Corps of Discovery Land of the Empire Builder Watermelon vs. Seed

About Me

Running Hello! I'm Michael Stephens, and welcome to Room 16's Team Gecko web site. I've been working hard to make this web site a great resource for my students and their families. This is my 8th year teaching at Powell Valley Elementary School in Gresham, Oregon.

I studied to become a teacher at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. I enjoyed the experience so much, I went back and earned my masters degree from there as well.

I enjoy playing racquetball and golf (even if I'm not so good at golf) and I enjoy running a few days a week as well. My favorite hobbies include building customized Lego designs and drawing.

Fourth grade is a very exciting year for all of my students. We get to explore so much this year, including: the journey of Lewis and Clark's Corp of Discovery, the founding of Oregon, Pioneer Life, Multiplication and Division Facts, Fractions, Matter and Energy, and so much more! Click on the links above to see what each area will include this year.

My students are held to a very high standard. I expect the best from each of them, and when they work hard, they will gain a huge sense of pride in their accomplishments. I set the bar high, and work with each student to reach their full potential. Writing is so important in life, and 4th graders take a big step in their writing career this year. By June, students will be able to write excellent personal narratives, persuasive essays, imaginative stories and expository reports that are engaging and fun to read.

LegoWriting was difficult for me as a 4th grader, so I have a good idea of what struggling writers have to work around to become excellent writers. With the collaboration with the 4th grade teaching team, we create lessons that are fun, engaging and sure to bring out the best stories from each student. It's a workshop atmosphere with mini-lessons, individual conferencing, peer sharing, and lots of writing engagement.

One way I can connect life with writing is to share some of the stories from my life with my students. As the year goes on, I always have new personal narratives that I share with my students. I will be putting many of these stories inside the Mr. S' Journal, seen on the side of this site. I hope you enjoy them as much as the kids do.

I feel very privileged to be able to teach your child this year. This truly is my dream job, and getting the chance to help students along their learning journey is unlike anything in the world.

If you'd like more updates from the classroom, please check out our classroom Facebook page.

Sunnie Dog
Mr. Stephens' Writing Journal
Fourth Grade

A gecko

What's up with all the Gecko talk?

That's a great place to begin. Since before I can remember I've always liked geckos. They have the coolest toes on earth, take a look on the right! They just look cool! When I got older, I would play video games and I'd always end up naming my character with Gecko in it somewhere.

Rewind to when I was in fifth grade, my teacher, Mr. Ritchie, had an inclass currency called Ritchie Bucks. I knew that when I got my own classroom I would do something just like that. My first year of teaching I created the GeckoBuck, and my first class were the first to earn them. They earned so many, I decided to setup a prize that if they earned 5000 of them, I would buy a class pet Gecko. Well, needless to say, the 5000 GB mark was earned easily, and we now have a Gecko named, Echo Topeka Stephens. She's a great pet, and makes appearances in class throughout the year.

This is why I love teaching. I get to be creative all day, every day. (more soon)

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