Dana's Weekly Update 4-2-15

posted Apr 2, 2015, 12:41 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Families,


Science Fair Homework:  Time to start experimenting! Science fair partners met with me again this week to go over their team procedures and data tables, choosing the best of both partner’s contributions and streamlining them. Both partners should have a copy of the revised drafts that they will use to begin experimenting and collecting data.  Students have this weekend and next week/weekend to work on collecting data for their projects.  Completed data charts are due Monday, April 13th.  Some students with longer projects have already begun collecting data.  I have encouraged all students to try to get ahead with their data collection so they have more time for data analysis and the creation of the aspects of their final presentation boards.  These boards and any other visual aides that the students would like to present will be on display at our upcoming Ridgeline Science and Project Fair.  Remember to visit the ScienceBuddies.org site to see information and examples on any part of the scientific method or science fair projects.  (Click on the “project guide” tab.)


JFinal Room 8 Science Fair Projects are due April 23rd and the Ridgeline Science and Project Fair will take place Thursday, April 30th.


Math Club:  Spring Math Club starts next Thursday, April 9th!  It will take place 3:15-4:15 in the library with Ridgeline parent and UO math instructor Hayden Harker. Hayden’s goal is for the math club for to be a place where students can improve their basic math facts, understand area better, and work with fractions and arithmetic. Ideally they will strengthen their foundations and have fun at the same time. Parents are welcome to hang out and talk to Hayden (hayden.harker@gmail.com) about the club.


Field Trip to Alton Baker:  Drivers/chaperones needed.  We will be heading to Alton Baker once more this school year on Tuesday, April 28.  We are planning on doing planting, weeding and mulching at the city native nursery site.  We will also participate in a scavenger hunt at the park to review some of the facts we have been learning about plants and plant life cycles.  Our plan is to leave Ridgeline at 10:30, arriving at the work site around 11:00. We will have approximately an hour to work in the garden then will follow it up with lunch/recess from 12-12:40 and be back to Ridgeline around 1:10.  We will need 7 driver/chaperones in order to transport the 31 of us.  Please let me know if you are able/interested in joining us! (Remember to check with Kayla about driving permission for this year!)


Volunteer Appreciation Day:  Please plan to join us for our appreciation tea on Tuesday, April 14th.  We want to show our appreciation for all you do in the classroom and school to help support your child and the Ridgeline community!


Grounds Keeping and Outdoor Classroom Work Party – Come help us keep Ridgeline beautiful!  A volunteer work party will be held Saturday, April 11, 10am-3pm.  We'll be digging a path in the north field, weeding, pruning, raking and generally having fun; kids welcome too.  Bring gardening tools if you've got 'em, plus gloves & rugged clothing.  Meet at the outdoor classroom. All family members may log volunteer hours.


Smarter Balance State Testing:  Students from all grades in room 8 will be participating in the upcoming state assessments.  How can you be responsive, learn more about the tests, and help your child be prepared while keeping it all in perspective? 


Here are two practical suggestions we hope will increase awareness and reduce apprehension. 


1.    Take time for some no-pressure practice with your child at home. You can connect using the link below:




Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the green square: “Student Interface Practice and Training Tests.” There are two options.  Play around!


· Training Tests are there for students to experience most features of the test, and to become generally familiar with the software, interface and tools in a grade level band (3-5 or 6-8)


· Practice Tests provide students with a grade level testing experience.  They get to experience a variety of “real” items—about 30 items each in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.  They can also try out a math and an ELA performance task. (There were no performance tasks on the old tests, and many item types are also new.)


Letting your child encounter the tests in the relaxed atmosphere at home is helpful, and it gives you a chance to see what these tests will look like for them.  It also gives you a chance to communicate about testing and how your family sees it.


The reality is that these tests are going to impact the school more heavily than previous years’ tests with regards to time, resources, and effects on classrooms and children.  We can all work together to keep testing in proper perspective and help support our children and our teachers through this time.  Awareness is key!


Upcoming Events

·      Tuesday 4/7                        RCO meeting (6:00-7:30)

·      Mon-Fri 4/13-4/17               Volunteer Appreciation Week

·      Tuesday 4/114                    8:25-9:15 Volunteer Appreciation tea

·      Saturday 4/11                     10:00-3:00 Outdoor Work Party


Thanks for your support! Dana and Rozelle