Room 9- Meridy
Meridy's Update 1-21-21
Hello and welcome to your Jan 22 Newsletter!
I hope you were able to enjoy your three day weekend. I sure did! Remember, next week is a short week too. There will be no school on Friday.
This week we asked students to come up with 3 topics they know something (or a lot) about. Over the next couple of weeks, they will turn their topics into an informative 5 paragraph paper. This is one of my favorite lessons, as I get to learn so much about your student! Ask them what topics they brainstormed.
In history, we continue to learn about the pilgrims. Students are reading a different account of the Mayflower and the pilgrims' first year as a colony. At the same time, they are learning to ask questions about what they still don’t know.
After this week's demonstration about density (which citrus fruits float and/or sink?), next week students are moving onto the smallest unit of matter. What is it you ask? Your student will learn next week!
Jeannelle is again, doing a fantastic job in P.E. She introduced the students to “Cardio Fun” on Sworkit, and then on Friday, they chose between: Would You Rather Fitness - Food Edition, Dance or Move Workout, Wheel of Fitness, Jumping and Hopping Skills Workout, Balance & Flexibility Workout. Ask them what Friday’s P.E. ended up being.
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.
Thanks again for all you do!
Meridy and Adriene
Meridy's Update 1-14-2021
Meridy's Update 1-8-2021
Welcome Back and Happy 2021!
We had a wonderful first week back and are getting into the routine of being in school again.
Next week in history, we start our work with colonization. We will start with some general, somewhat inaccurate readings. As we move through the next couple of weeks, students will get more readings which will increase in accuracy of the depiction of the Native experience. We will conclude by having a native historian come in to speak with the class. Our goal is to have students recognize that history can be written in different ways and to have them begin to think critically about what they read.
This coming week, writing will turn away from the fictional story and move into the informational realm. We will focus on good paragraph structure and work our way through a 5 paragraph essay.
Did you know different citrus fruits float or sink? Your students will find out which do and which don’t and why this coming week.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Meridy and Adriene
Meridy's Update 12-11-2020
Hello Adults of Room 9!
These past two weeks I have seen some great science coming from your homes! Videos showing experiments, models of different states of matter using very creative materials, amazing slideshows are just some of the projects I’ve seen. How did your student share their ideas? Have they observed mystery matter yet and decided what state of matter it is? Remember, if you don’t have cornstarch, let me know. We have plenty here at school and are happy to set up a time for you to pick it up.
Speaking of science materials, next week we have some more experiments to stretch your student's ability to observe, critique, and form opinions. (and yes, these will probably be messy too). You will need shaving cream, baking soda, conditioner (yes, the stuff you use in your hair), paper towels, and vinegar. Again, let me know if you don’t have some of these ingredients and we are happy to set up a time for you or your student to pick it up.
Many of our activities next week will be centered around snowflakes and snow (see messy experiment above). Students will decorate their Zoom spaces with themes, create snowflakes, and write poetry to celebrate winter. Encourage your student to “go all out” and WOW their classmates on zoom.
One more assignment you can look forward to this coming week is “The Great Winter Listen.” We are asking students to interview a family elder or family friend about their traditions and then see if and how they have changed over time. Since we may not be able to be with many of our loved ones, this is an opportunity to reach out and keep in touch.
Story writing will come to a close next week. Students will receive feedback from their peers and revise their stories. We are also asking students to design a book cover for their story. We would like to share all stories in a virtual classroom bookshelf for some entertaining winter break reading.
We hope you have a great weekend! If you are a snow person, I hear the mountains are getting covered.
Meridy and Adriene
-Grace and Forgiveness
Meridy's Update 12-4-2020
Hello and Happy December, 4th
I hope you had a relaxing and joyful thanksgiving break.
We switched it up this week, taking a short break from History, and starting Chemistry. Students were asked to make models of matter in the solid state, liquid state, and gaseous state. I saw some very creative ways of thinking about how to represent states of matter…. legos, pictures, dance moves. What did your student do?
Speaking of Chemistry, next week we have a fun experiment that requires cornstarch. If you do not have cornstarch we have some here at Ridgeline. Let me know if you would like to pick some up and we can set up a meeting and/or pick-up time.
