Room 3- Rachel

Classroom Updates

Rachel's Update 4-2-21

Hello Room 3 families! What a beautiful week we had. The sun was shining and Ridgeline welcomed children back into the classrooms. So much to learn! There was a huge learning curve going from in-person school to CDL. Now we are learning how to be in a classroom again. For most kids it was like riding a bike. No problem. There is a deep satisfaction in seeing children reconnecting with friends and exploring the simple joy of just being together.

This week we will continue to get reacquainted with the classroom. Our cultural lessons have our class diving into botany studies. Students will explore the role of sunlight in seed growth and conduct an in-class experiment. So much fun!

Schedule Changes - Review

With the beginning of hybrid came the start of some schedule changes. You can find all of the new schedules on the Ridgeline website. Here is a summary of our new lesson times:

Morning Meeting - 8:30 am

Orange Lesson - 9:15 am

Blue Lesson - 9:50 am

Green Lesson - 10:25 am

**On Wednesday join Jacob in his help zoom for a Morning Meeting at 8:30 am!

Hybrid Days

Boxes, backpacks, bags... oh my! Students are carrying so much back and forth from home to school. Please make sure that the container is comfortable for your child to carry.

Indoor Shoes

Please bring a pair of hard-soled indoor shoes to class each day. When our play yard is muddy, as it will be on rainy days, shoes get equally muddy. To keep our classroom nice and clean we wear indoor shoes in the classroom. Thank you for helping us to keep our indoor environment mud free!

Water Bottles

Please make sure that your child brings a water bottle every day. Our water fountains are not available due to safety.

Lunch and Snack

Children are welcome to bring lunch and/or a snack for the school day. If you don't bring lunch, please make sure your child has eaten before coming to school.

School Materials

Students should bring their school materials, including white boards, writing utensils, math and writing journals, and math materials to school every day.

Have a wonderful weekend! For all the families who celebrate Good Friday and Easter: Have a wonderful, celebration-filled weekend!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 3-19-21

Last week we learned about the history of vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccine. As a class we discussed how we stay safe at home, out and about, and at school. Students were very eager to offer suggestions. They brought up washing hands, sanitizer, wearing masks, social distancing, coughing in elbows, and staying home when sick. All great ideas!


Welcome to Spring Room 3! Nature is bursting with life and we are a part of it. Our class is ready to embark on a multi-week cultural unit studying botany. Get ready to learn about botany, observe plants growing in your local neighborhoods, and get your hands dirty with science experiments. Fun!


**Please pick up a packet of botany materials for your child at school for our science curriculum on April 1st.


When we return from Spring Break on Tuesday, March 23, our online class schedule will look a little bit different.


Changing Schedule

We have an updated schedule posted on our classroom webpage. Cultural lessons remain on Monday but language arts and math have changed days. Wednesday is now an asynchronous day.

Math


We are starting our day 15 minutes earlier. This changes our lesson times:


Morning Meeting: 8:30

Orange Group Lesson: 9:15

Blue Group Lesson: 9:50

Green Group Lesson: 10:25

**Closing Meeting: There is no closing meeting as teachers will be with hybrid students at this time.


You can see our new class schedules on our classroom webpage here.


Wednesdays

Wednesday Math is now an asynchronous day for learning. Students will start their day with a Good Morning meeting in Jacob's zoom room to connect and start off the day in a positive way. He will have his help zoom open after the morning meeting until 10:30 to assist students with their work. Students will use this time to complete math assignments designed to review concepts and strengthen skills. Teachers use this time for planning instruction for the following week, preparing the classroom, and staff meetings.


Jacob's Help Zoom

Jacob's help zoom is a vital part of our classroom community. His new zoom schedule is as follows:


Here we go! It's time for a new adventure. As we navigate these uncharted waters I ask that we all have patience, grace, and a good sense of humor!


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Have a wonderful Spring Break!


Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 3-19-21

Welcome to our first week of hybrid learning! It has been a long time coming. Around this time last year schools were forced to switch to distance learning in order to ensure the safety of all our families. This was a big ask for so many of us. Thank you for all your hard work and support. We are so excited to welcome back our students to hybrid learning! Yay!


You received an email from Ridgeline outlining all the need-to-know information regarding our return to school. Please read this email carefully. It includes important information about drop off and pick up procedures, when to keep your child home, how the school will handle a child showing primary or secondary symptoms at school, and many more topics.


Check out the Ridgeline website for more information.


What does my child need to bring to school?

Good question! You can find a checklist included in your school email. Use this checklist to ensure your child has everything they need to be prepared. Here is a breakdown:

Clothing, mask and shoes:

  • Rain gear - bring this daily! Lunch and recess are outside, rain or shine.

  • Extra change of clothes

  • Warm layers (the classroom will be well ventilated and may get chilly)

  • Indoor shoes (hard bottom with waterproof sole)

  • An extra mask

Food and drink:

  • Lunch, if eating at school. If your child eats lunch at home, consider packing an extra snack.

  • Afternoon snack

  • Full water bottle

**Your child must be able to open food items independently. Bring your own cutlery as needed.

School Materials: (boxed materials sent home at the beginning of the year)

  • White board

  • Writing and math journals

  • Math materials (beads, stamp game pieces, checkerboards, etc.)

  • Bath towel, medium-sized, preferably in a solid color - to use as a mat for floor work.

**These materials will be going back and forth between home and school for use in online and in-person instruction. If you still have the white lidded box they came in, please use it to transport your materials back and forth.

**Backpacks and other easy-to-hold options are also fine if they can fit all the necessary materials.


**Laptops and other electronic devices will be staying at home.


What can we expect in the first weeks?

The first week of in-person school will be a gentle introduction to the classroom and a whole lot of social/emotional time. It’s been a year since students have been in a classroom and some students have never been in their new classrooms! We will spend time getting to know the space and all the new ways of interacting with the environment. Social time, art, and nature walks are also on the agenda!


