Fish prints, Family Night, Final Week Frenzy!

We had a very full and fun final week of After School Program for this school year!

On Monday, Ken Hartwell of the Yaquina Arts Association came and taught us fish printing!

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Picture 063On Tuesday, we glazed and painted our ceramics projects.Picture 074

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We had Jan from OSU Extension for one final Nutrition day on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, we had our final Family Night in conjunction with the all-school Specials Showcase. Many of our students participated in the musical performances, and then we spent some time showing off our art projects (ceramics, About Me posters, and fish prints) and reviewing some computer programming concepts with our families!

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Then we celebrated our last day of program with a talent show, ice cream sundaes, and extended recess. Our glazed ceramics pieces came back, so we got to enjoy looking at them. We have a talented bunch of students in our program!

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Thank you for a great year! Wishing you all a happy summer!



Raise Your Hand If You Like Poetry


0529141635When I first asked the question, no hands were raised. However, I think the evidence is clear that after a short introduction, these students love poetry! When they realized that their favorite rap songs are poems, and that Shel Silverstein poems are hilariously funny, we had a hard time getting them to stop reading poems aloud to each other. Then everyone who wrote an original poem (and we had quite a few very creative ones written) got up and recited their work for the rest of the group.

They are getting to be old hands at standing up in front of the group, as we have been practicing giving presentations. Each student has put together a poster to show off their hobbies and interests, and then one by one, have presented their posters to the group, and even fielded questions.

We have also had lots of fun with some of our new gadgets.

0520141659Finally, it’s amazing what a tote full of “stuff” can inspire. We had an outburst of creative engineering projects break out one day this week, completely spontaneously.

0529141707Next week is a busy one! We have art projects Monday and Tuesday, Nutrition on Wednesday, and Family Night on Thursday! On Friday the 6th we will have our last day of Program and an end of the year celebration. Please be sure your students attend as much as possible so they can participate in these activities and celebrate with us! Also please remember to make plans for the final week of school’s after school hours.

Yesterday’s Field Trip to the Lake!

I could try to think of words to describe the beauty of the day we enjoyed at Eckman Lake, or try to think of ways to express our gratitude to the army of volunteer fishing instructors who turned out to help us, or put into words the contentment on students’ faces or the sheer joy of each catch, but I think I’ll let the images say it all for me:

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See what I mean?

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 21st) Jan Ostby comes to us for part four in her fabulous nutrition series!

Also of note, next Tuesday, May 27th, Jenny returns with our ceramics pieces for glazing! (They’ll be on display on Family Night!)

Please mark our Family Literacy Night on your calendar and be sure to come on June 5th from 5:30-7:00!

Also please make sure you make arrangements for the week of June 9-13 for after school care for your student, because our LAST DAY of After School Program for this school year will take place on June 6th!

We plan on packing in as much academic enrichment as we can in our final weeks! We are working on finishing our “About Me” posters this week, and will be studying some poetry, featuring Shel Silverstein. I am also hoping to obtain a fish or two to show the students a fish dissection! (Optional of course, but a wonderful opportunity to learn fish biology, anatomy and physiology!) Speaking of fish, we have an upcoming lesson in making art with fish, the art of fish printing! Stay tuned, and come see our results at Family Night!

Expression in 3 Dimensions

This past week we completed the first half of a fabulous ceramics unit. Jenny, our ceramics instructor, led us in a mask-making exercise, and then supported our own creative ideas in free-form sculpting. We are very excited to display our pieces on our June 5th Family Night, but here are a few sneak peaks at the students’ amazing work!

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The students loved this hands-on, 3-dimensional scultping experience. We look forward to glazing our pieces and displaying them for all to enjoy!


Family Food and Fun Night a Success!

We had a wonderful turnout of families to our recent Food and Fun event May 7th!


All of us worked together, led by Jan Ostby of OSU Extension, to make our dinner for the evening. We enjoyed a savory corn chowder, prepared in the skillet, a fresh salad, and dessert was homemade strawberry frozen yogurt!




One of the toppings for the frozen yogurt was freshly made granola that the students had prepared during their program that afternoon.


As everyone enjoyed their meal, we presented awards to our students who have excelled in the areas of Problem Solving, Improvement of grades, and Leadership.


We hope they are enjoying their fabulous prizes! I certainly think the other students are inspired to develop their leadership and problem solving skills, as well as work on their academic endeavors.

Thank you to all who contributed to making this Family Night a resounding success! We hope you will all join us on our final Family Night of the school year on June 5th, from 5:30-7PM.

