Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

October 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 28

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 11:56 pm
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In drama news, we had our first session with Opera Piccola yesterday.  Opera Piccola, which translates literally to “small works” is an Oakland theater company that is involved with a number of exciting projects with young people around the Bay Area.  The 5th Grade is lucky to have them coming to do some theater work with us.  We will meet for weekly sessions and students will work on building dramatic skills as well as writing some of their own works.  It will all culminate in a final evening  performance in the winter.  The same group also worked with the 4th Grade last year, so the curriculum we are designing with Opera Piccola will work on building and extending on the students’ prior drama work.

Etymology Dictionary

Each week we spend time in class looking very closely at our vocabulary words.  Among other things, we look at spelling patters, affixes, and roots.  A powerful way to expand one’s vocabulary is to delve into the realm of etymology, or the study of word origins.  I strongly recommend checking out The Online Etymology Dictionary.  While there, you can read about how many words shifted in use, meaning, and construction in different languages. It is also a good way to check to see if a word either fits a similar spelling pattern or if it actually shares a common root.


  1. Language Arts: Vocabulary Sentences
  2. Mathematics: Finish Angle Estimation worksheet from class
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out clarification reading log

Mr. Weis


December 10, 2008

Good Wodensday to you

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 7:29 pm
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Did you know that the word Wednesday has roots of its etymology that date back to the Norse god Odin?  After the Roman emperor Constantine set a 7 day calendar with names based on Roman gods, some of the names were changed by Germanic tribes.  Among those changed was Diēs Mercuriī, or Mercury’s Day, to Wodensday.  If you speak Spanish you will notice the similarity of the Roman name to Miercoles.  Many students in the class are quite enthusiastic about learning Mythology, and might be interested to check out a brief explanation of the English names for the days of the week on Encyclopedia Mythica.

Today the students continued on their Limericks and began working on illustrations while I conferenced with individual students to help with revisions.  After we finish the limericks, we will be putting the poems together in a collection, and each student will get a copy to keep.

In Mathematics, we worked through some word problems involving long division.  We rewrote problems as open number sentences with variables, created graphical representations of the problems, applied division algorithms to find solutions, and then interpreted the remainder in relation to its meaning in the actual problem.  For homework tonight, students will evaluate two more problems.  Please make sure they follow each step and show their work on an additional paper or on the back.


  1. Language Arts: Vocabulary Sentences/ Stories with 6 words from the week’s vocabulary list.  Focus on silent and sounded consonants.
  2. Mathematics: Study Link  – Division Number Stories with Remainders.
  3. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and write in Pink Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

November 17, 2008

Tesselations, Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 4:00 pm
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Welcome back to school and finally a normal week sandwiched in between all these short weeks. Today we spent some time reading a book of poetry called Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’Neill. The poems in the book incorporate metaphors, similes and personification all in conjunction with different colors. We began writing today by writing similes connecting sensory experiences with colors. We then used the poems in the book as inspiration and expanded our lists. Tomorrow students will get a chance to begin writing their own poems, elaborating on their similes, and adding more figurative language.

In math today we spent some time practicing measuring internal angles in polygons. Students were given a chance to create their own irregular polygon and measure the angles. Irregular polygons are polygons with different sized sides as opposed to regular polygons which have sides of the same length. Students then summed up the totals of the internal angles of their shapes, and we will chart the total number of degrees in internal angles of polygons on a large number line tomorrow.

After science we took some time to blend in our current study of polygons and angles with Tessellations in an art project. Over the next week and a half, students will get a chance to learn how to create three different forms of tessellations, all along the way exploring the application of what we are learning about angles in our geometry lessons.

During a brief lesson on the history of tessellations, we looked at the etymology and the history of the word tessellation. Etymology is the study of words including their history of use across multiple languages and over time and their roots and cognates. Have you ever wondered where a word came from? Dictionaries will often have some information, but a great online resource to check is The Online Etymology Dictionary where you can find more information about words like tessellate. Add it to your bookmarks today!


  1. Language Arts: Finish Poetry Packet – Interview, Poetry memoir (including pre-writing, rough draft and final draft), and Preparation to read a poem to the class tomorrow.
  2. Math: Practice Set #20
  3. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

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