Classroom Updates/Homework - Announcements



CRMS Update for 2/17/17

posted Feb 22, 2017, 6:46 AM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

Dates to Remember:

Wednesday, 2/22, 2:15-3:30pm, CRMS Parent Meeting.  It will be great to get together as a group to talk about how homeschooling is going, field trip details, projects, etc.

 

Friday, 2/24, 1-3pm,  All Charter Skate Day,  SC Roller Palladium.

 

Wednesday, 3/1, Monterey Bay Aquarium Field Trip.  Please see attached permission slip for details.  Permission slip due next Thursday, 2/23.

 

Thursday, 3/2:  Month 7 Attendance Due.

 

Wednesday, 3/8, 7-9pm, Screenagers film showing for parents at the Performing Arts Center.  Please see information in the Announcements section of this email.

 

Tuesday, 3/14: Charter Info Night. SLVMS Library 6-7:30pm.  Please encourage anyone you know who might be interested in Charter programs to attend.

 

Wednesday-Friday, 3/15-17, Ski/Snow Trip:

I finally heard back from Badger Pass.  With a minimum of 20 people, the ski area can give us a group rate.  Here are the basic costs:

*Lift Ticket + Equipment Rental = $25 per person

*Lift Ticket + Equipment Rental + Lesson = $35 per person (plus $35 per instructor.  I will find out how many instructors we might need for our sized group).

This seems like an amazing deal to me!

I also talked to the Nordic Center which is in a different location and is where the inner tubing happens.  They don’t have group rates, but are willing to give us a discount if we have a large group that wants to inner tube down the slopes.  Their price without the discount is $17 per person for a two-hour session.

In order to decide what to sign up for, I’m going to need to start collecting information from you and the kids about interest and skill-level.  You can get that information to me via email or let me know at the parent meeting on Wednesday:

*Is your child more interested in skiing, snowboarding, or inner tubing?

*What is your child’s skill level at the above?

*Do you have your own equipment?

*Does your child have adequate clothing (cold weather/snow-rain gear)?

*If not, what do you need to borrow?

We’ll discuss loaning, borrowing, renting gear at our parent meeting.  Many families might have snow/rain gear that their kids have outgrown or that belongs to adults/older siblings in the family who are not joining the trip and can be loaned for the week. No one should need to purchase clothes/equipment to participate in this field trip.

Here’s a link to get you excited: http://www.travelyosemite.com/winter/yosemite-ski-snowboard-area/

Now let’s hope for some cold, snowy storms between now and mid-March!

 

To Do/Homework

1.   Turn in Ed Corps Waivers (attached)

2.   Get signed-up for TreeRing and send me the email addresses you used.

3.   Turn in  MBA field trip permission slip (attached).

4.   Let me know if your daughter would like to attend the Women in Science meeting at lunch next Thurs. (See announcements below.)

5.   Let me know if your son or daughter is interested in participating in the SLVMS Maker Club on Tuesday afternoons (See announcements below.)

6.   Follow-up on business math we did this week, if you feel that would be beneficial (See summary below.)

7.   Start on Project Presentation Research (I’ll be contacting you in the next week to schedule a presentation time.)

 

Class Business Necessary Forms: Real World Scholars is an organization that supports classrooms starting and running their own businesses.  We are working with them and their EdCorps branch.  They have given us seed money, will be giving us a page on their website, and are offering educational support.  In order to legally continue to work with them, I’m going to have to ask each of you to sign two documents: a media release form and a liability waiver.  Both of these forms are attached to this email.  The liability release form is also available in a digital version: this photo release form, if you prefer that format.  I will have copies of these printed out in the classroom as well.  Please look these over.  Your completion and signing of these forms will allow us to move forward with our class business.  Thanks!

 

TreeRing:  Last week I had requested that you send me the email address you used to order your copy of this year’s yearbook (or plan to use to order the yearbook).  Also, please send me your child’s non-school issued email address that they can use to work on the yearbook.  Now I realize that many of you may not have signed up earlier in the year and so may need the school’s passcode to move forward.  I’ve attached a copy of the flyer that I gave out at the beginning of the year which contains that passcode, if you need it.  Thanks for giving this some attention.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the folders I set up fill with great photos!

 

 

Summary of Class Activities:

 

Note: We were not able to complete our write-up of class activities for Thursday, so the kids will finish this next week in class.

 

Circle Check-in:

We spent some time talking about the “why” of circle check-in time.  I shared with them excerpts from a blog post by Chad Fowler, CTO and software developer about how even though it is not easy for him, and it seems unnecessary for his very technical job that empathy is the most important skill he practices, both for success in his professional and his personal life.  The kids took the message to heart and even those who are challenged to tune in to how they are feeling and to provide supporting evidence made an extra effort to do so.

Class Business:

The kids had some struggles coming up with adjectives and similes to describe the characteristics of oils when we made our first batch of lotion on 2/2, so this week I gave them a list of some possibilities, had them circle those adjectives that they thought would appeal to someone purchasing lotion.  That led into a discussion of who might be the target audience for our lotion.  In their table groups the kids looked at the finished lotions they had made and (in a different color), circled the descriptors (or wrote in ones that were not on the list) that described the actual product.  They did this for all four lotions made with the different oils.

The kids watched part of a video of a TED talk by Simon Sinek, https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action, and took Cornell Notes to write down the main points of the talk. Since their entire list of goals for the business that they brainstormed on 2/2 had to do with how they would like to spend their profits, I think getting in touch with the deeper purpose for the business was a new idea for them.  To begin visioning our own mission statement, the kids started working on a process of developing their own personal mission statement.  The process included drawing and answering questions to investigate what they most value and admire, and what circumstances bring out the best in them.  Once each child has their own individual mission statement, then we can see if we can pick up common threads to form a mission statement for our group.  Most kids are getting close to finishing answering the questions for self-reflection and will be ready to start writing their personal mission statement.  I was hoping that the kids would take home what they had completed and discuss it with you, but I failed to remind the kids to do this before they left on Thursday.  Hopefully soon we’ll return to the routine of binders going home on Thursday and returning to class on Wednesday.  Many of the kids were having a hard time seeing how their actions could affect those around them, so I shared several examples of how doing, or not doing, something could have even far-reaching effects.

I asked the kids to come up with what they felt would be good lab safety rules.  April came and helped us troubleshoot our emulsification problems.  The table groups completed a second lotion trial with the same oil they used before.  They worked on more accurately measuring weight and volume of ingredients and we were more sensitive to the role of temperature in the emulsification process.

The kids worked in pairs to figure out the costs of our first batch of lotion. These real-life math skills are so practical that I would encourage you to reinforce them by incorporating similar problems into your daily math routine at home for the next week or two.

Garden:

The kids worked in pairs to map the garden (including measuring the paths and the existing beds) and weeded the paths to help identify beds in greatest need of rebuilding.  The kids that are new to CRMS this year got an introduction to garden etiquette and how to care for the tools we borrow from the Nature Academy.

 

Wish List:

 

Thrift Store Items:  We still need blenders and small (two quart or smaller) non-reactive saucepans.  Oven mitts/gloves would also be helpful.

 

Parent Help:  Please sign up for a day, if you haven’t already: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/document/d/1oaoprgoa4uhyjIgBcP8u7FzOHtAssbkJe44K93g0PF0/edit?usp=sharing. Thanks!

 

 

Announcements:

 

Crocheted Coral Reef: UC Santa Cruz and the Seymour Marine Center are sponsoring an astounding show of a crocheted coral reef! It is travelling the world and will be on display at the college from now through spring.  http://art.ucsc.edu/galleries/sesnon/current  I went to the opening of the exhibit on Friday evening.  It is definitely worth seeing for anyone interested in environmental health and/or handcrafts –very inspiring!  There is a local crocheted coral reef being made right now which anyone interested can join! Crochet a little fish and you are in! This coral reef will be displayed at the Seymour Center this May. Here is a list of the crochet circles they are holding so you can crochet alongside other ocean enthusiasts! http://ias.ucsc.edu/content/2016/uc-santa-cruz-satellite-reef-0. I’m hoping to make it to at least one.  Anyone else want to join me?

