Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

February 24, 2010

Wednesday, Feb. 24 Homework

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 8:03 pm
  1. Vocabulary: Crossword and Wordsearch
  2. Language Arts: Book Report Due March 4
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out clarification in Reading Log

February 23, 2010

Tuesday Feb. 23 Homework

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 8:55 pm
  1. Vocabulary: CLOZE and definitions
  2. Mathematics: Fraction Computation Worksheet. (Use answers on back to check work)
  3. Language Arts: Book Report – (Due March 4)
  4. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out questioning section in Reading Log

February 22, 2010


Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 8:23 pm

A delicate sense of it, that is.

Being a teacher has taught me a great many things, but most commonly I’m privy to new revelations about what can actually happen when all the variables are factored in.  There are only so many hours a week, so many pages, words, equations, discussions, and times for reflecting when I ultimately realize that not all the ideas always fit on every page, every time, in the way I originally imagined them to turn out.  Editing is a constant process, and so here I am, writing a rather cryptic apology for not updating the blog so much as I have wanted to lately.  Besides the endless hours I spend on preparing lessons, evaluating student work, and researching new educational methods and ideas, the blog has remained an important possibility in my mind. I see it as a great communication tool, and I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback on it in the past.  Surprisingly to me, I get about 300 hits a day, many through google searches on topics I have done previous posts on.   I did a better job at updating it almost everyday last year, but especially with the multitude of additional commitments I have taken up this year, it has become unrealistic to put quite so much time into it right now.  So, for the upcoming few weeks I will be doing things a little differently.  You can expect brief daily updates on homework assignments and maybe 1 or 2 more in depth posts a week about what is going on in the classroom along with some links to web resources. I’ll see if that works out, and then reevaluate after a bit.

I still have some exciting ideas about a better web interface, but that will have to wait a bit until I can manage to translate some of those ideas to html.  In the mean time, I hope the blog still provides a helpful resource for my students and their families.


  1. Vocabulary: Sort – Leg, Mod, Biblio, Jud
  2. Mathematics: Study Link 8.2 – Adding fractions and mixed numbers (like and unlike denominators)
  3. Language Arts: Sign of the Beaver Chapter 10 worksheet  – Due Wednesday
  4. Reading Log: Read for 25 minutes and write predictions in Reading Log

Mr. Weis

February 8, 2010

Facilitating Credible Fraction Maneuvers

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 6:15 pm

Prepare yourselves for a barrage of new materials and review of some old materials this week as we start looking ahead to the looming end of the trimester.  We will have the district Math Assessment on Thursday, and the District Writing assignment in another couple weeks.  Students will also be given updated Qualitative Reading Assessments and spelling assessments if they did not cap out for the year in September.

In vocabulary this week, the focus roots are scrib/script, man-, fac-, and cred-. The words of the week are: credible, facsimile, maneuver, scribe, incredulous, facilitate, manufacture, and prescribe. Please make sure that your child is doing his or her best to keep up with the vocabulary packet since we have another short week.

In mathematics, we did some work finishing up our current work on percents and then shifted gears back to fractions.  In working with percents, the students used ratio tables and their knowledge of how to find 1 or 10 percent of a number by shifting the decimal place.  In order to find a value like 4% of a number, the students simply found 1% and then multiplied it by 4, and to solve problems like 30%, they found 10% first and then multiplied it by 3.  In working with fractions, we used the strategy of finding a lowest common multiple to find a common denominator for addition and subtraction problems.  You can read a tutorial on the strategy we used at this website.

Here are a few fraction games that involve finding a common denominator to do the problems.

Action Fraction – Add fractions with like and unlike denominators.  Each round the difficulty will ramp up.

Math Splat – Add the fractions and convert the answers to mixed numbers.  Again, this game starts out easier with fractions with like denominators, and then it becomes more difficult each round.

In writing we worked on finishing up our collaborative Response to Literature Essay.  The students will begin their first independent essay tomorrow, and we will do our best to get about one essay completed each week.

In reading we did a fishbowl activity with the class looking on and observing a small group book discussion about Sign of the Beaver.  We discussed answers to some questions about the latest chapters and then as a whole class we reflected on what went well and what could have been improved in the discussion.  I appreciated how attentive the students were and what a great job the students involved in the discussion did.


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Study Link 6.9  Adding and Subtracting Fractions
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and complete predictions in Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

February 2, 2010

Prognosticating with Punxsutawney

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:02 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!  Unfortunately, if you are the kind of person who takes meteorological advice from large rodents, we are in for 6 more weeks of winter.  Today, the most famous, and supposedly immortal (there’s a vocab word from last week!), groundhog around made his weather predictions.  The students did a quickwrite this morning and then read an article in class about the tradition of Groundhog Day.  We learned about several old Roman and Celtic  holidays that were blended together and eventually brought over and modified by some German immigrants in the late 19th century.  If you’re interested in learning a little more about the holiday, you can check out the official website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club here, or you can read the article we read in class on the National Geographic website.

In vocabulary this week, the focus is on the roots mis/mit, flex/flect, fract, and ject.  Today in class we did our usual sort and then had a discussion about the roots, their meanings, and how the meanings come across in words with those roots.

In writing, we are fully exploring the Response to Literature genre, and we began writing a collaborative essay today.  We focused primarily on the introduction paragraph and on how a thesis statement captures the argument that the writer is making to answer the prompt and convince the reader of a point of view throughout the essay.  We read a folk tale and the students gathered together some ideas on a possible thesis.  By the end of the week, we will try to complete the entire essay so that next week each student can begin work on their own essay.

In mathematics this week, our goals are to be able to find percent, decimal, and fraction equivalents and to be able to find the percent of a number.  Students practiced making conversions back and forth between these three ways of representing a part of a whole.  Here are a couple games and a modeling app involving percent, fraction, decimal equivalence.

Mission Magnetite

Compare All Three

And here is a tool to visually model the connection between fracitons, decimals, and percents

If you didn’t send in your slip letting us know whether or not you will be able to attend the drama performance at 6:30pm on Thursday, please send it in as soon as possible.  Thanks.


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: It All Makes Cents worksheet
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out questioning section in reading log
  4. Other:  Tell a family member one thing you learned about Groundhog Day and its history

Mr. Weis

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