Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

MLC logoMetropolitan Learning Center

K x 12 student-centered education

2033 NW Glisan St. | Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 916-5737
Fax: (503) 916-2658

Susan Beaird

Final Week

We are steam rolling our way through this final week, busy as ever!

Here are a couple things to know:

Wednesday's field trip to OMSI's OMNIMAX theater for noon showing of DEEP SEA:

Please bring a lunch, water bottle, and backpack.  Dress for the weather and wear appropriate shoes.  We will be eating a little later than we normally do so you might want to pack a snack to eat before the show.  We are travelling by streetcar and will return to MLC by 2:45.  We have enough parent volunteers but if you'd like to join us, please do.  The cost for a volunteer chaperone is $5.  Students are covered!

Thursday's field trip to Bamboo Sushi on NW 23rd Avenue:

This is our final field trip of the school year and a culminating activity of our study of the Earth's ocean.  Bamboo Sushi uses the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guide when selecting the seafood for their restaurant.  We will learn more about this program and what are some of the current issues surrounding sustainable harvesting of seafood from our ocean.  Those who would like to sample will have an opportunity to do so!  This does not take the place of lunch!  (With regards to seafood allergies/food needs, etc. I have used student input and information provided from medical forms when organizing this fieldtrip).  

We could use a couple parent chaperones!  Can you?  We will leave MLC at 1:00 p.m. and return by 3:00 p.m.

MLC's playground will be a busy place on Friday morning!  We are having our end of year field day on the blacktop!  All cars must be off the blacktop by 8:30 a.m. so we can begin setting up for the 9:30 start time!  Please consider dropping your child off on Hoyt Street.   Thank you for your flexibility!

I'm savoring these last couple of days with your children...what a group!!



Last Week In May

Hello Team!

We are on the slippery slope towards summer vacation...how quickly this school year has flown by!  I can honestly say with regards to working with all of you that "time truly does fly when you're having fun!"

We are embarking on our final writing assignment of the school year; a personal narrative about a memory from the trip to the Oregon coast.  This week we'll be continuing to read great examples, picking out the "best parts" and practice ways to "hook" our audience into our stories.  My guess is we'll be ready to start writing by week's end!

This week we are also continuing our study of the Earth's ocean by looking closely at the

Ocean Literacy Principles 4 and 5:

The ocean makes the Earth habitable.

The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.

Please continue this study at home with your Readers Response work.

Thanks to all who have managed to locate a shoebox for one of our final projects of the school year.  Each of you will be using materials you have at home and here at school to create two ecosystems:  a underwater kelp forest and a marine estuary.  How can you show all you know and understand about the unique characteristics of these habitats by using some common and collected materials, paper, paint, and a little glue?  Start thinking about what you have at home that could represent each place.  Bring to school items you are willing to donate to the cause.  Here's a list of possibilities!

toilet paper tubes            bread bag ties            dry noodles/macaroni        styrofoam "peanuts"       

dry twigs/sticks                pine cones                  ribbon                                  scrap paper

If you make your way to SCRAP! this weekend, scan the bins for items that might make excellent diorama decorations!

Next Thursday morning, we have the special opportunity to share some of what we know about the ocean in this part of the world with a group of students living in the country of Brazil in South America.   Scott (Marina's dad) and Tom (our fabulous technology guy) have been working together to set up a visit via SKYPE that will take place on Thursday, June 6th at about 9:30 a.m.   During our visit, we will get to learn a bit about some of the science research the students in Brazil are doing and learn a bit about their part of the world. 

Today we met with Scott and Sylvia (a former MLC parent and resident of Brazil) to learn a bit of Portuguese, the primary language in Brazil.  We just barely got started!  Our goal is to try and learn a couple key words/phrases that we can use in our visit next week.  

 Here are a couple to practice at home:  







That depends


I don't know

Não sei

I don't think so

Acho que não


Se faz favor / Por favor

Thank you (very much)

(Muito) obrigado / obrigada

Excuse me

Com licença / Desculpe

The pleasure is mine!     O prazer e meu!

There are several portuguese language videos on You Tube you might consider watching, too! 

Parents, you are invited to attend this SKYPE visit.  It is the morning of Portfolio Night.  Sign-ups outside the classroom door.

In other news:

Nathaniel and Marina are in a play out at the Multnomah Arts Center, Friday, June 7- Sunday, June 9th.  Showtimes are 7:00 p.m (Fri./Sat.) and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Saturday, June 8th is WORLD OCEANS DAY!

Caryn and I are scheming and dreaming about a couple end of year daytime field trips that we hope will happen during the last week of school (likely Tuesday and/or Wednesday).  Stay tune. We will likely need several parents to attend these trips.  Details to follow.

The last day of school this year falls on Friday, June 14th.  SInce it is a half day, our traditional end-of-year picnic will happen in the morning at MLC and in Couch Park.  This Field Day will occur soon after the final All-School Gathering assembly in the cafeteria and run from 9:45-11:15 a.m.  If you would like to help out at this event, please let me know.  There is a small, dedicated group of MLC teachers planning the activities and we would love a little help from parents. 

Upcoming Events

Hi Team,


Our travels to the Oregon coast a couple weeks ago are really helping us with our study of the Earth's ocean.  The "message in a bottle" gift we discovered when we returned from our trip, along with a note



from the Desk of Governor Tom about the Ocean Literacy Principles*, have guided us in our study as we make connections to what we learned during our own visit to the beaches, bays and estuaries of Oregon's central coast. 

 * http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/

So far, we have explored 3 of the 7 Literacy Principles:

The Earth has one big ocean with many features.

The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth.

The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.

This week, you selected one of Coastal America's Learning Centers as a place to visit on line in order to learn about the ocean ecosystem outside of Oregon.  Each evening, spend time exploring the learning center's website, paying close attention to the plants and animals of the area and the current scientific research that is happening.  Take really good notes about what you learn and bring them back to class with you each day.

To find the links to the 24 Learning Centers go to:


Click on Learning Centers...then Partners.  There is a map and links.

Math homework went home on Tuesday and is due next Tuesday!

Important Upcoming Dates!

Thursday, May 23rd:  4X5 Walking Field Trip to JW Field in NW Portland for the Portland Timbers/Providence Health and Fitness Day! The goal of this day is to provide fun, educational activities in an engaging atmosphere to motivate students to learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices. We will walk together as a group, leaving MLC around 9:45 and arriving at JW Field at 10:00.  After an introductory assembly, we will have an opportunity to see the Timbers in action as we enjoy an exciting Portland Timbers U23s team regular season match!  

Students will need to bring a lunch with them to school or order lunch in the cafeteria.  We will eat during our field trip.

Your kids did such a great job staying under budget on their meals on our trip to the coast that we were able to cover the admission fees for this event from the leftovers!

Monday, May 27th:  Memorial Day--No School

Thursday, June 6th:  4X6 Portfolio Night  (afterschool)  This was scheduled for May 30th but we pushed the date back by one week in order to provide an extra week of learning focus on our spring curriculum.  If this provides a problem for your family, let me know and we can make arrangements for you to see your child's portfolio at another time.

Friday, June 14th:  Last Day of School and MLC Field Day/Picnic in Couch Park:  Due to our last day being a 1/2 day, we are having our all-school event here at MLC and in Couch Park. 

Please stay tuned for further updates!!




Happy Earth Week!

Congratulations to the mighty dedicated group of 4X6 kids who helped us kick off Earth Week here at MLC!  Last Friday's Earth Day Craft Faire was a grand success, bringing in close to $200.00 for the Roots and Shoots elective club.  Stay tuned for how the group will choose to spend these earnings.

Today's showing of Dr. Suess' popular story, The Lorax, helped to remind us all how our choices make a difference.

For homework this evening, please plan to spend 30 minutes out of doors...15 minutes of it just sitting and looking!  Try to settle in and get really still.  Look high!  Look low.  Look near...look far.  Listen.  Breathe in three breaths of air...deeply!  What do you notice that makes you wonder?  Use your senses to take in what is around you.  Notice colors!  Shapes!  Sizes!  Patterns! Thoughts.

