Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

March 25, 2010

Pondering Prisms

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 8:45 pm
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Lately in Math we have continued to explore geometrical figures.  This week we focused on finding volumes of different types of prisms.  The basic formula we have used for finding the volume of a prism is to find the area of the base (B) and multiply it by the height (h).  Our standard formula for finding the volume of a prism is therefor V = B x h.  When working with rectangular prisms, we just multiply the length, width, and height together to get the volume, but when working with a triangular prisms, we make sure to figure out what the correct area of the triangular base is first. Here is a link to a page that tells a little more about prisms and offers a visual basis for the volume formula we have been using.  Our next step in our geometry unit will be to discuss the concept of surface area.

Even as we have moved on to volume, some students are still having a little difficulty properly finding the area of the bases of prisms and are getting confused between finding area and perimeter.  Here are a couple tutorials that come with some activities for differentiating between finding area and perimeter.

In Writing we have been working on constructing conclusions and on building in transition words and phrases into our essays.  We will continue writing in the Response to Literature genre after the Spring Break, but we will shift from narratives to poetry as the subject matter from which we will write.

In Reading we are continuing to read The Sign of the Beaver.  The major focus has been on building active reading engagement skills and strategies.  After starting to move into group work earlier this year, I realized the students first needed a more robust foundation on building reading and discussion strategies in order to help let them get the most possible out of their discussions.  Lately we have been working on creating, classifying, and supporting answers to different types of questions.  I am gradually giving the students more and more control over the specific questions they are to answer after reading each chapter.  The students are now correctly developing many types of questions including in-the-text detail, in-the-text summary, character trait, minor and major conflicts/ resolutions, in-your-head, and word analysis questions about both vocabulary clarification and figurative language use.  It’s exciting to see the many types of questions they create and where they will take our future discussions.


  1. Vocabulary: Finish packet and study
  2. Mathematics: Volume of prisms Study Link 9-9
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out summary section in Reading Log, get Reading Log signed

Mr. Weis


March 24, 2010

Wednesday March 24

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 8:32 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Sentences
  2. Mathematics: Volume of rectangular prisms worksheet (be careful with the decimal computation)
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out clarification section in Reading Log
  4. Language Arts: Finish 2nd draft of Moccasins essay if not completed during class.

Mr. Weis

March 23, 2010

Tuesday March 23

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 9:42 pm


  1. Vocabulary: CLOZE and Definitions
  2. Math: Volume of Rectangular Prisms worksheet, make sure to do both sides
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out questioning section in reading log

Mr. Weis

March 22, 2010

Y por eso los grandes amores de muchos colores me gustan a mí

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 5:54 pm
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Today we began our week of learning about Cesar Chavez to coincide with the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning coming up.  Each day we will spend some time learning about the life and work of Cesar Chavez as we lead up to our Friday assembly when several classes will educate about and pay tribute to the life and legacy of Chavez.  Our class will be singing and telling about the song De Colores.  De Colores is a traditional song originally from Spain that has been adopted by the United Farm Workers as a common anthem sung at their meetings and rallies. You can find the tune and the lyrics to the song, in both Spanish and English at this website.  Today, the students read short biographies about Cesar Chavez, categorized some of the information we learned about him, and had a discussion about his work with migrant farm workers. Tomorrow we will spend some time reading some autobiographical passages from people who were involved with the UFW and their memories of singing De Colores.

In vocabulary this week, the roots are bene- good, mal- bad, ante- before, and post- after.  We did our sort today and learned about some of the words with the roots.  An interesting fact I learned today was about the etymology of the disease name, malaria.  Malaria literally comes from roots meaning “bad air,” because when it was initially diagnosed it was thought to be spread through the air. What interesting words do you know with the roots of the week?  Take a look over at the online Etymology Dictionary to learn more about their creation.

In Mathematics we finished up our work with finding the area of triangles, rectangles, and parallelograms.  We practiced accurately measuring heights and bases and applying the formulas.

Here is an online activity for practicing finding the area of a triangle that is plotted on a coordinate grid.  Level 1 will give only right triangles, level 2 will give different types of triangles where you might have to turn the triangle to get the base and you will have to be careful when identifying the height.


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Areas of triangles and parallelograms worksheet
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out prediction section in reading log
  4. Mathematics (Due Wednesday): Bring in an empty can or box from your house.  We will be using these things for an activity finding volume and surface area.

Mr. Weis

March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrweis @ 8:32 pm


  1. Vocabulary – Sentences
  2. Math – Complete area of triangle worksheet
  3. Reading –  read for 25 minutes and fill out clarification trip of the series.


March 16, 2010

March 16, 2009

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 9:37 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Definitions and Sort  (Note – The definition for interpersonal was mistakenly put down instead of the definition for intrapersonal.  Intrapersonal with the prefix intra, meaning within, refers to something done within or by oneself.  For instance intrapersonal communication includes such things as daydreaming, reading aloud to oneself, and an internal monologue.  Interpersonal refers to something that occurs between people.
  2. Math: Perimeter worksheet.
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and complete questioning section in reading log.  Write a short paragraph as your response to the question you create.

Mr. Weis

March 15, 2010

Monday March 15

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 8:19 pm
Tags: ,

This week in vocabulary we are focusing on the roots inter-, intra-, intro-, and circum-.  Today we did our word sort and the students made predictions about the meanings of each of the roots.  We discovered that the term intramural comes from the roots intra- meaning within, and mural meaning wall.  Literally the term translates to within the walls, which makes sense as a intramural sport league is composed entirely of members from within the same school building.  The students also looked for some other words that share the roots and probably my favorite of the group was circumambulate which means to walk around the perimeter of something.  I’ll have to find a way to incorporate that one into the day sometime this week.

In math we wrapped up coordinate grids and ordered pairs and are moving on to finding the area of 2 dimensional shapes.

The students did quite well on the last quiz, but here is a bit of background on ordered pairs.  Ordered pairs are sets of an X and Y coordinates that correspond to a specific point on a Coordinate Grid.  For some more information about how to use an ordered pair to name a point, follow this link.Also, here are a few games that involve graphing ordered pairs.

In What’s the Point, you can choose between different difficulty levels and pick ordered pairs from multiple choice lists.  The easier version involves only positive X and Y coordinates and the higher difficulty level involves all 4 quadrants and both positive and negative X and Y values.

What's the Point?

In Graph It, there are three different difficulties to choose from.  A mole pops up at a point on the graph, and you have to identify the ordered pair to knock the mole out before it eats.

Graph Mole
In Catch the Fly, you identify points that flies land on by typing in the ordered pairs.  Once you type in the correct pair, a frog will hop out and slurp it up.  As opposed to the other games that have the player pick from a multiple choice list, Catch the Fly requires the player to type in the coordinates.



  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Study Link 9-4 – Find the area
  3. Language Arts: Finish Sign of the Beaver Chapter 15 page if not already finished in class.
  4. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and complete predictions in reading log.

Mr. Weis

March 9, 2010

Tuesday March 9

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 10:01 pm


  1. Math: Study Links 9-1 Plotting Points
  2. Vocabulary: Definitions and CLOZE
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out questioning section in reading log
  4. Preparation for Field Trip: bring a bag lunch, wear long pants and close toed shoes.

Mr. Weis

March 8, 2010

Monday, March 8

Filed under: Homework — mrweis @ 9:18 pm


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Practice Set 48, Get Math Self Assessment signed and returned
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out prediction section in reading log

Mr. Weis

March 4, 2010

Thursday, March 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrweis @ 9:55 pm


  1. Language Arts: Finish Sign of the Beaver Ch. 11 and 12 worksheet (if not completed in class)
  2. Mathematics: Subtracting Negative numbers worksheet
  3. Vocabulary: Sentences and study words for the week
  4. Reading: Read for 25 minutes, complete the summary section in reading log, and have parent sign the log

Mr. Weis

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