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Emily's Room (Lower Elementary)

Emily's Update 1-14-19

posted Jan 15, 2019, 9:02 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Ocean Studies

We are splashing into our newest biome study – the oceans!  Over the next few weeks, we will take a dive to the deepest layers of the ocean and learn about the antiquity and diversity of invertebrate life.  If you have interesting artifacts or books that would help us learn about the oceans, please send them in.


Backpack Check!

New homework assignments were sent home on Friday.  First graders will be making a collection of 100 items and grouping them in different ways (by twos, by tens…).  Second graders will build a ramp and investigate how the height of their ramp effects the distance a toy car travels.  Third graders are excited to build a marble run and determine how long it takes for their marble to drop.  Our Homework Gallery will be February 4, at 8:30 am. 


Land Talk Entries

The December Land Talk homework was amazing!  The projects showed great depth and variety.  Many great projects didn’t make it onto the Land Talk website.  If you’d like to contribute to the database, please visit and go to submit conversation.  Parent and Land Talk team member Erik Steiner is happy to help if you have questions.  You can reach him at


Montessori for a Peaceful Community  Tuesday, January 15, 6-7:30pm

Montessorian Debbie Sheehan leads a discussion of Grace and Courtesy and how Montessori ideals and practices can shape our families, our communities and the world! This should be a really worthwhile talk – hope to see you there!


Conferences January 31 and February 1

This year, Ridgeline is holding conferences instead of sending out mid-year report cards.  Please join me to discuss questions, concerns, or to check on your student’s progress.  If you have questions (or are wondering whether to sign up), please contact me! Or, just sign up for a conference time that works for you. 



INTENT TO RETURN & Sibling Enrollment Form

It’s lottery season and we need to know your plans for the next school year.  Thursday morning you received an important “Intent to Return” email with links. Please read it thoroughly and complete the Intent to Return by January 18.  In order to qualify for sibling preference, you must complete the online enrollment application for any incoming sibling by January 31 (we encourage you to complete this as soon as possible).  Contact Jen Hackstadt if you did not receive the “Intent to Return” email.



Jan. 15:  6:00-7:30pm Presentation: Montessori for a Peaceful Community

Jan. 24:  6:30 pm  Information session for new families interested in attending Ridgeline

Jan. 16-17:  Dickie Jo’s restaurant fundraiser

Jan. 25, 6:00: Ridgeline Talent Show

Jan. 31 – Feb. 1: No school - Conferences

Feb. 4, 8:30am:        Homework Gallery


Emily's Update 12-10-18

posted Dec 10, 2018, 1:05 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Salmon Release Next Thursday – Drivers Needed!

Our salmon are growing up!  We think that they’ll be ready to release next week, a little bit ahead of schedule.  Now, we need drivers to take us (and 95 salmon fry) to Alton Baker Park next Thursday, December 13.  We will leave at 11:15, park by the Science Factory, then cross the creek and have a salmon release ceremony.  Weather permitting, we’ll eat lunch and/or have recess at the park.  We will return to school before 1:00.    Permission slips will go home Monday, and a copy is also attached. 

            Please let me know if you can be a driver for this trip and how many back seat spaces you have in your vehicle. 


Take-home Volunteer Jobs

Would you like to get some volunteer hours over winter break?  We have a big binding job that can be done on your own time, at your own place.  Let me know if you’re interested!

Emily's Weekly Update 10-15-18

posted Oct 16, 2018, 10:15 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Mosaic Making
We are starting an exciting mosaic project this week.  As we plan our projects, we will ask students to bring in a dozen (or more!) items that could be incorporated in a mosaic.  These could be bottle caps, coins, flat stones, pieces of sea glass, chunks of stoneware, glass beads, metal nuts, washers, tiles, or anything else that could be incorporated into a small mosaic tile.  These will be pooled and made available to all children - special treasures that your child doesn't want to part with should be kept separate.  
Are you interested in helping out with this project on Tuesday afternoons?  We would love an extra pair of hands this Tuesday and next Tuesday (the 16th and 23rd).

Salmon Egg Delivery - Volunteer Needed
We need a volunteer who can go to the ODFW office in Springfield on the morning of October 23 to pick up our salmon eggs, then deliver them to us at Ridgeline.  Join us in welcoming them into the home where they'll hatch and begin their long journey to the sea.  
Thank you to Matt Peterson for picking up the aquarium equipment and to Lindsay Ramsey for setting it up!