Young Women in Science:  This is a program sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium for 6th & 7th graders who are interested in: learning about sea otters, meeting female scientists, boogie boarding and kayaking.  It sounds great to me!  Students who are interested in finding out more can attend a meeting at lunchtime next Thursday, Feb. 23 at 12pm in the SLVMS, Room 16 (Nature Academy 6th grade).

New Makers Club:  SLVMS teacher Rebecca Doty has started a weekly makers club after school on Tuesdays.  In addition to adult input, the kids will also be teaching each other.  It sounds like a great club!  She has invited any CRMS students who are interested to join.  Please let me know if your 6-8 grade child is interested.  Once I have everyone’s information I will contact Ms. Doty and get the details to you.

SPECIAL EVENT: SCREENAGERS! NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 8, 7-9 pm. at the Performing Arts Center on the Tri-campus. 7105 Highway 9, Felton, 95018

We have rescheduled our  hosting of the film of SCREENAGERS.

A brief discussion of the film will be offered right after the film.  We will be sending out a parent discussion guide closer to the date of the event for parents to use at home with their students after the screening.  We will also have hard copies at the event.

“This special screening probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

Tickets previously purchased will be honored.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10.  Please note:  We have opened up the ticket sales to families of the other schools in the District, so please buy your tickets right away! There are only 210 seats available. Tickets and trailer for the film available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315   

You will receive a confirmation back from impact flow, which you need to bring with you to the event.  If you prefer to not purchase them online, they can also be purchased through your teachers or by contacting Danelle Matteson at 335-0932.

 

Environmental Art Contest:  Monterey Bay Air Resources District Calendar Art Contest to help bring awareness to the importance of clean air in our county.  Winners receive $100 cash award!  Deadline for submissions mid-March.  Please let me know if your K-8 student is interested and I can send you more details.

 

CRMS Update for 2/14/17

posted Feb 22, 2017, 6:36 AM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

I hope you are all feeling a lot of love today.  You deserve it!  This update is one that has a lot of information, so you may want to flag the email for future reference.  I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

 

Dates to Remember:

Friday, 2/17, 10:30am-12:00pm,  All Charter Capture the Flag game at Quail Hollow Ranch. We play Rain or Shine! Please do not drop students off any earlier than 10:30am.

 

Wednesday, 2/22, 2:15-3:30pm, CRMS Parent Meeting.  It will be great to get together as a group to talk about how homeschooling is going, field trip details, projects, etc.

 

Wednesday, 3/1, Monterey Bay Aquarium Field Trip.  Please see attached permission slip for details.  Permission slip due next Thursday, 2/23.

 

Thursday, 3/2:  Month 7 Attendance Due.

 

Wednesday, 3/8, 7-9pm, Screenagers film showing for parents at the Performing Arts Center.  Please see information in the Announcements section of this email.

 

Tuesday, 3/14: Charter Info Night. SLVMS Library 6-7:30pm.  Please encourage anyone you know who might be interested in Charter programs to attend.

 

Wednesday-Friday, 3/15-17, Ski/Snow Trip.  Let’s hope for some cold storms to pass through before our trip.  I think they must be flooded up at Badger Pass, since I haven’t heard back from them yet.  I hope to have firmer details by our next CRMS parent meeting on 2/22.

 

 

Summary of Last Week:

 

Rain & Slides!

 

More Important Info:

Class Business Necessary Forms: Real World Scholars is an organization that supports classrooms starting and running their own businesses.  We are working with them and their EdCorps branch.  They have given us seed money, will be giving us a page on their website, and are offering educational support.  In order to legally continue to work with them, I’m going to have to ask each of you to sign two documents: a media release form and a liability waiver.  Both of these forms are attached to this email.  The liability release form is also available in a digital version: this photo release form, if you prefer that format.  I will have copies of these printed out in the classroom as well.  Please look these over.  Your completion and signing of these forms will allow us to move forward with our class business.  Thanks!

 

TreeRing:  Last week I had requested that you send me the email address you used to order your copy of this year’s yearbook (or plan to use to order the yearbook).  Also, please send me your child’s non-school issued email address that they can use to work on the yearbook.  Now I realize that many of you may not have signed up earlier in the year and so may need the school’s passcode to move forward.  I’ve attached a copy of the flyer that I gave out at the beginning of the year which contains that passcode, if you need it.  Thanks for giving this some attention.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the folders I set up fill with great photos!

 

 

Wish List:

 

Thrift Store Items:  For those who might be thrift store shoppers (like I am)…would you please keep your eyes out for items that we can use for our class business?  Some of the items we need are: Plastic tablecloths, rubber scrapers, blenders, single burner hot plates, small (two quart or smaller) non-reactive saucepans, easy-to-read measuring cups, and scales that can measure down to half an ounce.

 

Lost and Found:  There are some very nice items in the lost and found basket by the door of the classroom.  Please take a look for what might belong to your child the next time you’re there.

 

Parent Help:  With the classroom projects I have planned for this semester, especially in the garden, I would love to be able to break up our larger class sub-groups to work on different parts of a project simultaneously.  For this I could really use some parent help.  If you haven’t signed up to help out in the classroom one day this semester, would you please do so?  Here’s the link: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/document/d/1oaoprgoa4uhyjIgBcP8u7FzOHtAssbkJe44K93g0PF0/edit?usp=sharing. Thanks!

 

 

Announcements:

 

Crocheted Coral Reef: UC Santa Cruz and the Seymour Marine Center are sponsoring an astounding show of a crocheted coral reef! It is travelling the world and will be on display at the college from now through spring.  http://art.ucsc.edu/galleries/sesnon/current  I went to the opening of the exhibit on Friday evening.  It is definitely worth seeing for anyone interested in environmental health and/or handcrafts –very inspiring!  There is a local crocheted coral reef being made right now which anyone interested can join! Crochet a little fish and you are in! This coral reef will be displayed at the Seymour Center this May. Here is a list of the crochet circles they are holding so you can crochet alongside other ocean enthusiasts! http://ias.ucsc.edu/content/2016/uc-santa-cruz-satellite-reef-0. I’m hoping to make it to at least one.  Anyone else want to join me?

Young Women in Science:  This is a program sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium for 6th & 7th graders who are interested in: learning about sea otters, meeting female scientists, boogie boarding and kayaking.  It sounds great to me!  Students who are interested in finding out more can attend a meeting at lunchtime next Thursday, Feb. 23 at 12pm in the SLVMS, Room 16 (Nature Academy 6th grade).

New Makers Club:  SLVMS teacher Rebecca Doty has started a weekly makers club after school on Tuesdays.  In addition to adult input, the kids will also be teaching each other.  It sounds like a great club!  She has invited any CRMS students who are interested to join.  Please let me know if your 6-8 grade child is interested.  Once I have everyone’s information I will contact Ms. Doty and get the details to you.

SPECIAL EVENT: SCREENAGERS! NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 8, 7-9 pm. at the Performing Arts Center on the Tri-campus. 7105 Highway 9, Felton, 95018

We have rescheduled our  hosting of the film of SCREENAGERS.

A brief discussion of the film will be offered right after the film.  We will be sending out a parent discussion guide closer to the date of the event for parents to use at home with their students after the screening.  We will also have hard copies at the event.

“This special screening probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

Tickets previously purchased will be honored.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10.  Please note:  We have opened up the ticket sales to families of the other schools in the District, so please buy your tickets right away! There are only 210 seats available. Tickets and trailer for the film available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315   

You will receive a confirmation back from impact flow, which you need to bring with you to the event.  If you prefer to not purchase them online, they can also be purchased through your teachers or by contacting Danelle Matteson at 335-0932.

 

 

Environmental Art Contest:  Monterey Bay Air Resources District Calendar Art Contest to help bring awareness to the importance of clean air in our county.  Winners receive $100 cash award!  Deadline for submissions mid-March.  Please let me know if your K-8 student is interested and I can send you more details.

 

 

Password Reset:  Our district tech support person, Paul Owens is in the process of resetting all of the passwords for district 6-8th graders.  This means that when your child logs in to his/her school Gmail account, s/he will need to pick a new password.  Here are the password requirements:

 

-Must be at least 8 characters long

-Must contain at least 1 letter and 1 number (no capitals or special characters required, but are good to use)

-Can NOT use a password that has previously been used for that account

CRMS Update for 2/3/17

posted Feb 7, 2017, 1:54 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

It was great to see the kids this week.  For those who are down with the flu, we hope you get better soon and look forward to seeing you again!

