Homework, January 31st, 2017

Current Events for the week (5S)

  • Tyce- Wednesday
  • Clare- Thursday
  • Faith- Friday


Math- 5A Workbook pages 162-164, Real-World Division Problems


History– we began our unit on the early Hebrews today

For Thursday, please complete the following…

Chapter 6, Lesson 1, Beginnings of the Hebrew People

  • vocabulary (7 words)
  • 3 sections total (3+ notes per section)
  • Review questions on pg. 209, #s 1, 3, 4, and 5


We did our usual On Demand prompt for our new unit today; students were to come in with notes they were supposed to write last night in order to help them w/ their persuasive response.  We’ll discuss the topic further as the quarter progresses.


Reading- none, we’ll begin w/ the Spelling Quizzes next week


Homework 1/30/2017


WRITING ON DEMAND for tomorrow in class

“Think of a topic or issue that you know and care about, an issue around which you have strong feelings.  TAKE NOTES.  Tomorrow we will discuss PERSUASIVE WRITING so please bring in some fact-based information to support the facts and your OWN opinions.  (Writer’s Notebooks, minimum of 1 page of notes that can help you write tomorrow). 



Tomorrow in class you will have 45 minutes to write an opinion or argument text in which you will write your opinion or claim and tell reasons why you feel that way.  When you do this, draw on everything you know about essays, persuasive letters, and reviews.  If you want to find and use information from a book or another outside source, you may bring that with you tomorrow (DO NOT PLAGIARIZE, we’ve already had a serious problem w/ that this year.   Please keep in mind that you’ll have forty-five minutes to complete this, so you will need to plan, draft, revise, and edit in one sitting.”

In your writing FOR TOMORROW make sure you…

  • Write an introduction
  • State your opinion or claim (Thesis statement)
  • Give reasons and evidence to support your point of view
  • Organize your writing
  • Acknowledge counterclaims (embrace differences of opinions, counter-facts, etc.)
  • Use transition words, work on your sequencing
  • Write a ‘conclusion’ that summarizes your thesis and overall findings.

This On Demand (we do one every quarter) will give me vital info about student’s current knowledge of persuasive writing as a genre – its purpose, craft, and structure. 


Math– none today (although you can use the IXL website to practice division word problems)

The Midterms are almost done…the grades so far seem to be pretty good.


Reading- 40 minutes tonight, take at least 1 page of notes on the plot, tough words, changes in character development, etc.  What’s going on in the story?  Make sure you label your fresh page of paper properly w/ a heading, date, the Chapter, the title, pages read, etc.  

  • Prepare the grid for your Battleship board for our Quiz tomorrow.  If we can’t get this simple thing done (we’ve done this once already) for tomorrow, we’ll just have a traditional quiz on ALL 15 WORDS.

Gradebook Updated

Hi, just a quick heads up that I am finally finished with updating all the homework and classwork assignments that were given to me at the last minute…Quarter 2 is now officially closed in terms of those activities.  I still have to input the Writing Mid Year Assessment score as well as the Math Midterm; I graded about 90% of the Math midterms thus far and I was extremely pleased to see that most students appeared to know what was going on, what we’ve been covering in class, and ultimately were able to transfer what they’ve learned onto their assessments without much loss in credit.

Labeling answers is still an issue for a handful of students, so is staring at one particular problem for too long which is against the advice that I consistently offer to all my students, and as a result, you ever even get to see the rest of the Test which included one step, no-work problems that were so easy that you left all those points out there for me to take away rather than you earning them!  Please, please, please- when I give you test-taking strategies, I expect ALL STUDENTS to follow what I am saying because these kinds of mistakes cannot happen again.  For example, I asked you to complete problems #1-49 and then another 8 on top of that….one student spent 2 hours going through problems 1-20 and NEVER SAW THE REST OF THE TEST ONCE, never saw that many of the easier problems were towards the middle and back of the assessment.

Either way that’s just a small anecdote.  For the majority of 5S students, they fared extremely well on the problems assigned for the Test, and most importantly, students once again took my advice and completed the remaining problems for extra credit.

The reason I haven’t posted a score yet for the midterm  is A) I want to review the material with my class first so they can see where they went wrong, and B) I’m not sure how many points I’ll deduct per problem and how much value will be put on the extra credit questions.  Mr. Carr made a long Test which ultimately ended up being a great idea because it allowed the students that finished earlier (2 hours was more than enough to complete 58 problem, especially when a large portion could have been completed with mental math.  I also took points off if you did not label your word problems properly, by faro our weakest area that we can most definitely improve on.  

