Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Break

I hope everyone has had a fun and relaxing break.

The past week our study of space focused on Mars and Jupiter. We began our investigation by brainstorming what we knew about the planets. After some discussion I shared NASA footage of Mars and the rover Curiosity. Following the videos we thought about how the rover was designed and engineered. After a discussion students designed their own rovers, which they build using a motor, loose parts and simple circuity.

Our Math workshop has been focused on the study of fractions. Students have been thinking where they might see or use fractions outside of the classroom. In the coming week we will be following recipes, which will allow the students practical application their knowledge.

Writing Workshop
The class has been finishing of their Best Part of Me opinion writing. You can see the photos displayed in the back of the classroom that Sarah Valentine had taken of the students "best parts". It is my hope to compile a book of the photos and writing that will be available to purchase. Stay tuned for details.

Students have started working on How to books. 

April is a busy month! 

No School Friday April 7th or Friday April 16th.

Spring Conferences:
I will begin scheduling conferences this week. 

OMSI Field Trip Wednesday April 12th
To celebrate our study of space we will be visiting OMSI. We need one more parent to chaperone this trip. Please sign up online if you are able to come. We will be traveling via MAX. 

Friday April 211) Runnaisance (Trillilum's version of the Run for the arts) which will be during the school day.  Pledge forms and more information will be forthcoming.  It's a fun way for the kids to be directly involved in their arts education funding.
2) The Arts & Music Showcase which will be held that same date in the evening from 5-8 pm.  Your child's art work will be displayed in the foray and they will be performing music on stage in the Multi Purpose Room.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

This week our study of space focused on Venus and Earth.
Students created volcanos out of clay to build on the information that they've learned about the climate on the planet Venus.

They also shared what they knew about Earth, which was quite a bit!
Earth is comprised of over 70% of water, which was a fact some students already knew. To emphasize the importance of our oceans I had the students simulate an oil spill in a pan, then try to clean the spill up with a variety of materials. 


We've been focusing on creating "How to Books". At this point in the year students are familiar with steps the writing process. Students started their planning and next week will work on drafting, editing and publishing.


Students seems to be enjoying our study of fractions. If you would like to come in and do a "cooking" lesson with the class, which involves measuring please let me know. I would love to have parent involvement in this unit. 

Smarter Balance Testing

3rd grade testing has been postponed until April. There has been conflicts in the scheduling with the computer lab upstairs. 

Community Potluck

Next Friday from 11:00-12:00 at Patton park. All welcome! Please consider bringing a nut free dish to share. This celebration will be open to all 2/3 families and friends. 

OMSI Field Trip
As a celebration of our study of space our class will be visiting OMSI on April 12th for an Astrobiology lab with OMSI educators, a planetarium trip and a few hours to explore the museum.

Please email if your child will need a lunch provided.

There are 2 volunteer slots available. 

 I depend on volunteers and if someone cancels at the last minute, forgets the date it affects the entire community and we may have to cancel the trip. If something comes up and you need to cancel please let me know the night before if possible. Please also arrive on time since we will be taking the MAX there and back. 

 Quilting Project
I am looking for volunteers who would like to participate in the quilting project. Please email me for more details, days and times. 

Returning Student Forms
If your child intends to return to Trillium next year please submit your return form by March 24th. I have only a few turned in so far. 


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dear Families,
  I hope you've enjoyed the sunshine this weekend. 

Last week one of our focuses was on re visiting our classroom guidelines. 

The students are wrapping up our study of geometry by building spaceships that include specific geometric shapes.

We will start a unit on fractions in the coming week.

Save the Date..
March 24th 11-12.
2/3 Community Potluck.
Everyone is invited (grandparents, siblings etc.)
Please bring a labeled, nut free dish to share.

OMSI Field Trip April 12 9:00-3:00
As a culminating event for our study of space our class will visit OMSI, participate in an astro lab and visit the planetarium.
5 volunteers will be needed for this trip.
If you would like to sign up please do so:

Smarter Balance Testing
3rd grade will begin the Literacy portion their test at the end of March. If you would like to opt out of the testing please ask me for an opt out form. 

Please consider donating a snack to the class.
We are out of snacks and need more.
Thanks to those who have donated in the past. 

Equity Project
The LS is participating in a fiber arts project that will be focused on Equity and Portland. 
If you are interested in participating, visiting the class, sharing a story, teaching a lesson please email me.

Thanks to Lindy Delf, Dominic's Nana, for visiting last week and teaching a literacy lesson. The students loved it!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Thanks to everyone who participated in our field trip to Kelly Point park. Yes, it was wet. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was fun !

