Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eyes of the Child

Hello everyone!
I am working on a school project that I have been working on for a while. I have made a blog that explains it all! So take a look at it when you have some time. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at and feel free to give the web site to your friends or other family members.
--Lauren A. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Puzzling Puzzles

If you have come to parent teacher conferences, you may have noticed that I usually have a puzzle on my back counter.  These puzzles have a historically centered theme and give students a break from school work.  They are allowed to work on the puzzle when all of their school responsibilities are complete, but what they don't know is that it is building their critical thinking skills. 

The puzzle we have been working on

The four students that worked the most on the puzzle: Seth, Carson, Katelyn, and Shelby. 
Shelby was working in the kitchen when I called her to come take this picture (hence the gloves)

The completed puzzle

A fun one with them being silly. 
Seth can take credit for the border, while Carson can take credit for building the people,
and Shelby and Katelyn can take credit for the final completion.
We have just opened Friendship: A Common Ground that shows settlers traveling and assisting each other through the rough terrain.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monarch Ridge

Last Friday, August 12th, Chad’s club, also known as the Lifetime Hobbies Club, went to the ridge known officially as Monarch Ridge, but known to the locals as the Blue Hill. It was a lot of fun “mountaineering”. We climbed rocks and slots, walked paths and caves, and took many pictures and diamonds.

During the hike, we made an abundance of references to the movie 127 Hours, about Aron Ralston, the fellow who got his right arm stuck between a wall and a boulder in Moab, Utah, and had to cut his arm off to escape. We climbed through slots similar to the one he got stuck in, but we had nothing to worry about, although Evan, Joe, and Chad were all afraid of getting stuck, and it was an exhilarating part of the trip.

Part of the hike was visiting the Alum Mine, a short cave (now home to many rats) where they mined Alum, a mineral that is widely used for making pickles. It was a bit unnerving to be in a cave, but being able to see the entrance was a calming factor. And we all felt accomplished when we touched the end of the mine shaft.

We also really enjoyed taking photos. We had some very beautiful, goofy, and funny photos that you can see here. The awe-inspiring mountains were a great backdrop for our shenanigans. We also found crystals scattered about the mountain. Evan was convinced that they were diamonds, but they were just gypsum crystals worth very little (except good memories).

Overall, this trail trip was one to remember. Whether it was referencing 127 Hours, spelunking mines, or taking pictures, we were all enjoying ourselves. I hope we get to do this type of thing often, because it was a great experience.

Written by Seth

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Katharine, Morgan, Zane, and Alex are taking advantage of a sweet photo op.

They, along with Jim (staff) Katie (staff) and Todd had a blast hiking up Navaho Peak and getting a view of Cedar Breaks National Park. I can't say that they all made it up and down without a few scrapes (some ignored Todd's advice about long pants), but each of them says "it was totally worth it."

Katharine- The hike we went on was awesome. I didnt think that i would really like it considering im not a very outdoorsey person, but the view was awesome, next time i wont wear basketball shorts though.
Zane- The hike we went on was incredible. We went to the peak of this mountain and looked off into a beautiful view. it was almost as pretty as california =P on the way back down Todd and myself ran down the mountain as fast as we could jumping over small trees, launching off of dead tree stumps, and landing only to push off another log! it was honestly one of the best exsperiences i have had in a while.

Todd- Today we finnished with the plays and went to relax. me and James went up to the tallest peek of the mountian and spent most of the morning marveling in utahs beauty. Later that day, after we got back to the cabin, I went with Zane, Alex, Katharine, and Morgan plus Jim and Katie. We enjoyed the breathtaking scenery it felt like we were all on top of the world; almost flying through the wilderness.

Christine has a lot of hiking in store for the rest of the trip, including some sunsets.

.....maybe I might be able to sneek in a sunrise as well.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Kickball Mania

For our fifth Friday of the month, we combined all students from the clubs to face off in a kickball game on the softball field. Here, Evan's team flexes off against Zane's team.
Evan's team.
Zane's team, dubbed the 'Sorcerer Demons' by Joe.
Joe gets ready to send the ball far out into center field.
Aly leads off of first base, defended by Alex.
We all hung out for a cold soda in the dugout after the Sorcerer Demons beat Evan's team 27-23.

