Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Monthly Potluck

As part of our focus on life skills, each month we will have a themed potluck. Students are to create a dish that fits the theme AND fits in to our healthy food policy. Students should find the recipe, create the shopping list, do all of the hands on prep, and all of the clean up. Parents are welcome to do the shopping for them, stand over their shoulder and tell them what to do, and taste test, but everything else is on them.

There are many reasons we hold these potlucks. Below are a few:
1. Learn to cook a variety of inexpensive meals
2. Learn to follow a recipe
3. Understand how nutrition guidelines can be used to create foods that are good for you and taste good
4. Try out new foods
5. Connect with family members
6. Have some fun

Our first potluck is next Wednesday, the 25th of September. The theme for the month is SALAD. They may take this in any direction they like as long as it is a salad.

Dishes should come ready to serve. Please have your student label the bowl  AND the serving utensil so we can be sure they get home with the correct person. Cold dishes may be put in the zip room fridge. Hot dishes should come in a crock pot. We do not have access to the microwave or oven to reheat things.

Thank you for supporting our monthly potluck. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Upcoming Events

We're in full swing and things are happening in 8th grade! 

Monday (9/16) - September book reports begin! Ask your student if they remember when their report is and if they are ready. 

Tuesday (9/17) - Chaperone Training 6:00 in the gym. I still need a LOT of chaperones for upcoming field trips. Please join us for this training so you can join in on all the fun. 

Tuesday (9/17) - 3:45 - 4:45 - Italics Class for new students and for those who need a refresher. 

Wednesday (9/18) - Picture Day - Check previous post for times and information about ordering.

Monday  (9/23) - 8th Grade Night - Come hear all about high school options, end of year planning, etc. 

Tuesday (9/24) - Italics Class 

Wednesday (9/25) - Potluck Day - This will be our first cooking homework of the year. Students will be creating a salad. A separate post will have all the details. 

Thursday (9/26) - Ms. Adams out
Thursday (9/26) - All School Assembly (8:00)
Thursday (9/26) - Jog A Thon

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Picture Day

When is picture day?­
Kindergarten,1st, 2nd & 3rd – Tues. September 17, 2019

4th,5th,6th,7th & 8th  - Wed. September 18, 2019

Student Make up Day – Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Can I view my child’s picture online and order?
You will view and order online approx. 2-3 weeks after photo day.

·         Go online to
·         Go to client proofs
·         Enter your students last name and four digits of their birthday month and day – For example if your last name is Smith and your child’s birthday is on May 20th, your password would be: smith0520.
·         View images, pay online and download images
Picture day is coming up, how can I pay for my child’s photos?
All orders will be placed and paid for online.  

How long will the images by online to view and order?
Approximately two weeks after picture day your photos will be online and ready to view. Your online gallery will be available to view and order for two weeks.

What background will be used?
I will use the green grass for one photo and a light faux wood backdrop for the other. Both backgrounds will be included in your online photo gallery.

Is there something I need to fill out before picture day?
No. Every student will have their photo taken and then you will have the option to purchase or view only.

Is retouching included?
Yes, every image will be color corrected and edited in photoshop. 

Still have Questions?
Email us at
Call us at 503.515.5770

October Conference Sign Up!

Our first formal conferences are scheduled for the 25th of October. Please take a moment to sign up for a time to sit down with me and discuss your hopes, dreams, and goals for your student.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Writing Checklist

Today we introduced/reviewed the writing checklist. This checklist is used for every written assignment throughout the year. These dress ups and sentence openers are the same ones used on their vocab homework each night. Below you'll find a copy of the checklist, which might come in handy at home!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Chaperone Training

Our next chaperone training is on September 17th at 6:00 PM in the gym. Please join me for this half hour training so you can sign up to join us on our field trips!

Thank you

Book Reports

This weekend students will be working on their first book report of the year. In class on Thursday they were given a written explanation and we spent quite a bit of time talking through what they can look like. As they work on them this weekend, they may have questions. The details below may help them and you, get through this first attempt with a little less stress.

