Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

April 23, 2009

A test-taking hors d’oeurve of areas and triangles

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 7:51 pm

Our challenge vocabulary this week is made up of foreign words and phrases.  Students will research the words to determine their pronunciation, place of origin, common meaning, and literal translation.  I’m continuing to alter the way I am doing challenge vocabulary, and I’ve decided to set up several mini-project ideas for the final task.  I am also giving a bit more time to work work on the tasks so finished packets are due next Tuesday. The challenge words and phrases of the week are: carte blanche, aficianado, hors d’oeuvre, angst, and faux pas. Good luck to all those students working on the challenge words!

In Mathematics today we did some work with finding the area of rectangles, triangles, and parallelograms.  Students used what they knew about arrays and area models and then developed a formula for finding the area of a triangle and the area of a parallelogram.  Here is a video tutorial that follows pretty closely to what we did with paper rectangles.  The site I am linking to, Math Playground has some other good tutorials too, which can be found here.

Here is a neat little site with and applet that will calculate the area of a triangle by dragging the vertices.  (One note that may cause some confusion:  Although the display only shows the base and height to tenths of an inch, the area is calculated to a hundredth of an inch.  This might cause a bit of confusion when the area equation is calculated, so just keep in mind that the area is calculated with greater accuracy then it looks like it will be.)


As an interesting additional formula, Henron of Alexandria is attributed with finding a formula for the area of a triangle with only the 3 sided known.  You can read about it and do a little activity here.  This is definitely not an equation that is part of the 5th grade standards, but you are still welcome to check it out.

The other new thing we did in class today was to find the area of a parallelogram.  Here is a very neat little applet that shows how the formula for the area of a parallelogram works.  It is helpful to see how the two parts of the object can fit together to form a regular rectangle.


In writing we set the stage a bit for our persuasive writing unit by having the students write about what they think is the most important thing they can do to help the environment.  We discussed Earth Day some, and we will be using some of the ideas of the students to write a model essay.

In Social Studies we learned a little about the ways that the economy developed in the early colonies.  The emphasis in the current unit is to draw connections from colonial developments to values and laws that the USA has today.  Our discussion about the Great Awakening and the effects multiple religions helped us to draw some connections to the value of Freedom of Religion.  Our discussion about the early economic systems will help us draw connections to our modern Free Market Economy.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the Sports Day spirit day.  Students are encouraged to wear a jersey from a team they play on, their favorite college or professional team, or their favorite team’s colors.  Please leave any sports equipment like bats, balls, cleats, helmets, or pads at home.  I look forward to seeing all the students looking sporty, and I’ll do my best to keep everything under control and make sure everyone is following the rules. That’s a hint as to what I will be wearing 🙂


  1. Language Arts:  Test Prep Packet #5
  2. Mathematics: Test Prep Packet #5
  3. Other: Finish vocabulary packet and study for the quiz.

Mr. Weis


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