This last Friday, July 22, Katie (our theatre teacher) and I took two members of the Lifetime hobbies Club on a hike in the Uinta Mountains. Our purpose was to do some maintenance on a trail camera I've had on a tree for several months. It's motion sensitive and takes phots of

Lifetime Hobbies Club trail camera trip

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lifetime Hobbies Club Trail Camera Trip

This last Friday, July 22, Katie (our theater teacher) and I took two members of the Lifetime Hobbies Club on a hike in the Uinta Mountains. Our purpose was to do some maintenance on a trail camera I’ve had on a tree for several months. It’s motion sensitive and takes a photo of anything that walks by. I’d been told that bears sometimes eat trail cameras, so I bought a metal security box to put on the camera, and I figured it was probably about time to change batteries and to swap out memory cards so we could see what animals we’d gotten photos of.

We had a great hike into the camera site, but unfortunately found we were too late with the security box. The camera was gone – somehow removed from the cable lock that held it to the tree - either chewed off by a bear or cut off by some mean-spirited person.

While we were sad about the missing camera we still had a great hike and enjoyed our time in nature. One of the highlights of the trip was when Katie and I both felt like we were in the opening scene from “The Sound of Music”. When when we mentioned it Brian started spinning around just like in the movie, while we sang the opening lines of “The Hills Are Alive”. It was also fun being led on an adventure through some thick vegetation by Joe. It really felt like we were jungle explorers.

We’re hoping to go back with another trail camera and put it in a more remote location -with a security box and cable lock. The previous camera got photos of bears, moose, elk, cougars, and other animals. - Chad

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Lorax and World Geography

A few weeks ago, the World Geography class participated in a story telling activity.  Each week, we discuss at least one theme of geography.  There are five themes: location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, and region.  On June 13th, we focused on human-environment interaction with a Dr. Seuss story The Lorax.

If you have never read this story, it really is a cute one.  In a very subtle way, it discusses how we are inter-connected and that humans and their environment do interact whether for the positive or for the negative. The last page of the story ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger, giving one character a charge. When I ended the book, the students promptly wanted to know what happened next.  Did he do it or not?  I asked them to tell me what they thought and write their own ending to the book. When they were done, the students picked the best story ending in the class to be posted here.  Congratulations to Madison for being selected.  Here is her story:

The body walks miles and miles away.  So far that the smog is gone.  He finds lots of land with water and clean air.  Plants the last seed then the Lorax appears. 
"Dear boy, your heart is pure. You're restoring what was taken.  You are the new protector."

The boy asked the Lorax to go find all those that were forced to leave.  They are welcome here. This land is safe, from axes and those who want to cut the truffla trees.  This land is clean.  We will stay here and help the forest grow.  After a long time, the old home land will be clear then the forest can spread all the way back to the homeland.

Watch for more updates about what the different Social Studies classes are doing!!

Students that participated: Kathlene, Cody, Emily, Ray, Austin, Deborah, Nick S., and Madison

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

River Banks

On Saturday June 18, a few high level kids and a couple boarding school students participated in a community service project. This included TJ, Alex Day, Aly, Seth, Matt, and me. I first heard about this opportunity from Jen, the math tutor. She gave me the number for the man, Jeff,  who ran it and it was all smooth sailing from there. The reason for the project was to clean up river banks along the Duchesne River. Our first stop was a parking lot that was placed next to a large amount of land. We all spread out across the land and picked up all the trash. Normally, projects like this are not my cup of tea. Fortunately, it was a nice day and I was ready to have fun and enjoy the work I was doing. We made the best out of it. While we were cleaning up the lot, Matt and I saw something shiny up on a hill. We knew it was trash so we raced to the top. I am not proud to say that I couldn’t keep up with him. On the way up we found some treasure. It was a huge piece of styrofoam! When we got back to the bottom of the hill, Matt practiced his front snap kick and wrecked the piece of Styrofoam…after a couple tries. After cleaning up the lot we headed for the river. I was expecting lots of trash but there wasn’t much at all. It was nice to just walk along the river. What wasn’t nice was hearing Kimberly tell TJ a hundred times that he couldn’t jump in. I understand though, it’s in his Coloradoan genes. After walking back to the cars we took pictures and went searching for a new place to clean up. We drove for about a half hour before Jeff told us he was unsure of where he was going. We decided to let it go and part ways. Then it was off to Canton City, so we thought. Kimberly thought it would be funny to play a joke on us and tell us that the plans were changing, we were going back to Cedar Ridge to eat in the cafeteria. Luckily, Kimberly is a big jokester and only wanted to get a rise out of us. So we continued on to our journey to Canton City for a nice sit down meal.

