News from Room 16 – May 18, 2016

Art Night was last Thursday and it was so much fun!  Thanks to all of you who were able to make it out and an extra big thank you to the docents for educating the public.  If you weren’t able to come out for Art Night, swing through the halls sometime over the next few weeks, the art is still up and looking incredible.

We just kicked off one of our final units of the year: a study of bridges.  Over the course of this unit, students will learn about the different types of bridges (beam, arch, suspension), test the strengths of each type of bridge, and conclude by presenting a model of a Portland bridge.  This week, students are bringing home the bridge project assignment which is due on Monday, June 6th.

We also have another field trip approaching on June 7th.  This trip will be a walking tour of downtown Portland lead by Peter Chausse.   We will see historical landmarks, sculptures and other works of art, look at a variety of modes of transportation, and take a look at the bridges we have been learning about!  I can bring 7-8 chaperones on this trip, so let me know if you are interested!

That’s all for this week!

-Ms. Elissa & Mr. Tristan

News from Room 16 – May 11, 2016

As we work through our unit on fractions, our class is having some invigorating math discussions.  On Tuesday, we completed a “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” sheet which opened up a whole world of comparing fractional parts of different shapes.  Students used paper models to prove their mathematical theories.  Check out some of their thinking on Twitter @epdingus

We are coming to the close of Mr. Tristan’s pollinator unit.  The students have covered a lot of material over the last 3 weeks and their work shows off what they know!  They are wrapping up this week by taking some time to learn a bit more about Colony Collapse Disorder and ways to help bees.  Students created posters to inform the school community of ways that individuals can help support healthy bee populations.  Look for them after Art Night!

Art Night is this Thursday from 6:00-7:30 pm.  Our works are up in the halls and the docents are practicing their lines.  I hope we will see you there for a night of art appreciation, musical performances, and some tasty desserts at the Paintbrush Cafe.

Hope you are staying hydrated in this heat!

-Mr. Tristan & Ms. Elissa


Seed Video Links

Videos about seeds and seed dispersal

1. Exploding plants (from Monday) – 2.

2. Alsomitra macrocarpa seed flight video –

3. Alsomitra macrocarpa seed flight video 2 –

4. Information about serotinous lodgepole pine cones in Wyoming –

5. A man and his young son extract seeds from a sealed white pine cone using the oven and plant them.

6. Harvesting pine nuts from a specific pine cone –

a. All nuts from pine cones are edible, but not all cones are pine cones, so don’t eat a seed from a pine cone unless you have an adult who knows how to verify the species of the tree that made the cone.

7. Vietnamese helicopter seeds in the street –

News from Room 16 – May 4, 2016

It’s hard to believe that there are only about 5 more weeks of school left in the school year!  These weeks are going by in a blur of pollinators, fractions, essay writing, and art projects.

The class has made models of flowers (with all of their correct parts) and pollinators with Mr. Tristan over the last few weeks.  This week, students are learning about the methods of seed dispersal and creating a model of a seed after thinking about how their seed will travel.  Come by after school sometime to check out the amazing bulletin board full of student creations!

We are wending our way through our fraction unit and having some good conversations as we go.  The theme of yesterday’s discussion was “smaller is bigger” as students made the connection between the denominator and the size of the fractional part.  We talked about whether you would rather have 1/100 of a pizza or 1/10 of a pizza.  It is common for students to see a large number and equate it with a large amount, but things get all jumbled up when we start talking about fractions.  These guys are navigating this challenging subject with open minds.

We are wrapping up our time with Mr. Daniel, our Right Brain artist this week.  He is visiting us to do a bit of “show and tell” to celebrate the works students have created as well as show some of his own works so students can see the possibilities of working with clay.  Our pots will be displayed in the glass case near our room for Art Night.  Come and see!

Scholastic Book Orders are due by next Tuesday!  We are also still looking for a few kids to be docents for the 7:00-7:25 time.  Please sign up if you are available!

May the fourth be with you.  ;)

-Ms. Elissa & Mr. Tristan

News from Room 16 – April 27, 2016

Art Night at Lewis is coming up quickly!  It is on May 12th from 6-8pm.  Your child has the opportunity to be a docent in charge of explaining one of our pieces during Art Night.  Last week, a sign up sheet for docents was sent home and as of today, only 5 have been returned.  We are looking for at least 5 more students to help us out!  There are three time slots available: 6:00-6:25, 6:30-6:55, and 7:00-7:25.  If your child is interested in being a docent and helping us have a well-informed, smooth-running Art Night, please turn in your form ASAP!

We will be taking our final Smarter Balanced Assessment next week.  It is the Math Performance Task which is a fairly short set of questions all based on the same scenario.  It is worth checking out the practice test online at .

Mr. Daniel, our Right Brain artist is returning on Thursday to teach us how to stain our clay pots to bring out the texture.  It will be exciting to see the finished product when it emerges from the kiln next week.  He will visit us one final time so students can celebrate their creations.  Our clay pots will be on display at Art Night, so come by to see them!

-Ms. Elissa & Mr. Tristan

News from Room 16 – April 20, 2016

A huge thank you to everyone for turning in your permission slips on time!  Woohoo!  Ask your child about how the play went this afternoon; after so much built up anticipation for this performance, they are likely to have some strong opinions on how it all came together.

Our class will continue testing next week.  We have completed all of the ELA (Reading and Writing) portions of the Smarter Balanced Assessment and we are moving into the Math sections.  This week’s homework assignment is another OPTIONAL practice test packet that covers what the math test will look like.  You can also look at the practice test online at:

The class is beginning a new science unit on pollination and seed dispersal.  We will be creating some pollinators and flowers out of recycled materials and/or craft supplies next week.  If you have any empty plastic bottles that would otherwise be recycled to share with the class, we would appreciate it greatly!

Thank you!

Mr. Tristan & Ms. Elissa


News from Room 16 – April 13, 2016

Testing began this week and these guys have been working hard!!  We will take the ELA Performance Task next week, then Math and the Math Performance Task in the following two weeks.  Students who have opted out will continue to work on independent tasks in class during that time.

Outside of testing, Mr. Tristan will be leading much of the school day starting next week.  During the next six weeks, Mr. Tristan will be taking over the daily responsibilities in our classroom, but Ms. Elissa will be nearby to provide support as needed.  Mr. Tristan has written a letter of introduction which you will find in your take home folder this week.  Feel free to contact him with questions, concerns, or words of encouragement at:

Next Wednesday is our field trip to see The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  Please turn in your permission slips as soon as possible so I can place the sack lunch order.

Thank you!

-Ms. Elissa & Mr. Tristan