Rivendell Older Kids

Desert Life Today

Our essential question for our study or deserts is How do organisms adapt to living in deserts? In Science class they have studied how plants and animals have adapted to life in the deserts. In class we have talked about the different types of deserts. On Friday, the kids watched videos of people living in different types of deserts in different parts of the world to see how humans have adapted to living in deserts. They then created mock interviews based on what they learned. To see the videos click on the links below.

Gobi Desert (Sarah’s Class)

Atacama Desert (Sarah’s Class)

Sahara Desert (Sarah’s Class)

Atacama Desert (Suzanne’s Class)
Sahara Desert (Suzanne’s Class)
Gobi Desert (Suzanne’s Class)

Author Visit

Non fiction writer and scientist, Nancy Castaldo stopped by for a visit today. We learned a lot about her process of “baking a book” and all the amazing places she has visited in order to research her topics.

Monday, September 9

The older kid hike to Lory State Park was so much fun. Our kids had a great time working together to figure out problems in our team building games, and the hike was beautiful. We have a great group of kids and we’re excited to spend next Friday night with them here at school.

Friday is the older kids sleepover. Kids should arrive back at school at 6:30pm. The doors will not be open before then, as we will need some time to prepare our mega scavenger hunt! We are asking that students go home for a little between school and the sleepover, otherwise it is just such a long day for them. We will provide pizza for dinner. We will have the kids sleep in groups of 2-4 in tents in the Commons. Please let us know if you have a tent that we can use, and how many people can fit in it.  Everyone should bring pajamas, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a sleeping bag and pillow. A pad would be great as the floor is pretty hard. A stuffed animal, flashlight and boo kare also encouraged. We will eat dinner, play games, and watch a movie. If your child will not be coming, or needs to come late, please let us know. We will provide breakfast the next day and ask that you pick up your child by 8am. It should be a lot of fun!

This week we are starting vocabulary.  We will work on this during class time, but if students do not finish in the assigned time they will need to finish it for homework.  Students should study the words throughout the week ready for a quiz on Friday. We will also be adding math for homework on Tuesday this week.  We would like kids to work in their math workbooks for 20-25 minutes. If Tuesday is a hard day for your child to do math homework, please let us know and we can plan a different day for you.



Mad Minute practice




Math workbook 20-25 minutes



Mad Minute practice

Study vocab words



Complete vocab if not finished in class

Study vocab words


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, Sept. 11th –  Map Testing-Math

Friday, Sept. 13th – Older Kids Sleep-in 

Friday, September 27th – Fun Run 

Monday, September 3rd

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Four years ago, we started two Older Kid traditions. One is the Older Kids Sleep-in: a chance for the kids to sleep over at the school. We have a treasure hunt, eat pizza, watch a movie and sleep in tents in the Commons. Our Older Kids Sleep-in will be Friday, Sept. 13. Another tradition we started was the beginning of the year hike. We like to start the year in nature and end in nature, with our week at Sky Ranch. This Friday, Sept. 6 we will hike Wells Gulch, at Lory State Park. It is a 1.8 mile loop that has educational stops along the way. If you have not turned in your permission slip and $5, please do so.

Thursday night is our Back to School Night from 6:00-6:30. This is a great way to learn about what Older Kids looks like,and what our expectations for the students are. We encourage all parents to attend.

This week we will be easing into homework with Mad Minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday night. These are a way to practice fast facts which will help them in their everyday math. Next week we will start our regular homework schedule. Each child has a homework planner where we record homework assignments.  Your child will bring home the planner Monday-Thursday. Please check your child has completed homework and sign underneath 

We have gone back in time during our topic work and we are exploring Ancient Egypt in Nomes, similar to city states. At present, students are learning about their nome, creating a group standard (banner) and making a class map of Egypt. Take a look at the photos showing the students working together. Our study will culminate in a museum that we will share with the rest of the school. 

Upcoming Events: 

Thurs., Sept. 5, 6-6:30 Back to School Night

Fri., Sept. 6  Hike to Lory State Park

Mon., Sept. 9 Map Testing-Reading

Weds., Sept. 11 Map Testing-Math

Fri., Sept. 13 Older Kids Sleep-in 

First Week of School!

Welcome back to Rivendell! We are thrilled that you have chosen Rivendell as a partner in educating your child. It is such an honor to be with your kids every day. We had a wonderful first few days of class.  Everyone seems excited to be back and ready for a new year. We have spent some time getting to know each other and introduced some important procedures and expectations. In Older Kids we work on personal responsibility, organization, and the development of good work habits in order to prepare these kids for middle school. We believe that knowledge and understanding are acquired through active exploration. Children in our classrooms do not just sit and listen to the teacher but are actively engaged in discussion, investigation, and questioning. We encourage our students to find their voice. We want them to be able to share their ideas in a whole class setting and to respectfully ask questions of their teachers and peers.  We want our students to be able to advocate for themselves in order to get help when needed and to ask for clarification when the lesson is not clear. These skills prepare Rivendell older kids to excel in middle school. 

This week we will be working on an almost regular schedule.  We are starting reading workshop by choosing appropriate books, learning how to record our reading, and how to write reading responses.  We will be working on reading assessments throughout the week to learn more about students’ reading skills. We will be getting back into the rhythm of math work sessions.  We are excited to be able to give each student even more individualized attention in our small classes. We will start our first writing project and learn how the process of writer’s workshop looks in older kids. We will also begin our study of Egypt.  Our classes will work together in small groups to complete tasks and projects as they learn about this ancient civilization and try to become the next pharaoh of Egypt! We will not be sending homework home this week, but we do encourage each child to read independently or with an adult every night for at least 20 minutes. Every morning at 8:30 sharp we are jump starting our kids with warm ups, such as free writing, keyboarding, or a math challenge, so please have your kids in school by 8:30. We will talk in more detail about our schedule and curriculum at Back-to-School Night on September 5th.  We hope to see you there.

A sense of community is fundamental to Rivendell and good communication is crucial.  Every Monday we will email a link to our Monday News. Here you will find information about what is going on in the classroom, homework for the week, recitation information, and upcoming events.  We also try to include photographs as much as possible. If you have any concerns or questions please contact us via email. 

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 5th – Back-to-school Night

Friday, September 6th – Field trip to Lory State Park

Monday, Sept. 9th -Map testing

Wednesday, Sept. 11-Map testing

Friday, September 13th – Older Kids Sleep in