Week of Aug. 26 – 29


This week we focused on story elements and are learning about character, plot, twists, and perspective. We read the story “Charles” and examined the characters in that story, along with the plot twist and the end. We are also reading “The White Umbrella” to help explore conflict in stories. As with all of the short story reading this quarter, students are expected to complete a tracker worksheet that uses the reading strategies to deepen understanding and serves as a discussion starter for our lit groups. Next week we will continue to learn about story elements and then begin our first narrative writing assignment on “small moments” that will be derived from their “Where I’m From” poems.


We have had time to reflect on the digestive system dissection from last week and have been learning about all of the functions, structures, and behaviors associated with digestion. Students made posters of the digestive system framed around key questions they will need to know and understand. They also completed a digestion chart that condenses the information for study. Next week we will carry on with learning the digestive system functions, structures, and behaviors, and then have a quiz on what they learned second lesson (Wednesday). On Monday in SI class we will do a comprehensive review on the material and take study notes. Below is a completed digestion chart for students to check and be sure they have it filled out correctly.

[gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/Digestion-systems-chart-answers.pptx”]


This week we continued with reviewing basic skills and took a diagnostic test over those skills to see where students are currently at. We will continue to review those skills in warm-ups, but have now shifted into our first topic of rational and irrational numbers. As part of exploring and understanding rational and irrational numbers we are working on how to take repeating decimals and convert them into fractions. Next week we continue with learning about rational and irrational number, converting repeating decimals, and then learning what makes an irrational number, irrational. These concepts are difficult and there is a great resources out there in Khan Academy that has videos to give students extra exposure to those concepts. I have posted below a few videos below from Khan Academy for students to watch. They should have also signed up for Khan Academy in class for their teacher to assign videos and practice work.





Social Studies

This week in social studies, students are learning about the four levels of questioning and learned about the first two, knowledge and comprehension. They also are being introduced to what a read and respond assignment looks like. Starting next week they will do a read and respond together as a class, but after that, they will have to complete one R&R individually each week. The assignment can be quite time consuming and they should work on it over a couple nights each week. Here is a link to the step-by-step process of completing the R&R. I have provided a sample below for reference. Finally, this week they will compete in their first CEFL game. This is a competition over current events knowledge that is played like an American Football game. They will compete in these events throughout the year, culminating in a playoff event where one team will emerge the victor! Next week will continue with learning the next two levels of questions, analysis and synthesis, and complete an R&R. I have also included a slideshow below that reviews the four levels of questions.

[gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/SampleReadRespond.docx”]

[gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/Levels-of-Questioning.pdf”]

Week of Aug. 11 – 15

First full week back! I will update this section of my blog each week with a recap of what has been happening in the four core classes (English, math, science, and social studies). As well as a peek at what will be happening next week. So if you have a child that responds, “Nothing” to the question “What did you do today?”, you can get hard facts from these posts. You can ask questions like, “That peristalsis lab seemed fun, what was your favorite part?” This is a good way to battle the nothings!


We have begun with a review of basic skills in math this week. We covered order of operations, fractions, decimal-fraction conversions, and even long division. I have posted a couple help sheets below for students (and parents) that might need extra review or to print as notes. Next week we will be continuing with basic skills review before getting into algebraic reasoning.

[gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/The-number-system.pdf”] [gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/Converting-Fractions-to-Decimals-and-Decimals-to-Fractions.pdf”]


We began with the poem “Where I’m From” which focuses on the memories of the author from childhood as related to objects. The students then needed to replace the objects from the authors childhood with their own. That needed to be typed out, printed and decorated this week. We also began to study the literary terms that we will focus on this quarter. There will be a quiz over these terms in a few weeks, and I made a Quizlet for the terms to help students study. It is found below and in a separate post on the blog. Next week we will start with a short story. They will read the story and then analyze it in regards to the literary terms and concepts for the quarter.


This week in science, we started by getting to know the students and a review of lab safety. Some blocks were able to get to our first lab on peristalsis (the wave like motion of muscles that allows you to swallow). This begins our first unit on body systems, with digestion being the first one we examine. Next week we will continue with learning about the digestive system. Students will be asked to compare the digestive system to other systems they know that have similar functions. The unit on body systems includes several dissections this quarter! A very helpful resources in Mr. Pasamba’s blog here. It will have all of the homework and an outline of that week in class. There is also a student resources folder on the blog that will have a copy of all the notes presented in class.

Social Studies

In social studies, students began with some perspective taking on world events and looking at their own lives. They found three pictures from the internet and then wrote a paragraph for each picture from their perspective. They are now working on reading and writing skills that will be very important to the social studies curriculum this year. They are working on summarizing skills, paraphrasing skills, and understanding when those can become plagiarism. Next week they will be learning how to do interactive reading that involves different levels of questions. Below you will find presentations for the interactive reading and levels of questioning.

[gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/Levels-of-Questioning.pdf”] [gview file=”http://laulob.ism-online.org/files/2014/08/Interactive-Reading-August-27.pdf”]