Classroom Environment

In order to create better air flow and circulation in the classroom, doors and windows will be open as much as possible. The nice, toasty classrooms will be cooler than students are used to. Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately or brings extra layers of clothing.


Changing Schedule

We have an updated schedule posted on our classroom webpage. You can find the new Hybrid schedule posted there. Some changes are happening to our Online School (CDL) schedule as well. Cultural lessons remain on Monday but language arts and math have changed days. Wednesday is now an asynchronous day.

Math


We are starting our day 15 minutes earlier. This changes our lesson times:


Morning Meeting: 8:30

Orange Group Lesson: 9:15

Blue Group Lesson: 9:50

Green Group Lesson: 10:25


You can see our new class schedules on our classroom webpage here.


Wednesdays

Wednesday Math is now an asynchronous day for learning. Students will start their day with a Good Morning meeting in Jacob's zoom room to connect and start off the day in a positive way. He will have his help zoom open after the morning meeting until 10:30 to assist students with their work. Students will use this time to complete math assignments designed to review concepts and strengthen skills. Teachers use this time for planning instruction for the following week, preparing the classroom, and staff meetings.


Jacob's Help Zoom

Jacob's help zoom is a vital part of our classroom community. His new zoom schedule is as follows:


Here we go! It's time for a new classroom adventure. As we navigate these uncharted waters I ask that we all have patience, grace, and a good sense of humor!


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Have a wonderful Spring Break!


Rachel and Jaco

Rachel's Update 3-11-21

Afternoon Schedule Changes

There will be no afternoon meetings with myself or Jacob, starting tomorrow and continuing through next week. This means that Jacob's help Zoom will be closed after 11:30, and our usual end of the week student conferences will be by invitation. Scholastics assignments will still go out even though our reading groups will not meet. Afternoon PE and Art will continue at their usual times (12:40, Tuesday through Friday).

We are shifting to this asynchronous afternoon schedule so that teachers and assistants can prepare spaces and curriculum for the shift to Hybrid learning, starting March 30.

Hybrid Learning - Food for Thought

The buzz and excitement surrounding hybrid learning is growing! Changes to our current schedule are a necessity to make both Jacob and I available for in-person learning. One big change will be Jacob's help zoom. So many students take advantage of this resource all day long. He helps students with questions, creates a workspace for those who benefit from a little oversight, and is the gentle connection for students when they just need to talk. His help zoom is a booming place! Once we are in hybrid Jacob's help zoom will not be available in the afternoons. This will impact students who are looking for help during that time of the day. One way to minimize this is to encourage your child to get their work done as much as possible before lunch. During that time Jacob's help zoom will be open for business as usual so help is readily available. Changing work habits can be hard to do. On the bright side, working in the morning more closely matches what students do in a regular Montessori classroom. The long morning work period is the busiest time of the day!

COVID Safety and Science

Next week we will be taking a look at the science of staying healthy. We’ll explore ways that we protect each other by social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing. We’ll also learn about how vaccines work.

Looking Ahead…

As we plan out the next few months of school, we’re staying focused on emotional health and academic engagement. I’m especially excited about studying botany as plants start to emerge from their winter dormancy. We’ll take advantage of the opportunity to go outside - either during our in-person times at school, or as an independent activity from home - and see how plants meet their needs. I’m planning investigations and experiments with seeds, flowers, and fruits in the weeks to come.

Art Resources to Make You Happy

What is making you happy? That was a question I posed at one of our morning meetings this week. Kids mentioned playing outside, reading books, stuffies, pets, and, of course, drawing. I’m sharing some online art resources that kids suggested:

Art for Kids

Deep Space Sparkle

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Wishing you health, happiness, and spring flowers!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 3-4-21

A Week of Learning

This week we learned about how our very own Crater Lake here in Oregon was formed. Did you know that Crater Lake is 1 mile deep? Wow! We listened to the Native American story of this huge eruption and learned about the importance of Crater Lake as a sacred location to the native people. In math, we’re learning about polygons and quadrilaterals. See if your child can find some polygons around the house.

Our classroom erupted in discussions surrounding the intelligence of non-human animals! Did you know that cuttlefish can pass the "marshmallow test" that is created to test the ability to delay gratification and use willpower in children? Students were fascinated by this topic! Here is the article if you would like to share it with your family: https://www.sciencealert.com/cuttlefish-can-pass-a-cognitive-test-designed-for-children

Hybrid Learning Survey due Friday

We are planning for hybrid learning and want to know if we can count you in! If you missed the Q&A Zoom session, check the link for a recording. If you still have questions, please submit them through the questions form

Our curricular plan is still taking shape, but we will have a strong focus on social and emotional health during our in-person afternoons. We’ll take nature walks, do art, play PE games, collaborate on projects, and create a Montessori community within the safety and social distancing guidelines set by the Oregon Department of Education.

Students will work on their daily assignments with help from classmates and from Jacob and I. Kids will be able to choose how to practice the skills they learn during morning lessons. They might work using hands-on materials, collaborate on projects with a partner, or complete the activity using their computer or tablet. We will use our whole-class virtual meetings to create and maintain connections between students who stick with Comprehensive Distance learning and students in the hybrid cohorts.

Jacob and I are working hard to prepare for this new phase! We’ll keep you updated in the weeks to come.

Hybrid Learning Q & A for Students

Executive Director Chrystell and Principal Michelle would love to hear from students about their thoughts regarding the hybrid learning plan. If your students have questions or would like to share their thoughts, have them join for a Zoom session on Monday, March 8, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. Here is the link: Hybrid Learning Question and Answer Session for Students

Upcoming Topics in Science and Social Studies

Next week we will take a closer look at the rock cycle. Also, we’ll join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. We’ll learn about some amazing female role models. The following week, we will learn how vaccines work and discuss some of the many ways we keep each other safe.

Thank you for sticking with us! We are grateful for our classroom community.