As a final point, I’m extremely proud of 5S for stepping up and not complaining once about this assessment.  I know that there will be something different going on in 5C and that’s their business, but in terms of OUR CLASS, where OUR FOCUS SHOULD BE, you should all give yourselves a pat on the back because I’m proud of how well you all did and how you did not run away from the challenge, you took it upon yourselves to show Mr. Carr and I that you’re ready to move on, that you know more than you’ve lead us to believe 🙂

There will be no retakes and there will be no corrections to make up for extra credit, that’s what the extra problems were for.  While some grades will certainly drop in Math, Reading, and Writing, the new averages are a better reflection of where your child truly is scoring simply because I place a strong emphasis on class and homework.  Now that we have more assessments to draw from, I believe firmly that you’ll have a more accurate gauge of where your child is in terms of their strengths and weaknesses as we progress through Quarters 3 and 4.  Remember, sometimes even though it hurts to let happen, we need them to fail/struggle through their work from time to time because it teaches them that not everything in life is simple, that mom and dad won’t always be there for help if you need it, and that ultimately your responsibilities for school fall upon your shoulders.

My post earlier in the day outlines m my updated grading stance for Quarters 3 and 4 so I encourage you to take a look at that as well.

Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and let you know that the Math midterms so far appear to be done very well and I look forward to putting final grades on them asap.



Quarters 3-4 Homework Policy

As I’ve stated before, starting Quarter 3, the policy on late/missing assignments will change.  I will no longer take missing assignments 2 weeks after their posted due date.  That means the days of handing in missing work on the last day of the marking period are now over.

If students (and to a lesser extent parents) are not pulling their weight and checking the blog for attachments and other instructions (which is what I’ve been seeing) and Net Classroom for their grades (another issue), a loss of credit is more than appropriate by now.  I still, for example have some people asking me what the link to my website is even though it’s now February!

Late assignments handed in before the two week period is up will automatically lose some credit that students will not be able to make up.  The goal is to develop our 5th graders into more responsible and accountable young boys and girls so they won’t have as much anxiety about their assignments in the years ahead.  I believe firmly that they know how my system for collecting assignments works, but too many students try to take advantage of my kindness (and that of some parents at home) and so as I’ve been stating for weeks now, it’s about time to make a change for both classes.  Again, class/homework will not be accepted two weeks after the date it was assigned and thus a 0 will appear in the gradebook – students by then would have had ample time to get things completed and turned in.  

If you have any questions just let me know.  Lastly, final grades for Quarter 2 will be posted by the end of next week (if I get it done earlier, I’ll let you know via the blog).

These are not changes out of the blue, I’ve been commenting on them via the blog and in class for weeks now.  It’s the right thing to do and I hope that everyone is on board because this is the approach we need to take if we want our kids to get accepted and excel in the day/boarding/private schools our PACs students strive for during their time here.



Homework 1/27/2017

Reading– choose one of the 2 provided passages below to read and complete the accompanying questions…(copies were provided in school, you can log in and find the quiz at home using the links below).


If you login to NewsELA you can find the quizzes if you lose your paper, just be sure to click the proper lexile score.


  • We didn’t have time for our Spelling Quiz X today so we will have it on MONDAY.  I’ll still count it as a Quarter 2 grade, so be ready!


That’s it, we will begin new units in Reading, Writing, and History starting Monday.  Enjoy the weekend!

Homework 1/25/17

  • Permission slips and payment are due tomorrow (if not submitted already!)
  • Collared shirts and jeans/nice pants for tomorrow.
  • Chaperons for tomorrow’s trip are Lauryn’s dad and Faith’s grandmother.


Math– 5A Workbook pgs. 158-161, Dividing Fractions, #s 10-17.  The first few problems you can solve by multiplying by the reciprocal, and with the word problems you do the same thing.  Make sure you set your work up properly; (HINT: if the answer does not sound reasonable, maybe you need to switch the order of your fractions!)


History/Writing Because half the class was not 100% prepared to present their slideshows, I gave everyone time in class today to put the finishing touches on their work.  All students from both classes that have yet to present will do so on Friday.


Reading-40 minutes of Free-Reading tonight (any book, doesn’t have to be non-fiction)

Properly label the book title, chapters and pages read, any tough words that you didn’t understand, key/interesting facts or details, and are there any new questions that you have?  Notes should be about a page long, minimum.

  • Spelling Quiz X on Friday (we skipped 9, I just wanted to type X :-), final Reading grade (aside from the Reading Level) for the marking period.  Students were given the words on Monday (posted below)
  • We will complete the rest of the Wordly Wise packet I gave out Monday, on Friday.


  • accurate
  • approximate
  • course
  • depart
  • despair
  • destination
  • deteriorate
  • gale
  • horizon
  • jubilation
  • navigate
  • nostalgia
  • revive
  • sever
  • voyage



Chaperons & Gradebook Updated

Hi, for Thursday’s trip right now I have confirmed Lauryn Ball’s mom/dad (I thought I heard you mention dad was coming) and Faith’s mother.  Remember, chaperons cost an extra $15.50 unfortunately- we tried to work a way around it but weren’t able to.  If anything comes up tomorrow just let me know.



the gradebook is being updated right now and I’m almost done w/ classwork/homework assignments.  I’m saving the History sarcophagus project and the slideshow for last as well as the writing and math midterms, but basically what you see within the hour is what I’ve been given in terms of Homework.  By this point it’s a bit late to make up these kinds of things, so let’s focus on improving during Quarters 3 and 4 because that’s where the ‘honeymoon’ phase ends and I will no longer give full credit for late work, things of that nature.

