Room 9 Updates

Sunday, December 15, 2019

HI All,

As predicated, the month of December has been a roller coaster of activity!  First of all, thank you so much to parents who drove and chaperoned 4th Graders on their field trip to the mission. I heard from Mr. McMillan that things went very smoothly. Third Grade Parents, you will have the opportunity to drive on our field trip to the Museum of Natural History in January, and the entire class will be attending the field trip to the Monterey Aquarium in February.

This week, along with a holiday Sing-Along and a Book Swap, we will have "Stick it to Hunger" to raise money for Second Harvest. Please send in donations by Thursday, if you haven't already. Finally, our Room Parents have been planning a holiday party for Thursday afternoon. Get in touch with them to give support, or let me know if you are missing direct communication from them. Thanks to all who are able to help!

Academically, one big thing is that we wrap up our information writing unit. Most of the class has completed a typed draft, and are working independently and with peers to edit based on grade level expectations. I'll be collecting their work on Thursday and will return it after the break. Kids have also been reading/researching about Native Americans for the last couple of weeks, and will share their information with each other on Wednesday. In Math, both grades are working on multiplication and division, including story applications. At this point in the year, Third Graders should be memorizing facts to gain fluency, although they are learning additional strategies to multiply efficiently when they encounter facts they don't know. Fourth Graders should be multiplying fluently, and are using this skill to multiply and divide bigger numbers.

Over break, I encourage kids to practice math facts using Moby Max, and to explore bigger ideas using Khan Accelerator. Remember, the kids have to log in using their PVUSD gmail accounts to access these programs.  ( as a log in, and their birthday password, which they should know how to format.) Many kids may forget the part, as it is filled in when they work from school. This is also a great time for kids to read and to engage in independent, self-selected writing activities. I'm always so impressed when I see what kids do in writing on their own,  and with friends!

Have a wonderful holiday season and Winter Break. For those of you that I see at school, and those that I don't, thanks for all you do! I'm grateful for the wonderful Rio del Mar community: kids, staff, parents. Rest up, and get ready for an amazing new year!

Take care,

Carroll Mayer

Monday, December 9, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed the rainy weekend!

This past weekend I attended the CMC Math Conference at Asilomar with a large part of the Rio staff. The conference was paid for with your fundraising dollars---thank you!  I attended sessions on word problems--always a challenge, as well as ancient number systems, and learned some strategies that I'll be integrating into my math instruction for your kids, as well as future students.

In Room 9, we will be doing the "Hour of Code" this Monday, and I've put the link on our Google classroom so that kids can access it from home as well.  We should finish up our winter MAP testing early this week, and will be reading about Native Americans in Reading class until Winter Break. In Math, 3rd Graders are working on strategies and fluency in multiplication facts, and 4th Graders are multiplying and dividing with larger numbers.

This Friday, 4th Graders will be going on the mission field trip with Mr. McMillan's and Mr. Avey's classes. We have 3 parent chaperones driving and attending from our class.

Room Parents will be reaching out about our holiday party, which will be held on the kids' last day of school before break: December 20th. Let them know if you'd like to help.

Finally, keep a watch for information about "Stick it to Hunger" fundraiser for Second Harvest. Information is coming home today.

Have a great week!


Monday, November 25, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed another brisk fall weekend!

A few reminders for this short week:

Please send back report card envelopes, signed. We re-use them the entire year.

Fourth Graders that are interested in the Spelling Bee can practice words listed on the link in the blog. There is no specific word list to study. Third Graders are also welcome to practice from this list, but the school-wide and county Spelling Bees are limited to 4th on up.

There will be no official homework this week, but keep on reading, and you can also access technology like Lexia and Khan Accelorator!

A big thank you to those of you that attended the book fair and purchased books for your kids-- and Room 9! Your choice to buy from the book fair also builds our school library. Thanks!

Finally, I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with you all last week. Back-to-School Night is such a blur, so it's great to make this one-on-one connection and get a chance to focus with you all on your specific kid!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!



Sunday, November 17, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you have had a great weekend. I cherish these last warm days!

On Friday we had such a nice day celebrating classroom behavior, Drive-for-Schools ticket sales, and a birthday. The kids and I enjoyed our PJs, and delicious Pizza My Heart. We also wrote thank you notes to this generous sponsor.

