CRMS Update for 1/4/15

posted Jan 4, 2015, 8:55 PM by Marcy Reynolds   [ updated Jan 4, 2015, 8:56 PM ]

Dear Coast Redwood Middle School Families,

  I hope that you have all had a cozy and restful holiday with your families!  School officially starts again this Tuesday.  As you get back into your homeschooling routines I hope the info below is helpful.  I look forward to semester planning meetings with each of you in the weeks to come.

Dates to Remember:

*Your semester planning meeting date (see attached meeting sign-up sheet and below).

*Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015:  Second Semester Begins.  All charter events begin at SLV Homeschool (Quail Hollow) site (see details below).

*Wednesday, Jan 7: Math tutoring begins at the CRMS classroom from 12:30-2:00pm.  (See Math Tutoring below).

*Tuesday, Jan. 13:  CRMS fundraising dinner at Casa Nostra (see Casa Nostra below).

*Monday, Jan. 19:  District Holiday (MLK Day).

*Thursday, Jan. 22, 1:30pm-4:00pm:  Month 5 Paperwork Party (see Paperwork Party below). 

*Friday, Jan. 23:  Month 5 attendance paperwork due to the Charter Office in Ben Lomond.

*Wednesday, Jan. 28: CRMS classes begin, 9am-1:30pm.

*Sports Try Outs:  I have an email in to Chris Coulson, the athletic director at the middle school to find out about the tryout schedule for winter sports.  As soon as I receive the information, I will pass it on to you.

SLV Homeschool Sponsored All Charter Events

Science Fair Brainstorming

Tuesday, Jan. 6 from 2:30-3:30. New to the Science Fair? Need some ideas? Got some ideas to share? Come and find out what it’s all about! We will meet in Room 14 on the Quail Hollow Campus. You can pick up a science fair display board too!

Charter Movie/Game Night

Wednesday, Jan. 7 from 6-9pm.This year, the movie shown will be The Princess Bride! Charter students in Middle School and High School are welcome to join us in Room 14 to watch the movie together and/or the Resource Center to play board games: Magic, D & D, Monopoly, Risk...whatever students bring.


Capture the Flag

Wednesday, Jan. 14: Quail Hollow Ranch from 10:30-12:30. Rain or Shine!

Make-O-Rama 2015!

January, 23 10:30-2:30pm

Join us for our third year hosting this incredible event!

Share, teach and explore a skill or activity with others….

The idea of this event is to introduce our families to new experiences and inspire them to open themselves to new artistic expression, skills and crafting. This is an especially great opportunity for children to teach something they know about, which is a huge boost to their knowledge and confidence! Parents are also invited to teach, facilitate and/or demonstrate as well.

Here are some previous Make-O-Rama activities:

Book-binding  (blank pages for a journal/story), Origami, drawbots, comic bookmaking, simple drawing lesson (horses), Lego lesson, Pizza dough, Paper airplanes, Sewing instruction, hand and machine, Sculpy clay, sewing stuffed animals, and more!

The Specifics: The facilitators/instructors of an activity will have table space (a whole table) and chairs placed around the table for participants to sit at. Each activity will be approximately 10-20 minutes in length. You choose how many people you feel comfortable with at your table.

Is your activity longer than 10-20 minutes? There is the possibility we may be able to have a “workshop” session at specific intervals and participants sign up for the workshop. Example: If someone wanted to facilitate a painting technique and needed an hour, they could potentially set up in Room 14 and have 2-3 sessions at 1 hour each. Workshops could also be age or level specific. This fun event is open to all SLV Charter students, parents, teachers and community members. To sign up and RSVP for a table, or if you have any questions, Please email Cindy Laurin at


Casa Nostra: Casa Nostra restaurant in Ben Lomond has offered to do a fundraising night for us.  The way it works is that a percentage of the proceeds from dinners eaten at the restaurant on Tuesday, Jan. 13 is donated to Coast Redwood Middle School to help fund projects, field trips, etc.  Please encourage friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, anyone who you think might enjoy eating yummy Italian food at Casa Nostra to come out that night.  Diners can eat anytime during the open hours, 4-10pm. It’ll be fun if some of us can have dinner together, but don’t worry about coordinating times if that feels like too much effort; just show up!  You can check out the menu on their beautiful website: 

Semester 2 Planning Meetings:  At our meeting we’ll reflect on first semester, including homeschool routines, outside classes/tutors, project presentation processes, attendance paperwork routines, etc.  For those who I haven’t met with in a while, we’ll also go over first semester math and writing benchmarks pinpointing areas of growth.  Then, of course, we’ll create a plan for second semester.  I really look forward to this time to meet with each one of you.  I have attached a copy of the meeting schedule as it stands now.  If you have not signed up for a meeting yet, please look at the schedule and send me an email to let me know what time you’d like to meet.

