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  • Dr. J

The Upcoming Wildwood Trimester

Upcoming Trimester (estimated reading time of seven minutes)

Overview: Well, the first trimester at Wildwood Academy was never boring! Let’s see… delayed construction; bus malfunctions; uniform mishaps; computer delays, and, we can’t forget the broken septic tank. Still, we view the first trimester as a tremendous success and the first building block in the culture of Wildwood. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone for believing in us. It's been immensely rewarding and the group of kids we have are truly special.

So, without further ado, is the plan for the second trimester!


Please make a note to check our online calendar, updated continually, is on our web site at, this will have all the vacation days as well as upcoming events.

Upcoming Field and Day Trips

  • November 30 and December 7: Volunteering at Fish and senior center.

  • December 21: Boat design and races at Hood River pool.

  • January 10-11: Overnight at Trout Lake Abbey (team building and hiking).

  • January 17 and 31: Learn about Accupressure

  • January 24: OMSI - King Tut exhibit.

  • February 1: Snowshoe excursion.

  • February 21: Filming of 'Screenagers' and Ghana drumming with the entire school.

  • Feb 8, 15, 22, and March 1: Project work at White Salmon Maker Space

Cool Activities

  • Students will finish up their documentaries about Ekone Ranch.

  • Running club.

  • Yoga continues.

  • Bright Beginnings.

  • Robotics Club continuing - January through May.

  • Oregon Battle of the Books - Competition in February.

  • Down Under with film, photography, music, and art lessons.

  • XC skiing excursions.

  • Chess Club (in development).

Core Education Blocks – Led by Mrs. H and Mrs. G

This term, we will take a deep dive into Ancient Egypt, making connections with what we learned about Ancient Mesopotamia, as well as pulling in more modern history of the region, such as the Arab Spring. In the new year, we will move on to looking at other civilizations, including Greece, Rome, China, and even Ghana. In Science, we will learn about engineering design, simple machines, and climate change. Some of these topics will connect to Egypt, and we will be learning reading and writing strategies to complement our project work.

Skill Building

We are really trying to focus on non-fiction this term, with reading and writing strategies our biggest focus. We will continue our focus on expository writing, learning how to conduct research on a specific topic, write an informational essay, and cite sources. We will be spending time almost every day reading non-fiction, practicing strategies of pulling out the big idea of the text, and identifying key details. In science, we will be practicing the engineering design method to tackle the problem of textile waste in our society. And finally, in order to help all students manage this load, study strategies will be taught explicitly in December as we spend advisory time learning about test-taking strategies and ways to stay organized.


We will continue to evaluate student progress as we have from the start of the year: with standards-based rubrics. With the exception of math, which is quiz-based, scores seen on the report cards won’t necessarily look like a familiar ‘mark out of 20 on a test’. Being a project-based school, we use standards-based rubrics for many of our assessments. If your child receives a 2/7 on their use of grammar in an informational writing piece, it doesn’t mean that they are ‘failing’ writing. This is where they are at in this moment, and will likely progress forward on the continuum throughout the year as they get more practice. Many of our rubrics use state-based grade 8 and 9 standards, and therefore not all students in our school are expected to score ‘perfect’, or even very high, on every assignment. We encourage students and parents to stop by the classroom and look through their child’s portfolio with them, where they can read over many of the rubrics that have been given out and get a more detailed picture of their strengths and areas to improve. A great way to support your student’s continual growth and progress is to ask them to show you their assignments and attached rubrics. These can also be found on Kiddom. Walking through the expectations and criteria for an assignment can help them better understand how they need to prioritize their time and energy. Although we do this in class, adolescents benefit from hearing things more than one time and from a different perspective to fully understand the project/expectations/etc. This will also help you better understand the work that we’re doing in the classroom.

Music – Led by Mr. B

We will continue to assess, learn, arrange, and work towards performing a series of new songs chosen primarily by the class. In the Winter and Spring, I hope to integrate more of the kids on instruments (if they choose) and mix in a bit more choreography, as well. We will also watch more examples of performances, both large and small, on our apple TV, discuss music videos, check out some pop up style concerts (like the NPR Tiny Desk Series), and host some private live performances. The overall goal is for the class to learn to appreciate music as the complex and dynamic language that it is, understand of the art of performance, and have fun doing it all!

Art – Led by Ms. Yamamoto

For the upcoming trimester, the students will further build their skills by drawing and painting a portrait of their hero or someone who inspires them.

As I’ve told my students in the past, you can’t have a good painting unless you have a good drawing and so we will focus on building their drawing skills, learning to see and draft the construct, placing navigation points and varying value shapes with the help of hatch lines to gain a likeness of their subject. They are presently honing their skills in controlled brush placement and paint mixing to control value which will prepare them for painting their hero using only two colours, black and white.

Once their understanding of controlling value is achieved, they will be introduced to a full colour palette painting a landscape composition using sponges. It is a super fun project where everyone’s trees can look different and is a more freely expressive project than the portrait assignment which instils more artistic disciplines.

I will also be introducing a “Brave Art for Youth” sharing circle and mindfulness practice which will complement the Mindup teachings of Mrs. Hubler and Mrs. Gilchrist. This will give the students opportunities to download on their worries, stresses and to celebrate triumphs and daily highlights in their workbook journal which they all have a copy of where they also have been using to work on side projects.

We are looking forward to exploring 3D art with Sculpy clay and also an exploration of the history of graffiti art with stencil making.

Entrepreneurship – Led by Dr. J

The Entrepreneurship Program will see the students learn the very basics of business by actually opening their own company using real dollars. They will need to write a very basic business outline about their business, a sales and marketing plan, and then sell their product or service. They are expected to make a profit. At the end of the year, we’ll have an Entrepreneurship Fair to allow students to demonstrate their strategy and results. In addition, we’ll integrate students within our many event opportunities to learn the basics of salesmanship, marketing, branding, event management, and product development.

Spanish – Led by Ms. Brown

We’ll study the Latino music and community through lip syncing, common verbs and conjugation, numbers (1-100), household objects, daily living, transportation, business, and food vocabulary. The goal is for our students to interact with Latino members of the Gorge community and feel comfortable traveling to a Spanish speaking country. Most importantly, Spanish should be fun to get the students interested in a foreign language!

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