Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

April 15, 2010

Thursday, April 15

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 9:06 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Finish Packet and Study for Quiz
  2. Mathematics: Study Link 6-5 Constructing a Graph From Landmarks
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out Summary section in Reading Log, get parent signature.

Mr. Weis


April 14, 2010

Wednesday, April 14

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 8:29 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Sentences
  2. Math: Reading Graphs Worksheet (both sides)
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and complete Clarification entry in Reading Log

Mr. Weis

April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 13

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 9:01 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Definitions and CLOZE
  2. Mathematics: Skills Link 6-1
  3. Language Arts: Finish Sign of the Beaver Chapters 21 and 22 Answers (if not completed in class).
  4. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and complete Questioning section in Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

April 12, 2010

Monday, April 12

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 6:42 pm
Tags: , ,

I didn’t get blog posts in for Wednesday or Thursday last week, so I’d like to start by giving a few links related to the math that we did.  In Mathematics last week, our focus was on the Order of Operations.  Order of Operations refers to which step to do first in a math problem.  The basic steps include Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.  Students are first introduced to parentheses in 3rd Grade Everyday Math, and they are a required Grade 4 Standard, but in 5th Grade the complexity and length of problems begins to increase and add on to simple 2 step number sentences with parentheses.  In order to help remember the order and names of the steps, students first learned the mnemonic Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.  Later, students developed their own Order Of Operations mnemonics and added an illustration to them.  They will appear soon on the wall outside the room.

As part of our work in Mathematics last week, the students also worked with some websites with activities using Order of Operations.  In class, every student got a chance to first direct the computer which operation to do first in a singular equation.

After correctly solving 10 questions, students bank time and are given a chance to zap the correct operation first as multiple operations fall from the top to the bottom of the screen.  Make sure to click them quick, but stay using P.E.D.M.A.S.

Some other games I found include a simple Flashcard Problem Quiz, a Connect 4 Game in which you must first do an Order of Operations question correctly, and a puzzling game called Speedmath in which you must correctly identify what operations to add to an equation to get the correct given final answer.

In Vocabulary this week, the roots are cess/ces/cede (to go), ten (to hold), and lit (letter).

In Reading, we will finish up the book Sign of the Beaver this week.  Students will be given final project guidelines on Wednesday and will have a week and a half to complete their project and turn in all completed chapter worksheets.  Today students worked on finishing up their own first set of questions that they will pass on to each other to answer.  Students were directed to write a variety of questions based on their reading including Word Analysis, In-Your-Head, In-the-Text, Major Conflict/Resolution, and Character Development/Trait questions.  As students transition into literature circle groups, they will be called upon to use many of the active reading strategies we have used in class and their discussions will be primarily drawn from their own unique questions.

In Writing, we are continuing our work with Musical Metaphors.  Students used a graphic organizer today to clarify the Tenor, Vehicle, and Ground of their metaphor and then began to brainstorm some lyrical words, phrases, and sentences to support their metaphors in their Spring Break poems.


  1. Vocabulary:  Sort
  2. Mathematics: Study Link 5-10.  BOTH SIDES
  3. Language Arts: Finish Sign of the Beaver Chapters 21 and 22 page.
  4. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

P.S. Math homework today involves a review of pie charts.  Follow this link for an interactive digital pie chart.

April 6, 2010

Tuesday, April 6

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 6:07 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Definitions and CLOZE
  2. Mathematics: Study-Link 7-5 Order of Operations Practice (Insert parentheses to direct which step to do first if necessary), Challenge Puzzles (Optional)
  3. Language Arts: Finish describing at least 3 Spring Break activities with Italian Music Terminology
  4. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out Questioning section in Reading Log

Mr. Weis

April 5, 2010

Welcome Back

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 8:15 pm
Tags: ,

I hope everyone had a rejuvinating Spring Break and is ready to get back into the swing of things.  I had a really nice first day back and was very pleased with how smoothly the transition back into school routines went for everyone.  We were able to get a lot done in the classroom today.

In Vocabulary this week, the roots are Pur/ Purg (cleanse), Fus (pour), Press (press or push), and Pend (hang).  We did our usual pretest and sort and then worked on making hypotheses for the root meanings.  The students were very close to all of the literal translations in their guesses and used the sort words as excellent evidence to support their assertions.

In Reading we spent the day doing some recap and review of Sign of the Beaver after not having read a new chapter in about a week and a half.  We broke up so that each student practiced skimming a chapter and then wrote a short, dramatic summary.  The students then took turns reciting their summaries as we did somewhat of an old-fashioned radio drama retelling.  Tomorrow we will get back on track with Chapter 19 and students will continue to take a more active role in constructing their own questions on the information in the chapters.

