Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

March 23, 2009


Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 6:51 pm

In current events today we had a couple different activities, all with a focus on the achievements of women.  First, during independent reading, I gave the students a goal of finding articles that told about the achievements of a woman or women.  During sharing, several students shared out about the different articles and information the women they read about.  In addition to hearing about a couple athletes, we learned about Anna Mindess, a courtroom interpreter for the deaf.  As we continued our conversation about what we found about women in the newspaper, we also talked about what we did not find.  Although there was a large graphic of the men’s bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament, we could not find a copy of the women’s bracket.  This lead into a greater discussion about media coverage of women’s sports.  The students shared some great insights and asked some hard questions about how sports should be covered in both newspapers and on television.  I brought up the idea of writing a letter to the paper to express some of the feelings about the inequality of coverage, specifically with the basketball tournament.  I offered to help edit and send it out, so if any enterprising students would like to follow through with this, I highly recommend it.

Later on in current events, we focused on Michelle Obama’s work in restarting a vegetable garden at the White House.  We learned a bit about the history of gardens at the white house and about the history of food production and distribution in the United States.  We also learned about another first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, and her work promoting Victory Gardens during WW2.  We prefaced our discussion and reading of the article with the following video, brought to you by the people at Eat the View.

In mathematics we started working on finding the percent of whole numbers.  We related finding a percent of a number to finding a fraction of a number.  In order to find the percent, we first set the percent equal to a fraction out of 100.  We then multiplied the fraction by the number we were trying to find a percentage of.  Click here to find an explanation and example that was similar to the steps we took in class.

Here are a couple games to play to practice finding percent.  The key to both of them is to start out making a conversion of percent to a well known fraction.  For instance, if you have to find 25% of a number, think about what 1/4 of that number would be, if you have to find 20% think about what 1/5 would be, or think about what 1/10 would be and double it.

The first game is called Sophies Dominoes, and requires students to match percents of numbers to their answers.

Sophie's Dominoes

The second game is a little tricky, even I had some difficulty thinking quickly enough, so I encourage you to play at first with some easy to use percentages.  I would start out with either 10% (just divide by 10, or move the decimal point over one place) with 25% (find one fourth or divide by four) or 50% (find one half or divide by two).  You have to be a speedy thinker to keep up, so give it your best shot and practice.  You can always shoot away a couple of the extra balloons if they are falling too fast.

Number Invaders

Tomorrow we will have Library, so please remember to return any library books that are due.


  1. Language Arts:  Current events article response.  Reread the article about the garden at the White House and answer the questions on both sides of the response paper.
  2. Mathematics: Page 187 – Finding fractions of whole numbers.
  3. Other: Vivid Vocabulary sheet.
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis


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