Come to school tomorrow ready to share a bit about your experience.

Here are a few details about the week ahead:

Tuesday, April 23rd  MLC Family Night...at McMenamins Blue Moon, 5 p.m. - closing

All Week!   Book Faire

Wednesday and Thursday  OAKS Math Testing, 10:15 a.m. -11:30 a.m.

We will have our library time on Tuesday.

All Week:  Oregon Coast Trip Planning--  are your forms and payment in?

                 Last week's theme:  The Earth has one big ocean with many features.

                This week's theme:   The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth.

...and  menu planning with members of our yurt group.

Looking ahead: 

Next MONDAY, APRIL 29 we need 2 volunteers to walk with us up to Balch Creek in Forest Park.  Can you join us?  We will leave by 10:30 a.m. and return by 3:00 p.m.  Please let me know asap!

This is a fieldtrip intended to use the science inquiry process to gather data about this creekbed, skills that we'll use on our trip to Newport.  Students should dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and a lunch. 

Egg Drop and Talent Show are also next week!  Tuesday and Wednesday!

Check back for homework updates!

Enjoy this lovely spring evening,


A Busy Time!

Dear Team 312,

There is a lot to look forward to in the weeks ahead!  Here is an update:

April 15-19: Bike Safety with Vince from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.  Please wear close-toed shoes and dress for movement and the weather!  We will be practicing the safety "Rules of the Road" all week using bikes and helmets provided by BTA.  Parents, want to ride with us on Friday?  Let me know!

April 16th: MLC Ten Tiny Dances, Kennedy School...a high school event for the public!  We will watch the dress rehearsal on Tuesday morning at 10:45 a.m.

April 17: Parent Chaperone Meeting for the 4X5 Spring Science Trip, 3:15 p.m. in room 312.

April 18: Run for the Arts!  Turn in your pledge sheet on Wednesday.  We will be running at 10:45 a.m.

April 19th:  KCLC Plant Sale...orders due by Wednesday!

April 19: 4X6's Roots and Shoots Earth Day Craft Faire, Stop by The Commons after school and browse the handmade items.

April 19:  4X5 Spring Science Trip forms and payment due

April 18th and 19th:  5 Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball, a great MLC fundraising event, organized by Tammie!  This is a play your parents will enjoy!

Next Week:  Book Faire!

                       OAKS Math Testing

April 30:  Talent Show

May 1: Egg Drop

May 6: No School, Teacher Work Day

May 7-10 4X5 Science Trip to the Oregon Coast


Spelling:  Water Words!   Quiz on April 22nd

water vapor        fresh water    watershed        hail        evaporation        salt water                    iceberg            fog                        condense                             ground water

Grammar and Writing:  Pronouns, Pages 61-68        Due Tuesday, April 23rd

Food Journals---In the weeks ahead, you will be working with the people in your yurt group in planning nutritious and delicious meals to enjoy together while you are visiting the Oregon coast.  You will be purchasing the food for your meals at the Newport Fred Meyers.  In order to make sure your yurt team buys enough food to feed everyone in your yurt group, you are going to do a bit of data collection this week about how much food you need to feel full and satisfied.   Use the journal you brought home on Monday to record what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks from Monday-Thursday of this week.   Make sure to record amounts...1 cup, 1/4 cup, 2 slices, etc....estimating is O.K., and don't forget what you drink, too.    You will use the data collected in this journal, along with the menu plan your group designs, to help your yurt team make a shopping list

Decorate the cover of this journal with a topic-appropriate Title, your name, and a colored illustration to match.  Please bring these with you to school each day.

Hatfiled Marine Science Center  

There's lots to do to get ready for our trip to the Oregon coast!  Let's begin investigating some of the places we will visit.  Spend 20 minutes a night, Tuesday-Thursday, browsing the HMSC website.  There is a lot of information on this site so here is a plan for Team 312:

Go to:


On the main website, click on STUDENT INFORMATION, then K-12 Students and Educators...along the left-hand side of this next page you'll see EXHIBITS and EVENTS.  Click on it.  From there, you'll see the following choice:

  • Critter Corner
  • Ask a Scientist
  • Finally, an optional volunteering opportunity for you and your family...


    A group of MLC neighbors are celebrating by planting some trees in Couch Park on Sunday, April 21.

    Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day –

    Help Plant Trees in NW Portland

    Volunteers needed to help plant trees in NW Portland public spaces. Join members of the Westside Portland Tree Guild and Portland Parks and Recreation staff on one or both of the following days and make a difference in your community:

    Sunday, April 21, 1pm at Couch Park, NW 19th Ave & Glisan St. Portland

    Events will occur rain or shine. Learn more and sign-up to volunteer by visiting www.westsideportlandtreeguild.org.

    Yes, we are busy!  Hurray!!



    Sign Up for 2nd Trimester Conferences

    We are quickly approaching the end of the second trimester.  We'll have a chance to visit next week during our parent/teacher/student conference.

    Monday, March 11th is a PPS Teacher Workday.

    Tuesday, March 12th and Wednesday, March 13 are conference days.

    Parents, please stop by the classroom and sign up for a 20 minute time slot.  On the day of your conference, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your conference or stay for a few minutes afterwards so your child can share more of their work with you.


    Mask Making!

    A busy week awaits!

    On Wednesday we will have a wonderful day of creative adventures bringing our inner world to life in a paper mache' mask of our own design.  Many extra hands will be here to help thanks to parent and high school volunteers.

    We will be using paint that may not come out of clothing!  Please wear your ol' grubbies to school tomorrow!

    It's time to contact the people who supported you in the Readathon and let them know how much reading you did!  Remember that checks should be made out to MLC.  Thanks for collecting pledge dollars in the next two weeks.

    Homework math packets went home today and are due next Tuesday.  No grammar workbooks this week.

    Enjoy your week!


    February Events


    We are into our last week of our 4X6 fundraiser that helps support our outdoor science trips and end of year activities.  There is a lot of reading happening!  Keep up the great work of recording the pages you are reading on your Record Sheet.  Have you managed to get at least person who will be your reading sponsor? 

    For MONDAY's homework, please think of a GOAL you will set for yourself to accomplish during this last week of Readathon:

                        "I will get two more sponsors."

                        "I will call my Aunt Sarah and ask her to sponsor me."

                        "I will read 60 pages."

                        "I will write a recommendation on the poster in the hallway."

    ...What is your goal?

    The last day of our Readathon is Friday, February 15th.  We will celebrate with a 4X6 Pajama Party Read In.  Plan to wear your comfy-cozies to school that day and bring books to school that you can read on your own and with a friend or two.  You'll also bring all of your Reading Record Sheets.  You can collect pledge money from your sponsors at any time, with the goal that all pledges have been turned in by the end of the month.

    As part of a Genre Study of FANTASY, we are reading aloud the classic tale, The Lion, The Witch and the WardrobeOur fieldtrip on Wednesday, February 13th to see the theater production of this story at Newmark Theatre is fast approaching! 

    Please bring a healthy sack lunch with a hearty snack to enjoy in the afternoon!  We will be eating early on Wednesday in order to make it to the 11:45 a.m. showtime.  We will return to MLC by 2:30 p.m.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather!

    In celebration of the people and places that we care about and cherish, we will have a Happy Birthday, Oregon!/Happy Valentine's Day celebration from 1:30-2:50 p.m.  Did you know that Oregon became a state on February 14, 1859?  Did you also know that Oregon has a state fruit?  A state nut?  A state beverage?  And even a state DANCE?  It does!  In helping us celebrate the many special aspects of living here, please consider bringing in a food item that is either grown or produced in Oregon...some Tillamook Cheese and crackers....roasted hazelnuts...chocolate-dipped strawberries....sliced pears...marionberry muffins, perhaps?

