Category Archives: Language Arts

Story Mapping with Pixar Shorts

We have just concluded reading and writing narrative stories in our CKLA reading curriculum, and we have taken a few days to focus more on literary story elements by viewing Pixar movie shorts before moving on to our next CKLA unit. We have analyzed the movie shorts whole class, collaboratively, and individually. As you may have guessed based on the content, our kids have been very engaged in this study.




Summer Math and Reading Opportunities

Summer Math and Reading Opportunities

Dear Parents of EY 4th and 5th graders,

Summer is a great time to shift gears to other activities, spend more time with family, and recharge for the return to school in the fall. Research shows, however, that student achievement in reading and math can decline by one-month’s worth of school learning or more over the summer.

Fortunately for this year’s 4th and 5th graders, they will have access over the summer to reading and math online programs that they have used during the school year. The programs available online are:


Kids A-Z (also known as Raz Kids)


Zearn (skills and concepts- this will be set to fractions this summer)

Xtramath (math fact fluency)

If possible, we encourage you to have your child access these programs over the summer to keep their reading and math skills fresh. This will help them start their 5th or 6th grade year with confidence.

Thank you. Have a great summer!

Mr. Evers

Mrs. Keyser

Mrs. Reed

Mrs. Willcuts

Scenes from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Our fifth graders have been reading portions of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this year.  This unit begins with a review of Shakespeare’s life, and it emphasizes how his plays were popular and written for everyone. Through some close reading, discussion, and a variety of language games, students have become more comfortable with Shakespeare’s language and performing. The culmination of the unit was to act out one of the scenes in the play.


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.