Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Field Trip is Set

Boyden Cavern
Saturday, May 14th

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The IPods are in!

We spent our first week using the Ipods and it was great fun!
Monday was our first day. We spent over an hour just finding out how to
use them and exploring all the fun apps and podcasts that are on there.
The rest of the week we used them to practice our reading fluency.
There are lots of other fun activities planned for using them everyday
when we come back from vacation.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

G-2 Makes Electromagnets

G2's first video this year!!

At the beginning of the school year, we got these great new Mac computers that most of the teachers are still learning how to year. This week we received a very helpful tutorial from one of our aides, Mr. Lugo. Thanks to him, I was able to put together our first video on electromagnets.
It is a little rough around the edges, but not too bad for a first try.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Multiplication Facts and Division Rules

Associative Property
changing the way the factors are grouped does not change the product
2 x (8 x 9) = (2 x 8) x 9

Commutative Property
changing the order of the factors does not change the product
2 x 8 = 8 x 2

Identity Property
1 x a number = the smae number
1 x 55 = 55

Zero Property
0 x any number = 0
55 x 0 = 0

Division Rules
1. Any number divided by 1 = that number
55 divided by 1 = 55

2. Any number divided by itself = 1
55 divided by 55 = 1

3. Zero divided by any number is 0
0 divided by 55 = 0

4. You cannot divide a number by 0

Monday, September 27, 2010


Materials for the school fundraiser will come home today. This is how we pay for any
class field trip we take. Please help us out in any way you can.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Conductors, Insulators and Resistors

These are things that help us control the flow of electric current.

Conductors allow electricity to flow easily. Example: copper wire

Insulators stop the flow of electric current. Example: the plastic covering on a wire

Resistors slow down the flow of electric current. Example: the filament in a light bulb.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Electrical Circuits

Series circuits - one path, if one light goes out, they all go out, all resistors get the same amount of energy

Parallel circuits - two or more paths, if one light goes out, only that light goes our, each resistor only gets the amount of energy it needs

Both circuits all electrical current to flow.
Both circuits use an energy source, conductors(metal wire), insulators(plastic covering),
resistors (ex: light bulb), and a switch

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Math Magician is fixed

The link at the right for Math Magician has been fixed. Try it out. Practice your multiplication facts!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Parts of Electric Circuit

Here is a link to an interesting video on someone who work with electricity every day.

1. Energy source - battery
2. CoWnductor - allows electricity to flow easily
3. Resistor - slows down the electric current
4. Insulator - stops the electric current
5. Switch - closes or opens the loop

Monday, August 23, 2010

Facts of the Week

We are trying something new to get those multiplication facts memorized quickly.
Each week we have 4 facts to practice.
Practice them everyday
...while eating breakfast, lunch and dinner the car
...before video games a tree
...on the way to soccer practice

you get the idea!

Say the facts + the answer 5 - 10 times each.

this week's facts are:

4 x 9 = 36
8 x 7 = 56
6 x 7 = 42
9 x 8 = 72

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Planning our Writing - Power Outlines

4th grade is a big year for writing

We use graphic organizers for all of our pre-writing steps.

These graphic organizers help us to organize our thoughts so we are ready to write. We start out with the basics, a power outline, which is a twist on the traditional outlining process. Below is an explanation and an example of how it is used.

Power Outlines (from Step-Up to Writing)

Organize your ideas for writing

T = Topic (What is the main idea)

RDF (Reasons, Details or Facts about your topic)

E – explain more

E- explain more

RDF (Another Reason, Detail or Fact)

E- explain more

E-explain more

RDF (Another Reason, Detail or Fact)

E- explain more

E- explain more

CS – Concluding sentence (restate the topic)


T = McDonald’s

D – Milkshakes

E – creamy

E – chocolatey

D- Cheeseburger

E- juicy

E- mouth-watering good

D- French Fries

E-soft in the middle

E –crispy on the outside

E-salty goodness

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Exciting Year Ahead

Welcome to the 2010 - 2011 School Year!!

It is going to be an absolutely awesome year! Mark Twain teachers have spent some extra days this summer learning a lot of amazing ways to improve our teaching. I can't wait to try them out!

Also, thanks to a grant, we were able to purchase new Promethian Boards, which I am diligently trying to master so we have much more interactive learning going on in class.

We will also be receiving IPod touches. Each teacher will eventually have a class set. I am looking forward to finding many new and interesting ways to use them to improve student learning!!

School starts Monday, August 16th for all the schools in the district.

Back to School Night is that evening at 5:15 or 6:00.
I can't wait to meet all of my new students and their parents!

Some important information:
School starts at 8:03 a.m.
Breakfast is served in the cafeteria from 7:30 - 8:00.
Lunch from 11:45 - 12:25.
School ends at 2:55 p.m. except on Wednesdays, it ends at 1:30 p.m.

Monday - Thursday
about 1 hour a night
all review of materials covered in class

Weekly Reports and Parent Letters
Look for them!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back To School

August 16th - First day of School

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mission Projects Due

Your project is a report. It can be done on paper with built mission, on powerpoint, on video, or on a poster.
The rough draft of your report is due to me by Friday, May 14th.
The finished project is due on Monday, May 24th.

