Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

March 25, 2009

Safe Routes through a Wednesday Schedule

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrweis @ 2:46 pm


As per my usual Wednesday spiel, the day was packed!  In addition to our regular short day schedule, we also had an assembly about safe routes to school.  The students watched a puppet show emphasizing safe practices for walking or biking to school.  The program was put on by an organization known as TransForm.  You can check out their website here.  I didn’t find a whole lot of resources available to download, but there is a brochure that covers pedestrian safety.  Later in the year we will be having a bicycle safety day put on by the amazing folks at Cycles of Change.  Being new to Berkeley I haven’t gotten involved with them, but as a cyclist I have heard some really positive things through the grapevine about some of the services and programs they offer.  You can check out their website here.

On a complete tangent, whenever I am talking about working to make cycling more accessible, safe, and fun, I always think of the following video. Every Sunday the city of Bogota in Columbia closes over 70 miles of streets to traffic and makes them open to pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers and more.  It’s all part of a livable streets movement, and the event known as Ciclovia has now spread to other cities around the globe. This video always puts a big smile on my face and makes me wonder if something like it could ever happen here, even with the stranglehold car culture often has on transportation public policies.  Anyways, follow the link and enjoy. Maybe some day we can all spend Sunday riding, exercising, dancing, and smiling with our neighbors.


In Mathematics today the students did some work both independently and in groups to solve some percent word problems.  Emphasis was placed on reasoning through a solution with a real world context wherein students were given a percent of a total and the corresponding quantity.  For example, the problems read something like this, “50% of the jelly beans are cherry.  If there are 20 cherry jelly beans, how many jelly beans are there in total?”  Students applied their knowledge of finding percents of a total and represented their thinking as they came to a solution.  They then met in small groups to discuss their reasoning and collaboratively arrived at a solution they could all agree on.  Tonight for homework students will be looking for a real world application of percent and filling out some information about it.  They are encouraged, if possible, to bring in evidence of what they find.  For example, if they find a win percentage of a sports team in the paper, they can bring in the page they found it on, or if they find the percentage of daily recommended protein in a snack, they can bring in the package.  Tomorrow we will work to make greater sense of the way percents are calculated and used.

In vocabulary news, today Chloe and Danya created a crossword puzzle for the malapropism challenge words.  I’m posting the link so students can print it out at home.  The malapropism word pairs for the challenge vocabulary are:  pineapple/ pinnacle, dissolve/ resolve, illiterate/ obliterate, affluence/ influence, and malevolence/ benevolence. Thanks!  You can check out the crossword here.


  1. Language Arts: Lit Circle Job Sheets and project work.
  2. Mathematics:  Working with percents.
  3. Other: Continue to work on weekly vocabulary packet, finish Baba Yaga play components page.
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis


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