We are coming to a close with our fictional writing. Students should have finished writing their stories this week. Next week, they will have an opportunity to peer edit other students' stories and then revise their own.
If you didn’t know, one of our weekly works is the Word of the Week. We ask students to look up the definition, write the definition in their own words, think of synonyms, antonyms, and finally write it in a sentence. This week we started a new challenge: see if you can use the word of the week in your Unconventional Journal story. Ask your student what the word of the week was this week and how they included it in their UJ.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Meridy and Adriene
Meridy's Update 11-20-2020
Hello and Happy week before Thanksgiving,
It’s already November 20, which puts me into a mild state of shock if I think about it for too long. I looked up one day and the leaves were beautiful gold, red, and orange. Now they are all on the ground! Before we know it, winter will be upon us.
That reminds me, next week is a short week. I’ll see students on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If you know your student is going to be absent, please remember to contact the office.
Next week, we will finish up our study of explorers. Each group is focusing on one explorer and they will share their research on a timeline with a map of the explorer’s travels. Which explorer is your student studying? Why did they choose that explorer?
This week in writing, students created three different plot pyramids, one of which will probably be expanded into a full story. Have your student tell you all three plots. Then ask them which one they are going to write. They start writing stories next week!
I hope you have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving.
Meridy and Adriene
Meridy's Update 11-6-2020
Hello all and happy rainy Friday,
Thank you to all the people who showed up at conferences. We appreciate learning about the home side of school and everyone’s experience. Thank you also for the continued positive support. We greatly appreciate all the kind words, smiles, and laughs that were had during conferences. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.
Supplies from Distribution - We still have a lot of supplies that were not picked up last week during distribution. If you are one of those families who weren’t able to make it, please contact the office to make arrangements to pick up supplies.
This week, we finished up our group Native Nations Regions research. I’ve had a chance to look at most final projects and they are really well done. Have your student show you their contribution, or even present it to the whole family. As we finished up the research project, we also learned a new online tool from National Geographic called Map Maker Interactive. Your student chose at least five places around the world they wanted to visit. Do you know what their top five places are? Ask them to show you.
Have a wonderful weekend, and remember, next Wednesday is Veterans Day so there won’t be any school.
Meridy and Adriene
Meridy's Update 10-22-2020
Happy Friday Room 9 adults!
Conferences Next Week - Students are seeming to settle in and get into the rhythm of Comprehensive Distance Learning. We’re excited to chat with you and your student next week at conferences. Remember, next week is a short week as we have no school on Thursday, October 29, and Friday October 30. If you haven’t signed up for a conference spot yet, sign up here.
Art Supply & Other Supplies Distribution - Now that we are a month into school we have more items for you to pick up to assist you student(s) with CDL. There are items for ALL students to pick up. Pick up times are on conference days - Thursday, October 29, 11 a.m. -1 p.m. AND Friday, October 30, 8:30 a.m. - 10 am. Please make every effort to come during those times to pick up art supplies and other items. If you cannot come at these times we encourage you to reach out to another Ridgeline family to pick up your child’s items.
Please present a clearly written sign with each student’s FULL NAME, GRADE, and CLASS on it. Add siblings to your sign with all the same information.
Example: Patty Smith Simon Smith
Grade 3 Grade 5
Rachel’s Class Jasper’s Class
Pull up as far as you can in the driveway circle and wait for a staff member to come to your vehicle. Masks are required. Remain in your vehicle. Hand the sign to the staff member and they will hand you your bag/box.
Help Your Student Advocate For Themselves - Did you know children are full of questions?!? I bet you are fielding multiple (maybe hundreds) of them every day. This can be a great learning opportunity for your student. Have them reach out to a friend, or even two. Then have them reach out to us (Email, or even a Google Hangout Chat). Part of upper el is encouraging students to advocate for themselves. Please help us in this endeavor!
**Important**We do our best to record meetings and lessons without having students displayed in them but unfortunately, due to the nature of Zoom, it is very difficult to give an effective, engaging lesson without seeing students’ faces. These recordings are only posted in the Upper El Google Classroom. They can also be used when a student would like to review a concept.
Please fill out the Distance Learning Recording Consent Form.
Meridy and Adriene
Meridy's Update 10-16-2020
Happy Friday Room 9 Community!
