Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

March 25, 2010

Pondering Prisms

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 8:45 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lately in Math we have continued to explore geometrical figures.  This week we focused on finding volumes of different types of prisms.  The basic formula we have used for finding the volume of a prism is to find the area of the base (B) and multiply it by the height (h).  Our standard formula for finding the volume of a prism is therefor V = B x h.  When working with rectangular prisms, we just multiply the length, width, and height together to get the volume, but when working with a triangular prisms, we make sure to figure out what the correct area of the triangular base is first. Here is a link to a page that tells a little more about prisms and offers a visual basis for the volume formula we have been using.  Our next step in our geometry unit will be to discuss the concept of surface area.

Even as we have moved on to volume, some students are still having a little difficulty properly finding the area of the bases of prisms and are getting confused between finding area and perimeter.  Here are a couple tutorials that come with some activities for differentiating between finding area and perimeter.

In Writing we have been working on constructing conclusions and on building in transition words and phrases into our essays.  We will continue writing in the Response to Literature genre after the Spring Break, but we will shift from narratives to poetry as the subject matter from which we will write.

In Reading we are continuing to read The Sign of the Beaver.  The major focus has been on building active reading engagement skills and strategies.  After starting to move into group work earlier this year, I realized the students first needed a more robust foundation on building reading and discussion strategies in order to help let them get the most possible out of their discussions.  Lately we have been working on creating, classifying, and supporting answers to different types of questions.  I am gradually giving the students more and more control over the specific questions they are to answer after reading each chapter.  The students are now correctly developing many types of questions including in-the-text detail, in-the-text summary, character trait, minor and major conflicts/ resolutions, in-your-head, and word analysis questions about both vocabulary clarification and figurative language use.  It’s exciting to see the many types of questions they create and where they will take our future discussions.


  1. Vocabulary: Finish packet and study
  2. Mathematics: Volume of prisms Study Link 9-9
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out summary section in Reading Log, get Reading Log signed

Mr. Weis


May 5, 2009

2 Point Perspective on Art and War

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:51 pm
Tags: , ,

Our schedule was quite a blur today, from Puberty Ed. to a quick Vocabulary session, library, Math, Art, Social Studies and Music, we barely had a chance to catch our collective breath.

In Vocabulary, we went through our words of the week and deduced the meaning of the roots of the week from analyzing some complete words.  As we progress to the midpoint of the week, please make sure that your child is working a little bit each day on Vocabulary so they can be finished and ready for the test on Friday.

In Mathematics, we continued some work with area and volume and did some review.  The unit 9 test will be on Friday and will include Coordinate Grids, Area, and Volume.  I’ll pass out a study guide to assist students with each topic on the test.  In the mean time, here is a neat Interactive Surface Area and Volume web app.


In Social Studies we are continuing our work with the Revolutionary War and we began to look at some specific Acts that the British passed that got the colonists riled up.  As we learn more about the Revolutionary War, we will be paying special attention to the point of view and perspective of both the colonists and the loyalists.

There used to be a nice website on PBS kids called Liberty Kids, but the link no longer works.  While I look for other more kid-friendly websites, here are a couple other sites through PBS that are actually companion sites to video series.  While the content is a bit high level, there is quite a wealth of information, scans of primary documents, and multimedia content, so take a gander and see if you find anything that sparks your interest.

The first site is connected to the video special Liberty: the American Revolution


The second site is connected to the series Freedom a History of US


For the past few weeks in Art, the students have been learning how to draw interior and exterior spaces with one and two point perspective.  While the students have been working, I was reminded of a video art program I did in elementary school called Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad.  I looked him up and found that he has a website with hundreds of video tutorials on specific drawing lessons.  The website requires a paid membership, but there are 12 free videos to watch that offer a preview of what the lessons are like.

Mark Kistler

I also found Mark Kistler’s Youtube page which has another 15 videos.  You can find his videos here.  Also, here are a few videos that cover basic 2 point perspective for you to watch here.  I actually remember doing these drawings when I was just a little kid and acquiring them as part of my doodling repertoire that I still use to this day.


  1. Mathematics: Practice set 62
  2. Other: Continue to work on Vocabulary Packet
  3. Social Studies: Write two Cause and Effect pieces of information from pages 101 or 102 (finish if not completed during class)
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis

Create a free website or blog at