CRMS Update for 2/29/16

posted Feb 29, 2016, 5:01 AM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,


*Partner Bio:  If your child has not finished their biographical paragraph write-up yet, please finish it at home and share it with me via Google Docs or email.

*Writing Suggestions from Meg (see summary below)

*Project Presentation Planning & Research (see PPs below)

*Ukulele: Practice strums and smooth chord changes.  Learn Budapest (attached to 2/15 update).

*Book Club: New Book: Sky Jumpers, by Peggy Eddleman


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: Thursdays, 2:15pm-3:15pm, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17…

Book Club Meeting: Thursdays, 2:15pm-3:15pm, 3/24, 4/21, 5/19

Next CRMS Parent Meeting: Wednesday, 3/23, 2:15pm-3:30pm


Attendance: Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who are filling in your learning logs completely!  It is hugely stressful and time consuming for me to track you down, find out what you did, enter it on your learning log and print out a new copy…and I find I am having to do this with more and more families.  If your child is helping you fill in the log, please check your child’s work and help them fill in what they missed. If they miss writing what we did in class, please look back at the summaries I write in the updates to help remember.  Please remember that the attendance check-off sheet needs to match the log; we cannot claim attendance for days that show no learning activities.   Thank you!


Headwaters:  Thanks to those of you who have gotten back to me with your feelings about Headwaters costs.  I’d love to hear from more of you. The cost per person is $350.  We have already used some of our fundraised funds to pay the deposit, and we can use more, but if we spend it all on Headwaters, it still won’t cover it all and will leave us nothing to pay forward.  In our parent meeting I asked families to consider what they felt to be a reasonable cost to pay for the Headwater’s trip, which will run Monday-Friday and include all meals, lodging (in a teepee), food, and instruction.  Can families pay $300 for their child to participate?  $250?, $200?  Please take some time to think about it and let me know your feelings.


School Gmail Account:  As of last week your child will no longer be able to access their personal email account via school computers.  It appears that they can access their personal accounts via their own personal devices, but if they work on a school Chromebook, they need to use their school account.  I think the district administration approved the blocking of personal accounts to encourage the kids to use their school accounts while in class and at home for schoolwork.  This aligns with what is done in industry.  People have separate email accounts for work and for personal correspondence.


Summary of Class Activities:


Circle Check-In:  In addition to sharing how they were doing physically and emotionally, the kids shared a stories of their favorite field trip.


Weather Data Collection:  Last week’s record-keeper was Elizabeth.


Partner Bios:  Many kids turned their notes into paragraphs describing their partner.  If your child has not finished, please have them finish writing at home. Photography is also a part of this project.  The kids are taking portraits of their partners, uploading them, transferring them to their school Google account and sharing them with me.


PE:Basketball: Garvey divided the group by level of shooting skill and taught us how to play Knockout.  The kids played Knockout after running a lap around the track and dribbling, passing and shooting practice.  As we work up to running the mile to support the 7th graders in their PE test, please remind your child to come to school with a pair of good running shoes.


Climate Science: We talked about lab safety and creating a clear line between regular classroom behavior and lab behavior so that we can keep everyone safe and healthy.  We talked about the difference between energy and matter.  We continued to explore density and the kids completed a lab which showed the flow patterns of liquids of varying densities.  We’ll be analyzing the results of our lab this week.


Tech Museum: We had a fun time at the Tech Museum in the morning exploring exhibits related to energy and alternative technologies, as well as the kids’ favorites.  In the afternoon the kids participated in the “Green By Design” lab where they created circuits using solar cells and designed and tested wind turbines using volt meters to track their energy production.


Project Presentations:  If your child has not chosen a date for their presentation, I will be assigning them one.  I’ll send you the dates for their presentations to me and to the group this week.  If you or your child have any questions, please let me know.  We can arrange a time to meet.  Otherwise, the kids will be completing their presentations with you at home.