    We have hired two musicians to join us for our celebration, too!  They will be teaching us Oregon's state dance, the SQUAREDANCE! 

    Please contribute $5 to help cover the costs for these talented musicians!

    If you would like to give Valentines, please plan to make them for everyone in your class.  Homemade Valentines are encouraged but not required.  I have already heard of a couple folks thinking about how they can make Valentines with a Happy Birthday, Oregon! spin on them.  Clever! You may bring your Valentines to school on Thursday, February 14th.

    In other homework news, math packets and grammar book (pgs 45-48) will go home on 2/12/13...due next Tuesday.

    Have a great week!


    4X6 Read-a-Thon!

    The MLC 4X6 Readathon is

    January 24th-February 15th

    There are two goals of this fundraiser:

    READING!  All students in the 4X6 will be reading up a storm and keeping track of all the pages they read.  We'll be talking and writing about what we are reading, making recommendations to others, and picking up books and other written material that we might not typically go for at first glance. Every one of us will read at least TWO of the Oregon Readers Choice Award (ORCA) books so we can vote in this year's contest.  We'll all get to be better readers...how cool is that?!!

    RAISE MONEY!  We believe it is important that students have learning opportunities and experiences outside of the school building.  The money we raise will reduce the costs to families for outdoor science and field trips we take this spring as well as our end of year activities. 

    Students will get pledges from friends and family acquaintances who wish to help them meet the Readathon goals.  Supporters may choose to give a fixed pledge amount or pledge by the number of pages read.  Word of cautionMLC kids love to read!  A "penny a page pledge" will ensure that supporters help us without breaking their bank. 

    Questions?  Check in with Susan at any time!

    Team 312's Auction Project....Parents, can you help?

    Bitty, David and Jodi have already started working with the kids to make masks for the auction project... another book.   Below is a note from Jodi about how you can help. 

    If you find that you have some time to spare on Wednesday afternoons from 1:40-3:00 pm, please, consider joining us in the classroom.  We will need some extra hands to help the kids along.  They are excited and have some amazing ideas, it will be a lot of fun.  If you do not have that sort of time... pesky jobs... Please, consider helping us out by providing materials needed to make the masks:
    Here is a wish list:

    plaster tape
    metallic acrylic paints 
    colored popsicle stick (small pack)
    fake flowers
    cool fabric
    fake fur
    cardboard tubes
    small to medium cardboard boxes
    dollar store shower curtains for drop cloths
    tissue paper

    With kindness,

    David 503-807-5300
    Jodi 503-928-2125

    Homework This Week: 

    Read, read, READ!! ---please read for 30 minutes and record the pages you read on your Readathon sheet. 

    Monday evening's Reading Reflection is to write a brief note to one of the characters in the chapter book you are reading at home.  In the "Comments" section, write to a character of your choice, commenting on the following:

    Actions:  What does the character "do" in the part of the book you read this evening?

    Physical Description: What does the character look like?  

    Emotions:  How does the character feel about an event in the story?

    In your note, you can make text to self connections as you comment on what you remember the about the character.

    In the "Questions" section, ask the character questions about the choices they made and/or things you are wondering about.

    Please write to the red star and bring your Reading Reflection with you to school on Tuesday, 1/29. 

    Grammar and Writing Book pages 37-40, due Tuesday (2/4)

    Math Packets, due Tuesday (2/4)

    Check back throughout the week for any further updates!



    Mighty Times

    At our all-school gathering yesterday, the 1X2 classes and 7X8 classes shared their thoughts abouts Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the important contributions he made to our country.  Ms Macarre encouraged us all to look at our day off from school next Monday as a "Day On!" to help people who might need us.  We will!   This weekend, each of us in Team 312 will look for an opportunity to help somebody else.  It might be a small gesture of kindness or require a bit more effort and maybe even a little bit of sweat.  Be on the lookout, Team...and we'll share our stories when we get back together on Tuesday morning.

    In addition to being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, on Monday it is also Inauguration Day!  Try and watch part or all of the ceremony.   Where is it held?  What is included in the ceremony?   What does President Obama promise to do as President of the United States of America?

    Today we watched a documentary about the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama  in the mid-1950s that was a pivotal event in ending unfair laws that segregated people.  Mighty Times is produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center and does an excellent job of helping us better understand all of the events and people involved in the boycott, including Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  If you have a VCR at home, you are welcome to borrow this video.

    Just a reminder that your math and grammar pages (pgs. 33-36) are due on Tuesday.

    Now, turn off your computer and get outside!  It's a gorgeous afternoon!!



    This week we will continue learning about this planet and its seven continents.  Every day this week, you will bring home a different book to read as part of your "At Home Reading Homework".  You also have a Readers Response Record Sheet that went home today (Monday) and needs to be brought back to school each new day.

    These books are non-fiction and therefore are written in an expository writing style.  While you are reading, please pay attention to how the book and its paragraphs are organized.  What do you notice?  We will share our observations later on in the week.

    Some of the words in these books are also quite challenging.  Don't hesitate to ask a grown-up or older sibling to help you figure out what a word says.  There is a lot of great information in these books and its worth talking about with someone else, too.  I would encourage you and your parents to read these books out loud together.  Often times we read "inside our heads" and reading out loud is skill that requires practice.  Use this week as an opportunity to practice this important reading skill!

    After you have read your book each evening, please select 3 vocabulary words (found on the inside cover) to record on your Readers Response sheet.  Use a dictionary (not an online one, please) to look up the definition of each word.   If there is more than one definition, pick the one that you think matches how the word was used in the book.  Write that definition on the line.

    Finally, in your own words, write a several sentence summary of what you learned from reading the book on the lines next to Authors Purpose/Main Idea.  

    Look for grammar and math homework to come home tomorrow (Tuesday).


    Happy New Year!

    Welcome to 2013!

    It was so good to see all of you today.  I think my favorite part of our time together was the "Chalk Talk" sharing of our winter break and learning about your holiday adventures. 

    Today we embarked on yet another learning adventure...an exploration of the seven continents of the world.   For the month of January, please plan to learn what you can about the continent you selected this afternoon.  There will be some guidance from me (of course!) but much of this school and at-home project will be generated by your own curiosity and interests.  You will be using many of the same research skills and techniques you utilized during the Camp Hancock project and you'll also have at least two other people in Team 312 on your Continent Research Team. 

    Plan to spend 20-30 minutes a night, twice a week, learning about your continent.

    You started generating a list of questions you had about your continent.  If more questions come to mind for you, write them down in your Homework Journal.

    Tonight, you are simply beginning to explore resources to see what you can discover.  Take great notes and remember to write down where you located your information.  Bring in what you find.



    Science and Solstice

    Way to GO!!
    Your victorious day of sharing with others through your hard work on the Camp Hancock Science Project and DANCING at our Winter Solstice gathering brought light to all. 
    What a day of celebration!
    HERE is a link to your winter solstice performance!
    Below is an email you received from Avril's class.   It is clear you made a difference.
    Remember to wrap up that "ready to pass on" book for our
    Brown Moose Book Exchange.  Wear your comfy-cozies and be ready for a wonderful morning of reading.  Looking forward to being with you on our last day together in the year 2012.
    I'm proud of you, Team. Jai Ho!
    Science Displays
    Avril Munro
    Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:40 AM
    Caryn Cushman; Susan Beaird

    Dear Friends in the 4X5,

    After we came to visit your science displays this morning we sat in a circle and shared the things we learned.  WOW!!  All of the kids in our room had so much to say!  Afterwards we also talked about what made your presentations so successful.  This is what the kids said:  ("They " in this context means "YOU")

        They really explained things to us so we could understand.

        They told us alot about everythihng.

        We could tell they studied really hard about their topics--they had many interesting details.

        They had good, careful drawings. and GREAT displays.

        The photographs, and diagrams went with their words.

        They had headings and labels so we knew it was non-fiction.

        We could tell they had practiced!!!!!

     Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for inviting us to share it!


    Team 222

    A Week Full of Science!