Fire and Earthquake Safety
On Wednesday, firefighters will visit Ridgeline.  We'll talk about fire safety and learn about firefighting equipment.  On Thursday, we will join in the Great Oregon ShakeOut, a statewide earthquake drill.  Be ready to talk about your family's plans in the event of a disaster. 

Curriculum Sharing
What is the work of a Montessori student? Come see first hand at Curriculum Sharing on October 24th from 3:05 - 4:05 or 6:00 - 7:00.  Your child will show you what they've been working on, and maybe even give YOU a lesson! 


You may have noticed that this year you are receiving a lot more communication regarding the importance of regular attendance.  This year we are beginning an attendance awareness campaign designed to increase awareness, educate, and ultimately improve student attendance at Ridgeline.  Good attendance is strongly linked to academic, social, and emotional success.


We believe that students and families that feel they are included in the school community are more likely to show up consistently.

We believe that good attendance will allow your child to fully contribute to and fully benefit from the classroom community.  

We believe good attendance will not only build strong academics but also build strong socially and emotionally capable humans.


Thank you for learning and growing with us!

Emily's Weekly Update 9-10-18

posted Sep 10, 2018, 3:47 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Great Beginnings

            The year is off to a wonderful start.  We’ve already seen so many instances of kindness, sharing and helpfulness from students of all ages.  It is going to be a great year!


Biome Fashion Show Friday

We are studying biomes this year.  As part of our studies, we will have a fashion show on Friday, Sept. 14.  Children are invited to bring clothing and props that they would wear to explore one of the seven biomes we are studying: temperate forest, tropical rainforest, desert, grasslands, wetlands, mountains, polar regions, and the ocean. 

For example, a child dressed up for the grasslands might wear long pants to protect their legs, with a sun hat and sunglasses since there are no trees for shade.  A wetland explorer might wear rubber boots and carry a fishing net.  Check your closets and be creative!  Bringing a prop or two (guidebooks, beach towels, stuffed animals, etc.) is fine, but please don’t send in anything precious or fragile.  Also please know that I’ve asked ocean explorers to include a rash guard or cover-up (no swimsuit-only outfits, please).  

Students can wear their costume to school or bring costume items in their backpacks and change here.  Participation in the fashion show is encouraged but not required.  After all, kids can always dress for their own biome – the temperate forest!

If you'd like to be part of the audience at our fashion show, join us at 12:10 on Friday.


People of the Land – A Dorris Ranch Field Trip

            On Wednesday, September 26 we will be taking a field trip to Dorris Ranch.  We’ll learn how Kalapuyans, trappers and pioneers used the land as part of our upcoming study of pioneer times.  We are seeking chaperones for this morning field trip which leaves at 9:00 and returns at 12:20

            Permission slips will be sent home Friday; a copy is also attached to this email.



            Just a reminder – each student should have a placemat or cloth napkin packed in his or her lunch box daily. 


Friday Volunteer Needed

            We are seeking a volunteer to help us assemble student packets on Fridays.  We have announcements and spelling lists to collate and put into backpacks.  It’s about an hour of work, and could happen around 11:30 or 12:00 on Friday.  It’s a great time to also join us for some recess fun or to have lunch in the classroom with your child, then go straight to pick up.  Email me if you are interested!


Spelling Starts Friday

            Our wonderful spelling volunteer Hahn Niemand is back!  Second and third graders will get their first spelling lists this Friday and have their first quiz the Friday of the following week.  We will be basing our initial spelling placements off of the groups kids were in last year.  Let me know if your child's words seem too easy or too hard and we will see if an adjustment is in order. 

            Frequent but short and relaxed practice sessions really help kids be successful in spelling!  Some parents keep the list in the car and help with practice while commuting.  Although we do provide some practice opportunities here, we find that a little bit of exposure at home is the key to getting those words down. 

Recess Equipment Donations

            We want recess to be fun!  We provide all sorts of recess supplies, from board games to jump ropes and basketballs.  But after lots of hard play, some of our supplies are wearing out.  We are looking for donations of jump ropes (short and long), balls (basketball, soccer, nerf football, etc.) and other equipment to replenish our supply.


Thank You

            Thank you to the Steiners for building us a beautiful outside bench!


Mark your Calendar:

Sept. 14           Biome Fashion Show

                        Spelling starts

Sept. 26           Morning Field Trip to Dorris Ranch

Oct. 4              6:00-6:45 Class Meeting (no childcare provided)

Oct. 12            No school – Inservice day


Emily's Weekly Update 6-12-18

posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:48 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Saturday Ems Game Performance and Tickets

Join us at Saturday’s game and see your child sing “O Canada” on the field!  Tickets for Ridgeline families will be grouped in one super fun section.  Ticket sales are online:  Tickets are $12, with $4 going towards Ridgeline.  The game starts at 7:05.  