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

 

Dates to Remember:

Monday & Tuesday, 2/6-7, 3-5pm, All-Charter Play Auditions.  Please see Announcements below.

Wednesday, 2/8, 7-9pm, Screenagers film showing for parents at the Performing Arts Center (on the High School Campus).  Tickets cost $10 and are available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315. Screenagers Trailer.  There are also paper tickets available.  If you would like to purchase paper tickets, please let me know so that I can get them for you.

 

Friday, 2/17, 10:00am-12:00pm,  All Charter Capture the Flag game at Quail Hollow Ranch.

 

Wednesday, 2/22, 2:15-3:30pm, CRMS Parent Meeting.  It will be great to get together as a group to talk about how homeschooling is going, field trip details, projects, etc.

 

Wednesday, 3/1, Monterey Bay Aquarium Field Trip.

 

Thursday, 3/2:  Month 7 Attendance Due.

 

Ski/Snow Trip, 3/15-17: In polling during our planning meetings it seems like almost everyone wants to participate in this proposed trip to the Sierras, so I’m calling it a go!  We don’t know whether there will be snow in Yosemite in March, or if Badger Pass will be open, but we’re going to go ahead and plan as if there will be snow and all will be open.  If it turns out there is no snow, then we’ll have a rich time hiking and investigating early spring in Yosemite instead.  I am waiting to hear back from Badger Pass to see what kind of package deal they might be able to offer us.  I told them that we would have a broad range of abilities/interests as far as skiing goes –some who have skied/snowboarded a lot and others who have never skied/snowboarded and who may prefer to sled.  Lift tickets seem to run about $40 per person per day, not counting equipment rentals, lessons, park entry, etc.  Skating (another location) and inner-tubing seem to run about $20 for two hours.  We’ll see if they can offer us a group discount.  April will need approx. $350 from us to cover the cost of heating the place while we’re there and cleaning after we leave.  We would divide this cost between all of us.  There will also be a cost for gasoline to get up there (we’ll all contribute to the drivers, maybe $15 each) and for food (kids will form cook groups, budget and plan it out, maybe $25 each).  These are not firm numbers, but I wanted to suggest some numbers so that you can start budgeting for the cost. April, Marcy, Katherine, (and maybe) Jeff have volunteered to drive/chaperone so far.

 

 

Summary of the Week:

 

Chabot Space and Science Center:  The Chabot Center turned out to be a very lovely, relatively small museum which made it  a very relaxed field trip.  There were only a few other school groups there and the size of the museum allowed the kids to wander freely in self-chosen groups.  In addition to exploring the museum exhibits, we participated in a Lego Robotics lab where the kids were encouraged to think like programmers, using programming blocks to troubleshoot different parts of a wheeled robot.  The most fun was when the kids got to explore programming the vehicles on their own.  It seems like we could have easily spent another hour in the lab trying out different programs.  Our day there ended with watching a planetarium show on Ancient Mayan Astronomy and culture.  Thanks all for making the trek up to the Oakland hills!

 

Screenagers: After our circle check-in, but before the film screening, I engaged the kids in a milling activity where they talked with each other about their own and their family’s use of internet-enabled devices.  I think this activity helped highlight just how important these devices have become in our lives.  From there we headed to the PAC where Charter Teacher, Melissa Stockton introduced the film.  The kids were quite attentive during the film and I think were authentically interested in how something so much a part of their lives was being portrayed.  Our after-screening discussion was animated!  Many kids felt that the examples used in the film were very extreme.  Many felt that they could (and do) drop using their electronics for a week or more without any trouble, if they are away at camp, or have other activities.  I think some kids saw themselves reflected in the film more than others.  We talked about the characterization of computer use based on gender and class presented in the film and whether evidence from their own lives supported those characterizations.  Many kids felt like they had a clear idea of how the parents should handle limits on computer use the situation and didn’t quite understand why the parents in the film were having such a hard time.  Almost everyone felt their parents should see the movie. If you are able to make it to the parents’ viewing on the 8th, I think you’ll enjoy it, and also enjoy talking with your kids about it afterward.  A very nice red, light weight, rain jacket was left by a student in the PAC.  Please let me know if you think it might belong to your child.

 

Class Business Kick-Off: Last week we started moving forward with our natural body care product class business.  The kids brainstormed body care products that they would like to make, ideas for jobs that needed to be done to run the business, and how they would like to spend the profits (if there are any).  Starting with April’s lotion recipe, we did some product testing.  The kids worked in their table groups to describe the qualities of four different potential base oils that we might use: grape seed, olive, coconut, and safflower.  They then made a small batch of the recipe using one of the oils.  They poured the lotion into small containers and placed the containers in different environments to test the effect of the oils on shelf-life and product characteristics.

 

 

 

Wish List:

 

Thrift Store Items:  For those who might be thrift store shoppers (like I am)…would you please keep your eyes out for items that we can use for our class business?  Some of the items we need are: Plastic tablecloths, rubber scrapers, blenders, single burner hot plates, small (two quart or smaller) non-reactive saucepans, easy-to-read measuring cups, and scales that can measure down to half an ounce.

 

Email Addresses for TreeRing:  If you haven’t already, please send me the email address you used to order your copy of this year’s yearbook (or plan to use to order the yearbook).  Also, please send me your child’s non-school issued email address that they can use to work on the yearbook.  I’d like to sign up all the kids to be editors, but I need email addresses to do that.

 

Lost and Found:  There are some very nice items in the lost and found basket by the door of the classroom.  Please take a look for what might belong to your child the next time you’re there.

 

Parent Help:  With the classroom projects I have planned for this semester, especially in the garden, I would love to be able to break up our larger class sub-groups to work on different parts of a project simultaneously.  For this I could really use some parent help.  If you haven’t signed up to help out in the classroom one day this semester, would you please do so?  Here’s the link: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/document/d/1oaoprgoa4uhyjIgBcP8u7FzOHtAssbkJe44K93g0PF0/edit?usp=sharing. Thanks!

 

 

Announcements:

 

Little Mermaid: A Westside Story Audition Info

Next Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 6 and 7, are our audition days, from 3-5pm. Every student is cast, and we will play Improv games, sing, dance, and read some lines from the play to puzzle together which actors will play which parts. We will start out in Rm. 17 on the Quail Hollow campus, then shift to the multi-purpose room on Monday. 

 

Please print out the following form and fill it in, returning it with your student next week. Thank you! I am looking forward, once again, to sharing theater with your students.

 

~Amber

 

Little Mermaid: A Westside Story Participation Form

 

Password Reset:  Our district tech support person, Paul Owens is in the process of resetting all of the passwords for district 6-8th graders.  This means that when your child logs in to his/her school Gmail account, s/he will need to pick a new password.  Here are the password requirements:

 

-Must be at least 8 characters long

-Must contain at least 1 letter and 1 number (no capitals or special characters required, but are good to use)

-Can NOT use a password that has previously been used for that account

 

Environmental Art Contest:  Monterey Bay Air Resources District Calendar Art Contest to help bring awareness to the importance of clean air in our county.  Winners receive $100 cash award!  Deadline for submissions mid-March.  Please let me know if your K-8 student is interested and I can send you more details.

CRMS Update for 1/26/17

posted Feb 7, 2017, 1:51 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

I’ve really enjoyed getting together with you all for our semester 2 planning meetings.  It is wonderful to take the time to sit down together, reflect on the year so far, and vision the future.  I hope you all feel refreshed and inspired in your homeschooling. 