    "Science Inquiry is a process to help understand and investigate how the world works.  It is an approach that involves an exploration of the world that leads to asknig questions and making discoveries in search for new understandings.  Science inquiry requires you to puzzle through problems, seek multiple ways of finding solutions, gather and weigh evidence, and apply and test scientific ideas."   

                                                                            From Woltree's Ecology Fieldguide

    Tomorrow we will get to see science inquiry in action when we watch the film Chasing Ice.  We will leave MLC at 8:40 and be back to school by 12:15 p.m. 

    Our lunch time will last from the time we get back to school until 1:00 p.m.

    If you are planning on eating a school lunch tomorrow, we will let the cafeteria know and they will have a sack lunch waiting for you!

    Parents!  If you can join us tomorrow, please do!  We still need volunteers willing to lead small group discussions about the film.  The discussions will be at MLC from 1-2 p.m.

    Tonight, try and watch on line an OREGON FIELD GUIDE episode on OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting).  The two we talked about today, Citizen Science and Condors and Lead Bullets, both show how science is used to help us better understand the world around us.  Each segment is about 10 minutes long.

    The 4X5 SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM is this THURSDAY from 10:00-11:15.  All welcome!

    Math and Grammar Books are due tomorrow (12/11).

    Keep practicing those Bollywood dance moves and read the last couple posts for additional information about things happening this week.  It's busy!


    Prashant's Dance Links


    Here are links to the two dances that Prashant taught us.  

    Jai Ho! Slumdog Millionaire-- Dance Choreographed by Prashant Kakad


    Learn Gangnam Style--Bollywood Choreography



    Teach your family!!!


    Hi Team!

    If I could sum up in a word what we are experiencing right now with regards to all of our school activities it would be....brackish.

    What?  Brackish??  Not what you were expecting, 'eh?  Well, let me explain.

    Brackish water is a mixture of fresh water flowing out to sea and tidal salt water rushing in from the ocean.  In a sense, we are in that state of brackish mixing as we wrap up work done during the first trimester while embarking on new activities of the second trimester.

    Although this may not technically be the correct use of this word, my mind may also be thinking about different states of water as we experience the seasons change; puddle jumping during our break times and watching the skies put on a show through the classroom window. I'm also thinking a lot about the earth's water as I look forward in excited anticipation to the fieldtrip we are going on next Tuesday, December 11th.

    The 4X6 Team will be seeing a special showing of a very important film at Hollywood Theater, beginning at

    9:30 a.m. on 12/11/12

    Chasing Ice


    I am excited about this film for several reasons.  First, it does an excellent job showing the highs, lows, challenges and triumphs of science field research, something I think is an essential component when teaching science inquiry concepts to students.   Second, it clearly shows the effects of climate change that are happening on this planet by photodocumenting glaciers over time and discusses why this is a problem.  Finally, it is a visually beautiful film.  The still shots alone are a feast for the eyes.  I am not a bit surprised this film is an Oscar contender. 

    It is my hope that many of you (parents!) can attend this film with us.  The ticket price is $4 and students are bringing an extra $2 for the MAX ride.  You can meet us at MLC on Tuesday morning and take the MAX with us or meet us at the theater by 9:30 a.m.

    If you can go, then please also consider returning to MLC and facilitating a small group discussion about the film.   There will be guiding questions available and we are hoping that enough volunteers will be here that we can keep the group sizes to 6-8 students per group.. These discussions will begin after lunch at 12:30 p.m. so you would have time to go and grab a bite to eat beforehand.  We plan to finish by 1:30 p.m.

    As we watch the skies darken overhead and prepare for the coming of the winter solstice, the 4X5 Team has been talking about the various ways that people around the world celebrate light and the holidays held during this time of the year.  We are in the process of reading a book about Diwali, the Hindu "Festival of Light" holiday that was just celebrated a couple weeks ago.  A popular holiday in India, Diwali is often celebrated with dancing.  We were lucky to find Prashant Kakad, a local Bollywood style choreographer and dancer, who is teaching us a dance that we will perform at MLC's Solstice Celebration on Thursday, December 13th!  We are able to have Prashant work with us thanks to our Young Audience/Run for the Arts funds.

    Prashant visited us this afternoon and will be with us again on Thursday and next Monday.  We watched a video of Prashant on YouTube before his visit today and you can watch it at home and practice the Jai Ho! dance steps he taught us (found at the end of the video) by doing a search on YouTube for Tedx Talk by Prashant--Bollywood, the Timing is Right.

    For the MLC performance next week, please wear dark colored clothing.  Boys: dark blue jeans and a black t-shirt with a button down/collared shirt over it.  Girls:  black leggings or an easy to dance in black skirt with a black top.  A black dress would work, too. Comfortable shoes, of course!

    On Friday, December 14th, our last day together before our winter vacation, Team 312 will be having a

    Pajama Party and Read-In

    Students are encouraged to wear their comfy-cozies and bring favorite books to read.  They may also bring a blanket or sleeping bag and a "stuffy".  

    We will also enjoy some food together mid-morning,  Breakfast is the theme and there is a sign-up outside of the classroom door.  Think cereal with milk, fresh fruit, muffins and juice.  Paper products will be needed, too (napkins, bowls, plates and utensils). 

    Friday morning we will also have our annual

    "Brown Moose Book Exchange".  This popular event is easy and fun!  Simply browse your bookself at home for a book or two you are ready to pass on.  Wrap them up and bring them in.  We will each choose a package, unwrap it, and be surprised by what we find inside. 

    Everyone gets to go home with a new book!

    So, that's a lot of the new (fresh water) aspects of our "brackish water" time together.  The "saltier" parts of our week have to do with finishing up some of the fantastic work we started first trimester.  Students are putting finishing touches on 2 paragraphs they are writing about electives and just getting started on the 2 paragraphs that will be added to Camp Hancock display boards.  We will also be getting all of the work samples from 1st trimester into our portfolios and making sure the goals we set at conferences  are clear so we'll be ready to move forward when we get back together on January 2, 2013.

    An enthusiastic congratulations for completing your Camp Hancock Science Visusal Displays!  You are an impressive bunch of information-seekers! I can't stop smiling when I think of the different ways you have chosen to visually share with others what you've learned from "digging deeper" into a science topic you were exposed to while visiting Camp Hancock.  Creative!!  

    Next week, we will have a SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM for guests who would like to learn more about our science topics!

    The symposium will be held in Room 312 and Room 315 on

    Thursday, December 13th

    10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

    This is an opportunity to visit with MLC students, staff, parents and other interested people from our Portland community about our research topics.  All welcome!


    Fantastic job for those of you who figured out the Citation Maker (link located on the MLC Library page) and already turned in your Camp Hancock Resource List.  The goal is to have those in by this Friday, 12/7.  

    Math packets went home today, Tuesday.  4th graders, the date on your packet is listed as 12/10 and should say 12/11.

    Grammar and Writing Practice Books will go home on Wednesday and are due next Tuesday.  Pages 25-28 focus on Regular Plural Nouns.

    The 4X6 Roots and Shoots elective is holding a Food, Gift and Sock Drive for two organizations in town that help people in need.  The Food and Gift Drive is for the William Temple House and the Sock Drive is for Outside-In.  Donations can be placed in the bins by the office between now and December 14th.

    Love working with you,




    It was great seeing all of you today!  Thank you for your efforts in "getting back into the swing of things" here at school.  Well done!

    We are in the final week of the Camp Hancock Science Project!  I can't wait to learn from all of you and see the many creative ways you have thought to display the important information about your topic.  You may begin brining your completed project in at any time.  All projects are due next Monday, December 3rd.

    Make sure that your research notes and grammar and writing book are at school everyday.  There are no pages this week to do in your grammar and writing book.

    In addition to your science project, please find time at home to complete the math packet that went home today, Tuesday.  It is due next week on December 4th.



    The Election!