Field Day TOMORROW – Extra Clothing and Sun Protection  

Field Day is TuesdayJune 12 from 9:15-11:15am. One of the stations will have water balloons. It is likely that your child will get wet. We encourage you to send your child with a change of clothes so that they do not have to stay in wet clothing for the remaining hours of the day.

Please also plan for sun protection - sunscreen and/or a hat.


Shelf Cutting Volunteer

I’m looking for a volunteer to shorten several sets of shelves for a classroom remodel over the summer.  You would need just four quick cuts to the 2x4s supporting the shelves – probably easily doable here at school with your circular saw.  Ideally, a volunteer would be able to help out either Friday, next week, or any time in July.  


Wednesday Cubby Cleaning  

We will be cleaning out cubbies and sending home indoor shoes on Wednesday.  You may want to send a bag with handles to help your child carry the load home!


Peacemakers Gallery and Ceremony

We had a great celebration of our peacemakers today!  I’m so happy that our students made such great connections with their peacemakers and that they have gained dozens of great heroes to inspire them. 


Emily's Weekly Update 5-24-18

posted May 24, 2018, 8:42 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Field Trip Tomorrow!
We are headed to Winter Green Farm in Noti tomorrow.  We will be outside all morning.  The weather forecast is for cloudy or partly cloudy weather with temperatures in the low 60s.  Please send your child in layers and plan for sun protection, even if it’s cloudy.  Also make sure that your child has farm-friendly footwear (closed toe shoes are best), a full water bottle and a pocket snack. 

 Ems Game Ticket Info - Ridgeline will be the featured nonprofit at the Eugene Emeralds game on Saturday, June 16th, 7:05 p.m.

Kindergarten will sing the National Anthem and our awesome class will sing O Canada. Both performers and adults need to buy tickets.  Tickets for Ridgeline families will be grouped in a section. Tickets are $12, with $4 going back to the school. If we sell more than 200 then $6 of the price will go back to the school. Tickets sales are online this year. To buy tickets go to -  We are still looking for a volunteer to set up an information table the night of the event and take it down. Complimentary tickets to the games are available for this volunteer position. Contact Cynthia to volunteer.

Emily's Weekly Update 2-9-18

posted Feb 9, 2018, 12:01 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Homework Gallery Tomorrow

We will be sharing our amazing products about aqueducts, Roman buildings, and robots tomorrow in the library from 8:45 to 9:15.  Friends and family are welcome to join us!  


Rainforests and Ruins

Have you heard about the thousands of new ruins discovered in the forests of Central America?  What great timing for our study of rainforests and their mysterious inhabitants, the Mayans.  

Many houseplants originated in the warm, shady understory of the rainforest.  If you have an orchid, bromeliad, or other rainforest plant that can visit the classroom for a few weeks, please bring it in.


Bring Recorders Mondays and Wednesdays

Our musicians have learned the notes B, A, G and C.  Kids can practice by playing any of the “BAG” songs on the handout in their recorder packet.  That’s enough to play along with our first concert piece, Duke’s Place. Your child can look at the music in their Orchestra Swings book (it’s just G and C notes) or listen and play along using the link at  

Pro tip: If your child is sounding squeaky, double check that they are using their left hand on top and that the holes are fully closed.


Valentine’s Day

We are celebrating Valentine’s Day next Wednesday.  Valentines are optional; if your child does choose to bring cards, please make sure that they are labeled with classmates’ names (a list is attached).  No candy please, but other favors (pencils, stickers, etc.) are fine.  We will be using paper grocery bags as our Valentine “mailboxes.” Bag donations are appreciated!

Emily's Weekly Update 1-30-18

posted Jan 30, 2018, 9:45 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Roman Day This FRIDAY

By imperial decree, Roman Day has been shifted to this Friday.  We’ll spend Thursday afternoon preparing our classroom and working on projects, then go Roman on Friday.  Costumes are, as always, optional but super fun!  We’ve talked about the different levels of Roman society, so some students are planning to dress as emperors, some as patricians, some as plebians, and I’m sure that some will choose to be enslaved Romans, soldiers, or even gladiators.  Roman women wore long tunics (a long dress would do fine) and a shawl or wrap.  Luxurious fabrics, jewelry, and elaborate updos were a sign of wealth.  Upper class men also wore long tunics.  A toga was a voluminous overwrap that was only worn by the elite.  Less prosperous Roman men wore more practical, shorter tunics.  We also have tunics at school if your child would like to get costumed here.