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

(831) 512-9331

 

 

Ski/Snow Trip, 3/15-17: In polling during our planning meetings it seems like almost everyone wants to participate in this proposed trip to the Sierras, so I’m calling it a go!  We don’t know whether there will be snow in Yosemite in March, or if Badger Pass will be open, but we’re going to go ahead and plan as if there will be snow and all will be open.  If it turns out there is no snow, then we’ll have a rich time hiking and investigating early spring in Yosemite instead.  I am waiting to hear back from Badger Pass to see what kind of package deal they might be able to offer us.  I told them that we would have a broad range of abilities/interests as far as skiing goes –some who have skied/snowboarded a lot and others who have never skied/snowboarded and who may prefer to sled.  Lift tickets seem to run about $40 per person per day, not counting equipment rentals, lessons, park entry, etc.  Skating (another location) and inner-tubing seem to run about $20 for two hours.  We’ll see if they can offer us a group discount.  April will need approx. $350 from us to cover the cost of heating the place while we’re there and cleaning after we leave.  We would divide this cost between all of us.  There will also be a cost for gasoline to get up there (we’ll all contribute to the drivers, maybe $15 each) and for food (kids will form cook groups, budget and plan it out, maybe $25 each).  These are not firm numbers, but I wanted to suggest some numbers so that you can start budgeting for the cost. April and I can transport 10 kids total in our cars, so we’ll need at least two more adults to come with us to drive and chaperone.

 

Dates to Remember:

Tuesday, 1/31, 3pm, All Charter Play Information Meeting, in Rm. 17 at the Quail Hollow Campus site in Ben Lomond.  I encourage you to attend this meeting if you might have any interest in your child participating in this year’s all-charter play.

Wednesday, 2/1, CRMS Trip to Chabot Science Center, Oakland, 9:30am-2:00pm.  We will meet at the center at 9:30am, go straight to our lab, then eat lunch, enjoy the museum and end with a video program. If I haven’t already received your permission slip and payment, please bring them with you. I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, 2/2, First CRMS Classroom Day for second semester (9:30am-2:00pm).  I’m looking forward to getting back in the classroom with the kids and getting going on our winter/spring projects!  We’ll start off our first day with attending the student showing of the Screenagers film at the PAC and continue on from there.

Thursday, 2/2, Month 6 Attendance Due to your student’s green portfolio binder.  Please remember that there are three components to the attendance paperwork:  The learning log (which you can print out after school in the classroom), the attendance check-off sheet (which should match the learning log entries: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-R9BS8w2UvpTTdPWVIwdGlPdU0/view), and a minimum of four work samples (including one math and one writing sample).  Please come in to the classroom and spend some time with your child picking out their best work for the month, printing it out, and adding it all to their portfolio.  Please do not rely on your child to complete this task on their own.  Thank You!

Friday, 2/3, All Charter Science Fair, 9:30am-11:30am (main event), 6:00-7:30pm (for those who cannot attend during the main event) at the Quail Hollow Campus site in Ben Lomond.  Even if your child didn’t sign-up to present a project this year, it is still an inspiring event to attend.

Wednesday, 2/8, 7-9pm, Screenagers film showing for parents at the Performing Arts Center (on the High School Campus).  Tickets cost $10 and are available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315. Screenagers TrailerThere are also paper tickets available.  If you would like to purchase paper tickets, please let me know so that I can get them for you.

 

Friday, 2/17, 10:00am-12:00pm,  All Charter Capture the Flag game at Quail Hollow Ranch.

 

Wednesday, 2/22, 2:15-3:30pm, CRMS Parent Meeting.  It will be great to get together as a group to talk about how homeschooling is going, field trip details, projects, etc.

 

 

 

Wish List:

 

Parent Help:  With the classroom projects I have planned for this semester, especially in the garden, I would love to be able to break up our larger class sub-groups to work on different parts of a project simultaneously.  For this I could really use some parent help.  If you haven’t signed up to help out in the classroom one day this semester, would you please do so?  Here’s the link: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/document/d/1oaoprgoa4uhyjIgBcP8u7FzOHtAssbkJe44K93g0PF0/edit?usp=sharing. Thanks!

 

 

Announcements:

 

Password Reset:  Our district tech support person, Paul Owens is in the process of resetting all of the passwords for district 6-8th graders.  This means that when your child logs in to his/her school Gmail account, s/he will need to pick a new password.  Here are the password requirements:

 

-Must be at least 8 characters long

-Must contain at least 1 letter and 1 number (no capitals or special characters required, but are good to use)

-Can NOT use a password that has previously been used for that account

 

Environmental Art Contest:  Monterey Bay Air Resources District Calendar Art Contest to help bring awareness to the importance of clean air in our county.  Winners receive $100 cash award!  Deadline for submissions mid-March.  Please let me know if your K-8 student is interested and I can send you more details.

CRMS Update for 1/10/17

posted Feb 7, 2017, 1:48 PM by Marcy Reynolds   [ updated Feb 7, 2017, 1:50 PM ]

Dear CRMS Families,

Happy Winter!  I hope you are all safe, warm and dry in this very wet weather.  The fact that school was cancelled on Monday means that you don’t need to keep a learning log for that day.  Keeping learning logs started today.  I know it is sometimes difficult after a vacation to get back into the routine of homeschooling.  A couple things can help.  One is our semester 2 planning meeting.  If you haven’t signed up for a time yet, please do at the link below.  I really look forward to talking to each one of you about how homeschooling is going and how we can keep it going!  The second is attending Gillian’s Math Word Problems workshop this Thursday morning (please see description below).  It should be an inspiring workshop that will provide practical support for working with your child in Math.  Lisa and I will be providing childcare during that time.  Weather permitting, we will be able to play games outside as well as offering activities inside.

Below I have listed key dates that you might like to enter in to your calendars.  Here are also three links that you might find helpful for planning your second semester:

School District Calendar: http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/District-School-Calendar-2016-2017.pdf.  

CRMS Parent Help Calendar for Second Semester: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/document/d/1oaoprgoa4uhyjIgBcP8u7FzOHtAssbkJe44K93g0PF0/edit?usp=sharing.

CRMS Semester Two Planning Meeting Sign-up Sheet: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/spreadsheets/d/1Q_1ZOSjfXjcy9XJqXkNDRUSkBHrF4FeOer5yEqcsO2w/edit?usp=sharing

If you have materials checked out from the CRMS library that you know you will not be using this semester, please feel free to return them this at your semester planning meeting so that they will be available to others.

Ski/Snow Trip Idea, Possibly 3/15-17: The Sembrat family has a large cabin at Pine Mt. Lake that they are willing to let us use for a couple of week nights as long as we pay for the cleaning after we depart.  Parents who attended last month’s parent meeting were enthusiastic about the idea.  The cabin has enough room for all of the kids, plus enough parents to drive and chaperone.  There are 18 beds total, and there is additional floor space for air matresses.  If we want to ski, Badger Pass is 1.5-2 hours away and offers discounted packages for homeschoolers.  Alternatively we could find a place to sled/saucer.  I said I would look into whether the Yosemite Institute offers programs during that time as well.  What do you think?  Please let me know if you/your child would be interested in participating in such a trip.

SF Symphony Afternoon:  At the parent meeting I mentioned that there are three museums within walking distance of the Symphony that we might want to visit when the symphony is over: the Tenderloin Museum, the Museum of Performance & Design, and the International Art Museum.  I checked out the Tenderloin Museum over the holiday and am not sure that it is appropriate for all of our students, but could be for some.  The Museum of Performance & Design does not seem to have open exhibit.  The International Art Museum looks like a safe bet for those who are interested in their collection which highlights Chinese calligraphy.  I invite you to look at these museums online to see if you might be interested in visiting any of them after the symphony program.

 

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

(831) 512-9331

 

 

Dates to Remember:

Monday, 1/10-Tuesday, 1/31, Semester Two Planning Meetings.  Please schedule a time to meet with Marcy on the sign-up sheet in the classroom. 

Wednesday, 1/25, CRMS-QHIA trip to hear the San Francisco Symphony.  We’ll send out more details about the trip next week.

Wednesday, 2/1, CRMS Trip to Chabot Science Center.  Usually I wouldn’t schedule a field trip on our first day back, but this was the only time they were offering the robotics workshop that fit at all with our schedule.  Details to follow later in the month.

Thursday, 2/2, First CRMS Classroom Day for second semester.  Classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays should continue uninterrupted (except for the occasional field trip) through March 30.

Friday, 2/3, All Charter Science Fair!  Even if your child didn’t sign-up to do a project this year, it is still an inspiring event to attend.

A reminder that our spending cap will be $15.  I have suggested that the kids take advantage of this opportunity to get to know their partner and try to find a gift for them that really suits them, instead of picking something generic.  Here are the names of the kids who have expressed a desire to participate in the activity: Daniel, Amelia, Willow, Brylie, Dylan, Sara, Chris, Hannah, Evan, Ellie, Erin.  We will do our gift exchange this Thursday.