    Thursday Night Homework!--

    We have watched or listened to several concession speeches in the last two days.  These speeches were given by Mitt Romney, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton.  We have talked about (analyzed) the speeches for their content, the descriptive words chosen, and the organization of ideas (beginning, middle, end).

    We listened for words and ideas we thought mattered and recorded these in our Composition Books.

    Tonight, you will write a draft of either the beginning, middle, or end of the Posterity Party's Concession Speech.  Here are some of the ideas you noticed from how the other speeches were organized.  You can use these as a guide, along with the words you recorded in your Compostion Books, but remember that this is Anna's concession speech so what would she say? 

    Team 312 Numbers and the Part of the Concession Speech/with Content Ideas

    #s1-8:  Beginning--thank you to followers/campaign team, congratulations to winner, acknowledging disappointment, humor, historical reference (important date, quote from a former president, etc).

    #s9-17 Middle--thank the running mate and family members, what are the problems facing our country, hopes and dreams for the future, brief personal story.

    #18-26 End--why candidate ran for office, what the political parties and/or candidates have in common with one another, thank you to the voters, final message.

    Bring your ideas in with you tomorrow!

    The political parties campaigned...

                                        ...the presidential candidates debated

    the citizens voted...

                                            ...the ballots were counted...the results reported....


    Luna Morrison from the Global Alliance Party

    is the MLC President!


    It has been quite a journey!  Congratulations to all 4 political parties for running such energetic, respectful, and informative campaigns! 

    Today, The Posterity Party's candidate, Anna Albertson, was given the honor of serving on Ms Morrison's cabinet in the role of Secretary of State

    For homework this evening (Wednesday) please see what you can learn about this important position.  Write down what you find and bring it with you to school tomorrow.

    Grammar Street Word Study Homework:  Common and Proper Nouns, pgs 21-24

    Camp Hancock Research:  Please bring your notes about your topic to class tomorrow.  Part 2 of this project will be discussed in class on Thursday and Friday.  You will now begin working on the visual display part of your project and the paper you will use to do this part of your project will go home with you this week so you'll have the long weekend to get started.

    UPDATE!! Math Homework:  This will go home on Thursday and is due on next Tuesday.  5th graders homework went home on Thursday and is due on Tuesday.      4th graders will not have homework until next Tuesday.

    Parents:  There is a conference sign up outside of the classroom door.  Conferences are November 19th and 20th.

    United We Stand!




    Presidential Debate Questions

    Hi Posterity Party Members--

    Here are the 6 debate questions we will be asked at next Monday's MLC Presidential Debate, along with "sub questions" that might help us think about how to answer the main questions.

    Tonight, please spend at least 30 minutes working on how to answer your plank group's question.  You might do any of the following activities:

    1)  In your Homework Journal, answer the "sub questions" or write a first draft of how to answer the main question.

    2) Talk about the question(s) with an adult.

    3) Do some research about the issue/topic you are being asked to talk about.   Can you find facts or figures (data) that you could include in your answer to support your thinking.

    4) Watch one or more of this year's presidential debates.  You could find links on YouTube.  How do the candidates answer the questions?  What do they say?  Do they tell a  personal story?  State facts?  Talk about their experience?  Take notes on what you notice and bring your ideas with you tomorrow.

    In class tomorrow, you will be working with the other members of your plank group to write an answer to your main plank group question. 

    Posterity Party Belief Statement:

    We, the Posterity Party, believe in having a tranquil country and making a peaceful environment for our citizens and future generations  Problems can be solved with calmness instead of violence, and a healthy world means no wars.  We believe in the power of friendship and people getting along with each other.  We promote working together, sharing ideas with each other, and making the United States more peaceful.  We want a good today for a better tomorrow.

    When thinking about how to answer the questions below, remember what we said we believed in as a political party and what we wanted for our posterity.  How can these issues be addressed through the "lens" of tranquility and peace?

    Here are the debate questions.  The sub questions are italicized

    Foregin Affairs:  What is the role of the United States in the global community?

    Besides money, what makes the United States "rich"?  What do we as a country have to give others?

    Economy:  What will your party do to promote job creation, and keep the unemployment rate at 6% or lower?

    What do people need?  What do people use?  What is a problem that needs fixing?

    Environment: We have just witnessed the havoc caused by Hurricane Sandy along our east coast.  Scientists say that extreme weather events like Sandy are the byproduct of accelerated climate change.  What will you do to slow our changing climate?

    What do scientists say are the causes of climate change?  Why are these things happening?  What could be done differently?

    Social Services: Poverty and Homelessness are at their highest levels since the 1960s.  What will your party do to reduce poverty and homelessness?

    What do you think are reasons people are homeless or in poverty?

    Health Care: You have all stated that you support a National Healthcare System.  Our question is:  How can you keep people independently healthy in the long term?

    What does it mean to be healthy?  What does a healthy person do?  When should these habits start?

    Education:  To transition from heatthy bodies to healthy minds, what is your party's view on the education system in this country?  What will you do to keep kids in school and promote life long learning?

    If the goal is to have schools be places that kids realize that learning is something that is so great they will never want to stop doing it, then what should schools be like and how will you make that happen?

    I'm excited to hear your ideas about these important topics!

    More News!  Due to our focus on getting ready for the debate and Election Day on Tuesday, the Research phase of your Camp Hancock project should be completed by next Wednesday, November 7th.  Remember, you are reading and recording interesting informatin about your topic in your Homework Journal, and citing each one of your sources.  Enjoy these few extra days of discovery!


    Week of October 29-November 2

    Dear Team 312 Parents and Friends,

    You are invited to attend the 4X6 Presidential Debate

    Monday, November 5th

    2-3 p.m.

    MLC Auditorium

    This event will give the MLC community an opportunity to hear from each of the 4 political parties and meet the candidates. 

    In other news...


    Posterity Party Belief Statement and Plank Group Expository Paragraph:  Read and practice saying these outloud.  These are paragraphs in our "Whistle Stop" Stump Speech.  We will be giving our speech around MLC as we continue to campaign in the upcoming days.  Practice saying these at least 5 times tonight.  Remember the "power of the pause", and find places of importance in the paragraph to stop and look at your audience.

    Reading Street Grammar Book:  Clauses and Complex Sentences, pages 17-20.  This will go home on Wednesday.  Due: 11/6

    Math Packets went home on Tuesday and are  also due on 11/6.

    Camp Hancock Science Research:   There is a lot of great research happening!  Keep enjoying the process of discovery, taking those excellent notes about what you are learning, and making sure to record where you are finding your information (cite source).   Bring your Homework Journal back to school with you each and every day!

    MLC PIzza Night is Friday, November 2nd.

    The Book Faire is going on all week! 

    Chinook Book orders are due!  Thanks for all of your participation in this important fundraiser.  A huge thank you to Tanya for organizing. 



    MLC's Halloween Celebration is this Friday!


    This Friday, October 26th, we will celebrate our creative costuming capabilities during MLC's annual Halloween Celebration.

    Here are some things to know:

    Dressing in a costume is optional.  Even if a full-blown costume is not your thing, perhaps a funny wig, an "out of the ordinary" piece of clothing/hat or some face paint will help contribute to the spirit of the day.

    Be creative with your costumes.  "Do It Yourself" costumes are highly encouraged!

    Come to school dressed in your costume.

    We will parade with other classrooms beginning at 9:45.

    Classroom activities will begin about 10:15.

    Snacks for the Team 312 celebration from 11-11:30 can be brought in on Friday morning.  Please consider donating a food treat for this event.  Delicious and nutritious snacks are the best!

    Looking forward to celebrating the day with you!


    Camp Hancock At-Home Research Project!

    Hello 4X5 MLC Science Enthusiasts!

    It has been a week since our return from OMSI’s Camp Hancock.  This week, you have spent a bit of time thinking back on your trip by creating a Memory Map of special moments and brainstorming some of the science and cultural topics you learned about during your visit to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

    In the upcoming weeks we will be continuing our learning journey by talking and writing about our memories and new understandings of our natural world.  Some of this work we will do together at school and some you will be doing as your main homework project.

