Sunday, October 25, 2015

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight make me a child again just for to-night! ~Elizabeth Akers Allen

When I was trick-or-treating age, I lived in Tampa, Florida, and Halloween was a very different experience. Left to our own devices and with seemingly endless blocks of houses to visit, our tiny troupe of witches, ghosts, and hobos in hand-made costumes wandered through dark and unfamiliar streets for hours, crossing paths with all manner and size of unrecognizable, like-minded revelers. As I think back on it now, I wonder how we ever found our way home safely!  

Lesson learned. When my own children began trick-or-treating, it was a family affair. There was usually an entourage of friends and parents strolling familiar neighborhoods together, enjoying a much safer and quite entertaining late fall evening. Often, we'd gather afterwards for cider and cookies while the children surveyed their "loot." 

Now-a-days, schools and community centers have Halloween parties in lieu of sending kids out to traipse darkened roadways. Our school's PTA is sponsoring a fun, safe way for children to gather in full regalia and travel "trunk to trunk," celebrating the holiday safely and within the confines of parents and friends. Won't you join us?

'Tis the season to deck your trunk, tailgate or hatch 
and be a part of this playful, whimsical holiday experience!

Where: School Parking Lot 
When: Saturday, October 31, 2015 
Time: 4:30‐6:00

Needing ideas for holiday fun? I found a site while browsing that looked like it had a multitude of ideas for those with"Halloween-age" children.  You can check it out HERE.


Remember to hit "REFRESH" if the videos 
don't load properly or seem out of place.



The earth is composed of 4 layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. The crust and upper mantle make up the lithosphere  -- the solid outer-part of the earth.   

The earth has both land and water, and so there are two types of lithosphere: oceanic and continental.  The lithosphere is rigid and is broken up into tectonic plates, which are always moving.  

Beneath the lithosphere is the asthenosphere -- the rocks in this part of the upper mantle are not rigid; they can flow like liquid or break apart like silly putty.

  • Earth's interior is constantly moving through the process of CONVECTION. This movement has a huge impact on the surface. 
  • Earth's plates move very slowly -- this motion is called PLATE TECTONICS. It forms oceans, continents, and mountains, and helps explain why and where earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes occur.  
  • Earth's tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle.
  • Many dynamic geologic changes happen at plate boundaries.

. . .where Scrat's deranged pursuit of the infernal acorn suddenly has world-changing consequences: a a continental catastrophic geologic phenomenon!

OK,OK, that was silly.  Here's a great explanation of Plate Tectonics!

Last week we introduced our review of Plate Tectonics with a visual journey to the 1906 SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE.

Confused by metrics? Use this Metric Converter -- kilometers to miles.

This Week:
Tuesday: First read of "A Little Background." Watch videos and discuss. Write 5 things you learned from 2nd video. (Go back and review as needed.)
Wednesday:  Health
Thursday: Pangea lab (think flower pot. . .) Complete packet.
For homework: Complete Pangea Puzzle.
Friday: Share puzzles, then, to preview PLATE TECTONICS--read article, then scroll to the bottom to answer 2 questions.  We'll also set up Earth Science Interactive Notebooks and include our Pangea puzzles.


Independent Project for the Week:  
Creating a TACKK!

Your email addresses are really going to come in handy for learning about Ancient Mesopotamia this week. This task will require you to create a [free] account with so that you can make your own permanent website.  You'll be able to work on it anywhere that has internet access. 

Your project will highlight some of the key points we've learned about Ancient Mesopotamia and allow you to present it in a thoughtful, creative way.  I will provide you with a paper that includes a Tackk Checklist and Content Options for the project.  Use it to guide your work.  You will be required to follow the guidelines and include at LEAST items.  
Are you ready? Click HERE to create your very own, very cool, totally awesome TACKK website. (Don't worry; you don't have to be a techie for this project. It's easy and fun to do!) Got questions? You can click on THIS video and  THIS link for more information. 

By the project deadline (TBA), you will email me.  Included in your email will be your name, a brief description of your project, and the url address of your project.  If for some reason I am unable to access your work, I'll let you know so that you can resubmit.

Monday:  Scary stories: are they done? 

Tuesday; I'm out today.  Let's work on our book projects.  You'll get all directions and materials in class!  Good luck; make your work positively awe-inspiring! (Don't forget borders. Use rulers for straight lines. . .)
Wednesday: Finish up stories / illustrate them.
Thursday:  Get out the campfire and the flashlights! Today we begin sharing!  Ooooh, I can't wait!
Friday: More (of our) scary stories to tell in the dark! 


"The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe

Read by James Earl Jones



6.NS.A.1 Interpret and compute quotients of fractions, and solve word problems involving division of fractions by fractions, e.g. by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.

