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Emily's Room (Lower Elementary)

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

Emily's Weekly Update 5-18-17

posted May 18, 2017, 2:49 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Farm Field Trip TUESDAY

Check those backpacks for a permission slip!  We are going to Winter Green Farm in Noti on Tuesday, May 23.  We’ll learn about how this organic farm is managed for the health of plants, people and wildlife.  Volunteers, if you can join us to chaperone on such short notice, please do!  This is always a beautiful and educational trip.  We leave Ridgeline at 9:00 and return before 1:45.

 Jog-a-thon Tomorrow

Students should:

(1) wear good running shoes

(2) bring a good snack and lunch

(3) bring an extra set of clothes and shoes if it has been rainy

(4) plan for sun protection and grass allergies as needed

 Musical Performances – Save the Dates

We have THREE amazing performances coming up.  Our big year end concert is Thursday, June 8 at 6:00 pm in the gym.  Then, we’ve been invited to perform a song at the year end picnic Tuesday, June 13 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm (exact performance time coming soon).  Finally, we will be singing the Canadian national anthem at the Ems home game on Friday, June 16 at 6:30 at PK park.

 Peacemaker Project

How have the people who have come before us made the world a better place?  What character traits help people overcome obstacles?  What kind of kid grows up to be a hero?  And what does it mean to be a peacemaker?  These are the questions that we are tackling in our end of the year peacemaker biography projects.  Each child has chosen a peacemaker – someone who broke down barriers, sought peace, or helped the earth – to study and share with classmates.  Ask your child who they’ve chosen, and take this opportunity to share your own values with your child.

Nature Tiles Volunteers Needed – Help Create a Lasting Art Installation!

This week the students chose birds, plants and wildlife to illustrate on our schoolyard field guide tiles.  Over the next two weeks we’ll paint tiles, then fire them.  The tiles will be displayed around the door to the south playground. 

We need one volunteer to purchase and cut backer board to fit around the door.  Another volunteer could help mortar the tiles into place (with or without the kids’ helping hands).  All that’s required is some extra time and a lot of YouTube instructions.  Who will be the amazing volunteer that takes this on?

All our student artists will be so proud to see their tiles displayed.   In the meantime, special thanks to Starr Amrit for helping typeset our tiles, to Yaeko Rodrigues for art instruction, to alumni parent Sheryl LeBlanc for ceramics expertise, to Rachael Friese for birdwatching help, and to Rae Kelley for doing our runs to Georgie’s Ceramics. 

Emily Burton

Emily's Weekly Update 2-24-17

posted Feb 28, 2017, 10:08 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Greek Day this Friday – Dressing Up Allowed!

As part of our studies of Ancient Greece, we will celebrate with a day full of activities, food and democracy.  We’ll race in armor at the Olympics, solve the engineering challenges of the Parthenon, and sample Greek foods.


Children are encouraged, but not required, to dress up in Greek costume.  A tunic (adult sized, plain t-shirt) with a belt or sash will do the trick for both boys and girls.  Greek girls and women wore longer tunics or dresses; men’s tunics were shorter.  If your Grecian wardrobe is lacking, we have many, many chitons and tunics to lend and can outfit your child when he or she gets to class on Friday. 


We are seeking food donations for our Greek mini-feast.  Please let me know if you can contribute any of the following: olives, feta cheese, pita bread, or juice.  We just need enough for each child to have a sample – students will still bring their own lunches.    


Pasta Dinner and Concert this Friday

Our class will be part of the singing performance at Friday’s pasta dinner.  Melanie Germond, our music teacher, has created a detailed schedule (including lyrics!) that is attached to this email. 


Homework and Science Fair

We will be preparing for our class science fair beginning in March and April, and displaying final projects at the Project Fair on April 25.  Between now and then, homework will focus designing and completing a science experiment.  We’ll start our in-class instruction on the scientific method over the next two weeks. The first week of March, I’ll send home some worksheets to get science projects underway.  In the meantime, enjoy a short break from our math project homework, and start dreaming up some scientific questions!


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