Dana's Weekly Update 1-17-14

posted Jan 17, 2014, 10:32 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Hello Great Families! Here’s the scoop on this week: 

Calendars: We pushed through this week and put some extra time into our calendar project and it has really paid off! The majority of the class now has either received their printed calendars or they are currently at the printers. Of those who aren’t yet done, most are very close! I am SO proud of their hard work and can’t wait for them to show it off to you! If your child is still working, please continue to support them at home, setting aside a half an hour daily of quiet, focused work time. It is really motivating for some kids to set mini goals and associated mini rewards (like a family game, being the one who chooses the next day’s dinner, or an extra 15 minutes to stay up past their bedtime...whatever motivates your child). J 

History: We began our new unit on the development of civilizations this week. Our first activity required the students to create tribes that then were tasked with “hunting and gathering” the “food” their tribe needed for the day. The students had to collect information from 80 cards that were posted around the room and put them together to create questions. Each completed question and answer was worth food for one member of the tribe for one day. The students worked hard to feed their tribes but most were unable to gather enough food in the time allotted. Only one tribe was able to not only feed their members but to also create a surplus...this was a source of confusion and strife until the kids found out that I had taught this group how to FARM! We had fun discussing the changes that happened in civilizations as they learned this valuable skill. Suddenly, societies were able to grow larger and have more time on their hands in which they could specialize, beginning to create structures, art and other hallmarks of more advanced societies. Next week we will be looking at the step that follows the move from a hunter/gatherer to an agrarian lifestyle.  

Science Fair: We began reviewing and working with the scientific method this week, defining important terms and conducting a short experiment to look at all the parts of a good science experiment. The Ridgeline Project Fair will coincide with our science fair and will take place on March 11th (it was previously scheduled in May) The UO science fair will be the week before, on March 8th. Visit
http://oco.uoregon.edu/spice/resources for ideas to help your child think of a project that will inspire them. We will do planning and practice at school but projects will be done at home. Keep watching for more info. 

Ridgeline Calendar Change: In order to make up for the 5 lost instructional days from our “snow vacation,” Site Council decided that May 22 and 23 will now be instruction days (not conference days). As always, I will contact you if I feel that a meeting would be helpful to your child’s success, I hope that you will continue to feel free to do the same. If you have any concerns or ideas you would like to talk with Naomi and I about, please let us know and we can schedule a conference at a time that works for your family.  

Upcoming Events:  
1/20 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no school
1/31 Ridgeline Talent Show 

Thanks for all the support you give your student!

Dana and Naomi