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Meridy's Room (Upper Elementary)

Meridy's Class 2-6-19

posted Feb 7, 2019, 10:33 AM by Cynthia Friedman

This week in Room 9!  Is it okay to own an exotic animal as a pet?  You may have been asked this question recently.  That’s because we are working on writing opinion essays in class.  Which brings us to the next question: Is a chinchilla an exotic animal?  hmmmm….. History has brought us to a place where First Nations are trading furs for goods from the Hudson Bay Company and people in Europe are wearing the highest fashion beaver hats.  You may find your student on a webquest researching this time and watching videos about what it was like to be a Voyageur traveling in a birch bark canoe. In science we are looking closer at weathering, erosion and deposition, the processes that help the rock cycle to go round and round.  Are there examples in your backyard?

Calling Volunteers to take 6th years to the library  Room 9 6th years have started their big project and are looking for resources.  They are asking two adults to drive them (10 in all) to the library to help them check out books.  If you are available, please let me know the days and times and we will get organized. We may be able to do one trip, but splitting into two groups would also be work.


Pasta Dinner - Ridgeline’s annual Pasta Dinner is coming up on Friday, February 22nd, 5-7 p.m. Enjoy a home cooked pasta dinner with red sauce or pesto, bread with garlic butter, and green salad. Visit with other Ridgeline families and bring your Direct Donation Drive (DDD) donation. The Pasta Dinner is the kick-off for the month long DDD, Ridgeline’s largest fundraiser of the year.  If you are interested in volunteering (over 30 needed!) please contact Cynthia.

Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Ridgeline’s Shoe Drive Fundraiser is officially ON!  We are collecting shoes at school from now until February 15. There is a collection box in the school lobby. We also have collection boxes around town – Full Circle Fitness, Eugene Running Company, the Nike Running Store , Oakway Fitness, RunHub, and the UO Duck Store (campus).

Ridgeline Calendar

Friday, 2/8 Fundraising Committee Meeting 8:45-10:15 a.m.

Monday, 2/11 RCO Meeting 6-7:30 p.m.

Feb 18 NO SCHOOL (President’s Day)

Meridy's Room 1-23-19

posted Jan 24, 2019, 10:56 AM by Cynthia Friedman

This week in Room 9!   We are in the thick of the school year and so much learning is happening right now!  Students are researching the first explorers of the PNW.  You should check in with them to see who did find that infamous “Northwest Passage.”  In science we are continuing our study of geology with the rock cycle. There is even a song, “The rock cycle goes round and round…round and round...round and round...”  In writing, students were asked to write an informational essay about something they know well. I have seen essays on horses, 3D pens, and ……. What did your student write about?  We were fortunate enough to have a surprise visit from some of the team members of the Eugene Generals. They played hockey with us, signed a photograph and a puck for our classroom!  Awesome!


Keanan taking on one of the Generals, Nihal and Elliott learning about the rock cycle, Tam concentrating on geometry.  

LAST CHANCE to order those beautiful dark maroon/silver Ridgeline T-SHIRTS AND SWEATSHIRTS.  Did you miss the fall order for t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, pullovers and zip hoodies? Don’t fret, you get another chance!  Orders are due by February 4th. We will not be making exceptions for late orders, so if you want a t-shirt or sweatshirt, please get your order in to the office by February 4th. Order forms will be sent home tomorrow and extra forms can be picked up in the office. Questions? Email Michelle at

Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Ridgeline’s Shoe Drive Fundraiser is officially ON!  We are collecting shoes at school from now until February 15. There is a collection box in the school lobby. We also have collection boxes around town – Full Circle Fitness, Eugene Running Company, the Nike Running Store , Oakway Fitness, RunHub, and the UO Duck Store (campus).

Ridgeline Calendar

Jan 25  TONIGHT - Talent Show     

Jan 31 &* Feb 1 - NO SCHOOL - Conferences (See Ridgeline ‘s eNews to sign up)

Feb 4 T-shirt orders due

Feb 18 NO SCHOOL (President’s Day)

Meridy's Update 1-11-19

posted Jan 11, 2019, 12:18 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Welcome Back Room 9!     We  had a smooth re-introduction to the classroom as we spent the week getting reacquainted and remembering what it is like to be in our community.  Graphs were the focus of the week. See how many types of graphs your student learned about and what they remember about them! On Wednesday our dear mascot Rot disappeared, so we finished off the week with a writing and building activity “How to Catch a Rot”                    

Intent to Return & Sibling Enrollment

It’s lottery season and we need to know your plans for the next school year.  Thursday morning you received an important “Intent to Return” email with links. Please read it thoroughly and complete the Intent to Return by January 18.  In order to qualify for sibling preference, you must complete the online enrollment application for any incoming sibling by January 31 (we encourage you to complete this as soon as possible).  Contact Jen Hackstadt if you did not receive the “Intent to Return” email.

