18131 S. Redland Rd., Oregon City, Oregon 97045 

Phone: 503-785-8500 | Fax: 503-631-7645

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Learning Around Our School

This page contains recent information about what students are learning at school and how parents can support their success at home.  Please contact your child's teacher for more information!


May 5th:

Kinder Math:  Math word problems were the focus of our math time in April.  Every day we practiced the following steps:

  1. Listen to the problem.
  2. Draw a simple picture of the problem.
  3. Solve the problem using an equation.
  4. Explain your thinking and work.

 This is a great activity to practice while making dinner, shopping at the store or driving in the car!

April 28th:

1st Grade Science:  In first grade science, we are learning how to categorize animals based on specific attributes. We are currently working in the vertebrate family with birds.  Our next animal will be fish, then amphibians, reptiles and mammals (B-FARM).  We hope to have most if not all of these animals covered prior to our zoo trip on May 16th. At the zoo we will be looking to categorize the animals we see!  Can't wait!

April 21st:

2nd Grade Social Studies:  Our new unit of study is geography, and we all know the 7 continents! As we learn more about our world, it would be wonderful for families to share the places their relatives came from and what celebrations your family participates in.  We are also learning map skills including directions using a compass rose. Please continue to send out the letters and pictures of Flat Stanley to friends and family.

April 14th:

3rd Grade Writing:  We will begin planning and writing narrative stories. Good narrative stories use details to describe all the important elements of an event (Who, what, when, where, and why.) Stories should be focused and stick to one main idea.  We will talk about how unimportant details should be left out of the story.  Narrative stories should be organized in a logical way making it easy and exciting for a person to read.  After we have completed our stories, we will publish our stories and share them with the class.

5th Grade Math:  For the month of April the 5th Grade students will be developing skills in mathematics that will allow them to evaluate and simplify algebraic expressions by using the Order of Operations. They will also explore the use of generating ordered pairs by using the first quadrant of a coordinate plane.  They think this is pretty fun; have your student show you how to do it!


April 7th:

Kinder Health:  Bones, muscles and digestion, OH MY! We learned about our skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems in our recent health unit! We discussed how our muscles make our bones move, where our food goes after we chew it and practiced moving our body to feel our respiratory and circulatory systems hard at work!

4th Grade Math:  Fourth grade has been learning fractions! We have been learning to add and subtract fractions with like denominators, to multiply fractions, and to change an improper fraction to a mixed number and a mixed number to an improper fraction.  Ask your child to teach you!


March 10th:

3rd Grade Math:  We are well on our way into our unit on fractions.  Students will build fractions from unit fractions and explore fractions as parts of a while.  Students will find equivalent fractions, and compare fractions with either the same denominator or the same numerator.  At home, you can reinforce the concept of fractions by cooking with your child and discussing the role that fractions play in the real world.  Legos are another fun way to discuss fractions with your child!


Feb 25th:

Kindergarten Reading:  Here are the sight words your child should know up to this point:  I,  see,  said,  the,  an,  and.  Students may also know:  that,  was,  did,  this,  with,  can,  she,  he.  You can practice these words at home and have your child point out words they know in your nightly reading.

2nd Grade Reading:  In reading we are exploring two versions of a fairy tale and working on comparing and contrasting them (same and different).  We are also working on asking and answering questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how in reading, writing, science, and social studies.  When we answer, we need to give evidence (proof). For example, “I know that Little Red Riding Hood didn’t listen to her grandmother when she said to stay on the path because she went off the path to pick the flowers.” This shows that our students understand what they have read or heard.  We are also working on identifying text features (captions, bold print, glossaries) in informational text.  Lastly, we are continuing to identify the main topic in informational texts and connect that to other events or concepts. Wow – we are learning so much!

Feb 18th:

3rd Grade Writing:  We have been hard at work writing opinion pieces.  We are learning that when we share our opinions, we have to give support to help convince the reader and persuade them to agree with us.  We are also learning that all people may not share the same opinion, and that is okay.  Your child can be working on Google Docs at home to practice writing about their opinions.

5th Grade Social Studies & Reading:  The month of February brings our long anticipated “What is Justice?” unit for our reading and language arts.  Fairness and Human Rights will be the focus in our National Geographic curriculum.  The Underground Railroad, Civil War, Farmworkers Rights, and the Suffrage Movement will all be students to help students gain differing perspectives of our world today.

Jan 21st:

1st Grade Reading:  First graders are working on becoming "voracious" readers!  We read ALL day and we read lots of different kinds of materials.  We read story problems in math, poetry and lots and lots of books.  Have you even just needed a day to lay around in your PJ’s and read a good book?  Maybe sit with your friends and talk about your favorite story?  That’s what we have planned on Friday, January 29th in First Grade.  Your child may wear their favorite PJ’s (no footies please), bring a small favorite stuffed animal and a favorite book if they’d like (optional, of course!).  Happy Reading!

