Homeroom Updates can now be found on our new blog!

by Mrs. Nilsen on March 26th, 2012

Hey Homeroom parents!  It's spring break, and I've been wanting to create a way for you to be able to search back through updates I send home to make information easier to find.  I will be starting to put the weekly news updates I send home as an email on this blog as well.  I’m new to blogs, but I’m sure some of our students can help me (or you) out as we get used to the layout and format.  Let’s each do our part to keep up mutual, collaborative communication.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Also, I'm putting these into categories.  You should be able to seach for science or homeroom news depending on which you would like to view.  Happy day!

Updates before the creation of this blog:

3/12 - 3/16 Nilsen Homeroom Weekly News

Hey there homeroom!

It’s Friday already again.  It’ happens so quickly.  Especially when there’s a snow day to throw off our week.  I hope your student enjoyed their day off.  The snow was beautiful!

March 12 – March 16
KAA: We were quite busy this week as well.  Kids Are Authors projects are in the mail!  I wanted to send a special shout out to the parents who made special trips up to school yesterday to make sure that all the forms were signed and ready to send.  As I mentioned above, the snow day really threw us off.  I had a few students who were pretty down at the beginning of yesterday as I had no control over the Scholastic deadline for the project.  They were very grateful to each of you who made it possible to get them sent out on time.  So even if your son or daughter hasn’t specifically thanked you, I know how relieved the group members were and I wanted to thank you on their behalf.  We should be hearing from Scholastic about the winners by May 31st.  It takes a lot of effort and maturity to work with people to see a project like this to fruition.  They worked together, explored the writing process from brainstorming to revision and back multiple times, and each came up with a product to be proud of.  If our students are not selected as winners for the contest, we will look at getting them bound later in the year and a nice copy for students who want them.  I’m really proud of our students for completing this process.  Way to go, class!

OAKS: The other big occupier of our time recently in homeroom has been our 1st round of OAKS testing.  All students in the state of Oregon are required to take the testing appropriate for their grade level.  This year, all 6-8 students are taking the reading and math tests, and 8th graders are taking the science portion.  Due to financial reasons on the state level, 7th graders are not taking the writing testing this year.  I’m looking forward to finishing this first round of testing and having my homeroom literacy time back!

MRA Auction:  Thank you to those who have sent in auction donations for our basket.  We’re going to be working on our class art project this afternoon.  Say a thank you to Mike and Angela Girard next time you see them for pulling this together for us!  I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Read-a-thon!:  This coming Friday, March 23rd is our class’s read-a-thon!  In case you never heard, our class decided to have a read-a-thon as an activity during community meeting months ago.  Students planed it for the day before spring break, wrote a proposal to the entire staff inviting other classrooms to participate, and got approval for the dress down day.  Students may come to school in their PJs (or something really comfy), bring sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, (the younger grades who are participating are bring stuffed animals, so I guess those would be OK, too) all to school to create a wonderful, cozy environment in which we read all day!  Our Music teacher will be incorporating reading into her lessons and the assembly and buddy times will also have a reading component.  We should be very proud of our students as this was their idea coming to life!  An entire school day dedicated to the love of reading!  I’m even putting up a sign up sheet for students to request books from the library if they can’t make it there themselves.  It will be a fantastic day, one that I know my class is highly looking forward to.

Hunger Games Première: speaking of reading…..If you student has read the Hunger Games (or even if they haven’t and are just wanting to see the movie), I would like to say a few things in regards to the opening of this greatly anticipated film.  While midnight premieres are very fun, I personally do not think that it is good timing for students to go to a midnight showing, as the movie opens March 23rd at midnight (or between Thursday and Friday).  Now, I know this is not my decision, as I am not their parent.  This is 100% your decision to make.  I simply wanted to express my expectation for students to be at school on Friday and to offer an alternative to being extremely sleepy the next day.

