Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Yesterday we learned how to evaluate expressions when given the value of a variable.
For example:
t + 3 x 5 =
They gave us that t = 4
4 + 3 x 5 =
4 + 15 =
We would still have to solve the multiplication first due to the order of operations (PEMDAS)

In social studies we reviewed the difference between the Roman Empire and the Roman Republic.  We learned the the Empire was ruled by one ruler whereas the Republic was ruled by a few.  We also learned about the Hellenistic Age is which the Greek culture was spread through a vast land.  It was spread to any place that was conquered.  Keep reading 291-306 and you will do well on the midterm.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yesterday when I got to school I was unable to give the DA math test.  I did not have the correct copies.  I improvised and we moved on with our studies in math and social studies.  That being said, the social studies midterm will now be on Thursday instead of Friday.

In math yesterday, we reviewed the order of operations: PEMDAS (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication/division (left to right), and addition/subtraction (left to right)  We did a long example on the board that was more in depth than the ones that they were required to do for homework.   I showed them how I wanted them to show their work and that they needed to show each individual step of the process.  For example:
8 x 5 + (6^2 - 8 (1 x 1)) -4 =
8 x 5 + (6^2 - 8 x 1) - 4 =
8 x 5 + (36 - 8 x 1) - 4 =
8 x 5 + ( 36 - 8) - 4 =
8 x 5 + 28 - 4 =
40 + 28 - 4 =
68 - 4 =
If they do it in this manner it will prevent them from making silly  mistakes.

In math today and tomorrow, we will be working on evaluating an expression when given the value of the variable and writing an expression based on word problems.  For example:
X + 4 when X = 6; I would plug 6 in for X and solve:  6 + 4 = 10  So 10 would be my answer.
The other would be something like:  Johnny went to the store and bought some apples.  Then he bought 6 oranges.  If he bought 15 pieces of fruit, how many apples did Johnny buy?
They would have to come up with the expression X + 6 = 15

In social studies yesterday, we reviewed what Rome and Greece contributed to our system of government.  We learned that Athens was the birthplace of democracy.  We also learned that Rome had a democracy that was a little bit different.  It also included separation of powers, which meant they had more than one branch of government.  We know that the forum was the most important place in Rome.  It was where they had money changers, who exchanged currency, banks, sporting events, trials, basically anything that was important was done at the forum.  We also read about the Peloponnesian war, which was started because Sparta and other city-states in the Peloponnese were afraid that Athens was gaining too much power.  It ended when Athens was defeated.

We will continue to review some important concepts today as well.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  We are going to keep trucking through our standards in both math and social studies.  We have 3 more full weeks of school before the semester is over.

This week, we are going to be reviewing for our social studies midterm.  If you would like to help your child review at home, they need to read and understand all of the important concepts of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece on pages 291-306.  We will be reviewing them in class as well.  The social studies midterm will be given on Friday 12/2.

In math, we are moving into a new concept.  Today I am giving them a test to see where they are in math so far this year.  Starting tomorrow, we will be beginning to work with numerical expressions and how the different properties, such as the distributive, commutative, and associative properties work.  This will be our introduction into our algebra unit where we will be solving equations to find the value of a variable.  Also, we will be graphing equations as well.

We will be taking the chapter 6 test on these concepts on Thursday, December 8.  Before the three weeks is over, we will be reviewing previously taught concepts and be taking our district math assessment as well.   I will keep you posted as the weeks go on.

Welcome back!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Yesterday and again today we are having a math competition in class.  We also are working on our essays for our DBQ.  They are due today before the kids leave the classroom.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving break and is ready to start algebra when we return!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Today we will be taking our big test on decimals, fractions, and percents.  I think that the kids are going to do a great job on this test.  Most of them did very well on the review questions on Tuesday.  We also are going to be beginning our persuasive essays on our DBQ question.  I will be collecting the DBQs today so that I can upload the grades onto Edline.

The debates yesterday went okay.  Some classes did a better job than other classes, but it was definitely a learning experience for all of us.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Yesterday wasn't so bad.  I think the kids got it.  Some even came up with their own ways to solve them.

Today in class we are going to be actually doing our debate.  We are also going to be calculating the actual percent of a number.  It is going to be a good day.  I can feel it already.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Sorry it has been so long since I have been on.  Wedding plans and my son being sick has been very hectic.

This week, we are finishing up our unit on fractions, decimals, and percents.   We will be having an end of unit test on Friday.  The kids got a chance on Tuesday with the sub to do a few pages of review.  If they didn't  have problems with any of the sections, then they will do fine on the test.

We still have two new concepts to learn today and tomorrow.  We are going to begin with estimating percents today.  This topic is a little tricky, but I will explain.  If the question is asking ABOUT how much is 78% of 309,  the kids would round that to 80% of 300.  There are a couple of ways that they can then calculate this.  They can multiply .8 * 300 and they would get 240, or they could look at 300 and think, what is 10% of 300.  They would get 30, then multiply it by 8 to get 240.  They also could set it up like a ratio and do 80/100 = x/300.  They know that they have to multiply 100 * 3 to get to 300, so they would do the same to the top and do 80 * 3 and get 240.

Tomorrow, we will be learning how to find the exact percent.  This will be a review on how to multiply decimals.  I try to remind them that when they see the word of in a word problem, it means to multiply.  So if the question asks for 76% of 352, they would multiply 352 times .76 and get 267.52.  This is how you would find an exact answer.