This community service project was different for me than all the other ones I’ve done since I’ve been here. This has been the first time that it was actually about helping the community rather than just getting a school item. I believe part of the reason is because I organized it and therefore was more dedicated to the project. In past service projects that I have participated in there has often been a payoff of something sweet. I didn’t want students to sign up for that reason. I asked students who wanted to participate but did not tell them the plan for going to Canton City. I found that the people who went had a certain motivation that I do not always see. I feel that they were in it for the right reasons. I believe that this gives the projects more meaning. It was important for me to recognize that the emotional payoff it had was much greater than the materialistic payoffs that can sometimes come from it. The payoff I got from it lasts a lot longer than a soda or an ice cream bar. When expecting to be rewarded for something you do, you are only concentrating on that reward while taking part in the activity. When the reward is unexpected it is far more satisfying. The students were very pleased to hear that Canton City was part of the plan. This community service project gave me the motivation to start planning my next one and I can’t wait to see the outcome.

Written by Shelby

Friday, June 10, 2011

Even More Improv Scenes

Company 3

Company 4

More Improv from Shakespeare

Company 1

Company 2

Shakespeare Class Begins!

Our first improv warm-up activity for the Shakespeare Language Arts class that started on Monday. The students are doing a great job with participation and digging in to their assigned research projects. Huzzah!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

U.S. History This Week

For about a month and half, my U.S. History class has been studying the 1960s in direct instruction. On Monday, we had our final class of the 1960s that served as a culmination of the whole unit.  Each day in the unit we would focus on one of three categories: Politics, Civil Rights, and the Vietnam War.  Everything in the decade of the 1960s also culminates in the year 1968.  Everything comes to a boiling point and in the opinion of some historians and writers, America is never the same again.  A couple of weeks ago, CNN published an op-ed piece about this change (if you would like to read it go here). I had the students come having read this article and with their own op-ed paragraph written up.  To start class, we read everyone's paragraphs anonymously and the class voted on whose paragraph was the best.  The lucky student would then have their paragraph published right here on the blog.  So for your reading pleasure:

Seth's Reason why the 1960s Changed America:
The 1960s are the roots for all culture that is around today.  During that decade, people started to be their own people, and they learned it is not just O.K., but enlightening to be gay, black, female, or unique. African Americans now had rights that were brought along by the Civil Rights movement. Homosexuals felt relieved to come out of the closet, due to the era free love and happiness.  Women felt more free, thanks to Sexual Revolution, to be more open and not have to conform to normal standards.  All of the emphasis on expressing yourself was also brought along buy new music from "rebellious" bands, such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and many others who sang about love, drugs, and The Vietnam War. The War was a wake-up call to show us that we are not always the best and on-top.  If we went to 1959 to 1970, we would be tired souls, unhappy with the norms that we are forced to live.

Then the students split up into different groups to complete a "hanging timeline." Each group was in charge of a category we studied, and had one line of the timeline to put it on, except anything in 1968. Those events were put on a combined line to see how much happened in just one year. The students chose what events they wanted to put on their timeline and everyone did a really nice job.  I wish I could leave it up for everyone to come and see because it is so much better in person, but the pictures give you a bit of an idea.

 This was the best shot I could get to see the most in the whole room.  I had string hanging from all four corners. Each category had its own color: orange= politics and also served as our miscellaneous (like space and music), blue= civil rights movement, and green= Vietnam
All four strings met together in the middle with another piece of string hanging there just for 1968.  This is that string...the students were impressed by how much actually happened then.

 I liked this shot because you see the orange and green lines meeting the 1968 line and then going past it, the students needed a 1969 line and we had an extra, so this became more of a mixed line.  You can also kind of see how creative they got with this post about Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar!
 Students spaced out their events to show how there might be some holes because there was something going on in another category. This hole kind of surrounded 1964...
Which is where the Civil Rights movement starts to take off as this side shows.

We had fun listening to Beatles music and putting this together! Students involved: Anders, Tyler, Reneta, Andy, Seth, Aly, James Z., and Nick.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Road Cleanup

This past Friday, as our club activity for the day we had a whole campus activity. We cleaned up the road from Cedar Ridge the first intersection on 4000 W. This project was really beneficial to the entire neighborhood, and also staff who work at 'The Ridge.' People driving to or from work don't have to deal with their route looking like such a garbage dump. Unfortunately, I understand that the road will probably not stay junk free for very long, but I am still glad I could conduct this service, because every little bit counts. I hope that in the future others will do the same to help keep our environment healthy. I had the opportunity to lead this activity for my final Civic, Service, and Leadership class credit. I have to say that this was probably one of the easiest of my leadership service projects. It was simple, fun, and relaxing. We got to go on a walk in the sunshine, goof off, and be productive at the same time.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We're Going to Washington D.C.