A letter has arrived from NASA inviting the students to learn about space. The students have created their characters, which are currently on display in the classroom. Each week we will talk about 2 planets, while working towards filling up a space passport book. Once the passport books are filled we will be taking a special class trip somewhere. Stay tuned for more details.

We've been working on geometry. We're exploring 2D and 3D shapes. Have your students point out when they are noticing shapes outside of school.

We're wrapping up our opinion writing unit by writing opinion pieces that focus on the "Best Part of Me". Sarah Valentine has taken beautiful pictures of each student, which will accompany their writing and then be compiled into a class book. 

Why does it rain experiment. 

In addition to our study of space we've been thinking a lot of weather, the different types of clouds, why it rains and more. 

Math Studio and Clubs
2/3 clubs have started. Mary has been teaching archery, I have been working on book making and Lana has been teaching cardboard building. Clubs alternate with Math studio, which is a 1 hour block where students can choose a math focus area to work on in a different classroom. 

Literacy Circles
Please consider volunteering for literacy circles. This is a great opportunity to volunteer in the classroom. Literacy circles are every Friday from 11:30-12. Email if you are interested in volunteering. 

Self Portraits 

While we've been thinking about the Best Parts of ourselves we've also been thinking about identity, who we are and how we are the same or different. Students used a collection of loose parts to create self portraits of themselves. You can see the portraits in the back of the classroom hanging from the garage doors. 
2/3 would like to invite all families to attend a whole grade level potluck and social on March 24th from 11:00-12:00 at Patton Park. Please bring a nut free dish, dessert or drink to share. We will need volunteers to help set up.

Smarter Balance Testing
3rd graders will begin taking the Smarter Balance Literacy test the week of March 24th. Ashley, the Head of the Lower school, will be taking the 3rd graders to the Upper school lab for testing so this will not impact 2nd graders who will not be taking the test. 
3rd graders will then be taking the Math component of the test Wednesday 4/26Thursday 4/27Friday 4/28, and Monday 5/1.  
If you would your child to opt out of the test please email me and I will send an opt out form home that will need to be completed prior to the start of the test.

You can prepare your children by having them practice at home:


Sunday, January 29, 2017

It has been nice to finally start settling back into our classroom routines after the long winter break and series of snow days.

Thank you to the volunteers who drove and chaperoned our trip to the Water Resource center in Vancouver. Students learned about water ecology and plants, while visiting the interactive exhibits in the Museum!

Looking Ahead....

I feel that one of the advantages of working at a constructivist school is having the opportunity to connect children to information and materials through hands on exploration. These real life applications have been shown to strengthen a child's understanding of a concept or idea. It is also a way for children to meet experts in the field and learn from other teachers. 

With this being said the 2/3 will be visiting Kelly Point Park on Thursday Feb. 16th for a naturalist program led by the Columbia Slough organization that will focus on the watershed. This trip will supplement the learning that we've been doing around weather and the water cycle.  We will be leaving Trillium at 11:30 and returning by 2:30. 

Drivers will be needed so please sign up using the link below if you would like to come.

Upcoming Event at the Library:

To celebrate Black History Month the Library will be hosting African American Read-Ins. Please click on link below for more information. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2:00 pm

Saturday, February 18, 2017

1:00 pm

I look forward to updating the blog with more frequency!

Please feel free to email questions, concerns or interest in volunteering in the classroom.

Ms. Fawn

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I am amazed at how quickly the school year is moving along. The class has been working on building community, trust with one another and learning the routines. Now we are beginning to dig deeper into our studies together.

Mediation as a tool for Conflict Resolution

I invited 4th and 5th grade students from Bijal's class to model and teach our class about mediation and how to use one when there is a conflict. 

Observing Change Over Time and Decomposition

When you visit our classroom you might discover a tank sitting on the Science shelf. It is full of leaves, seeds and a pumpkin split in half. One student each day will be doing an observation, taking a picture with the iPad and then sharing their observation during morning circle. At the end of 19 days I will print out the photos so we can look at the process of decomposition and possibly growth inside of the tank! 

Thanks to all of the parents who attended our field trip to Tryon Creek!
It was a beautiful, misty day in the forest. The class learned about invasive species and how they can overtake native plant species.
We were then lead on an informative guided hike by park volunteers. After the hike students pulled up the English Ivy.