    The guidelines for the “at home” part are outlined below.  We will talk about this assignment often in class.  You and your parents should use this as a reference during the next 4 weeks when you are working on this project at home.

    4X5 Camp Hancock Homework Project:  “Digging Deeper” into a Science Topic of My Choice

    October 19th - November 16th, 2012

    Part 1:  Picking a Topic and Learning More through Research

    Part 2:  Sharing What I Learned with Others:   Brochure and Presentation

    Overview:  Your primary homework for the next 4 weeks is to pick ONE topic or idea from your visit to Camp Hancock and “dig deeper” through research and further exploration.  You will then share what you have learned by creating a large, three-fold stand-up brochure that will be on display at school.  Be ready to teach large and small groups about your topic, using your visual display and talking points. 


    October 19-November 2:  For the next two weeks, you will focus on discovering all you can about your topic and writing down what you have learned in your Homework Journal.  (See the attached Note Taking Tips).  You should locate at least 3 resources.  These can include but are not limited to books, magazines, the Internet, video and audio resources and personal interviews.  An encyclopedia is a great resource! Please try and find information from different resources.  In other words, try not to just use ONLY the Internet. 


    It is very important that you record in your Homework Journal where you found your information!  Write these details (your sources) at the top of each page in your journal where you have recorded your research notes.


    We will “check in” here at school about the research you are doing at home so plan to bring your Homework Journal back to school with you every day.


    November 2-November 16  Focus on organizing what you’ve learned into categories and thinking about what you want to tell people about your topic.  You will write a juicy, detail-packed expository paragraph which will be included in your display, as well as a “TOP 10 LIST” of important things people need to know about your topic.  During this week, you will also be creating an eye-catching visual display.  This 3-fold brochure will be one of your main ways of showing what you know.  You will see examples and receive brochure paper and a guideline for creating this visual display.


    Homework “To Do” Tips and Plan


    Big projects are fun challenges that require time management and self discipline!  Here are some helpful hints to think about and plan for as you complete your project.


    ·        Work on your project a little bit every day.  30-45 minutes is an appropriate amount of time.  Weekends are O.K., too!


    ·        Gather your resources first.  Books, science magazines, Internet websites, personal interviews and visits to science museums and centers are all options.  Kiva can help you, and your parents will probably need to help you some as well!  A visit to your local library is highly encouraged. 


    ·        If you use the Internet, select credible sources.  Web addresses that end in “gov” or “edu” are good choices.


    There are many resources out there!  Here are a few to try:


    John Day Fossil Beds National Monument                   http://www.nps.gov/joda/

    Oregon Historical Society                                                http://www.ohs.org/

    OMSI Instructor, Spaceman Dan’s site                  http://www.spacemandan.net/


    ·        Regardless of where you get your information, WRITE IT DOWN IN YOUR HOMEWORK JOURNAL!  You can use as many pages as you need.  As you take notes, remember to write down what source the information came from.  We will practice this important skill in class this week. 


    ·        Put great effort into writing your notes in a neat and organized way. 


    ·        Ask for help if you need it!  If an adult offers advice, consider taking it.  Parents and teachers have all done research before and may have suggestions that will help you along the way.


    ·        Be curious and creative!  If you read something that causes you to question or to wonder about it, go searching for the answers.  Look for opportunities to put your our special touch on the work you create.


                                          Note Taking Tips


    Expository Text (non-fiction) is organized into paragraphs. Each paragraph usually has a TOPIC that it is explaining/describing.  Often, the TOPIC is stated in the FIRST SENTENCE (Topic Sentence).  The other sentences in the paragraph provide you with DETAILS about the topic (Detail Sentences). 


    If you remember this, then you can read for both the TOPIC and the DETAILS in every paragraph!


    Consider reading each paragraph TWICE.


    1)      First time, just for pleasure and understanding.

    2)      Second time, to pick out the TOPIC and DETAILS.


    When you are ready to write notes about the information in the text, think about the 3-5 most important words in each sentence.  Write those down.


    Here’s an example.


                                                                Clarno Formation


    The Clarno Formation, the oldest formation found around Camp Hancock, has been dated to 55-35 million years ago.  It primarily consists of mud flows (lahars) that started in the Clarno Volcano Range that lined the present John Day River valley.  Unlike today, the Pacific Ocean lay only 100 miles west of Clarno.  Without the Cascades Mountains, there was not rain shadow effect.  Combined with the fact that the world’s climate was overall warmer, the result was subtropical rain forest.  Over 100 inches of rain fell annually, allowing the lush, broad-leaved plants to grow quickly over the volcano slopes.


    There are 6 sentences in this paragraph.  Here’s what notes could look like in a Homework Journal.

    Clarno Formation

    1)      Oldest formation, 55-35 mya

    2)      Mostly mud flows called lahars from Clarno Volcano Range

    3)      Pacific Ocean was only 100 miles away

    4)      No Cascade Mts=No rainshadow effect

    5)      Warmer climate means sub-tropical rainforest

    6)       100 inches rain every year/ many fast growing broad-leaved plants


    Important!  During this research month, the reading you are doing about your topic and the notes you write will take the place of your 30 minutes of nightly reading and your Reading Response homework!  : ) 


    We look forward to learning from you the week of November 19th!









    Week of October 15-19

    It's been a busy week back from our travels east to OMSI's Camp Hancock.   Lots to do!


    Nightly Reading:  Please continue to find time in your evening to cozy up with a book or magazine or other type of reading material of your choice.  I am holding on to the Homework Journals this week so you are not doing a Readers Response about what your are reading.

    Reading Street Grammar Book:   Subjects and Predicates pages 9-12

    Math:  Your math packet is due next Tuesday, October 23rd.

    Camp Hancock Memory Map:  When you think back on our week away, what stands out in your mind?  Please draw and write a brief explanation about 4-5 memories you have from our trip.  We will use these memories in writing projects we'll be working on here at school.

    Posterity Party Belief Statement:  On Thursday you brought home your blue Composition Book.  Please re-read the work you have already done inside of this book.  As you read, finish any work that might not be done or add your new ideas to pages.  If you add anything, please draw a line between the work you did earlier and what you write tonight.  

    On the next clean page in your Composition Book, please write your ideas about the Posterity Party's Belief Statement.  As a group of concerned citizens, what do you think the members of the Posterity Party believe about:

    How our country's problems should be solved? 

    How the government should operate? 

    The manner in which people in leadership roles motivate and lead others? 

    The kind of future we want for ourselves and our posterity?

    What the best ways are to reach our nation's short and long term goals?

    Remember:  Our political party believes in the idea of TRANQUILITY as stated in the Pre-amble to the Constitution.

    Bring your ideas to class with you on Friday.

    On another note, tomorrow you will begin your At-Home Camp Hancock Research Project.  This is a month-long project, researching a topic of your choice that you learned about at Camp Hancock and would like know more!  Details to follow!!

    Lost and Found:  Is anyone missing a bracelet?  If so, see Susan.

    Getting Ready for Camp Hancock!

    This week we are getting ourselves ready for our big trip east to

    OMSI's Camp Hancock Field Station! 

    You did not bring your Homework Journal home with you this week.  Please find time to read but you will not be doing Readers Responses.

    Next week we will be spending a major part of our day outside, hiking the trails of the John Day Fossil Beds National MonumentYahooo!!!!! We will be using our observation skills to help us learn about the plants, animals and geology of this special area of Oregon.

    This week, you will be locating a "sit spot" outside to do part of your homework.    Here are some things to think about when choosing your perfect homework sit spot:

    Have it be a place where you can visit every day this week (Monday-Thursday).

    Make sure it is safe--for yourself and other living things.

    Find a "sit spot" that is comfortable and will allow you to see things that are close to you and far away from you, too.

    If you can, pick a place that is on the ground or allows you to sit on something not created by people.  In other words, try to avoid sitting in a chair, on a bench, in a swing, etc.

