Carrie's Update 5-1-19

posted May 2, 2019, 2:40 PM by Cynthia Friedman




Bike and Walk to School Month

May 16

Canopy Connections

May 20

Middle School Math (and Science for 8th Graders) State Testing Begins

May 23

UO TeachOut - Carrie and Maizzy on Field Trip with small group

May 24

Move-Up Day/8th Grade Escape

May 27

Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL

June 6

8th Grade Graduation

June 7

Grading Day - NO SCHOOL

June 10-13

Middle School Spring Trip!

June 14

Last Day of School!

LInk to Ridgeline Full Calendar:


Canopy Connections

A big thank you to Christina, Adrena, and Kathee for volunteering to Chaperone the Canopy Connections Field trip. It will be a great day!


Life Science

This week we are learning about “The Cycle of Matter” as Earth’s atoms cycle through living organisms.  

We discussed:

  • Cells as the basic building blocks of life, organized into tissues, organs, and organ systems that perform various specialized functions. An organism can be single or multi-celled.

  • What is an organelle?

  • Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration-

    • What kinds of organisms do which?

    • What raw materials are required, and what is produced in each process?

    • Which organelle is key to photosynthesis? Which is key to cellular respiration?

  • Trophic Levels- Producers, Primary Consumers, Secondary Consumers, Tertiary Consumers, Scavengers, Detritivores, and Decomposers.

  • Autotrophs vs. Heterotrophs-We analyzed the prefixes and root words. Auto-same, Hetero-other, troph-to nourish.

  • Abiotic vs Biotic Factors Prefixes and root words. A-not, Bio-life, ic-like



  • Sometimes we get caught up in the details and miss the big picture.  Math is not just getting a problem correct one at a time. It is more importantly an excellent vehicle for learning how to learn and problem solve.  Students tend to see each problem as a way to earn points for the gradebook. I remind them to step back. Each assignment is an opportunity to practice good learning habits, and each problem is an opportunity to practice processing skills. Points are feedback towards those goals.

  • If a student does not have work to turn in for the current assignment, they are to sit where they can focus on late work while the group checks the day’s assignment.  When we transition to begin work for tomorrow’s assignment, they are to join the group and begin work with the others! Thus they don’t miss out on pertinent information and peer support, which would result in more confusion and bigger hurdles when they get to that assignment later.  

  • The end of the term is this Friday May 3rd.  Part of the reason we do not accept assignments after the term ends, is to discourage students from cramming at the last minute.  It is not a good learning habit, nor is it conducive to skill building. Math is a language. The more frequently it is practiced, the better the fluency.  As students progress through the curriculum they will need to decide when and how to apply and combine the skills we are working on now, as the complexity of the work increases.  

  • Our success in math provides feedback we can use to explore how our work habits impact our learning.  As part of our test correction policy, we have students look for patterns in errors, brainstorm reasons for the pattern, and create a plan for changing those limiting habits.  Process, pattern awareness, and learning about learning. Those are our goals.

With Gratitude,

Carrie and India


Middle School Science and Math Online Resources


CPM textbooks:

- All CPM students are to sign in to their online Textbooks at using Google Sign-In and their Ridgeline Email address.  There is core problem and homework support for every assignment, links to the Desmos online tool and many other resources.

- If a CC3 student cannot access this resource, they can use the CPM Core Connections 3 Homework Help Link:


- For parents with students in CPM Core Connections 2, the link below is to a good resource for getting your head around math concepts in CPM Core Connections, Course 2.

CPM Core Connections, Course 2 Parent Guide with Extra Practice: