Thursday, December 8, 2016

Recess Fun!!

By Shelby (grade 8)

BBS is having a great time at recess. There are always games we can play like, sprout ball, Derpy-mon, and simply just playing on the play structures.From “Everybody’s it tag” to Tree Fort building, we will always have smiles on our faces!
So many of the kids find their own ways to entertain themselves. There are so many smiles all the time: and sometimes, the playground sounds like a laughing frenzy. Most of the time, almost all the students have the same interest at the same time. One of the big recess things that we started up was “Everybody’s it tag”.

That game was played almost everyday, for two weeks. Whenever there was a misunderstanding, we would try our best to solve the problem and continue with the day. They ended up making their own rules and making up really cool things and powers they can do in the middle of their game. We always made it as interesting as possible.

After a week or longer, Tree Fort building became huge!! When we first started, there was two forts being built. Soon, the teachers designed to have a rule were we were only allowed to have one fort. It wasn’t that big of a deal, and we still found ways to make it the best tree fort ever.

BBS always finds a way to have fun and never let their imaginations fade. At BBS, we believe we can accomplish anything.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ancient Egypt History Class

by Kellen (grade 4)

I hope you get hit with knowledge about Ancient Egypt because that’s what we have been studying in history class! We learned about how the ancient Egyptians built the temples and pyramids with skilled workers. They carved really, really good bricks from sandstone using protractors and tools. We learned about what they ate and drank. They drank beer and water, and ate bread from wheat and barley. They also ate fish but very rarely ate other meat. Honey made their food sweet. They wrote in three different languages, which were found on the Rosetta Stone. The Egyptian and Greek helped decode the hieroglyphic symbols and what they meant. The Ancient Egyptians had weird boats made out of wheat that looked really cool. Most of their clothes were light colors like white, tan, and possibly gold because Egypt was hot. We learned interesting facts about their gods, like Osiris (the god of death) and Ra (the sun god). Anubis was linked to the mummification process, where bodies were preserved, as well as the journey to the afterlife. We were hit with knowledge about Ancient Egypt in history class! Did you get hit with knowledge as you read this?

Saturday, December 3, 2016


by Scott (grade 5)

Our class has been studying volcanoes this fall and my mind exploded with information after writing this blog. I hope yours will too!
Here are some definitions of some important aspects of volcanos...A key species is a type of species that starts life back up after a volcano explodes. A key species usually pops up in a dead zone. A dead zone is usually a zone that is all dead after the lava covers the land. There is usually only dead logs left. And what causes a dead zone is a lava zone. Lava zones are very destructive things and can cause a lot of damage to wildlife and homes. A magma chamber holds all of the magma underground so you can say the volcano lives off of a magma chamber. The lava explodes out of the magma chamber.
A crater can be caused by an explosion. A really big explosion has to happen to cause a crater. When craters are sometimes being formed by explosions, ash clouds can happen. Ash clouds are made entirely of ash and they cause a lot of air pollution when being formed.  

Finally, igneous rock is a lava rock that sometimes hardens under the earth's surface, forming granite. Sometimes this kind of rock cools from exploded lava on the earth's surface. One kind of cooled lava is obsidian.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Buy a Wreath from a BBS Student!

By Cody (Grade 7)

It’s the holiday season again and we’ve got wreaths to sell. Last year the Black Butte School made over 5500 dollars in wreath sales and we need to make a lot more this year. Four students have been selling wreaths for a long time: Conner, Cody (me), Ilya, and Kellen. Over the years students have raised lots of money for the PTO by selling wreaths. The money mostly supplies our end of the year overnight field trip.

Over the next few years, the Black Butte School needs to get money to buy some new playground equipment. The old equipment is breaking and cracking from old age. We have to raise thousands of dollars to be able to get new playground equipment and have it installed. All of us kids will be excited to get new playground equipment.

Buying a wreath will also help Black Butte School students to go on other field trips like, the end of the year field trip planned to the Oregon coast. We also will use the money raised to get school supplies, have pizza parties, and make our education great! Please support our school, I hope all goes well with selling and happy holidays!

If you are interested please visit our website: where you will find the order form on our home page. You can also find the form by clicking here. OR, you can email Jane Petke, at

Thursday, November 3, 2016

P.E. Class

by Audrie (grade 4)

I love P.E. class because the class gets to play a lot of different games like Dodgeball, Soccer, and Volleyball. The awesome Shelby likes playing butt ball. Butt ball is a game when the class is in a circle with their feet together and players try to get a ball through their classmates legs. If you get the ball through your own legs you have to turn around with your bum facing inside the circle and if someone gets it through your legs again you are out! The last one in the circle wins.