I will be going to see the Hunger Games myself that first day it comes out (as I, too, am excited for the premiere).  I am going at 7:30 at the Regal Hilltop 9 in Oregon City on Friday evening the 23rd.  I am by no means volunteering to chaperone or be in charge of your children, however, if you and your student wanted to watch the movie at the same time and place that I am, I would love to share that experience with our students.  I’m sending this invitation to everyone.  Parents, come watch it, too!  It could be a great conversation started with your child.  We could fill a row or two at the Regal that Friday night and celebrate the start of spring break.  There were plenty of tickets still on sale online the last time I looked.  Perhaps I’ll see you there.

As always, if you have any questions/concerns/warm fuzzies/musings/etc, feel free to send them my way.  Have a great weekend!

Emily Nilsen

3/5 - 3/9 Nilsen Weekly News

Hey there homeroom!

As I mentioned in my earlier message, I’m starting just a quick blurb about what’s happening in Science class. (I’ll send another message for Science specifically.)  It is my hope that these news updates will help you be more informed and spur more mutual communication between all of us.  Let the exciting news commence!

March 3 – March 9
KAA contest, here we come!  Students worked really hard all week to finish up their Kids Are Authors Projects.  Groups are bring home the entry form over the next couple of days as we put together the packet to mail to Scholastic on Wednesday, March 14th.   If you want to read more about the contest, see Scholastic’s website.  http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/contest/kaa_about.asp

Planners:  While students know this, perhaps a little reminder here wouldn’t hurt.  Students in my homeroom are to be bringing home their planners EVERY NIGHT and having a parent or guardian initial in the box on the far right side.  I expect my students to write down their learning goal and homework every day.  Checking students planners is a great way for your to see how your student is doing with organizational skills, time management, and accountability.  You can always check engrade to see if the assignments written down match what’s been assigned and turned in.  We work hard to keep our planners up to date.  Having students check it every night at home gives us another layer of accountability and responsibility.  Thank you for your help in this endeavor.

We also had a birthday this week!  Happy Birthday Emily B.!!

The annual MRA Auction is coming up sooner than we think!  With Spring Break, Parent/Teacher Conferences, and ODS right around the corner, we realistically only have these two weeks before Spring Break to make our art project and create our Auction Basket.  Please contact Angela Giard with how you can help our class with our Auction prep.   Angela.giard@gmail.com

Keep your eyes open for more fundraising for the Seniors coming up!  We’ll also be sending home more ODS forms and such over next week.  (what to pack/not pack, etc.)


I love working with this group of 22.  I’m going to cry when some of them leave me in a few months.  They’re all such a pleasure to work with.

Have a good weekend homeroom!
Emily Nilsen

Friday, March 9th

Dear Parents,

It has come to my attention that there are some miscommunications about some of the happenings with the Seniors.  As always, if you have concerns, questions, thoughts, ideas, comments, successes, challenges, etc. that involve your child, our school, and/or their learning, I implore you to engage in mutual communication with myself and the other Senior teachers directly.  I love talking with parents about their child.  Students are my life, my passion, my daily highs and lows.  As my husband fondly says, I “eat, sleep, and breathe teaching.” There’s no other place I’d rather be.

To aid in this mutual process of communication, I will be starting a weekly news blurb to be emailed/engraded home at the end of every week (printed copies can be sent home by request).  It won’t be anything fancy, just a short message to say what we’ve been focusing on during the week and any special announcements that need to be conveyed.

I look forward to continually improving our mutual communication with each other.  As always, it is a pleasure to work for and with you, our students, and our community.

Emily Nilsen

Posted in Homeroom Updates    Tagged with Resources, KAA, OAKS testing, Read-a-thon, Planners, Auction, Fundraising, Events/Activities


Kaity - May 24th, 2012 at 4:09 PM
I love the Hunger Games! I think it's the best movie ever! I went and saw it on Friday at 10:00 pm! I love the Hunger Games but I wish I could have seen it with Mrs. Nilsen.
Linden - May 31st, 2012 at 11:09 AM
KAA was SO much fun! It was a great opportunity for my group and I to get to know each other and become better friends. Greenie the Toucan didn't win, but we were still happy we created a book together. I really hope we get to do this again next year!

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