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Eric's Room (Lower Elementary)


Eric's Weekly Update 3-15-18

posted Mar 15, 2018, 11:05 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Monday, 3/19                    Site Council meeting, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 3/21              Eric’s class to OMSI, 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Friday, 3/23                       DDD ends

Friday, 3/23                       Yogurt Extreme fundraiser

Mon., 3/26-Fri., 3/30          Spring break

Monday, 4/2                      NO SCHOOL: professional development day

Tuesday, 4/3                     Classes resume

This week

____________________________________________________________________

This week we looked at the political boundaries of Australia, learned about some of the amazing seasonal changes that take place there, and even heard some of the words used in Australia that are not used here in the US.  We didn’t get a chance to learn about Nikola Tesla as I had planned, but we did take another turn at exploring electricity courtesy of Popular Mechanics for Kids.

Our Great Barrier Reef art projects are almost done.  We did them in the style of Eric Carle (Very Hungry Caterpillar) and they look great.  I will make colored copies of the originals and bind them in a book to keep in the classroom.  The students will take the originals home.

 

Next week…

The coming week will be very busy.  Presentations will begin with 3rd years presenting on Monday, 2nd years on Tuesday, and 1styears on Thursday. We look forward to learning all the things your students will share.


In the new week, we will begin a new art project and learn about the aboriginal people of Australia, as well as a final look at the power of invention made possible by electricity.


The OMSI field trip is on Wednesday.  Things look pretty solid now, so hopefully, there will be no surprises. 

Remember: bring booster seats if required, a lunch, and arrive at school by 7:45.  We will depart no later than 8:15. We will return about 4pm.  Updated chaperone packets will go home Friday.

Eric and Emily

 

Eric's Weekly Update 2-2-18

posted Feb 2, 2018, 2:32 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Tuesday, 2/6 RCO Meeting – “Growth Mindset” by Sharon Martin 6-7:30pm
Friday, 2/9 Fundraising Committee Meeting 8:30am-9:30am
Friday, 2/9 Re-enrollment deadline
Saturday, 2/10 Pre-lottery Information Session 10am
Monday, 2/10 Sibling Lottery Application Available
Monday, 2/12 Site Council Traffic Work Session 6-7:30pm
Thursday, 2/15 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm
Monday, 2/19 NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day
Thursday, 22 Eric’s class to OMSI

This week…

We were really attracted to this week’s lesson on magnetism. We will continue to look at how the magnetic shield on our earth and that on Mars are different. Some scientists believe that the smaller mass of Mars caused the core to cool faster and then the magnetic shield failed. The result is that the solar winds stripped away the atmosphere and oceans. Our core is going strong but some scientists think our core is changing too.

As promised we saw the Archimedes screw in operation. It’s amazing how many places it can be found once you look for it. As part of our science exploration, we made some polymer worms using an activation agent that turns a liquid into a squiggly, slimy, solid.

Here’s where you can learn more or buy your own kit to make lots and lots of worms!

https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/instant-worms-polymer/

Finally, over the course of three days, we played Jeopardy, Eric style. I asked questions from the first half of the year to see how much information students retained and to refresh their memories. As a whole, I was very happy with how much the students were able to recall.

Next week and beyond…

You may have heard that we are making some shields inspired by African Zulu warrior shields. We have looked at designs and the materials used to decorate them. Next week we will begin to paint our very own. These will be based on classic forms, and we will use traditional colors or as close as we can get.

If we have time we will make some mini pyramids that can be put together to form a very large one. Beginning with one the size of a paper plate, we will eventually find that they rise above our heads. It will be a group effort, just like the real thing in Egypt!



You should have received an orange permission slip about our OMSI field trip to sign. I know the form is long but please read the entire form. It has important information on it and I don’t want to have anyone miss out on the trip due to a technicality.

Eric and Emily


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Eric's Weekly Update 1-23-18

posted Jan 23, 2018, 12:11 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar                      

Friday, 1/19                       6-8 Grade Assembly “Above Between Below”

Monday, 1/22                    Site Council 6-7:30pm

Tuesday, 1/23                   Pasta Dinner Planning Meeting 1pm

Friday, 1/26                       Middle School Winter Formal 5-8pm

Monday, 1/29                    NO SCHOOL – Grading Day

Tuesday, 2/6                     RCO Meeting – “Growth Mindset” by Sharon Martin 6-7:30pm

Friday, 2/9                         Fundraising Committee Meeting 8:30am-9:30am

Friday, 2/9                         Re-enrollment deadline

Saturday, 2/10                   Pre-lottery Information Session 10am

Thursday, 2/15                  Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Monday, 2/19                    NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day

 

 

This week…

Since I last sent out a Brief we finished up round three of Africa presentations, looked closely at simple machines (lever, wheel, inclined plane, axle, screw, etc.) and discovered the changes that occur in the African deserts over the course of the seasons.  We also looked at the surprising number of parts that make up a leaf, including some of their functions. 