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 2-25-21

Hello Room 3 families! Last week we explored the exciting world of volcanoes and studied the eruption of a composite volcano. This week we will look deeper into the eruption of Mount Mazama and the creation of Crater Lake here in Oregon. Students will learn the Native American legend surrounding this great cataclysmic event.

Vaccinations

Some Ridgeline staff will receive their second dose of the COVID Vaccine this week. I will get my shot on Monday. Lessons will continue as usual.

**If I feel unwell on Tuesday, Jacob will run our morning meeting in his zoom and provide further instruction and guidance.

Jacob has his vaccination on Wednesday. If he feels ill on Thursday I will provide further guidance during our morning meeting.

Classroom Newsletter

A big "thank you" to Jacob for running our newspaper club and putting together our first classroom newsletter! Students did a great job contributing with a large variety of content. You can find a copy attached. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 2-18-21

Hello Room 3 families! A big thank you for all you do each and every day to support your children. This is a big job! Last week we explored the layers of the Earth. Some students made models or deemed it a family bake-a-cake day! On Thursday our class participated in a STEM science extension live stream of the Mars Rover Perseverance landing. It is amazing when considering all that could go wrong! A metaphor for life! Seeing the excitement and wonder in your children's eyes was worth it.

This week in Cultural Studies

This week we are erupting into a cultural unit on volcanoes! The raw power and dynamic nature of these natural wonders make for interesting studies. Volcanoes can be found all around our solar system! Some of these planetary volcanoes are called cryovolcanoes. They erupt water, methane, or ammonia instead of molten rock. Yet another reminder of the bizarre and ever changing canvas of our external environment. Reality is cool!

PE and Art

Students got off to a great start using the new zoom links for PE and Art. These links can be found on the Ridgeline website on our classroom page or in your child's zoom under the resources folder.

Weekly Math

Students are asked to practice their Montessori Math, which is operations(+-X/), at least twice a week. Reviewing previously mastered concepts is always helpful as well! Math facts practice is key to math fluency in the future. Practicing 5 minutes a day is our classroom goal.

On Another Note

Some students seem to have trouble watching videos linked in our activities. In some instances this is because of parental controls set up on the device. If this happens your kiddo can go to Jacob's zoom and he will play the video for them.

Let's have a wonderful week!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 2-4-21

Welcome to a 3-day school week! I love hearing the stories children bring back from long weekends. Why is it a short week? Well, this week ends with two days of parent-teacher conferences. Sign-up information can be found below.

This week we took some time to talk about how to treat someone with kindness. Students brought up: talk calmly to others, don't be bossy, say nice things, be loving, include others, sharing, inviting others to join in, and be a good friend. As we start having conversations about returning to school in the future it's important to remember all the social experiences that many kids have been missing out on. There will be a process of re-learning how to treat others and how to be a member of a community of learners in person. The mighty mute button on zoom hides many things! :).

Our cultural studies continue with another fun experiment exploring water. Feel free to do the experiment at home or participate in our online zoom experiment.

Water Cycle Experiments

This week we’ll create model rivers. Kids will need:

  • Printer paper (doesn’t need to be blank)

  • Tape (any kind) or staples

  • A marker

  • A spray bottle of water (or some other way to create a gentle “rain” - a showerhead at low pressure, watering can, etc.)

No supplies? No worries! Rachel or Jacob (to be decided) will run all of these experiments in their Zoom room for any student who’d like to experiment virtually.

Conferences

Parent/student and teacher conferences are coming up Thursday, February 11, and Friday, February 12. These are no school days. Sign up using this link:

Rachel’s Class

Valentine Exchange

We are hosting an optional Valentine exchange. Here’s how it will work:

  • Make or buy 29 valentines (this number includes students, Rachel and Jacob). Have your child write their own name on each card. DO NOT address the valentines.

  • Drop them off on the Ridgeline front steps on Friday, February 5 or Monday, February 8.

  • We will distribute them into a bag for each child and let them “quarantine” for a few days.

  • Pick up a bag of valentines on Friday, February 12.

Valentines can include stickers, pencils, tattoos, etc., but no candy please.

We are also planning a fun lunch Zoom on February 16. Stay tuned!

Replenish School Supplies and Books

We will have some school supplies available on the front steps during our Valentine pick up days. If you need to replace a notebook, white board marker, or other supplies, take a look. Please let us know if you have a more specific need and we will make sure to have your supplies in stock.

I’d also like to encourage you to take advantage of Ridgeline’s little library when you swing by. Bring some old books and pick up some new ones. There are a lot to choose from!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 1-30-21

Water Cycle Experiments

Next up in our science and cultural studies is the water cycle. Students will be doing some hands-on experiments. Here are the supplies they will need on Monday:

  • A clear cup or jar (plastic or glass)

  • A cover for the jar (can be a lid, plastic wrap or even a saucer)

  • Hot water from the tap

  • Paper with different sizes of print

Later in the week we’ll do an evaporation experiment. Kids will need:

  • Two similar cups/jars

  • A cover for one of them

Next week we’ll create model rivers. Kids will need:

  • Printer paper (doesn’t need to be blank)

  • Tape (any kind) or staples

  • A marker

  • A spray bottle of water (or some other way to create a gentle “rain” - a showerhead at low pressure, watering can, etc.)

No supplies? No worries! Rachel or Jacob (to be decided) will run all of these experiments in their Zoom room for any student who’d like to experiment virtually.

Conferences -

Parent/student and teacher conferences are coming up Thursday, February 11, and Friday, February 12. These are no school days. Sign up using this link:

Rachel’s Class

Valentine Exchange

We are hosting an optional Valentine exchange. Here’s how it will work:

  • Make or buy 29 valentines (this number includes students, Rachel and Jacob). Have your child write their own name on each card. DO NOT address the valentines.

  • Drop them off on the Ridgeline front steps on Friday, February 5 or Monday, February 8.

