Rachel's Update 11-23-21
Good morning and hello to all my Room 3 families! This week we talked about the native tribes of Oregon and wrote letters of gratitude. When a special occasion arises that causes one to think about all the blessings in life it makes me wonder why this practice is not a daily ritual! Gratitude. What beautiful medicine for apathy. I find myself grateful these days for simpler pleasures, such as a hot cup in the morning, a moment to myself, and having conversation with my children. What are you grateful for? Life can fly by at such a fast pace that we lose the sensitivity to recognize all the things we have. Why do we focus so much on what we don't have? Well, students had a lot to say about gratitude. Check out our gratitude word web to see what your child shared:
Next week we will continue our exploration of the Paleozoic Era, this time looking at the Age of Fish and the Age of Amphibians. Did you know that early fish had armor plating? So cool!
1. Please bring a water bottle for your child every day.
2. We go outside rain or shine! Please make sure that your child has weather/temperature appropriate clothing for the day.
3. NO SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH
Lost Jacket: A new black puffer jacket has gone missing. If your child brought one home that is not yours, please return it to school. Thanks!
Have a wonderful extra-long weekend! For those families celebrating Hanukkah, Hanukkah Sameach!
I am deeply grateful for all the wonderful families and children I work with. Thank you Jacob for being my assistant and friend. It takes two to run a Montessori classroom!
Rachel's Update 10-29-21
Decomposition and Next Steps - This week we start the next leg of our journey into the story of Earth. Our story began with the spark of the universe, and ended with a very early, very hot Earth that had just cooled enough for Oceans to form. No life can be found on this baby Earth. The next part of the story will follow the explosion of life on this planet up until the time of humans. This is exciting stuff! I look forward to all the creativity and writing this exploration will generate!
Now that we have all these pumpkins sitting around after Halloween what better to do (pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds) than to dissect one and watch it decompose? That is exactly what we will do! Stay tuned for the Rot Report...
Conferences - Annual parent, student, teacher conferences will take place, Wednesday, November 10, and Friday, November 12. Once again conferences will be held on Zoom. Conference days are no school days. We have set aside this time for you to meet to discuss your child’s progress and classroom experience; please take advantage of this opportunity.
These are family conferences and children are welcome; however, if you’d like to talk without your child present, that’s ok too.
We're using SignUp.com (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming Fall Conference SignUps. I’ll send out a zoom link the night before conferences start. Click on Rachel's Class Sign Up to sign up.
Retakes - Photo Retakes will take place on Wednesday, November 3. If you are unhappy with your student’s photo, please send them to school with their picture package to return to the Lifetouch photographer. Our essential volunteer, Robyn, will go to each classroom to collect students for retakes. Please instruct your child to speak up when she comes to their classroom. All students who were absent on picture day will automatically have their photos taken. If you wish to order photos online go to mylifetouch.com. Ridgeline’s Picture Day ID is EVTTKS2XQ
Rachel's Update 10-20-21
Hello once again beautiful Room 3 families! I hope you are doing well and are enjoying the turning of the season. Our class is deep into the study of our solar system this week. Students are writing planet paragraphs, filling in their Astronomy book with interesting facts, and writing stories about planetary exploration. The solar system is full of some pretty amazing objects! Ask your child about what they find cool about the solar system. What have they learned?
Next week we will change course and explore all things pumpkin! Fall is just about everywhere these days. The colors, the smells, the softer texture of sunlight. Everything changes in a very special way during fall. On Wednesday we will weigh and measure pumpkins to gather data for a classroom graph. Please bring a pumpkin that your child can carry to school on Wednesday. If this causes a hardship for your family, please let me know and I will provide one for your child. Everyone will get a chance to participate in our pumpkin fun. On Friday our class will have pajama day! Come to school wearing the most comfortable pajamas you can find!
Wednesday, October 27th - Bring a pumpkin to school.
Friday, October 29th - Pajama Day!
November 3rd - Picture retake day.
Be safe and healthy. Thank you for being a part of our classroom. I appreciate all of you!
Rachel's Update 10-1-21
Hello Room 3 parents!
This past week our class finished an introduction to the biomes of the world. It was so exciting to see all the writing happening in our classroom! Ask your child about the biomes. We explored the desert, grasslands, mountain, wetlands, ocean, and the temperate forest biomes. On Thursday I gave the First Great Lesson: the story of the birth of the universe up until early Earth. If your child missed the lesson or would like to rewatch it you can find the lesson posted on the Ridgeline website here. Over the next two weeks we will explore the exciting world of astronomy, starting with objects in our universe, then focusing on our solar system, and finishing up at our very own planet Earth.
P.E. and Art classes are off the ground and running. Dan is back to run P.E. until the position is formally filled. Thanks Dan! Rena, our new Art teacher, utilizes her Montessori teaching experience and art skills to present beautiful and thoughtful art experiences for the class.
* Please bring a water bottle every day to school. Our water fountains are not in use at this point.
* Wear weather appropriate clothes. On rainy or muddy days please wear waterproof shoes and a raincoat.
* If your student was absent for Picture Day they can have their photo taken on retake day on November 3.
Thank you for all you do to help your child thrive!
Rachel's Update 9-17-21
This week we jumped into the study of the Fundamental Needs of Humans. As a class we asked the question: What do all humans need to survive? Ask your child what they think! Then we introduced the various diverse biomes of the world, taking a closer look at the desert biome. Next week we will continue to explore the biomes. Spoiler alert..next stop: the universe!
Here we go!
At long last, we’re back at school in person. It’s been wonderful to see the students again and to see the joy they have at being back with their classmates and engaging in meaningful work.
We’ve spent the past week introducing new lessons, getting to know each other, and practicing classroom procedures. Safety protocols add an extra level of difficulty to many of our transitions, but the students have done a great job learning and following all the steps to staying safe.
Assessment in the Lower Elementary
After the disruptions of the past year and a half, students are coming back with a unique set of strengths and challenges. We’re assessing these in several ways. This year we’re using Montessori-aligned skills inventories to track students’ academic progress, executive function, and their social and emotional fluency. We’ll also test students with a benchmark assessment, EasyCBM. These short tests happen three times a year and are normed against students from many school districts. They provide a snapshot of reading and math skills and let us track progress over time.
Montessori tells us to “follow the child,” to observe them closely so that we can understand their needs. Our assessments and observations are an ongoing part of Montessori teaching. This year more than ever, we’ll constantly be adjusting and individualizing our approach so we can help kids make progress after a difficult year.
Art and PE
We are starting art and PE next week. Our new art specialist, Rena Ekmanis, will teach twice a week and students will have outside PE led by Jacob.
School Lunch Double Ups
We are so happy to be able to offer free school lunch and breakfast this year. We’re trying to cut down on “double lunches” where kiddos bring a lunch from home and get school lunch as well. Add in breakfast, and they have three meals to manage – that’s a lot to juggle! You can manage your lunch subscription at the Ridgeline website.
Picture day at Ridgeline Montessori is next Thursday, September 23rd. Help your child be prepared to smile and say cheese! If your child misses picture day, stay tuned for information regarding retakes.
Thank you for trusting us with your child. All of us here are committed to making school safe, joyful and meaningful for all our students.