins (10/17-10/28)
Wednesday, 10/19 Conversations With Chrystell 8:45-9:45am
Wednesday, 10/19 Curriculum Sharing 3:15-4:15pm and 6:00-7:00pm
Thursday, 10/20 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm
Saturday, 10/22 LuLaRoe Fundraiser to benefit Capital Campaign 11am-1pm
Saturday, 10/22 Skate World DDD Costume Party 4:30-6:30pm
Monday, 10/24 Site Council 6:00-7:30pm
Wednesday, 10/26 Picture Re-takes
Thursday, 10/27 Field Trip - Diana & Eric

This week…
We had a wonderful trip to the Science Factory. It’s always a joy to watch the students explore all the exhibits and have fun learning new things. We had several chaperones/drivers who helped make the trip possible, and we thank you for your generosity.

This week we began looking at old Europe and started with the role of monarchs. We have a hard time seeing their relevance today, but we learned that long ago they were necessary to bring competing parties to a consensus. We also learned that monarchs did not always live the life we see portrayed in movies, books, and TV. Along with our introduction to Europe we also discussed an even older civilization; the Greeks. I'mpretty sure the students were happy to not be born in Sparta. Spartans were not the warm and fuzzy bunch that we find in our towns today. We tried to see, however, that the accomplishments of even very old societies add to the ‘casserole’ of modern accomplishments. We have what we have because of a lot of work and experimentation from older cultures.

Our Philosophy Friday question for consideration was “ Are mistakes good or bad?”
What do you think?

Next week and beyond…
We will discuss maps and navigation in the coming week as I ran out of time to discuss it earlier. We will also look at the explorer Christopher Columbus, and other explorers who have ‘discovered’ the Americas. This flows nicely into the map and navigation lessons.

Remember Aesop’s Fables? We will be looking at these fables and the ‘moral of the story’ being shared.

Field trips:
Detering Orchards, October 20th.
Mount Pisgah, October 27th.

Eric and Emily








Eric's Weekly Update 9-26-16

posted Sep 26, 2016, 12:57 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Tuesday, 10/4 RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm
Wednesday, 10/5 Bike and Walk to School Day
Tuesday, 10/11 Laughing Planet Restaurant Day Fundraiser
Friday, 10/14 NO SCHOOL – Statewide In Service
Wednesday, 10/19 Conversations With Chrystell 8:45-9:45am
Wednesday, 10/19 Curriculum Sharing 3:15-4:15pm and 6:00-7:00pm
Saturday, 10/22 Skate World DDD Costume Party 4:30-6:30pm

If your student does not have indoor shoes yet, please make this a priority so we can keep our carpet/work-space clean. Thank you.

I will submit your online book orders on September 23rd. Please make your selections by that date if you are interested in buying Scholastic books.

This week…
We are enjoying the cooler weather and the new bonds being created in the classroom. Using the scientists’ story we have learned a lot about the early universe, the formation of stars (which allowed for the creation of planets), our own earth, and finally the development of life on earth. The Story of the Coming of Life is the 2ndGreat Lesson and it’s one I hope students pay close attention to, because we learn that everything we have is due to the great efforts of life that came before us. No one person is an island; we stand on the shoulders of giants.

The big question we considered during our Philosophy Friday discussion was: Is it better to be happy or to do the right thing? Perhaps you can continue the discussion at the dinner table. We asked and answered questions about some difficult scenarios. Life can get pretty messy sometimes, and knowing the right thing to do is not always clear. The students have shared some insightful opinions.

Next week and beyond…
We ran out of time for the lessons on the early oceans, but I will try to do that in the coming week. Along with this there will be some art related to land and water features (lake, island, gulf, isthmus, etc.). We will also look at the history of the earth (eras) based on the face of an analog clock. This makes understanding the earth’s life a little easier, and the work is called The Clock of Eras. I also plan on presenting the 3rd Great Lesson, The Story of the Coming of Humans.

Field trips:
Science Factory, October 4th
Detering Orchards, October 20th
Mount Pisgah, October 27th

Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 9-9-16

posted Sep 9, 2016, 1:13 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Bear Briefs     9-9-16

This is a paper version of my weekly classroom letter.  This is the same letter I emailed to families this afternoon.  If you did not receive the electronic version, it means I do not have your correct email address and kindly ask that you provide it to me so you are able to receive future classroom updates.  We are trying to have as little paper going home as possible, and I appreciate your help in this matter.



Tuesday, 9/13                    New Parent "Ridgeline 101" Meeting 6-7:30pm

Wednesday, 9/14               Eric’s Class Meeting 6:30-7:30pm

Thursday, 9/15                  Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Friday, 9/16                       Meet & Great Tea 12:30-1:13pm in the library

Monday, 9/19                    Site Council Meeting 6-7:30pm

Wednesday, 9/21               Picture Day

Friday, 9/23                       Vision Screening 8:30am-1:15pm

Sunday, 9/25                     T.R.U.E. performing at University Sunday Streets 1:30pm

Tuesday, 10/4                   RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm

Wednesday, 10/5               Bike and Walk to School Day

This week…

The first week of school is over!  Students are settling in and we are building our new classroom community.  We are learning names, rules of the classroom and school, and playing some fun games.  Remember to supply your student with some comfortable and durable inside shoes or slippers ASAP if you have not already done so.  These shoes stay at school and are only used while in the classroom.


Next week and beyond…

Starting on the 12th, we begin our journey into the universe with the First Great Lesson.  This is a classic Montessori presentation, and one of five Great Lessons.  The Creation Of The Universe is the scientists’ story of how the universe came to be.  Prior to this I will have shared creation stories from many cultures around the world, and encouraged the students to talk with you about what your family beliefs are regarding the universe.

