Homework 11/30

Reading/Writing– read ONE of the speeches posted on the website (you can read more for pleasure if you wish).  After reading, please write at least 3 paragraphs from the OPPOSITE PERSPECTIVE of your own personal beliefs.  If you AGREE with the speech than force yourself to write a few different ways in which you DISAGREE.  

This activity is meant to prepare student’s to write from perspectives other than their own.  When we do our third research paper (kids had time today to choose a topic and non-fiction book from the library), we will continue to talk about the importance of seeking out different points of view on a topic.  Maybe you will surprise yourself by coming across a line of thinking that you never thought of before?


Try to lift the level of your fluency from one level to the next.  After you have read the speech many times, try reading your own nonfiction text in the same ways.

In life you don’t usually read nonfiction aloud.  But if you work on your reading aloud voice, you work on your internal reading voice.  Your internal reading voice is a huge part of reading nonfiction well.

DOWNLOAD: Speeches for Fluency Reading


Mathnone (did not have Math today)

Social Studies- Mesopotamia/Egypt worksheet




12/3 Class Trip to Princeton University

On December 3rd, Mr. Santeramo’s class will take a ride down to Princeton University in order to get a tour of the campus.  Having our students immerse themselves within a school that values honesty, a strong work ethic, and moral excellence I believe will serve to inspire our students to dream bigger than ever before about their own academic potential.

Princeton University is not an institution for everyone, but it certainly is a school with a long history of tradition and academic standing that was once home to a President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.  Just because the ivy league is largely out of reach to most hard-working students across the nation and around the world, this does not mean that we cannot learn a few tips and strategies from our guides when we visit that we can implement/incorporate in our own lives and within the classroom.  We should truly respect and appreciate that our humble state of New Jersey is home to one of the most prolific and highly respected universities world-wide.

This first trip will primarily cover the day in the life of a traditional Princeton student among a variety of different activities including eating lunch w/ college kids in the dining hall.  I think this trip will be a great motivator for students that strive to push themselves towards academic excellence.


I believe next month we will visit Princeton once again but this time it will be to see their vast museum of antiquities.  More information regarding that second trip will follow.  Thaanks!



Course Curriculum

Hi, as per request from a couple of parents, on Monday I will attach here the curriculum for Math, Reading/Writing, and Social Studies.  Nothing is entirely set in stone as we do have the freedom to move around, but for the most part you’ll be able to see the majority of the concepts we will be covering this year.  If I can add specific activities that will supplement certain lessons I will, but in all honesty a lot of my best ideas blossom organically during the planning stage.  Either way, I hope this helps! for now!



Happy Thanksgiving! 11/24

Social Studies– Chapter 4, Lesson 2: The Old Kingdom, pgs. 142-149

3 notes per purple section (9 total MINIMUM)

all vocabulary w/ definitions

questions on pg. 147, #s 1-6 (was 1-5 but I’m adding one)

Why Were the Pyramids Built? – pages 148-149, read and complete the two “it’s Your Turn” questions on pg. 149


Math– none

Reading– see attached ReadWorks assignment about Thanksgiving

First Thanksgiving Meal  DOWNLOAD

also, continue to update your Reading Logs and summaries as much as you can over the break

Writing– none (submit your research paper if not done already)


Aaron Rodgers Relax

And most importantly, as Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers says, ” R-E-L-A-X!”  Spend time with your family, capture these moments in your heart and mind as time moves way too fast for us to fully appreciate all the blessings we have in our lives.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Hi, so I just spent the morning updating the grades for both classes.  What I’ve observed thus far is somewhat disturbing as I have many missed assignments already at the outset of the marking period.  Many of the missed assignments are Homework and thus they should be layups, so it is a bit discouraging to see some students fall behind this early on.

As was discussed during conferences, even though Homework represents about 15% of the grade, a handful of missed assignments and those given in w/ out a name and thus never credited, leaving these points on the board makes it easy to slip and snowball into an avalanche if things are not addressed early on.  I know we have wonderful support at home so if you are seeing that your child is having some trouble, please spend some time w/ them trying to figure out solutions for their lack of responsibility.

I still need to input one Math Quiz for Chapter 4 and the final grades for the Make Your Own Settlement Project.  I will have the Quizzes done later in the day and most of the Settlements scored as well.  There are a handful of projects  that I need to speak w/ students first on Sunday before I grade because not every project has a name attached to it.  If your child handed in the written task along w/ a picture or model than they off the top will receive between a 90-95 (100 w/ a model) depending on the quality of the writing.


This activity is given as a result of poor behavior.  I offer Presidents as a last chance before the loss of Fun Day.  For those students which No Fun Day is not a deterrent, they will also have to write lists of Presidents’ until their behavior improves.

DO NOT TYPE THE LIST OF NAMES as it completely defeats the purpose of the exercise.

If your child has a ZERO next to their name in the Presidents column, that means I never received anything from them despite giving  the entire week to get it done.  Those students will now have 3 SETS that I want to see by Tuesday.  If they continue to disrupt the class and not do the work assigned to them, each week the # of lists will DOUBLE (so 3 this week, 6 next if I don’t see anything Tuesday.  This is absolutely a serious punishment and not something to be taken lightly).  

