Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Today is the last day of February!  I can't believe it is already going to be March.  This year is flying by.

Yesterday in class, the kids seemed to do very well with the mean, median, mode and range.
Today we are going to be working on a project that is due on Friday.  Everyone must participate either in a group or individually on the project.  They are going to be creating a poster for mean, median, mode, and range and illustrate them so that they can remember what they stand for and help other kids remember as well.  The grade level is going to be voting for them to see which one is the best.  I want them to be in color.  I will take them to a print shop and turn the winner into a colored poster and have it laminated and distribute it to the other math teachers in the building to hang up in their rooms for when they teach it as well.  I hope this motivates them to do a good job.

In social studies, we will be beginning the background essay tomorrow.  I am trying not to do anything new with them while the GSP kids are out of the room.  I will be giving extra credit for the posters.  It will go onto their DAILY grades.  The better they do, the more credit they can get.  Anywhere from 25 to 100 points, depending on the quality of work.  GSP kids are welcomed to participate in this contest as well.

Have a great Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Today is another day.  Yesterday was a packed day and went relatively well.  The kids are still having a hard time with implementing the use of fractions when they are asked to apply them to word problems.  They have to keep practicing these old skills so that their daily grades begin to get better.  Today we will be doing a 4 square on percents.  One Thursday it will be on rates/ratios, and on Friday on comparing and ordering fractions.  Maybe taking 5 minutes to review these concepts the night before would be helpful.

Today, we are going to continue working with graphs and work on median, mode, and range of data.  Things  that you should remember are:
When working with data, make sure you always put it in numerical order from least to greatest before doing anything else.
Mean = average (add up all the numbers and divide by the quantity of numbers you added)
Median = the number in the middle (this is like the median of the road, and is done after they are in order)
Mode = the number that appears the MOST often (this can be more than one number)
Range = the data from the smallest number to the largest number

Tomorrow, we will be creating posters to help us remember what these words stand for and how we compute them.

In social studies, we are going to be reading over the background information and answering the questions.  This DBQ on the Silk Roads is going to be a little different.  The kids filled out a profile sheet yesterday on the type of traveler they are going to be as we take our journey.  They are going to be expected to make a journal and look through the eyes of the traveler they have created.  It should be a fun way to end our DBQ lessons for the year.

A quick reminder for all, parent teacher conference night is tomorrow night.  If you would like to set up a conference, please contact me via email and we will work out a time.

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

Monday, February 27, 2012


We have a huge day ahead of us today.  After a restful weekend hopefully, we are starting something new in math class today.  We are going to be learning about our favorite terms, mean, median, mode, and range and learning how to construct graphs and read them this week.  This chapter should be a pretty easy chapter for all of the kids as it should be a review for them.  We also are going to be going over the math test from last week.

In social studies we are beginning our final DBQ.  It is on the silk roads.  There will not be an essay at the end this time as the whole time we do it, they are to be keeping a journal.  They will know what is expected of them in the journal.  If they all do a good job on their journals, they will not have to write the essay.  If they choose to slack off and give me "slop" for work, then I will implement an essay at the end.  I know I will get some great things from all of them.

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Due to science fair yesterday many kids did not finish their math tests.  I have extended it, and they have time to finish them today.  Then we are going to go over the questions and they will have the rest of the period to work on their DBQ essays.  The essays have been extended until Monday.  I did this as well because of science fair.  On Monday, we will be starting a new chapter on mean, median, mode, range, and graphing.  We also will be starting our last DBQ on The Silk Road.  This time, there will be a journal that the kids will be keeping as we go through the DBQ.  If they do a good job on the journal, they will not have to write an essay at the end.  I encourage them to do the journal, it will be more fun.  Also, there is NO MATH CLUB this morning.  I cancelled it due to the face we were already testing on the material and haven't started anything new.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Today is test day!!!  After working through the review sheet yesterday, I think the kids are well prepared for this test.  They need to take their time and work each problem step by step using the formulas and they will do just fine on this test.

Also today, students will be getting pulled for science fair presentations.  If they do not have time to finish their test, I will give them some time tomorrow if need be.

In social studies, DBQ essays are due tomorrow!  I hope the kids have been working on them a little each night so that they don't feel overwhelmed.

Keep up the great work!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today we are going to be doing a study guide for the test tomorrow in math. I will give the kids time to work on it independently and then fix their answers so that they have something to study from for the test.  I will be providing them with the formula sheet for the test as well.