1. Goals:

  • To demonstrate understanding of a self selected book
  • To expose the class to a variety of books that they might not otherwise hear about
  • To practice presentation skills frequently enough to become comfortable
  • To allow them to choose presentation methods that play to their strengths
2. Required Content: 
  • Title
  • Author
  • Major characters
  • Setting
  • Basic plot summary without spoiling the ending
3. Acceptable Formats: 
  • Anything goes! No really! There are a hundred ways to share a book and they are permitted to choose any of them. They can not do the same way twice, but other than that, share your book with us in a unique and fun way. Below are a few ways I've seen in the past, but they are not limited to these. 

  • CCreate a sculpture of a character. Use any combination of soap, wood, clay, sticks, wire, stones, old toy pieces, or any other object. An explanation of how this character fits into the book should accompany the sculpture.
    • Interview a character from your book. Write at least ten questions that will give the character the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about his/her role in the story. However you choose to present your interview is up to you.
    • Build a miniature stage setting of a scene in the book. Include a written explanation of the scene.
    • Construct puppets and present a show of one or more interesting parts of the book.
    • Construct a diorama (three-dimensional scene which includes models of people, buildings, plants, and animals) of one of the main events of the book. Include a written description of the scene.
    • Write a feature article (with a headline) that tells the story of the book as it might be found on the front page of a newspaper in the town where the story takes place.
    • Read the same book as one of your friends. The two of you make a video or do a live performance of MASTERPIECE BOOK REVIEW, a program which reviews books and interviews authors. (You can even have audience participation!)
    • After reading a book of history or historical fiction, make an illustrated timeline showing events of the story and draw a map showing the location(s) where the story took place.
    • Read a book that has been made into a movie. (Caution: it must have been a book FIRST. Books written from screenplays are not acceptable.) Write an essay comparing the movie version with the book.
    • Create a comic book version of the story. 
    • Write and perform an original song that tells the story of the book.
    • After reading a book of poetry, do three of the following: 1) do an oral reading; 2) write an original poem; 3) act out a poem; 4) display a set of pictures which describe the poem; 5) write original music for the poem; 6) add original verses to the poem.
    • Do a collage/poster showing pictures or 3-d items that related to the book, and then write a sentence or two beside each one to show its significance.
    • Make a book jacket for the book or story.
    • Make a message board.
    • Make a poster advertising your book so someone else will want to read it.
    • Make a newspaper about the book, with all a newspaper’s parts–comics, ads, weather, letter to the editor,etc.
    • Choose a quote from a character. Write why it would or wouldn’t be a good motto by which to live your life
    • Plan a party for one or all of the characters involved
    • Make game boards (Chutes and Ladders is a good pattern) by groups, using problems from the book as ways to get ahead or to be put back. 
    • Create a video game that retells the story. 
    • Decorate a cake so that it accurately represents the story. It must include the setting, characters, problem, and resolution. 

    Monday, August 26, 2019

    8th Grade Night

    8th Grade Meeting
    September 23rd,  2019
    6:30 PM

    September 23rd at 6:30 PM is our 8th grade family information night. Every family will want to have at least one person there to learn about:

    • being promoted from 8th grade
    • understanding the wide range of options for high school
    • choosing a high school that best fits your student
    • our end of year trip
    • fundraising possibilities

    This is your chance to help shape our end of year trip and have a say in the extent of our fundraising. 

    Please come with any questions you have about high schools, GPA translations, deadlines, essays, recommendation letters, etc. 

    Also, please bring any ideas you have for fundraisers that align with our school mission. 

    Classroom Beverages

    Water Bottles and Classroom Beverages

    I believe strongly in the importance of proper hydration by students. I encourage every student to have a full reusable water bottle every day. As you're shopping for one, please avoid glass bottles. They are beautiful, but in the close classroom quarters, they end up in pieces on the floor too often. 

    Image result for glass water bottles Image result for glass water bottles
    These are two of the brands that didn't hold up well last year! 

    So why do we ask students to drink only water at school? 

    Water and Brain Energy

    The brain is one of the most important organs in your body to keep fueled. It is approximately 85 percent water and brain function depends on having abundant access to water.
    Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes.
    According to Dr. Corinne Allen, founder of the Advanced Learning and Development Institute, brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body. Water provides this energy more effectively than any other substance.
    Water is also needed for the brain's production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Nerve transmission requires one-half of all the brain’s energy.
    When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
    The reason why it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day for optimal brain function is because your brain does not have any way to store water.
    When your body loses more water than you are replacing, dehydration will kick in and brain function will be affected. 

