Rivendell Older Kids

Last letter

Dear Parents,

Sky Ranch never fails to astonish. Its physical beauty greets us each morning and continues to delight us through out the day and into the night. The trees dance with the sunlight, the roar of the river overwhelms all human sounds, and the night sky awash with crystal- clear, shimmering stars lulls us to sleep each night. Bonds are solidified among peers and teacher and peers; between the fifth grade night walk, low and high ropes, and the daily rituals we share with each other it is the apex of our year together, so thanks go out to all who support us in our time there: the Sky Ranch Staff, our fellow teachers, our parents, and our director, Polly who came up for our first night- a fantastic Sky Ranch 2013 was had by all!
It is hard to believe we are entering our last week of school, but it is true and we have a jam-packed week outside of our normal house cleaning items, like cleaning out our desks, the room and checking out books to work on over the summer. Tomorrow, Monday we go to the CSU Engines Lab to see the inventive process up close and personal. We hope our students will be inspired by this experience and perhaps invent something themselves someday. Our annual EPIC Day will be Tuesday, Wednesday will be Field Day. Thursday will be celebration of our book and genre challenge concluding with a poetry slam, and Friday we say goode bye. We have a small “graduation” for our fifth graders on Friday usually around 10:00, but please check with teachers on that exact time if you would like to join us.
WE NEED PERMISSION FOR YOUR CHILD TO ATTEND BOTH FIELDTRIPS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY The easiest way is to email us that permission. Would you please do that as soon as you receive this letter. Another letter is being sent out to list specifics of each day and what your children need:  sack lunch, water bottle, good shoes etc. We are looking forward to this final week. It will be a celebration of another wonderful year at Rivendell.
Jane, Jessica, Michele and Inta

News May 6th-10th

Older Kids’ News

May 6-10, 2013

Older Kid classrooms displayed an energetic and fascinating group of inventors and their inventions last Friday.  The culmination of weeks of research, composing, editing, editing again, and creating resulted in students ready to present their five paragraph essays and models, to their peers, dressed in appropriate garb.  Students were excited to witness their classmates presentations and teachers were proud of the writing process that all had to walk through to create such a product.


We begin I.T.B.S. testing this Monday.  Please get plenty of rest, eat a good breakfast, and be on time to school.  Testing begins every morning at 8:45, and will be finished before lunch, and runs Monday – Thursday.   


If you have not signed a permission form yet for your child to go to the New Belgium Brewery Tour this Monday, please stop by your child’s classroom first thing on Monday morning.  We sent additional copies home on Friday for those that missed the first one.


Our much-loved Spring Program is THIS THURSDAY night at 6:00 p.m. We would like the students at Rocky Mountain High School by 5:45, in time to find their teacher and line up for the opening song.  Come help us celebrate a wonderful year in song, pictures, and speeches by our departing 5th graders.


On Friday after a very full and busy week, we will have our annual Fun Run.  Older Kids will be running from 11-11:30, if you would like to come by and show your support.  Sponsor forms need to be turned into the office by May 8.


We are finished with homework for the school year.  Enjoy your family time in the evenings and plan to get plenty of sleep for our full and exciting week!


The Older Kid Teachers


What a Monday!

What a Monday we had! Even though this is our week to administer Iowa Testing, we also thought it would be a great week to have some experiences/field trips, so yesterday we started the day out with a reading comprehension test. Then we proceeded to Spring Creek where we met some ecologists from the city who guided us through a sensory experience of our creek. Our kids are such poets they turned their sensory observations into poems. See below. They are both capable of viewing our natural world through a scientist’s eye and a poet’s eye. Today after testing, we will follow up with those observations and everyone will put on a poet’s beret and create. Some of our girls were busy collecting sticks during lunch and started this poem……

Stick Poem

Throwing spears
 Wizard’s staff
Flaming trees
Bellatrix’s wand
Hobbit’s cane…..