Material Donations Requested

I found a fun way for students to create their own quilt blocks but we need material for this to happen!  Please send in an old t-shirt or pair of pants that you have in your donation pile or any other material you may have hanging around. (Maybe there is an old sewing project you aren’t interested in anymore?)

Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Ridgeline’s Shoe Drive Fundraiser is officially ON!  We are collecting shoes at school from now until February 15. There is a collection box in the school lobby. We also have collection boxes around town – Full Circle Fitness, Eugene Running Company, the Nike Running Store , Oakway Fitness, RunHub, and the UO Duck Store (campus).

Ridgeline Calendar

Thursday, 1/10 Intent to Return opens

Saturday, 1/12 Lottery Information Session 10 a.m.

Sunday, 1/13 Book Swap 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the gym

Tuesday, 1/15 Montessori Parent Education Night 6-7:30 p.m. (see continuing news for  details)

Wednesday, 1/16 Dickie Jo’s & Dickie Yo’s Restaurant Day

Thursday, 1/17 Dickie Jo’s & Dickie Yo’s Restaurant Day

Thursday, 1/17 Board Meeting 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Meridy' Semi-Weekly Update 12-7-18

posted Dec 7, 2018, 11:48 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Sun, 12/9, 4:50pm: TRUE Performs at City of Eugene International Human Rights Day, Churchill High School
Fri, 12/21, 8:30am: All-School Sing-Along Assembly
Fri, 12/21: Last Day of Term 2--End of First Trimester
Mon, 12/24-Mon, 1/7: NO SCHOOL: Winter Break
Tues: 1/8: School Resumes
Tues: 1/8: Term 3 (Second Trimester) Begins

Please add the Ridgeline Middle School Calendar to your Google Calendars!

Dear Middle School Family,

As we wind down into the winter holiday season, the flow of our work sessions is becoming more steady and routine. We just finished up the excellent PBS Documentary about the Reconstruction Era following the American Civil War. It's been a long, deep immersion into the impacts of the institution of slavery not just on African American history, but on American history, period, and our identity as a nation. 

In the next couple of weeks before winter break, we will carry on with our Article of the Week, written response assignments. The students are making impressive progress with their writing skills. The Article of the Week will continue on as a regular assignment through the school year, and will continue to expand as the students achieve greater levels of mastery.

Over the next two weeks, we will also watch the rest of "America The Story of Us," rushing through a very biased perspective of US History from the transcontinental railroad to the modern day. Our focus will be on questioning the perspectives offered on historical events. When we get back from Winter Break, students will start work on projects to seek out and share untold narratives to help us understand the whole story.

Jupiter Ed and Missing Assignments
We are at a point in the year where we're tightening up our grading process. We are currently very caught up with our grading. Please log in to Jupiter Ed and see how your student is doing at keeping up with their work. If your student has excess missing assignments, and they haven't been sick for a long stretch of time, now would be a good time to talk with them about how they are using their class time to get work done. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Jon, and let's set up a meeting soon, or soon after we get back from Winter Break to come up with some strategies to help support your child's success in school.

Electives Volunteer Opportunity!
We'll be changing up Electives after Winter Break. This is a really fun volunteer opportunity if you have some consistent flexibility in your daily schedule. We teach Electives on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday from 1:25-2:10pm, or on Fridays from 11:20am-1:05pm. The commitment is from when we get back in January until Spring Break. You must be able to commit to come every week. We don't have subs for Electives.

We're going to sign up for Electives the week before Winter Break, so please let me know if you would like to lead one. Yoga, Computer Programming, Sewing, Knitting, Juggling... If you love doing something, please share it with our students!

All-School Sing-Along Assembly
Small teams of 8th graders have been going into every other classroom at Ridgeline each week to help teach and motivate the whole school to participate in the All-School Sing-Along Assembly first thing on Friday morning, at 8:30am on December 21. It's going to be a hoot! 

Jon and Maizzy

Meridy's Bi-Weekly Update 10-25-18

posted Oct 26, 2018, 9:34 AM by Cynthia Friedman   [ updated Oct 26, 2018, 9:34 AM ]

Happy Friday!

Room 9 Classroom Happenings - We’ve been busy these couple weeks!  Everyone received a cursive practice book and I’ve already started to notice some trying it out on assignments.  I hope your student has been asking you about things that happened early in their life for them to add to their group timeline.  We have also been practicing our photography skills for the Best Part of Me writing activity. We have finally come to the project part of the Independent Book Project.  Some good ideas are flying around, ask your student what they have planned.


Curriculum Sharing- Thank you to all of those that made it to Curriculum Sharing Night.  I get so much joy out of having families visit the classroom.