    Today you brought home a field guide of Oregon and Washington: Wetland Wildlife and their Habitats.  Every afternoon/evening this week, plan to take this field guide with you to your outdoor sit spot.  On Monday, browse this book!  What do you notice that makes you wonder more?  How is this field guide organized?  What information does it include?  Bring your guide back to school and be ready to share some of these first notices with the Team on Tuesday.

    Nature Sightings:  You also brought home a large index card.  This is a place for you to record your nature sightings and notices in both drawings and words.  Here's what to do:

    1)  Get comfy in your sit spot.  Maybe even take three deep breaths like Sandra has been teaching us to do with Yoga Calm.   Now, just sit.  Look around you.  What do you see?  Keep looking.  What catches your eye.  Try to sit this way for 3-5 minutes.

    2)  One side of the index card is a place for you to write whatever comes to mind for you while sitting in your sit spot.  Are you inspired to write a poem?  Make a list of all the nouns you see?  Remember a special memory of something you did in the space around you?  It's up to you! 

    3)  The other side of the index card is a place for you to sketch something in nature around you that you noticed during those first few minutes.  Plan to spend 5-10 minutes sketching.  It doesn't have to go with what you chose to write about.  Pick something and try to draw not what you think you see but what you actually notice when looking really closely. 

    A new card will come home with you in the days to come!

    In other homework news:

    The Posterity Party has a presidential candidate--Anna Albertson! 

    In several weeks time, Ms. Alberston will be sharing her platform with other presidential candidates from the other three political parties at MLC in a public debate of the issues.  The people working on her campaign (Team 312!!) will make sure she is ready for this big event!

    On Wednesday evening, the two presidential candidates running in the this year's election (Mitt Romney and Barack Obama) will be discussing important issues facing the United States today.  If you have a television at home, please plan to watch part of this debateIt will begin at 6 p.m. and ends at about 7:30 p.m.  A journal page will come home in your homework packet on Wednesday.  It is a place for you to take notes about what you observe from watching and listening to both candidates answer the questions asked by the moderator.

    Finally, because we will be at Camp Hancock next week, both your math and your Reading Street homework is shortened to two pages instead of the usual four.  They are due on Friday.

    Parents!! Thank you for getting those all important Camp Hancock forms in!! 

    NEWSFLASH!!  Next Monday, please have your children here with all of their gear packed at ready to go at 7:45 a.m.  Meet us on the blacktop!

    Have a wonderful week!



    The Last Week in September--already!

    Hi Team 312,

    You have really done some great thinking this week about what it takes to be a great (supreme...fantastic...amazing) leader!  Use your collective ideas as you complete this week's homework Journal 3.

    What's Due:

    New Homework - We just cracked open our Reading Street Grammar and Writing Practice Books for the 1st time. (Parents: These books are one of the ways that we are tackling our Schoolwide Improvement Plan which focuses on writing.  More specifically, the plan focuses on Organization and Conventions.  We nurture the love and practice of writing for many different purposes and audiences in our classroom throughout the year, and these books are part of an effort to have students become even more fluent with their writing conventions.) 

    The Grammar/Writing Practice Book assignments are given on Tuesdays and due the following Tuesday.  You have 7 days to do 4 pages of practice.  It will be a great opportunity to make decisions about how to manage your time. 

    "Will I do 2 pages on Tuesday evening?  And then 2 more on Thursday?"

    "Will I try to crank them all out on a Wednesday?"                or

    "Will I spread the four pages out over the seven days?"  Who knows!  

    This week's focus is on Declarative and Interrogative SentencesComplete pages 1-4.  Due on Tuesday, October 2nd

    The Posterity Party (the Tranquility Party's new and improved party name!) will be selecting its presidential candidate by week's end.  On Thursday, please bring in Journal 3; a head and shoulders sketch of your ideal candidate and a biography of important details about this person's life.  You could include information about the candidate's education, occupation, ancestry, hobbies, family life...it's up to you.  On Thursday you will have one minute to introduce the members of the Posterity Party to your candidate.  I would suggest practicing what you are going to say a couple times and maybe even timing its length, too.

    Remember to date and record the start and stop times on your Readers Response each evening.

    Your math packet is always due on Tuesday!

    Parents:  Thank you for getting the Camp Hancock forms and payment in by this Friday, September 28th.   We need to let the kitchen staff at Camp Hancock know of any dietary restrictions so they can prepare for us.  It is important we receive all of this information from you in a timely manner so thanks for your attention to these important details! 

    The Week of September 17, 2012

    Here is what's happening this week!


    My Homework Journal:  Please read this important cover page with at least one of your parents.  When you are done reading and talking about the purpose of your Homework Journal, you and your parent should both sign your names at the bottom.

    Reading:  My hope for you this school year is that you get your hands and minds on many different types of reading materials and genres of books. Be on the look out for books and other things to read that you might not have immediately picked up in the past. 

    On Monday you added another important resource to your Homework Journal--a list of topics you could write about after your 30 minutes of reading.  I expect that your writing will fill at least 1/2 of a page and likely more! Use those questions as "jumping off" points into thinking about what is happening in the book and your connection to the characters, setting, and plot.

    Please remember to write the date, R.R. (for Reader's Response) and start and stop times in the upper corner of the page!

    Journal 2:  On Tuesday you will learn which "plank committee" you will be on and begin doing a bit of thinking at home about the important topic/issue you have been assigned.  Journal 2 also gives you a chance to think about a name for our political party that has a common interest of insuring domestic tranquility for the United States.  This is due on Thursday.

    Parents!  Here is a little backstory about our work with political parties: 

    All 4x6 classrooms recently joined up for a meeting to celebrate and share some of our learning about political parties and the preamble of the Constitution of the U.S.  Students looked closely at the words of the preamble and determined which ones seemed to stand out as particularly important.  From those words we narrowed it down to even fewer words, as we considered which ones might be significant enough to be the basis of a political party.  Some of the options selected were union, justice, tranquility, defense, welfare, and liberty.  We placed the words in a hat and each class drew a word.  AND THE 4 POLITICAL PARTIES WERE BORN!!  We are the Tranquility Party.

    We are now working to learn what we can about the word Tranquility, beginning with student background knowledge, then leading into dictionary work (definition, synonyms, antonyms), and finally, an exercise in personification inspired by The Book of Qualities by  J. Ruth Gendler.  What would Tranquility look like if she/he were a person?  What would she do in her spare time?  What would he wear?  How would she move?  What would he collect? etc...  A committee of 6 students are taking the ideas generated from art and writing of the whole class and creating two life size representations of Tranquility.  You'll be meeting them both at Curriculum Night this Thursday!

    Yesterday, members of the Tranquility party spent some time thinking, writing and talking about issues/topics they feel are important for leaders of the United States to be focusing on right now.  These ideas were narrowed down into 6 categories or "planks". 

    The Planks of the Tranquility Party are:  Social Services, Foreign Affairs, Environment, Economy, Education, and Healthcare.


    Monday afternoon, your child nominated themself to be on one of these political plank committees.  (They chose top favorite and two back up choices.)  On Tuesday they will find out which committee they will be working on and Journal 2 will give them a chance to begin thinking about the issue.  Ask them what their top choices were and why!  : )                                                             Thanks to Caryn for writing up this overview!

    Do you remember the words to the PREAMBLE?  We will share this with the rest of the school on Wednesday morning at the all school gathering!  Practice it a couple times at home!

    Math:  A math packet will come home on Tuesdays and it is always due the following Tuesday.  Make sure to give your parents the letter to them!

    Camp Hancock Forms are due by September 28th.  See earlier posts for more information.

    In other news...

    Wednesday, 9/19:  MLC All School Gathering and Picnic in Washington Park

    Our first all school gathering of the year will begin at 10:15 in the auditorium and then we will be walking up to Washington Park, arriving at around 11:30 a.m.  We will all eat together on the field (yes, the whole school!) and then activities will begin at noon.  We will start walking back to school at about 1:45 p.m.

