Sarah's Weekly Update 12-16-11

posted Dec 16, 2011, 10:42 AM by Cynthia Friedman
The focus of work this week has been on catching up with old assignments, in order to be ready to come back after break with a blank slate. I am enjoying the new work that students (who are caught up) are coming up with on their own. They are so creative and productive!

Planned Parenthood has been coming in and presenting Human Growth and Development lessons to all of Upper El this week. On Wednesday, anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system was discussed. Thurdsay’s focus was puberty, and Friday’s discussion was about HIV and AIDS.

In the afternoons we have been taking district assessments in reading, vocabulary, and math. This gives us a benchmark to spot any struggling students who may need a little extra support.

Oregon Battle of the Books
Our school would like to participate in Oregon’s Battle of the Books this year. For those of you who are unfamiliar, students from across the state read the same list of books, and compete against other schools to answer questions about what’s happening in the books.

However, in order to do so, we will need two things: books and volunteers.

To participate, we need copies of all the books on the list. What makes things even more interesting in upper elementary is that we cross over into two divisions: 3-5th grade and 6-8th grade, which makes things fun, since we need twice as many books.

Thanks to parents who participated in this year’s Book Fair at Barnes and Noble by buying books for the class, we have received a few of the books that we need. However, if you have copies of any of the following books that you would be willing to donate to the class, please have your student bring them to school ASAP:

11 Birthdays
Becoming Naomi Leon
Earthquake Terror
How Oliver Olson Changed the World
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
Last Newspaper Boy in America
The Magical Ms. Plum
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Number the Stars
On the Wings of Heroes
Who Were the Beatles?
All the Broken Pieces
The Circuit
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam
Football Genius
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Kingdom Keepers
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo
Red Kayak
Stolen Children
The White Giraffe

As for volunteering, we are looking for one or two people who would like to coach the team that chooses to participate. If you have any experience or desire to help us out with this, we would greatly appreciate it.

Class Trip
A message from Diane Kelly, parent volunteer and organizer of the end of the year class trip:

At the beginning of the year, I sent home a questionnaire asking for feedback and requests for this year’s trip. When I reviewed the results, I found two conflicting commonalities: the majority of the responders wanted to do one of the costly OMSI camps and the majority said they would rely heavily on fundraising, but would be unable to help with it.

What I took away from this is that we (parents) like the idea of a more structured, educational trip, but with all the other fundraising that we are doing at school, there is not enough energy left to justify a really pricey trip. So I have been working to design a structured, educational, fun trip that won’t break the bank. I am currently looking in the Columbia Gorge, or Mt. Hood region, more updates to follow.

Most importantly, I have worked with Ridgeline to pin down a date for the trip. We will leave early Wednesday, May 30, and return Friday, June 1. As always, we will need lots of parent volunteers to drive, supervise, and have fun with us. I hope that by giving so much advance notice, everyone who wants to participate will have the opportunity. I will send home more information & intent-to-participate paperwork shortly after Winter Break.

Sarah, Emily and room 10