  • We will distribute them into a bag for each child and let them “quarantine” for a few days.

  • Pick up a bag of valentines on Friday, February 12.

Valentines can include stickers, pencils, tattoos, etc., but no candy please.

We are also planning a fun lunch Zoom on February 16. Stay tuned!

Replenish School Supplies and Books

We will have some school supplies available on the front steps during our Valentine pick up and drop off days. If you need to replace a notebook, white board marker, or other supplies, take a look. Please let us know if you have a more specific need and we will make sure to have your supplies in stock.

I’d also like to encourage you to take advantage of Ridgeline’s little library when you swing by. Bring some old books and pick up some new ones. There are a lot to choose from!

Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to all the brave and talented performers at our virtual talent show! We are so proud of you.

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 1-21-21

Wintertime can feel a bit tiresome at times. The sun remains hidden for days on end and the rain can feel like a physical manifestation of all the obstacles in our lives. This is the long stretch when we feel like motivation dwindles and our excitement is muted. When will Spring Break come??! I understand this sentiment. I also understand the hidden, subtle beauty of this time of year. Barren branches, decaying leaves, the puff of white as we exhale. Sparkly patterns that form on our window panes. Wind chimes adding to the music of the trees rustling and dancing. The warmth of a fire or the radiant heat of a hot cup in your hand. Cozy snuggles with those you love. The beauty of this time can be found. It is the joy of comfort and the slowing down, which uncovers the starkness of a landscape changed by time. Every year I try to remember that this is the time when I get to rest for the blast of life right around the corner. Spring!

On another note, distance learning has different stressors than in-person school. Our students may be fraying at the edges a bit. Last week we talked about what stress and anxiety feels like. As a class we brainstormed words for these feelings: hurt, scared, bored, upset, unhappy, excluded, want, nervous, sad, mad, and worry. Having words to describe feelings help encourage communication. I talked about using "I feel..." statements and how expressing feelings can help release the building tension of those emotions as well as help to avoid doing or saying things that you might regret later. We also talked about self care. How do we take care of ourselves when we are feeling those hard feelings? Students came up with the following ideas: exercise, take a deep breath, meditate, play games, get help, go on a walk, take a break, drawing, eat if hungry, read books, play with toys, make a fort, write down feelings, get needs met, spend time with a pet, and rest. Good advice, right?

Eye on Curriculum

This week our class will edit rough drafts and work on the final draft for our invertebrate research projects. This project lasts over two weeks and is a combination of many different skills. Students may need help managing their time and working on their projects a bit each day. This will help avoid the feeling of overwhelm that occurs when students feel behind.

Xtra math is going strong. This is a daily math fact practice intended to help students memorize their math facts. This skill is necessary for advancing through the operations. Please help your student remember to practice their math facts for 5 minutes each day. If Xtra math is not working out for your child, consider flash cards or another online method that works on memorization and speed of recall. Reach out to us if you need some ideas.

Valentine’s Exchange

Love, love, love! Our classroom Valentine’s Day celebrations are some of my favorite days of the year. I love seeing children open valentines and experience being part of our sweet little community. This year, kids need that more than ever!

We are hosting an optional Valentine exchange. Here’s how it will work:

  • Make or buy 29 valentines (this number includes students, Rachel and Jacob). Have your child write their own name on each card. DO NOT address the valentines.

  • Drop them off on the Ridgeline front steps on Friday, February 5 or Monday, February 8.

  • We will distribute them into a bag for each child and let them “quarantine” for a few days.

  • Pick up a bag of valentines on Friday, February 12.

Valentines can include stickers, pencils, tattoos, etc., but no candy please.

Weekly Art Update

This week (1/19-22), we continued practicing our portrait drawing skills by finishing up self-portraits, and also drawing Martin Luther King, Jr. Next week (1/25-28), we'll start on a landscape unit. We'll look at the painting “Landscape With Rainbow” by Robert Duncanson. This hopeful painting was chosen by Jill Biden for display during the inauguration and (I learned) this artist was one of the best-known and most acclaimed African American painters of the Civil War era.

Have a wonderful week!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 1-4-2021

Welcome back! We are ready to make a fresh start in 2021 and I’m excited to share a few updates and changes with you.

Exploring the Oceans

Over the next few weeks, we will be diving down into the ocean biome. We’ll learn about the layers of the ocean and the diversity of creatures found there. Then, students will use their research skills to write about a favorite invertebrate. This is always one of my favorite subjects to teach and I’m excited to share it with the kids.

Xtra Math

We’ve started a new math program to simplify math fact practice. Xtra Math is a free program that helps your child practice just a few math facts at a time until they’re mastered. I will be introducing the program to children this week, and they’ll be able to link to it directly from Seesaw. Our expectation is that students practice their math facts every school day. With Xtra Math, this should take about 10 minutes or less.

I think most kids will really enjoy practicing with Xtra Math. If, after giving it a try, you’d like to discuss a different way for your child to memorize math facts, please let me know and we can work out an alternative activity.

New PE Teacher

Our new PE teacher, Jeannelle Mahle, will join us Wednesday for PE. We will be meeting up to get to know Jeannelle and learn more about what PE will look like moving forward. Please remind your child to come to PE in Jacob's Zoom at 12:40 on Wednesday for our first PE with Jeannelle!

Reminder - Come to Scholastics!

Our afternoon Scholastics groups are not to be missed! Students practice navigating nonfiction, learn comprehension strategies and learn to write in response to texts. Every child is in one of the following groups:

Green group - 1:10 Tuesdays in Jacob's Zoom

Blue group- 1:10 Wednesdays in Jacob's Zoom

Orange group - 1:10 Thursdays in Jacob's Zoom

Reminder - Friday Conferences

On Fridays Jacob and I make time available to meet with every child for a few minutes to review their week, what activities they are completing, and answer any questions they may have. This is a valuable time for goal setting and connection. Please help your child join either Jacob or my zoom after 1:10 pm on Friday to have a conference. We look forward to seeing you!