Hello everyone! On Tuesday, students gathered in the big dome to learn about a great opportunity has come to Cedar Ridge Academy, specifically a class surrounding a trip to Washington D.C. Many students requested information to send home to parents, so watch for a brown envelope in your mailbox. We are excited to offer this opportunity to our students. See below for the Cedar Ridge frequently asked questions section, a link to our trip website, a cool video, and more FAQs. Cedar Ridge Academy Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much does the trip cost? Where does the money go? The trip costs $1,699. This cost includes a nice hotel, airfare, all meals, a bus to transport us around D.C., guided tour of all places we go, and any fees that the sites might charge.

  2. Is there anything not covered in the cost of the trip? There is only one required fee that will be in addition to the trip cost: the price that the airline is charging at the time for checking baggage. Students may want spending money to purchase souvenirs while on the trip, but that is up to you.

  3. What is WorldStrides? WorldStrides is a student travel organization. They have provided educational travel programs to over four million elementary, middle, high school, and university students since they began in 1967. They will be help us to organize the trip as well as making all of the registrations. You will register for the trip with this company. See their FAQ section for more information about them:

  4. How do I register and pay for the trip? This is done through WorldStrides, please see their website for that information as well as the packet of information sent to you in the mail. There are some scholarships available as well as a payment plan to help cover the cost specific to your family's needs. Again, WorldStrides will have all of this information. World Strides also has great ideas for fundraising at this link: My favorite is the gift of education. You get everyone involved to contribute $10 here and there, and that can add up fast.

  5. How much school credit can my student earn? Students will earn a .5 credit for going on the trip. This .5 credit can go in one of three places: .5 of their U.S. History credit, their .5 Social Studies elective, or as a regular .5 of an elective.

  6. When does the class start and when is the trip? The class starts August 22 and will continue through October 21. Students need to be in attendance for all days, especially trip days October 12-16. We only have so much time to get everything done!

  7. When are applications due? Applications are due June 1. However, scholarships are first come first serve, and May 6 is the deadline for those.

  8. How many students are coming? Who can come? This trip is limited to 15 people (not including two accompanying teachers). Therefore, any student or parent coming will need to fit into this group of 15. Therapeutic students level 700 or above and any trusted boarding school student as well as any parent who would like to help chaperone and learn more about history at the same time.

  9. What if my student reaches level 700 in time for the trip but then drops right before? If you would like to spend a little bit more money, WorldStrides offers an "insurance/refund" opportunity that is set up for in case your student becomes ill or can't go for some reason. There is more information in the packet from WorldStrides and on their website. If you don't want to spend the extra money, remember that this is an opportunity for your student to grow and learn from natural consequences.

  10. Should I really spend that much money on my student? If they are a student that does well with hands-on experiences and seems to get stuck in all of the book work then this would be a great way for them to earn a credit. A lot of our students are like this, which is one of the reasons why I am offering it. This trip also gives them the opportunity that some of our other classes don't: it is very interactive. Students will have to learn how to work in a group, turn in homework assignments on time, be engaged in a daily teacher directed class, and to an extent be self-managing while on the trip. They will also learn how to build relationships with their peers in a separate setting than just on campus.


To download a video all about the trip and WorldStrides go to:

Our Trip Website:

I hope that you will consider this trip and take advantage of this great opportunity. If you have any questions, e-mail Kimberly at Also, I will be having an open conference call with any one that wants to call in and talk to Kimberly or Katie Marsh, a representative with WorldStrides. This conference call is on April 20th from 10-11 MST. I will continue to add to this blog post any questions that you send in that others might like to know more about.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Basketball Fans

Our cheering crowd at one of our boys' recent basketball games. Go Cedar Ridge!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hot Air Balloooooonsssss

Two Fridays ago, Layne’s Math and Science club and Jim’s Tinkerer’s club met together to fly the hot air balloons we’ve been working long and hard on. We were put into pairs and groups; Lauren and Evan, Zane and Aly, Porter and Layne, and Jim, Shelby and Nicolette (me). I didn’t expect the balloons to fly so high and go so far, so when we went to great lengths to retrieve the balloons I was shocked. The only persons balloon that didn’t go anywhere was Lauren and Evans, because shortly after it was lit, it caught on fire. This balloon received the Hindenburg award. Zane and Aly’s got the fastest to get into the air award, Porters and Layne’s was really good and of course Jim Shelby and Nicolette (me)’s hot air balloon was just overall the best, (obviously). This whole experience was really great to be able to work together in a group and create something where you could actually see your accomplishment. The best part of it all was watching them go up, knowing they were going to be a hassle to go track down in the snow. I would do this over and over again.