After lunch we took the city bus, also quite an experience, to the Downtown Transit Center.   From there we walked along the Poudre Bike Trail to New Belgium Brewery. It was a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky, many animals created an orchestra of sounds and sights around us. We got to the Brewery and we took a tour with Brian Callahan. It was very interesting yet smelly! We learned a lot about the brewing system particularly about the hot and cold stages of the brewing process, and how the yeast eats the sugar and excretes carbon dioxide and alcohol. As scientists, we were excited to find out how much science there is in brewing. Making connections, one of our favorite past times, was easy yesterday, immigrants came and opened many breweries, the assembly line at New Belgium was state of the art unlike the assembly line that we simulated last week or the one in the textile factory in Lyddie by Katherine Patterson.

Brian, a former Rivendell parent and the current director of fun at the brewery let us ride on the slide he had installed to encourage fun in the workplace. He has fun centers all over the brewery and takes New Belgium employees all over the world on fun trips. Brian explained to us how at New Belgium they try to make their workers happy by putting “toys” all around the factory .He said,” Happy workers are more productive and loyal to the company, so fun is good for everyone.” Thanks Brian. What a day we had!

Signing off, Fei, Fi and Jane

photo (50)photo (51)photo (52)photo (53)photo (54)photo (55)photo (56)

The Assembly Line

Older kids went through an assembly line simulation today. In Lowell, Mass they created dolls. Some questions they pondered during and after this exercise were: What were conditions like in most factories during industrialization? How does the assembly line change the life of a worker? How does an assembly line affect the quality of the product? How drastically did life change for everyone during Industrialization?

They look a little too happy to be downtrodden factory workers, don’t they?

photo (49)photo (48)

News and Homework April 29th-May 3rd

Older Kids’ New

April 29th-May 3rd


The home stretch is coming into view, and we are not quite ready to to finish, but like any pure bred fillies we are determined.  Last week was a whirlwind of activities: we finished off our last vocabulary test, worked on our five paragraph essays, went on field trips and middle school visits, it was exciting and exhausting, and we hardly had time to catch our breath.


On Monday we continue the flurry of activities with a visit from author/illustrator Linda Osmundson then we leap into Immigration Day, a historically fun and educational day  for all. Our Older Kids will be the heads of families coming from all over the world to immigrate to America. This week our Older Kids will inform their families from preschool to Middle Kids where they are from and what their names are. Everyone enters through Ellis Island, some immigrants will be challenged by the lack of connections, money, a trade and many other potential pitfalls;  some will enter and some will be turned back. The trick is to get your family through, older kids always love a challenge.


This Friday all fifth graders will take the district math test, this will help your middle school, whichever school that is, to place your child in an appropriately challenging math class. Please make sure your child is at school on Friday afternoon to take this test or you will have to set up a time at the middle school your child will attend to have your child take it.


Next Monday our students will start a week of Iowa testing, so healthy snacks and early nights to bed would be most beneficial. Testing will occur each morning and take up the entire morning. Older kids will be working on their portfolios in the afternoon, and finishing up their work for the year. Also, Older Kids will take part in a stream experience right along Spring Creek with the Master Naturalists of Fort Collins, and they will also be taking the bus to New Belgium to see our own version of a fully automated factory. It should be another full week.


Jane, Jessica, Inta and Michele





  • Work on model and summary of essay for recitation.

  • Finish up final version of essay.

  • Read.


  • Work on model and summary of essay for recitation.

  • Finish up final version of essay.

  • Read.


  • Key Math, begin with corrections and work for 20 minutes.

  • Read

  • Final preparation for recitation.


  • Recitation tomorrow.

  • You will need summary of essay and your model.

  • Dress as your inventor.

Please remember 5th graders need to work on their speeches and math.

Earth Day 2013

Our thanks go out to Amber and all the amazing volunteers that made Earth Day so fun and informative!!!! Dancing with the earth, worm exploration and birds and their nests were some of the centers that kids visited today.

photo (45)photo (47)photo (46)