Mr.Sharp, the Head Teacher hear at Black Butte School, teaches P.E.. He is awesome at it! My favorite part about P.E. is that Mr. Sharp tries to do different games that the whole class likes. When someone doesn’t like the game we are playing Mr.Sharp does his best to make it fun. Here is an example, Shelby and I are the only girls in the class and Mr.Sharp told us we were going to play dodge ball. We were a little bit scared but it turned out to be very fun!

Kellen is a 4th grader too and he has been here since he was in kindergarten, so he has been here for 5 years. His favorite part of P.E. is soccer. He was gone the first day we played (yesterday) but we played it again and he really liked it. Athan (also a 4th grader) started at BBS this year. He likes P.E. too. His favorite game is sprout ball. Sprout ball is a game when every one stands in a field and one person has a ball. They throw it at people and if they get hit they have to sit down on the ground and wait till the person that hit you gets hit by some one else.

  If you wan’t to learn more about Black Butte School go to

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Halloween Plans

by Justin (grade 5)

Halloween is around the corner and BBS is planning something fun! The upper grade class has picked costumes from the ancient times since we’re learning about ancient civilizations. Eniat said that “I picked Alexander The Great,” and Kellen said, “I picked Ramses the II.” Then the lower grade class will be whatever they want and play fun games and have treats.

I interviewed some kids about what they will do on Halloween night. Shelby said that “I will stay up as late as I can with friends and go trick or treating.” Rope says that “I will dress up as my hunter costume and go trick or treating,” and Audrie  says that she “will give out candy to trick or treaters.” Those were some of the kids plans at BBS.

Happy Halloween!

Here are some pictures from last year's Halloween celebration at Black Butte School

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Metolius Hike

by Conner (grade 8)

The Metolius is a great place to hike and was wonderful for our first field studies class. We played games, hiked, and learned a lot on this trip. We hiked from school downstream and turned around at Allingham Bridge, and walked back on the other side of the river.

On our hike our main topic was “we are connected to everything.” We talked about how we are connected with animals and plants who share our habitat with us. All of us listened about what we eat and who might eat us. Also we talked about where we live and what people need to survive. We are connected to a lot in the environment.

Along the way we played some games, like camouflage and human knot. Camouflage is a game where one person is an owl who stands in their perch, they can only move in a one foot radius circle. The owl tries to find all the mice who are hiding (the mice have to stay where they can see the owl). Once the owl gives up he/she would yell "forest fire" so all the mice will come out. For human knot everyone grabs another person’s right hand across the circle and then next grabs someone’s left hand across the circle. Then we tried to untangle ourselves back into a circle. Both games were fun and taught us more about how everything is connected.

All in all we had lots of fun hiking, playing games, and learning about our environment. We all learned that we are connected to a lot. The Metolius was a beautiful place to explore these things.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Visit to Juniper Jungle Permaculture Farm

Zion (grade K) hangin' with the pigs and sporting a
mustache in honor of Mr. B's birthday
By Inanna (grade 6)

On Wednesday April 27, Black Butte School visited Juniper Jungle Permaculture Farm just east of Bend. Juniper Jungle is an organic, permaculture, biodiverse farm. They grow heirloom plants and raise heirloom animals. 
Heirloom food is grown from seeds or animals that have been passed down from generation to generation. The farm is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, meaning they sell to families and at farmers markets. By now you might wonder how they got their name, well, they are growing a jungle in the junipers, since they used permaculture principals in growing food. Sometimes permaculture principals mean that the farm could look messy like a jungle.

Jessica showing us the "jungle" in their greenhouse
Our tour guide, Jessica, did an amazing job showing us around. Jessica showed us their beautiful, giant pigs. Next, she showed us the cows. They have two milking cows. After we checked out the cows, we headed over to the greenhouses. Their greenhouses are wild and crazy. They don’t do anything to contain the wildness of the plants, they just let them do what they want and produce their seeds. This returns needed nutrients back to the soil. We all ate our fair share of dill before walking outside for some rock chucking. No, we did not actually CHUCK the rocks, we carried them. Our task was to clear the field of rocks. There were a few giant monster rocks buried several feet underground. We all dug and dug until we couldn’t dig anymore. Sheesh were we tired.