Design Club

We have started our Design Club this week. Students were introduced to the Design Process and worked on building something (using only the materials in the pictures) that could launch paper. 
Our partner club in Jordan worked on the same challenge this week and will be sharing their discoveries soon.

Assessment and Conferences
I will be posting a conference signup out side of the classroom this week. Conferences at Trillium are mostly student led. Students will share what they are working on, discuss anything coming up and share some goals. I will include details and answer questions that you might have.

What Does Assessment Look Like?

Trillium uses a range of assessment tools, which might look differently than what you are accustomed to, if you have a more traditional educational experience or background.
Some of the ways I am assessing student progress and growth:

Observations and note taking.
One on one conversations with students.
Self reflection/check in.
Written responses.
Use of teacher / student created rubrics developed based on learning goals and standards.
Paper and pencil worksheets.
Trillium participates in the Smarter Balance Testing for grades 3-12.
 Lessons that are developed are created based on the required standards. 

Online Portfolio
This year we're going to use a new tool to share what we're learning in class called Seesaw. Your child will have his or her own learning journal, and you can get notified when your child adds new items. It's completely private -- only you can see your child's journal outside of class.

Click on to sign up -- it takes just 30 seconds.

Once you sign up, you can download the Seesaw Parent app for iPhone or Android, or access your child's journal on the web.

I have created a take home folder near the front of the door of the classroom. In the folder you will find homework corrected and things we have been working on in class. 

FairyTale Unit
Maybe you've noticed the large table in the front of the classroom. Are you wondering what will happen on this table? 

This week students will be transforming this table into the setting for our FairyLand World (name to be determined by the class.)
We will be using the setting that the students create to work on writing Fairytales, adapting Fairytales and sharing our stories with each other. 
If you have art supplies, loose parts and other interesting things to build with please bring them in next week. 

World's Fair
We are moving along in the study of the World's Fair. This week we discussed the past themes of the World's Fair and each student submitted their idea for the fair. Our work next week will be focused on informative writing and research, which will be used to make a travel brochure about the country they are studying.

Patton Park

I would like to start visiting Patton Park once a week. This is a beautiful park with some magnificent old trees. If you are interested in walking to the park with us on Thursday morning please let me know.


There will be no school Friday Nov. 4th, Thursday Nov. 10 and Friday Nov. 11th.

Thanks for all of the support, feedback and snack donations.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Thanks to all of the volunteers that joined us on the field trip to the Cat in the Hat. It was fun and very successful! I appreciate how flexible parents (and students) were when the MAX was delayed.

Looking Back at the Week....
2/3 had our first Open Art Studio session. Students were able to choose to visit the other 2/3 classrooms and work with charcoals, pastels or watercolors. This was a time to explore the materials without having to produce a specific product. 

Story Workshop
This week in Story Workshop I offered the following provocation "How can you use these materials to tell a story about yourself?"

Students used this provocation to build a story and then write about what they built.  StoryWork Shop and Writer's Workshop will be used interchangeably. From my observations students are able to create and develop more ideas for writing when using materials to first visually build a story. 

Looking Ahead....


Science: We will begin our PBS Design Squad Club this week.

The focus of the club is engineering and design process. We will be communicating with our partner club in Amman, Jordan. I am excited to get started. 

Math: 2nd grade will continue to work with place value, number bonds and addition. 
3rd grade will work on similar mathematical tasks, while working with arrays and starting to build the foundation for multiplication.
 I am following the EngageNY curriculum, which is Common Core aligned and supplementing with story problems, math centers, games and other practical applications. 

StoryLine: We will continue our work on the World's Fair. This week students will create characters for the Storyline.  If you are not familiar with the Storyline method please follow this link to learn more: Storyline

Socio/Emotional: We will continue to discuss the brain and our feelings. I will be introducing Mediations,which is a component of our discipline policy. 

The big themes for the month of October-November will be author study, small literacy groups and Fairy Tales from around the world. Students will work on writing their own Fairytales as a culminating project for this unit. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Tryon Creek- Wed. Oct 26th.
I am still looking for volunteers who can drive and lead a group.
Please sign up using this link:

Literacy Circle 
As a literacy circle volunteer you would help a small group of students read an article together, answer comprehension questions and discuss the materials. This would be from 9:30-10:00 on Fridays.

Library Walk
Please email if you would like to join us on the Library walk on Wednesday from 1:00-2:00.  Please arrive at 12:45 to help get the class ready. 

Upcoming Events

Harvest Festival
 Friday October 21st 5-7 pm. 
This will be held at Trillium.

Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Friday October 21 11-12
This will also be held at Trillium.