Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

May 5, 2009

2 Point Perspective on Art and War

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:51 pm
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Our schedule was quite a blur today, from Puberty Ed. to a quick Vocabulary session, library, Math, Art, Social Studies and Music, we barely had a chance to catch our collective breath.

In Vocabulary, we went through our words of the week and deduced the meaning of the roots of the week from analyzing some complete words.  As we progress to the midpoint of the week, please make sure that your child is working a little bit each day on Vocabulary so they can be finished and ready for the test on Friday.

In Mathematics, we continued some work with area and volume and did some review.  The unit 9 test will be on Friday and will include Coordinate Grids, Area, and Volume.  I’ll pass out a study guide to assist students with each topic on the test.  In the mean time, here is a neat Interactive Surface Area and Volume web app.


In Social Studies we are continuing our work with the Revolutionary War and we began to look at some specific Acts that the British passed that got the colonists riled up.  As we learn more about the Revolutionary War, we will be paying special attention to the point of view and perspective of both the colonists and the loyalists.

There used to be a nice website on PBS kids called Liberty Kids, but the link no longer works.  While I look for other more kid-friendly websites, here are a couple other sites through PBS that are actually companion sites to video series.  While the content is a bit high level, there is quite a wealth of information, scans of primary documents, and multimedia content, so take a gander and see if you find anything that sparks your interest.

The first site is connected to the video special Liberty: the American Revolution


The second site is connected to the series Freedom a History of US


For the past few weeks in Art, the students have been learning how to draw interior and exterior spaces with one and two point perspective.  While the students have been working, I was reminded of a video art program I did in elementary school called Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad.  I looked him up and found that he has a website with hundreds of video tutorials on specific drawing lessons.  The website requires a paid membership, but there are 12 free videos to watch that offer a preview of what the lessons are like.

Mark Kistler

I also found Mark Kistler’s Youtube page which has another 15 videos.  You can find his videos here.  Also, here are a few videos that cover basic 2 point perspective for you to watch here.  I actually remember doing these drawings when I was just a little kid and acquiring them as part of my doodling repertoire that I still use to this day.


  1. Mathematics: Practice set 62
  2. Other: Continue to work on Vocabulary Packet
  3. Social Studies: Write two Cause and Effect pieces of information from pages 101 or 102 (finish if not completed during class)
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis


February 23, 2009

Calabash squashes, Chad, cats, and a new art project

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 7:00 pm


On Friday we began a new series of art lessons based on Chadian calabash engraving.  A calabash is a large squash that can be harvested for food, decoration or utilitarian uses.  In the country of Chad, the squashes are left to mature to large sizes, dried out and then decorated through a process of carving and burning.  The designs on the squash are mostly geometric, but can also incorporate figures and animals from stories.

We started out by reading the book Calabash Cat by James Rumford.  The book is filled with illustrations that mimic the styles found on calabash engravings.  After giving special attention to the different patterns and values created in the illustrations in the book, we practiced drawing different line patterns that are common in the geometric designs engraved on calabash.


Taking inspiration from the book, students began illustrating their own calabash animals today.  They started with a bold outline and then began incorporating different patterns and symbols into their illustrations.  When we finish the illustrations, you can look forward to seeing them on the blog.  There are some really neat pieces in the works!

In other news, we spend some time rewinding and reteaching a method for reading and analyzing newspaper articles.  Students read articles from a variety of sections and then worked in groups to draw out and share important information.  Tonight for homework, they will fill out a new note-taking sheet that we will use with our next current events activity.


  1. Language Arts: Literature Circle Groups Reading and job sheet –  Wringer, Library Card, and Dark is Rising,
  2. Other: Current Events – Newspaper article read and fill out Newspaper Article Notes sheet.

Mr. Weis

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