Conferences – The conference are coming up November 8th and 9th.  The schedule sign-up was shared with in last week’s eNews or you can click HERE  .  I would like to see these as student led conferences, so try to sign up for a time when everyone can attend.  Remember, these are no school days.


Here at Ridgeline we have set an attendance goal of 95% for each student.  Essentially, out of 172 school days, you should strive to miss fewer than 8.5 total days.  Regular attendance is the base element in a rigorous education. Did you know?

  • 83%of students chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade do not read at grade level by third grade.

  • Students that cannot read at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out prior to graduation than students that read at grade level.

  • Build good habits early, most children’s habits are unlikely to change much after age nine.

  • Parents whose children were often absent underestimate the number of days absent by about 45%

Thank you for being such an important part of your child’s education!

Ridgeline Events:

10/29  MOD Pizza Fundraiser

11/16 Barnes and Noble Book Fair 6pm-8pm

11/21 Stone Soup

Meridy's Weekly Update 10-11-18

posted Oct 11, 2018, 2:26 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Classroom Happenings

It’s been another great work plan filled with math, science (learning about seasons!), history (archaeology!), and finishing the Independent Book Project.  Here are students hard at art, drawing their own shoes.

Jog-a-thon Pledges

Another great Jog-a-thon has come and gone.  Thanks to all the volunteers that helped set it all up and cheer us on!  And now it’s time to get the pledges in to help us keep our PE, music, art, and counseling programs strong and vibrant.  Please have pledges in by Monday October 15th.

Montessori Parent Education Night, Thursday, October 11 at 6:00

In this interactive workshop, families will learn about Dr. Montessori's Planes of Development. After a short presentation Dr. Casquejo Johnston, will facilitate a discussion/workshop.  Families will leave the workshop with an understanding of the planes of development, how they can support their children and practical strategies and supports to build a Montessori home.


You may have noticed that this year you are receiving a lot more communication regarding the importance of regular attendance.  This year we are beginning an attendance awareness campaign designed to increase awareness, educate, and ultimately improve student attendance at Ridgeline.  Good attendance is strongly linked to academic, social, and emotional success.

We believe that students and families that feel they are included in the school community are more likely to show up consistently

We believe that good attendance will allow your child to fully contribute to and fully benefit from the classroom community.  

We believe good attendance will not only build strong academics but also build strong socially and emotionally capable humans.

Thank you for learning and growing with us!

Ridgeline Events:

10/24  3:05-4:05pm & 6-7pm Curriculum Sharing

Sharon's Weekly Update 6-8-18

posted Jun 8, 2018, 2:42 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Hello, Room 9 families! Here's a quick update on the TEN DAY COUNTDOWN to the end of school!

Wednesday, June 7 is PAJAMAS AND MOVIE day. We will be watching My Neighbor Totoro in the afternoon. Please feel free to wear the pajama pants you made.

Thursday, June 8 is GAME DAY. Students may bring a game to play with friends.

There is NO SCHOOL on Friday, June 9 for grading day.

Monday, June 11 is a FORTS AND READING day. Please bring a blanket to build a fort! 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: 5th graders will receive a lesson on reproduction from visiting Planned Parenthood instructors on June 11, 12 and 13.

Tuesday, June 12 is FIELD DAY. Upper el students will be playing games in the afternoon. It's always wise to prepare with dry, clean clothes.

On Wednesday, June 13, students will be taking their work home. Please send your student with a bag appropriate to carry work. The permission slip is attached.
That evening is the OVERNIGHT! If you can loan us a pancake griddle (the plug-in kind) and a pancake turner appropriate for your griddle, we would love to use it. Please see the permission slip for the rest of the packing list.

We will finish out the year on Thursday, June 14 with a FLASH MOB and early release! Students will be ready for pickup at 1:05.

Thank you so much for a splendid and fantastic year!


Sharon's Weekly Update 5-17-18

posted May 17, 2018, 10:21 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Hello, Room 9 families!

Welcome to the end of the year! Most students are about halfway done with their portfolio. We are planning our Ten Day Countdown, which begins on May 30th. We are finishing state testing. 

As students finish their PORTFOLIO, we will be creating covers and compiling the books. These portfolio books will stay in the classroom for reference next year. Please let me know when you would like to see your student's portfolio -- this is a HUGE work and I am proud of each student's accomplishment. Most portfolios should be ready to view during the last week of school.

After students finish their portfolio, they are working on creating and earning BADGES. Badges are designed by students as personal research. Each badge has components of research writing, expert consultant, and original creation. Currently, students are working on badges in Shakespeare, square roots and perspective drawing.

Remember the DANCE-A-THON on Friday night! Join us in the gym or dance at home. Students earn bracelets for each 15 minutes of participation. We start dancing promptly at 6:30pm... see you then!