Jan 14th:

Kinder Math:  Your child is learning about partners of numbers.  We call the number pairs that make up a number “partners” because they go together to make that number.  For example, 6 has partners:  1 & 5, 2 & 4, 3 & 3.  The partner idea is very important for understanding numbers.  It will help your child understand addition and subtraction.  You can help your child see partners in everyday life.  When you have a small number of objects, for example, 5 crackers, you can ask your child to make the partners of 5.  Your child can show 1 cracker and 4 crackers and can also show 2 and 3 crackers.  Doing this often with different objects will help your child to understand numbers.

Jan 6th:

3rd Grade Math:  Our new math unit will focus on geometry.  Students will be learning to classify and compare geometric shapes.  Students will also further their basic understanding of area and perimeter and begin learning LOTS of vocabulary words related to geometry!

Dec 17th:

Kinder Science with Mrs. Teel:  Winter is almost here.  We have been learning about what animals do during winter.  Ask your child to name some animals that hibernate, migrate, or adapt.  If they haven’t already, have them tell you about our blubber experiment!  Some students were so fascinated they did it more than once!  Don’t forget our “Hibernation Celebration” on Friday, Dec. 18th.

5th Grade Reading & Science:  We are finishing up our unit on “What is the Power of the Sun?”.  Classes made solar ovens as an engineering/science activity as part of this unit.  However, they will have to wait to test them out until we have a dry day.  Our next science/reading unit will be involving animals and it themed “What is Nature’s Network?”

Dec 10th:

2nd Grade Reading & Writing:  We are reading many versions of the story Stone Soup and working on comparing and contrasting them (same and different).  This also leads us to writing steps in a procedure as we write recipes and how-to writing pieces.  Our unit concludes on Friday, December 18 with a Stone Soup reenactment.  Please send a vegetable or spice (or bread) that day so your child can add it to our Stone Soup!

 4th Grade Math:  In math we are working on different methods for division.  Here’s a fun activity you can do at home to support your child in practicing math:  

  1. Each person writes 5 word problems.  The problems can be a one or two-step problem.  
  2. Mix all the cards well and put them in a stack, face down.
  3. Take turns picking a card and solving the problem.
  4. Check each other’s answers.
  5. One step problems earn one point.  Two-step problems earn two points. 

Writing their own word problems is a great way for students to develop a deeper understanding of the math skills they are practicing in class!


Dec 3rd:

3rd Grade Science:  We’ve really started “digging” in to our unit on plants.  We have explored how seeds travel and have determined which type of seed dispersal helps their seeds get out of the “Zone of Darkness”.  In the coming days, we will plant a couple of different types of seeds and observe the growth.   This unit relates to our health unit on healthy eating.  We cannot eat healthy food without plants!  As you are preparing food, discuss how plants are used in our daily nutritional intake.

Nov 19th:

2nd Grade Science & Reading:  We are working on a unit about bats.  We read a wonderful book called ‘Stellaluna’ and discussed main idea and supporting details.  Students are learning to retell with beginning, middle, and end in order to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how of a story.  You can have your child practice this with their nightly reading at home.  Ask them to share their bat facts with you; they know quite a few!

4th Grade Math:  Our 4th graders are finishing up their multiplication unit and moving into long division.  You probably remember this being a hard skill for you in 4th grade! Please be sure to keep practicing multiplication facts - memorization of them  makes long division smoother and faster.  In our new unit we will learn methods for dividing whole numbers up to 4 digits, use estimation to check for reasonableness, and solving problems with remainders. Involve your child in the times you use math as an adult at home and shopping. 

Nov 10th:

Kinder Reading:  Kindergarten has completed our units on rhyming for the year. We will still have some practice from time to time, but some kids are still in need of more practice.  Here are some things that you can do to practice at home:

  • In the car, have each person say a rhyme for words such as cat, key and frog.
  • When reading a story that has rhyme, pause to let your child complete the rhyme.
  • Sing songs like 1, 2 Buckle my shoe

 3rd Grade Math:  In math, we are working hard to understand the correlation between multiplication and division.  We are practicing strategies to help visualize this correlation and bring life to these abstract concepts.  Ask your child how they can use equal groups, an array, and jumps on the number line to find the product of a multiplication equation.  Ask them to name all four members of a multiplication fact family by using the factors. 

Nov 5th:

2nd Grade Writing:   We are focused on narrative writing.  Students practiced writing paragraphs after listening to stories.  We are working on adding descriptive words and using synonyms in their writing.  Keep practicing tricky words in spelling so that students can use them correctly in their writing.

3rd Grade Reading:  In fiction reading, we have been focusing on retelling a story and identifying the theme.  We have discussed some of the most common themes in literature and are learning to support our opinions with evidence from the text.  In non-fiction reading, we have been identifying the main idea of a text and then the supporting details.  If students are able to determine the main idea and details, they are prepared to write or tell a summary of their reading and their overall comprehension increases.