February 19, 2018

Respecting Differences of Opinions

Dear Families,

Last week was, to say the least, very interesting. The results of our nation’s presidential election and our class election simulation were announced. Both big news in their individual rights, happening on the same week was historically monumental in Room 10.

Our class election simulation ended with the Democratic Party beating the Green Party by one point. President-elect Mac Garrett and his party won the simulation on a platform that protected the environment, a promise to work collaboratively with other countries, immigration proposals that were equitable and understanding, and gun laws that didn’t take away guns, but managed how you can get them. To put it mildly, I was blown away with how the students absolutely kicked butt in this simulation. The excitement was palpable.

Wednesday was a very unique day due to the results of the Presidential election. There was a range of emotions that made it one of the most interesting days in my eleven years of being a teacher. There were students whom were confused and sad, students whom were celebratory and excited, and students whom were hungry and wondering when lunch was going to start. Our classroom is more than just a place where your child comes and grows academically and socially. It is a community made up of a diverse range of families. With that diversity come opinions that students shared and heard throughout our government unit. Some of those opinions may have been different than their own. A lot of those differences were evident and vocal on Wednesday.

As we wrap up our government unit and continue our year, I will continue to foster a community that respects differences of opinions, and a major focus will be on the word “respects.” Furthermore, I will ensure that our classroom is a place where students feel welcomed and comfortable enough where they can ask questions regarding our government. It is my duty to answer those questions in an honest and respectable manner. My ultimate goal is to help students better understand their role in our unique and evolving society as they prepare to become an active citizen in our country.

You’re cordially invited to attend our Writer’s Celebration this Thursday, November 17th from 2:45pm until 3:30pm. Students will be reading excerpts from their published realistic fiction pieces. We’d love for you to come and hear what we’ve been working on since the beginning of the school year.

And now, some random reminders:

  • Progress reports will be sent home by Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
  • Your child should be reading for roughly 20 to 30 minutes per day. It’s like brushing teeth, drinking water, and eating your fruits and vegetables; you know this. I know this. Your child knows this. Reminders never hurt…
  • On Mondays, ask students what the new vocabulary words are. Use these words in your conversations.
  • On Tuesdays, ask your child, “Hey! Look at that, it’s Tuesday. What do you know?!?! It’s the day you get your new spelling words…bust them out and let’s practice them!”
  • On Monday mornings, ask your significant other, “What the heck was that episode of Westworld all about?”

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

~Mr. Barnard

Idiom of the Week: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Vocabulary of the Week: remarkable, cluster, banner, sacrifice

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.