School is in full swing! Students are doing great work and completing the majority (if not all) of their weekly work and other assignments.
We started math instruction this week which has daily follow-up practice. We find that when students practice daily, math tends to stick with them better. It helps the lesson stay fresh in their minds and prepares them for their next lesson.
Students are moving forward in Cultural Studies by researching different regions of pre-European Native Nations in multi-leveled groups. Each student is studying one aspect of their region. They are using many different resources to find information. If you have any books at home that could help with research, encourage your student to use those as well as the resources we provided.
Thank you for your continued positive support! We are seeing high levels of engagement and attendance. This is great. Thank you for supporting your student and keep up the good work!
Try to enjoy the sunshine while you still can.
Meridy's Update 10-8-2020
Happy first short week of school!
Here we are at the end of another great week! We have done a lot of work to learn the tools that we will use all year long. Thank you, Room 9 adults, for all the support you have given us and your students!
Remember, if you or your child ever forget their schedule for the day, we post the daily meetings on the Google Classroom Stream. The schedule that is on the website, the same one that was sent home with your supplies, is an outline of general times. The stream on Google Classroom will give you a much more detailed picture of your student's daily schedule. Please encourage your student to check the stream every morning.
We hope to start math groups next week. These will be small group zoom meetings. It is extremely important for students to show up to these lessons. Many of the concepts that will be taught build off each one another. If a student doesn’t come to lessons, the following lessons may be harder for them to understand. If a lesson is missed, we do record them and put them up in Google Classroom.
We do our best to record meetings and lessons without having students displayed, but unfortunately, due to the nature of Zoom, it is very difficult to give an effective, engaging lesson without seeing students’ faces. These recordings are only posted in Upper El Google Classrooms. They can also be viewed when a student would like to review a concept.
Please fill out the Distance Learning Recording Consent Form:
Last, but certainly not least, please let us know if anything is impacting your child’s learning at home. We have a limited view of your students through our group zoom and one-on-one meetings, so any input you provide is very helpful and appreciated.
We appreciate all of the positive support you have given us. Have a fantastic long weekend :)
Meridy's Update 10-2-202
Happy October Room 9!
In this, the second week of school, we started some larger projects and some cultural studies. Hopefully, you saw your students engaged in some fun activities.
One of the biggest concerns we heard in the spring was a lack of student to student connection. One way we have seen students recreate an “in-classroom feel” is by opening a Google Hangout Video and doing work side by side. It creates an environment where students can be working but still chatting at the same time as they would in the classroom. Please encourage your students to try this. If your student has a hard time reaching out to other students, have them use Adriene's help link and Adriene can help set them up with someone to work with. Bonus: all three classrooms are fairly aligned in their assignments so students can collaborate across rooms as well!
I would also like to stress the importance of the one-on-one zoom meetings. These every other week meetings are our time to connect with students. We may talk about work or what they did this weekend, just like we would make connections in the classroom. Please encourage your student to attend these one-on-one sessions. We find them very vital and informative.
The daily Zoom meeting schedule, including small groups, one on one, art, and cultural studies, will be posted on your students Google Classroom Stream every day and addressed in the morning meeting. If they are confused about when or where to come to a zoom meeting, have them check the stream first. We are working toward a more regular schedule.
Finally, many parents have signed up for the Google Classroom Guardian feature. If you have not yet signed up and are still interested, please let me know.
Meridy's Update 9-25-2020
Hello, Room 9 Adults,
The year is off to a great start; we made it through the first week! Tears and fears and mishaps happened and we all survived!
Good news: Art and PE start next week. Art classes will take place on Adriene’s link at 1:15 on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. We will communicate instructions for PE next week. One on One meetings will continue every other week due to time constraints. The schedule will be posted in Google Classroom for your student to reference.
From our side, everything seems to be going great. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and working hard. If your experience is different, please reach out and let us know. We have kept the glitches to the bare minimum (only 256,935 this week!). We hope that is the case for you too.
Google Classroom is up and running and everyone is signed up. Congratulations! This week, students refreshed their knowledge of how to screenshot and everyone learned a new online tool called Padlet. Next week, we will start cultural studies with some afternoon lessons and students will be asked to complete a math placement assessment.
Thank you everyone for sticking through this with us.