Students helping remove large rocks and
weeds from a field
After chucking rocks, we went and checked out the canal. Juniper Jungle pulls the water, in a canal, from the Deschutes River. Soon after, we had lunch and wrote in our journals. All in all, our Juniper Jungle Farm visit was amazing and fun. Hopefully we will be able to go back soon! If you want to learn more about their farm check out their website:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Planting with Vermiculture (aka Worm Poo)

by Shelby (grade 7)

The Black Butte School has made their own red worm farm where we compost certain foods and hope to help our ecosystem. Just recently, the we started an experiment where we planted different plants in four different kinds of soil. The various soils are: local (dirt that comes from right by our school), potting soil (from our local stores here in sisters), vermiculture, and a special mix between the vermiculture and potting soil. “What’s vermiculture?” you ask. Well, vermiculture is pretty much worm poo. Yep, i just said it. Worm poo. A fun fact is that every piece of soil on planet earth has gone through a worm’s digestive system.

So far, we have two bins filled with worms and compost. We are so excited to see how our plants and compost/worms turn out and that we can continue our collection for the next years to come. Maybe we will even build a garden!

More information from Ilya (grade 6) on how to take care of worms...

If you are interested in making your own worm bin, here is what you need: a bin (make sure to poke holes in the bin’s lid and bottom), a water catcher (for underneath the bin), bedding (peat moss and shredded newspapers). You will also of course need food for the worms such as kitchen greens, vegetable scrapings from plates, potato peels and other vegetable peels, fruit (but not citrus), egg shells crushed, cereal, grain and grain products, and tea bags and coffee grounds. Worms don't like to eat dairy products, meat, citrus, or plants in the onion family (onions and garlic), which are antibacterial. Worms mainly eat the bacteria that grow to breakdown the plants, so antibacterial foods wont work! For more detailed information on making a worm bin check out this article on Mother Earth News.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March Madness

by Conner (grade 7)

March Madness has come to Black Butte School.  Mr. B has challenged the older class to complete the NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket for 2016.  There are 68 teams competing in the NCAA Tournament divided into 4 regions (south, west, mid-west, and east).  On the bracket we have to choose which team will win each game, narrowing it down to one overall winning team.

Some students are deciding winning teams randomly or flipping a coin, while others use team stats to make logical decisions.  I am using the web-site to look at stats.  I’m using the stats on average offense and defense to help me decide.  Using the stats uses math in the real world.

As a class we will study results and add up who gets the most teams right.  There may be a prize for the person that has the most teams correct.  Mr. B and Scott McNitt, our bus driver, are completing brackets too.  It’s fun to have a competition.  Black Butte School is in the spirit of March Madness.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Winter Birthdays

by Inanna (grade 6)

Over the past few months there have been multiple birthdays here at BBS. Kids going from child to…well, older child. Here are our lucky rascals: Ilya, Makiha, Emma, Sawyer and Audrie. They have all celebrated and had fun. Sadly, most of them celebrated without the rest of us students. What a bummer! We are so fun!
One of the birthday girls, Audrie, brought in lovely cookies. We sang an amazingly off key “Happy Birthday,” though she seemed to like it. Then we ate our beautiful  pink and white cookies. I have to say, they were pretty good. It was very fun. 
Inanna (6) 
On another note, I am doing a project involving birthdays, it is an astrological project, where I find out what zodiac signs the other kids are and study them. So far, I have figured out that there are two Capricorns, one Aries, two Gemini, three Cancers, three Leos, one Virgo, one Sagittarius and two Aquarians. That’s a lot of diversity sign-wise. Astrology is the study of the zodiac signs according to the stars and planets. The zodiac signs are separated into four categories, earth, water, fire and air. At BBS there are mostly fire and air signs and some water and earth signs.

BBS has had many student birthdays and has more to come! I will keep on working on my birthday project to learn some more about the kids' signs, and write about it again. All in all, this year students will be going from little kids to big kids and from big kids to TEENAGERS!! Wow, what a change.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's Science Fair Time!

by Conner (grade 7)

February is one of my favorite months because the Science Fair happens in Sisters. Black Butte School students will participate in two ways.  Students are making mousetrap cars to enter the Design Construct Compete Challenge. We are also making a poster board display on our snowpack studies.

We are working on our mousetrap cars as part of math. The challenge is to build a car that moves and stops using only mousetrap power. In each round of the competition the cars must travel a given distance and stop in a designated area. For an added challenge this year, advanced rounds will include an obstacle that cars must be able to turn around. We are using Victor wooden snap-type mousetraps, CDs, records, soda cans, string, rubber bands and other materials to construct the cars. My car has two record wheels with an axle, the mousetrap hangs in the middle, and a string attaches to the metal hammer and the axle to give it power.

For our school display we’ve been gathering snowpack data since after winter break in the school yard. We have also used websites to get data for every Wednesday starting November 25, 2015 in other locations in the Cascades. Our display will show snow depth, snow water equivalent, precipitation accumulation, and air temperature for sites around Oregon. Students will be available to explain this information to visitors.

We hope you’ll join us at the Science Fair on at noon on February 20th at Sisters High School. It’s going to be a fun day.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Studying Whychus Creek

by Shelby (grade 7)

Black Butte School has taken ANOTHER field trip. This time we went to the wonderful and beautiful Whychus Creek. Our teacher for the day was a nice lady named Kelly who works for the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. The students sat and listened to all the damage that the creek has gone through and what we can do to help. We enjoyed the wilderness as we watched many fish and possibly water skippers pass by.  

Many smiles were seen that day as the children's eyes lit up with joy. Mud was splattered around as the students experimented by making our own little rivers. We got to observe how water likes to maneuver on it’s own and what flash floods do to the ecosystem. We returned to Whychus Creek for another field trip a couple weeks later to learn more. We are also studying the Metolius River and comparing the health of the river and the creek.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Core Class Spotlight: Humanities

by Ilya (grade 6)

At  BBS we have many classes, one of them is Humanities. In Humanities class lately, upper grades students (grades 5-7) have been learning about Reconstruction from a book  called A History Of US,(sort of a play on words), By Joy Hakim. We just started learning about the Industrial Revolution from the same book. We also have many handouts and worksheets about things we learned about.
To help us broaden our perspective and connect history with literature, we read books and graphic novels about history. One we read is about Chinese people in America, called Escape to Gold Mountain by David H.T Wong. It may be a little violent but is very educational. We are planning to read another graphic novel called Maus by Art Spiegelman, which is about World War I and II from a Mouse's perspective.
We also focus on grammar and creative writing skills in Humanities, using the curriculum Seeing Stars. Seeing Stars teaches us about syllables, vocabulary, and how to write stories. The lessons give us nonwords and words to practice syllable breaking and a prompt to write a story. Overall Humanities class is pretty fun, and we learn a lot too.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Guitar Class

by Inanna(grade 6)

Benji teaching us about basic chords
Guitar class is pretty awesome! We started it on January 19 and will be ending it on March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day. The teacher, Benji Nagel, is a 27 year old guitarist. He has been involved with the Sisters Folk Festival for about 12 years and is really good at what he does! He and his wife have a beautiful garden in Sisters that is just amazing, called Mahonia Gardens. Those were some fun facts about Benji now here are some about class.
In guitar class, so far, we learned some basic chords and the different notes that the different strings play. The chords are pretty easy to do, but if you want to make a sound you have to press your fingers down really hard! “It hurt my fingers,” said one of the third graders. At first I had a hard time getting my fingers in the right places, but since I’m a pianist my fingers are strong so I kind of got the hang of it. To play guitar you should have very strong fingers or it will be pretty hard. All in all, guitar class is great and we have a great teacher! I hope that everybody else think so, too.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

First Day of Skiing

Students gaining confidence
on the slope
by Conner (grade 7)

Since 1973 Black Butte School has been skiing the snowy slopes of Hoodoo.  Every year, when Hoodoo has enough snow, after Winter Break the school begins the ski program.  Students earn downhill ski lessons on Fridays by doing all homework, staying on task in class, and having good behavior.  
We’ve had one Friday of skiing.  All 16 students enjoyed morning and afternoon lessons.  After skill assessment, we were broken up into four groups.  Each of the four groups worked with an instructor.  Two groups were for new alpine skiers and two groups were for more experienced skiers.  
The beginner skiers started not knowing how to turn or get on lifts.  They spent a fair amount of time just getting comfortable being on their skis in front of the lodge.  By the end of the day, they could turn and stop.  They were all comfortable getting on and off the lifts.  They are excited to be getting better and learn more.  