Next week, I look forward to meeting with you all for Parent/Teacher Conferences. As a reminder, these are tightly scheduled 20 minute intervals, so please be on time. If your child did not bring you the confirmation of your time, please email, as they should have given it to you on Thursday.

During Conference Week, the book fair is also open. Usually we get a preview, but unfortunately the books arrived late, so we didn't get to shop ahead. Kids with money will only be allowed to shop before and after school. You can also stop in on your conference day, or before/after school.

Finally, thank you to the 4th Grade parents who have volunteered to attend the mission field trip. We are all squared away with 3 chaperones now. I still need permission slips from several of the kids, so send it in if you have not done so already.

Have a great week! This was always a favorite with my kids, as it's a chance to see friends--and teacher---but also have lots of play time.


Carroll Mayer

Monday, November 4, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed your 3 day weekend!  I attended a terrific teacher training where I learned about some more cool technology to implement in Room 9. On Thursday I was also able to schedule a makeup day for the time we missed with the Dash Robots last Monday. On Halloween afternoon the kids enjoyed working with the robots and practiced some beginning coding skills. Our tech teacher has promised to bring even greater challenges to the class this Tuesday afternoon.

I am still looking for one more 4th Grade parent chaperone for the Mission San Juan Bautista field trip on Friday, December 13th.

I am also looking for a person to take on our yearbook page. Please get in touch if you are able to do this. You don't have to be an amazing photographer, and the page can be as simple or complicated as you wish. Mrs. Avey (in her parent hat) is the Yearbook Coordinator. Please get in touch with me or her if you wish to help with Room 9's page.

On Tuesday, November 5th, there will be Picture Day makeups. If you want a retake, please return the first batch.

Finally, thank you so much to our terrific Room Parents and helpers, who arranged a fun party, full of "Minute to Win It" games, and some delicious snacks. The day was fun, without getting too wild and sugary! Much appreciated!

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed your bonus day off, and that the lack of power didn't cramp your style too much!
I know I enjoyed a good part of the days, and saved my Ipad charge for night time reading.

This week is full of other kinds of excitement. The kids will celebrate Halloween on Thursday with the parade at 8:15, followed by our class party at 9. Expectation/rules about appropriate costumes were presented in this week's Seahawk News, which the kids watched Tuesday morning. If you are unsure, ask your child what they learned on the news! In the afternoon, our class will have the Dash Robots, and will be working with a teacher from the Tech Department on writing codes for them. Unfortunately, our first Dash Robot day was Monday.  On Friday, teachers will be attending in-services throughout the district, so your kids will have a recovery day from Halloween festivities.

A few other fun things are coming up in the next several weeks. The first is our pizza party on November 15th, which the class won for having the highest percentage of students participating in the Drive-for-Schools fundraiser--yay, you! Fourth Graders will be going to Mission San Juan Bautista on Friday, December 13th. If you are a 4th Grade parent, and able to drive (fingerprinted, TB-tested, etc.), please let me know ASAP. I'd like 3 drivers from 4th. Third Grade's first field trip will not be until January, when we head to the Museum of Natural History. 

FYI, Recently I read that the Berkeley Repertory Theater would be presenting The Tale of Despereaux. I have seen a lot of plays there, and highly recommend their productions if you are looking for a special family activity in December/January.

Have a great, busy week!


Monday, October 21, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed out beautiful coastal fall weather! 

Last Friday, our class celebrated the completion of our Personal Narrative stories. We met up with Mr. Avey and Mr. McMillan and read work from other kids. The children are coached to leave positive, constructive comments for each other. This week we begin an Informative Writing unit!

Our class also finished up the week with a terrific presentation on Type I Diabetes from Lucy, Jane, and our school nurse, Sandra Goldstein. The kids learned about the meaning of diabetes, and ways they can support individuals with this medical diagnosis. Some also connected the discussion to other challenges they face, and gave our class an opportunity to grow even further as a supportive community.

This week Fourth Graders begin Math Module 3, on multiplying and dividing bigger numbers. You will notice that the first few activities seem cumbersome and inefficient as modes to multiply, but they are addressing the concept of multiplication. Personally, I have shifted over to "Partial Product" when I do my own calculations, but kids will learn a variety of techniques, including the standard algorithm. Third Graders will continue with their Module 2, learning about various forms of measurement.

In Reading the focus is now on information. At home, kids may continue to read narrative or information, but a significant portion of our reading time in the classroom, and all instruction, will be around strategies of reading and understanding informative writing (aka nonfiction.)