If a child still refuses to do what is being asked of them, I will make things punitive which will heavily impact their grade.  It’s possible that I’d take the 100 points they’d earn for doing their work and spread that number as Extra Credit among all their classmates that have and are doing the right thing.  A ZERO on a Test or Quiz is certainly difficult to come back from so it is my hope that we never reach that point.

Any questions just let me know, thanks!

Homework 11/20

Reading– 40 minutes, logs, and summaries.  Fill out book recommendations for every novel you complete.

Writing– finish and type (if possible) your final Ancient Egyptian Research Paper which is due on TUESDAY, please include a 5 paragraph essay (minimum but no more than 7), title/cover page, table of contents, and bibliography.

Please reread these essays to ensure that they are not copied and/or they are well put together.

Math– 5A workbook pgs. 168-174, #s 43-60

Chapter 4 Test on MONDAY

History- for Monday please bring in your final death mask attached to the cartouche so we can put them on display

For Thanksgiving break- textbook pgs. 142-149, Chapter 4, Lesson 2, #s 1-6 on pg. 147 and the TWO “It’s Your Turn” questions on pg. 149

also complete workbook pgs. 35, and 38-39

vocabulary and 3 notes per purple section for Lesson 2


Homework 11/19

Math- Chapter 4 Test Review tomorrow, Test will be on Monday

Reading- 40 minutes, logs and summaries will be checked

Writing- continue with rough draft, keep track of your bibliography information

Social Studies– finish your cartouche and death mask and attach them together

this should already be completed from the other day…pgs. 132-139, #s 1-5, vocabulary, and 3 notes per section

11/18 Homework

Math- Common Core workbook, pgs. 142-143, #s 1-19

Reading- 40 minutes reading, log, and summaries 

Many kids have not been doing this of late and so please check to see that they are reading and keeping a record of the time.

We are doing other reading tonight so if there isn’t any time to get this done before bed than just let me know, thanks!

Writing- continue w/ figuring out the main idea of your paper.  Organize your thoughts so that you can have coherent subtopics that are written in a sensible order.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR MAIN IDEA AND THE SUBTOPICS YOU WOULD LIKE TO FURTHER RESEARCH FOR TOMORROW (at least 3-4 ideas related to the main idea, i.e. Pyramids, who built them and how?  Where did the materials come from?  Why were they built/the purpose they served?  How did Egyptian citizens feel about these grand monuments to the pharaohs?)

Ask yourself questions (the 5 W’s!!) that you would like to know the answers to.  You chose this topic, WHY?  What about it interests you?  As you research are you coming across details that you never heard before?  Explain, explain, explain, do not just list facts.  Use all the resources that are available to you, including our conversations in class and the various related resources that I have distributed.

Please only write the first two paragraphs tonight.  Do not hand me a full paper tomorrow that is typed as I will not allow you to get a computer to work on it further.  Do not go beyond the first two paragraphs because what happens is students simply copy and paste from the web or rush to get the work done regardless of how all over the place it may be.

Social Studies- Egyptian DBQ worksheet.  This assignment can be used to help you on your papers.






Research Reports

Hi, this post is in regards to an issue I discussed during a meeting today w/  a parent.  I have observed many students in class complaining and/or outright refusing to continue their work on their Ancient Egypt rough drafts simply because they typed the essay and either either don’t bring a copy w/ them or we don’t have access to the computers for them to work on it further.

The only solution to this is to have students hand-write their rough drafts so I can edit them and see the corrections they are making over time.  Only the FINAL COPIES of the report should be typed from now on.

Also, please advise students to stay as close as possible to the guidelines in the writing homework because constructing a well-written essay is a step by step process and yet  I continue to have students disregard instructions in favor of what “they” want to do and the result are reports that are blatantly copied and pasted, made up, or simply so incoherent and without focus that it’s clear that they rushed to get something down on paper regardless of how poorly written it might be.  These papers are a reflection of a child’s work ethic w/ their name at the top of the paper so they should be taking pride in their work, something I’m only seeing from a handful or boys and girls.

All I have said thus far in regards to this assignment was to first organize your thoughts and then work on a couple of the paragraphs.  This is an assignment that is meant to evolve over the next few days into next week.  Students need to focus closely on each paragraph one at a time making sure that the information is in a sensible order and that you explain your facts within each paragraph rather than simply list random information without any context.  PLEASE USE THE RESOURCES that have been handed out in class!  I gave each child notes as well as a three-page breakdown of how a paper might look as well as an organizer for the bibliography.  If your child does not have this information with them, they might need guidance regarding organization and responsibility.  

So far I’ve read about half of the reports and I’d say about 3 were actually written by students with the rest copied and pasted.  One was so completely fabricated and made up that it was obvious the student did not take their work seriously.  I guess they forgot that I’m a History teacher that knows his stuff :-).

This assignment and the following research paper are MAJOR GRADES.  Please ensure that your child is doing as instructed via the Homework each night.  Also, our children need support at home when it comes to their writing so I need help from you to ensure that students are NOT copying and pasting things from the Internet as I will give a ZERO to every child that does just that (meaning they’d likely fail the marking period in a flash).  By simply  following the instructions all of this could be avoided.

Sorry about the tone, it is simply the result of many students not taking the assignment seriously as well as support from home making sure that what each child writes is their OWN work and words and not those of the person they researched.

Any questions just let me know, thanks.