Wed May 6

Happy Seis de Mayo! Well, that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Just an ordinary Wednesday. We’ll start with another Mini Math Doughnut Competition at 9 a.m. in the interactive Classroom stream. I’ll start the competition at 9:15. That gives you 15 minutes to make sure you have all your answers done, and then it’s on! Remember, it’s just for fun. If your connection is slow, or if you’re late to the party, that’s just kinda the breaks, ya know? Thanks for being good sports about it. (By the way, I’m planning doughnut delivery for Thursday morning.)

I know you’re getting sick of all this adding and subtracting of fractions. It’s probably bending that last brain cell of yours in all kind of weird directions. But don’t worry! We’ll be moving on next week! Today in math I need you to take on these more challenging problems in which you’ll add mixed numbers with carrying. That means when you add the fractions, it’ll be more than one, so you’ll carry the whole number. Whew! Here’s my video about it. Do Worksheet G for classwork and Worksheet F for homework.

In Classwork you also have a short article about a “modern” Indian kid, you have your Perfect Paragraph editing assignment, and you have your usual End-of-the-Day Review Quiz. Remember, the Review Quiz is the MAIN thing I’m grading each week, so you really want to make sure you’re doing a good job on it.

On the Platy you have a history entry (the Death of Sitting Bull) and a literary terms entry. It’s free choice for PE today. That means spend 20 minutes or more at it and then report what you did on your End-of-the-Day Review. For read aloud, I’m postponing the Najork sequel a day because I want you to watch our two plays being performed by former classes. Watch them both. They’re fun. Here’s Cyclops (performed by kids that are graduating this year) and here’s Elephant’s Child (performed by last year’s class). Follow along with your script while you listen (if you don’t have it, go look for it in Classwork). We’ll have another Zoom practice tomorrow at the usual times…I think you’ll agree we’re not ready to record. If everyone will put as much effort into their lines as Parker, we’d be great.

Finally, will you please let me know if you’re getting overwhelmed. Is the workload to light, too heavy, or just right? How are things going? Email me if you have thoughts or comments. Take care!

Cinco de mayo!

Here’s a couple quick facts about Cinco de Mayo: it celebrates a victory over France way back in 1862. In Mexico it’s called “The Battle of Puebla Day,” but isn’t much of a big deal at all. In the U.S., however, it’s become a giant excuse to celebrate Mexican style and culture. So have at it today. Make a homemade pinata, watch Coco on Netflix, or get some take-out from a local Mexican restaurant. But do all that AFTER you get your little bit of school work done.

In Classwork you have a reading assignment about the TikTok app, a “How-to” paragraph rough draft, and your End-of-the-Day Review. On the Platy you have a new read aloud (How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsman), a PE workout (Gavin added a new dance workout), a history entry (Chief Joseph), and a math assignment reviewing subtracting mixed numbers. Here’s the video. For classwork do Worksheet B and for homework do Worksheet F. Remember, when you use the answer key to learn from your mistakes, you improve your skills. When you use the key to cheat or just to see if you got it right, you damage your skills. Do a problem, check the answer. If you missed it, figure out what went wrong BEFORE moving on to the next problem. If you get stuck, carefully study pages 276-277 in your math textbook.

Don’t forget about practicing your play script, homework reading from a chapter book of choice, and your DARE Family Talk #4. After that, have a great Cinco de Mayo!

Mon May 4

Welcome back! Quick reminders: Elephant’s Child play meets at 1:00 in Zoom; Cyclops meets at 1:30. Please practice before we meet!

At last check, only Parker, Laken, Kaidyn, Garrett, Bethany, Zoe, Meg, Gavin, Gunnir, Brody, Presleigh, Riley, Alie had turned in their Chapter Book Project.

We think we’ve got it tough living through the Covid crisis, but around the globe people are living through disasters that make our stay-at-home order look like a pajama party. Read about what it’s like to be a refugee, someone who has lost their home, their way of life, everything, in this Storyworks article. It’s in Classwork along your DARE Family Talk #4, a Perfect Paragraph assignment, and your End-of-the-Day Review.

For math, well, the quiz on Friday was kind of messy. So, today’s assignment takes us back a step. Read pages 268-269 in your math textbook and try out the sample problems. Also watch the short video for a different teaching perspective. Do Worksheet A for classwork and Worksheet G for homework.

For PE today, spend at least 20 minutes walking, jogging, biking, or hiking. Record what you did on your End-of-the-Day Quiz. By the way, a lot of you are still slopping through your quizzes, or not bothering to do them at all. When you get to the quiz, if you don’t know an answer, DON’T GUESS. Take the time to go back and review the material.

No history entry or read aloud today. Use that extra bit of time to get your chapter book projects turned in, to go back and submit Friday’s math quiz, and to practice your play part. Zoom ya soon!

Friday already?

Welcome to May, kids. I continue to be really impressed with the kids who are managing to show up every day, to get their work turned in, and to come to Zoom with a cheerful attitude. Awesome job!