Monday: Lesson 2.5: Model Fraction Division. Share and Show, pgs. 97-98. Homework: pgs. 99-100
Tuesday: More practice with faction division: worksheets packet to complete and correct together. Any free time can be used to silent read
Wednesday: Lesson 2.6: Estimating Quotients. Share and Show, pgs. 103-104. Homework: 105-106.
Thursday: Lesson 2.7: Divide Fractions.  Share and Show, pgs. 109-110. Homework, pgs. 111-112 
Friday: Lesson 2.8: Model Mixed Number Division.  Share and Show 115-116. Homework, pgs. 117-118.

Dividing Fractions

Do the Dance!

Estimating Quotients in Fractions

Model Mixed Number Division

I heard this today. . .

"I'm just not a Math person."


Do NOT perpetuate this pernicious myth!

Believing you aren't good in Math 
(or anything else for that matter)
can become self-fulfilling prophesy. 
Thing is, you actually are quite capable! 
So prove it!  

With hard work, preparation, and self-confidence, 

you can learn anything!
Just for fun (and a little extra practice):
  • Prime factors:  Want to practice? Play this cool game!!
  •  Need more help figuring out if a number is prime?  Check here!) 


Monday: Page 21
Tuesday: Page 22
Wednesday: Page 23
Thursday: Study!!
 Friday:  TEST

Bud Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis

Along with classroom discussion/activities:

Monday:  Chapter 10 -- Complete Exit Ticket.
Tuesday:  Chapter 11 -- Complete Exit Ticket.
Wednesday:  Chapter 12 -- Complete Exit Ticket 
Thursday: Chapter 13 --Complete Exit Ticket. 
Friday: Another Boo-Break! Reee-lax!



You can read Bud, Not Buddy online HERE. 

and the audio can be found HERE!


Not reading enough

makes you cranky!

Finish up your October Book Project 
and Contract for Friday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands; take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it." ~ John Updike

The term geography literally means "earth description." It defines what a particular location or region is like and how and why some places on Earth are alike or different from others. A enormous array of physical features characterize our planet -- climate, landforms, natural vegetation--and human beings. 

Human and physical characteristics of geographic regions have influenced the development of a vast number of distinct and diverse cultures  (the way of life that characterizes a group of people).  

This is what we learn about; it defines the connection between the Social Sciences and the Physical ones.

OCTOBER 19 - 23


Monday & Tuesday:  Sumerian Mythology and Human History

Let's watch the video (below) to learn about Sumerian writing and Mythology. We'll learn about the first great super-hero, GILGAMESH.

We'll also LEARN TO WRITE IN CUNEIFORM!  (Try THIS INTERACTIVE to write your name!)

ASSIGNMENT (of which there are two choices) Due Friday:

Intensely Inventive Choice:  Create an advertisement for an eternal youth potion like the one Gilgamesh sought.  What does it look like? How much does it cost? What must you do to get it?  Look at other advertisements to see how the use of color, visuals, and word choice, font, and placement all add to the allure!

Creatively Cooperative Choice:  Gilgamesh is the oldest story ever written! Use your thespian talents to [plan, practice, and] act out the story of Gilgamesh. (The gods created the hairy man Enkidu in the exact image of Gilgamesh.  Then a goddess dressed him in her clothing and sent him to earth. (Remember costumes!)
Ideas found here.

OK, creatively cooperative playwrights. . .

Feel free to use information found here: 

An excellent summary:

Lower Mesopotamia is located the modern country of Iraq, 
while Upper Mesopotamia is in Syria and Turkey.

For your listening pleasure:

Wednesday & Thursday:  

Hamurabi, King of Babylon, 
and his Code of Laws

Hammurabi (1810 BC - 1750 BC) was king of Babylon for 43 years.  He was a "warrior king" who conquered all of Mesopotamia, creating the first Babylonian Empire. Once his kingdom was established, he turned his attention toward improving the way of life for the people in his kingdom, embarking on many construction projects such as huge public buildings, tall temples, canals for irrigation, and aqueducts for carrying water.  

Hammurabi was the strong head of a strong government that ruled over its people with a tight grip.  He became most famous for enacting a new set of laws that he collected from all over Babylon and compiled into what became known as the Code of Hammurabi. These laws (There were 282 of them!) were famous not so much for what they said, but for what they did. They made clear for everyone what the laws were and how people who broke those laws would be punished.  No more could people claim that they didn't know what the laws were -- they were carved into stone columns called stelae that everyone could read and understand.

Some of his laws were extremely harsh! You can find all 282 of them HERE!

Now, there's no way we're going to have the time to go through them all, strange, gross, harsh, unbelievable that they may be, so. . . We'll spend class time analyzing some of these laws in cooperative groups and sharing what we learned with our classmates. Get ready to have some fun! 

