Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

January 28, 2010

Bye Bye Love + Bio, Gen, Mort + Twilight = Good Times

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:16 pm
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Today in class we had a little fun with our vocabulary time since we finished with all our sentences yesterday.  I taught the students the old Everly Brothers song Bye Bye Love and presented them with some extra verses incorporating some of the vocabulary words from this week.  While I was thinking about what angle to take the song, I realized that all the teenagey, lovesick pining leant a nice connection to the Twilight books that many students in the class are familiar with.  I provided a few verses and the students completed a CLOZE activity with the lyrics by inserting the weekly voabulary words.  We then came together to collaborate on a final verse incorporating the last of the vocabulary words. We may not have been the most in tune bunch, but plenty of smiles surfaced, and we got to flex our lexical muscles incorporating such words as mortgage, amphibious, biodegradable, immortal, and mortician into a love song from the perspective of a heartbroken vampire.

In reading we read the first chapter of the book Sign of the Beaver.  The students did a nice job recording some of their active reading skills on post-its while they read, filling in a comprehension graphic organizer, answering some comprehension questions, and working through a quick discussion.  I stayed at school pretty late tonight grading and providing a lot of feedback on their Chapter 1 pages, and I look forward to seeing some more positive progress on the response to literature front over the next couple weeks.  We will be kicking things into high gear as we reach the halfway point of the year and expectations continue to rise in terms of what I expect from all students’ work.  Let’s keep up the positive encouragement and the constructive feedback on both the home and school fronts.

In social studies we began our new unit with a lesson on conflicts that arose in North America between the Spanish, British, Dutch, France, and the American Indians over natural resources and raw materials, land, and trading. Students then took turns adding to a digital outline to bring together some notes from our reading.

Homework:

  1. Vocabulary: Study words and finish packet
  2. Mathematics: Quick fractions to decimals worksheet
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out reading log

Mr. Weis

March 17, 2009

Sesquipedalianisms and challenge vocabulary

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 9:04 pm
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As I alluded to yesterday, today I rebooted vocabulary with 2 specific parts.  Each week’s vocabulary work will focus on a specific spelling component (mostly Latin or Greek roots or affixes).  Students will initially complete a sort of words with those components and then rewrite them and add more words.  We will spend time in class learning more about the specific word components, their etymology, spelling, and usage.  We will then focus on 8 of the words and students will complete a packet with a variety of activities including writing definitions, cloze sentences, crosswords, word searches, jumbles, sentence writing, and illustrations.  The entire packet will be due on Fridays and we will have a quiz on those 8 words.  Additionaly, I will be offering a challenge packet of the week.  The challenge packet will focus on higher level vocabulary, word and concept relationships, and word play.  I’m going to see how things go and what kind of participation I get with the challenge packets and adjust how I will administer assessments accordingly.  The challenge packet is also meant to be done primarily in class as an early finisher or enrichment activity.  Students will bring home finished packets in their Tuesday Green folders.

sesquipedalianism

This week’s challenge vocabulary packet focuses on sesquipedalianisms.  The word sequipedalianism comes from the Latin word sesquipedalis.  The word sesquipdalis was used to describe something that was a foot and a half long from the roots sesqui (one and a half times as great) and pedalis (foot).   A sesquipedalianism is an extraordinarily long word.  Someone who speaks or writes in a sesquipedalian way is someone who uses very long and often confusing vocabulary.  While the word itself has a negative connotation, I think it is fun sometimes to dabble in verbosity.

In mathematics, we are continuing our work with multiplication of fractions.  We spent a bit of time yesterday developing theorems and proofs to help further understanding of some of the algorithms that we are doing.  Today, I began laying the groundwork for our work tomorrow using the distributive property to multiply mixed numbers.  In the Everyday Math curriculum this is one of the areas where it is assumed that the students had some previous exposure to specific langauge and strategies.  Hopefully we will make some good progress tomorrow, but I anticipate a little bit of struggling as we work our way through the rest of Unit 8.  I’ll try to find some resoureces about the distributive property to put up on the blog.

picture-3

In Art today the students began work to prepare for The California Energy Commisions Annual Art Contest.  Students will design a piece of art focusing on the theme of reducing your carbon footprint.  You can check out the Energy Quest website (which has some neat kid-friendly info on energy) and look at previous years winners here.

Tomorrow we are planning to begin physical fitness testing.  Make sure students get a good night sleep and wear comfortable clothes to school.  Thanks!

Homework:

  1. Language Arts: Lit. Circle groups – read and complete a job sheet.
  2. Mathematics: Study Link Page 183 – Multiplication of fractions and whole numbers.
  3. Other: Begin work on vocabulary packet (due Friday)  Optional -Vocabulary Challenge Packet
  4. Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis

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