Happy Holidays to all and Merry Christmas!


Hi, I just wanted to once again express my love and appreciation to all the parents and students who went out of their way to provide me with some unbelievably thoughtful gifts today.  I honestly am not too much of an emotional person but I will admit that today I was trying very hard to hold back some tears.

I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable receiving gifts from from anyone as I’ve gotten older as I often feel undeserving of of any kind of recognition, love, and support for the profession that I chose.  I truly love going to work each and every day despite our struggles here and there because I have grown to love each and every student simply because we have all grown together  as members of our Room 212 family.  No longer are my kids just names on an attendance sheet, rather, they are my first real class in the kind of school that I myself grew up attending.  I wouldn’t trade any of my students for anything in the world and I feel further blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with such an eclectic mix of  high-energy young boys and  girls that display interest and a passion for incorporating new knowledge on a daily basis.

Lastly,  what we do in class would not be possible without the love and support from the parents at home.  Without your involvement, the learning process would cease at 3:30 and thus it is your persistence and oversight ensuring that all the Homework gets completed each evening that keeps the ship on course until each child reaches “port” during homeroom to deliver their assignments.

Again, thank you all so much for thinking of me during this holiday season as I was truly moved by your generosity and selflessness.  Furthermore, I hope each child enjoyed the small tokens of appreciation that I picked up for them as well.  Christmas has always been a time of sharing joy with others and so I can say without hesitation that my heart is now filled to the brim with generosity and compassion that has been reinforced by both my students and their families during this holiday season.  Thank you to all and have a wonderful holiday season!


Mark Santeramo


P.S.- don’t forget to work on and complete your Winter Homework Packet over the break!  Thanks!


Homework 12/17

Writing– Final Draft of research papers are due tomorrow.  Please attach the rough draft to the back of your final copy.  Final drafts should include a cover page, table of contents, 5-8 paragraphs (max), and a bibliography.   See previous posts if you need further instructions.


Reading- 40 minutes, reading logs will be checked

Social Studies- we will finish our sarcophagus project (hopefully) tomorrow.  We will also continue w/ the current events presentations

Some students are not participating because they either destroyed their dolls or simply did not follow instructions.  These students will receive a poor Test grade (still debating what # that may be).

Math- none

  • Winter Break packets will be distributed tomorrow.  Any questions about those just let me know over the break.  Thanks and have a wonderful holiday and new year!

Homework 12/16

Social Studies– EVERY STUDENT should bring in a Current Event tomorrow.  This does not mean choose someone from a Youtube Channel to talk about, rather, this means REAL NEWS from a paper or reputable website.

The Current Event can run the gamut from US News, International News, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Local, you name it.  It must be CURRENT, not something from years ago.  Please help your child if they are having trouble with this although it’s not very hard to find articles that will peak their curiosity as I do it in Homeroom quite often.

Please bring in the article AND a short summary of what the article is about, why it is interesting, and why you chose it.  


Other than that, many of our sarcophagus projects are going well, the students who have chosen to not do the work (for a variety of reasons) will receive a failing test grade for this activity (no make-ups).


Writing– FINAL DRAFT OF RESEARCH PAPER IS DUE ON FRIDAY.  This is a major writing grade so please follow the instructions from previous days.

This paper should include a cover page, table of contents, a 5-8 paragraph essay w/ a clear introduction, body, closing, and transitions, and finally a bibliography so Mr. S can check where exactly you got your information from.

PLEASE ATTACH YOUR ROUGH DRAFT TO YOUR FINAL COPY (rough drafts were returned today w/ corrections as promised.  If you do not have the rough draft at all (I have 17 thus far out of 21), you will immediately lose 10 pts. (or more) from your grade.



This will take place tomorrow.  Students have done this type of activity a few times this year already and so they should not be overwhelmed or psyched out from doing their best work.

Remember you can only use your graphic organizer to help you organize your thoughts before you begin writing.  This graphic organizer WILL BE COLLECTED TOMORROW (it doesn’t need to be filled out if you choose not to, I would just like to see it as a mark of responsibility).  

This INFORMATIONAL writing assignment will be on a topic related to Ancient Egypt.  Students already wrote research papers on this subject and so they should have no problem writing for 40 minutes a 5 paragraph informative essay on a subject we’ve been discussing for over a month (especially if they pre-planned).  

See previous blog posts for more information.  Thanks!

Reading– 40 minutes tonight, fill out your Reading Log and write your summary, this will also be checked tomorrow


Math– Common Core Workbook, pgs. 70-76

5B Textbook, pg. 35, #s 1-22 (was started in class already)



Don’t miss out on the fun festivities planned by both our upper and lower schools!  The 5th grade will be dancing starting at 5 (students will stay after school until then) and their routine should last about 10 minutes.  The whole event should be over around 6:00 pm.  If you have questions about the specific attire for students, please see the previous posts on the subject.

Also, Upper School students do not need tickets to this event as far as I have been told.

Grades Updated

Hi, as usual (and mentioned many times before), I will bring said work to class tomorrow in order to identify who it belongs to.

If you have any other questions about what’s going on in class and/or about how your child is doing, please do not hesitate to ask.

We are now starting in earnest to have the kids go about their normal school activities while being more conscious of their volume and how their work ethic has the potential to motivate others to improve thanks as always for the support at home!


Students will also have a Winter Break Work Packet to complete….further directions to follow tomorrow or Friday.  Thanks!


