Chalk Talk, June 15, 2011


Our Destination ImagiNation team placed 14th in the world! We are so proud of our students! Our youths were one of 68 teams competing in our division and there were teams from Poland, Turkey, China, South Korea, Mexico, Canada and Guatemala, along with other teams from the U.S. It was an amazing experience and a celebration of creativity, teamwork and problem solving. The Lugnuts team was comprised of fourth-graders Blake Wiker, Erin Gordon and Riley Scott from Greywolf Elementary, and Johnnie Young from Helen Haller Elementary. Thanks to everyone for their support!
— Tricia Billes, instructor


Each year, Plank Road Publishing sponsors an art contest for students. The winning entry is used as the cover of the spring issue of Music K-8 magazine. Two of Sue Gellor’s fifth-graders placed this year: Haelee Andres as a finalist and Lilliana Rayon received an honorable mention. Cover art submitted for 2011 may be viewed at
— Gretchen Gunter, music teacher


On Friday, June 10, fifth-graders, accompanied by some parents, teachers and principal Patra Boots, in bicycle helmets and jackets, participated in the annual bike ride on the Discovery Trail. In the past, they rode to the Dungeness Spit, but this year their destination was the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center.
While at the tribal center, students broke into three groups to take part in different activities led by tribal staff members. Patrick Adams spoke on history and natural resources, while Marlin Holden spoke on canoe journeying and the students got to sit in a canoe. Finally, Eric Adams conducted totem tours, instructing on the historical significance of each totem. The students ate their lunches without getting rained on, then journeyed back to the school for a 17-mile total round trip by bicycle.
— Eric Danielson, teacher

Responses from Andrea Slack’s third-graders when asked what they will miss most about their classroom community:
I will miss how we have AR goals we set and would celebrate when we met them. I will also miss how we do monthly poetry and then make them into books to take home at the end of the year. I will miss our compliment chart and how we would celebrate when we filled it up. But I will miss our trustworthy, fun, friendly and safe class.
Lauren Andrews

Having a good teacher and a funny one. Having friends in the class. It was a funny year and we had a lot of new kids. Overall I liked the year of third-grade.
Ridge Armstrong

My friends.
Blake Boardman

All my friends.
Jameson Burns

I will miss most our working together. I have never been in a better class than this one. So I would have to say I will be very sorry to leave this classroom to be in a different one. Another thing I will miss about being in this awesome community is everyone will help others in need. Like when something drops almost ten people come to help pick it up. So those are my big misses about this class.
Erin Dwyer

Niceness, friends, group activities, games, playing with friends and math activities.
Matthew Mahlum

All of my friends. Miss Slack. The classroom arrangements.
Sara Minty

I will miss Daily 5 because I only get to do Daily 5 once a day.
Matthew Keeler

I will miss my classmates, the support, the kind words, and I will miss my teacher.
Christian Nicholson

Miss Slack doing track.
Lesae Pfeffer

I am going to miss Miss Slack, and my friends, and my classroom.
Maggie Thayer

Going to track, kind words, and classmates.
Sequoia Swindler

I will miss all the fun learning we had.
Megan Turner

Having a great teacher.
Makenzie Walla

I will miss the classroom, Miss Slack, my friends, learning 3rd-grade things.
Rita Welch

I will miss the way people treat each other in class. I will also miss when my mom comes to volunteer. I like the way Miss Slack teaches and gives good compliments to the class. I will miss moving my fish on the white board.
Nathan Whittle

— Andrea Slack, teacher


All sixth-grade classes attended an educational field trip at the Dungeness Railroad Bridge Park on May 31-June 3. Volunteer adults and 22 high school students from Laura Gould’s A.P. biology class taught six different stations, each 45 minutes long. School board president and Dungeness River Audubon Center volunteer John Bridge said, “The high school students’ enthusiasm, knowledge and the fact that they were happy to be there teaching, helped hold the sixth-graders’ attention. I thought the high school students would come with knowledge and enthusiasm, but was pleasantly surprised at what good teachers they were. A lot of learning took place for the sixth-graders and the high school students.”
Here is a short recap of the lessons offered at each station:
Station 1: Macro-Invertebrates: Students waded into the river and collected random samples from the river-bed. Students sorted and classified mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies and other macro-invertebrates.
Station 2: Influencing Behavior of Park Visitors: Students brainstormed and discussed strategies to educate park visitors to be more environmentally aware.
Station 3: Stewardship: Volunteers taught about native and non-native plant species, invasive species of plants, how to control invasive plants and what stewardship is.
Station 4: Salmon and the Dungeness River: Students learned about the chum, sockeye, king, silver and pink salmon, their life stages, insects eaten by salmon, predators of salmon and what we can do to help the salmon survive.
Station 5: Water Quality: Everyone took part in measuring the river’s CFS, or cubic feet per second, by finding the river’s width, depth and speed.
Station 6: Plants of the Riparian Forest: Everyone learned to identify the 10 native species of the Dungeness River forest and four non-native species. Also, they learned about the two dominant species of plants in the canopy, the understory and the forest floor.
Sequim Middle School students and staff want to send all their appreciation to the volunteers who made the experience so educational, interesting and fun!
— Dave McInnes,

First Teacher activities:
Friday, June 17, 10:30 a.m. — Annual Teddy Bear Picnic
Monday, June 20, 10:30 a.m. — Reading Time. Brenda Hanrahan, editor of Sequim This Week, is our guest reader. Every child attending Reading Time receives a free book.
Tuesday, June 21 — WIC (Women, Infants and Children). For more information about the WIC program, contact Pam Walker at 417-2275.
— Cynthia Martin, director, and Nicole Brewer, parent coordinator


Graduation ticket distribution for graduating (walking) seniors will take place Wednesday, June 15. Seniors will need to pick up and sign for their tickets in the main office. Sorry, family and friends are not allowed to pick up tickets. Please note that lost or stolen tickets will not be replaced!
Ticket holders will be admitted to the stadium between 5-6 p.m. Seating will be on a first-come basis. There will be no reserved seating. A section will be marked off near the bleachers for those who need wheelchair access. Also, the first row of the bleachers will be for those not able to climb stairs and steps.
— Lora Millet, secretary

Biology teachers Dave Ketter and Jennifer Van De Wege recently took students on a field trip to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Students were taken out on a boat and participated in an ongoing study of local waters. The study focused on effects of consumer use of some personal products, such as particular brands of toothpaste that contain tiny plastic particles. Scientists discovered these micro-plastics are turning up in the water and they are studying the impact on marine organisms. The field trip was funded through a grant by Learn and Serve America, which is part of the National Corporation of Service Learning.
— Dave Ketter and Jennifer Van De Wege, teachers

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