 

Summary of Class Activities from the Week of:

Secret Santa:  It was touching to see that some real observation and thought went into choosing most of the gifts that were given.  They really did fit the different personalities of the kids.

Art: The kids completed their partner bio posters.  Many of the kids mixed tempera paints and painted their cubbies.  We created a temporary art gallery with all the kids’ acrylic paintings.  The class participated in a gallery walk to look at details in the paintings and then offered specific appreciations to the artists.

Partner Bios:  The kids completed writing and publishing their partner bios.  All the kids learned how to adjust text to fit size constraints.

Design Thinking: Most of the kids finished making and hoisting their hanging cubbies.

 

Project Presentations: We heard the final invention presentations for first semester –kudos to all!  The last projects  to be presented were on play stations and particle accelerators.  For second semester the students are invited to  choose whatever they want to research an present…though the ideas do need to receive approval from the teacher (me) and parent (you).  It is not too early to start brainstorming ideas!

 

Natural Body Care: April came in and gave a presentation on the negative effects of chemicals in body care products and taught the kids how to make their own hand lotion.  Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy some of the finished product.

 

Class Business:  I introduced the idea of us starting a classroom business second semester and encouraged them to think about creating a product that meets a need.  I’ve already received an email from a student with an idea for a product, and hope to hear from more students.

 

Gardening:  Some of the kids helped harvest gourds from the garden, including cleaning the gourds to prepare them for drying.  At noon on the solstice we measured the length of the shadow cast by the student-constructed sundial in our garden.

 

P.E.:  We played Capture the Flag.

 

SLVMS Winter Carnival:  The CRMS kids had time during lunch on Thursday to participate in the middle school’s winter fundraising event.

 

Charter Workshops to Kick-Off Second Semester:

Thursday, January 12

Math Parent Ed Workshop “Taming Wild Word Problems”

10:00am to 12:00pm, Room 16 at Quail Hollow Homeschool - presented by Gillian Blair

Does your child hit a wall on word problems in math? Let’s bust through the blockade with some friendly strategies.  Come to a workshop for parents of students Grades 2-8, where we will demystify and tame those gnarly math word problems.  Childcare will be provided (by Marcy & Lisa).

Also…look for an announcement soon about Martha’s two-session parent-student workshop offered early in 2017.

Coast Redwood MS Summer Orientation Letter

posted Jul 26, 2016, 6:52 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

I hope you all are in the middle of a relaxing & rejuvenating summer abundant with unscheduled time for doing whatever nurtures you the most.  As we are less than a month away from the official start of the 2016-17 school year, I wanted to send an email to let you know about important dates so that you can mark them on your calendars and keep them in mind as you make end-of-summer/fall plans:

Third Annual Santa Cruz Homeschool Conference: Saturday, August 13, 9am-4:30pm.  For more info: http://www.dlcsantacruz.org/2016homeschoolconference Not an SLV Charter event, but a great opportunity to network with other homeschooling families and get inspired for the new year.  I plan to go and hope to see you there.

Sunday 8/21, 3-7pm:  CRMS beginning of the year family gathering.  Since we have so many new families joining this year I thought it would be fun to get together the evening before school starts to get to know each other through mixer activities, games, a shared potluck dinner, and maybe even some swimming.  The Trowbridge family has graciously offered their home in Bonny Doon for the event.  I’ll send out directions and details the week before.

Monday, 8/22, 10am-12pm: First official homeschool day & parent orientation meeting.  Parents and Marcy will meet in the CRMS classroom to get down to the nuts and bolts of homeschooling with Coast Redwood Middle School while the kids get to play on the field or in the shade of the woods with John Rible and JT Osgood (two good teacher-friends of mine). 

Please bring:

*Your calendar to sign up for a semester planning meeting and parent help days in the classroom. 

*Your laptop or your log-in information so that you can use one of our classroom Chromebooks to access your gmail/google drive accounts.  Hopefully, we’ll also be able to set up yearbook accounts at that time.

*A cash donation (if possible) to support paying JT & John for their time providing childcare. 

There will be instructional materials available at this meeting for you to take home for getting started with your homeschooling year.

8/22-9/15, Semester planning meetings.  Once you start your official homeschooling year I will meet with each of you individually to flesh out the details of your learning plan for first semester at our semester planning meeting.  Experienced homeschoolers, if your schedule allows, please sign up for later meetings to leave the first couple weeks for families new to homeschooling.

Friday, 8/26, 11am-2pm, All-Charter Beach Day, Twin Lakes Beach, Santa Cruz:  All families enrolled in SLV Charter School are invited to all-charter events.  These events are always super-fun and it is great to connect with the broader community of families homeschooling through our SLV Charter School.

Wednesday, 9/14, 2:15pm-3:30pm.  CRMS Monthly Parent Meeting.  This is a time for us to get together to support each other in the very challenging and rewarding endeavor of homeschooling middle-schoolers.  We bring stories of our triumphs and challenges, share advice and resources, and make decisions about how to spend parent-raised school funds.  There will also be CRMS parent meetings after class on: 11/16 & 12/14, and will continue monthly second semester.

Thursday, 9/15, Month 1 Attendance Paperwork Due:  Don’t worry…after the parent orientation meeting on 8/22 you’ll know what to do.

Wednesday, 9/28, 9:30am-2:00pm, CRMS Classes Start:  Please send your child to school dressed in layers (it can get hot in the afternoon), a snack, lunch (no candy, soda, or peanuts, please), and a pair of shoes suitable for P.E. (if they aren’t already wearing some), and a laptop/chromebook/tablet with keyboard, if they have one they use for school.  CRMS classes will continue uninterrupted on Wednesdays and Thursdays until Thursday, 11/17.  Then classes will resume the week after Thanksgiving and continue until the winter break, 11/30-12/22.

Friday, 9/30, All-Charter Capture-the-Flag Game.  This is a long-time SLV Charter tradition.  Kids of all ages (including alumni) come and play while parents connect with each other. The games usually take place mid-day and are held either at on the Quail Hollow Homeschool campus field or on the field next to the pond at Quail Hollow County Park.  More details will be sent closer to the date.

Thursday, 10/13, Month 2 Attendance Paperwork Due.

Saturday 10/22-Monday 10/24, CRMS Family Campout, Mt. Madonna County Park.  This is a great opportunity for CRMS families to hang out in a non-rushed atmosphere: parents get to know parents, parents get to know kids, kids get to deepen their relationships with each other as well as get to know parents.  It is a great time to share homeschooling experiences and support each other in a pressure-free environment.  The campout will take the place of our usual CRMS monthly parent meeting for October. Many of the kids last year listed our fall campout as one of the high points of their year for them.  We share the cost of the campground reservations: $30 per family.

More Dates:  For those of you who like to plan even further ahead, I here is a link to the SLV school district calendar for 2016-17:  http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/District-School-Calendar-2016-2017.pdf

I hope you continue to make the most of your summer and I look forward to seeing you at the Trowbridges on 8/21.


Sincerely,

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

(831) 512-9331

CRMS Update for 4/25/16

posted Apr 26, 2016, 12:33 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

 

Green Ninja:

We’ll get back to Green Ninja when the yearbook is done and we return from Shasta.

 

Headwaters:  If you haven’t turned in the med form and waiver (attached) and payment for Headwaters, please bring it to class on Wednesday.  It looks like we’ve barely got enough room in all the cars to transport all of the kids.  Thank you, Drivers!  We’ll discuss any last minute details/questions, at our parent meeting this Thursday.  I will send out meeting times and places later in the week.

 

Yearbook:

Please refer to the email I sent out on Friday with the subject line “Yearbook Help” for a list of what your child needs to work on for the yearbook.  Paul Owens, our district tech support was able to come by the classroom to investigate the problem we were having creating accounts.  Sure enough, the district’s firewall will not allow kids to create accounts at school.  I am hopeful that after your child creates and account at home, they will be able to access it at school.  In addition to the information I already sent in the “Yearbook Help” email, here is some more information that will be helpful in working to finish our yearbook pages this week:

 

*In my rush to create a classmate reflection grid from last year’s form, I neglected to add Nicole.  Please do add Nicole Fraser-Thiede to your grid and include her in your appreciations!