***For Multicultural Night Information, please see a previous post

Homework 12/15

The grade book will be updated this evening.  If you have any questions about missed work, please inquire at home first regarding specific assignments.  If you still need assistance, please write a short with your questions/concerns so that your child can give it to me directly in class.

The kids should be more accountable for missed assignments with Mr. S being the last resort after FA Web.  What I have noticed is that students are doing the work and simply not handing it in or are not putting their names on the assignment…this would be the reason why they are telling parents that they submitted the work but they don’t have a grade for the assignment.

Hope this helps, thanks!  Also, see a previous blog post for Multicultural night information.


Writing- prepare your graphic organizer for Thursdays midterm. Remember, you cannot come in with a pre-written essay, you can ONLY have your graphic organizer set up w/ a plan to guide you during the writing process.  There’s no reason why this should not be filled out, thus I will collect this paper after you are finished with your midterm.

Students will write an informational response on the topic of Ancient Egypt.  Having written a research paper on this topic previously, there should be no reason why anyone would have trouble w/ this prompt.  Students are to write as much as possible in the informational style within 40 minutes (give or take a few) so please be prepared!

  • FINAL DRAFT OF RESEARCH PAPERS ARE DUE FRIDAY.  I will return the rough drafts that were given to me (and corrected) tomorrow.  A few students did not write a rough draft and thus they will lose credit.  **Please attach the rough draft to the final copy, not having both will also lead to a loss of points.  Final drafts should be neatly hand-written or typed and consist of the 5 paragraph report (max paragraphs up to 8), a cover page, table of contents, and the bibliography (students already have the template I provided in class and on the website).  

Reading- read for 40 minutes, logs will be checked tomorrow.  You will only get full credit if you have both your log AND your short summary of what you read.


Math- Quiz on Decimals TOMORROW (Chapter 8, Lessons 1-3)

Students can use the links below for practice…we’ve been discussing rounding decimals, comparing decimals (greater than/less than), writing decimals as fractions and vice versa, writing decimals using expanded form, and comparing/writing decimals on number lines.









Social Studies- we will continue working on our projects in class.  A few students decided to break the arms and legs off some of the dolls and so we were short a couple and thus those students are no longer participating as a result.

Workbook pgs. 40-41 will be checked tomorrow.

If I can figure out a way to do a short Review of Chapter 4 before the kids leave on Friday I will.  We’ve had scattered meeting times again and thus I want to go over the information before we all leave for 2 weeks.

Multicultural Night (updated w/ time)

See this space also for further updates.


Girls– black skirts w/ a formal white shirt, black shoes

Boys– blue jeans, black shoes w/ white buttoned shirt, and black blazers & sunglasses (if available)


The students will be staying in school until 5:00 when they perform.  The entire event finishes at 6 so I can’t imagine our class being on stage for more than 10-15 minutes at most.  Please come and show your support if possible!

Homework 12/14

Writing/Reading- 2 worksheets, one on Editing Sentences the other on Past/Present Verb Tense

We will continue doing more grammar work as we move ahead over the next few weeks and months.

WORKSHEET 1 DOWNLOAD: Present-and-Past-Tense-Verbs-Worksheet-Converting-Intermediate

WORKSHEET 2 DOWNLOAD: Edit Sentences Worksheet PRINT


I am extremely disappointed that I only received about 6 or 7 rough drafts today with only 2 or 3 being handwritten as instructed.  Following directions aside, this does not bode well for the final copies (typed or hand-written neatly) on Friday.


The third worksheet is the graphic organizer that can be filled out for the Midterm on Thursday.   Only the graphic organizer can be used on the exam.  See the previous post for more information about the midterm.  If your child does not have the graphic organizer that was distributed in school, you may use any of the numerous ones I’ve posted on the blog before.  If they need another copy tomorrow, just let me know.  


Math- CHAPTER 8 QUIZ ON WEDNESDAY, first 3 lessons (8.1-8.3)

Social Studies- we will continue our project tomorrow (depending on behavior)

Current Events will be updated tomorrow.  Both 5S and 5L will go this week.

Writing Midterm on Thursday

Hi, tonight I will be providing each student with a graphic organizer to help them prepare their ideas for our mid-term on Thursday.

Students will have 30-40 minutes to write an informational text that teaches the reader important and interesting information about Egypt.  You can write about anything Egypt-related so please choose an area that you know well!  If you want to find and use information from a book or another outside source, you may bring that with you on the day of the midterm.  Please keep in mind that you will only have one period so you’ll need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one sitting.  Write in a way that shows all that you know about information writing.

In your writing, make sure you:

  • Write an introduction
  • Elaborate with a variety of information
  • Organize your writing
  • Use transition words
  • Write a conclusion

Students may only use their notes and/or graphic organizer to help them write.  Please do not show up with a pre-written essay as it cannot be used.  This assignment is given in the exact manner as our previous On Demand responses and so the kids are absolutely familiar with the process.

Any questions just let me know, thanks.

Homework 12/11

This post might be updated in a few hours after I get home from basketball practice.  The HW is correct, I might just add an additional thought or two if need be.  Thanks!


Writing- Rough Draft of research paper due on MONDAY

5 paragraphs minimum w/ cover sheet, table of contents, and bibliography

Use the template that I handed out in class and put online as a guide.


Math- 5B pgs. 28-29, #s 1-23, Chapter 8 Review


Social Studies- workbook pg. 40
Reading– Common Core English workbook pg. 226-234



5L Social Studies- pgs. 150-154, #s 1-6, 3 notes per section, and workbook pg. 41