In Writing we began a short writing project with the underlying goal of analyzing the makeup of a metaphor.  We began today by actually listening to various samples of different pieces of music spanning many genres.  Students wrote about the different qualities of the music and then we did a little work working with Italian musical composition terminology as a common vocabulary to use to talk about the musical pieces.  How is this all going to lead to metaphors you may ask, well, you’ll have to wait and see to how we develop our musical descriptions and then connect them to events and personal experiences over Spring Break.  We will work specifically with constructing metaphors with a clearly defined tenor, vehicle, and ground.  Music will be the vehicle, our personal experiences will be the elements of the tenor, and the ground will be based in Italian music terminology.  It should be a fun few days, and if all turns out well, the students will exit the project with a greater understanding of both how to construct a metaphor and how to analyze one too.  For a little basic information on the makeup of a metaphor, you can follow this link or this link .


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Order of Operations “Parentheses First” worksheet, both sides.  Write 2 word problems based on the given number sentences, keeping in mind the effects of the parentheses.
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out Prediction section in Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

March 25, 2010

Pondering Prisms

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 8:45 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lately in Math we have continued to explore geometrical figures.  This week we focused on finding volumes of different types of prisms.  The basic formula we have used for finding the volume of a prism is to find the area of the base (B) and multiply it by the height (h).  Our standard formula for finding the volume of a prism is therefor V = B x h.  When working with rectangular prisms, we just multiply the length, width, and height together to get the volume, but when working with a triangular prisms, we make sure to figure out what the correct area of the triangular base is first. Here is a link to a page that tells a little more about prisms and offers a visual basis for the volume formula we have been using.  Our next step in our geometry unit will be to discuss the concept of surface area.

Even as we have moved on to volume, some students are still having a little difficulty properly finding the area of the bases of prisms and are getting confused between finding area and perimeter.  Here are a couple tutorials that come with some activities for differentiating between finding area and perimeter.

In Writing we have been working on constructing conclusions and on building in transition words and phrases into our essays.  We will continue writing in the Response to Literature genre after the Spring Break, but we will shift from narratives to poetry as the subject matter from which we will write.

In Reading we are continuing to read The Sign of the Beaver.  The major focus has been on building active reading engagement skills and strategies.  After starting to move into group work earlier this year, I realized the students first needed a more robust foundation on building reading and discussion strategies in order to help let them get the most possible out of their discussions.  Lately we have been working on creating, classifying, and supporting answers to different types of questions.  I am gradually giving the students more and more control over the specific questions they are to answer after reading each chapter.  The students are now correctly developing many types of questions including in-the-text detail, in-the-text summary, character trait, minor and major conflicts/ resolutions, in-your-head, and word analysis questions about both vocabulary clarification and figurative language use.  It’s exciting to see the many types of questions they create and where they will take our future discussions.


  1. Vocabulary: Finish packet and study
  2. Mathematics: Volume of prisms Study Link 9-9
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out summary section in Reading Log, get Reading Log signed

Mr. Weis

March 24, 2010

Wednesday March 24

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 8:32 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Sentences
  2. Mathematics: Volume of rectangular prisms worksheet (be careful with the decimal computation)
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out clarification section in Reading Log
  4. Language Arts: Finish 2nd draft of Moccasins essay if not completed during class.

Mr. Weis

March 23, 2010

Tuesday March 23

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 9:42 pm


  1. Vocabulary: CLOZE and Definitions
  2. Math: Volume of Rectangular Prisms worksheet, make sure to do both sides
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out questioning section in reading log

Mr. Weis

March 22, 2010

Y por eso los grandes amores de muchos colores me gustan a mí

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 5:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

Today we began our week of learning about Cesar Chavez to coincide with the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning coming up.  Each day we will spend some time learning about the life and work of Cesar Chavez as we lead up to our Friday assembly when several classes will educate about and pay tribute to the life and legacy of Chavez.  Our class will be singing and telling about the song De Colores.  De Colores is a traditional song originally from Spain that has been adopted by the United Farm Workers as a common anthem sung at their meetings and rallies. You can find the tune and the lyrics to the song, in both Spanish and English at this website.  Today, the students read short biographies about Cesar Chavez, categorized some of the information we learned about him, and had a discussion about his work with migrant farm workers. Tomorrow we will spend some time reading some autobiographical passages from people who were involved with the UFW and their memories of singing De Colores.

In vocabulary this week, the roots are bene- good, mal- bad, ante- before, and post- after.  We did our sort today and learned about some of the words with the roots.  An interesting fact I learned today was about the etymology of the disease name, malaria.  Malaria literally comes from roots meaning “bad air,” because when it was initially diagnosed it was thought to be spread through the air. What interesting words do you know with the roots of the week?  Take a look over at the online Etymology Dictionary to learn more about their creation.

In Mathematics we finished up our work with finding the area of triangles, rectangles, and parallelograms.  We practiced accurately measuring heights and bases and applying the formulas.

Here is an online activity for practicing finding the area of a triangle that is plotted on a coordinate grid.  Level 1 will give only right triangles, level 2 will give different types of triangles where you might have to turn the triangle to get the base and you will have to be careful when identifying the height.


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Areas of triangles and parallelograms worksheet
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out prediction section in reading log
  4. Mathematics (Due Wednesday): Bring in an empty can or box from your house.  We will be using these things for an activity finding volume and surface area.

Mr. Weis

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