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Eric's Room (Lower Elementary)


Eric's Update 4-22-19

posted Apr 22, 2019, 11:51 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar                      

Monday, 4/22-24            Amazon Presentations

Tuesday 4/23                Project Fair                      

 

Past weeks…


These past weeks we learned that life in the Amazon jungle can be pretty interesting and if one is clever, can find everything necessary for survival.  Naturally, there are some things trying to survive off of you as well (like lots and lots of flying bugs).  In Central America, we looked closely at the Olmec and tried to discover some of their well-hidden secrets like how to move a 20 ton block of stone over soft ground and then carve a head in it without using metal tools.  This lesson was followed by turning our attention to Mayan culture, architecture, and art.   


We also learned about the layers of the ocean, solar energy, and the biotic sequence. In Botany we looked at different kinds of roots and discussed the functions and advantages of the different kinds.  In Functional Geography we discovered that oblique and perpendicular rays from the sun create the warm and cold regions of the earth. 


Next coming week and beyond…

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday students will share round 2 of their Amazon Basin research.  I have been enjoying the clever ways each student has shown their respective animals to the class this year. 

By Tuesday I expect the room will be a regular South American animal preserve with both our current and most recent past presentations lining our walls and hanging from the vines draped throughout!

This is just in time for our Project Fair that is coming up Tuesday April 23 (3:05-4:05pm and 6-7pm).  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.  Each classroom has projects to show.  Some are science based and others are history based.  Each room will have a flavor all its own so feel free to come in and look around.

 

Eric and Emily

 

Eric's Update 3-11-19

posted Mar 11, 2019, 11:05 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Sunday, 3/10 Daylight Saving Time. Spring forward 1 hour.
Thursday, 3/14 Pi Day
Wednesday, 3/20 Spring Equinox
Mon. 3/25-Fri. 3/29 Spring Break

Past weeks…
Due to the snow days last week and the resulting squirrelliness of the kids this week, we didn’t cover as much material as I would have hoped since my last Brief. We did finish our last Native American presentations, and I feel the students have learned a great deal over the last few months. We also were able to learn about the layers of the ocean, microscopic sea life and the general web of life found in the oceans. Most students finished their handmade totems and NW art projects.

Next week and beyond…
In the coming days we will have an introduction to the South American pin maps and political boundary maps, look at the Amazon River Basin, ancient South American cultures (just the beginning of a 3-month process) and solar energy. I’m very excited about our upcoming studies in the Amazon Basin. This remarkable place is where the kids will be doing their research in the coming weeks and months.

Our very first detailed look at ancient South American cultures will be the Olmecs. There will be a clay art project related to this.

Eric and Emily

 

Eric's Update 2-22-19

posted Feb 28, 2019, 1:14 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Thursday, 2/21 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Friday, 2/22 Pasta Dinner 5-7 p.m.

Friday, 2/22 Direct Donation Drive Kick-Off

Monday, 2/25 Site Council Meeting 6-7:30 p.m.

 

 

This week

Once again, I want to thank all those who sent in goodies for our Chinese New Year celebration.  Since we had a fine outpouring of goodies, we have continued to have the extra goodies here and there.  The kids think I’m being a nice guy, but it’s really been you.

Valentine’s Day was also fun with many participants, treats, and smiles.  I always enjoy this day in the classroom because it’s very rewarding to see such joy in the faces of the students as they give and receive little bits of happiness.

In the past days, we looked closely at the artwork and design of the Northwest tribes of the US and Canada.  Their artwork is immediately identifiable due to the unique shapes, colors, and medium.  The students had a chance to try their hand at creating totems and masks using the forms found among these nations.

As part of Black History Month, we looked into the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, efforts to move beyond the old ways of segregation, and the bravery of those who faced people hostile to change.  We will continue our discussions next week.

 

Coming up

In the coming week, we will have our final presentations on the Native American tribes of Canada, the US, and Mexico.  The schedule will be as it has the past four cycles.  Just before we head off to South America and the Amazon Basin, we will look at the Modoc War, where the Modoc kept the US Army at bay for a long time before choosing to simply walk away from the fight.  As we begin our studies in South America, research projects will primarily focus on geological features and animals.  

 

 

Eric and Emily                               

 

 


Eric's Update 12-17-18

posted Dec 17, 2018, 11:26 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar

http://www.ridgeline.org/calendar

Friday, 12/21 Last Day of School before Winter Break -regular Friday release time.
Friday, 12/21 LAST DAY TO CLAIM LOST AND FOUND ITEMS!
Tuesday, 1/8 Classes Resume

This week…
We just finished a nice round of Native American presentations, and as always, your kids taught me many new things. Thank you for helping them with their projects as needed. Today the students picked their next research assignments based on the Plains Indians and those projects will be due the week of January 14th. Their choices are at the bottom of this update.

