Friday, February 12, 2010


OKAY! We started out this morning on a really fine note by learning that so far … we’re number one in the coin drive! We were on our way to the library when he heard this, and everybody became so loud and excited Ms. Caruso had to come out and scold us! Sorry, room 17! We need to keep up the good work, however. Keep those coins and bills coming in. Remember, it all goes for a great cause.

We had lots of special things today. Even the ordinary things, like library, we did at slightly different times which made them seem a little special. The California Dance Institute (CDI) is really making our Fridays special. The students are really enjoying this program a lot!

Our CDI teachers and Sam, the accompanist, are forcing the students to really listen to rhythm and to understand meter and to use their bodies to both develop these concepts and show their mastery. That is what I see going on as a teacher; the students are only aware that they are having a fantastic time. A big, big thank you to our parents who helped us raise the money to make this happen.

We also did Physical Education at a slightly different time – 11:00 am. This was because Angel, the campus aide hired by Friends of Third, was there to help us with PE. Angel was really impressed by our system of rotating students through a variety of different physical education activities, and was really happy to a member of a the dynamic team that includes Mr. Pratt and Ms. Caruso. This meant we had a second lunch today. That too, was a little different and … special.

We watched the last part of Ramona. The story finally grabbed the students at the end. There were gasps when Allesandro was shot by the evil American settler, and sighs when Felipe rode up at the end to save Ramona and her baby. Our course, the real reason for watching the movie – it’s depiction of life on a California rancho in the mid-nineteenth century – worked even on the less sentimental members of the class.

We finished the day by working on comparing fractions. The students worked with partners using fraction tiles on this. While they were doing this independently, I had each Science group come up to add new organisms to their aquariums. They all got to add a snail as shown below.


We also added Duckweed and tiny crustaceans known as Gemarus. 


Students had about an hour to start on their homework assignments at the end of the day, and many are not that long. 

Homework:  (1) Do the “Using Reading Strategies” paper. This is the one where they attach the post-it notes which they used while reading the story. (2) Do the study questions for “Sewed Up his Heart”. (3) Do “Comparing Fractions,” envision Math, pages 241-241. (4) Do the equivalent fractions and multiplication practice worksheets. (5) Do review questions 10-14 on pages 225 of the California book. The students do not need to copy the questions, but should answer them in complete sentences. (6) Do the “Music Terms” sheet for Mr. Lawton.

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