Our class was lucky enough to reserve a garden bed in our school’s community garden this spring. After much deliberation and disagreement, we settled on planting German Johnson heirloom tomatoes (donated by the wonderful Inga). After researching these plants, we began making plans to build a support system for them. We researched trellis and cage ideas and settled on a simple tomato ladder structure to help the tomatoes climb. Together we measured, cut, glued, and nailed our tomato ladders. Today we finally finished them and placed them in our garden bed.

Please come by this summer to check on our plants and keep an eye out for ripe tomatoes. If you see one, feel free to pick it and take it home to put on a burger, sandwich, or salad.

Learning This Week

Here are a few photos that offer a tiny glimpse into some of the learning we did this week. Included are pictures from our building of rubber band race cars during a science lesson about energy, an opportunity to learn about adding decimals and calculating a tip from Mrs. McMinn’s class, and our finished bulletin board which displays some of our reading analysis as well as some fish collage art work.


We talk a lot about being a family in our class. I caught this scene on the way to the bus the other day and it made me think of our family talks.

Practice Test for State Testing

If you would like to practice for state testing, please click on the following link and follow these directions:

OAKS Portal

* On the Start by User page –> Select “Students
* Next, select “Practice Tests
* On the Please Sign In page –> Select “Sign In
* On the Is This You? page, –> Select Student Grade Level (4), then select “Yes” at the bottom of the page
* Students may practice any of the following practice tests:
– ELA CAT Practice Test
– ELA PT Practice Test
– Math CAT Practice Test
– Math PT Practice Test

(ELA = English Language Arts; CAT = Computer Adaptive test; PT = Performance Task)

* On the Choose Settings page –> Leave everything as is and choose “Select
* On the Is This Your Test page –> Choose “Yes
* On the Audio Playback Check page –> Play the sample sound and when you hear the sound, choose “I head the sound
* On Instructions and Help page –> Select “Begin test now

Overnight Field Trip Slideshow

There were so many pictures from the overnight field trip to Camp Kuratli that they couldn’t fit into one blog post. Instead, I created a slideshow to document our time experiencing life as the pioneers did in the mid 1800s. A massive thank you goes to the staff at Camp Kuratli and the several parent volunteers who helped make this a special experience for all students.

Oregon Trail Overnight Field Trip 2017 from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

And We’re Off!

Our journey to experience pioneer life at the end of the Oregon Trail has begun! We are off to Camp Kuratli for the next two days. Stay tuned for more photos of our experience.

Willamette Market 2017

The fourth graders participated in the annual Willamette Market today and had a great time buying and selling their homemade products. Students put in a ton of work over the past several weeks in order to make this day as wonderful and exciting as it was. All of the money raised will go towards funding the fourth and fifth grade overnight field trips. Congratulations to the students for a job well done and a huge thank you to the parents for all of your support.

Readers Theater

This week, we learned about the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition through a couple of plays put on by the fourth graders. Each group took time to personally read and understand their story. Then they practiced, prepared, and performed the plays for their peers. Students did an excellent job of making these stories come to life. Not only did we learn about these important parts of our nation’s history, we also put a special emphasis on reading our scripts with expression, because no one wanted to see a play put on by a bunch of robots. Kudos to the kids for doing an exceptional job!

A Visit to the Oregon Food Bank

This morning we spent a few hours at the Oregon Food Bank packaging almost 8,000 pounds of carrots and potatoes in the Volunteer Action Center. Students and parent volunteers sang and danced as they helped the OFB achieve its goal of eliminating hunger in Oregon.​

Swimming in Oregon City

Today was the first day of our swim lessons in Oregon City and it was a success. When we returned, I asked if anyone learned anything new today. Hands excitedly shot up in the air as students explained the ways they were able to grow. It was a great start to our week of swim lessons and you should look forward to hearing the news of what your child learned when they come home from school today.