Monday, January 30, 2012

From the Classroom: Science Podcasts

Finally getting around to sharing the podcasts students finished last month...they had to research a topic about space and astronomy and then create a podcast about what they learned.

I thought they turned out pretty well. Have a listen to a couple:

Keturah & Selena:

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Shauntia & Tamerica:

Podcast Powered By Podbean

To hear the others, visit the home of our podcasts, Radio Free UPrep. I thought they turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Camp Money is Due Friday!

All camp money is due Friday and so is the emergency contact form. Don't have a contact form? Not sure how much you owe? I'm sending one home today with your balance written on it (if you sold candy).

Still don't have what you need? Shoot me an email and we'll take care of it.

Next week, we'll be sending home teacher contact info so you have everyone's phone number. Be on the look out for that.

In just two weeks, we'll be back won't be long now!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Middle School Orientation

You probably got an invite in the mail, but wanted to remind you about orientation night at University Prep Middle School January 26th at 6:00!

This will be a great chance to get an idea about what to expect in middle school. The principal, Nigena Livingston, and several teachers will be on hand to answer questions and give you the scoop on all UPAMS has to offer.

Homework this weekend

We've been studying odes during writing workshop. Odes are poems written in praise of someone or something. They're usually long, detailed, and they feature lots of comparisons and flowery, exaggerated language.

Odes often are written to PEOPLE, especially romantic interests. You may know the line, "How do I love thee. Let me count the ways." It's from an ode by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

This week, we read odes by the master of odes, Pablo Neruda. You've got to read the one we read today: "Ode to My Socks." It proves that odes can be about anything.

This weekend's homework is to write 3 odes! Be detailed. Be over-the-top. Be flattering.

Have a great weekend...see you Tuesday.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

List of Dates

With so much going on and so much coming up, I needed to put all the important dates that I can think of (for now) into a blog post. I'll also be sending them home in a memo tomorrow:

Friday Jan 20: End of 1st Semester
Monday Jan 23: NO SCHOOL
Tuesday Jan 24: Reading Interim Test
Wednesday Jan 25: Math Interim Test
Friday Jan 27: CAMP MONEY DUE

Friday Feb 3: NO SCHOOL
Monday Feb 6 8:00 am - Wednesday Feb 8 2:00 pm FIFTH GRADE CAMP

Friday, January 13, 2012

Out Until Thursday

Unfortunately, due to a death in my wife's family, I will be out until Thursday. I just wanted to let you know. Please encourage your child to do their best on the MAP test Tuesday and to be helpful to the substitute, Ms. Williams.

Thank you.

I'll still be available by email if there's anything you need.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Problem of the Week Vodcast

This weeks problem involves finding the total of 5 different fractions. Adding can be tricky when there are so many fractions. Also, don't forget that the answer should be written as a MIXED NUMBER.

I made a vodcast to help you with the problem. In the vodcast, I add 5 fractions together. I didn't pick the easiest fractions, but I think you'll get the idea..

NOTE: If you can't see the video, you'll have to visit the blog homepage.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Math Experiemnt

In an effort to deepen understanding about the fraction concepts we're studying, the fifth grade teachers are trying something new...we're switching classes during math time this week with the goal of mastering fractions.

Here's how it's working...

We gave a quiz before the holiday break. Based on those results, we've grouped the kids by area of need. The kids who need to work on the same concepts are grouped together and then sent to a teacher who has had success in that area.

I'm working with students on equivalent fractions. Mr. Robinson and Mrs. Martin are working on adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers.

There is also a large group of kids who showed on the quiz that they have mastered these ideas already. This group is working with Ms. Dinning this week on some enrichment activities involving multiplication and division of fractions.

We'll give a quiz on Friday to see how this turns out. I know that in my class things have been awesome so far. I think it will help them understand this tough concept a little better. And it's also nice to hear a fresh voice and different approach from a new teacher sometimes. Ask you child and see how it's going!

Deadline Clarifications

I hope the first week back has been going well for you. Here at school it's been terrific! Kids are working hard...they really hit the ground running.

I wanted to clarify some deadlines so you're aware of what needs to be worked on:

* Fantasy stories are due FRIDAY. These must be finished and typed in Google Docs. We've been working on them in school for a loooong time, and it's time to finish up.

*ALL slice of life stories must be done by FRIDAY! The minimum number of stories is 25.

*POW will be due Friday. It will come home today.

*CAMP MONEY (cash or money order only) is due January 27. That's 2 weeks from Friday!

Also, I want to remind all chaperones that we need your money on that day, too and we need all your paperwork and background checks ASAP!!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Great prizes! Take time to vote!

Can you spare 5 minutes? If so, our school could win a ton of technology. Here's what to do...

1. Go to:

2. Choose our state, district (University Preparatory Academy) and school (Just choose the first elementary option) from the lists.

3. Choose a wonderful teacher at UPA to nominate for the award

4. Skip the referral part if you want and choose "no" when asked to subscribe

5. Submit and then share this link with as many people as possible. We might win ipods or ipads for our school! Seriouly just email the link to this blog post to everyone you know, or post it on facebook and ask them to vote for the teacher that you did. We might win!!!!

Here are the contest details, it's all legit:

Thanks so much for taking the time to vote and send this to EVERYONE, you know!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed the first week of their break! I wanted to write and say Happy New Year and also to recognize students who've been working hard during the break.

The following students have posted MULTIPLE Slice of Life stories this past week:

Danielle, Alexandria, Romance, Keturah, Suhmer, and Kaylen...between them, they've posted over 20 stories!

Please keep writing and remember to comment on other people's stories, too!

I am hoping that everyone keeps writing and posting to edmodo. If you don't have a computer handy this week, just write them on paper and type them in when you get the chance.

See you January 9!