 

*Treering is sending you deadlines that allow for time for the editorial staff to review all pages.  Since every child in CRMS is an editor, I would like to extend these deadlines.  The real deadline for your child to finish their custom pages (which will only be in their yearbook) and their alphabetized page (which will be in all yearbooks) is the end of this week.  This will also be the deadline for the yearbook editorial team to finish the group pages.  By Sunday I need to have all the pages in their final form so that when we return from Headwaters, we can just add the Shasta photos and description and send it off to print.  Please have your child’s pages completed by this Saturday night.  Also, please purchase your yearbook by this Saturday night so that we can make sure you get it in time for our end of the year celebration.

 

*Please prioritize getting photos into not only your child’s Treeing folder, but also into the group folders, and the folders of other students.  This will really help every child to have enough to work with when creating their pages.  Thanks!

 

*When creating your pages, click the little grid tab to the top right of the page.  This will overlay a grid on your page so that you can place your photos and text boxes evenly.  Remember, there will need to be three text boxes one each student’s alphabetized page: one for their name, one for their bio, and one for their classmate’s reflections about them.

 

Please send me an email if you have any questions!


Upcoming:

 

Math Study Hall with Aaron Shaw: Wednesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm. 

SBAC Testing: During class time, mostly in the mornings on 4/27 & 4/28.  The kids are doing great: really applying themselves, but not stressing.

Next Book Club Meeting: Thursday, 4/28, 2:15pm-3:15pm:  SKY JUMPERS #2: THE FORBIDDEN FLATS by Peggy Eddleman.

Next CRMS Parent Meeting: Thursday, 4/28, 2:15pm-3:30pm.  We’ll meet at the Nature Academy garden while the book club meets in the classroom.

Ukulele Club Meetings: Thursday, 5/12, 2:15pm-3:15pm: Budapest, Riptide, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Practice strums.

 

Summary of Class Activities:

 

CAASPP Testing: The kids did a great job of focusing!  Most of them completed the CAT ELA and Math tests.  This week we’ll be completing the Performance Tasks.  Many thanks to parent helpers and Rhonda for helping to create a relaxed and supported experience for the kids.

 

Project Presentations:  This week’s presentations were on: the history of computers; dirt bike safety and equipment; and volcanos.  Thank you, presenters!

 

Gardening:  The kids worked on sheet mulching, digging the irrigation line trench, and weeded.  Katherine and Jennifer worked the mornings in the garden and welcomed kids taking breaks from testing, so the garden is starting to look really great!   Please keep that cardboard coming! We’ve almost mulched to the top of the garden.  Renee will not be here this week, but we are hoping that Matthew can make it.

 

Batik Project:  Most of the kids of the kids transferred their designs onto fabric with charcoal and began to use the hot wax and tjantings.  Some kids mixed dyes and did their first dye bath.

 

Yearbook: The kids worked on their write-ups or photo-editing for the yearbook. 

 

Wish List:

*Large pieces of cardboard for sheet mulching project.  Feel free to simply throw any big pieces of cardboard over the garden fence if you happen to bring them by the school when we aren’t there.

*Gravel and river stones for the succulent garden.

CRMS Update for 4/17/16

posted Apr 26, 2016, 12:29 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Green Ninja & Yearbook:

This week we’ll begin the statewide CAASSP testing.  The kids will be working on their tests Wednesday and Thursday mornings, with run-around/gardening breaks, then in the afternoons we’ll be working on our art project and the yearbook.  Those kids who hadn’t done it at home already tried to create Tree Ring and Green Ninja accounts at school this week, but there seems to be a problem with the school’s firewall blocking access.  I am working on resolving this issue with the school’s tech team, but in the meantime, would you please have your child create both accounts at home early this week?  I pasted instructions from my 4/1 Update to the bottom of this email.  Our yearbook deadline is coming up very soon and the kids really need to start working on it.  Thanks!

 

Headwaters:  I’ll be checking in with Tim Corcoran of Headwaters Outdoor School this week, letting him know our numbers so that he can hire staff and purchase food for the week that we are there.  If you haven’t turned in your permission slip yet, please get it to me as soon as you can.  Checks for $250 should be made out to Headwaters Outdoor School.  If your child has any dietary limitations, please let me know that as well.  Headwaters can accommodate vegetarians.  I can also accommodate no wheat and no dairy.  John Kiersted’s gear list that I’ve handed out is pretty inclusive.  I’ve talked to Tim about it and he says that that the only essential items are: a raincoat, a change of clothes, two pair shoes (one for wet and one for dry), a swimsuit, sleeping gear, and toiletries.  Attached to this email are two forms to fill out for Headwaters.  One is a medical release form and one is a release of liability.  I am happy to keep a hold of and help administer any needed medications for your child while on our field trip. If you will be needing me to administer medication to your child during their time at Headwaters, please let me know and I’ll send you a form to sign from the school.  

 

Writing Study Hall with Lou: Tuesdays, 2:30pm-4:00pm, at the Fall Creek office (aka The Annex). 

Math Study Hall with Aaron Shaw: Wednesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm. 

Ukulele Club Meetings: Thursday, 4/28, 5/12, 2:15pm-3:15pm: Budapest, Riptide, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Practice strums.

SBAC Testing: During class time, mostly in the mornings on 4/20, 4/21, 4/27 & 4/28.

Next Book Club Meeting: Thursday, 4/21, 2:15pm-3:15pm:  SKY JUMPERS #2: THE FORBIDDEN FLATS by Peggy Eddleman.

Next CRMS Parent Meeting: Thursday, 4/28, 2:15pm-3:30pm.

 

Summary of Class Activities:

 

Climate Science:  We talked about the causes of surface currents, global winds, El Nino and La Nina.  The kids worked together to apply what they had learned about currents to several historical, nautical events.  I introduced my favorite website, earthnullschool.net, and we checked out current winds and currents at a variety of altitudes.  They started working on writing captions for different diagrams that illustrated concepts about air and water currents to bring closure to this part of our climate study.

 

PE: The kids ran one lap, did 20 push-ups, did dribbling, shooting, and passing drills, and played 2 on 2 in basketball.   Thanks to Faith for teaching how to play!

 

Project Presentations:  This week’s presentations were on: how cat’s see color; the origins and uses of glitter; the geology and geography of different types of sand; and the birds of paradise.  Kudos to all presenters!

 

Gardening:  I bought 400 feet of 1” PVC for water transport, and some of the kids started digging a trench from the storage tank at the Nature Academy garden down to our garden.  Renee brought back the now-sprouted nasturtiums that the kids planted and they transplanted them into the ground.  Brennen set up the long-term home for the mushroom logs.  The rest of the kids worked on sheet mulching.  Please keep that cardboard coming!

 

Batik Project:  Most of the kids continued to work on their design ideas, using crayon and liquid watercolor to simulate the batiking process.  Some of the kids started transferring their designs onto fabric with charcoal and began to use the hot wax and tjantings.

 

Mindfulness:  We practiced a couple minutes of mindful hearing and breathing.

 

Mop Up: Many of the kids worked on setting up their TreeRing and Green Ninja accounts, with only partial success.  Others finished their partner bios/poems, or worked on photo-editing for the yearbook. 

 

Ukulele Club: Budapest and Riptide are really starting to sound good!  The kids decided to keep working on those two songs, practice strums and the finger picking part of Riptide.  Faith will be bringing printouts of some new songs to class this Wednesday to hand out for the kids to take home, try out, and choose from.

 

Wish List:

*Large pieces of cardboard for sheet mulching project.  Feel free to simply throw any big pieces of cardboard over the garden fence if you happen to bring them by the school when we aren’t there.

*Gravel and river stones for the succulent garden.

*Old electric frying pans/woks that you no longer want for melting wax, or a loan of electric wax melting skillet for batik project.  If you have any tjantings, or any other batik supplies, we’d love to borrow those as well.