Planning is underway for this year's Halloween festivities. There will be a parade for all grades at 8:15,  and our class party follows at 9. Room Parents are organizing the party, so please make contact with them if you'd like to support this activity in any way.

Finally, this Friday, October 25th, Third Graders' landform projects are due. This assignment went home approximately one month ago, and is the culmination of a Geography Unit. Fourth Graders should complete and submit their California regions project, which has been primarily prepared in class. Check in with your child to verify whether they need additional work time at home this week.

Have a great day!

Carroll Mayer

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hi All,

Last week was a bit wild and crazy, with the build up to power outage, and no school on Thursday!  We finished strong on Friday: seeing the Afterschool drama group perform a Pinocchio, and then the Harvest Festival in the evening. All the ups and downs put us a little behind in finishing up our narrative writing, but it will be wrapped up this week!

I sent out an email last week, but if you haven’t scheduled your child’s November Parent/Teacher Conference yet, please get in touch via note, email, or phone message.

Finally, Drive-for-Schools ends this Wednesday. If you have any final tickets to sell, or turn in, please do so by that day.

Have a great week!


Monday, October 7, 2019

HI All,

This week kids from both grades are into new math units. Third Graders are learning about telling time, and then will work on measurement. Fourth Graders have an extremely short and fast unit on metric measurement!

We are also finishing up our narrative writing. I will be collecting it from this kids by early next week, and then we will have a short assessment on the narrative writing skills they've learned.

In Reading, we will be moving on to reading informational text next week. This is an interesting unit, but kids often find that they need to read books that are much shorter, and also written at an easier level than the fiction books that they are accustomed to. Please encourage your child to be mindful of readability when they select information books, along with finding topics that they are curious about!

Scholastic book orders are due Tuesday. It helps build the classroom library when you order books through them. I can also keep books hidden, if you wish to plan ahead for birthdays or holiday gifts.

The Harvest Festival is this Friday! If you haven't attended, please come. The kids love it, and it's a great opportunity to bond with other Rio families.

Finally, keep selling Drive For Schools tickets. All the money goes to Rio del Mar, which makes it our best fund raiser. The odds are better than the lottery, so persuade your lottery ticket buying friends and family to take part!

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hi All,

Happy October!  This past Friday and Saturday I had the great opportunity to attend the Cotsen “Art of Teaching” conference. It took me out of the class on Friday, but gave me some new ideas to implement in our hardworking 3/4 class!

Today, our class received compliments 2 different times from adult staff members who saw how cooperative and well-behaved they are. Congratulations!

This week, Third Graders will be finishing up their first Math Module, and will have an
End of Unit assessment on Friday. I will send home some practice homework on Wednesday. Fourth Graders are doing a graphing lesson, and then have a very quick ( 5 lesson) module. The lessons are on metric measurements, and are designed to lead into multiplying bigger numbers, by looking at how metric conversions involve multiplying by tens.

We have begun our Global Read Aloud book, Front Desk, and will be making connections with classes reading the same book using digital technology, and “snail mail”.

A flyer for “Socktober” went home today. We are encouraging kids to bring in one new pair of socks. Last year, Rio students were able to donate more than 600 pairs of socks to homeless people as a result of this drive.

Our Drive-For-Schools fundraiser is also underway. Remember, all of the money from ticket sales goes to Rio. The overhead costs are donated!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Hi All,
It’s the first day of autumn!  Enjoy the fall.

This week Third Graders are bringing home an extra attachment with their Choice Board. They have a project on landforms due at the end of October. Please work with your child to plan this project, the materials, and a timetable that works for your family. All the details are on the handout, which you should retrieve and keep on the refrigerator for your reference.

Fourth Graders are finishing up the first math module, and will have a test on Thursday/Friday. Third will finish up their first module the following week, and also be assessed. Then we will all be working on short measurement modules. I encourage you to review math pages returned on Mondays, as well as making time for Engage New York practice pages, or Khan math.

Have a great week, and remember to fill out the Youth Truth survey!

Carroll Mayer

Monday, September 16, 2019

Hi All,
I can’t believe we are a month in to the school year!

This week most Parent Volunteers begin working in the class. Thanks so much to those of you who are able to make Room 9 a regular part of your schedule!