Math Tutoring:  It seems from the surveys that some folks are excited to try a math tutoring experience with our UCSC senior Victor on Wednesdays, so I have set it up that he will be at the CRMS classroom from 12:30pm-2:00pm on Wednesdays, 1/7, 1/14, and 1/21.  If one CRMS student shows up, then that student will enjoy one-on-one tutoring.  If more show up, they will enjoy group tutoring or a math study hall.  Victor is happy to help support your child in anything they are working on.  Please send your child to tutoring sessions with the math curriculum they are using.  After these first three weeks we’ll see how it evolves.  If you plan to have your child attend the tutoring sessions but they will arrive after 12:45pm, please let me know, because if I don’t know you are coming and no one else has arrived by that point, I’ll suggest that Victor move on to the next part of his day.  Thanks!

New Paperwork Party:  I am seeing the need from many CRMS families for greater support in completing the required monthly attendance paperwork, so I’ve set aside a time (Thurs., Jan. 22, 1:30pm-4:00pm) where we can gather in the CRMS classroom and all work on it together.  Let’s gather the computers, notes, portfolio samples, refreshments and make it fun!  If enough families join in, in addition to finishing the paperwork, it could also be a great time to share ideas, websites, etc. with each other.

Website:   Much thanks to Charter parent Laurie Becker who has worked this fall to create a consistent design, feel and interface for all the Charter programs!  The new CRMS website is up and I have been chipping away at updating the content, including updating the calendar with scheduled holidays and field trips.  Eventually the website show all the recent Update emails that I’ve sent to you.   Please check it out and let me know what you think; I’d love to get your feedback.  Here’s the link:

Summary for Dec. 17 & 18:

Project Presentations:  Bravo Presenters and Audience Members!    All the kids did a great job showing patience, appreciation for each other, and courage in their giving and receiving of a wide variety of presentations.  We heard about the history of cars, the history of make-up, burrowing owls, giraffes, sea jellies, organic food, the skeletal system, and computer viruses.  It is clear that all of the kids really challenged themselves and rose to the challenge.  It is through the presentations, more than anything else we do, that the kids really show their growth.  Thank you to all parents for supporting your kids so beautifully through a challenging assignment.  Please have your child bring their self-evaluation form with them to our semester planning meeting so we can reflect on specifics regarding achievements and new areas of growth. 

Neuroscience & Plant Medicines:  We reviewed what we had learned the previous week about the nervous system and we tracked which parts of the brain were primarily involved with the senses of touch, sight, hearing, and smell.  The kids looked at, touched and smelled a variety of different saturated and unsaturated oils that are considered beneficial for the skin.  They came up with words to describe the experience of using the three senses to observe these oils…not as easy as you might think.  Many of the kids realized that it was easier to use analogies than come up with purely descriptive adjectives.  Your child should have the grid they filled out in their binder. 

We were then treated to a visit from Alexander Oxendine and Sarah Fry who are homeschooling parents and DoTerra essential oil representatives.  They described the origins and traditional uses of essential oils.  They also discussed how they use essential oils medicinally for themselves and their children.  The kids had the opportunity to smell some essential oils in bottles, if they wanted, and noticed if they felt any different after smelling them.  Using what they had learned about volume-weight equivalencies, what 65% of 2 oz. was, the qualities of different moisturizing oils, and the characteristics of different essential oils, the kids put it all together, each creating their own customized hand sanitizer.

Silk Painting: Many of the kids were able to finish the silk painting of their medicinal herbs.  They look beautiful.  About 13 kids still need to work on theirs so that April can begin backing them.  As soon as I coordinate with April, I’ll send out an announcement inviting your child (if they haven’t finished) to attend a special silk painting session sometime during these weeks of semester planning meetings.

Circle Check In:  The kids all shared their families’ holiday traditions…so fun to hear differences and similarities.

P.E.: Thanks to Henry, we learned two new games: Zombie Tag and Exploding Enchiladas.  The games grew each day as kids joined after finishing their silk paintings.

Snacks:  Thanks to all who sent holiday snacks (even gluten free ones!) the week before the break.  That really made the week feel special.

Happy New Year to All!

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

(831) 512-9331.