CRMS Update for 4/1/16

posted Apr 1, 2016, 6:50 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

An era of online accounts and passwords…

 

Account #1

As you all know I have been striving to teach about climate change in an empowering way, empowering the kids to understand the science, and also empowering them to see that what they do can make a positive difference.   As part of the latter piece, we are participating in a challenge offered through the Green Ninja program.  The Green Ninja program is a project is based at San Jose State University and includes faculty from the College of Science, College of Humanities and the Arts, and Spartan Film Studios.  The challenge is to reduce our home energy use as a class.  I’ve written more about this below, in the summary section.  What I want to mention here is that in order to track their energy use and participate in the challenge, each child logged on to: http://www.greenninja.org/energytracker/ and created an account and password.  No personal details were shared beyond the child’s name (and even that could be a pseudonym).  I encouraged them to choose a password that they had not used for any other account and that was easy to remember.  Those who had their paper power bills with them started entering their daily home energy use from 1/29/16-3/29/16.  Our conservation period started on Wednesday, March 30.  For those who no longer have paper bills, you can log on to your PG & E account (or create an account) to see your household energy use each day.  I showed the kids my account so they could see how to navigate to the usage page.  Yes, this is another online account with another password…but it is a pretty cool site.  Here’s the link to register, if you’d like: https://m.pge.com/index.html#registration.   If you don’t want to set up an online connection with PG & E, your child can find the daily energy use graph on their the monthly paper bill.

 

Account #2

I spent part of last summer searching for a way to do the yearbook so that the kids could have direct access to their pages enabling them work by themselves or in teams to design their own layouts.  The best option I came up with is a company called TreeRing.  It appears that the kids will be able to be much more involved in the layout and the company also plants a tree for each book sold.  Each family will purchase their book directly from TreeRing and the cost will be much lower than last year (about $20).  I was hoping that we would all be able to share photos without each of us having to create a separate login, but no such luck.  If you have any photos you took of the kids this year that you think they might like to use for the yearbook, you’ll need to create an account for yourself.  Actually, I think that even if you are just interested in purchasing a yearbook, you need to create an account.  All the kids will need to create accounts so that they can work on their individual and group pages.  I have set up a folder for each field trip we took and for each student.  This should allow the kids to share photos they’ve taken of each other as well.  I am not planning on using the TreeRing layouts (which seem a little hokey to me).  Instead we will create our own in class.  In addition, it looks like each child will have a double page spread that will be unique to their yearbook.  This seems like an opportunity to include more photos from your child’s year of homeschooling outside of class time.  When you set up your account, you will be prompted to purchase the book, add “memories”, “bling” and “signatures”.  I advise you just to click the “Next” button at the bottom of each screen to bypass it all.  If you’re in the mood to add photos that you’ve taken during class or field trips, great!  Just click the “Add Photos” icon and transfer them to appropriate folders.  If you’d like advice on how to do this from Google Photos, then I can send you the tutorial I created to use with the kids when we return from break.  In order to meet the deadline, we will need to hit the ground running with this project when we return from break.

 

I do apologize for all of this online account making.  It is unpleasant and time-consuming, but seems like the best way to do some of these things that we want to do.

 

Despite all of the to-dos I just gave you, I do hope that you can enjoy some unscheduled restful and fun family time during the break.  I look forward to seeing you again the week of April 11.

 

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

(831) 512-9331

 

Month 8 Attendance Paperwork Due 4/15.

Writing Study Hall with Lou: Tuesdays, 2:30pm-4:00pm, at the Fall Creek office (aka The Annex). 

Math Study Hall with Aaron Shaw: Wednesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm. 

Ukulele Club Meetings: Thursday, 4/14, 4/28, 5/12, 2:15pm-3:15pm: Budapest, Riptide, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Practice strums.

Spring Break: April 4-8.  I hope you have a wonderful break.

SBAC Testing: During class time, mostly in the mornings on 4/20, 4/21, 4/27 & 4/28.

Next Book Club Meeting: Thursday, 2:15pm-3:15pm, 4/21:  SKY JUMPERS #2: THE FORBIDDEN FLATS by Peggy Eddleman.

Next CRMS Parent Meeting: Thursday, 4/28, 2:15pm-3:30pm.

 

Summary of Class Activities:

 

Fe Fi Fo Fum:  We attended the Quail Hollow Homeschool play performance this week.  The kids did a great job.  It was fun to see siblings and others that we know in the play.  It was also very nostalgic for the 8th grade CRMS kids who performed in that play when they were BC Homeschool students.   It is always great to see live theatre!

 

PE: Banana Tag

 

Project Presentations:  We heard a couple of great presentations this week, one on Return to Freedom horse rescue and one on NASA’s work on a manned mission to mars.  After using the presentation rubric, creating their own rubrics, the kids are now giving each other supportive feedback via letters.  Each child is filling in a letter template to let the presenter know what they really appreciated about their presentation and suggestions they might have for improvement.  The kids are doing a good job on giving each other quality feedback.

 

Energy Tracking:  Thanks to those of you who were able to follow through on the homework!  I think that most of the kids have a sense now of which appliances use the most electricity and what their average household energy use is.  We averaged all the household averages for electricity use and our class average was 596 Kilowatt hours per month.  The kids created their own Green Ninja Energy Tracker Accounts http://www.greenninja.org/energytracker/ and started inputting their baseline numbers.  I showed them the Green Ninja: Footprint Renovation cartoon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeYOZgbgG1Q) (which they loved) and we picked out all the conservation tips.  Many of you already do a lot to conserve, so as we talked about taking on the Green Ninja challenge we discussed how in some households we might reduce energy use only by a percent or two, while other households might be able to reduce by 10% or 20%.  We talked about simple ways we could reduce energy use, including deciding what you want to eat from the refrigerator before opening the door, making sure doors close, turning out lights that aren’t needed, putting on sweaters instead of turning up the heat, only using the oven, clothes or dishwasher if full, hanging laundry to dry, etc.  I am not asking any family to go out and spend money on this project, but if you were already budgeting to change your lightbulbs to LEDs, install weather stripping or any other energy saving home renovations, feel free to take advantage of the motivation of our challenge time the next couple of weeks to get it done.  If we do well we could earn t-shirts or a pizza party and a sense of accomplishment.

 

Solar Pump Project:  I am so pleased that Aidan’s stepdad, Matthew was able to come to class this Thursday and kick off our solar pump project.  Not only does Aidan’s family do solar installations as a business (http://earth-electric.com/), but Matthew also teaches about it at San Jose City College, so the kids were riveted when he started talking about electrons moving down wires, volts, amps, energy, power, work, etc.  He uses Google Earth Pro. (http://www.google.com/earth/download/gep/agree.html) for his business and showed the kids a bit about how they could use it for the solar project.  The kids were amazed at how Google Earth can allow you to have a bird’s eye view and then also transition to street view.  He also demonstrated how a solar panel can power a bilge pump, giving Aidan a good shower as he tried to apply enough pressure to the outlet to send the water up 15 feet into the air.  The kids came up with questions that they would need to answer to design a system that would pump water from a rainwater catchment system near the Nature Academy greenhouse up to a holding tank in the NA garden, and then down to the CRMS garden.  While the rest of us worked in the garden, six kids went with Matthew to measure distances and angles and tank volumes to figure out how strong a pump we would need as well as the amount of pipe we would need.  The plan is for a different group of 6 students to be able to work with Matthew each week on different phases of the project.

 

Gardening:  Sheet mulching:  Most of the kids were working on the sheet mulching project, laying down cardboard, shoveling, wheel barrowing.  This was our main PE activity for the week.  We are making a dent in our huge mulch pile.  We’ve finished mulching the paths on most of the lower garden, but still have the upper 1/3 of the garden to do.  Please keep the cardboard coming!  Feel free to drop by anytime and throw big pieces of cardboard over the garden fence.  Thanks to the work of Elizabeth and Erin W., the succulent garden was weeded, shade cloth laid down, and gravel put over the top.  If you can believe it, we could still use more gravel and rocks, if anyone would like to bring some by. 

 

Batik Project:  I roped in my friend Cecily Cahill, Zambian native who now lives in Ben Lomond, to help us learn Indonesian Batik.  This week the kids experimented with designs on paper and used white crayon and watercolor to experiment with wax resist.

 

Mindfulness:  We practiced a couple minutes of mindful hearing and breathing.

 

Mop Up: For our mop up time, the kids worked on finishing their partner bio posters and getting them ready to post on the classroom door.

 

Wish List:

*Large pieces of cardboard for sheet mulching project.  Feel free to simply throw any big pieces of cardboard over the garden fence if you happen to bring them by the school when we aren’t there.

