February 18, 2018

Woah! Winter Weather!

Woah! Winter certainly made a comeback that many people didn’t see coming. After all, this is the Pacific Northwest. You really never know. I’m just glad I’m not in the business of predicting the weather.

This shortened week certainly brought on some challenges. With a snow day and a late start, two days of math instruction were gone. Furthermore, we had one less day of writing to work on our travel guides for our natural landmarks. Not to worry though! I was very much impressed with the focus and determination that the students had when using the writing time appropriately and productively. I use the word “appropriately” a lot in the classroom during writing. If I had a dollar for every time I asked a student, “Are you using your time appropriately?”, I would be able to buy a gold-dipped shovel. A lot can be done in a 60 minute period of time and the students are learning first-hand how productive they need to be in order to finish their work in an adequate amount of time. I was very impressed with their focus and determination during this short week.

For the the third graders, researching information about their natural landmarks is about learning how to read to find information. For fifth graders, writing nonfiction text on a specific topic is about branching out, going past the minimum requirements, and trying to add in more details in diverse and new ways. For the fourth graders, it’s about growing their skills and learning how to become even stronger at what they’ve already learned. And, for everybody, it’s about using time wisely.

Over the weekend, I recommend that students spend some time on Google Images and select pictures to include in their travel guide. Obviously, I understand that not all of the students have access to a color printer. I have a color printer that has preferred to go into cardiac arrest every time I’ve requested it produce something meaningful other than a test page for the last four years. If you have a color printer at home, it would be awesome if your child could print out some pictures for their travel guide.

Enjoy another long weekend.

~ Mr. B


Dan Barnard About Dan Barnard

Dan Barnard hails from the Green Mountain State of Vermont where he grew up skiing, biking, and exploring the nooks and crannies of the woods. He learned to drive on his parents' station wagons, learned to ski at Smugglers' Notch, and developed a love for traveling by participating in school trips to France and New York City. He worked in many jobs ranging from ski instructing to babysitting to an after-school program that helped him decide he wanted to be a teacher.

He enrolled in Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and earned a BA in Humanities with a focus on history and a concentration in Elementary Education. After working for two years in a suburban Boston community as a fifth grade teacher, he decided to move west to discover the beauty and bounty of Oregon. He worked for four years as a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teacher in Mosier, Oregon. While working in Mosier he enrolled in graduate school at Portland State University and earned a MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University.