Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

October 15, 2009

Writing Memoirs and High Tech Graphic Organizers

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:30 pm
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Knots in My Yo-yo StringWhat It IsChildtimesPicture 8

Throughout the year, we will spend about 6 weeks each on specific writing genres.  Our first writing genre this year is memoir.  Some memoir writing we have done so far includes our 4th Grade Memory Poems, our Mathographies, and a memoir connected to a mode of transportation.  As we have been writing memoirs, we have also been reading lots of memoirs including selections from What It Is by Lynda Barry, Knots in My Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli, and Childtimes: A Three Generation Memoir by Eloise Greenfield.  Our next memoir will be a food memoir and will focus on a specific experience, either positive or negative, with food.  We’ve been doing some prewriting brainstoriming lists of foods, and today we read a piece by the poet and prose writer Naomi Shihab Nye called Mint Snowball and we identified some writing techniques used to enhance the descriptions in our writing. We highlighted the use of sensory details as well as some figurative language and similes as we read about the author’s memory of a mint ice cream treat from her childhood.

One day a week, during our literacy block, we check out the laptop mobile lab and the students use the computers.  The past few weeks we have been doing some basic computer literacy work with Mac OSX and learning about formatting and word processing using Microsoft Word.  This week the students were given a chance to experiment with a web-based graphic organizer called allows users to quickly create cluster graphic organizers, save them on the web and print them out.  The students began organizing some of their ideas about possible food memoir topics.  You can take a look and try making some bubbls yourself by following this link.


  1. Vocabulary: Finish packet and study words for test.
  2. Math: Study Link Page 33 – Open Number Sentences
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out Reading Log.  Get Reading Log signed!

Mr. Weis


October 21, 2008

A rosey red spaceship, a time traveling machine, a sonic wave emitter or something else…?

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 5:22 pm
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Ask your students what this strange red object is and how we have been using it in class to increase participation and instantaneously create opportunities for sharing and interactively editing our work.  If you have never seen one of these before, it is a document camera and is a pretty neat tool to use in the classroom.

Students are busily working on their final memoir writing and some of them completed their second draft in class today.  Students chose one memoir draft and performed a self edit on it yesterday.  Today they wrote an expanded second draft and tomorrow they will be doing a peer edit followed by a teacher edit.  Their final drafts will be collected together in a book of Room 202 memoirs.  It should be a great collection when it is all completed.


  1. Language Arts: Finish 2nd draft of memoir writing.
  2. Mathematics: Create Your Own Number Puzzle worksheet.  (Good luck to the parents on trying to solve some of the students’ puzzles.  Some of them came up with some very clever clues for the puzzles we did in class and had me dusting off the old thinking cap to figure them out.)
  3. Reading:  Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log. (Make sure to fill out each day’s section completely.)

Mr. Weis

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