This past week both  3rd and 4th Graders had their first mid-module math test. For the most part, kids did well. When there were errors, I tried to communicate the kind of mistakes they were (understanding of content, formatting/direction-following, or misconception of the problem.) Ideally, you look over the test with your kid to review this feedback.

Kids completed the Youth Truth Survey last week. I shared with them that Mrs. Green reads each of their anonymous comments, and she’ll read yours too! Find the parent version of the Youth Truth survey on the Rio Del Mar home page.

Kids are getting into the routine and responsibility of returning the weekly Choice Board, and their library books, on Fridays. Most of the class has been doing well with this. If your child is struggling with procedures, please support them in organizing their papers so that they can do this successfully.

Finally, congratulations to those of you who participated in the Run for Rio last weekend. I heard it was a lot of fun. Next up, Harvest Festival!

Have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed another delightful weekend.

We will continue with the routines established during the last several weeks, including the Homework Choice Board I sent home for the first time last week. I will give kids a new Choice Board each week, and it is due on Friday. Last week, most of the kids took on this responsibility, and brought a carefully completed form. A few did not. If your child forgot, please work with them to develop a routine that includes nightly reading, planning and completing their week’s homework activities, and returning the Choice Board on Friday. I appreciate that parents make the kids responsible for managing this, and understand that it may take some kids time to build this habit.

This week we will also begin a program called MAP Accelerator. Kids will be assigned Khan Academy lessons based on their own MAP results. I will send home more information about how kids can log into this from home, once we have used it a few times in school.

Both grades began Social Studies units last week, and will be reading Studies Weekly issues and completing hyperdocs to address the content. Fourth Graders are learning about the 4 California regions, and will be researching one of them and making a poster to share. Third Graders are learning about landforms, and will be making a picture dictionary. They will also be making a landform model as homework, which will be assigned in early October, and due October 25th. I will send home information about this project several weeks before the due date so everyone has plenty of time to work on it.

Have a great week, and remember to respond to the Youth Truth survey I mentioned last week, if you haven’t already. The link is in last week’s post, or on the RDM home page.

Have a great week!
Carroll Mayer

Monday, September 2, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you have enjoyed this lovely 3 day weekend!

A few thoughts about this week...Parents, please respond to the Youth Truth Survey  This is your opportunity to share your thoughts about Rio del Mar Elementary in a clear and efficient way. The kids and staff take time to do this survey at school, but we'd like to hear from more parents. Ms. Green shared at Site Council how carefully she looks at each written response, as well as the overall trends from each group of stakeholders.

I've included links to the 3rd and 4th Grade math homework for anyone that wishes their child to do more traditional, pencil and paper homework. They are to the right of this post, and should be printable. Let me know if there are issues. Also, if anyone wants their child to print homework pages here at school, please let me know and I will work with your child to print out a packet of homework pages.

I've also attached a link to the Choice Board that I mentioned would be your child's homework each week. If your child misplaces the hard copy I give them Mondays, or is absent, feel free to print one. You may also have your kid hand write a list of the things they did for homework on any piece of paper, and submit it to me when the Choice Board is due, on Fridays.

Finally, to those of you that were able to attend the Back-to-School Night, thank you for coming and getting to know about this year. If you were unable to attend, thank you for finding your way to this blog!

Have a great week,

Carroll Mayer

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hi All,

Welcome to Week 3!

This Thursday, August 29th, Rio del Mar will have its Back-to-School Night. Please come to Room 9 from 6-6:30 to learn all about our class; other school presentations follow that time. We will go one more week before I send home the weekly homework page. I will be explaining how it works to you on Thursday night. I will also be doing sign-ups for Parent/Teacher conferences and in-class volunteer duties on that night. For more details about the evening,  please check the school website.

Last week, we wrapped up our Beginning-of-the-Year assessments, and will now move full speed into the curriculum. Writing and Reading Workshops get underway this week,  and we will continue with the math curriculum that we began last week. Today (Monday, August 26th), kids will bring home handouts and some of the math papers we worked on last week. Please review the math with your child during the week, especially if you see a lot of comments. Typically, I save papers to return for Monday.

Also on Monday, I sent home the first Scholastic book order; if you wish to purchase books, please order by this Tuesday night. Thank you to those that have already submitted orders.

Have a great week!  I look forward to seeing you Thursday evening.

Carroll Mayer

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hi Families,

Welcome to Week 2 of the 2019-2020 school year!

