Category Archives: Language Arts

Winter Break Math and Reading

Mrs. Keyser, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Davies, and Mr. Evers would like to wish our EY intermediate grades community a very happy holiday season and a restful winter break. We hope our students are able to enjoy some good times with family and friends as they have worked very hard this year.

We also know that it is important to keep skills in reading and math fresh during a significant time away from school, especially with the added snow days. Here are a few ways students can move forward with their math and reading during some of the down times over the break.

  1. Math practice with the Zearn program. Students log in using their school district username and password. Students will receive an incentive for each lesson completed beginning today through the break.
  2. Scholastic Reading Counts (SRC) tests. Students have been taking tests on books in their Lexile range this year . As has been the case the whole school year, students can take tests at home. Students will receive an incentive for each test passed beginning today through the break. 

Poetry Contest


We just learned that the Cascadia Poetry Contest is taking place again this year. We had one student who was published last year, and it would be great to have some submissions from EY again this year. Our fourth and fifth graders are currently reading, analyzing, and writing poetry in the CKLA program, and there have been many fabulous poems written by our students thus far in their poetry books. Students can use the poems they have already written. They just need to be typed according to the the specifications in the contest rules. Teachers will be introducing this contest and sending home a flier as well. The submission deadline is December 31st, 2016.

EY Poet!

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“Written on these walls are the stories that I can’t explain.” – Alivia, Grade 5

Congratulations to Alivia! Earlier this year while studying poetry in her language arts class, she began writing her own poems and publishing them in Google Docs.  She wrote a poem titled “Story of My Life” and entered it in the Oregon Poetry Association’s student poetry contest. Part of her poem was published in the Memorable Lines section of the student poetry book Cascadia. Congratulations, Alivia.

Shakespeare in 5th grade

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Our fifth graders have been reading portions of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as part of our new language arts adoption this year.  This unit begins with a review of Shakespeare’s life, and it emphasizes how his plays were popular and written for everyone. Then, through some close reading, discussion, and a variety of language games, students have become more comfortable with Shakespeare’s language and with performing. The culmination of the unit will be to use a visual representation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to write their own story in dialogue, beginning with one of Shakespeare’s lines.

This week students analyzed lines from the play and created freeze frames, which incorporated character traits and actions.

Eureka! Reading Quest

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In Eureka! Student Inventor the class became contestants on a reality game show. Lab teams worked together to conquer challenges focused on collaboration, researchknowledge, documentation, failure, and pitching a product. As part of the process, students had to research 8 inventors and their inventions, as well as learn about the invention process. Additionally they had to use their writing skills to persuade the network not to cancel the show mid-season. Judges Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, Jacques Cousteau, and Hedy Lamarr presided over each episode giving advice to the student inventors. The grand finale required each student to discover a problem faced by people around them, invent something to solve that problem, and then give a sales pitch to the studio audience. Many inventions showed creativity and ingenuity, and many pitches were quite persuasive. When all elements were considered, however, Norris was named the Eureka! Student Inventor Champion!


Volcano Wikis

mauna loaFourth graders have been reading about geology in our language arts class. One of the writing activities was to research one of three volcanoes (Tambora, Mauna Loa, or the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park). Students used information from their language arts textbook and at least one website to create a wiki entry. They learned to search for photos that are licensed for reuse and also reviewed citing sources. Using Google Docs, students typed up their wikis using fonts and formatting that would make the information easy to read. Not only did they learn about a volcano, they now have an entirely new appreciation for what goes into making the web pages that they visit to find information!

Click here to view the Volcano Wikis

Poetry Contest



Today (and tomorrow for 4th graders)  we handed out fliers promoting a local poetry contest that we are encouraging all of our students to consider enter. This fits perfectly with what our students are learning right now. Our fourth and fifth graders have been reading and writing poetry as part of a unit in the Amplify language arts curriculum we are piloting this year. The quality and complexity of poetry is challenging as students are reading works from poets such as Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and Emily Dickinson. Information about the contest can be found in the student flier or at the link below. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

“Pine Tree” videos

Fifth grade students worked very hard in their language arts classes on video projects based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Pine Tree.” The story is immersed with examples of personification, which is one of the elements of figurative language we have been learning about. Students also learned how to effectively use iMovie’s editing skills for effective presentations. Click the link below and you’ll be redirected to the students’ video projects.

Pine Tree Projects 2015




Multimedia Literary Projects


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Our 4th and 5th grade students have been reading some classic holiday-related literature over the past few weeks.This week they are engaging in  multimedia projects as fifth graders are using iMovie to Create videos using author’s quotes to create a video retelling of the story “The Pine Tree” by Hans Christian Anderson.  Mrs. Reed’s fourth grade language arts class is reading “The Christmas Cuckoo” by Frances Brown and creating Google slideshows that center around one of the themes of the story.

Battle of the Books


Jonas did a great job of previewing O.B.O.B books to both 4/5 classes today!

The Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries.  It is a competition among teams of 4-5 students who read and study 16 pre-selected books.  EY students have competed in OBOB the last two years and qualified for the “final 16” last year. This year we have had 4 sets of books donated to our school, so we are encouraging all students to read the books even if they don’t plan on being on a team.  The EY teams will start competing against each other around January, and all students enjoy watching the competitions. For more information on the battle, you can go to