Orange Level Math Group

We are starting an Orange math group that will meet at 1:10 - 1:30 on Wednesdays. We will work on foundational math skills together as a group. Please make sure your child joins at this time. This group will progress together so it is important to be there. If your child can't make this time please let me know and I will try to find an alternative.

The Orange math group will start next week on the 13th. See you then!

As always, let me know if you have any questions. Happy 2021!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 12-18-2020

Hello Room 3 families. We made it! Thank you all for sticking with it during this first segment of the school year. Although not by choice you stepped up and really did all you could to support your child in distance learning. I see you and am so grateful to have you on my team. Go us! The core of the Montessori curriculum is the foundational concept of interconnection. We are all connected. From this broad lens I can see a healthy symbiotic relationship between home and classroom that is necessary now more than ever. Another core element of the Montessori classroom is the Peace curriculum, closely tied in with interconnection. Our children are watching us closely. They learn how to act, how to respond and (hopefully) emotionally regulate when "the squeeze" happens. That is, when aspects of our life are out of our control. They can learn how to self reflect and how to forgive. How do you respond? You are your child's teacher. Sometimes they are yours! Life is funny that way.

Something I have been pondering as of late is how we can bridge the gap between people who are hurting right now. I know many people are in a state of conflict because of differing beliefs. I don't have the answer. What I do know is that we as humans all want the same thing. We all want to feel safe and secure, loved, and not alone. When those fundamental needs are or are perceived to be unmet we feel threatened. You know what that feels like. It is scary. My New Year's hope is that our similarities outshine our differences and we can all catch our breath. What are your New Year's thoughts? How would you like to start this next year off?

Have a wonderful break!

School resumes on Tuesday, January 5. Emily, Cheri and I are collaborating on curriculum for January and we’re excited to start fresh with you in the new year.

Always Use White Boards

I invite children to bring their white board (or a notebook and marker) to every lesson and every meeting, always! Can you tell that I am passionate about this?? White boards make interactive learning possible. I can test for understanding, take polls, and maintain engagement and accountability when kids have a white board at hand. Is your child's white board missing, or are you out of markers? Read on...

Consumables Available in January

We are scheduling the next supply pick up for Thursday, January 14th. Lower elementary classes aren’t sending home additional materials, so you won't be required to pick anything up. However, after three months of distance learning, you may be running low on whiteboard markers, pencils, notebooks, or other consumables, or you may need a replacement white board. These will be available for pick up at the Ridgeline office. Stay tuned for more details!

Heads Up for Screenshots

In the new year, we are going to be asking kids to take screen shots to capture some of their work. Every device has its own commands for this (for example, my MacBook uses command - shift - 4, but a Lenovo Chromebook uses control - shift - window switcher). You can do a search for your device’s commands. Kids will need to know how to take a screenshot and how to put it into Seesaw. We’re excited to introduce some new tools!

Here is an article on how to take a screenshot on different devices:

https://www.pcmag.com/news/how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-any-device

See you in the new year!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 12-10-2020

Can it be true? Are we entering into the last week before Winter break? It appears to be so! Time does the wacky sometimes. (You never know when old Buffy the Vampire Slayer references will come in handy!) :)

We have been knee deep in research projects over the past 2 weeks. I am so impressed with the effort and quality of writing that is coming out of this project. For third graders, this research helps prepare them for writing and typing up a paper for state testing later in the school year. Students stepped through the process of how to start by picking a topic, creating a planner to organize information, write meaningful topic sentences, and meaty, interesting detail sentences for each paragraph using their own words. We talked about how many things in life have steps to follow, like baking a cake. Writing, at least at this level, is the same. Providing a structure helps students form good writing habits.

This was a tough project for some kiddos who are reluctant writers or those who prefer to wing it. For those kids I say hurrah! You overcame a challenge. Good character is built upon challenge after challenge. Follow through is a skill that benefits everyone!

We learned about how adaptations help animals survive in even the harshest habitats. Oh, to be an animal that adapted in Hawaii! But no, we can't all live in Hawaii. Animals thriving in the polar regions are truly inspiring. Really cold water? No problem. Little to no plant life? Whatever. As some of you might know, I have developed a big love of the Beluga Whale. Did you know that they can smile and frown? I wonder what curious facts your child uncovered during their polar exploration. Ask them!

What I love about the audacity of polar life is that it refuses to give up joy. Playfulness. If they can do it, I don't see why we can't. Let's metaphorically "blubber up" and adapt with a smile. :).

Speaking of smiles:

Next week we will have a little fun! These are merely suggestions and are not required. Each day has a theme. On Tuesday Jacob and I will host a lego lunch. No legos? No problem. Come anyways or bring another building toy. Even dominoes or the geometric pattern blocks that you received in your classroom box will do. Enjoy eating lunch and building with friends!

Tuesday Lego Lunch will be held in Rachel's zoom.

Monday - Blanket day

Tuesday - Lunch day

Wednesday - Stuffy day

Thursday - hat day

Friday - PJ day

I appreciate you.

A special "thank you" goes out to Jacob. Without all of his steadfast help I would be lost! It takes a team to run a Montessori classroom.

Rachel

Rachel's Update 12-4-2020

Whew... what a week! We are smack in the middle of polar animal research. Brrrr! The cold mornings we have experienced lately really put me in the mindset for polar exploration! This is a two-week project designed to take students through a structured research process. This allows students to apply their developing writing skills to a project that is meaningful and exciting to complete. Thank you for all the support you are providing your student at home!

This past week students chose an animal, created a planner with four topics, filled in their planner with interesting information, and some groups got started writing topic sentences for their paragraphs. Next week we will complete the writing and put together our research. Older students will complete a revision and editing process culminating with their research typed up in google docs.

Get ready for some practice presentations! We will be talking about speaking clearly, making eye contact, and using our voice to reflect punctuation. Yay!