Speaking of Zoom, our play practices were a bit rough. We’ll be practicing together again on Monday but you need to have read through your part a whole bunch of times by then–with an adult if possible. Also, when we meet you need to focus on the play reading. No doing other work at the same time. No playing with your pet dog, caterpillar, or tarantula. No watching TV or yapping with family members. If our “Zoomer’s Theater” is going to work, you need to focus on just one thing: our script. Asante!

Anyhoo… I’ve tried to keep things fairly simple today. For Math you have a “pop quiz.” It’s on page 266 in your math text book, but there’s a form in Classwork where you must submit your answers.

For reading all you’re doing is following along with me while I read a story about Sitting Bull called “A Boy Called Slow.” Listen to my video while you follow along with your eyes. The assignment is in Classwork.

You also have the usual stuff: a history entry, a literary terms journal entry, and your End-of-Day Quiz. For PE, go through our PE stretching routine in this order (write them down): Mountain, Tree, Cat, Downward-facing Dog, Cobra, Plank (followed by five push-ups), Roadkill, Dead Body, Rack, Leg Lifts (3 times), Bicycle (20 rotations each direction), and Happy Baby. Then repeat in reverse order: Bicycle, Leg Lifts, Rack…etc. until you get back to Mountain. Hold each position while you breath slowly in and then exhale out three times. If you’re doing this correctly, it should take you about 15 minutes. Don’t rush it!

Finally, don’t forget your DARE Family Talk #3 (questions about it on your End of Day Quiz) and your Chapter Book Project. Both are due. And if you haven’t checked your email to find out how you did on your Super Sentence test, do that too. After all that, go enjoy your weekend! Love ya, miss ya!

Yet Another Thursday

Elephant’s Trunk play group meets at 1:00 on Zoom. The Cyclops group joins at 1:30. Make sure you’ve practiced your lines before then. I’ll also talk with you at this meeting about how to share your Chapter Book Project. Those are the two important items today.

You also have your Super Sentence test. It’s a form. That means we’ll use our 9 a.m. interactive session for another Mini Math competition. You also have a history post, the sequel to Saving Sweetness on the Read Aloud page, and a math assignment, which covers adding and subtracting mixed numbers. Here’s the video. Do Worksheet H for classwork and Worksheet I for homework. Need more help? Check out my old Room 15 kid, Jordan Carter, teaching this math. It’s one of the better student-tutorials.

For PE it’s a free choice day. Just make sure you get some REAL exercise. Your heart should beat hard for at least 20 minutes.

Only 18 kids submitted yesterday’s End-of-Day-Review (Laken and Kenzie V. got 100%!). Those quizzes are the main thing I’m grading, so you need to get them done every day. Also, only these people got a passing grade for yesterday’s Super Sentence thread: Tahlor, Gavin, Kenzie G., Zoe, Madison, Brook, Lola, Presleigh, Meg, Kenzie V., Ansen, and Gunnir. The rest of you either didn’t show up or you didn’t leave any comments for anyone else. Dude.

Wed Apr 29

Hey hey hey! Lots of kids are continuing to do a GREAT JOB! Let’s keep that up. We had over 100 comments during our Super Sentence session yesterday, but only 14 kids participated. Let’s see if we can improve on both during today’s 9 a.m. interactive session in Google Classroom!

Today I want you to focus mostly on three things: 1.) Finishing your Chapter Book Project. It’s due tomorrow. 2.) Completing your math assignment and 3.) reading and practicing your play script (see the post in Classwork for your part). Aside from those things I’ve kept the day pretty light. You have a history entry. In Classwork you have a very short reading activity about a alligator on the lose in Chicago, and your End-of-the-Day Review. I’ve also posted a new Read Aloud, one of my favorite picture books about the Wild West. It’s called Saving Sweetness.

For PE I want you to go online and find a good workout we can post on the Platy. Make sure you’re surfing in safe mode, and make sure the workouts are kid-friendly. They can be Zumba, dance, fitness, or yoga, but I want to emphasize that you need to be careful when searching for one. Include the word “kids” in your search terms. Get help from an adult if you’re unsure how to stay safe on the Internet. Send me a link in Docs or by email if you find something you like.

For math, do Worksheet A for classwork and Worksheet B for homework. It’s mostly review, but you can use a trick called “cross multiplication.” The steps are 1.) use cross multiplication to convert to equivalent fractions; 2.) add; 3.) simplify, which may mean turning an improper fraction into a mixed number. Watch this video to see those steps. You can also watch the lovely Miss Rios show how to cross multiply in the video.

Tues Apr 28

Kids, you’re doing a wonderful job. Most of you are getting all your assignments in, and the quality of your work is improving, which is pretty impressive given that I’m not there in the classroom pushing you and nagging you. I want you to continue to do your best, but I also know that there is still a lot of stress in your households. I’m trying to keep that in mind as I grade your work and create assignments.