The scientists’ story gets the most sustained attention because I use it to jump off into almost every other area of the curriculum.  I will talk more about this at the parent meeting scheduled for the 16th.  Please attend if at all possible.  I will be discussing the curriculum for the year, field trips, ways to volunteer, and general but important information.


As part of the Great Lesson for next week, we will be learning about the scientific method, the birth of the elements and laws of attraction, stellar nucleosynthesis, and building atoms with the Neils Bohr method (for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1922), our solar system, and much more.  These core lessons I present each year and as a student matures academically, the lessons become more meaningful and enlightening.


One of the important themes to come out of this first lesson is for the child to realize that the universe does not revolve around any one of us.  Our place is rather small really, but we are significant.  We ask ourselves: What will I offer to the world today?  What is my cosmic task?  What good and enduring work will I leave behind?

As we near the end of the month, we will be planning a trip to the Science Factory to enrich the learning taking place in the classroom.  Details will come as soon as I have a reservation.

New Family "Ridgeline 101" Meeting – Please join us at the New Family “Ridgeline 101” Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th6-7:30pm. This is the perfect opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of being a Ridgeline parent and have your questions answered. Limited childcare is available for toilet-trained children. Call the office to reserve a spot.

Eric and Emily


Eric's Weekly Update 4-15-16

posted Apr 15, 2016, 11:04 AM by Cynthia Friedman


Friday, 4/15                      Parent Input Forms Due (see below for details)

Friday, 4/15                      Read-a-thon Packets Sent Home

Wednesday, 4/20              All School Panoramic Photo

Thursday, 4/21                  Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Monday, 4/25                    Site Council 6-7:30pm

Tuesday, 4/26                   Project Fair 3:15-4:15pm and 6-7pm

Friday, 4/29                      Read-a-thon All School Assembly

Friday, 4/29                      Supply Fees Due ($75 per student)


This week…

We appreciate our volunteers!  We have a group of parents who come into our room frequently to read with students and provide support in a variety of ways.  Reading to another person helps with inflection, fluency speed, and vocabulary.  We thank these dedicated parents who make a difference in the education of all our students.

We have been preparing our classroom for the past several days to feel a bit like a rainforest.  We continue our study of arguably the single most important forest in the world, the Amazon Jungle and the surrounding basin.  We could spend an entire year in only this one area and still not cover it adequately, but there are also the political boundaries and ancient civilizations to discover as well.  As we approach the dates of Project Fair and presentations (April 22-26) we will continue to decorate our classroom in the style of the Amazon Basin and look at historically significant time periods of South America.  If you happen to have any jungle-like decorations that you feel comfortable loaning to the classroom to hang on the vines, etc. in our room please let me know.

As promised we looked at the incredible and mysterious culture of the Maya.  They were gifted engineers and architects.  They made aqueducts that were unrivaled in their day, even compared to Egyptians.  They even made miles-long raised roads that never varied a degree!  Modern archeologists are still unclear about how they did that.  There are several important characteristics about ancient South American cultures however, that are best left undiscovered by the students until a later date.

In other studies we looked closer at plant parts and functions as well as our atmosphere and related functions. We learned why the poles are cold and the equator is hot and it’s probably not for the reason you think.


Next week and beyond…

Panoramic school photo is on the 20th.  Just letting you know in case your student likes to dress up for these events. 

Please remember that in a week we have our next presentations on South America.  I am hoping to use these presentations to dress up our classroom for the Project Fair that is coming up April 26 (3:15-4:15pm and 6-7pm). This is a chance for students to show off science or other projects they have been working on.  In our class we tend to show off the presentations we have worked on and offer that information to those who wander through the classroom.  We will be making the classroom look like a forest/jungle soon so all those presentations will fit with the theme.


Eric and Emily




Friday 22nd

Monday  25th

Tuesday 26th
























Eli (28th)















Eric's Weekly Update 3-31-16

posted Mar 31, 2016, 12:55 PM by Cynthia Friedman

April 9 - Grounds Keeping Work Party –

Come help us keep Ridgeline beautiful! A volunteer grounds keeping work party will be heldSunday, April 9, 1-3pm. We will be mowing, edging, weeding, pruning, seeding, raking and generally having fun; kids welcome too. Bring gardening tools if you've got 'em, plus gloves and rugged clothing. Meet at the outdoor classroom. All Family members may log volunteer hours.

Friday, April 1 No School/Professional Development

This week…
Over the past several weeks we have learned about layers of the ocean, and layers of the rainforest. We also talked about the three basic types of rocks as an extension of our discussion on subduction zones (like the big one off the Pacific Coast from Canada to California!). With the end of March comes our farewell to the Native American tribes we have learned so much about. We are now planting our feet firmly in South America and we will be there for the rest of the school year. We started off learning about the Olmec and their giant 20-ton stone heads that have been found in an area devoid of large boulders. So how did they move (and carve) such large boulders with no metal tools or even wheels for transportation?

That is the big question that is currently unanswerable. As a class we were fascinated by the idea of moving these massive 20-ton boulders 40 miles to there current location without wheels on relatively soft soil. Lastly, we looked at the Amazon River basin and will present on the fish and water critters that live there next week. I mean, they live there NOW but we will talk about them next week…

Next week and beyond…

Please remember that next week we have our first presentations on South America. I am hoping to use these presentations to dress up our classroom for the Project Fair that is coming up April 26 (3:15-4:15pm and 6-7pm). This is a chance for students to show off science or other projects they have been working on. In my class we tend to show off the presentations we have worked on and offer that information to those who wander through the classroom. We will be making the classroom look like a forest/jungle soon so all those presentations will fit with the theme.

Next week we will look at the ancient Mayan civilization, as well as more work related to the atmosphere and plants as part of our botany and functional geography respectively.

Eric and Emily


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