Class Notes for Dec. 8-12, 2014

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First a shout out to our friends down at Reed College. Lewis Elementary is lucky to have close proximity and a close relationship with two components of Reed College’s various outreach programs.

One is the Science Outreach program. That brings world-class experiments and experiences to 4th and 5th grade students. Last year this class got to watch salmon eggs hatch and develop through the alevin stage, then release them into the Willamette River. This year the class was able to explore physics by making a small electric motor, working on a Rube Goldberg device, and finally, watch liquid turn into solid by making sorbet from fruit juice. We said goodbye to our Reed teachers and their leader Kristy Gonyer on Wednesday and hope to see the same ones in early February when Reed Science starts up again.

The other Reed outreach program is through their Art department. Reed’s art gallery, Cooley Gallery, changes exhibits every 9-12 weeks and Lewis students are offered the opportunity to visit and learn about the current shows. Outreach Coordinator Gregory MacNaughton has a gift for engaging students of all ages in discussions about not only the specific pieces of art on display, but art in general. He came into the class on Wednesday to give a preview and led the class through the gallery on Friday. See the blog for student observations of our trip down to Reed College. I take a calligraphy/lettering class from Gregory and other calligraphers once a month at Reed College. We will start working with calligraphy in January.

We will participate in the Hour of Code (more about code.org) this week. Last year’s class did this and the kids loved it. Millions of other students from around the world will be joining us for this annual (for the time being) event.

On Friday, the class got a short tour of the village, Lewisville, that almost everybody in the class contributed to (we’ve got two more students to go for 100% participation). I was amazed by the fluent way many of the class members constructed their houses when it was their turn. I’m thinking the people of Lewisville will need a school soon, so that could be our next project.

The class worked on Native American presentations last week and will finish up and start presenting them this week and next. I’m looking forward to learning along with the class.

Please put the morning of Friday, Dec. 19th on your calendar for the inaugural 5th-Grade Family Breakfast and Singalong. Modeled after last year’s successful 4th- grade family breakfasts, 5th graders and their families are invited to join in for a fun time from 8:15 to 9:30. I will send more information home during the week.

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About Mr. Colvin

I'm a retired elementary teacher (classroom and music) who taught at Lewis and Woodmere elementary schools in SE Portland. I like to teach, play guitar, take photos, and ride my bike.
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