Thursday, February 28, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

We spent today doing practice of various sorts. We practiced our editing and drafting skills in writing. We practiced reading with fluency. We practiced for next week’s CST Writing Test. And in the afternoon, we practiced Willy Wonka in the auditorium. Practice is not always the most fun thing for students, but it is the surest route to mastery.


Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 16-20 five times each in cursive. Write a sentence for each one in cursive. The spelling word search is an optional review for tomorrow’s test. (2) In the Practice book, do “Main Ideas” on page 255, “Flow Chart” on page 258, “Context Clues” on page 259, and “Adjectives” on page 262. (3) Write a summary of “A Walk in the Desert” and answer the questions on page 563 of the hardcover Treasures book. Be sure to answer in complete sentences. Do not use pronouns or “Because” to begin answers. (4) Do the “Division of Money 4” practice paper. There will be a quiz on this skill tomorrow. (5) Do “Understanding Integers” on pages 336-337 of the enVision book. Also do “Playground Numbers” on the back of the answer sheet.

Monday, February 25, 2013

In a Rush

In a rush to get home to deal with company…. So just the homework today.

Homework:  (1) Write the spelling words 5 times each in cursive and write one sentence. Also do the spelling shapes activity. (2) Do “Phonics,” page 253, and “Vocabulary,” page 254, in the Practice book. (3) Finish the outline of the “Living in Alaska” story. (4) Do the questions over “Electricity=Magnetism” and “How Electromagnets” readings in the Science book. (5) Do the Division of Money worksheet. For some reason there are remainders on some – ignore them or round up if appropriate. (6) Do page 325-327 in the math book.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Our big activity for today was working to create electromagnets. This was a challenging experiment for the students – I told them what materials they would need, but left it to them to figure out how do it – but most groups successfully managed to create a simple electromagnet and use it to pick up some washers.



Other parts of the day were devoted to practicing the play and to working a little more on our music and art project.

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 15-20 five times each in cursive. Also do a sentence for each in cursive. The wordsearch is optional. (2) Do the By the Great Horn Spoon! chapter 6 study sheet. Also do “Latitude and Longitude” and “Having a Butler.” (3) Do the Multiplying Decimals 3 worksheet. (4) Do “Solving Addition and Subtraction Equations on pages 320-321 of the math book and “How Many?” on the back of the answer sheet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Testing (Again)

Brrr! It’s cold!

Today’s big activity was working on the Literacy Periodic Assessment, a district-mandated test. It is a pretty fair measure of how the students are doing in reading and writing, and we will be correcting it tomorrow. Some students finished relatively quickly while others took their time.

It was so long and boring to take the test that I figured they needed something more relaxed and creative after recess, so they started work on a project which combines music and art. More on that when it’s finished in a couple days.

The rest of the day was pretty ordinary – correcting homework, play practice or PE, and math. We’re starting an algebra unit this week, but I feel pretty confident that their work with Hands-on Equations will prepare them well for it.

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 8-14 five times each in cursive. Also write one sentence for each word in cursive. (2) Do the spelling crossword. (3) Do the Multiplying Decimals 2 practice sheet. (4) Do “Equal or Unequal?” on pages318-319 of the math book and “Connection Detection” on the back of the answer sheet.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

After the Holiday

We started off the day, as we usually do on Tuesdays, in the Tech Center. Some of the students are finishing up their Survey Reports – and these are pretty impressive, if I do say so myself, and others are working on their reports about a famous African American.

After the computer lab, the students went to the auditorium where Mr. Lawton had them working to set a tune to the poems they had written previously. They had a lot of fun sounding out melodies on the xylophones.



The rest of the day was a bit more prosaic. We corrected our homework, reviewed for the math test, and then took the test. It has been corrected and will be on the grade book soon.

We finished reading last week’s story from the Treasures book. We did another lesson from our Hands-on Equations program.

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 1-7 five times each in cursive. Also write one sentence for each word in cursive. (2) Do the spelling jumble. (3) Write a summary of at least a half page on the “My Brothers’ Flying Machine” story. Answer the questions on page 527 in complete sentences. (4) Do the Multiplying Decimals 1 practice sheet.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

California Science Center

Today was our field trip to the California Science Center in Exposition Park.


We started out by watching the Blue Planet film in the IMAX Theater. It is one of the first IMAX films, but it is still impressive enough.

After we finished watching the film, the students were divided into five groups each with one or more parent leaders. The parents walked through all the exhibits with the students. Probably because it was Valentine’s Day, it was the emptiest – and most pleasant – I have ever seen the Science Center. The students seemed to focus more than usual on some of the many fantastic exhibits.




The highlight was going to see the space shuttle. I was not planning to be particularly impressed, but as Huell Howser would have said, “Golly, it sure is big!”


It was really interesting to see the heat tiles on the side which show the impact of traveling through the atmosphere.


The students have the trip an enthusiastic two thumbs up!


Homework:   Do the fraction worksheet. The word search is optional.

A BIG, BIG thanks to Violet’s mom and grandfather, Jake’s grandmother, Ryan’s dad, Drew’s mom, Alexandra’s mom, and Angel’s mom for chaperoning our field trip today. I could not possibly have survived today without you!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Field Trip Tomorrow

First of all, sorry for the lapse in postings. My PC, on which all these musings are composed, has been suffering from some serious problems. Dave Herbert, our Friends of Third sponsored IT guy, figured out it was a bum DIMM and we finally got it replaced. All is working spiffily again.

Just to remind you that there are still spots for parents to come on tomorrow’s trip to the California Science Center! It is usually a pretty good time and you will get a chance to tour the space shuttle!

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 11-15 five times each in cursive and write a sentence for each – also in cursive. (2) Do the spelling crossword. (3) Do “Personification,” page 246, “Suffixes,” page 247, and “Homophones,” page 250, all in the Practice book. (4) Do By the Great Horn Spoon! chapter 5 study sheet. Be sure to write all answers in complete sentences. (5) Do Adding and Subtracting Fractions 3 practice sheet. (6) Do “Multiplying and Dividing Decimals” on pages of the math book. Also do “Family Culture” on the back of the answer sheet.