Homework 5/12

Reading– the Tower of Trouble mystery story, answer the 4 discussion questions


Writing– begin writing your 5+ paragraph mystery story using your notes from this past week.  Make sure you try and include things such as the following…

  • clearly written main/supporting character
  • a detailed setting
  • suspects/victims
  • evidence and clues that connect to the plot
  • alibis/red-herrings/misdirection
  • an overall resolution to your mystery that makes sense

Consider this your rough draft – it will be collected with all of your planning materials from the homework this past week, including the 1 page on your detective, 1 page on setting, details about your supporting characters, and your 3 ‘treatments’.


5S History– complete the Web Quest packet through #39



Homework 5/10

Writing- continue writing your 3 separate ‘treatments’ using your detective and setting notes as support.  Remember, a treatment is just a simple way to brainstorm different ways to tell your mystery story without actually writing the whole thing.

  • Try switching around some details and characteristics , for example have your detective be smart instead of clumsy, have the setting be the countryside instead of urban…these details directly impact how your mystery story is told.
  • ***Choose one of your treatments to begin writing in class tomorrow…please do not write a complete essay at home
  • Our next step tomorrow is to add secondary/supporting characters


Math– complete today’s classwork packet, 5B Extra Practice worksheet pgs. 61-64 (try your best, use your notes and the book for reference)


History/Reading read page 1, the background, of the Archimedes’ Bath play to familiarize yourself with the story before we break into groups again tomorrow.

If you haven’t completed and submitted your questions through #39, please do so asap!

Homework 5/9

Math- 5B Textbook pg. 143, Let’s Practice, #s 1-3, new lesson, new concept called combinations and making organizing data using lists or trees.  Use the previous two pages of the textbook as reference along w/ the notes that I put on the board if you are having trouble.  I expect some people to get this easily and some to have some trouble, so as long as you try and show your work, that’s what I care about…we’ll clean all this up tomorrow.


Reading– 45 minutes independent reading, properly label your paper and write quality notes as you’ve been taught all year long, preferably 3/4-1 page worth
Writing- tomorrow make sure that your 1-2 page detective description and your 1-2 page write-up of your setting/atmosphere is completed so we can work on the next step of our mystery story.


Please check the gradebook for missing work.  We have a system now that has been working well so if a child has work completed but was not listening when it was collected or checked, the gradebook will reflect their lack of attention and if the work is ultimately submitted, it will be considered late.


  • Continue working on your Education Galaxy activities to earn stars!  Some people still have zero stars or have not increased their total for almost two weeks now…not good!



Gradebook Updated 5/9 (2:09am)

  • Side note: these past two Mondays have been a bit more hyperactive and talkative than usual.  While today was definitely better than last week, I still have a handful of students walking around the room, sitting wherever they feel like it, doing art projects during lessons, etc., and while I take the materials away along w/ things like Fun Day and Recess, they don’t seem to care so I might have to resort to assigning sets of Presidents for the small few that have unfortunately been putting their needs above the right of others to learn.  More to the point, though, is that I have to constantly stop class in order to refocus my students because of this poor behavior.
  • Long story short, if your child comes home with a set or set(s) of President’s it’s because they have been highly disruptive to the class and/or not paying attention or missing excessive work.  Miss Tina Pimental has also been sitting n the back helping me out in a variety of ways, specifically she is keeping track of the students that are (and are not) paying attention during lessons, those that are talking, copying work, etc., so if you’re starting to see grades slide, I have enough indisputable data now to back up my end.


Hi, just a quick update…the gradebook for both classes is about 95% completed…when you leave comments on everyone’s work it often takes a little bit longer to get things returned 🙂

The Gods & Goddesses Quiz for whatever reason did not go as easily as I originally hoped, in fact, what I thought would be an easy A for everyone turned out relatively poorly and so I’m considering adding a curve to the score that is listed in the gradebook.  While some are low, I know, no one will get lower than a 50 and the kids who truly bombed will have the opportunity to earn some extra points in a different way.