While they are working on the study guide I will be grading the DBQs so that I can hand them back and they can use them to work on their essays.  They will have time today if they finish their study guide early and time again tomorrow if they finish their test early to work on them.  Hopefully with all of the practice we have had writing these essays, it won't take them too long to write.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Welcome back from a three day weekend.

I hope we are all ready to finish up with our geometry unit.  We will be testing on the chapter on Thursday.  It will include calculating the perimeter of all objects as well as calculating the area of all object.  It will also include the new topic we are going to be working on today, which is calculating the volume of a rectangular prism.  This is done by multiplying the base times the height, times the width.  We are also going to continue reviewing area of composite figures.  Make sure your kids are practicing things like adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals, and working with mixed numbers.  This is where they are making most of their mistakes.

In social studies, we are going to be reviewing the documents that we did not go over in class.  Their essay on this DBQ is going to be due on Friday.  I am not going to be giving an outline, but the rubric is still posted.  Also, they can look off of their outline from the last DBQ to make sure that they have all of the elements of a good persuasive essay.

Have a great day!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Yeah, it's Friday!!!

Well, yesterday went better than I thought.  I kids took good  notes and caught on quickly to a tough topic.  We are going to practice it some more today in class as well.  We are going to move on to documents E and F today so we can finish up this DBQ.  We only have one more to go after this one, then we can go back to project based learning in social studies.  I can't wait!!!

Have a great weekend and see you all on Monday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Well, yesterday seemed to go well.  The kids got quite a review on the skills that we have learned so far in geometry.  We are going to be testing on this area on Thursday of next week, so they still have a week to prepare.  If you would like to help them prepare, they can work through the test or the review problems in the book to make sure that they are understanding all of the information that will be on the test.

Today in class, we are going to be working on the area of composite figures.  This is a combination of what we have already learned and is a little tricky.  We are going to take our time and work through it today and tomorrow, but the kids really need to be focused today.  The composite figures are two or more figures that have squished together to make one.  They don't always give you all of the measures of the sides, so you have to combine what we learned with perimeter to find the measure of the sides, and then go from there with the areas.

In social studies, we are going to continue on with documents B and C in class.  Whatever we don't finish in class will be homework today.

Have another wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Another great day at school has come and gone.

Today we are going to be reviewing how to calculate the area of different shapes.  The GSP kids will be gone and I am not going to start something new without them.  It will be a day of review and catching up for those that have missing assignments.  I will hold short conferences with the kids about the areas that they need to work on as well.  Hopefully this will help guide them through studying for the FCAT.  Don't forget that I have posted the FCAT FOCUS modules online for you guys to start working on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I gave a little misinformation yesterday on my blog.  We did not do area of irregular shapes, but we did the perimeter of them.  When calculating the perimeter, you have to make sure that you add up all of the sides.  A few things to watch out for are that sometimes they don't give you all of the values, you have to find them first, and make sure that all of the units are the same as well, if not, you will have to convert them first.  A strategy that can be used to help make sure you have added everything is that if you highlight a line as you add it, then you will know if you have added every line or side to your total.
Today in math, we are going to be calculating the surface area of our boxes and decorating them as well.  When we are finished with that, we may move on to area of irregular shapes if we have time.  Otherwise, we will be just doing social studies.

In social studies, we are going to be examining the first two documents that will help us determine the type of ruler that Asoka was.

Have a "lovely" day!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Good morning!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Today in math, we are going to continue our journey through the world of area.  We are going to be combining what we have learned so far and finding the area of irregular shapes.  This should be a fun one.

In social studies, we are going to be working through the background essay and questions from Friday.   We didn't have time to get to it.

That's all for today!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Yesterday in math we learned how to calculate the circumference of a circle.  We also learned some vocabulary words like: circumference, pi, radius, and diameter.  The formula for the circumference is
C = 2 x pi x r or C = d x pi.  The kids seemed to catch on to this pretty quickly.  We also reviewed rates/ratios again yesterday in a 4 square on the board.  This did not go that well.  We will continue to revisit old skills daily to help them for the FCAT.  I have uploaded all of the modules for FCAT FOCUS.   The kids can start working through them at home to help them prepare as well.

