Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

March 17, 2009

Sesquipedalianisms and challenge vocabulary

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 9:04 pm

As I alluded to yesterday, today I rebooted vocabulary with 2 specific parts.  Each week’s vocabulary work will focus on a specific spelling component (mostly Latin or Greek roots or affixes).  Students will initially complete a sort of words with those components and then rewrite them and add more words.  We will spend time in class learning more about the specific word components, their etymology, spelling, and usage.  We will then focus on 8 of the words and students will complete a packet with a variety of activities including writing definitions, cloze sentences, crosswords, word searches, jumbles, sentence writing, and illustrations.  The entire packet will be due on Fridays and we will have a quiz on those 8 words.  Additionaly, I will be offering a challenge packet of the week.  The challenge packet will focus on higher level vocabulary, word and concept relationships, and word play.  I’m going to see how things go and what kind of participation I get with the challenge packets and adjust how I will administer assessments accordingly.  The challenge packet is also meant to be done primarily in class as an early finisher or enrichment activity.  Students will bring home finished packets in their Tuesday Green folders.


This week’s challenge vocabulary packet focuses on sesquipedalianisms.  The word sequipedalianism comes from the Latin word sesquipedalis.  The word sesquipdalis was used to describe something that was a foot and a half long from the roots sesqui (one and a half times as great) and pedalis (foot).   A sesquipedalianism is an extraordinarily long word.  Someone who speaks or writes in a sesquipedalian way is someone who uses very long and often confusing vocabulary.  While the word itself has a negative connotation, I think it is fun sometimes to dabble in verbosity.

In mathematics, we are continuing our work with multiplication of fractions.  We spent a bit of time yesterday developing theorems and proofs to help further understanding of some of the algorithms that we are doing.  Today, I began laying the groundwork for our work tomorrow using the distributive property to multiply mixed numbers.  In the Everyday Math curriculum this is one of the areas where it is assumed that the students had some previous exposure to specific langauge and strategies.  Hopefully we will make some good progress tomorrow, but I anticipate a little bit of struggling as we work our way through the rest of Unit 8.  I’ll try to find some resoureces about the distributive property to put up on the blog.


In Art today the students began work to prepare for The California Energy Commisions Annual Art Contest.  Students will design a piece of art focusing on the theme of reducing your carbon footprint.  You can check out the Energy Quest website (which has some neat kid-friendly info on energy) and look at previous years winners here.

Tomorrow we are planning to begin physical fitness testing.  Make sure students get a good night sleep and wear comfortable clothes to school.  Thanks!


  1. Language Arts: Lit. Circle groups – read and complete a job sheet.
  2. Mathematics: Study Link Page 183 – Multiplication of fractions and whole numbers.
  3. Other: Begin work on vocabulary packet (due Friday)  Optional -Vocabulary Challenge Packet
  4. Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis


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