Bringing the farm to us

This past week we had an extra special visit from Randy and Sarah Walker of Walker Farms in Siletz. They brought in a ram and a young pig for our students to interact with, and told us about their farm. A big thank you to Randy and Sarah! The Walkers encourage families and classes to come out to their farm for tours, where you can see the full range of animals they raise.


We had several students complete projects for their 5-6 grade class concerning the Incan civilization. We heard their projects were a big hit in their classroom! We love being able to inspire kids to dig deeper and be creative when completing their homework assignments.

Although sometimes we do resort to bribery. On Friday, I admit that I offered a handful of fourth grade students a bribe of being allowed to paint my face if they finished the allotted number of pages of their homework packet. The work got done, and the faces (mine and theirs!) were painted. It may become a Friday tradition…

Please remember our upcoming Family Nights on May 7th and June 5th! We will be handing out our After School Awards on May 7th (that is a change from what I posted previously) at our Family Food and Fun Night, while June 5th will be a school-wide event where we will showcase some of our most exciting projects and enjoy an ice cream social. We hope you will join us for both!

April color! Tie dye chemistry and dates to mark on your calendar!

We recently began a 5-part series of Nutrition Classes starring Jan Ostby of OSU Extension. She had a whole bunch of fun activities that got the kids thinking about different fruits and vegetables, while having a really good time. They ended by preparing their own snack of apple sandwiches- slices of apple spread with a peanut butter-yogurt mixture and topped with raisins, granola, and other healthy fixings. We are looking forward to four more classes with Jan, PLUS a food-centered FAMILY NIGHT tentatively scheduled from 5:30-7PM on Wednesday, May 7th. In Jan’s words: “During the event, we would usually set up 3-4 work stations and have families divide up in smaller groups to help prepare recipes. People can circulate from one area to another.   We like to have a main dish (skillet meal or soup), a side dish/salad, and a kid friendly recipe like a smoothie.  Because it’s close to Memorial Day, we may want to make frozen yogurt & top it off with red, white, and blue fruits.   With electric ice cream maker, it takes about 30 minutes to prepare.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on missing out on homemade frozen yogurt (and a free healthy dinner plus fun)! I am hoping for a good turn-out of all of our After School families, so please mark your calendars, and if possible let me know you’re coming, so I can give Jan an estimate so she knows how much yogurt (and other dinner ingredients) to bring! You may not know, but if you simply hit reply to this email update, that is a great way to RSVP, as it sends an email to me directly. (You can utilize this feature any time you have feedback to share with me!)

Our final Family Night of the school year will take place on Thursday, June 5, and is a school-wide event featuring many of the programs offered by Crestview Heights School. For our part of the program, we will be handing out awards to students in After School who have shown excellence in 3 areas: Improvement of Grades, Leadership, and Problem Solving Skills.  We will also be showcasing some of the fun projects we’ve done this year, and getting families to participate in one of our students’ favorite STEM activities- Introductory Robotics and Computer Programming! The students would love to show you their abilities with programming, but watch out, you may be turned into a robot for a few minutes yourself. Again, please mark your calendars so we can have a great turn-out and support these students!

I’ve been noticing that many of our students are kinesthetic in their learning styles, meaning they tend to learn best by doing/making in a physical way. There are many strengths to having this particular learning style (as opposed to other great styles like visual, auditory, and reading/writing), however, as you can imagine, it can be hard to accommodate kinesthetic learning in the day-to-day classroom, with lessons geared towards testing achievement and the need to prove how and when standards are met on paper. My hope is that by providing an environment where students can explore hands-on activities that are still educational, our After School Program is helping those hands-on learners feel less alienated in their learning environment.  Nothing like building an Incan Agriculture terrarium complete with terraced gardens, irrigation system, and architecturally accurate temple to inspire a physical learner to absorb the information they need about an ancient civilization.

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Or, for example, an opportunity to learn basic chemistry concepts through a tie dye project. The students have almost all finished their tie dye shirts (thanks to those parents who sent in shirts, and I hope you enjoy the finished results your kids are bringing home!) and learned not only about chemical bonding, acids and bases, atoms and molecules, but about the way colors mix (yellow and blue make…?), as well as refreshing concepts of symmetry (shirt folding to prepare for dying).

It has been almost a month since I updated, so this of course is only a partial glimpse at the highlights of the past month. Please feel free to stop in and visit, we are always looking for more volunteers, and every person has something of value to contribute.

A 21st Century Learning Center