In social studies, we began our DBQ on Asoka.  We talked about the question, does the ends justify the means?   This was  a warm up to help us think about Asoka from all perspectives in making our decision on whether we think he was a ruthless conqueror or an enlightened ruler.

Today in math we are going to be learning the formula for the area of a circle which is A = pi x r^2 .  I think this will come easily to them.  In social studies we are going to be reading the background essay in the DBQ and answering the questions.  We will also be restating the question on the 3rd page, which should be in their introduction paragraphs when they write their essays.

Have a great weekend!  Talk to all of you on Monday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


We got through trapezoids yesterday.  The kids seemed to get it quickly.  I have assigned them an extra credit project.  They will get out of it what they put into it.  They are to design a city or world of some sort that has as many geometric things in it as possible.  They get points according to how many geometric terms that can put on it. They also get points for calculating the area of buildings, etc.  on their maps.  If they use decimals and mixed numbers they can get even more points.  They only get points if their calculations are correct.  I am then going to hang them up around the room when they are finished.  These points will count towards their daily grades which are the ones that are not helping them right now.

Today in math we are going to be starting something new.  We will be working on calculating the circumference of a circle.  We also will be beginning our DBQ finally.  Have a great day and talk to you all  tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


The week is going by quickly again!  Today we are going to be reviewing trapezoids.  I think the kids are getting better at this the second time around.  You know what they say, "Practice makes perfect!"

Hopefully we will be moving on and starting the DBQ tomorrow.  I don't want to start it on GSP day.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well, there was a new course of action taken yesterday.  When I began to review parallelograms, we needed more work that was expected, so we have slowed down a  bit.  Today we are going to be reviewing triangles and doing a lot more practice with them so that the kids get a great understanding of how to use the formulas.  We also didn't get a chance to start our DBQ yesterday, so we hopefully will be doing that today as well.

Have another great day!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Good morning all!  I hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to get back down to business.  This week we are going to continue our journey through calculating area, perimeter, and circumference by using the formulas provided.  We will keep practicing and hopefully will all be comfortable with it by the end of the week.

In social studies we are going to be beginning another DBQ on Asoka.  At the end we will be writing another persuasive essay on the type of ruler we think he was.  This one and one more and we are finished with DBQ's for the year.  Yeah!

See you all in a bit!  Have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Hello all.  Thank goodness it is Friday!!!

We had a good day yesterday.  The kids learned how to apply the area formulas for a rectangle, a parallelogram, and a triangle to real world problems.  They seemed to catch on quickly.  We are going to review the process in which they can find the base or height when given the area and one of the two.  That seemed to be the hardest part for them to understand.  They had an opportunity to get extra credit on both pages if they did both the evens and the odds last night for practice.  I am hoping this helps some of their grades.  Also, we are going to be learning how to find the area of a trapezoid as well.  They will be provided with a formula sheet to use on the test as well as on the FCAT, so we are practicing how to use it as we go.

In social studies we watched a video about ancient Egypt.  We will be watching another video again today.  Next week we start another DBQ on Asoka!  So far, the essays on the Nile are MUCH better than the ones on Hammurabi.  I am hoping this will boost their writing ability as well as their social studies scores.  Way to go kids!!! Great work!

Have a great weekend and will talk to you all on Monday morning!


Good morning again!

Yesterday was a productive day.  We reviewed how to write algebraic expressions from words as well as inequalities.  Today we are going to be starting something new in math.  We are moving into the geometry and measurement section.  We are going to be using formulas to solve different types of area problems.  The formulas will be given to them on a formula sheet, the part that gets sticky is when they add in decimals and mixed numbers into the equations.  The other tricky party is when there is a shaded area and a non-shaded and you have to subtract them to get the answers.  We will be chugging through so that we can get to everything before FCAT.  Keep working hard.

We worked on our DBQ essays yesterday as well.  I had about 15 kids who have already turned them in.  I will be getting them back to you ASAP, they take a while to grade.  I will be posting updated math and social studies grades this morning.  Keep working hard kids!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Well, it is officially the first day of February.

I was so proud of the kids yesterday because for the most part they all did very well on their math test.  When they were finished they had about 30 minutes to work on their DBQ essays in class.  Today I am going to give them more time to work on their DBQ essays unless I notice them wasting my time.  When they all begin to get off task, I have a math activity planned for them to practice algebraic expressions and inequalities.  All in all, it should be a good day.