Human Growth and Development Parent Information Session
On Tuesday, May 22 at 5:00pmPlanned Parenthood will give their overview presentation to parents for the upcoming Human Growth and Development unit the 5th Grade Upper-Elementary students will participate in during the last week of school. Learn what your child will learn about and have your own questions about the curriculum answered! The parent information session will be held in Clint's Room, so please enter through the outside door at the top of the stairs.

Here are some needs Room 9 has right now:

* Volunteers! If you have a few hours in the morning, there are a few students who would benefit from extra guidance on portfolio work. Let me know what your schedule looks like and I would love to see you!

* Chaperones! One of Room 9's traditions is to spend the night at Ridgeline on the last day of school. Chaperones should plan to arrive at school at 7:45 pm on Wednesday, June 13 and will stay at school until 8 am on Thursday, June 14. If you have questions or if you are available, please let me know! I will need a total of 5-6 parent chaperones.

Sharon's Weekly Update 4-23-18

posted Apr 24, 2018, 2:01 PM by Cynthia Friedman

We planned last week to have a Fed-Ex day on Thursday. However, after a group discussion, many students wanted to spend that time finishing other work. We delayed Fed-Ex day to TOMORROW, Tuesday, Apr 24. This all-day event will allow students to display their Fed-Ex projects for Project Fair in addition to the projects they have been completing at home.

PROJECT FAIR is Tuesday, Apr 24. The classroom will be open at 3:05 (dismissal) and again at 6pm. I hope to see you then!

TESTING is starting! This week, we will practice taking the Smarter Balanced testing -- first to learn the test system, and then to see some sample test prompts. Actual testing begins April 30th. Please help your student be successful by starting from a protein-based breakfast and a good night's rest. Thank you!

There is NO SCHOOL on Friday, May 4 for professional development.

Food Pantry – We are down to a few string cheeses and a few bars in the food pantry. Donations of yogurt, string cheese, bars, apples, oranges, nuts, and other nonperishable single serving lunch items are greatly appreciated!

Sharon's Weekly Update 4-14-18

posted Apr 16, 2018, 2:13 PM by Cynthia Friedman

It's finally time -- PORTFOLIOS! This morning, we began portfolio work in the classroom. I'm sure your student will tell you all about it!

Portfolio work is the culmination of all the hard brain work your student has poured into this year. Each portfolio question is designed to demonstrate mastery of a student's understanding of the Common Core and Montessori curriculum. Because this portfolio showcases a student's understanding, we respectfully request that students receive minimal to no assistance from adults for this work. Instead, students may choose the challenge that is appropriate to their understanding.

Here's an example. One 4th year math portfolio prompt states, "Demonstrate the principle of multiplication by 10, 100 and 1000."

Students who are in early levels of understanding might show that 6 x 10 = 60, 6 x 100 = 600, and 6 x 1000 = 6000.

Students who are increasing their challenge might show that 234 x 10 = 2340, 234 x 100 = 23400, and 234 x 1000 = 234000.

Students who are looking for a deep challenge might demonstrate multiplication by 20 or might choose to incorporate decimal multiplication.

In addition, each student's portfolio will have writing samples, art, calligraphy and reading work from our whole year. Completed portfolios will stay in the classroom at the end of the year for future referencing. Beginning in June, parents are welcome to come in after school and see this amazing work.

PROJECT FAIR is next Tuesday, Apr. 24! For those of you who are new to Ridgeline, this is a chance for students to showcase projects they have been completing in the classroom or at home. Every classroom in the school is open to visitors. Students typically display their research on a poster or tri-fold board. (Tri-fold boards are available in the office for $3.50, or you can bring one from home!) The school is open for Project Fair at 3:05 (dismissal) and at 6pm on Tuesday, Apr 24.

To facilitate our awesome project building, Room 9 will be doing a Fed-Ex day on Thursday, April 19. You can help your student come prepared to research by providing library books and printed articles that they can bring to school.

The PANORAMIC ALL-SCHOOL PHOTO is on Wednesday, April 18, weather permitting.

For the last few weeks in the classroom, we have been talking about character strengths as a foundation for resilience. Individually, we identified the top three strengths that we bring to the classroom, using VIA Character's explanations. From this information, we found that Room 9 is high in humor, zest and creativity. (and I quite agree!)

We then began writing weekly goals for ourselves in light of character strengths that we would like to increase. This week, we are talking about teamwork, humility and forgiveness. If you are interested in taking this discussion into your home, the VIA Character website has some great examples of movies to watch and books to read that demonstrate each character strength.

Finally, we have had a lot of sickness in Room 9 this year. If your student will be out, can you help us by calling the office or sending an email about their illness? If your student misses more than three days, can you (or your student) check in with me about work they might need to bring home? I want to make sure that students who are missing instructional days are still feeling confident in their work when they come back.

Thank you!

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