Friday, December 20, 2013

Thank You

The last day before Winter Break is hard for students, but we actually were productive today in room 19. We reviewed chapter 11 in the math book. We finished reading this week's Treasures selections. We went to the library. We took spelling, reading, and multiple math tests. And we watched the last installment of Ramona. I think many of the students were surprised by how deeply they were affected by the unjust death of Alessandro and how much they had come to care about Ramona.

We had a great party. I want to thank all the hardworking parents who contributed to the food. And I have to single our Mrs. Cha who is not only my colleague but has done so much room parent work. And she made this day a huge success.

Thank you for all the gifts. Those who sent something individually to me I will try to do what my mother always taught me and send a thank you note after the first of the year. But even more, thank all of you who contributed to the class gift, the fabulous HP Chromebook on which I'm writing this post today.

Homework:  For a change, absolutely none! Enjoy winter break.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Reading

I think even without rainy day schedule, this would have felt like a long day. The students are sooo excited about winter break. And so is the teacher!

Still, we were quite productive today in room 19. We wrote rough drafts of holiday stories about a week ago, and today the students not only created final drafts but published them in book form.


Some of the students will share their stories at the party tomorrow.

Homework:  (1) Do the usual spelling assignment with words 16-20. (2) Do the “Multiplying Fractions by a Whole Number 4” practice paper. (3) Do pages 284-287 in the math book. There is no special answer sheet today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Have a Geometric Holiday!

Today we started the day with a mix of math and art. The students were given nets of hexagons of dodecahedrons and we asked to not only color or illustrate them with a seasonal theme, but to them put them together into the correct three dimensional shape. That last part proved to be somewhat tricky! But many of our students did an outstanding job with it.



The rest of the day was frankly kind of ho hum. We corrected homework. We finished reading “Uncle Romie.” We went to PE. We had a fire drill. Ah well. That’s what the days right before vacation are like! One and  half more to go!

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 11-15 as usual. (2) Do pages 185 and 186 in the Practice book. (3) Do the summary of the “Uncle Romie” story and answer the questions on page 391 of the Treasures book. (4) Do Multiplying Fractions and Whole Numbers 3. (5) Do pages 282 and 283 in the math book.

Monday, December 16, 2013


This is one of the slowest weeks in the school year. The students are wild with the expectation of Winter Break, and the teachers are far more excited than the students. Sigh. We’ll get through.

It was a fairly productive day despite everything. We started work on another Treasures story and we corrected some work from last week. We learned about multiplying fractions by whole numbers and we also talked about placing fractions and decimals on a number line. For some strange reason that last skill, which never comes up in real life, is an obsession of the standards folks.

Our most interesting part of the day was starting to watch the classic movie version of Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel, Ramona. Starring Loretta Young and the almost-intolerable Don Ameche, it does give the students not only a potent dose of the “Mission Myth,” the idea that Mexican California was a kind of paradise, but it also provides a good sense of what life was like on a working rancho.

Homework:  (1) Do spelling words 1-5 as usual. (2) Do the spelling word search. (3) Do the chart on page 371 in the Treasures book. (4) Do pages 180, 181, and 182 of the Practice book. (5) Do the Rancho San Miguel map exercise. (6) Do Fractions and Whole Numbers 1. (7) Do pages 279-280 in the math book.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Brine Shrimp

In Science, we’re studying the Mono Lake ecosystem. So today we started by hatching brine shrimp, the main food source at Mono Lake. The students are trying to see what is the optimal saline concentration for the bring shrimp. So they added either 0, 1, 2, or 3 tablespoons of salt to treated water. And after that they added the tiny brine shrimp eggs.


In the afternoon, we finished the work on our monochromatic winter scenes. The students are naturals at impressionistic scenes.





Homework:  (1) Do the Mono Lake study questions. (2) Do “Fractions and Decimals” on pages 276-277 in the math book.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back to Blogging

Since starting homework club, it’s been hard to get time in to blog. It’s also been a little crazy at home lately because our house was featured on the West Adams Heritage Association’s Christmas Tour. It’s a little strange having nearly 800 people walk through your house in a weekend and ask you all kinds of questions about everything in it! But, I will definitely try to be better about blogging, however since it’s such a great way to highlight the amazing things out students are doing here in room 19.

Today we did a writing assessment in the Treasures program to begin our day. We discussed the rancho period in California history. We started talking about the Mono Lake ecosystem and the students made mobiles to illustrate who eats what up there in the High Sierra.


We started on an art project on monochromatic colors. We’ll finish that tomorrow.

Homework: (1) Write spelling words 16-20 ten times each and do a sentence for each. (2) Do the spelling crossword. (3) Do the Life on the Ranchos study sheet. (4) Do the Multiplying Fractions 4 practice sheet.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Just the Homework for Now

We had a great day, but since I’m preoccupied with putting up student work on the walls and the bulletin boards right now, let me just note what the homework is….

Homework: (1) Write spelling words 1-5 ten times each and write a sentence for each word. (2) Do the spelling jumble. (3) Do “Phonics,” page 155 and “Vocabulary,” page 156 in the Practice book. (4) Do the “Mexico Gains Independence” study sheet. (5) Do “Solids,” pages 207-209 in the math book. (6) Do the Subtracting Mixed Numbers 1 practice sheet.

We are having our field trip to UCLA Stunt Ranch Nature Reserve in Calabasas Thursday. We need some parents to help out. You will need to drive there and meet us. Please let me know if you can do this.