It has been great to be back to school since Winter break. The students are eager, our unit on The American Revolution is going well, and the students are engaged and really thinking. The one thing that I have noticed is the abundance of phones coming to school, coming out of backpacks at the end of the day, and some issues surrounding them.

We understand the need for parents to keep in contact with their child. Many parents want to know that their child has made it to school, is leaving school, and have arrived home. A phone is a good tool for that. My concern is when a child is using it to surf the net, download and share videos and music, and is unsupervised with their phone use.

Our school rules on phone use is that when the student gets to school, the phone is turned off and stored deep in a backpack. If the student is concerned that it might be taken, they are able to store it in my desk and retrieve at at the end of the day.  At the end of the day, the students are not to turn on the phone until after 3, and off campus. If they need to check in right away, they can come into my room and call. (more…)

For the last two weeks we have been studying point of view. We decided that a fun approach to this topic was to have students read many different versions of the same story, each with a different point of view. We went with the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs.

We also asked the students to create comic strips that showed a parent’s point of view. They really turned out great. Here are a few samples.

Here’s Kelsey’s:


Photo Dec 19, 2013, 4-29 PM

It is fun to see such clever creativity in our students.

Check out Mrs. Kinsman’s classroom blog to see more of her students’ work!


etumioToday we heard from guest blogger Eutimio!

“Today was a great day at school because we got to learn about college and careers. I learned stuff about theater, hospitals, and TV Stations. In math we learned about long division and Mr. Wyborney showed us a faster way using pictures. Then we went to lunch. I ate nachos. Then we went to library. We had a gator activity celebration for not getting a referral all month. I chose to to to the computer lab to play games. There were other activities to choose from like art and basketball. Today was a great day!”

– Eutimio

Check out Mrs. Creason’s classroom blog!



My name is Kyle Kertay, but I go by Mr. K to all the kids in room 24. I am a student teacher from Concordia University and I am being mentored by Mr. Nguyen this fall and winter.  So far I have taught various lessons under Mr. Nguyen’s supervision and I thoroughly enjoy the awesome group of kids that are the 2013 class of room 24.

A little background about me: I grew up in Bend Oregon, I went to college at Willamette University and majored in environmental science.  I love snowboarding, kiteboarding, computers, science, and animals. Also, I like eating spicy food, I love Minecraft, I have a cat named Lu Bu, I like raw spinach, and my favorite color is blue, no red! Ah! I first started teaching by working as a kiteboarding instructor teaching mostly adults and some older children. Two years ago I moved to Oahu to teach kiting in warm water, and there I began working as an after school teacher with 2nd graders. I liked it so much that I decided to become a real teacher… and here I am!  (more…)

Morgan Cottle November 25th, 2013 |

The Boy Who Flies

ashlkand malawiWe were so fortunate today to have Godfrey Masauli from Malawi visit our classroom. Godfrey is the first paragliding pilot from Malawi. Godfrey is currently touring the US spreading the word of hope and courage in accomplishing dreams. A screening of the movie documenting his journey and inspiring story will be Tuesday, November 26th at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Church at 7 pm in Ashland.

This movie has already won international acclaim, including best Canadian film at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. Admission is by donation. You will find Godfrey to be a charming, humble man of great courage and inspiration. To learn more about Godfrey, his dreams, and how you can support this program, please visit his website here.

Read Mr. Cottle’s blog here!

DC Trip

Last week, the students were shocked to learn that I had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. as part of a field trip in the 5th grade. It was an extraordinary opportunity, which was made possible by a lot of fundraising, financial support from my friends’ parents, and one amazing woman. Technically, the trip happened after fifth grade was over (we went in June, shortly after school was out), but it marked one of the most important years of my life. (more…)


Last week we had our first fire drill of the school year. We reviewed in class what to do in case of a fire, which was then followed by our fire drill.

It was good timing because the fire drill came right before the start of October which is Fire Safety Month. We spent a week discussing different aspects of fire safety. We learned about the

importance of working smoke detectors and of having an exit plan as well as a meeting place. Everyone was encouraged to go home and talk to their families to make sure an exit plan is in place in case of a fire.

We ended our fire safety time by creating a book that contains different fire safety rules. Our finished product looked like a book of matches with the safety rules written inside on matches.


We had some special guests come to Gilbert Park today. They are tall and like to slam dunk….yep, the Portland Trail Blazers! Our guests included Robin Lopez, Thomas Robinson, CJ McCollum, Earl Watson, Will Barton, and Victor Claver. They were accompanied by some Blazer assistant coaches, Blazer radio broadcaster Antonio Harvey, and of course Blaze the Trail Cat. They encouraged the students to read everyday, study, and listen to their teachers. The assistant coach’s message was when you look and listen, you will learn. Antonio Harvey led the students in a pledge to live, learn, and play. The players even played with silly string with the students. Gilbert Park received an autographed basketball, the staff received t-shirts and tickets for opening night, and the school received an assembly they will never forget! Thank you BLAZERS!!


Each of us, individually and as families, is faced everyday with choices as to how we spend the precious minutes of each day. There is always the same number of minutes every day, 1440 of them. So how do we choose to use them? I often view time like a budget. It is a fixed thing. There never seems to be enough and I want to spend it wisely.

It is easy then to place a value on those minutes, and then as individuals and families we choose to spend them on the activities that we value or need. We need sleep, we need time together, and in most our cases, we need to go to school and work.

I am not here to judge anyone’s value system or to say that how I choose to value my decisions is better than anyone else’s. But a discussion I heard this week made me think about it more than usual. (more…)

arthur borrosPart of being a teacher is learning how to be a better teacher. I believe it’s important to learn from people who are very good at what they do. That is why, every year for the past five years, I have gone to a class called “Authors, Authors, Authors.” In this class, famous and not so famous authors come to visit our class and talk to us about the craft of writing. They give us a peek into their personal stories and how they became authors. They also tell us about what it’s like to be an author, as well as ways to talk to our students about writing.

I am always so enthralled by the authors and their stories. Tuesday was our first meeting of the class for the new year and the first author was Arthur Dorros. I was so excited to see Mr. Dorros because as a kindergarten teacher I used to read one of his books to my students. (more…)