    Please make sure your child has a lunch plan for the day (sack lunches are available through our school kitchen), a full water bottle, and a backpack.  It is going to be a gorgeous day!  Can you join us? 

    Thursday, 9/20:  Curriculum Night--this is an adult only event!           6:30-8:00 p.m.

    Parents, please meet in the auditorium at  6:30 p.m.  for a brief welcome from Ms. Macarre.  We will then walk together up to the classroom (Room 312) for about 30 minutes, finishing back up in the auditorium as a 4X6 Team.   


    At Home Reading


    Yesterday was our first  Reading Response Journal assignment. This is glued into your Homework Journal.  REMEMBER YOUR HOMEWORK JOURNAL EVERY DAY!!!  The assignment is to...

    Select something you can read (mostly) by yourself.  Set a timer.  Read for at least 30 minutes (two 15 minute segments are fine.)  On the lines below the glued-in instructions, write a "re-tell" of your 1st night of reading.

    You could write about where you like to read, what you like to read, what is happening in your book, your feelings about what is happening in your book, your feelings about reading, you as an expert reader....it's up to you!  Please try and neatly fill the remaining part of the page with your re-tell / thinking.

    You should read and write every night this week!

    I would suggest you re-read the My Homework Journal page outloud to your parents so they are clear what the journal is for.  Other materials that came home tonight that could count for your 30 minutes of reading are letters about our Chinook Book Fundraiser and a letter from Denise about P.E.

    Please complete the Interest Inventory and Summer 2012 homework and bring it with you tomorrow (Wednesday).

    In other news...

    A note about 4X6 supply purchases came home today. Please bring in $35 to cover the school supplies I have purchased and we will be using this school year.    I will  post a list of all of the supplies we purchased for the classroom on the bulletin board outside of the classroom so stop by if you are interested in knowing where your money is going.  If you need a partial or full scholarship, please send along your request for that in writing.  An e-mail is fine.   Please make checks payable to MLC.  Thank you!

    Camp Hancock Update!                                October 8-11, 2012

    On Friday your child will bring home the all-important permission slip forms for this trip, along with additional "what to pack" information.  

    Enjoy this lovely evening!


    Busy Beginnings


    September 10, 2012

    Hello 2012-2013 4th and 5th Grade MLC Families,

    Welcome to the school year!  The 4x5 team is off to a wonderful start.  What a treat getting to know this new combination of kids!

    We are delighted to share with you a wonderful learning opportunity your children have this fall.  It is a long-standing MLC tradition for  4th and 5th graders to visit OMSI’s Camp Hancock Field Station, located in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument area near Fossil, Oregon.  This visit is a multi-day, science and outdoor education learning experience.   We will be going to Camp Hancock as a 4X5 Team from Monday, October 8th- Thursday, October 11th. During our visit, the OMSI staff will introduce your children to the unique geology and geography of Oregon’s high desert region as well as natural science concepts related to plant and animal classification.  They will also engage in the science inquiry process of collecting and analyzing data to answer scientific questions.   There is no place like Camp Hancock to view the night sky and the astronomy program offered is a highlight for many.

    In addition to the excellent science instruction provided, students also have opportunities to participate in sunrise hikes and share their favorite songs, poems, stories, and skits during our evening campfire sessions.  There is time built into every busy day for students to have some quiet time in their cabins and recreational free time outside on the Camp Hancock grounds.  The rock climbing wall is always a favorite!  We stay in gender specific cabins and enjoy tasty meals together in the dining hall.  Students help to prepare sack lunches each morning to take along on their field study excursions.

    After reading this, you might be wishing that as a parent you could go on this trip with your child.  Well, you can!  In fact, this trip would not be possible without a committed group of parent volunteers willing to drive students to camp AND be cabin chaperones. Typically, we need about 16 parent chaperones to transport students to and from the camp and supervise students when they are not with their teachers or Camp Hancock staff.  All volunteers have some time off from their responsibilities during the week, and an unlimited amount of coffee and tea is available at all times during the day or evening hours.  There is also some refrigerator space available for adults who wish to bring a couple items to satisfy their own dietary needs.  If you are interested in chaperoning, please let us know by next Monday (9/17/12.)   

    Costs for students will be $240.00 and chaperones  $140.00.  Our PTSA generously provides financial support to families needing financial assistance in the way of partial scholarships.  All you need to do is to write either of us a brief note, stating your needs and possible payment plan.                                                                                                                                        


    This Friday, September 14                  ------               4 x 5  Jamison Square Park for Fountain Frolic

    Please help us be allowed to go on this trip by turning in your Opening Day Packets and Registration Forms by Thursday, the 13th Kathleen needs to process these forms before we go on any field trips.  We would love to have 2 parent chaperones from each class join us for this trip.  We will leave at 10:30 on Friday morning.  CAN YOU COME?

    This Friday, September 14!!               ------               Camp Hancock Parent Chaperone Volunteer

                                                                                           Request Forms Due  (attached)


    Monday, September 17                      ------                4 x 5 Night of the Swifts  Join Caryn and Susan and 4 x 5 families for a meet and greet night of bird appreciation -  Chapman Elementary School, arrive at around 6:15  (Parent Supervision required, this is not an official school sponsored event)


    Wednesday, September 19                ------              ALL SCHOOL PICNIC 

    We anticipate leaving the building between 9:30 and 10, and returning between 2 and 2:30.  Again, we would LOVE to have 2 parent chaperones per class to join us on our walk to and from Washington Park.  It’s good fun!  Please email Caryn or Susan to communicate your interest.

    Thursday, September 20                     ------               4 x 6 Curriculum Night, 6:30 pm

    This is a parent/guardian/grown-up event.  Please stay tuned for information on whether or not childcare will be provided by KCLC.  Thank you.

    Thursday, September 27                     ------               Fall Trimester Elective Sign-up

    Catalogues will go out about a week in advance.  Laura needs volunteers to help this run smoothly.  Please email her at lbullock@pps.net  if you can lend a hand.

    Thursday, October 25                          ------ Picture Re-takes

    PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR CLASS WEBPAGE REGULARLY for 4x5 UPDATES and HOMEWORK INFORMATION!   Our school’s web address is  http://www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/mlc/

    Thank you so much for all of your attention, participation, and care with these details.


    Caryn Cushman and Susan Beaird



    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Welcome to our Team 312 webpage! 

    I am sitting here in a quiet classroom, smiling about the our first two days together.  Already I can see just how dedicated you all are to making sure that the school year gets off to a grand beginning.  Thank you for giving so much of the work we have done so far this year your best effort and attention. 

    I hope you will get into the habit of often visiting the MLC website, especially our webpage.  I will do my very best to post homework expectations and classroom news in a timely manner. 


    We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    For the Preamble of the Constitution set to a catchy tune, and it's OK with your parents, search on YouTube for a School House Rock snippet.  The goal is to memorize the Preamble by Monday, 9/10.

    We have used our collective background knowledge and our classroom dictionaries (two wonderful resources!) as we begin thinking about the following words:

           platform                        issues

    candidate                        vote

    constituents                     campaign

    convention                        debate

            election                         caucus

    Tonight (Thursday), please visit with members in your family about these words and the following questions:  What is a political party?  How do they differ?  How are they similar? 

    Use Journal 1 to record your ideas and bring it with you to class on Friday, September 7th.

    Classroom News:

    Back to School Packets are due on Friday, September 14thWe are planning to do our first walking field trip to Jamison Fountain on Friday morning.  We need all forms turned in before you can go on any field trips this school year. 

    4X5 Trip to OMSI's Camp Hancock:  Monday, October 8th-Thursday, October 11th.  Be on the lookout for more information coming home next week.  We will need at least a dozen chaperone/drivers for this trip. Please consider joining us!

    Picture Day is Monday, September 10th

    4X6 Curriculum Night is Thursday, September 20th

    Looking forward to working with you!