Hammurabi's Code of Laws can be found HERE. Some particularly touchy situations can be found HERE.
FOR MORE FUN:  You think Hammurabi had some strange laws?  Our country has some pretty bizarre laws, too! Look HERE to read a few. . .  

HOMEWORK:  Now that you know a little more about Babylonian law, here's an assignment for you: Create a list of 5 laws and their punishments for the classroom. Hmm. . . 

Remember, the punishment is supposed to fit the crime (or will it be "an eye for an eye?).

How's your ZIGGURAT coming along?  Remember, it's due on the 6th!

Don't forget to complete your INTERVIEWS!  NOW DUE MONDAY.  Here's some cool information about Mesopotamian inventions you might like to read!  Check THIS out!

SPEAKING OF INVENTIONS. . .OK--this is hilarious!  
Check out 25 truly RIDICULOUS inventions!


Do you like scary stories?  
Me, toooooooo!

In case you didn't notice, we humans are hard-wired to tell, listen to, and react to stories of all kinds. Informational, fictional, realistic, or fantastical, stories intrigue us, entertain us, enlighten us, explain us. Everything's a story. . .

This Week:  Writing Your Own Scary Stories (oooooohhh!)

Writing a scary/mystery story is one of the most exciting ways to improve writing skills. Think about it--it's the kind of fiction you love; the characters are like you, the plot has lots of puzzles to solve, and ooh, the suspense! Well, this genre is just hard to put down!

Need a little ambiance to get those creative juices flowing? (Geesh, suddenly that expression sounds creepy!) Here's a little mood-enhancing sound effects  to put you in the MOOOOOD. Keep it low for best results. . .  


San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

On the morning of April 18, 1906, at precisely 5:12 a.m., the ground began to shake violently, rousing the residents of San Francisco, California.  After the initial tremor, the shaking paused for about 20 seconds, then resumed with catastrophic results.  The earthquake shifted the ground at an estimated 4 to 5 feet per second, and the earth ripped open--the rupture traveling at about 5,900 miles per hour. Though it was over in less than a minute, the earthquake and subsequent fires killed an estimated 3,000 people and left half the city's 400,000 residents homeless.

The San Francisco Earthquake is considered one of worst natural disasters in American history and one of the most significant earthquakes of all time.  As destructive as the earthquake was, however, the fires that burned for three days and three nights, some reaching as hot as 2,700 degrees, were more disastrous than the earthquake itself.

Estimated at between 7.8 and 8.3 magnitude, the earthquake was a result of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates sliding past each other by more than 15 feet (instead of the annual average of 2 inches). This phenomenon baffled geologists for more than 50 years until tectonic plates were more fully understood.

Tuesday:  What was it like?  Read the following accounts to find out what people heard, felt, and saw.

100 Years After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Wednesday:  Health
Thursday:  Final drafts of Lab Reports must be completed at home.         

Monday: 6.NS.B.4  Multiplying Fractions
Essential Question: How do you multiply fractions?
Assignment: Share & Show, pgs. 85-86

Multiplying Fractions

Simplifying Fractions


Tuesday: A Lesson of Choices - How to simply simplify! (Sort of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of lesson.)

Essential Questions: 
  • What are two strategies we can use to simplify fractions?
  • What is a useful technique for simplifying fractions before multiplying?

#1:  Simplifying Fractions Using Prime Factorization

#2:  Simplifying Fractions Using GCF

#3: Simplifying Fractions BEFORE Multiplying
by Using Cancellation

Need a little more help with Equivalent Fractions?
Click HERE for a cool way to use your multiplication chart to find equivalent fractions.  Click HERE for a multiplication chart.

For those caught up on all previous units, you have a week off.  For everyone else, you know what you have to do. Let's get it done!

Bud Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis

Along with classroom discussion/activities:

Monday:  Chapter 6, pgs. 45-52. Complete Exit Ticket.
Tuesday:  Chapter 7, pgs. 53-59. Complete Exit Ticket.
Wednesday:  Take-a-Boo-Break: 
Read-Aloud: Chapter 6 of Wait Till Helen Comes
Thursday & Friday: Chapter 8, pgs. 60-87. Complete Exit Ticket. 



You can read Bud, Not Buddy online HERE. 

and the audio can be found HERE!

Week of 12/1   Basketball starts for 3/4 and 5/6 (both coed).
Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-630, for 5/6. Coach is Laura Paquette

Dowling, Mike. "Gilgamesh."  Updated July 15, 2015 .  Web. October 19, 2015 Earth & Hands  Leaf design   Ancient Mesopotamia illustration   Hammurabi pointing  Man walking donkey  bouncing     Hammutabi lesson San Francisco fires Magic Potion bottle  Gilgamesh  Hammurabi  question marks