February 19, 2018

Back to the Future

Here are some news and notes about the past, present, and the future:

  • Last week, we worked on O.A.K.S. We have roughly one more session of it before we’re done for this round. After that, there will be some students who didn’t finish last week because of absences. They will finish it at random times this week.
    • Many students were very interested in knowing if they “passed.” I plan on telling the students this week if they did not meet, if they met, or if they exceeded. In the event your child did not meet, I will let you know in an email as they will take the test again at some point in April.
  • Last week, we had our Vermonster party to celebrate the class reaching their goal of earning 30 Crazy Cool Cardinals. Thanks to Teri Rykken for driving all the way to SE Hawthorne in Portland to pick them up and Becca Bratton for donating bowls of whipped cream. If you don’t know what a Vermonster is, well here you go.
  • Huge congrats/kudos/high-fives/props/bows/cheers/standing ovations/confetti storm/Olympic medal award ceremony are due for Miguel, Lindsay, A.J., Romello, Zidf, Wyatt, Isabella, Cody, Noah, and Chris for their perfect attendance during the second trimester.
  • This week, we will be watching Disney’s production of Aladdin. We finished Phillip Pullman’s adaptation of the fairy tale and are excited to see how it compares to the film adaptation. If there is anybody that has a DVD copy of this movie, please let me know if it would be possible to borrow it. Thank you.
    • Furthermore, if you have any objections to your child watching this film (rated G), please send me an email or call me. We’ll be watching it on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • This week, progress reports will be sent home on Wednesday.
    • There’s something important you need to know about your child’s writing scores; the scores that they earned for the writing strands, that will be under the “Second Trimester” part of the writing table, come from the last on-demand writing piece students wrote at the end of the trimester. These scores reflect what your child wrote completely independently. I’ve thought about this a lot, but here’s the simple breakdown of it is that the scores need to reflect what students are capable of producing independently as that best represents what they are currently capable of. If scores include the pieces students wrote with help, guidance, conferencing, editing, etc, it would not accurately reflect what they’re able to produce independently.
  • Looking forward two months from now, I am very excited to tentatively announce our overnight field study that will take us to the Scablands of Central Washington to study the effects of the Missoula Floods. Mrs. Dawkins and I made a whirlwind 29-hour roadtrip on Thursday night and Friday to scout out sites, brainstorm activities, and look at the logistics. We came back extremely excited, giddy, and ready for bed. Again, the emphasis is placed on “tentative” because not everything is reserved quite yet, but it’s looking good. It’s like you know your favorite band is going to come to your favorite venue, but they just haven’t officially announced it yet. We would leave school on Tuesday, May 6th and return on Thursday, May 8th. If you are interested in volunteering for what is going to be an amazing trip, please let me know immediately. Remember, a lot more information is to come once the details are finalized, but it’s looking good that those are the dates. I wanted to make sure you had the dates as soon as I had an idea of when it would be.
    • One of the biggest changes we’re looking at is significantly less time spent on the road. We found a basecamp that will allow us to cover a lot of educational material without driving all over the place, which is terrific for so many reasons.
  • Lastly, and not that anybody is counting, but there are only eight days of school left before Spring Break and 11 weeks of school before summer. Woah, but, who’s counting?!?!


Enjoy your week!

~Mr. Barnard


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.