Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

December 14, 2009

… And We’re Back

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 9:20 pm
Tags: ,

It looks like all the internet issues are sorted out for now, and the blog should be back to its regularly scheduled programming.

This week in vocabulary we are focusing on the roots geo, therm, scope, meter, and logy.  The focus words of the week are: geography, geometry, thermometer, horoscope, perimeter, diameter, mythology, etymology.  As we look into the meanings of the roots and the connections to the words, we will delve more deeply into etymology with our computer time activity on Wednesday.

In Mathematics this week we will continue to do some work on division as we finish up Unit 4.  In class today we played a game called Division Dash.  In the game the students took turns as they drew three cards and then used them as a 2 digit dividend and a 1 digit divisor.  They mentally calculated the quotient and then added their quotients until one player got a total of 100.

You can find a visual tutorial on how to play the game if you follow this link.

In Reading, the students finished up their Connections group work based on the story Arrows.  They used sentence frames along and a story graphic organizer and connection graphic organizer in order to develop well though out and clearly stated text to text, text to self, and text to world connections.

In Writing, the students worked on their Diamante poems and many of them completed their rough drafts.  Diamantes are sevel line poems that use nouns, adjectives, and participles to compare to contrasting or opposite subjects.  By the end of the week we will finish all of the diamantes.  Here is a page with a brief explanation and example of a diamante poem.

In Social Studies, the students gave short presentations on their explorers and showed their projects to the rest of the class.  Tomorrow we will do a scavenger hunt and the students will use the information on each others’ posters to complete the activity.  Thanks to all the parents that helped push the projects along through the weekend.

Don’t forget that there is one more project due before break.  It is a character poster with a full illustration of a main character from a book and lots of information about that character. The book report is due on Friday, December 18th.


  1. Vocabulary: Sort
  2. Mathematics: Finish Practice Set 23, complete Practice Set 24.
  3. Language Arts: Finish writing diamante poem rough draft.
  4. Reading:  Read from reading log and complete prediction section.

Mr. Weis


October 27, 2009

Personified Wind, Google Groups, and Geometry

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 9:42 pm
Tags: ,

a very blustery day

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky
And all around I heard you pass
Like ladies skirts across the grass
O wind, a-blowing all day long
O wind, that sings so loud a song.

– Robert Louis Stevenson

How about the weather last night and today?  What an incredibly blustery day it has been! Previously we have done jounral writing about the rain, and today I felt it fitting to do a writing activity connected to the incredible winds.  We started by discussing the concept of personification, of giving human characteristics to something nonhuman.  Together we wrote a bit about the wind, attributing emotions and human-like actions to the winds movement and the way it affects different environments.  Then students worked to create their own stanzas describing how the wind danced, howled, knocked, kicked, and screamed.  The students wrote their poems on swirling winds, and they will go up on the wall outside the room in the next few days, along with some other personified Fall items.  I’ll make sure to take some pictures when it all comes together, and if you are in the building for a conference next week, make sure to stop and take a look at the poetry work up on the walls.

Tonight I just finished going through the process of creating a google group for 5th Grade families at BAM.  A google group is a website hosted by google that is used to facilitate communication between a group of people.  I sent out invites that you should all receive some time tomorrow after google verifies that I am a real human being and not an internet spam bot.  If you do not get the invite, or you are feeling a bit impatient to join, you can go directly to the group at

In Headlands Institute field trip news, this past weekend we had our first official fundraising activity with a bake sale connected to the Cal football game parking at the school.  Thanks to all the families that donated drinks, baked goods, and snacks to sell, and to the families and students who stopped by and helped volunteer at the table.  We raised about $370!  Way to go! Lets keep up the hard work and dedication.

In reading we continued our work with clarification as we dissected different types of context clues and practiced being word detectives.  Students identified clarification strategies of linked synonyms, antonyms, appositives, causes/effects, and familiar word parts as they deduced the meaning of some highly advanced vocabulary words.

In math this week, we have transitioned to geometry and working with angles.  The goals this week are:

  • To be able to identify and define acute, obtuse, right, and reflex angles.
  • To be able to state the total number of degrees in a circle.
  • To be able to use a protractor to accurately measure an angle.


  1. Language Arts: Vocabulary – Definitions and CLOZE
  2. Mathematics: Study Link 3.4 – Angle Measures
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and write 2 predictions in reading log.

Mr. Weis

December 11, 2008

What’s the opposite of Thursday?

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 3:40 pm
Tags: ,


If you were writing a diamante poem, you would have to decide on an opposite of Thursday. Maybe it would it be Tuesday, the day two days after the weekend? Or maybe it would it be Saturday, since Thursday is the day before the last day of the work week, and Saturday is the day before the last day of the weekend. Maybe it wouldn’t even be a day at all. In a Diamante, two oppposites are compared and contrasted in a shape poem that resembles a diamond. Although Thursday may not be the easiest example, it is sometimes fun to try to figure out opposites of things that we ordinarily do not think of as having an opposite.

Today in class, the students continued to work on typing up and illustrating their limericks. When not working on the computer, they began working on a draft of a diamante. For more information on diamantes, follow this link.

In mathematics we spent some time working with our new scientific calculators. We just recently received our shipment of new calculators and the students spent some time today working out squares, and learning how to calculate different exponential values of a number.

Some of the reading groups are moving into historical fiction literature circles. Today they began acquainting themselves with the core roles that they will take on in the literature circle groups. Tomorrow they will present mini-posters to the rest of their groups as they teach each other about specific jobs.


  1. Language Arts: Finish draft of diamante poem.
  2. Mathematics: Page 87 – Variables
  3. Reading: Read for 20 minutes, fill out and return signed reading log.
  4. Other: Study for Vocab quiz – signature, designate, muscle, column, hasten, bomb.
  5. Return Signed and completed homework log.

November 17, 2008

Tesselations, Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 4:00 pm
Tags: , ,


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

Create a free website or blog at