Future - project finale

We will eventually turn our reports into poster board presentations with a drawing and a title. Poster board or cardboard from an old box works great. Stay tuned for more on this step later.

Winter Break

Winter Break - 12/21 - 01/04

School resumes on the 5th of January

-- Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 11-30-2020

Forgiveness

This past week had me thinking about forgiveness. Exploring what I am grateful for had the surprising effect of bubbling up past wrongs that apparently I was still holding on to. I thought I had let go of these slights long ago! Our egos are sensitive and very protective of their own fragility - and are experts at hiding this fragility from us. Haha! Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself. :) A big lesson and hurdle that I experienced over the last few years was that of forgiveness. I thought that if I forgave someone it would mean that the wrongdoing was ok. That I was saying, "What happened to me was ok." However, the truth behind forgiveness, at least my truth, is that it is an act of self-love. A kindness that we do for ourselves so that we can move on without the emotional baggage of anger, hurt, sadness, or other heavy feelings. We forgive, but not forget. This is a powerful clarification. It is not a weakness to forgive, but a personal strength. We move forward, informed by past experiences but not weighed down by them. I feel that gratitude and forgiveness work together to help us become better humans. Better friends. Better parents. Better partners. Better.

Grace and Flexibility

This time of year brings celebration, but it can also add to the obligations that we feel in our families, professional and personal lives. Distance learning further complicates the mix. If you are feeling overwhelmed or concerned about school, please take a moment to give yourself a little grace… and then reach out to Jacob and me for some solutions.

Supporting the social and emotional well-being of all our students is a guiding principle for us this year. Flexibly partnering with families is also a priority. Every child and family situation brings a unique mix of personalities, resources and challenges. A tailored approach might mean that a student gets extra help from Jacob or me, freeing up a guardian to do work or help a younger sibling. Other students might do best by being selective about what Zoom meetings they attend, or prioritizing which works to do and which to let go.

I don’t expect distance learning to be one-size-fits-all. Grace and flexibility are my watchwords for distance learning. If you need a little of either one, let me know and we can reconfigure distance learning so that it’s a better fit.

Polar Regions and Animal Adaptations

Over the next two weeks we’ll be learning more about the biomes of the polar regions. As we learn about polar animals, we will see how each one has evolved to survive in these harsh environments. On Monday, we’ll think about which of these adaptations a favorite stuffed animal would need to make it in the polar regions. Later, we’ll learn about how people stay warm, fed, and housed in these extreme environments.

Guided Research Projects

Every child will begin a research project next week. We’ll break the project down into steps and provide guidance and instruction along the way. Here’s a quick preview:

Monday 11/30 - Intro to animals and adaptations. Students will start to choose an animal to study and begin to find resources.

Wednesday 12/2- Introduction to research and prewriting. We’ll show students how to collect information and take basic notes.

Friday - 12/4 First drafts. Using the planners they’ve created, students will begin composing sentences and, for older students, paragraphs about their animals.

During the following week, we will tackle the revision process and show students how to prepare and present a poster project. At this point, I’ll ask third graders (and younger students, if interested), to type up their drafts on Google Docs. These files are easily shared and edited. Instructions on creating Google Docs will come next week.

Thank you, everyone!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 11-20-2020

Last week I started the conversation on gratitude. What we are grateful for. Often it is those simple things, like a cup of coffee hot in your hands or a few moments of solitude to dive into that great book you have been looking forward to. Whatever your cup of coffee is, our lives are made up of all of those little moments. Good and bad. I am grateful for my little moments.

What we say and how we say it has an impact on those around us. Being aware of our own power can help us to create special moments for others. Smile at someone today and see if they smile back. :). You have now added to their happiness. What a gift! As a teacher I am grateful for all of your children smiling at me each and every school day. I am grateful to be a teacher!

This week I encourage you to talk with your children about what you are grateful for. What are your family traditions? How do you bring your family together? In challenging times it can feel like gravity has increased, squeezing and narrowing our mind. Our thoughts become heavy and it can be easy to notice the hard things in life everywhere. We are quick to anger. By talking about gratitude our focus can shift towards lighter thoughts. Remembering all the good is important now.

This week in class is all about gratitude.

Heart Bomb Ridgeline - Every day brings a few more yarn hearts to the school fence. We hope you add some on!

NO SCHOOL - Thursday and Friday

Rachel's Update 11-13-20202

Hello Room 3 families. How are you doing? We are entering into week 9 of distance learning. Routines have been set, schedules made, work plans are being used, and lessons are well attended. Most importantly, learning is happening! I see all the work you put into helping your student show up to lessons and put in a day's work. Thank you for all you do.

Speaking of thanks, we are entering into a time of year when we traditionally slow down and take notice of all the things in our life we are grateful for. Friends, family, health. Chocolate. Time has taken on a new light. During this time of COVID we have more time with some people and much less time with others. Many of our social needs are not being met. We are all missing human connection. All of this extra time alone gives us the opportunity for self-reflection. For some it might be uncomfortable being alone to face ourselves. Nowhere to hide, right? For some, scary. Sometimes it is those challenging moments that we look back on with a smile because we know that they were the catalyst for change that we needed, albeit painful. My hope for us all is that our current challenges are of the growth variety. Let's notice what is good in our lives. I have a feeling we will find way more than we expect!

Cultural Topic

This week we will continue to look at Native American topics local to our area.

Social Connection

There are a number of families reaching out for ideas on how they can connect with other families in our classroom. If you have any ideas or thoughts on this topic please reach out to Hannah, our classroom parent. Her email is: hannahsorrel@firegroove.com

Have a wonderful week!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 11-5-2020

Hello Room 3 families! We are entering into week 8 of distance learning. Every year I am surprised by how fast the first few months of school fly by! Thank you to all the families who joined Jacob and me for family conferences. It was really great to see you all and hear about your experience with distance learning. I am always available if you need to meet before the next conference time!

