Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Punday



  1. 1.
    a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.

Hee hee.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January's Text-Based Responses


In class today we practiced answering text-based questions using the R.A.C.E. method. One of the articles our morning class read was on the Civil Rights Movement. Here is Hayden's response to the question According to the text, in what ways were black Americans' civil rights being violated? Notice how his answer is complete? He restated and answered the question, cited information directly from the text, and explained his reasoning. Way to go Hayden!


The afternoon class read this letter from a student to Mr. Peralta, a guest speaker who gave a presentation to his class.  

[click on the letter to enlarge it]

Here are thorough answers from two students (or should I say TBR Experts!)...

Awesome thinking Zion and Kaya!

Your assignment this week is to read the passage below. Then, think about the question. Write your response in your notebook, edit it, and k-mail it to me by Friday. 

Do you live in a rural, urban, or suburban area?
Give evidence from the text to support your answer.

Remember to answer the question completely using R.A.C.E. 
Then, check spelling, capitalization and punctuation before k-mailing it to moi.

I look forward to your k-mails!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Punday



  1. 1.
    a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.

Mrs. Sol's Class is on the lookout for puns. 

A pun is a play on words, like this:

or this...

Be kind to your dentist. 
He has fillings, too.

or this...

Yes, some puns are cheesy. (No pun intended.)

If you pay attention you'll notice them hiding in books, in conversations, online, 
on television, and other places. 

If you think of a punny pun or if you find words punning around, send them to me.

I'll post them here on Sundays Pundays. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Student Showcase!


Oh how I love seeing student work.
Let me count the ways...

Check out these awesome projects by my awesome kids

Benjamin Franklin By Makenna
Early Americans Presentation

Miky's Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe Shield
 Book Report Project
Narnia by Jacob
Book Report Project

Navajo Weavers Project by Arinne
Early American Art

Ship of Adventure by Donovan
Book Report Project

Excellent work! Keep it up!

Friday, January 9, 2015

January Quick Writes!


Okay, I'll admit it. My all-time favorite class activity would have to be Quick Writes. Seriously. I love them for many reasons. First of all they are fun to listen to as students read them aloud. Plus, it's surprising to hear the many stories that come from the same prompt. They are also extremely creative and range from fantasy to science fiction to adventure to [insert genre here]. Lastly, I am always amazed at what kids can write in only 3 minutes!

When will you hear stories that involve
bubble gum, 
a friendly scarecrow, 
aurora borealis,
Santa Claus,
 a yeti
AND Bigfoot?

During a Quick Write session, of course. 

I've taught grades 3-12 online for the last nine years and Quick Writes always get an enthusiastic thumbs up from my students! Here are a few from this month.

I decided to follow the huge footprints in the snow when suddenly ... there was no more snow! I looked up and it was warm. I felt the warm summer breeze on my face and I realized it was summer. Then I looked behind me and it was snowing with a blustery winter wind. I decided to follow the warm summer breeze path, instead of the freezing cold winter path. While I was walking, I realized I was passing the same thing on the summer path that I passed on the winter path... (to be continued)    - By Miky

I decided to follow the huge footprints in the snow when suddenly ... there was a huge abominable snow man! I screamed and ran, but he blocked me with his huge hand. He said,"Don't worry, I won't hurt you. Humans taste gross.Come and be my friend." "Okay" I said nervously. So we talked, it turned out he was nice. We became good friends. Now, every winter he will come out of his cave. But only if you will be his friend, if you are afraid, he will only look like a hill of snow.   - By Zion

I decided to follow the huge footprints in the snow when suddenly ... big foot jumped out of the trees and roared at me. I ran into a cave far away until I lost it; I was safe until, it found me and ate me. When I woke up, I found myself inside big foots stomach!  I felt like I was inside a giant pool of mossy, gross mud. Even though it was gross, it felt warm as a hot tub (I liked it that way). After a second everything was pitch black. A moment later, I woke up sitting in bed!  - By Garrett

See what I mean? Same prompt, super creative, but very different stories!


Send me your Quick Write if you want to share on the blog or in Author's Chair.

What can you write in 3 minutes?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Comparing Big Juicy Decimals


If you ask me, 2015 is the perfect year to learn about comparing decimals to the thousandths using <  >  and = symbols. Am I right?

You can compare many things in life, such as cats and mice...

You can also compare numbers.

Before we go any further, let's time travel back to third (or maybe second) grade.

In your younger years you might have learned about alligators who liked to eat numbers. 

BIG numbers.


The alligator's big mouth and sharp teeth always opened to the bigger number,
as do the and >  symbols.

Even though we are big fifth graders, we can continue to use this visual to remember the correct way to write the greater than and less than symbols. I still do and I'm an old lady.


Now let's talk about comparing crazy-big numbers with multiple digits and decimals! This is actually really fun. You always start with the digit that has the greatest value (the one on the far left). Compare the numbers with the same place values. If they are the same, move to the right until you find numbers that are different.

The numbers above start out the same 452. However, when you get to the tenths column, you notice that the numbers are different . Well, which number is greater (or larger) 7 or 2


452.781  >  452.209

(452.781  is greater than  452.209)

Done! Move on!

Check out these examples below. The highlighted digits are the ones we compared to find out which was greater. Notice how they have the same place value? That means they can be compared.

Here are a few helpful resources for this concept...

(movie & info)


(lesson & game)

(interactive decimal sort)


Check your k-mail for a printable version of the notebook page for this week. You can use the Grip and Rip trick to quickly add it to your spiral. Here is a look at my notebook page. Please make sure your spiral is up to date before next Tuesday's class!

Click on any picture on this blog to enlarge it.


Many student have already completed the Quick Check. If you have not, please send me a k-mail numbered 1-8 with your answers. I'd like to have all Quick Checks recorded by Friday. Thanks!

See you later, alligators.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Welcome January!


Welcome back!

Here is our class calendar for January.

Click on the image to enlarge it and check your k-mail for a printable version.

Our first semester ends on January 30. Try to complete 50% of your courses by the end of the month! Report cards will go home in February.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

365 Grateful


Here's a fun and rewarding challenge for 2015.

Document the things you enjoy about each day.

What are the good things?  Who do you appreciate? What means a lot to you?

Take a photo. 
Write a quick sentence.
Think positively.

For more info go to

Gratitude is a powerful thing.

A New Adventure


What will 2015 bring?

I'm excited to find out!