February 19, 2018


Spring Break!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Well, it’s one of the most happiest times of the year. Whatever you have in store for next week, I hope that you’re able to work in some time to enjoy the week off with your family. There’s a lot to cover, so without further ado…


We watched Aladdin this week. We were unable to watch it last week as originally anticipated. The students enjoyed watching it and I enjoyed a solid flashback to the good ole days of 1992 when my only worries in life were, “Is there P.E. today?” and “Oh man! I hope corn chowder is served for lunch.” When we watch films that are based on novels or stories, one of my goals is for the students to develop analytical skills when comparing and contrasting both forms of media. Right off the bat, the students were not pleased and/or confused as to why the name of the princess in the film was changed to Jasmine from Badr-al-Budur in the fairy tale adaptation by Philip Pullman. Then, of course, there was the singing genie, the talking parrot, and the magic carpet with a sparkling personality, none of which appeared in the book except the magic carpet sans the vibrant personality. Our discussion of the similarities and differences went extremely well and was filled with great opinions, observations, and questions regarding how the film changed or didn’t change different aspects of the fairy tale.


There will be no spelling words to study this week because of Spring Break. Thus, don’t look for new spelling words until Tuesday, April 1st.


While it’s a little late, our second trimester publishing party will be held on Thursday, April 3rd from 3 to 3:35 in our classroom. Originally, my plan was to have a gastronomical fiesta in the form of a potluck, but unfortunately that will not work out for a variety of reasons. Our publishing party will be an opportunity for you to come in and check out the informational writing your child produced during the second trimester. It will also be an opportunity for you to come in and check out the range of informational writing that was produced by the class as a whole.


Speaking of writing, we started our new writing unit at the start of the third trimester. As many of you will probably agree, your child has some amazing argumentative and persuasive oratorical skills. For years, they’ve razzled and dazzled you with their unique ability to beg, plead, persuade, and convince you that they need something, or want something, or want to go somewhere. During the third trimester, students will be working on creating persuasive essays on a specific topic that will hopefully persuade the reader to believe or agree with many of the points that they are trying to make. Then, students will deliver a modified version of their essay in the form of a speech. Yes, every student will give a speech. We’ve already looked at some speeches to get an idea of how captivating and convincing they can be, how historically important and influential they can be, and how downright funny the art of persuading can be.


Upon our return from Spring Break….sigh….look for very important paperwork to go home regarding the two-night three-day field study to the Scablands of Central Washington. The information will include an overview of the trip, what will need to be packed, an itinerary, and the permission slip. There will be an informational meeting about this field study on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM in Mrs. Dawkins’ classroom where many of your questions will be answered. In the meantime though, please feel free to email me with any questions.


Enjoy your Spring Break,


~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.