Carrie's Weekly Update 9-24-15

posted Sep 24, 2015, 10:59 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Middle School Weekly Update 9/23/15

 Upcoming EventsTuesday September 29th Laughing Planet Fundraiser

Wednesday September 30th, 6 -7 pm   Middle School Class Meeting

Picture Day – Ridgeline’s annual picture day with Lifetouch was Wednesday, September 23rd. Picture Package order forms were sent home the previous Friday. If you wish to order photos please do one of the following –

· You may order pictures online up to two days after picture day at Ridgeline’s picture day ID is: LO535174Y0.

· If your student is absent for picture day, or you do not like the photos, re-takes will be available on Wednesday, October 28th.

The Laughing Planet Restaurant Fundraiser is Tuesday, September 29th,  11am-9pm at 2864 Willamette St.  Consider joining other Ridgeline families for dinner or grab take-out and Laughing Planet will generously donate 15% of their sales to Ridgeline’s general fund (PE, music, counseling and scholarships).  Great food and a great cause!

Volunteer Opportunities -

Practical Life - Attention parents with interests and talents! I know you have many. You are needed Friday mornings from 10:20 - 12:20 AM to share your practical life skills.  Email Jon or me to discuss possibilities.  You’d be surprised how you could be of help.  

THANK YOU for volunteering at Ridgeline.  You are essential to making Ridgeline a strong learning community.


Practical Life -   Micro-Economy students are brainstorming practical product ideas for our developing  storefront concept.  

Products must fit three criteria:

·        Return On Investment: The materials and time commitment must be reasonable and manageable for the student.

·        Affordability - The final product must be reasonably priced.

·        Market Potential - After the design team decides the previous two requirements are satisfied, students will do market research to find out if their product has a market.  Be prepared to honestly discerning when you respond to survey questions regarding their product ideas.  Your honest feedback as a consumer, will help them save time in product development.

Science - This week in science, our Lab Activities continued to illustrate requirements for valid experiment design.  Here are some questions we explored:

·        How do you find the Best Value and the Uncertainty for a set of data points?  

·        What makes the design of an experiment good or poor? (hint: It has to do with whether it is a fair test or not.)

·        What were the manipulated and responding variables in the magnet activity we did this week?

Note: Almost every day in science, we will be doing lab activities.  The students will record their lab work in the corresponding Activity Record Sheet.  Almost all Record Sheets are followed by a Practice Sheet to be completed in class, in study hall, or as homework.  The grade you see in Jupiter Grades is a combined score for both the Record Sheet, and the Practice Sheet.  

Personal World - We began our experiment in mindfulness this week agreeing that, being human, we all have had some similar experiences.  Just a few examples are: saying things we later regret, doing things we later regret, and having trouble sleeping because our minds won’t stop spinning, or our bodies are restless.  The Mindfulness technique we will be practicing  involves being present with our senses, thoughts and emotions. It is very simple, but this practice can help us develop the space between receiving a stimulus and  having a reaction. Mindfulness practice increases our awareness of that moment where we have a choice to respond rather than react.  


Parent Login information went out in an email this morning.  I believe I sent one to Jon’s morning class.  In that case, you may have received two reminders.  Ah well, I am still getting to know Jupiter grades myself. As illustrated, we are still working out some kinks in the schedule, communications systems, and routine.  A number of students have missing assignments. When students bring them to me, I will check them off if I have time.  As it  is a rare occurrence for me to have time during the day, I will generally have them flag the assignment (with a sticky note) to be checked the following weekend when I am grading folders again.  

Our system in general, and assignments in particular are being reviewed and explained by Jon, Maizzy, and I on a daily basis. By all means, communicate with us as necessary, but as you sit down with your student to go over progress, help them craft questions on points of confusion, and create positive plans for action. Send them to us with these questions and plans as much as possible.  Thus they have the opportunity to exercise initiative, independence and self-advocacy in their world.  This is indeed a great skill to learn early, and a safe place and time to learn how.

Thank you for your supportive feedback and patience during this transitional stage.

Enjoy the return of fall leaves, hot tea, and layers weather.

I sure am.