Mission Night will be May 25th at 5:30 in the Mark Twain Cafeteria.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

On our way to Boyden Cavern

we stopped for a scenic view
and to play in the snow for a bit

outside Boyden Cavern

our lunchtime view
The long, hard hike up to the cave entrance
waiting for our guide

Inside Boyden Cavern

General Grant's Tree

This was a quick side trip on our way out of the park. Unfortunately, the snow distracted from the giant sequoia trees, so the students didn't pay a whole lot of attention to them.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Mark Twain teachers are learning a new tool today called Moodle.
Hopefully if we can learn it well, next year we will be able to use a lot less paper and will be doing more on computers. It is already being used by students, teachers and parents at John Muir and Corcoran High Schoool. We will be able to post study guides, class work, home work, as well as blog and chat with each other.

CST is almost done

One day left of the CST. I'm very proud of this class. Everyone is
using the test-taking strategies and trying very hard to do their best.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


We finally started for real on Monday and we are taking off. Check out the 2nd link on the left "G2 kids are blogging".

Collecting Data

We have collected much interesting data this week on ourselves and made some equally interesting graphs so that we could talk about using data. Here are some new words we learned.

median - the middle number in a set of data when the data is put in order from least to greatest

mode - the number in a set of data that occurs most often

mean - the average number (add all the number and divide by the number of numbers)

outlier - a number in a set of data that is distant from the other numbers (an outlier may give you unreliable information)

Monday, February 22, 2010

G2 kids are blogging

I found a new blog site yesterday, at, which lets the students each have their own blog page in a safe and structured way without having to submit an email address. Hopefully we will start using it to publish some of our writing and thinking about what we are learning. If you click on the first link under "Links to Learning" it will take you there.

I am excited about this new tool because it allows me to give opportunity for the students to blog without them having to have an insecure email adress, without me having to give them access to my email address and it allows me the ability to oversee all posts before they are published.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Comparing Fractions

When compare fractions we are seeing if the are the same size or a different size.
We use the signs < (less than) >(greater than) =(equal to)

We have a nice easy trick to doing this.

1/4 is less than, greater than or equal to 2/3

1/4 is < > = 2/3

1/4 2/3 to find out, multiply the denominator of one fraction by the numerator of the other fraction. Do this to both fractions. Put the answer at the top of each fraction.

1/4 and 2/3
multiply 1x3 = 3 put that above 1/4
multiply 4 x 2 = 8 put that above 2/3
now compare 3 and 3
3 is less than 8
1/4 < 2/3
1/4 is less than 2/3

Equivalent Fractions

Equiva lent mean equal, so equivalent fractions are equal fractions.

Equivalent fractions for one-half are easy, because the numerator is half of the denominator.

1/2 - 1 is half of 2
2/4 - 2 is half of 4
4/8 - 4 is half of 8
10/20 - 10 is half of 20
1/2 = 2/4 = 4/8 = 10/20

Here is a song we learned to help us find equivalents of other fractions.
(to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?)

Equivalent Fractions
Equivalent Fractions
Or Divide
By another Fraction
By another Fraction
Equal to One
Equal to One

To find an equivalent fraction, you need to multiply by a fraction equal to one.
Fractions equal to one are 2/2 3/3 4/4 5/5 6/6 ...etc.

So to find an equivalent fraction for 2/3, multiply 2/3 by 2/2. That would be 2x2 and 3 x2, which would be 4/6.

2/3 = 4/6
2/3 is equal to 4/6

Simplest Form
when finding simplest form, you are finding an equivalent fraction that has a numerator and denominator that cannot be reduced anymore.

To find simplest form you divide by a fraction equal to one.
The tricky part is finding a common factor of both the numerator and the denominator.

Put 15/20 in simplest form.
15 and 20 have a common factor of 5.
So divide 15/20 by 5/5. 15 divided by 5 is 3 and 20 divided by 5 is 4.

15/20 = 3/4
15/20 is equal to 3/4

3/4 is in simplest form because 3 is a prime number and because 3 and 4 have no common factors and cannot be divided further.

Finding a fraction of a number

Fraction of a number.

Alfredo has to read 24 pages in his science book by Friday. If he has completed 3/4 of the assignment, how many pages has he read?

We need to find 3/4 of 24. There are two ways to do that.

3/4 x 24/1
1. multiply 3/x 24 = 72 and 4 x 1 =4
2. that gives us 72/4 which is a division problem
3. 72 divided by 4 = 18
4. So 3/4 of 24 is 18.
5. So Alfredo has read 18 pages.


3/4 of 24
1. 24 divided by 4 = 6
2. 6 = 1/4 of 24
3. 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 3/4
4. 6 + 6 + 6 = 18
5. 3/4 of 24 is 18
6. So Alfredo has read 18 pages.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Formulas are Fun!

We trying out lots of new things in math for the new year. Last week we worked on negative numbers and this week we are learning formulas for perimeter and area for squares and rectangles!

perimeter = the distance around around a figure

a square has four congruent(equal) sides SO the perimeter can be found with this formula

P = 4s (perimeter = 4 times the measure of one side)

a rectangle has two pair of congruent sides SO the perimeter can be found with this formula

P= 2l + 2W ( perimeter = 2 times the length + 2 times the width)

Area is the measure of the space inside of a figure.

the area of a square or a rectangle can be found with this formula

A = l x w ( area = length times width)