Next week we will explore local Native American Kalapuya history and how they prepared for Winter.

Art Supplies

For those of you who missed the art supply pick-up you can call the school and schedule a time to pick up your child's art package.

EasyCBM

Thank you for all of your support in getting your child to their EasyCBM testing times. We are finishing up now and will be done this coming week.

Conference Take-Aways

Many of you asked for clarification on the work plan. How do I know if my kiddo has done enough work? What do I do if they are so far behind that it feels impossible to catch up? Good questions! A good rule of thumb is to get math and language done each day. Make sure that your child is spending time reading each day as well. Reading is a key skill developed in lower elementary. There are "Montessori" math works that I would like them to practice at least twice a week. These are stamp game, checkerboard, or string division. If your child had a lesson on abstract (paper) math that may be their Montessori math at the moment. Writer's workshop on Wednesday is another important work that should be completed on Wednesday. Outside of that, if your child gets absorbed in a special project or a specific work, spending lots of focused time on it, that is great! We love when children find something that they are passionate about learning. It is ok for them to not get three works done in that case. Also, any appropriate subject can be chosen for research and counts as Cultural. Research can be writing and poster-making, creating a model, drawing a diagram, or any other creative choice. Have fun with it!

If your child is feeling stressed because they have allowed their activities to pile up in seesaw, my best advice is to reset and work from the top, which is the most current assigned activities. If they find that they are stuck because they did not learn a skill that is required for the current activities please go to Jacob's help zoom and he will help your child get caught up. Another option is to request a catch-up lesson with me.

Thank you so much for all you do for your kids and their learning experience. Every day I see so many examples of love and caring. You guys inspire me to be better.

Thank you,

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 10-22-2020

Hello once again Room 3 families and welcome to a short week of school! This week we are holding conferences on Thursday and Friday. If you haven't yet scheduled a conference and would like to it's not too late!

Rachel's Class Sign Up

Pumpkins. Need I say more? If your child has a pumpkin, bring it along to our Monday morning meeting. If not don't worry! Jacob will be working with students who do not have their own pumpkin available.

What to bring to Monday morning meeting (if you have it):

1. pumpkin

2. string for measuring

3. measuring tool capable of measuring in inches

4. scale if available

5. white board and dry erase marker

EasyCBM

EasyCBM testing is moving right along. Some students have finished already and others have yet to start. That is ok. Keep an eye out for a testing time sign-up from Jacob soon.

Lessons

It is so important for students to attend their level lesson each day. This is the "synchronous" time of instruction where we actually teach students the skills they will need to complete the seesaw activities. Without this lesson students may not be able to complete their assignments and fall behind. If your child misses a lesson and needs assistance they can join Jacob's help zoom or reach out to me for help. Life happens and we know that lessons will be missed at times. It only becomes a problem when the lessons are frequently missed. Thank you for your support in getting your child to their orange, blue, or green lessons. I truly appreciate you.

Video permissions - In order for teachers to effectively use zoom, they may need to view the students on the screen to ensure student engagement. This means that if teachers record the lesson for absent students or student review, the participating students will be included in the video. A video permissions form was sent out for all families to sign. If you have not yet signed it and are comfortable with video permissions please sign so that we can move forward with recording lessons.

Have a wonderful Fall weekend. It is such a beautiful time of year!

Rachel's Update 10-16-2020

Welcome Room 3 families! Next step - leaves. They are everywhere right now! Red ones. Green ones. Orange ones. Soft ones. Crunchy ones. Leaves are pretty great. Next week we will look closely at our very own biome, the temperate forest, and explore different types of leaves. Your job this weekend is to help your child notice and collect a variety of leaves so that they have some hands-on materials for next week.

During the week of October 26, we'll do some pumpkin math. We will weigh, measure, estimate, graph, and count up our pumpkins. Please plan on having an uncarved "math pumpkin" available at this time. Small "pie" pumpkins are fine for this activity... but giants can be fun too!

Family Conferences

Jacob and I want to know how distance learning is working for you! If you have any questions or concerns (or just want to check in and say hello) please sign up for a 20 minute conference spot on Thursday, October 29 or Friday, October 30.

Rachel's Class Sign Up

If you have a particular concern or question, please send me a quick email. I’d love to start working on problem solving strategies ASAP and then use our conference time to see what progress we’ve made.

Easy CBM testing is in full swing. Keep and eye out for a seesaw invitation to come test in Jacob's help zoom.

Easy CBM take 2!

This next week we will be starting part 2 of Easy CBM testing.

In order to do this testing through distance, we need some assistance from your end to get your child logged on to our testing site. We are a team!

I have compiled some step-by-step directions on how things will look on your end. Please do not preview the materials with your child or coach them during the assessment.

For Computer Based Assessments:

1. Join the testing Zoom link. Please have video on.

2. Ridgeline staff will guide your child through expectations and instructions.

3. Open your internet browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.). It will cover up your Zoom view, but that’s okay, as long as the teacher/assistant can still see your child.

4. Go to this website: 4j-or.easycbm.com

5. Your screen should look like this:

6. Click on the Students “Click Here” link.

7. Type in the teacher’s username. It is rachel.quinn

8. Once you click “Go!” then you should be taken to a screen that asks you to select the group. Click on “All Students”.

9. Scroll through the names until you come to your child’s name, and click on it.

10. ***Confirm it is on your child’s test, and not another student’s!

11. It will prompt you to enter a password, which is a six-digit number from your child’s birthdate. MMDDYY, with no slashes.

12. Once entered, you will see “Select the Test”.

13. Scroll through the array of tests offered and select the one your teacher/assistant has indicated.

14. If your child is doing the math, your assistance in reading the math problems aloud to your child may be needed. No reading assistance is allowed on the reading assessments.

15. Your teacher/assistant is required to observe your child taking the assessment. There will likely be one group at a time on Zoom, testing at the same time.