Finally, I can start putting up grades for the Maps, both for the final product and as a group grade.  Overall, I was really impressed by the job that both classes were able to pull off despite the break and other class sessions scattered about for one reason or another.  My hope, however, is that in the future certain students, group-mates in this particular case, my hope is that we all recognize our faults and differences and learn to grow from them rather than to fight/argue/get upset over every little thing.  While most students did display adequate maturity and self-control, the ones that did not were the ones that participated the least and therefore will receive a grade that they earned…

  • all group members will fill out an anonymous card w/ questions so I can get a feel for who did what work on the assignment…this way it’s anonymous and so I expect the truth to get out of four people as opposed to one’s word against the others.

The next time I meet w/ both 5S and 5C we will discuss the maps, what went well, what did not, what we could do as a group to improve during our next assignment, a reflection of this nature is always important when a simple project such as this takes far too long to complete (this should have been done weeks ago).

For 5S, I really appreciate your hard work as your maps came in relatively on time and extremely accurate, colorful, and detailed with numerous physical features.  I’m so proud that you took your time, worked well together in groups that Mr. S set up so that the kids had to work w/ students aside from their immediate friends, a task that isn’t always easy when working w/ new people.

I’ll post a picture of the final results either tomorrow or Wednesday (I think I’m still waiting on one or two).  Aside from that, the grades for that assignment will go up this week.

Any other questions just let me know, thanks again!

Homework 5/8

Math– 5B Workbook pgs. 105-106 and 111-112

Writing– today we focused in class writing about our detectives, students were to write about 11-2 pages detailing and describing the detective in their upcoming mystery story, asking themselves questions, giving them a backstory, motivations, physical descriptions and internal motivations, etc.

Tonight, I would like for you to write a similar amount on regarding the setting of your mystery story, 1-2 pages . Write about the environment that your detective and the plot of your story take place.  Describe the atmosphere, the type of people that inhabit the location(s), things of that nature.  Try describing the setting so well that we can easily picture in our minds the shadows created by the shining streetlights to the smog and mist during a morning sunrise (just an example).  The setting, just as much as your detective, dictates what the plot of your story will be like, so keep everything we discussed in class today in mind!

If you have time…

Social Studies– complete the questions through #39 (we will review the questions through #28 tomorrow)

Homework 5/5

Social Studies/Reading– please complete the Trial of Socrates play/packet that we read in class today.  Use the information from the play to help support your answers…please write your responses in detailed, complete sentences.


Math– 5B Reteach Packet worksheet pgs. 97-102, use pgs. 97 and 99 that are already completed for you as reference to help you complete the rest of the work.


Finally, I’ve been updating the gradebook bit by bit throughout the week…I expect to have it completely updated by Sunday.  Thanks again to all the parents for all you did for me during Teacher Appreciation week, this means more to me than you could ever know, especially in the position I’m currently in.  I’m glad you all have noticed and appreciate what I’ve been aiming to do with the 5th grade classes, trying to create/develop a set of high standards and expectations for everyone that simply didn’t exist before.

My philosophy has always been to raise the bar for my students and than have them climb over it instead of crawling underneath or avoiding obstacles and difficulty altogether, and I firmly believe that the work we’ve done, the discussions we’ve had, the material the kids have been exposed to, all of this has better prepared them for 6th grade and beyond, especially if your child is looking at entering a more exclusive middle school next year.  I believe in our accomplishments and I know without hesitation that none of this would have been possible without the support from the parents at home.  What we do in 5S is unlike the average 5th grade classroom we are all familiar with and that is something I’m proud of and not something to fear.  I just want to thank you all for your continued support and I look forward to building upon our string of accomplishments before the year is out.

Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend!

Math- Common Core Math Workbook pgs. 14-19, use the first few pages as your notes/resource to help you answer the rest of the questions.


Reading/Social Studies complete the fourth double-sided Greek Mythology worksheet for this quarter and answer the problems in complete sentences when able to.  I believe this one talks about Icarus and Daedalus and the title of the second story is about the Most Beautiful Woman in the World  (I wasn’t in today so don’t quote me on that exactly, I’m pretty sure that is correct, though).

I have a handful of other short mystery stories that we’ll be reading together in class and for homework as well (just like the other evening) so this is one concept that we can approach from so many different angles.