This week we will begin some of our regular classroom routines, but also continue with some Getting -To-Know-You activities, including beginning-of-the-year assessments. MAP tests will be taken this week, and I hope to wrap up by Friday. (We only test for 1-2 hours per day. )

We are starting the regular math program, using Engage New York curriculum ( aka Eureka Math.). Last week, we enjoyed some creative math activities from Jo Boaler’s Week of Inspirational Math. I will work on integrating some of her other creative math throughout the year. I will not be sending home any homework, and will explain my homework program at Back-to-School Night on August 29th.

Our first writing project is a personal poem. We will also begin spelling sorts. I am reading The Wild Robot aloud to the entire class. Fourth Graders will begin reading Kate DiCamillo’s Tiger Rising next week during a portion of their Reading Workshop time. The entire class is also reading self-selected books, and conferencing with me about their book selections. We will begin mini-lessons in reading  next week.

Today (Monday), I am sending home a letter explaining the format of our class overall. Feel free to contact me with any additional questions.

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hi All,

Welcome to Room 9. 💜I am so excited to have a combined Third & Fourth Class this year! Having 2 grades of students enables us to explore a wide array of content, build independent and collaborative learning abilities, and grow cross grade level friendships.

For those parents that don't know me, I am a long time Rio del Mar teacher. I began my years at Rio as a Parent Volunteer, then a First Grade Classroom Aide. When I was ready to take over full teaching duties, I started with a combined 1/2 class! After that, I moved to Third Grade, and taught that level for 9 years. This will be my sixth year teaching Fourth Grade.

As a teacher, my passion is reading, and I have tons of books in the classroom to share. When I was a kid, I loved reading fiction, and could easily lose myself in the worlds created by my favorite authors. In my adult life, I've come to appreciate informational text as well, and I love the great variety now present in nonfiction titles for kids.

My personal interests include reading (still!), walking, traveling, and this summer I committed myself to yoga. I am married, and have 2 adult children who live in great travel destinations: San Francisco and Kauai.

A primary goal for me in my personal and professional life is continued growth. While I love returning to old favorites (places, books, exercises...) I am always looking for opportunities to explore the new. This is something that I hope to share with you all.

It's going to be a great year!


Carroll Mayer

Monday, June 3, 2019

Hi All,

We have a busy, fun week ahead!

First of all, on Tuesday evening, the Fourth Grade will be singing songs we have been enjoying and practicing for much of the year. This is the first time the entire grade level has participated in this activity, and it's been a lot of fun! Please come from 6-7 on Tuesday, June 4. We will be in the cafeteria.

Secondly, all of the Fourth Grade will be heading to Green Valley Cinema to watch a movie. The kids voted last week, and their choice will be revealed on Wednesday. Thank you to all the people who volunteered to drive or chaperon. We should be in great shape! Thanks, as well, to those of you that sent a few extra dollars to sponsor the chaperons. Any extra money will roll into our supply fund.

I am passing out yearbooks today, so if you purchased one, your child should have it in hand. Otherwise, they are available in the office for $20, or in the park on Wednesday from Beth Catesi.

It's been my great pleasure to work with your kids this year. They are a responsible, hard-working bunch, and learned a lot as a result. It's been a fun year!

Have a wonderful summer, and feel free to stop by next year and say "Hi!"

Take care,

Carroll Mayer

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed the rainy weekend; I know I did! Fortunately, we followed up with a beautiful day here at school.

This week the kids are taking the MAP test. They are not thrilled to be doing another assessment, but are being good sports! When we aren't testing --which is actually most of the time-- the kids are continuing with their California reports, reading in their book club books, doing a hyperdoc about California's "Path to Statehood", learning about rocks,  and refining their standard measurement knowledge and application skills. We are also enjoying Esperanza Rising as our final Read Aloud.

Today (Monday) kids brought home permission slips for the End-of-the-year Party. Please send in permission slips and money this week. We are also looking for volunteer driver/chaperons, and would love to hear from you if you are able to this. Just send me an email!

Finally, the district is doing a tech survey. I have attached the link below. I will be doing it with the kids in class this week, but they'd also like to hear from parents how you think we are doing with tech. This needs to be done this week.

I enjoyed seeing so many of you last week at Open House. It's amazing how quickly the year goes by!