These groups will happen in Jacob's zoom. Students will be notified in advance of their day and time to be tested. If this time does not work for you please let us know.

Thank you for helping to make this happen.

Rachel's Update 10-8-2020

Hello to Room 3 families! Welcome to week 4 of school. I have to say that I am impressed with how quickly we are all finding a rhythm. This week we talked a lot about creating good work plan habits. Remembering to update work plans after each work is the easiest way to ensure that it happens. This is where each student gets to tell us what they have completed. Also, it is a tool for students to know what they could work on next. Each day our goal is to complete language, math, and cultural work. We are well on our way to meeting this goal. Good job guys!

Easy formula: Do ELA (language), Math, and Cultural each day. Yay!

Biome Exploration Next Week

Let’s get ready to travel the world as we explore all the beautiful biomes - deserts, rainforests, polar regions, grasslands, mountains, wetlands, and even the ocean. We’ll learn what a biome is and identify its living and nonliving parts. In Wednesday’s writing lessons, students will choose a biome to research and write about. On Friday will be "dress like a biome day!" Students who want to participate can shop their closets to create an outfit for exploring the desert, diving into the ocean, or braving the polar winds. I can’t wait to see what we all come up with!

Live Lessons… The Instruction Manual for Remote Learning

Our seesaw activities are designed to be follow ups to our daily live lessons, not stand alone works. Being with students live lets me introduce new concepts, clarify expectations and answer questions. If your child misses a lesson, they may struggle to complete the Seesaw activity on their own. Pending permissions (more on that later), we will have recorded lessons available. Until then, encourage good attendance! If your child misses a lesson and needs some help, please have them visit Jacob's help zoom to get back on track.

Permission to Record Lessons

Our lessons are highly interactive, and I often have students in view on my screen in order to see raised hands and check for understanding. This means that the lessons I record include students in the video. In order to share these recorded lessons with students who need them, we need your consent. Please fill out this form ASAP so that our recorded lessons can be made available.

Distance Learning Recording Consent Form- Rm 3

https://forms.gle/mDyGvyfFoDemU9Tj6

Remember, lesson videos will only be made available to families within our classroom.

Easy CBM Update

Next week we will be starting our first round of EasyCBM with some one minute reading tests. Students can drop in to Jacob's zoom at 1:50 - 2:30 for testing. EasyCBM may also be given during conference times or in regular help zoom hours. Tests should only take a couple of minutes. We ask that your child be in a quiet space where they can give good, undivided attention. This is an assessment, which means the student will need to do the task without your help or coaching. Our students have all done this before and it should feel familiar to them.

Help!

Email Rachel or Jacob if you have any questions. Your kids can jump into Jacob's wonderful help desk zoom for immediate assistance with assignments or understanding expectations.

Thank you families. Have a great weekend!

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel's Update 10-1-2020

Hello to Room 3 families! We are now entering into week 3 of our distance learning time! Can you believe it? Every year it never ceases to amaze me how time can be so relative! Well, we made it through many of the stops and starts of the beginning of school. Students are joining in my meetings and lessons and taking advantage of Jacob's help desk. Yay! Good job to all the families who are such a big part of our success. Your support and assistance make this possible. I am aware of the challenges, frustrations, and inconveniences distance learning creates. My heart goes out to all who are struggling at this time. During the first week of school we asked students the question, "What do you do when things get hard?" The answers we received looked something like this:

1. Take big belly breaths.

2. Try, try, and try again. If I get frustrated, walk away and distract myself. Come back and try it again later.

3. Stop. Breathe. Count to 10.

4. I yell and shout until I am not upset anymore. Then I try again.

5. Go be by myself for a bit.

Does this sound about right? Our kids are learning how to deal with a lot of uncomfortable feelings right now. So are we as parents! Developing strategies for managing life when it is hard is so important for our children's mental strength. The best thing we can do is model positive strategies and forgive ourselves and others when we can't. Nobody is perfect after all! Thank goodness. :)

Cultural Theme

For week 3 we are continuing with our astronomy thread, bringing it closer to home with planetary motion, the seasons, and shadows. We are shifting into fall at the moment. This makes it the perfect time to talk about why our planet Earth has seasons. What do the seasons mean to you? Your family? What kind of special traditions do you have surrounding the changing seasons? What sensory elements of fall do you love? For me fall is crunchy leaves, hot chocolate, pumpkins, and snugly fireplaces. The air smells different in the fall. Talk to your kids about your fall memories!

Academics

We are now in full swing with writing, grammar, and math. Each week your child will receive instruction in these different curricular areas. Jacob and I love seeing all the amazing work your kids are doing in Seesaw!

Work Plans

Our goal is that a work in each area (math, language, cultural) is completed each day. This is what we call a balanced work plan. Last week we talked in our family email about the different types of work that may be assigned. Some work is done in one sitting. Others are meant to take multiple days. Some students have expressed confusion about how they can do math each day when they don't get a lesson each day. Every student has been assigned a tabbed math activity. Each time a student practices their math they should be doing a few equations. It may take them 4 practices to finish the entire assignment. Each time they practice the math they get to mark it on their work plan. There are also additional math activities they can do so they are not doing the same activity each and every day. After a student practices or completes a work they should be marking it on their work plan. This lets us know that they did the work.

Easy formula: Do ELA (language), Math, and Cultural each day.

Help!

Email Rachel or Jacob if you have any questions. Your kids can jump into Jacob's wonderful help desk zoom for immediate assistance with assignments or understanding expectations.

Small Group Instruction

Keep a lookout in Seesaw for lesson invitations. Some invitations will be for on-going groups that will meet each week. Others will be a one-time supplemental lesson or meet-up. These lessons will be during our second work period, which is from 1:30 - 2:40.

Thank you families. Have a great weekend!

Rachel and Jacob


Lower El Schedule for Each Cohort and Distance Learners.pptx
Jacob's Zoom Schedule - Spring 2021.pptx
Rachel's Zoom Links