Advanced group students with Hoodoo instructor Bill
The more advanced groups already knew how to stop, do a wide variety of turns, and stay controlled on steeper slopes. Moreover my group (the advanced group)

practiced being in control by doing wide, long turns and skinny, small turns.  I know we will all be better skiers thanks to the ski program.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Class: Computers and Coding

by Cody (grade 6)

We students at Black Butte School have been learning how to code. First, we use to use so then we can learn how to type and code. For example, it teaches us how to learn by making objects move with blocks of code. Each block contains 1-50 pieces of code. Also, we use Keyboarding without Tears, a program to practice our typing skills, so we can be able to type faster without looking. The keyboarding helps us code by making us able to make code faster for programs to read. helps by showing us how to move/make objects. Secondly, when we are with Mr.B we start working on what he says. For example, we start on so we can start working on our coding. For instance, we move angry birds around to catch bad piggies. Also, we make drawings by having our character move on a shaded line so we can darken the shaded line. Finally, Ilya (grade 6) said ‘’Coding is very fun. My favorite part is the angry birds because it is so fun and the graphics are cool.’’ So, my guess is that most people like computer class for what we do.
A screenshot from our angry birds lesson on 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pet Worms

by Cody (grade 6)

The Black Butte School wanted to get school pets for the students, so they got worms! We students get to study and learn about worms and how they make soil. After lunch, we feed them banana peels and other kinds of leftover food. After the worms eat, they poop, which makes rich soil that can grow plants very quickly.

In a week we saw that the worms had already started making plants grow in their soil. The soil made the plants very happy as they grew quickly in the worm's soil. Here are some fun facts about worms. Worms don't have a gender so they can get worms pregnant while they are pregnant. Worms also don't have lungs so they breathe out of their skin. Lastly, they are light sensitive so they can see light but they can't see people.
Our worm's habitat

Later on in the school year, we are going to grow plants in our greenhouse using the worm's soil. In the meantime, we are going to try to do our best to help these worms so we can see them grow and reproduce.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Electrical Engineering at BBS!

by Conner (grade 7)

Zion (grade K) showing off
his machine
Sawyer (grade 4) working on his invention
Have you ever wondered what makes a fan work or an alarm clock buzz? 

Making inventions in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class is helping us understand how things work.  We have been working on basic electrical engineering.  We can use different parts for our inventions like leads, batteries, motors, and metal pieces like paperclips and aluminum foil.  We make inventions using these parts and recycled materials to make containers, switches, propellers, or wings.  My invention was a flashlight.  I liked how Kellen (grade 3) made an insect-o-copter with a variety of wings. Inanna (grade 6) made a lamp. Making these inventions has helped us understand how circuits work better.  I’m looking forward to doing more with this and learning more about electricity.
Inanna's (grade 6) invention


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Winter Educational opportunities

This winter BBS is excited about new enrichment classes we are offering, the return of our historic ski program, as well as the new theme of Water in our field studies class.

Starting in January guitar, Spanish, and computer skills classes will begin at the school. Twice a week students will rotate through the new classes in small groups that will allow lots of hands-on instruction. Sisters native Benji Nagel will lead the guitar class. Benji has years of experience teaching young people the joy of learning the guitar. He is excited to bring his talents to our little school this winter. Head Teacher, Delaney Sharp will teach the beginning Spanish class, which will focus on building basic language skills and oral fluency. The class will also use the language as a platform to better understand other cultures and regions of the world. BBS' own Ethan Barrons (aka Mr. B) will lead up the computer skills class where students will be working on their typing skills, learning basic coding, as well as other basic computer functions. The new enrichment classes will bring new challenges and lots of fun to the students of BBS.

We are also excited that the extensive snow pack will allow us to resume our ski program for the first time in 3 years! Each Friday during the winter, students will head up to the slopes at the Hoodoo Ski Area. Hoodoo staff will provide full day ski lessons, which will help students with their physical fitness and self confidence. The school will help students to rent any gear that they don't have, allowing for all students to participate in the school's treasured program. 

Students will also be shifting focus in their field studies class from the fall theme of Forest Ecosystems to Water. Students will be monitoring snow pack throughout the Cascades and near the school this winter and comparing their findings to historic patterns. Additionally, students will be working with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council to learn about how the water from the mountains impacts the local ecosystems and human communities around Camp Sherman and Sisters. Students will also be exploring the theme of Water during their visual art classes with Annie Painter.