When we first began our discussions about deserts I wrote down the perceptions that the class had about what they were like.  Nearly all of those perceptions were incorrect or depending on the season, mostly incorrect.  We discovered together that there is an abundance of life both above and below the surface.


Next week and beyond…

Coming up we will take a look at Egyptian hieroglyphics, spend some time using them to write our own names, and maybe write a secret message to a friend.  Later in the week we will look at typical shields of nomadic groups in Africa and try our hand at designing our own.  This project will last a few sessions.

 

Finally, as part of our Physics curriculum we will look more closely at the Archimedes Screw, sometimes called the Perpetual Screw as an extension of our lesson on simple machines.

 

I am waiting for a final confirmation from OMSI on my preferred date for our field trip.  I can’t give you a date for certain until I hear back from them…sorry.

 

Eric and Emily

 

 

 


Eric's Weekly Update 10-26-17

posted Oct 27, 2017, 10:14 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Monday, 10/30                   NO SCHOOL - conferences

Tuesday, 10/31                  NO SCHOOL – conferences

Wednesday, 11/1               Fall Boxtop Deadline

Sunday, 11/5                     Daylight Saving Time Ends

Tuesday, 11/7                   RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm

Friday, 11/10                     NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day Observed

Thursday, 11/16                Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Friday, 11/17                     Fundraising Committee Meeting 8:30-9:30am

Friday, 11/17                     Barnes & Noble Bookfair 6-8:30pm

 

This week…
We are ready to begin discussing research projects. This year we will not be studying individual countries within Africa but instead look closely at the plants, animals, and geological features. We may look at individual cities. Each student has chosen an area of study and will then present their findings to the class the week of November 13th. As the date approaches, I will give you details about how you may come and observe your child’s presentation if you are able. Presentations are usually not longer than 5 minutes and simply convey information about the subject area that the student discovered during research. Practice at home is very helpful, especially if there are big or unfamiliar words to recite. Students have seen several examples of a presentation board this year, but if you have questions please let me know.

This week we also observed pressure as it is related to buoyancy. To that end, we made a classic Cartesian Diver. You probably know this experiment, though maybe not by this name. It is simply a bottle filled with water and within the bottle is a structure that can hold a bubble of air. As the bottle is squeezed the air is compressed and the ‘diver’ sinks. This is very easy to make and the kids loved it. If the bottle gets jostled it may need to be reset and the diver pulled out and filled with the proper amount of air for it to work again.

Next week and beyond…
Conferences are this Monday and Tuesday. There is no school. Make sure your child attends the conference because they are leading it. I will help them if they feel uncomfortable or are unsure of themselves.

In the coming days, we will be spending time learning about reptiles and amphibians and may look at hull design and displacement.

Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 10-19-17

posted Oct 19, 2017, 2:45 PM by Cynthia Friedman

This week…

We had a wonderful trip to the Lone Pine Farms on Monday and I want to thank our many chaperones profusely.  These trips aren’t really possible without the support we receive from you.  I was a bit nervous, as this was our first outing of the year but it went off very smoothly.  I saw lots of smiles while kids were hunting for the perfect pumpkin and heard lots of excited voices coming from all over the corn maze!

This week we were able to look at the political boundaries of Africa and color in the countries. We made some simple dioramas of African animals of the Savannah, which will be coming home soon. We also looked at the parts of a fish and labeled them to reinforce the lesson we had last week.  Finally, we learned about buoyancy, which will come in handy when we revisit the concept during our planned visit to OMSI and the USS Blueback later in the school year. Fascinating!

Our Philosophy Friday lesson was on self-awareness.  We asked ourselves what 5 words describe me best?

 

Next week and beyond…

In the coming week, I will attempt to fit in some science experiments that support the lessons we have already had.  These are always fun and add to the interest in science we try to foster. With the obvious change in the seasons, I hope to have a short walk near the school to see differences between evergreens and deciduous trees.  It’s pretty easy to identify those differences this time of year.  We will also look at the African resources map, learn about forests, and prepare for the student-led conferences on the 30th and 31st.

Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 10-6-17

posted Oct 6, 2017, 12:31 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar                            

Friday, 10/6                       Fundraising Committee Mtg. 8:30-9:30am

Friday, 10/6                       Ridgeline Reader Deadline

Tuesday, 10/10                  4th Grade Support Panel 6:30-8 pm

Friday, 10/13                     NO SCHOOL – Statewide In-Service

Wednesday, 10/18             Curriculum Sharing 3:05-4:05pm and 6-7pm

Thursday, 10/19                Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Friday, 10/20                     Vision Screening 8:20am-1:00pm

 

This week…

In the previous week we learned about the scientists’ story of the Coming of Humans.  It’s a story that is still being written and a lot of editing has been required along the way.  This week we saw latitude and longitude lines on a globe, looked at the Cardinal Directions of N, S, E, and W and did a few extensions related to that.  We saw a video that helped us understand which mammals came after the dinosaurs and then looked at the humankind obsession with time.  I say that because a few times this week I really wanted to just sleep in!
We began our Philosophy Friday curriculum this week.  We took some time to relax and become mindful of ourselves and our breathing, and then I posed the following question for the class to consider: Should people be forced to apologize even if they aren’t sorry?
There are not always satisfactory answers to all the questions we ask in this strand of the curriculum, and that’s how I prefer it.  I’m interested in having students consider other possibilities and points of view, and to let go of the idea that their first impression or opinion must be correct.  Our class was split in opinions on this matter.  We talked about examples of when it might be and when it might not be.  Ask your child what they thought!

 

Next week and beyond…

On Monday we will start our study of the African continent.  The students will have consistent work related to this continent, culminating in several group presentations.  The initial lessons will be a general overview by me, but soon after follow-up research will be done by the students.  We will also continue our studies in botany and zoology, mostly on alternating weeks.  As a result weekly cultural lessons will usually include work in the following areas: geography, history, physics, botany/zoology.  Additional work will include grammar lessons (parts of speech/word study), geometry, and algebra for third years (in addition to the regular core work).  This is enough to keep students busy and still allow for some other interesting side-work if they are willing.

 

Please note that next Friday there is a statewide in-service and there will not be school.

Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 9-15-17

posted Sep 19, 2017, 11:10 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar                            

Wednesday, 9/20 Picture Day (retakes 10/25)

Thursday, 9/21 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30pm

Friday, 9/22 Family T-shirt Orders Due (form goes home 9/8)

Monday, 9/25 Site Council Meeting 6-7:30pm

Tuesday, 9/26 Laughing Planet Fundraiser

Friday, 9/29 JOG-A-THON

This week…

It was nice to see everybody who came to the parent meeting on Tuesday.  I hope it was worth your time and you have a picture of what we will be doing this year.

We have had a busy first full week of school.  We have discussed the creation of the universe, the birth and death of stars, how elements are created in the furnace of super nova explosions, and had an introduction to the Niels Bohr diagram to see what makes up those elements.  We even spent some time learning about planets and moons. Big brain stuff! Remember to supply your student with comfortable and durable inside shoes or slippers (covered toes) ASAP if you have not already done so.  As the weather changes it becomes critical to keep wet, muddy shoes off the carpet upon which we work.

 

Next week and beyond…

In the coming week we will be talking a lot about our own solar system, starting with Sol, our sun.  We will learn about the size of our sun and the relative sizes and distances of our local planets.  We will discuss the layers of our own planet, how the scientists say our earth evolved into what it is today, and then learn about the coming of life on earth (Second Great Lesson). Since the solar system is a big deal, we will be spending most of our afternoons talking about this and will revisit it throughout the year as we discuss functional geography.

I’m hoping to fit cell mitosis and dinosaurs in there as well if we have time.  Sometimes I’m a bit too optimistic…

 

I am nailing down the details of our first field trip to the Science Factory, and I will keep you informed.  I’m still learning about the dynamics of our new classroom community and the critters are a tad squirrely right now.  It’s possible I may move the date into October. 