Have a great week,

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hi All,

Thank you, thank you, for all the wonderful treats in honor of Teacher Appreciation and my birthday! It's been such a celebratory week, and I feel very grateful to be a part of a community that is able to support teachers so thoroughly. 💗

This week, we are returning to a "regular" schedule. The kids are reading historical fiction books as part of self-selected book clubs. The book clubs have set up weekly schedules, and your child is responsible for keeping up with the assignments so that he/she can participate thoughtfully in the Friday meetings. They also came up with various ways to respond to the literature (jots, question, character webs, etc.) We are also reading a lot of non-fiction history as kids work to research their final writing topics. They are all working on various subjects in California history-- from Native Americans to the Donner Party to the Golden Gate Bridge. Once again, their topics are self-selected.

In math, we are shifting to a measurement unit, and will also be reviewing a few of the geometry concepts addressed before state testing began. Kids will take one more short geometry quiz. In science we are having a lot of fun on a Mystery Science unit entitled "The Birth of Rocks" and began with learning about the "Ring of Fire" and 2 types of volcanoes.

This Thursday is Open House from 6-7. Please come any time within that window to check out the classroom and your child's work. On Friday, we are "Jogging for the Arts". Information and the sponsor form went home on Monday.

Next week, we have one more round of testing ( MAP) which is mandated by the district and gives more real time data than the state testing that is not reported until late summer. The MAP will not be nearly as time consuming as the CAASP, but still puts the kids on Chromebooks for a couple of hours at a time. Thanks for your support with all of this data collection! In that vein, there is also a survey posted on the school Homepage, and there is a parent version in which you can share your views. The kids will be taking the student version here at school, and I have already completed my teacher form.

I will also be sending home permission slips for our End-of-the-Year party next Monday.  All of 4th Grade will be going to Green Valley Cinema to watch a movie! Each year, the entire 4th Grade class votes on a video (that we bring from our collection) to screen at the theater. Kids also enjoy popcorn and a drink. The theater charges us $7 per kid and $3 per adult chaperon, so we will be asking for contributions to the cost as well as drivers to ferry the kids to the theater. This all happens on the last Wednesday of the school year, from approximately 9:30-12:30. Save the date!

Have a great week,

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dear Parents and Kids,

Thank you so much for all the flowers today! It was fun to see them come in, and combine them to make a beautiful arrangement! It’s the perfect metaphor for our classes each year, and our goal of nurturing each of the individuals, as well as the entire community, and forming a harmonious and complimentary whole.

Last week, our focus was on state testing, and most kids were able to complete the ELA portion of the assessment working approximately 2 hours a day. This week we will be working on math testing, and then there will be a period of “finishing up” for those kids that need a bit more time on one portion or another. When there are only a few kids with testing to complete, they will shift to another work space, under Mrs. Davis or Reading Specialist supervision, and the rest of the class will return to our regular work full time.

During non-testing portions of the day, we have been concluding our reading about various sustainable forms of energy (nuclear, solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower), and will wrap up with a Grand Conversation about these fossil fuel alternatives. Kids have begun research projects on various topics in CA. history, and are also working on a hyperdoc about California between the mission period and the Gold Rush. Finally, kids formed book clubs this week and have reading assignments based on their book. I am encouraging kids to bring their book club book to and from school, as there may not be a lot of in class reading time —especially this week. Most have about 30-40 pages to read by Friday, when their clubs meet again.

May is a busy month, so pace yourself and have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Friday, April 26, 2019

Hi All,

It's that time again!  Fourth Graders will be starting state testing on Monday, April 29th. Please make sure your child comes to school ready to focus and show all that he/she knows! (That means they've had a good night's sleep, a healthy breakfast, and arrive on time.) Kids will be spending a couple of hours per day on the tests, and they are very challenging for most. The rest of the day will be following a typical routine, and our testing schedule has been built so that kids will still participate in PE and Art.

This week we began a Mystery Science unit entitled: The Birth of Rocks. The first lesson was about volcanoes, and I posted a student link on the Google classroom for those kids who missed it or would like to review it. We are almost done with our Geometry unit, and have 2 more chapters in our class read aloud, By the Great Horn Spoon. We began a new hyperdoc in California history, on the period between the missions and California statehood. Kids are also beginning to think about their California research reports, which will be our final writing unit. In reading, kids have been researching various alternative energy forms. We should wrap up this unit in the next week or so, and will then have a round of Historical Fiction Book Clubs. It's a busy, but fun, time of year. The kids are full of energy and excitement, but they also know a lot about how students work!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Hi Parents,

It’s exciting to be contemplating Spring Break, but we are still working hard!