Well, today we’re starting a couple of new thingies. Our new read aloud is also our main reading assignment. It’s one of my favorite stories from Storyworks. It’s about a killer rooster and how this kid has to battle it. Were we back at CPE, we’d read this together as a class, but what I want you to do is read it along with me (it’s in Classwork). There’s not even a quiz with it (though there are a couple questions about it on your End-of-Day-Review).

The second new thingy is that we’re going to try some reader’s theater in Zoom. Call it “Zoomer’s Theater.” In Classwork you must pre-read the two “Zoom-Aloud Plays,” Cyclops and How the Elephant Got It’s Trunk, and request which one you want to be in. They’re both fun and silly, so you’ll enjoy them both. We’ll read them for the first time at our Zoom meeting on Thursday. We’ll practice for a week and then “perform” them at a recorded Zoom session. It’ll be great!

You also have another math lesson. I know, math can be SOOOOO boring, but you’re work here will pay off next year when you’re crushing it at Scenic while all those Mae Richardson kids are fumbling around trying to do something goofy like add denominators. Watch my videos (Part 1 and then if you need more help, Part 2). Your assignment is Worksheet A and your homework is Worksheet B.

It’s choice day for PE, you have another history lesson, this one about Jesse James, and you have an especially important entry for your Literary Terms Journal. Finally, you have a 9 a.m. Super Sentence session in Classroom. See you there!

Monday, April 27

I’m very proud of you kids today. Learning fractions is hard enough in the regular classroom. It’s even tougher online, yet you guys did a solid job on Friday’s test. Even when you got problems wrong, it was usually because you didn’t simplify rather than because of not understanding. So great job!

In math today you’ll be using all those skills to add fractions with unlike denominators. The key is that you have to create equivalent fractions before you can add. For example, before you can add 2/7 with 4/21, you must find a common denominator. By multiplying both the top and bottom numbers in 2/7 by 3, you create an equivalent fraction of 6/21. Now you have like denominators that can be added. 6/21 and 4/21 = 10/21. Be sure to simplify when possible. Here’s the video. Your classwork is Worksheet A and your homework is Worksheet E. Check yourself every few problems to see if you’re getting them right. If you’re not, ask for help in the Classroom stream. Be specific about the problem you’re stuck on. A classmate might reply more quickly than me.

Before I forget, in honor of Wild West Week, today’s Zoom meeting is at HIGH NOON. High Noon was when gunfighters would meet in the street to duel. High Noon means when the sun is directly overhead. Today’s Zoom theme is Sharing is Caring: have something other than a pet to share with the class (you know, like show n tell). It’s like WAY more civilized than a shootout.

In reading, you get to look at something you already know a bit about: The Mystery of Roanoke. This Storyworks article is written from the perspective of a kid your age. I think you’ll really enjoy it. It’s in Classwork.

You also need to be working on your Chapter Book Project. Your project is due Thursday, so don’t put off any longer. You can create a book report, a movie trailer, a poster, a diorama, a stop-action video of a scene from the book, . . . anything you want! I’ve re-posted the assignment in Classwork.

You also have the usual stuff: a clicker question and a new Super Sentence for the 9 a.m. interactive session, a history lesson, a neat PE challenge with Mr. Davenport (it’s in Classwork today), a DARE lesson, your End-of-the-Day Review, and the conclusion of Room of Shadows.

Have a great day!

TGIF! April 24

Then again, these days the weekend doesn’t feel any different than a Monday! Anyway, today is a pretty easy schedule. Here’s what’s going on:

MATH: Your big test. Don’t worry, it’s easier than the practice test yesterday, but before you take the test, check your email to see how you did on yesterday’s practice test (your math assignment). Learn from your mistakes by reviewing the problems you missed, THEN take the test. It’s in Classroom.

READING: Finish your chapter book project and get started on your project (if you haven’t already). Your final project is due next Thursday by Zoom time. You’ll find the assignment in Classroom.

There’s also the usual stuff: History (Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show), Room of Shadows (the big climax!), PE (choose a workout video), and your End-of-Day Quiz (which includes DARE questions). I also want you to spend some time exploring all the new CPE Web Activities. Staff have put a huge amount of time and energy developing web pages with fun and interesting activities for you to do at home. Spend at least 20 minutes exploring these pages and be prepared to report back on your favorites on the End-of-Day Review Quiz (in Classroom). The pages are on a tab up top called Home Activities.

Also, be sure to view the post below this one for our Students-of-the-Month for March & April. If it isn’t you, hang in there. Work hard, be kind, and keep learning and you will find success and happiness no matter of awards come your way or not. Have a great day and an even better weekend!


Because we didn’t get to name any award winners in March, I get to acknowledge SOTM winners for both March AND April. These four kids are getting this prestigious award because of the hard work they’ve been putting into since school closed. Every day they show up online, participate in all the threads, get their work in, and submit darn good stuff. I’m truly impressed. Congratulations to Gunnir Y. and Presleigh T. for being Students-of-the-Month for March, and to Zoe H. and Gavin F. for being SOTM for April. Thank you for being such great examples since we’ve started our remote instruction.