Clint's Weekly Update 4-28-16

posted Apr 28, 2016, 12:50 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Families,

The Register Guard newspaper reporter and photographer that attended the the Project Fair yesterday published a glowing story about how the class was able to create an amazing museum.  The story can be found by following this link (or copy and pasted at the end of this email).

Heather Kliever, our contact at the Lane County Historical Museum (LCHM) also commented on the article with a LCHM Facebook Post:

A big congratulations and thank you was earned by all of the students for preparing such a successful event.  

End of the Year Trip Meeting for Chaperones: MAY 2 @ 6:30pm

Our class’s next big event is the end of the year trip’s mandatory chaperone meeting on May 2nd at 6:30pm in Clint’s classroom.  This meeting is intended for the parents that are going to be chaperoning the end of the year trip, but all parents are welcome to attend.

No childcare will be provided, and parents are encouraged to not bring their children so we can focus on the information being shared.

End of the Year Trip Equipment: We’re ready for the large items!

Starting Monday, the room will be ready to receive the large items that your family signed up to loan the class for our end of the year trip.  Please send in your:

  • storage bins

  • tents

  • tarps

  • coolers

Please clearly write your family name and/or your child’s name on each item that you want returned to you.

Totem Pole Carving

The Sunday carving sessions are becoming more popular as the faces of the totem images start to emerge from the log.  Don’t miss your chance to contribute to this amazing opportunity by showing up between 9 and 11am on Sunday.

Thank you for Supporting Your Child During Testing

The testing schedule for next week is:





May 2

May 3

May 4

May 5




Math CAT


Math CAT


Math CAT


Math CAT

The Register Guard Article

Oregon Trail explored at Eugene’s newest ‘museum’

By Francesca Fontana

The Register-Guard

APRIL 27, 2016

Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School sixth-grader Sara Zapata-Minchow, playing pioneer Marcus Whitman, guides Jennifer Hornsby, the school's board president, through "Night at the Museum" exhibits that included a prairie schooner built of recycled materials, a wall-sized frieze of Oregon, and a student-authored graphic novel.

(Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard)

Arthur Burridge reads about Oregon history during a presentation at the "Night at the Museum" event put on by students in grades 4 through 6 at Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School.  

(Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard)

At the Ridgeline Historical Museum’s grand opening on Tuesday, visitors had the opportunity to take a tour through the history of the Oregon Trail with pioneer missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.

The Whitmans were played by “museum directors” Sara Zapata-­Minchow and Olivia MacDonald — who also happen to be sixth-graders at Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School in south Eugene. They were dressed in period costumes — Olivia wearing a blue dress she had sewn herself and Sara donning sideburns made of felt.

The entire “museum” was organized and constructed by students in Clint Moore’s class of fourth- through sixth- graders after they learned about the Oregon Trail throughout the school year.

“Every year is different, especially with Clint,” Olivia said.

She and Sara were in charge of organizing the floor plan for the museum, which included a life-size covered wagon, tables of historical artifacts, and even a gift shop.

Moore, who joined Ridgeline’s teaching staff three years ago, decided to introduce the Oregon Trail to his students through what’s known as project-based learning.

At the beginning of the school year, the students embarked on a project where they traveled through space to the fictional “NuGyro” planetary system, crossing comets and asteroids in spaceships. Ultimately, Moore’s class figured out that their trip to NuGyro (that’s “Oregon” spelled phonetically and backward) actually represented the pioneers’ trek along the Oregon Trail, crossing rivers and mountains in covered wagons.

Project-based learning “allows the kids to create a physical representation of the topic that they’re studying,” Moore said Tuesday. “You have this engagement that you might not otherwise have.”

Moore’s students began to understand the underlying theme of the NyGyro project when they were given all of the materials to construct their “spaceship.” Moore said one student looked down at the items from a balcony and called out, “We can make a covered wagon out of that!”

In the process of learning about Oregon’s history, the class started carving a totem pole with help from local woodworker Vic Hansen and the Eugene School District’s Natives Program.

Fourth-grader Alma Reindel said she was surprised to learn how far the pioneers had to travel on their journey to Oregon, and that they had to bring all of their belongings and three times the amount of food they would normally need.

“It’s awesome they made it all the way here,” she said.

Alma and fifth-grader Evan Hackstadt were among the students who showed off the life-size covered wagon they constructed with materials donated by BRING Recycling.

The wagon was modeled after a prairie schooner wagon on display at the Lane County Historical Society, which the class saw on a trip to that museum.

Evan said he enjoys the hands-on approach toward learning that he’s encountered at Ridgeline.

“I like how you have a lot of freedom in the classroom,” Evan said. “You get to discover the information for yourself.”

As she viewed the museum’s exhibits on Tuesday, Evan’s mother, Jenifer Hackstadt, said she enjoys seeing her child so engaged in the classroom.

“Kids come home excited about school,” Hackstadt said. “It’s really great watching them have fun with learning.”