9/15/17 – Our first full week of school!!


Upcoming Dates:   

  • September 20th: Local history field trip to Ashcroft
  • September 27th: Local history field trip to Holden Marolt + Wheeler Stallard
  • September 28th: Harvest El Tioga (proceeds to support recent flood victims) => Thank you for those who signed up to help with this event at Back to School Night!  We still need volunteers, see info below.
  • September 29th:  No School – Teacher Work Day
  • October 6th: All School BBQ
  • October 10-13:  Denver Field Trip
  • TBD : 3-4 El Tioga (proceeds to support lowering cost of upcoming experiential trip to Denver)


  • Next week’s snack person is:  Kelli!
  • Please send students in closed-toe walking shoes and with extra layers/rain jacket for the field trip to Ashcroft on Wednesday.  They will also need a water bottle and lunch.  We welcome parents who would like to join us on this field trip.  Please let us know!
  • Garden Harvest El Tioga on Sept. 28th. Thanks to everyone who has signed up!      We are still looking for:
    • 1 Soup serving 15-20
    • 1 Salad serving 15-20
    • 1 Dessert serving 15-20
    • 1 Set-up, serve, clean-up helpers

With Gratitude:  

  • Thank you, Spencer and family, for bringing in nutritious snacks the this week to school!
  • Thank you, parents, for joining us at Back to School night.  Please see bottom of post for summary of discussion.

Class News:  

Penelope presenting her meteorologist report!
Smuggler Mine was a success! What a great learning experience!


What a great week in 3-4! We successfully accomplished our first full week of school by getting into reader’s workshop, writer’s workshop, math class and other routines.

In reader’s workshop students are building good reader’s habits by learning to read books that are “just right” for them, how to read books with excitement as if “the book is gold,” and how to instill good reading practices at home. Parents, we can’t thank you enough for supporting your kids with 20-30 minutes of reading each night marked on their reading logs!

3rd grade writers are off to a great start with personal narratives. Children are writing about small moments in time from their memory. This is always fun for the group because we really get to know each other through our stories. 4th grade writers are beginning to write realistic fiction stories, and they are SO excited! We are toying around with realistic fiction stories inspired by Colorado history, so our trip to Smuggler mine was a perfect experience to build story ideas.

Speaking of Smuggler Mine, wow! Parents, if you haven’t been into Smuggler Mountain yet, GO! It is fascinating! The students learned about how to track silver veins in order to find nuggets, the dangers of being a miner, and the mythical creatures called Tommy Knocker’s that are said to have played pranks on miners.

Both third and fourth graders are working on multiplication concepts in their first unit.  Third graders brainstormed things that come in groups or a certain number to use in creating multiplication story problems.  They are discovering strategies to solve these problems.  Fourth graders worked with partners to find all the arrays for a number.  For example, there are 3 ways to make 12 (1×12, 2×6, 3×4).  Before launching into our first units, we spent last week working together to build a community of math learners.  We watched some short videos that gave us some powerful math messages to think about and use through the year. (i.e. Everyone can learn math. Embrace mistakes and challenges. Thinking deeply is more important than speed.)

We had a few sicknesses going around this week, some sore throats, some upset tummies, some fevers. Please make sure that your child gets enough sleep this weekend, is washing their hands a lot, and helping to keep our community happy and healthy. Thanks for your support with this!

Student Class News – from reporters Jax and Josie:

In writing the 3rd graders are writing personal narratives the 4th graders are writing realistic fiction.   In math the 3rd and 4th graders are in a multiplication and division  unit.  On Wednesday we had a field trip we went to  the Smuggler silver Mine. The ice cream social was held on Wednesday.  The weekend is almost here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Back to school night was on Wednesday.


Reading homework: Read “just right” (appropriate leveled) books 20 minutes (bumped up to 30 min. later in the year) every night, log reading, and return log and book bag the next day. We are looking for accurate recording whenever possible. This is an important routine in the 3rd and 4th grade.  Scaffold independence by discussing a place to keep their book bags, remind them to start their log before they read, and have them return bag right to backpack if your child is forgetting.  Eventually we want them being responsible for these types of organizational skills, but understand it may be a process. They need to have their book bags at school every day.

Friday to Thursday homework: The week-long homework this week is focused around supporting their reading life at home.  They have been asked to make a sketch of their best reading spot, list some reading habits that will help them be successful, and write a “book buzz” on a favorite book that they read recently.  There is also a math letter for parents to read in their folders that offers information on math in this first unit.

Summary of Back to School Night:  

  • Weekly schedule (see page in handout)   
  • Communication –  It is best to email, even if the goal is to talk on phone or in person, email is the best way to initiate.  We appreciate you emailing all three of us together.
  • Blog –  This will be our primary mode of communicating class news to you.  If it is a quick reminder or time/location specific (i.e. field trip agendas), we will send out an email.  Please subscribe to our blog if you haven’t already!  When you do, you will receive an email reminder when a post has been added (usually Friday afternoon).
  • Homework (see above notes in blog post)
  • Supporting Life Long Learners –  (please see reading/math resources in handout)
  • Birthdays –  We pick a poem for each child’s birthday and sing as a class at the end of the day.  We welcome a birthday treat for the child to pass out at the end of the day if you choose.
  • Community Snack –  Thank you for providing nutritious, easy to grab and go snacks!
  • Conferences –  In early November they are parent teacher; the spring are student-led.   These days are really important to us and your child’s learning, so thank you for in advance for being available to meet on those specific conference days.
  • Field trips
    • Denver: an experiential learning experience to explore Colorado’s history and statehood.  We will need 5 parent volunteers to commit to the length of the trip, staying in a hotel room with 4 students and be the ‘leader’ of these kids while on excursions.  If you want to volunteer please email us!
    • Desert Camping Trip: an outdoor education experience in which the desert is our classroom for the week!  It is an amazing trip and we are always looking for ways to make it a safer and better experience for kids. It is also a backpacking trip, so we will get a pack list out early to you.  There will be an informational meeting on this trip later in the year.  
  • Volunteers! WE love you!
    • All School effort: Garden Harvest El Tioga Sept 28th with donations being given to Literacy Lifeboats, a charity that delivers books to school affected by natural disasters.
    • Put on by 3-4: El Tioga TBD to lower the cost of our Denver field trip.