Writing with Meg:  Because of the field trip, we did not do any writing with Meg this week.  Suggested Homework: Meg suggested that you and your children might want to read the packet of poems together:

“When reading the poems the kids and their guides might have fun looking for:  metaphor and simile, fresh verbs, rhyme scheme (or lack thereof), repetition, original detail from the poets' lives, and the poets' use of "writer's mind" (meaning the poets were mindful and wrote down the world around them).  They can also look up any words/phrases they've never seen with their guides.”

“…another LA assignment suggestion might be to have the kids write their own Haiku at home.  They have personal topic material in their journals if they've been able to write during class, but here are some other suggestions for topics: 

  • rain-soaked redwood trees
  • blossoms being blown around in the storm we just had
  • a recent trip to the beach
  • "Pizza Rat"
  • a politician (like Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump) “


Writing Study Hall with Lou:  Lou was not able to offer the writing study hall last Tuesday due to illness, but is looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.


Gardening:  No gardening this week, because of the field trip.  Please send your cordless drills and 5/16” drill bits this week to help us continue with our mushroom project.  We could also use another bag of gravel.  It is always great to have extra hands (and hearts) in the garden.  Our usual gardening time is from 11:15am-12:00pm on Thursdays.  Feel free to swing by and lend a hand, if you have time.


Wish List:

*1 or 2 Ball Pump Needles

*1 Bag of Gravel for succulent garden

*Cordless Power Drills and 5/16” drill bits for inoculating oak logs with mushroom plug spawn.

*Parent Helpers Needed: 3/23, 3/24, 5/12

*Snacks Needed the Weeks of: 4/20 & 5/12


*Please keep ahold of your power bills for this month, and for the months to come.  If you still have them, it would be great if you could set aside your bills since September.  In class, your child will be learning to read and understand the bills and will use the information as a jumping off place for understanding power usage across the globe.  So far only three kids have brought power bills to class.  If you have them, please send them with your child so that I can see when we have enough to start the investigation.


*CO2 Meter:  I’m giving up on the carbon dioxide meter.  If one comes your way, I’d still love to borrow it.




Coast Redwood High School Parent Info. Night:  Monday, March 14, 6-7:30pm, Room P3, which is through the CRHS garden at the back of the SLV High School campus.  This is intended to be a parent orientation.  Kids are welcome to attend, but I will be arranging a time for 8th grade CRMS students to go over as a group to meet the teachers and receive a separate orientation.


Teen Peer Court Fundraiser: Saturday, March 19, 8:30am-12:30pm at the Santa Cruz Law Library.  I’ve spoken with many of you who have older kids about the great Teen Peer Court program in Santa Cruz where teens get to participate in all aspects of a teen-centered courtroom.  Well, the Santa Cruz Law Library is hosting a Scrabble tournament to raise money for the program.  The cost is $25 for adults to participate and is free for students grades 7-12.  For more information call (831) 420-2205 or email


Capture the Flag at Quail Hollow Ranch: Friday, March 18, 10:30-12:30.  This monthly game is an SLV Homeschool tradition and is open to all Charter Homeschool Students.


Charter Homeschool Information Night: Tuesday, March 22, 6-7pm, SLV Middle School Library.  We love to have currently enrolled families show up to our info. night to share their experiences with interested families who might be nervous about making the leap into homeschooling.  If you know of a family who you think might be interested in homeschooling through our charter school next year, please encourage them to attend the information night and find out about our charter programs.


New Seed Co-op:  CRHS mom, Melanie Burgess and the teachers at Coast Redwood High School have started a garden seed co-op where you can donate extra seeds that you might have and take new seeds that you might like to try to grow. The Seed Co-Op operates on the honor system and is available to all Charter 25 families. When you CHECK OUT seeds you’ll be expected to COLLECT seeds and CONTRIBUTE seeds to The Seed Co-Op.  HOURS: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,  8:30-9:30am and 12:30-1:30pm (Room P3 at CRHS on the SLV High School campus). Please contact with any questions. More info noted on the CRHS webpage under Seed Co-Op.