Jon's Weekly Update 2-21-14

posted Feb 21, 2014, 12:18 PM by Cynthia Friedman
Friday, February 21, 5-7pm: Pasta Dinner
Saturday, February 22, 10am-2pm: Outdoor Classroom Work Party!  Come dig!
Tuesday, February 25, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Thursday, February 27, 7-7:45pm: Middle School Info Session! (For future Ridgeline middle school families)
Friday, February 28: Eugene High School Choice Forms Due!
Tuesday, March 2, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Saturday, March 8: OBOB! for 6-8 graders at Willamette High School
Saturday, March 8: University of Oregon Science Fair/Regional Science Fair
Tuesday, March 9, 3:15-4:15: Ukulele Rehearsal
Wednesday, April 30- Thurs, May 1: Canopy Connections Overnight Field Trip
Friday, May 23, 6-8pm: Ukulele Performance: Aloha Friday at Cozmic Pizza
Monday, June 9-Thurs., June 12: MS Adventure Trip to Honeyman Park

Dear Middle School Family,

All these days off are throwing us off.  If any of you have strings you can pull to control the crazy weather, please pull them!  Rhythm and routine help us settle down into hard work of learning.  

It's the steady, regular, applied practice of learned skills that make them habitual, instinctive. Dabbling (occasional attempts) does not build a path to mastery.  Our daily foundational work in reading, writing, speaking, and arithmetic (and music!), needs to be taken seriously.  Our ability to communicate clearly and effectively is fundamental to success in everything from work to our personal relationships.  Discipline is key!

Please log in to Jupiter Grades and keep up with your students' school work.  Your child really does care whether you care about how they're doing in school.  If you need help logging in, please let me know.

Kara Walker Exhibit at the UO
Wow.  I'd like to extend a huge thank you to the UO Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and their staff.  They did a great job helping our students respectfully and productively interact with this Ms. Walker's controversial art work.  The students, as usual, were exemplary in their behavior.  I love taking our students out into the community.  Carrie and I both know how bright, insightful, engaged, curious, and respectful these young adults are.  (We spend most of our waking hours with them!)  It's encouraging, heartening! to see leaders in our community blown away by our students.  I'll never get tired of that feeling.

Ukulele Performance at the Asian Celebration
What a blast.  A million thanks, again, to the Iron Mango Orchestra for giving up their time-slot to us.  I can't tell you how proud they are of our kiddos.  (Iron Mango Orchestra's members formed the Mele Ohana group that donated most of our ukuleles to Ridgeline.)  

The kids did a great job, as usual.  Thanks for bringing them out!  Our next definite performance is May 23 at Cozmic Pizza.  

Humanities Projects
We're wrapping up our Slavery unit with the students' Timeline presentations on Monday.  We're going to spend some time in the next couple of weeks applying what we've learned about slavery's role in the building of our Nation to the building of the students "Bands" in our simulation. Is Expansion possible without Exploitation?  It's an important question.  "With liberty and justice for all..."  Does that notion only apply to US citizens in a global economy?  (Is it even being applied to US citizens?)

Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny are up next.  Rich, deep soil for growth and understanding.  The path Montessori set out to develop was towards peace.  Peace is where we're headed--it's a hard road.  It's a worthy journey.

Outdoor Classroom
Speaking of rich, deep soil, we're centimeters away, okay, cubic meters away from finishing the Outdoor Classroom.  We need to dig deep.  Literally.  We need to dig about a foot down to lay the substrate for the flooring (concrete tiles and cedar rounds) for the OC.  Art Bertsch, our SPED teacher, lent us his rototiller, to get the ground broken.  The weather has not been cooperative!

This Saturday, from 10am-2pm, we will do it to it.  We will get it dug!  Please come help!  Bring a shovel, if you have one.  Ridgeline has nine shovels.  We can get this done in short time with even just these nine shovels working...

I'm also going to need help with garden bed design and building.  We have almost $500, from the Selco grant I wrote, to spend on materials and soil.  The deer are going to be a problem.  If you have ideas that don't involve a giant cage or weapons, please help!  We want to get building ASAP (so we can move dirt to garden beds, instead of into a pile to be moved again--probably too late for that).

Deep breath, Jon.  There's a lot going on.  It's just going to get crazier as the year progresses.

Routine, rhythm, focus...
Jon and Carrie