We are going to be beginning our debate in social studies today.  The kids are going to meet with their teams and formulate how they are going to go about defending their choices so that they are well prepared for tomorrow's debate.  On Friday in social studies when they finish their math test, they can begin working on their culminating essay for the DBQ.  It is a persuasive essay on Rome or Athens, which had the better system.

Since I was out on Tuesday, I am going to give them time next week to work on their essays as well.  If they want to work on it over the weekend they can.

I hope this gets us all caught up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Today we are going to be continuing our journey through the DBQ:  Citizenship in Athens and Rome: Which was the better system?  The kids did well yesterday on the first two documents, so we are going to be analyzing the next two documents.

We reviewed the homework from Tuesday night yesterday.  The kids seem a little more comfortable with the skills.  We are going to continue on our journey today.  We are going to be ordering 3 or more fractions from least to greatest.  The students have a choice to either find a common denominator for all of the fractions/ mixed numbers, or they can turn them all into decimals or percents and order them that way.  Whichever way is easiest for them is what I want them to use.  We are going to be finishing the workbook pages mostly in class, but they will be able to bring it home this weekend to be checked or to finish it if they don't finish it in class.

Have a great long weekend!  I will talk to you all again on Monday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today I will not be at school.  I have a meeting up at the district.  The kids are going to continue working on their new DBQ about Athens and Rome:  Which was the better system?  They are going to be analyzing the first two documents and answering questions on them.  If they don't finish them in class, then they will have to finish them at home tonight for homework.

In math yesterday, we worked on converting percents greater than 100% and less than 1% to fractions and decimals.  Many of the kids did fine, but I saw some confused faces.  If your child had a hard time with last night's homework, I suggest that they practice some more problems out of the text book.  I believe it was 5-4 part B.  Don't quote me on that one, I don't have my workbook with me.

We will continue reviewing all of the skills that have been taught daily so that they can keep practicing what we are doing.  This is a long chapter and I want to make sure they have a firm grasp on everything that has been taught.  Some of the main things that they need to know are:
1.  A fraction bar means divide, so if you are turning a fraction into a decimal or a percent, you can divide to find the answer.
2.  A percent is out of 100, so if it is a decimal, you can move the decimal 2 places to the right, or multiply times 100 to turn it into a percent.  If it is a fraction, if you get the denominator to 100, then the numerator is your answer.
3. When going from a decimal to a percent, you can move the decimal two places to the RIGHT, but if you are converting from a percent to a decimal, you move the decimal two places to the LEFT.

This is all going to become more important as we begin to work more with comparing numbers that are written in all different formats.  Also, we are going to start working with finding the percent of a number and estimating what we think it should be as well.

I have received t-shirt orders from about 1/2 of the 6th graders.  They are due by November 15th, which is next Tuesday.  If you have not yet turned them in, please try to get it in by Thursday or Monday.  Thank you!

Monday, November 7, 2011


We will begin another week.  First let me remind all of you that there is no school on Friday.  It is a short week, so we need to work hard this week to get finished with everything.

This week, we are going to continue our work  with converting decimals, fractions, and percents.  We are going to also be looking at percents that are greater than 100% and less than 1%.  This may be a little more confusing for them.  We will continue to review all of the concepts that have been learned so far.

In social studies, we are going to continue our studies of Ancient Rome.  We are going to be beginning another DBQ.  It is "Citizenship:  Which is the better system, Athens or Rome?"  It is going to be more fun than the last one because the students will be choosing a side.  They will get to have  a debate.  It will also include writing a persuasive essay at the end.  This is good because that is what they are required to do on their writing assessment.

So all in all, let's work hard and getir' done!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today we learned how to turn a percent into a fraction.  The kids picked up on this one very quickly.  When turning a percent into a fraction, you put the percent over 100 and reduce the fraction.  For example, 65% would be 65/100 which then would divide by 5/5 and you would get 13/20.

In social studies, we researched a couple of the important Greek philosophers and found out that Hippocrates was the father of medicine and a great physician.  We also found out that Archimedes was an inventor, and scientist, and a mathematician.

Tomorrow we will be learning how to turn fractions into percents.  We will also be doing a reader's theater on Julius Cesar.  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Greek gods and goddesses!!!


Today we learned about changing fractions into decimals.  We know that a fraction bar means to divide, so if we divide the numerator by the denominator, we can convert them into decimals.   For example 4/5 is equal to 4 divided by 5.  When we divide, we see that 5 cannot go into 4, so we add a decimal and a zero.  We know that 5 can go into 40 - 8 times, so we know that 4/5 is equal to 0.8.

In social studies we are continuing our study on the Roman Civilizations.  We will be look at some of the philosophers that were important in Ancient Greece and Rome tomorrow.  I am going to take pictures of the Greek gods and goddesses so you can all see the fabulous work that the kids are doing!

Thank you so much to all of you that came to meet with me last night!  It was a great night and I look forward to meeting with all of you next semester.

Ms. D :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Today in class we learned how to convert decimals into fractions.  We learned that if you read the decimal properly, it tells you how to make it a fraction, then you just reduce.  For example, 0.35 is read zero and thirty-five hundredths, so you would write it with 35 on top and 100 on the bottom, then you would reduce by dividing by 5 which would give you 7/20.

In social studies we are beginning our unit on Ancient Rome.  We read part of chapter 13 in class that talked about the Roman Republic and answered some comprehension questions with a partner.

I gave them time in class to work on their homework so that they wouldn't have much if any left to do.  If you celebrate Halloween, have fun trick-or-treating.