February 21, 2018

Week of September 5th

I so enjoyed meeting many of you on Wednesday at our community BBQ and open house! The kids sure enjoyed showing off what they have been doing in class. Thank you for coming!

I would like to spend some time today emphasizing the importance of reading in your child’s life. I am totally convinced of two things. First, reading matters. It is through reading that each of us takes in the world around us, expanding our horizons and opening up new opportunities. Second, our students are still young and impressionable. Who they are today is not cast in stone. They can be turned around and set onto a better path. The very best way to do this is for the grown ups at home and at school to work together in a close partnership.

Let me first tell you a bit about the reading instruction your child will receive at school. First and foremost, students will read, read, read. Reading is a skill – like playing the trumpet or riding a bike – that can only be developed through use. To master the trumpet or the bicycle, people need to do those things, daily and for long stretches of time. The same is true for reading. Every day in school, student will have chunks of time for reading, and every day, every child will bring that same book home and be asked to read more and more, recording the starting and stopping pages and times in a reading log that will travel between home and school.

It is hard to stress enough the importance of reading at home. One of my goals in school is to help kids author lives as readers, initiating reading in their own lives. My hope is that next summer, when school is out, your child will choose to read. If you join in this effort, I know our chances of success are far greater.

This week, kids continue to have the choice of reading some of the nominations for the Beverly Cleary and Oregon Readers’ Choice Awards. We have the books from the library for a couple more weeks. All students who read at least two of the nominees can vote for the winner.

By this time, I hope that you have noticed a list of spelling words written on your child’s homework log. Hopefully, it is legible enough to be read! Your child should also have brought home word cards with the same words printed on them. Our class is organized into six spelling groups, according to skill level, each with their own weekly list of words. Please have your child explain the pattern(s) used to sort the words and help him/her study and learn the words. Tests will occur each Monday.

We also began math groups this week. Once the routines are established and firmly in place, I am confident that the small groups will be effective and every child will flourish. (Thanks especially to you parents who have volunteered to help out!)  Each student is expected to complete a math lesson each day, correct his/her own work using a key at school, and then fix any errors. (One group actually does half a lesson for homework and saves the rest for the first math work period the next day. They know who they are.) Feel free to help your child at home as much as needed, especially if reading the problems causes difficulty.  Assessments occur every ten lessons and help reveal those who have a solid understanding of the concepts, and those who need a bit more guidance.

Please check out the information below on the Festival of Nations. It is a great opportunity and coincides with our study of the Native Americans of this area. If you have not yet returned both field trip slips and the media permission slip, please do so on Monday. We have several chaperones, but can still use more for both trips. Also, please contact me to choose a time for conferences, if you did not sign up on the schedule the other night. Parent, teacher, and student conferences will be on Tuesday, October 25th, and Wednesday, October 26th. We will meet for fifteen minutes to discuss skill levels, progress, and goals.

And, lastly, please check your child for head lice tonight, as we have had a case reported! Thank you!


  • Thursday, September 15 – Barlow Road Pioneer Camp RETURN TO SCHOOL AT 4:30 P.M. Chaperones – please come to school with your child. Don’t forget a lunch for yourself!  (I am expecting Ann Chatterton, Carla Christianson, Rebecca Gandy, Sheila Nelsen, and Vance Rogers. We could use some more helpers!)
  • Wednesday, September 21 – Ridgefield field trip (Canoe and plank house)
  • Tuesday, October 25, and Wednesday, October 26 – Conferences


Festival of Nations:  A Gathering at the River, is a free arts & culture festival, centered on Native American heritage, celebrating the beauty, natural resources and communities of the Gorge.  We have something for everyone including a 10k and 1 Mile Fun run along spawning salmon, children’s crafts, demonstrations and performances of tribal culture, and a Mini Pow Wow Saturday night welcome to all.

Dates:  September 10-11, 2011

Time:  10 am – 5 pm; Pow Wow starts at 6pm Saturday night

Where:  Cascade Locks Marine Park, Oregon (Port of Cascade Locks, 44 Wa Na Pa Street) 97014

Who:  Hosted by The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the City & Port of Cascade Locks

Cost:  free to public

Contact:  Rebecca Gandy, Event Coordinator rebgandy@comcast.net for more details.

Website:  www.festivalofnations.mynetworksolutions.com and on Facebook, Public Events:  Festival of Nations:  A Gathering at the River



About Susan Handy