Homework 1/24/2017

Writing- If you did not complete your essay response last night or in class today, please complete one of the following prompts for tomorrow, 4-5 paragraphs (that means if you answered one of these prompts already, you don’t have any writing for this evening).

Choose one of the two following below….

  • “Some people dream things as they are and say why.  I dream things as they are not and ask why not?” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock
  • “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – J.K. Rowling (we did this one for classwork a while back)

It would be nice if you can attach your response to the actual handout that was distributed yesterday – it had a couple questions on there for each quote aimed at getting your thought process started.  Hopefully you didn’t lose it!


Math– 2 things listed below…Midterm is Friday

  • Complete the classwork, 5A Textbook pg. 189, #s 1-6 (remember, use your notes for reference, when dividing you must multiply by the reciprocal!)
  • Multiplying Fractions (Visual) Worksheet – remember, the first fraction you should draw and shade in your lines vertically, the second fraction you should draw your lines horizontally (I hope you copied the examples down off the board today!!)  Remember, your numerator consists of the # of boxes that overlap, and the denominator consists of all the boxes combined.

It’s a new skill, I know that, so try your best.  I know that the copy makes it hard to see in the example which boxes overlap, but that’s why you need to copy things off the board when we do them together.  On the back side of the worksheet are the answers – worst case, if you have trouble modeling, leave them BLANK and we’ll work on it together tomorrow.  Just make sure that you complete the textbook problems this evening.  



Social Studies– Chapter 4 Study Guide worksheet, pgs. 44-45, you can start this tonight and we can finish it in class tomorrow.  You will need your book!

We are going to complete our Ancient Egypt Slide Show Presentations this week so be prepared tomorrow!  (we only got a few done today)


Reading– none, we will continue w/ our Wordly Wise packets in class tomorrrow

Spelling Quiz on Friday, next 15 words from the Wordly Wise packet

Homework, January 23rd, 2017

Writing– We didn’t have the best day of Writing today, so tonight I’d like to have the students work on one of the two prompts that I provided for them.  Use the questions on the worksheet to help you get your thoughts going.

4-5 paragraphs, solid introduction, closing, body – remember, this is non-fiction so please tell me what you think and be creative!  Use all of the strategies you’ve learned thus far to help you complete this assignment (maybe even ask a family member for a quote or two?!?)


Math– see previous post for Midterm practice, Chapters 1-4


Reading– Wordly Wise packet handed out today, only complete parts 4A & 4B

  • Spelling Quiz 10 on Friday (I might have skipped 9 but it’s okay)
  • 15 Wordly Wise words will be on the Quiz


Social Studies– presentations will begin tomorrow for both classes


Homework, January 20th, 2017

  • Social Studies– work on your Power Point projects that are due by the end of next week!

    We’ll start the presentations on a first come, first serve basis; some of you expressed that you’re already done w/ the work. PLEASE, I implore you to take the weekend to look over your work with fresh eyes.

    We have already learned in Writing class the importance of walking away from your writing after a while only to revisit it later with a more clear head. When doing so, it’s easier to catch any spelling/grammar mistakes you may have made, or correct any oversights mentioned in the instructions that you may have missed the first time around. Our brains do a fantastic job at filling in the gaps when we read, especially when we leave out simple conjunctions or words like ‘the’, ‘or’, as well as ‘and’. If you’re done early, take this final week to carefully review and make sure that you’re putting your best work forward (include pictures, dates, statistics, quotes, etc.), that’s all I ask of you.

    Lastly, make sure that you have your bibliography slide w/ at least 1 book and 2 website resources presented in the format shown in the packet. I’d like to see exactly where you’re getting your information from, plus I want to make sure that you know the difference between how to properly cite a quote from a speaker compared to simply including facts (quotes are written word for word in quotation marks and credited to the speaker while regular facts should be rewritten in your own words but cited according to which book/website you found the info from).  We’ve had some experience w/ this on our last essay, so hopefully we see further improvement this time around.  Irregardless, we’ll continue to work on citations and bibliographies as we proceed through the rest of the year.  

    My final wish is for all students – please, please, do not copy word for word from your resources as plagiarism is unacceptable and easy to notice! (just ask the students on the Writing Mid-Year Assessment!!)  If you are going to use a quote from a book or website, or facts to support your overall thesis statement/topic, make sure that you let me know exactly where the information came from.

    Any questions just let me know, thanks!

DOWNLOADAncient Egypt Power Point Instructions  (yet another copy)

and most importantly….SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY!

Also, return your permission slips and $ to Mr. S asap for our trip to the Natural History Museum next week.  You are not required to go, but it is a fantastic time (similar to the MET) and I hope that everyone can join us.  If you’re having trouble putting together the money, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

The only issue that I learned about today, frustratingly, is that any parent chaperons (once approved), unfortunately have to pay their own way.  The school only pays for employees that chaperon, not parents.

Any questions just let me know, thanks!


Reading-  Read your non-fiction books this weekend for fun, no need to take notes, take a brain-break


and most importantly….SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY!