Adam's Update 3-5-2020

posted Mar 9, 2020, 11:21 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Hello Room 8 Families! 

Your students have been up to the following activities in the past week.


Last week, the students were introduced to their new writing assignments. The 4th graders have completed their last writing assignment, and have now moved on to learning about Westward Expansion. The students are reading two articles, watching a video, and learning a song, as part of their sources for writing their essay. They are learning note-taking techniques and will use note-taking templates as a guide for how to highlight information that will be relevant to their writing.

The 5th graders are learning about service animals by reading three articles about the different services trained animals can provide, and watching a video on the topic. The students will use the information they gathered through note-taking, and answering a series of questions related to their readings to help write their opinion paper.

The 6th graders have moved onto their next writing assignment, which will be an opinion piece about Robots. The students will have to gather their information by reading through three articles pertaining to robots. They will take notes and answer a series of questions that will help to populate their opinion papers.


For their math, the 4th Graders solved multi-step word problems modeled with tape diagrams, and assessed the reasonableness of answers using rounding. They will continue honing these skills into the next coming weeks.

This week the 5th Graders used basic facts to approximate quotients with two-digit divisors. In the coming week, the students will learn to divide two- and three-digit dividends by multiples of 10 with single-digit quotients, and make connections to a written method.

The 6th Graders furthered their understanding of least common multiples and greatest common factors. In the coming weeks, the 6th graders will learn about the Euclidean Algorithm as an application of the long division algorithm.


Over the past three weeks the students have been working on student-lead read-alouds from Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. In addition, for February’s President’s Day and Black History Month, they  each chose a US President and a Black historical figure to write short biographies about. 

To begin March, we have begun studying the Early Humans. The students have engaged in, and experimented with, life before language. In the following week(s) the students will choose a research topic related to early humans, and their research will relate to what has been studied thus far. The students' studies have taken them as far back as 1 million years ago. They have studied Australopithecus Afarensis, Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Erectus, Homo Neanderthalensis, and have also been exposed to Homo Habilis. Next week we will contemplate what evolutionary changes happened that helped early humans to survive.

Professional Development in the Classroom

As part of our professional development, we will be filming lessons in the classroom. We are using this footage as a reflective tool that will help to solidify teaching techniques by sharing teaching samples with our Ridgeline teacher colleagues. This will aid us to further sharpen the skills necessary to maintain a nurtured learning environment and to further deepen the reflection of our practice. Please be assured that none of the images obtained in the class will be used for purposes other than for our internal Ridgeline professional development.


Outdoor School at Grove Camp:

We are still looking for male chaperones for the April 13th week-long Outdoor School. We need two willing participants to help make outdoor school memorable and safe. The sooner the better! Keep in mind that all chaperones for Outdoor School will need to be fingerprinted and background-checked to participate, so time is of the essence!

Eugene Outdoor School:

We are also looking for chaperones for our field-trip on Tuesday, March 10. So far, classroom parents Britta Ellis, Monique Carrol, and Matthew Johnson have all agreed to chaperone. Since we need to transport ourselves, we could use at least another one, and possibly two, chaperones for next Tuesday’s trip. The front office also will need to make sure you are currently vetted to drive the students. If you are able to assist, it would be greatly appreciated.