I also have an activity that plays out somewhat like a ‘murder mystery’ that you would see at a dinner party or some other type of formal event; each student in their group of 7 plays a role and they must use the descriptions of their character and clues to help them figure out the suspects and ultimately the culprit!  There’s a handful of other things I’d like to get done project-wise as well, but well see where the time takes us. (make replica Greek shields, mini-Trojan horses, experiments w/ DNA and how to lift fingerprints, etc.

  • Groups in both 5S and 5C still working on their maps have until Monday to complete them.  If not finished by Monday, both your group and map grades will be no higher than a C and likely lower depending on how much you actually got done together.  This project has gone on way too long and I have extended far too many opportunities for you to complete this task only for you to ignore the work in favor of watching movies or doing whatever else.  Monday, latest, that’s it!


Writing– keep working on your non-fiction mystery story using the Cube to help you plan and organize your thoughts (minimum 5+ paragraphs).  Remember, since these are real life unsolved mysteries (the list of topics you chose yesterday is posted below) much of the work is already done for you such as who are the detectives, what are some clues, potential suspects, etc.

Your primary job is to come up with an interesting conclusion, explain what YOU think may have happened based on the evidence.  Working piece by piece on composing mystery stories is the best way to approach this as more often than not, students randomly throw things together that are not connected in any way and so working through these lessons step by step makes the most sense.


History 5/3

Math– 5B Workbook pgs. 107-110, Chapter 11, Lesson 2


Writing– every student chose a non-fiction unsolved mystery today in class to write about further this evening.  Students are to do some light research on their topic in order to fill out their ‘Mystery Cube’ graphic organizers that we reviewed together in school.  Below is a link to creating your own ‘Mystery Cube’ just in case you need a backup.

We chose non-fiction mysteries because the bulk of the cube should already be completed since the majority of the details come from a true story.  Students have to be creative with their endings, though, and their solutions should be plausible (reasonable).  Students must include at least 3 clues in their stories and compose a 4-5 paragraph rough response using a combination of real history mixed with their own creative endings.  

The mystery cubes will be collected along with the rough drafts tomorrow…if you have some trouble writing tonight, please do not show up with nothing written tomorrow, rather, show me that you took the time and at least tried and we will spend some more time on it in class together to make sure that you’re writing a true mystery and not simply listing ideas.

Non-Fiction Mystery Writing Topics

  • Oli- the Mary Celeste
  • McKenzie- Kentucky Meat Shower
  • Jordan- crystal skulls
  • Josh- kidnapping of Charlie Ross
  • Tiffany- kidnapping of Elsie Paroubek
  • Elijah- Easter Island statues
  • Lauryn- Nazca Lines
  • Kiara- Loch Ness Monster
  • Johari- Bermuda Triangle
  • Aniyah- Green Children of Woolpit
  • Clare- underwater crop circles
  • Chloe- Antwerp Diamond Heist
  • Jace- Phoenix Lights
  • Olumide- kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling
  • Zahra- kidnapping of Tara Calico
  • Jaiden- ?
  • Faith- kidnapping of Charlie Ross
  • Paislee- 4 submarines disappeared in 1968
  • Kennedy- the case of the Lindbergh baby

Homework 5/2

Math– 5B Textbook pgs. 129-130, Graphs and Probability, Lesson 1, #s 1-12, show any work


5C & 5S– complete up to #28 in your Web Quest packet, please read the sections while answering in detailed sentences whenever possible.

Gods and Goddesses Quiz tomorrow for 5S



Homework 5/1

Today was not our best day in terms of the talking and behavior so as a result, everyone in class had to write one set of presidents.  Unless told otherwise (in order take care of the few that were behaving), students are to write a second set of presidents this evening.


Social Studies– Gods and Goddesses quiz on Wednesday for 5S (notes should have been taken in class and some were posted below last week)

Math– we will begin our work on Chapter 11 tomorrow


Reading– read the first part of the story posted below up to the questions and where it says STOP,only.  We will complete the questions and read the rest of the story in class tomorrow.


Writing– complete our 5 paragraph On Demand prompt from class today using your notes during reading class to support your pre-planning using the graphic organizer.  I marked off on each students paper how much they wrote in 40 minutes during class with the rest to be completed at home.  I will be collecting both the On Demand prompt and the organizer for full credit.

Below I’m going to post copies of the notes and terminology we went over this morning.