Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

December 9, 2008

Beware the luminous Chorah!

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 4:33 pm


Today in class we continued our study of limericks by reading some selections from a book of limericks called The Woozlebeasts.  The book is a collection of poems written about pretend creatures. It was written by John Prentiss Benson and published in 1905.  You can see the book scanned in its entirety if you follow this link. Limericks can be pretty fun to read and are helping the children both read and write with meter and rhyme in mind.

In Mathematics we are headed right in the thick of long division.  Please take care to make sure your children are spending some time and working carefully through the homework problems. You will notice that there is generally not much space on the homework sheets, so if another paper is used to show the work, please send it in with the homework.  Having all the work helps greatly in trying to identify the origins of any mathematical triumphs or travails.  If they are having difficulty, I recommend working with the partial quotient algorithm.

Web page update: If you look to the right on this page, you will see a section of tag words.  Tags are used to identify the subjects in each post.  If you click on one of the words to the right, it will take you to the pages that I tagged with those words.  For instance, if you want to find information about the partial quotient division algorithm, look for the word algorithms in the tags section.  Click on it, and the other posts I made on it, complete with links with more details, can be found.


  1. Language Arts: Vocabulary: Pick 6 words from the sounded/ silent consonants word list and fill out all the information for them.
  2. Mathematics: Sills Link page 83 – Division with decimals.  Please attach all work.
  3. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and write in pink log.

Mr. Weis


December 4, 2008


Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 11:20 pm

Not much out of the ordinary happened today.  Students reviewed this week’s vocabulary by reading each others’ vocabulary stories.  They then met in their reading groups and continued to work though a reading guide highlighting the comprehension srategies we have discussed this year (predicting, clarifying, questioning, summarizing, and making connections.)  When they finish the story they are currently reading, they will move on to a historical fiction novel that will connect to our next Social Studies unit on the early American colonies.

In writing we discussed limericks more, and had a pleasant surprise when Maria brought in Nonsense Verse by Edward Lear.  Today’s lesson focused on analyzing and diagramming limericks by Edward Lear and several of the Lear poems we discussed were from that book.  Thanks for bringing the book in, and I encourage others to send in books to share as well if they connect to what we are studying.

In Mathematics we continued to work with the parital quotient division algorithm.  Several students’ eyes lit up as they finally seemed to get it.  Some others are still working to gain a grasp on the algorithm.  We will continue to offer some practice through revisiting the concept throughout the year. It can never hurt to have another algorithm tool on one’s mathematical utility belt.

In Social Studies we have been learning about the Age of Exploration.  Following our study of some primary source maps, we continued on to focus on some journal writings and oral histories, and then watched a video on the origins and impacts of the Spanish and Portuguese exploration to the Americas.  We have also stopped along the way to identify earlier explorers such as Marco Polo, the Vikings, and Zheng He (thought by some to have sailed to the Americas in 1421, seventy years before Columbus.)  The students have been quite inquisitive and their questions and involvement in discussions and classwork helps me to incorporate their interests into my teaching, something that I value a great deal and that benefits all of our learning.

Tomorrow there will be a retake of the Unit 3 Math Test for those who want to try to improve their score.  Thanks to those students who attended the Lunchtime Review session today.  I appreciate your commitment to your learning.  Good luck tomorrow.


  1. Language Arts: Finish Limerick Practice packet.  Make sure your limerick creation has the proper rhythm and rhyme scheme.
  2. Mathematics: Practice Set 24.  Show your work on the back of the page or on additional paper.
  3. Other: Study for vocabulary quiz, math test retake.
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes, fill out pink reading log, get it signed and bring it back to school.
  5. Homework Log: Have a parent sign the completed homework log and bring it back to school.

Mr. Weis

PS Saba’s father Imdad is coming in tomorrow to give a presentation about Pakistan.  If any parents would like to pop in to listen and watch, you are welcome to do so.  He will be presenting from 9:30 to 10:15.  Thanks Imdad!

December 1, 2008

There were some 5th Graders in Berkeley

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 4:56 pm
Tags: ,

On vacation they ate lots of turkey.

They slept in for days,

came to school in a haze,

Monday morning their thoughts were all murky.

Welcome back!  I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable holiday.  I’m glad to be at school for a regular five day week as we institute some new procedures.  Today was our first day for reading groups.  Students got together in their small groups and came up with group names and norms.  The small reading groups will meet 3 to 4 times a week and will cycle through various reading materials and reading strategies.  We will start off working with stories from an Anthology and will move into Historical Fiction as our first genre of chapter books.

In writing students began our exploration of meter and rhyme with an introduction to limericks.  Each student received a line of a poem and was given the task of finding the rest of their poem and putting it into correct order.  As the week goes on, we will spend more time delving into the mechanics of Limericks and strategies for identifying and writing meter and rhythm in poetry.

Tomorrow we will be visiting the school Library.  Please make sure to send overdue Library books back.  There are a number of children in the class Ms. Colby has spoken to about excessively overdue books.  It is important for students to be able to check out books frequently, so please remind them to bring the old ones back.

In Mathematics we began a new Unit on Division.  Each student received a letter with an overview of the lesson.  Please take a moment to look it over.  Math tests from Unit 3 will be coming home tomorrow.


  1. Language Arts: Vivid Vocabulary:  Carefully copy sorted vocabulary words and write additional words with common suffixes.
  2. Mathematics:  Read Page 71: Unit Letter.  Do page 75 – Division Strategies
  3. Reading:  Read for 20 minutes and fill out Pink Reading Log.

Mr. Weis

P.S.  I’ll leave you with an animated picture from an old Pop-Up Limerick book.  Wait for the picture to load to get the last line. To see the rest of the images from Bennet Cerf’s Pop-up Limericks, follow the link.


Blog at