 

Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 4-28-17

posted Apr 28, 2017, 2:25 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar                            

Friday, 4/28                       2017-18 Supply Fees Due ($75 per student)

Monday, 5/1                      Site Council Meeting 6-7:30pm

Tuesday, 5/2                     Budget Committee Meeting 3:30pm

May                                   Bike & Walk to School Month

Friday, 5/5                         Character Chats 12-1pm

Saturday, 5/6                     Outdoor Work Party

Tuesday 5/9                      RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm

Wednesday, 5/10               Bike & Walk to School Day

 

 

 

This week…

It was great to see so many of you at the Project Fair.  I felt like we had a lot of visitors and the presentation boards were terrific.  The effort the students put into their projects was very evident.

 

This week we celebrated our fantastic volunteers, both those who make it into the classroom and those who volunteer from home by sharing their positive experiences with friends and associates.  We appreciate both kinds, and feel very lucky that you are part of our community at Ridgeline.  I hope you were able to make it to the Volunteer Tea on Thursday.

 

The Philosophy Friday question: If you had to teach someone just one thing, what would it be?  Have you already mastered the lesson yourself?

Next week and beyond…

4J Site Visit – Our sponsoring district will be visiting on May 29-11am.

 

State Testing starts for the 3rd graders, and will continue until the students finish. 

 

Next week we take a closer look at Russia, it’s geographical features, scientists, and long-standing traditions.

 

I have a date confirmed with the folks at Taste of India for our lunch field trip on Thursday, May 11th.  I have several chaperones already, and have room for just a few more.  If you are interested please get your spot ASAP.  We will make some great memories!

 

There is a fee associated with this trip.  Total cost for students is $8.50 and $13.25 for adults. This includes the gratuity, which the staff will work hard to earn and I think it’s important to be generous with them.

 

There are no more class-wide presentations scheduled for the rest of the year.  Students are free to choose a topic to present if they desire, but it will not be an assignment from me.

Eric and Emily

Eric's Weekly Update 4-24-17

posted Apr 24, 2017, 2:42 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar
Mon. 4/24-Fri. 4/28 Volunteer Appreciation Week
Mon-Wed, 4/24-26 Presentations of Asia
Tuesday, 4/25 Project Fair 3:15-4:15pm & 6-7pm
Thursday, 4/27 Volunteer Appreciation Tea 2:30-3:13pm in room 6
Friday, 4/28 2017-18 Supply Fees Due ($75 per student)
Monday, 5/1 Site Council Meeting 6-7:30pm
Tuesday, 5/2 Budget Committee Meeting 3:30pm
May Bike & Walk to School Month
Friday, 5/5 Character Chats 12-1pm
Saturday, 5/6 Outdoor Work Party
Tuesday 5/9 RCO Meeting 6-7:30pm
Wednesday, 5/10 Bike & Walk to School Day

This week…
We covered a little bit of this and a little bit of that this week. I attempted to do some more work on Earth’s Era’s and the Permian mass extinction in particular, but technology failed us. No worries, we marched on. Our discussion on the Passover and Easter was good, I think. We went through the whole story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We learned about Joseph in Egypt and how the Hebrews happened to be there. Then we discussed in general the plagues and the ultimate release of the Hebrews and the resulting Passover. We saw some parallels in the celebration of both Easter and Passover, both of which are rich in symbolism. We topped it off by making some clay lamps in the Hebrew style of the time.

The Philosophy Friday question: Last week: If there were no more tomorrows, how would you spend today?

Today: If you could watch your life up to this point as a movie, would you like it? The follow-up question was if it were possible to switch a life with someone else, would you do it?

Next week and beyond…

I have a date confirmed with the folks at Taste of India for our lunch field trip on Thursday, May 11th. We will need to drive to this location and the drivers will also need to be the chaperones. We have many lively students in our class and we MUST be appropriate and courteous during mealtime. This may require a very direct approach with clear expectations. In short, if you feel you can redirect a student (like you might your own child) in a restaurant setting, then you are up for the job. I think we can take 8 or so chaperones.

Here are some details. We will arrive at 11 am and begin a buffet-style lunch. We will likely be finishing up before the hour is over and should be back by 12:00. Cars will probably be much heavier on the ride back if memory serves.

There is a fee associated with this trip. The meal will cost - students $7.00 and adults $11.00. We will need to work in a gratuity for the hard work the staff will put in to helping us have a nice experience. Final prices will be on the permission slip. This was a great experience the last time we visited.

Finally, the Annual Project Fair is on the 25th of this month (Tuesday). 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.

SE ASIA
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 4-14-17

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

Calendar
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.

SE ASIA
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

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