*Gravel and river stones for the succulent garden.

*Straight branches to build trellises for the peas.  Some of the kids mentioned that they had good trellising materials at home that they could contribute.

*Old electric frying pans/woks that you no longer want for melting wax, or a loan of electric wax melting skillet for batik project.  If you have any tjantings, or any other batik supplies, we’d love to borrow those as well.

*Weed Wacking  If anyone would like to come by the garden any time, it would be great to cut down the weeds in the paths of the upper half of the garden.  It makes it a lot easier to lay down the cardboard for sheet mulching.

 

CRMS Update for 3/28/16

posted Mar 28, 2016, 9:07 AM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

This is our last week before spring break.  If you thought time was passing quickly already…it really speeds up after spring break.   So I encourage you not to schedule too much during your break and to really enjoy it!


Homework:

Electricity Use Homework:

Step 1:  Most of the kids got a start on filling out the Energy Use Analysis sheet and translating a month’s worth of electricity usage into appliance-on hours.  Please help your child finish this if they are working on their own bill, or, if they were using someone else’s bill to complete another sheet based on your latest power bill.  In class I had made cards showing how much power different appliances draw.  Since I didn’t have enough cards for everyone to take home, you can use a link such as the following as a guide: http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-information/how-to-save-energy/power-table.  If you have time, even better would be finding out how much power the specific appliances draw in your home and using that information to complete the analysis.

Step 2:  Gather up as many power bills that you can for the last year, fill in the kilowatt hours used each month and also the therms used (if you have natural gas) and then take an average for year (or for as many months as you find records).

The kids should all have the tally sheets in their binders, but some binders were left behind and some kids were absent, so I have scanned and attached them to this email.  Please have your child bring these completed sheets to class next week.  Thanks!

 

Writing Homework:  See “Writing with Meg”, below.

 

Writing Study Hall with Lou: Tuesdays, 2:30pm-4:00pm, at the Fall Creek office (aka The Annex). 

Math Study Hall with Aaron Shaw: Wednesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm. 

Ukulele Club Meeting: Thursday, 3/31, 2:15pm-3:15pm: Budapest, Riptide, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. New songs to be sent out soon. Next Ukulele Club meeting after the break will be on 4/14.

Spring Break: April 4-8.  I hope you have a wonderful break.

Next Book Club Meeting: Thursday, 2:15pm-3:15pm, 4/21:  SKY JUMPERS #2: THE FORBIDDEN FLATS by Peggy Eddleman.

Next CRMS Parent Meeting: Thursday, 4/28, 2:15pm-3:30pm.

 

Summary of Class Activities:

Writing with Meg: The kids started with a free-write.  Following up on the previous week, the kids shared what they knew about some mythological creatures.  Meg described the difference between folk tales and fairy tales and invited the kids to come up with elements for their own fairy tale.  Here are the elements: 1) Hero, 2) Villian, 3) Something Magical, 4) Setting, 5) a Lesson that is learned, 6) Plot, 7) Resolution.  Most of the kids have started picking the different elements for their stories and have started writing in their journals.  Meg invited the kids to keep writing throughout the week, if they were inspired to do so.

 

PE: The kids took turns peddling the paddle boats on Loch Lomond.  I know it was a workout for me!  Several of the kids mentioned that they were sore the next day.

 

Project Presentations:  We kicked off our spring season with two inspiring presentations: one was on the Syrian refugee crisis and the other on boat design and performance.  Some kids were so moved to hear about the refugees, that they decided to run a bake sale on their behalf.  They started a sign-up sheet for those who are interested in participating in the bake sale.

 

Mindfulness:  We practiced a couple minutes of mindful hearing and breathing.

 

Gardening:  Sheet mulching:  Almost all hands were working on the sheet mulching project, laying down cardboard, shoveling, wheel barrowing, clearing rose prunings.  Three kids also started on weeding and refreshing the succulent

 

Trout Project:  We packed up 11 little fry and took them to Loch Lomond for release.  In the morning, the kids paddle boated around the lake, investigating little coves.  Most of the kids stopped for lunch on the island, where we saw a nesting Canada Goose.  In the afternoon Ranger Judie and Jessica talked to us about the history of Loch Lomond, the watershed and water use in Santa Cruz.  Half the kids went with Jessica and did water quality testing on the lake.  They tested pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity.  The other half went with Judie and gradually added lake water to the fry’s water to help them become accustomed to the warmer temperature, different smell, and different chemistry.  While we waited for the fish to adjust, Judie led a discussion about the habitat.  Once the fish were ready, the kids scooped them up in plastic cups, submerged the cups in the lake water and watched the fish swim away.

 

Book Club:  Andrea led a discussion on Sky Jumpers, which all the kids really seemed to like, so much so that they wanted to read the next book in the series this month.

 

Mop Up:  This is the term I use for finishing up whatever projects are left dangling. Most of the kids worked on finishing their partner bios, partner poems, or bio photos.

 

Parent Meeting:  We checked in on how the homeschooling was going and shared successes.  Katie Snyder, was in attendance and is always a great resource for hidden field trip destinations.  She suggested a Vietnam Memorial in San Jose and the New Shakespeare Sanctuary in Moss Landing.

 

I mentioned that we’ll be participating in the SBAC testing on Wednesday and Thursday mornings the last two weeks of April.  Last year it worked very well to weave the testing into our regular day.  That way, those who finish early have other projects to work on, and those who take more time don’t feel pressured.  For those who would like their kids to get some practice with the testing format you can go to this link: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/ and click the green student interface button at the bottom of the screen. I suggest that you begin at a much lower grade level, so that your kids can become familiar with the format before having to face challenges with the content.

 

We discussed the trip to Headwaters Outdoor School and I passed out an equipment list that John Kiersted has given to his 6th grade class (I’ll put copies by the classroom door, for those who weren’t at the meeting).  BJ suggested that a cheap and easy way to make a ground cloth and pad is to buy Tyvek house liner from Home Depot (or other hardware store) to use as a ground cloth and then put a piece of insulated foam (foil on both sides, also available at home depot) on top of the Tyvek for a pad.  Both of these products are available to purchase by the foot off of large rolls.  For those who want to purchase a simple fixed blade knife in a plastic sheath, I can still get you one for $12.  If you are purchasing your own knife, the blade should be fixed or locking and be no longer than 3-3/4”.

 

Based on feedback from the families, I suggested the cost per person to attend Headwaters be $250.  This is $100 less than the actual cost and will use half of our funds, which will leave some left over for our end of the year activities and to start next year.  The parents in attendance approved this proposal.  Please make your check out to Headwaters Outdoor School for $250.  If you cannot afford to pay this much, please pay whatever you can.  If you can afford to pay more, you are invited to do so to help cover those who can’t.  The decision was made to offer the same $100 discount to parents accompanying the trip to help offset the expense for gas, etc.  So far the following parents have offered to drive:  Molly, Sandra, BJ, and Annette.  This means that, as of now, we have seats in cars for 16 kids.  I have attached a permission slip to this email.  Please fill it out and return it to me after the break with your payment so that can get a better sense of who is coming.  Thanks!

 

It is time to turn in your intent to return form (attached) to help all the programs in the charter plan for next year.  Feel free to fill it out and bring it to class, or drop it off directly at Holly’s office.  Thanks!

 

Wish List:

*Large pieces of cardboard for sheet mulching project.  Feel free to simply throw any big pieces of cardboard over the garden fence if you happen to bring them by the school when we aren’t there.

*Old electric frying pans/woks that you no longer want for melting wax, or a loan of electric wax melting skillet for batik project.  If you have any tjantings, or any other batik supplies, we’d love to borrow those as well.

*Weed Wacking  If anyone would like to come by the garden any time before Thursday, it would be great to cut down the weeds in the paths of the upper half of the garden.  It makes it a lot easier to lay down the cardboard for sheet mulching.

 

Announcements:

 

Class Photos:  After this week I’ll be returning the photos to Julie in the Annex, so please come by and get one, if you want one.  The class photos that were professionally taken at the beginning of the school year are available for purchase for $15.  If you are interested, please fill out the info and put the money in the envelope (by the entrance) and hand it to me.  I can give you the photo(s) immediately.

1-10 of 43