Since the last update, we have studied volcanoes, layers of the earth, the rock cycle, water cycle, and erosion. We also looked at the skills Native Americans needed to have in order to survive and thrive in their respective climates.

Next week and beyond…
In the coming weeks, we will learn about Lewis and Clark, Sioux warriors, layers of the atmosphere, the carbon cycle, and zones of the earth.

Our next field trip will be to Dorris Ranch and the details will be forthcoming. This trip will supplement the Native American studies taking place in the classroom and research projects happening at home.

We wish you a safe and happy winter break full of memories and laughter.

Eric and Emily

Eric's Bi-weekly Update 11-16-18

posted Nov 19, 2018, 11:14 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar                            

Friday, 11/16 Barnes & Noble Book Fair 6-8pm

Tuesday, 11/20 Bring vegetables to slice

Wednesday, 11/21 Stone Soup - bring bowl & spoon

Thursday, 11/22 NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving

Friday, 11/23 NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Break

Saturday, 11/24 Tree Sales Begin

Wednesday, 11/28 Picture Re-takes (return your picture packets)

Wednesday, 11/28 RCO Service Project 6-7:30pm

Past two weeks…

We finished our presentations last week and then chose new Indian nations to research. You may have seen the new presentation sheets come home.  The new research assignments are due the week of December 10th. 

Our last field trip was a big success.  I would like to thank all the volunteers who came and kept the students safe and on task while we scouted for pumpkins. 

In the past weeks, we have looked at the names of various geological features and made a booklet to help us remember the names and shapes.  We saw how Native Americans made birchbark canoes and learned about the layers of the earth and why our planet is so unique.  This included learning about the life-saving gift of a magnetic field to protect us from solar winds and radiation, and the forces that operate deep beneath the surface of the earth’s crust.

Next week and beyond…

As part of our America studies, we will take a close look at Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.  We will discover how the older inhabitants of these areas lived in the sometimes-harsh climate, and how the natural resources there are used today.

Later we will look at the rock cycle and the active volcanoes through North America.

Our Stone Soup celebration will be on Wednesday but on Tuesday all students are invited to bring herbs or vegetables to be cut up for use in the community soup pot.  Please see the eNews for more information.

We also have the unique opportunity to hear from Richard Sempala, from Uganda.

Richard is the founder of the Africa Life Youth Foundation – an organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people, including orphans, street children, civil war victims, etc.  Richard is only in town a short while and I think his insights could be important for children to hear.  He will visit on either the 19th, 20th or 26th of November.  I am still working on the details.

 

There will be no school on Thursday and Friday. We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Eric and Emily

 

 

Eric's Weekly Update 10-19-18

posted Oct 22, 2018, 12:03 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Calendar:  http://www.ridgeline.org/calendar   Coming up: Picture Day, Curriculum Sharing, MOD Pizza, Conferences

                                      

This week…

We managed to cover everything in my lesson book this week, and I am both surprised and happy!  We learned about some of the early explorers that came to America, had an interesting discussion about ecology and biomes in general, and revisited the lifecycle of stars as we began our studies in functional geography.

In addition to learning about the early explorers to North America, we looked at the original 13 colonies.  Soon we will discuss the influence those early colonists had on the shaping of the United States, with the briefest of discussions on the Revolutionary War and eventually the War of 1812.  More details on these two wars will be available as students move into the upper grades.

Finally, we looked at Newton’s Laws of Motion, which is taught to all students for mass effect.  Get it?

I shared information with the class about how to prepare their presentation boards, with some pictures of boards from last year.  They were just examples, and we talked about how presentations could be a Power Point, a diorama, a video of themselves if they don’t want to stand in front of the class, and many other options.

Next week and beyond…

In the coming days we will play some colonial games, enjoy colonial style music, and discuss the foods typically found in an early American home.  We will also look at biomes in more detail, and discuss the fundamental needs of humans.  We will also revisit the Sun’s Family, and look closely at the characteristics of the moon.


Please remember to get the Lone Pine permission slips in ASAP.  We can take up to 6 chaperones along.  If you are interested please let me know.  On this trip, each participant is required to pay the entry fee:(

Hope you have a grand weekend.

Eric and Emily

 


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

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