    Students are allowed to drink all the water they would like. Please do not send them with Starbucks or Black Rock in the morning! I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing everyone soon. 

    Homework - What to Expect

    Homework ~ What to Expect

    In 8th grade, students will have homework every night. I do my best to keep it predictable so that families can schedule other activities without worrying about fluctuating needs. 

    1. Math - Students will have one lesson on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday they will have 2. This is 30 problems and should take no more than 45 minutes. In order to successfully complete their math in a timely manner, students will need their math book, notes taken in class, calculator (for Course 3 and Advanced Math classes only), and a quiet and well lit work space. This work provides needed practice with new skills and review of past skills. Math homework will be corrected each day. Any day that it is not completed (all problems done AND work shown), students will stay in at lunch to work on it until they are done. If work is still not completed by Friday, students will attend Friday school to complete it. 

    2. Vocab - Students will get 6 new words each day. This should take no longer than 15 - 20 minutes. For each word, they must define it, give the part of speech, and write one quality sentence. A quality sentence is defined as one that infers the meaning of the word, begins with a different sentence opener, is grammatically correct, and has a dress up. In order to successfully complete this work in a timely manner, students will need a dictionary or access to an online dictionary, pens, lined paper, and a quiet well lit work space. All work must be completed in italics. Vocabulary work is undertaken to help students be better writers and readers. Our vocab list comes from the SAT list.  Vocab homework will be checked each day after the daily vocab/spelling test. If not completed to these standards, students will work during lunch to complete it. 

    3. Reading - Students are expected to read 30 minutes a night seven days a week. Each week they will be assigned one article to be read on . This assigned passage allows students to practice reading non fiction text in short bursts and looking for specific information within it. Each passage is followed by several questions that must be answered. This passage will be assigned on Monday and is to be completed by the following Monday. If students score less than 80% they will be asked to reread and correct their answers. Last year many students found it useful to complete this passage on Monday night so that they could correct on Tuesday if need be. The rest of the week students are to read books of their choice. The expectation is that they will complete a minimum of one book per month. The last week of the month, students will present about the book they read. Book presentation requirements will be discussed in class and posted to the blog in a separate post. I insist that students read every day for a variety of reasons. Here are the most important ones: 

    • Reading teaches students about the world around them. Through reading, they learn about people, places and events outside their own experience. They are exposed to ways of life, ideas and beliefs about the world which may be different from those which surround them. This learning is important for its own sake however it also builds a store of background knowledge which helps students learn to read confidently and well.
    • Reading improves a student's vocabulary, leads to more highly-developed language skills and improves the student's ability to write well. This is because students learn new words as they read but also because they unconsciously absorb information as they read about things like how to structure sentences and how to use words and language effectively.
    • Reading helps humans develop empathy. This is something I’ve only recently realized but it makes sense. As my fifteen-year-old son said to me when we were discussing it, ‘Of course it does because you’re identifying with the character in the story so you’re feeling what he’s feeling.
      • ~ From Every Day is an Adventure

    That's it! When there are other things that need to be done, one or more of the regular daily assignments will be cut to make time. Almost everything for big projects like NON and Science Expo are done in class. 


    Uniforms at Cascade

    A quick summary for families new to Cascade Heights, and a quick reminder for returning families.  There is quite the comprehensive uniform code in the Handbook found in each student's planner, so we will not go over everything with a fine-toothed comb here, just the big ideas that may affect your back-to-school shopping over the next few weeks.

    Basic Uniform:
    White collared shirt:
    White collared shirts may be long- or short-sleeved, with a turtle, mock-turtle, Mandarin, Peter Pan, or regular wing collar.
    All of these are fine and quite stylish.
    Uniform shirts MUST be long enough to tuck in all the way around.  They may NOT have large logos.  Undershirts may NOT have print that shows through the top collared shirt.

    Navy bottoms:
    Navy is a dark blue material that is NOT denim or black.  Shorts, skirts, pants, kulots, skorts, jumpers, and kilts ARE acceptable.  Cargo, stretch, leggings, jeggings, short-shorts (must come to 1" above knee or farther down) are NOT acceptable. Please check the length of shorts and skirts. Many students will grow over the summer and what fit perfectly in June is no longer appropriate.
    This works:
    Mock layer pleated jumper by French Toast, $19.99
    Because, although it is "mock layer," it has the requisite white collared shirt look to it.