This week, our class will continue working on poetry during writing time. We are using templates to experiment with different forms of poetry. After that, we will type up our favorites. In reading, our focus is reading informational text, and we will soon be researching various renewable sources of energy, as well as fossil fuels.

We will be taking a short math test on Friday on fractions. There is a “study guide” attached to the homework, describing the sorts of problems kids will have on the test. We will also be practicing in class. When we return from break, we will make the shift into Geometry.

I have signed the class up for a Moby Max contest. It lasts 2 weeks: this week and Spring Break week. The top 3 point-earning classes at Rio del Mar get a prize. Kids can work on any area of Moby Max, but I recommend Math, Language, and Reading.

We are still working on the Social Studies hyperdoc about California explorers! My goal is to wrap up Lesson 2 this week, so that the class can work together on Lessons 3 and 4. Kids will also be eager to get to work on the Google My Map activity on the California missions. If your child is feeling behind, encourage them to put some time into this. They are always welcome to bring home the Reflections textbook.

Finally, I am attaching a letter from Mrs. Green with an opportunity for 4th Graders.

Hi Fourth Grade Families,
As you know April 19th is an professional development day for teachers and a no school day for students. Many PVUSD teachers will be here at Rio del Mar deepening their Reader's and Writer's Workshop practices. We are hoping to have 4th graders come out once again in order to support our teachers in learning. If your child is available from 10:30-12:00 on Friday, April 19th please let me or your classroom teacher know and we will add them to our student list.

Have a great week!

One last thing for our 4th Graders. Spring Break would be a great time to use this!
National Park Pass

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hi All,
Sorry to be late on this post! These have been busy days.

Tomorrow we are off to our third field trip in 3 weeks!  The kids are excited to see the SC Symphony, especially after having such a great presentation last week from a couple of representatives.

In reading, we are working on a short “Theme Bootcamp”. Kids are practicing finding theme in short stories, and supporting the themes they find with evidence. They should also be applying their ideas to longer books. In addition, we started a new unit in writing: poetry. The kids are learning attributes of poems, and will have some time to write several different forms during class.

We are still hard at work studying fractions, but will wrap up this content in the next couple of weeks. After Fractions, we will focus on Geometry. Kids were told this week that they should work on the hyperdoc in Social Studies at home, if they haven’t gotten through the Lesson 1 activities. Access is through the Google classroom.

Report cards go home this Friday. As always, this is a good time to reflect and set goals with your child. This class is a bright, fun, and kind-hearted group, so their report cards were a pleasure to write!

Finally, raffle tickets to sell are coming home on Monday. This is a great way for people unable to attend the auction to still give support—and get in on the fun! Be on the lookout for the tickets.

Have a good read of your week!

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hi Parents,

WE are entering that time of year where things start to feel very busy!

This week the Fourth Grade will be attending a presentation about the symphony, put on by representatives of the organization. We attend the symphony in 2 weeks! We are also heading off to the mission on our field trip this Friday. Please be sure to send your child with lunch, including a drink. They should also wear comfortable clothes for walking around the grounds, regardless of weather. They may not bring money, and should NOT plan on going into the shop or buying anything.  

We have also been doing district-mandated benchmarks over the last 2 weeks-- reading, writing, and math. (Your child may have mentioned long sessions on technology, reading and writing.)  Some kids also took the NAEP this week, if they were absent during the first test session.

In class, kids are wrapping up their Opinion Writing. We are also completing our Biography unit in reading. We are still in the midst of the fraction unit in math, but will have a mid-module assessment early next week. We are working on lessons 19-21 in Engage NY Module 5 this week, but are missing some math times due to the benchmark and field trip. In Social Studies, we are using a hyperdoc to learn about exploration of California by Europeans, and then move into the mission period. I will be revising the hyperdoc due date, if you or your child are concerned that it is due this week!

I sent home a book order last week, so if you'd like to buy some books please order by Wednesday. Thank you to all who have helped fill Room 9 with books through your purchases!

Finally, the auction is coming up for parents. Please consider attending, as it is a fun way to make connections with other parents and an important part of fundraising efforts at Rio. If you are unable to attend, there are other ways to support Rio.

