Emily's Update 4-6-2020

posted Apr 6, 2020, 11:24 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Welcome to Week 2!

Our daily zoom meeting time has shifted to prevent overlaps with other classes.  Our new zoom time is at 8:15 am daily.  Kids can come in their pajamas - no judgement!  My goal is to keep meetings to 30 minutes or less, giving families with kindergarten siblings time to set up for their 9:00 meeting. A zoom invite is on its way today.

Here is this week's schedule.  Please, if you need to make any changes in the suggested schedule, do so.  Montessori is all about being responsive to the needs of the child. As we ease into remote learning, know that you have my permission to make things work for your household.  We are all coping with new demands on our time, technology and patience. Let's be easy on ourselves and our children as we adjust.  

There will be more adjustments to come as Ridgeline rolls out its online learning platform over the next few weeks.  Just as a teaser, I'm really excited about what we'll be able to offer kids and families. In the meantime, stay flexible and hang in there, folks!

Please contact me or Carmen with any questions - that is what we're here for.  We answer emails throughout the work day and have office hours from 11:00-12:00. The best way to reach us is by email or by google chat. In your email, please mention if you'd like an email, zoom meeting (w/you or your child) or a phone call. I'm calling from google so my number will show up as unknown or unlisted when I call.  I truly love to see student work, so do send me photos, videos, and files!

Below is a walk through of the activities for the week.  It includes suggestions for how to organize work, some writing templates, and more.  These are extras to help you, not required worksheets. You can print out the attached files or use them as guides - all the work is designed to be doable without a printer. 


Language Arts Overview

We will be writing about our reading this week.  Students should do reading from a fiction or nonfiction narrative.  A narrative is a story with characters, a setting, and a beginning, middle and end.  Your child may continue reading a book they’ve already started or start a new one, and each day’s assignment does not have to be about the same book.  Picture books or books that are read aloud are fine for younger readers. Running out of books? Check out https://www.storylineonline.net/ for read alouds of picture books.  Or try getepic.com and get a free trial.  They offer a huge digital library of books at all levels, with a text-to-speech option.  And, of course, the Eugene Public Library is a resource for e-books and audiobooks - see their website for more.

Writing Levels

Here are some types of writing that I encounter in a mixed age classroom.  Make a best guess approximation of where your child might fall, and keep in mind that the levels for assignments do not necessarily correspond to grade level.  If in doubt, let your child choose what feels doable right now, and we can build from there.  

Level 1: Kids at this level can write several sentences.  Children at this stage might add a labeled illustration or write a list.  The focus is on capital letters and periods. There’s no need to insist on perfect spelling. 

Level 2: Kids at this stage can write a paragraph. Paragraphs have three parts:

  • Topic sentence (I am going to tell you about… Have you ever wondered about…) 

  • At least 3 sentences with facts, details, definitions or examples

  • Conclusion sentence (Now you know about…  That is why… )

Level 3: These are experienced paragraph writers.  They can write or type a few paragraphs. Their writing should include detailed information, definitions, and examples. Students at this level may eventually develop their pieces to include a stand-alone introductory paragraph and a short conclusion or concluding sentence. 

Math Overview

Many of the math activities are leveled.  My hope is that children will find a level that feels right and doesn’t require too much instruction from you.  Remember, levels don’t correspond to grade level. If your child is resistant or struggling, it’s ok to back up a level, simplify the task or swap out a different activity.  Many families have been supplementing with other activities. These could be favorite Montessori works that kids have created at home or online games. Check out Prodigy, Khan academy, or Xtra Math for free games and activities.  Prodigy is a legitimate learning platform but beware - kids find it addictive!

Cultural Overview

Our focus this week is on flowers - something that kids can experience hands-on during quarantine season.  Help your child notice flowers big and small, and on a sunny day keep an eye out for pollinators. 

Supplemental Materials by Day



The attached paragraph scaffold is an optional help for middle and upper level writers.  Second graders have had practice with these scaffolds in the classroom.  Although first graders have seen this work, most have done it only once.  A few sentences would be fine for younger kiddos who don’t feel comfortable writing a paragraph.  


Classifying Flowers: 

If you choose to classify your flowers, make a table!  It might look like this:





Tiny flowers in backyard


Flowers in Scott’s yard

White daffodils




Your child should make a two column table. Descriptions can be physical characteristics or character traits (internal qualities like optimism, kindness, jealousy, having a short temper). 

Character Description 

Big bad wolf Big eyes, big teeth, big furry ears, clever, 

Dishonest, hungry

Red Riding Hood Not cautious, listens to strangers, doesn’t listen to her 

mother, helpful (takes treats to grandma)


Almost every flower has these parts.  At this time of year, tulips, daffodils, camellias and cherry or apple blossoms have parts that are really easy to see.  

The pistil is the female part of the flower and has a sticky tip to catch pollen.  

The stamens are the male parts of the flower.  Their tips produce the pollen. 

The sepal is the green bud covering (absent on tulips and daffodils). 

Glossary Details - The William & Lynda Steere Herbarium



Make a table to record your measurements.  You can measure in inches or centimeters. Kids who calculate the differences should show their work.








Coin values

It can be helpful for kids to have real coins to manipulate for this activity.  I guide children to start by lining up their coins, highest value to smallest. Then count the highest value coins first (quarters or half dollars), then add in dimes, nickels, pennies, and so on. 



Language Arts:

I’ve included two simple summary templates to choose from, for middle level students and younger.

If your child is struggling with a summary, a quick conversation can help clarify their ideas.  If they are including too much detail, ask them to make their description shorter. Repeat until you get a summary that’s short enough for them to handle.


Check attachments for a Die Roll Tally and Graph for Level 1.

Students who are rolling 2 dice and recording the sum should start with a tally chart:







Then create a bar graph with their data. 


Choose a seed… big seeds like beans, peas or corn work great.  Raid your pantry! You can also use apple or orange seeds, avocado pits, weed seeds collected on a walk…  It might be a good idea to plant a backup variety or two just in case.  I've attached a plant observation journal page.

Again, print out a template or use this as a basis for your child to create their own.

Hang in there, everybody, and have a great week!