    This doesn't work:
    Old Navy polo dress for such a great deal!
    Because it does not have the "white shirt with collar" part of the uniform.

    Leggings and tights:
    Please regard leggings (white, navy blue, or black) as more like tights than pants.  They may be worn as a layer under jumpers, but are NOT a substitute for pants.  Stretch pants (leggings included) are not part of the uniform.

    A word on shoes:
    Cascade Falcons have P.E. and recess every day. Heels are not permitted  for daily wear. On special occasions, low heels will be allowed.

    Other shoes that don't belong at school: shoes with heels (including combat-style boots, cowboy boots, etc.), slippers, UGGS, mud boots (as the only shoe--if students can change quickly, they may bring mud boots for outside wear), sandals, open-toed shoes, flip-flops.

    Socks and tights may be any color. They must show up over the edge of shoes (no no-shows). Nylons are allowed with skirts or shorts.

    Red sweaters:
    Please look for fire-engine red as much as possible.  Maroon is not a school color.  Sweaters may be sweatshirts, cardigans, pullovers, v-necks, etc., but may NOT have a hood if a child wishes to wear it indoors.

    These are NOT allowed to be worn in the classroom (in fire-engine red, or any other color):
    Super sporty, but not inside.
    Sweaters are also not a substitute for tucking in a white collared shirt that must be worn under the sweater!

    Make Up:
    8th graders are permitted to wear light make up. The following graphic may help students to decide what "light" means. Basically if the make up stands out it should not be worn to school on a daily basis. Save it for special events!

    The purpose of uniforms is multi-fold:
    • It removes a level of class-based judgement and bullying.  Children who all dress the same find it more difficult to single out others who may have less.
    • It makes the identification of those who belong on campus and in field trip groups easier and quicker; it's a safety thing.
    • It is visually calming and far less stimulating than a sea of a billion colors.  Please remember the distraction of fancy hair-baubles, earrings, bracelets, etc.
    • It simplifies getting dressed in the morning.
    • It creates pride in identity and place: we know we look smart as a group and we are proud of it!
    • It encourages students to express their personality with their...personality.  They are driven to express themselves through assignments, thought, speech, and actions.  
    • It is one of the many reasons families choose and stay at Cascade Heights!

    Supply List

    Eighth Grade
    *** Individual supplies please have student write their first and last name on front, as appropriate ***
    3 1 subject spiral notebooks
    scissors (reuse the pr you have from past years)
    3 ring binder (1")
    1 stick O'Glue (roll on gel glue)
    Colored Markers (not sharpies)
    Highlighters (multi color: yellow, blue, pink)
    1 pkg colored pencils
    Fine tip black Sharpie
    white board markers (low odor)
    2 dozen ball point pens (any color but yellow or gel pink)
    1 set of headphones (earbuds or over the ear, dependent on student preference)
    ** Communal Supplies (will be shared/stored with the whole class):No names on supplies **
    3 Reams College rule paper
    2 reams of copy paper (white)
    1 box facial tissue
    1 tub Clorox wipes
    1 Roll Masking tape
    1 pkg 3x5 notecards lined
    Math Course 3 (revised 5/17/16)
    2 1 subject spiral notebooks, 1 compass
    1 pencil pouch for supplies fine tip colored markers 1 pk white board markers
    scissors (reuse the pr you have from past years) Ruler with metric 1 protractor
    1 folder with pockets
    Courses I, II, & III/Algebra/Geometry
    2 spiral bound 3 subject notebooks (college ruled or graph) 150 pg each minimum
    1 protractor
    1 ruler (with metric markings)
    1 math compass
    1 set 4 colored pens or ultra fine tipped markers
    1 pack 4 dry erase markers
    1 graphing calculator (TI-82 recommended) *Algebra/Geometry students ONLY*
    (1) 70 page college rule Spiral notebooks or (1) 1" three ring binder
    1 folder with pockets 1 tub Clorox wipes
    Essential Elements 2000 book 2
    Essential Elements 2000 book 1
    1 folder with pockets
    Basic Electronic chromatic Tuner (found at any music store)

    Thursday, June 6, 2019

    Ashland Photos

    We had an amazing trip! The plays were phenomonal, the workshops were on point, and of course, our students were incredible. You can see the photos I took at the link below. The other chaperones should also be able to add their photos to this album!


    Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Teach In Next Thursday

    After all their hard work, the final presentations are upon us. Next Thursday is our Teach In. Please read below for answers to all of your pressing questions.

    1. What is this thing?
    The Teach In is a day of sharing information about social justice causes. Each student was asked to choose a social justice topic that they feel passionately about, passionately enough that they were willing to stand up for it regardless of the consequences. Students have 10 - 15 minutes to share their topic is some format. Some have chosen speeches, some have chosen documentaries, some have chosen to create websites, zines, art, or children's books.

    2. What should they wear?
    Today we tie dyed t shirts because what sit in/teach in would be complete without tie dye? Students are permitted to wear jeans or shorts or skirts with their tie dye shirts. We're going for the "hippy" look. If students would like to add bell bottoms, funny glasses, fringed vests, or flower wreaths they are certainly welcome to. They are permitted to alter their shirts to add fringing and beads if they would like.
    Related imageImage result for hippie attire
    3. What should they bring?
    Presentation pieces are a must. They may bring a bean bag chair or other comfy pillow to sit on and snack to share. Neither is required.

    4. What time will students be presenting?
    We will begin presentations at 8:30 and go until they are done. There is no guarantee of what time a particular student will go.

    5. May parents attend?
    Some students have asked for no adult audience members, but the majority have said you are welcome. If a student wants a student only audience, I may ask you to step out for their presentation. Otherwise, you are welcome to join us and learn from these amazing young adults. 

    Monday, May 6, 2019

    Who is Notable This Year

    Are you ready to see how many notable figures you can guess this Thursday? We have some great ones this year. You may want to look up those you don't recognize. 

    Alessandro Volta
    Alexander Hamilton
    Alice Coachman
    Alicia Keys
    Ann Bonney
    Babe Ruth
    Ben Franklin
    Carl Brashear
    Carole Lombard
    Charlie Chaplain
    Christopher Columbus
    Dorothea Lange
    Douglas MacArthur
    Earl Lambeau
    Eddie Carnett
    Eileen Collins
    Eleanor Roosevelt
    Ellen DeGeneres
    Elon Musk
    Elsa Schiaparelli
    Emily Bronte
    Emmy Noether
    Frida Kahlo
    Georgia O'Keefe
    Gordon Parks
    Hank Aaron
    Harnes Marques
    Harriet Tubman
    Henri Matisse
    Ivar the Boneless
    Jacques Cousteau
    Jane Colden
    Jane Goodall
    Joan of Arc
    Josephine Baker
    Katherine Johnson
    Kendrick Lamar
    Lady Gaga
    Louis Armstrong
    Louisa May Alcott
    Madam C.J. Walker
    Marian Anderson
    Marie Curie
    Marie Curie
    Mark Twain
    Mary Cassatt
    Mary, Queen of Scots
    Misty Copeland
    N. Copernicus
    Odette Sansome
    Princess Diana
    Robert E. Lee
    Ronald Reagen
    Ruby Bridges
    Rudolph Diesel
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    Ruth Wakefield
    Salvador Dali
    Samuel L Jackson
    Sandra Day O'Connor
    Sojourner Truth
    Thomas Jefferson
    Tom Hiddleston
    Walt Disney
    William Shakespeare

    Middle School Dance

    Tuesday, April 30, 2019

    Promotion Decoration Committee

    Anyone who would like to help with promotion decorations, please plan to attend a short meeting at 3:45 on May 15th. We'll spend about half an hour talking about what we want and assigning tasks.

    Thank you!

    Ashland Packing List

    Packing List! 
    brush or comb
    hair ties/bobby pins/other hairstyling accessories
    hair dryer/curling iron
    retainer/ washing stuff
    rubber bands/wax/ other braces required stuff
    face wash stuff
    make up/chap stick
    3 casual shirts
    3 medium dressy shirts (Polo or similiar)
    2 dressy shirt/dress/tie/suit jacket
    3+ pairs of underwear
    3 pairs of socks
    3 pairs of casual pants
    3 pairs semi dressy pants (slacks or school pants with no holes)
    2 pair of dressy pants
    dress socks/tights/nylons
    shoes/dress shoes
    sleeping bag
    swim suit
    towel x2
    non electronic entertainment for the bus