Here is a message from Tarah, one of our Room Parents, about how you can help!

“We are putting together a basket for the school auction. Our basket theme is board games. We would love to have a collection of games to gather into a big item for families to bid on at our auction. Please consider donating a game or money towards the auction basket. If you have questions or suggestions please contact Tarah at         (831) 246-2441 or

As I mentioned, it's a busy time of year! One of the things that has helped Rio become such a great school is the ongoing support of the parents and families that make up our community. 
Have a great week! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed a lovely 3 day weekend in celebration of Abraham Lincoln. Next week, we will have a holiday recognizing all the presidents!

This week, we will begin a new genre in our reading class: biography!  The kids are excited to begin this unit, and have many favorite people they are looking forward to reading about. There will not be a presentation like they had last year, although they will have an opportunity to share some knowledge with classmates and me at the end of the unit. No additional homework will be given, although you may notice a shift in your child's at-home reading, from mystery to biography!

We are also moving into a new unit in Social Studies; we will be learning about the mission period in California, and the conditions that preceded and followed this time. The kids have a hyperdoc in the Google classroom, and will also be reading Studies Weekly and the Reflections text in order to gain more information on this period. Finally, we will be visiting one of the missions on March 1st!

This week in math we will continue learning strategies for comparing fractions with different denominators, not limited to the common denominator technique that we all learned as kids. We will be doing Lesson 13-16 in Engage NY Module 5.

This Thursday is Valentine's Day. We will not be having a giant party, but there will be time for kids to exchange Valentine cards if they want. Please make sure your child has enough Valentines for the entire class if they choose to bring cards. There are 25 kids, and I sent home an email last week with the list of names attached. Please let me know if you did not receive the email.

Lastly, we have the Math Festival coming up a week from today (February 19th.) If you would like to help, please contact Mrs. Davis. I know they are still looking for helpers, and no math expertise is required!  The parent volunteers always enjoy the experience.

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Monday, January 28, 2019

Dear Parents,

We have 3 field trips coming up in March, and we need help!  Please see dates and times below.
Email ASAP if you are able to help (must have TB tests and fingerprints on file at Rio.)

March 1st--Mission San Juan Bautista--9AM-1PM--drivers/chaperons
March 8th--Cabrillo College--10-12PM--bus/ 1-2 chaperons
March 14th--SC Symphony--10-12PM--3 chaperons/ 6 drivers

Updates for math are on the blog. The 4th Grade is working on fractions right now, so you are seeing lots of partially completed pages applying various fraction strategies coming home. For extra practice, kids should finish up the pages coming home, or may print out additional homework pages from the link on the blog (Module 5). My expectation is that kids are completing the front of the page, so if your child has only done a part of that side, please hold them accountable. In addition, kids can access Khan Mappers from the Rio del Mar website, and Moby Max.

Thanks for all you do!

Carroll Mayer

Monday, January 14, 2019

Hi All,

Welcome back to school! I know you are all as eager to get back as I am. I imagine there are some mixed feelings; we are all happy to reconnect with friends and new learning, but sad to leave that vacation leisure behind.

We are beginning lots of new units: Mystery Reading, Opinion Writing, and Fractions. I am thrilled about each of these topics! Many--but not all-- of you picked out mystery novels, and the rest will select mysteries to read on Tuesday. In this unit we will be learning about the strategies strong readers use when they read books in this genre. During our writing time we will be discussing opinions, and then building a writing project based on our own individual opinions on various topics. Finally, we will be working on a long fraction unit using Engage New York curriculum. I encourage you to turn to the "Duane" links on YouTube for extra practice, and to print out the homework pages for additional practice 1-2 days a week. You are not required to turn this in, and may choose to practice your fraction skills in other ways, such as Khan Mappers, Moby Max, cooking, construction projects.

From Mrs. Davis:

Rio del Mar Math Festival - Parent Volunteers Needed! 
Tuesday, February 19th

Two possible volunteer sessions: 
First Session: 7:55 - 10:35   
Second Session: 11:35  - 2:10 

Volunteers will be assisting with classes, grade K-6th, as they filter through the MPR to explore math activities and games. 

You do not need to teach any math or know the skills, you will be more of a facilitator at a center - cleaning up materials between each class, helping younger students read the directions, etc.  

If you are interested and can commit to one of the sessions, please  

Have a great week, as we ease back in from a fun 3 weeks!

Carroll Mayer