Roman Feast

We are looking for donations of food for our Roman feast on Friday.  My wish list includes Thai fish sauce, olives, grape juice, dried fruit (apricots, raisins and figs would all be appropriate), rustic bread, a crockpot of plain cooked mushy lentils, and olive oil.  And if you have access to flamingo, dormouse, songbird or dolphin meat, let me know!


Valentine’s Day

We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14.  Children may choose to distribute Valentines at school if they wish.  Please make sure to bring one for each child.  No candy, please, but pencils, stickers, tattoos and other non-consumables are fine.  We ask that children label each valentine with a classmate’s name.  A list of names is attached to this email.


Recorder Practice

Students who chose to learn recorder took home recorders and practice packets on Wednesday.  A little bit of practice each day makes a difference!  It’s also ok for kids to work ahead (they are just assigned the first song).  A word to the wise – if your child’s recorder sounds excessively squeaky and bleaty, advise them to blow softer, like a gentle sigh. 

Do you want to join us for some great recorder (and symphony) music on the morning of March 13?  We have room for a few more chaperones, so contact me if you’re interested.



Emily's Weekly Update 11-7-17

posted Nov 8, 2017, 9:28 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Ancient Life

A few weeks ago, the children heard a special story about how the universe, stars and planets were formed.  This week, we continued the story by looking at the history of life on earth.  We’re focusing on the Paleozoic, a time when a wild diversity of creatures filled the seas and the first plants and animals emerged onto land.  Do you have any fossils or ancient rocks at home?  We would love to take a look at these artifacts from earth’s history.


Rolling Pins Needed Thursday

We are in need of some rolling pins for a fossil making activity on Thursday.  Anything from small playdough style rolling pins to big pastry rollers would be helpful.

Book Fair Performance

Join us on Friday, Nov. 17 for the book fair and a fantastic concert.  We’ll sing some of our class favorites.  Hope to see you there!


Brunch and the Symphony

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, we will be going to a special educational concert at the Hult Center.  We will be riding an LTD bus and walking, so please make sure that your child wears warm layers and good walking shoes.  We will eat “brunch” very early (around 10:15) and save our snack for after the concert.  Consider sending two pocket snacks or something extra for the afternoon.  


Scholastic Catalog Volunteer Needed

Do you want an easy, take-home task for volunteer hours?  Help assemble our Scholastic book catalogs!  Let me know if you are interested.


Laundry Volunteer Needed

Can you take our cleaning cloths home on Friday and return them laundered on Monday?  If so, the job is yours!

Emily's Weekly Update 9-11-17

posted Sep 11, 2017, 3:41 PM by Cynthia Friedman


What a wonderful beginning to the school year we’ve had.  It’s been fun to see new faces and to marvel at how much returning students have grown.  During the first weeks of school we’re focused on reviewing grace and courtesy – the essentials of getting along in a peaceful community.  That means demonstrations on laying out a work mat, asking for and giving help (from other students as well as adults), and being a friend.  A special thank you for everyone’s patience and flexibility during our period of unhealthy air.


Class Picnic Tues. Sept. 19, 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

Mark your calendar!  During the first half of this class meeting I will preview this year’s curriculum and give tips for supporting your child with upcoming spelling and homework projects.  I’ll also go through the schedule of a typical Montessori day.  Then we’ll enjoy a picnic together.  Plan on bringing your own food and plates/cutlery please.  Children are encouraged to come and may play on the playground during our talk if they are supervised (no childcare is provided), or they may join the audience during our brief meeting. 


Ni Hao, Minyuan!

On Monday we welcome LiMinyuan, a Chinese intern who will be working full time with our class for the next five months.  Minyuan (pronounced like Ming-won) is working on a degree in teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages at her home university, and joins us through a UO exchange program.  For the first week or so she’ll be observing the class.  Then, she’ll help us learn more about Chinese culture and language.   Xie xie (thank you) Minyuan!


Native American Nations

Next week we will begin our study of our country’s Native Nations.  Each student will choose a nation to research and report on.  This is a great time to share stories or family history relating to Indian cultures.  Students really enjoy learning more about nations that they can connect with through their own history, travels, or artifacts.


Wishes, Reminders and Thank Yous–

Can you donate a directional compass to the classroom?  A floating ball compass or other simple, functional compass would help orient us in our map work.

PE starts this week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Please make sure that your child has PE-ready shoes on those days.

Please include a placemat in your child’s lunch box.

Thank you to Yaeko Rodrigues for donating an air purifier to the classroom!


Emily Burton

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