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Protractor Practice

Wildlife & Science News, Facts & Info For Kids & Students

 

 

 


 

 



 

Mouse click on the icon below for Vocabulary Pre-Test

 


 

Just in case the math workbook was left at school... ;)

Here it is! The pdf for your child's math homework.

 

Just click the link and you're in business.

 

The page numbers may differ from those assigned, so make sure they do the homework set for the lesson we reviewed in class.

 

~Mr.C :)

 

Eureka Math Module 5 - Fractions

Type To Learn Log-in

We have access to the Type To Learn website!! Go there now. ;)

 

Clicking the TTL icon below will launch the log in page as a new tab. The log in procedure goes as follows.

 

1. Enter the account code... 2ZEZJN

 

2. Enter your user name (vg.firstinitiallastname... for example: vg.tsmith

 

3. User password...

      ID#_ _ _ _ _ _ 

 


 

SpellingCity Login!!

Mouse click on the icon and off you go to the login page. 

 


 

Math Help...

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The links below offer math help through video overviews of each lesson's salient points. These videos are probably best used when viewed by parents to inform their help strategies.

 

Courtesy of Pleasanton parent Duane Habecker. Go Duane!!

 

Click on the link below..

 

Fourth Grade Videos

 

But, wait, there's more!

 

Click the button below and you'll be linked to a smorgasbord of Math Help alternatives. In fact, more than you'll likely use, but here you go...

 

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Digital Reading Log Live Link

 

Click on the Spook and your reading log entry page will magically appear. :)

 

Please complete the form, then click the blue "submit" button at the bottom.

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Find A Book!

If you need to find out whether a book might suit you, start here.

 

Click on the logo, then once you're at the site, go to the UPPER right hand corner and keyboard the book title into the search field and click "search."

 

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Books Are Just A Click Away!

Scholastic Book Wizard can help you find your next book or just locate the Guided Reading or Lexile "level."

Click on "Find Books" and you'll go directly to the search page.

 

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Socrative Surveys and Quizzes lInk ~ Get Some :)

>>>> Click on the icon below, sign into room MRC201, and test yourself!

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Text Structure Videos... Get Some

 

Narrative Nonfiction. Now THIS is Awesome!

Mouse and click on the cover below.

There is a link to the pdf, which will open on your Chromebook.

 

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This just in...

Tall Ships Field Trip THIS Week!!

Mouse anywhere on the image below and click. The pdf file will be launched for your viewing pleasure. ;)


 

In case you were wondering...

Thought I'd give you an ever-so-brief breakdown of what we'll be doing this month...

 

Math: We just crushed fractions (the quizzes and the final test went really well) and now we're knee deep in decimals. This is a short module (16 lessons) and so gives us plenty of time to launch our review for the upcoming CAASP testing at the beginning of May. If you want to see what we're doing, take a look at the workbook or pop over to Zearn with your child and let them test your math skills. :)

 

Reading and Writing: We have just finished our non-fiction writing pieces. If you'd like to read what your child has written, have them call up in Google Docs and print you a personally signed copy. Reading had been split between nonfiction research materials and self-selected DIRT books (that's, Daily Independent Reading Time). As the test window approaches, we will return to nonfiction sources for Social Studies and will compose brief nonfiction and argument writing pieces to practice our on-demand skills and create additional fodder for our Bare Book anthologies.

 

Test Prep: Maybe you've heard the complaints, I know I have, about having to practice test taking for the CAASPP. It's true. We are. We began back in early February and so should be well-practiced well before testing begins. I plan to have us finished with the practice work before our testing week of April 30 - May 3 so as to not create test fatigue for the real deal.

 

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me or stop by the classroom. If you choose the later, please bring dark chocolate. Everything goes better with chocolate. ;)

Blackhawk Museum "Spirit of the West" Field Trip

 

 


 

Helpful links added to the left hand margin...


 

In the left hand margin, you'll notice that there are two new links; the first, a direct link to the sign in page of SpellingCity, the website we are using to practice our weekly spelling words. 

 

Each week, we tackle a new list and test ourselves on line that Friday. If there is some difficulty in giving your child access too the web site, please let me know and we'll work something out.

 

 

 

 

Building the Foundation for Success

Four years ago I set out to better understand my impact in the classroom. Reflecting on my own work habits, then unpacking what other educators were doing in their classrooms (noteably, from the UK), I immersed myself in learning what worked better than what I was doing. Most importantly, I wanted to know what I could change in my pedagogy (a fancy word for how we teach) to make a bigger difference in my kids' learning.

Along the way, encouraging more intellectual risks, nurturing perseverance in overcoming setbacks, and teaching kids that mistakes are just feeback (not something to beat yourself up over) ultimately lead to adopting "Fail Better" as our class motto. Significantly, far from original, the idea of viewing "failures" as important opportunities for learning and discovery are an integral part of the worlds of science and business. 

Over time, "Fail Better" became the cornerstone of our self-evaluation protocol: What Went Well, Even Better If and What Happens Next (again, a grateful nod to the edufolk in the UK). The central idea here is to view your own work with a fair, but critical eye, acknowledge your successes, identify areas for improvement, spell out an action plan for getting better, then following-through with your plan. This has been how we've gone about goal setting the past two years, both in the short term and by trimester.

Most recently, my reading has given me a deeper understanding of research supporting the Growth Mindset theory and the concept of Grit as important to how children approach the demands of learning. As you will gather in the short videos by Carol Dweck and Angela Duckworth, both of these ideas fuel  "Fail Better" by teaching children how the plasticity of their brains, as well as their tenacity of purpose, persistence and hard work are all vital to their success, now and in the future. What's more, it's not lost on them that these qualities actually make the learning more of an exploration than a chore.

Let the adventure begin!

 

~Mr.C

 

Click on the image below to launch the Prezi. 

 


 

Back to School Night Slide Presentation...sans narration

Please click on the image below and it will launch the presentation. Remember to click to advance the slides.

 


 

Classroom Policies Prezi

Updated Sunday, August 20, 2017

This is one of two "Back to School" Prezi's I'm posting this week.

 

This Prezi is the "Nuts & Bolts" version; a brief rundown of classroom policies.

 

Please click on the image below to launch the Prezi.

 

Human Migration Into the Americias

 

 

 

Gold Rush Primary Sources

Mouse over and click on the image below and you'll be linked to the California State Library's section on the Gold Rush. 

 

Build your background knowledge here. :)

 

 

From the PBS series, American Experience

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From the history.com 

 

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Mr.C's other passionate pursuits...

 

Landscape photography.

 

https://lumenchaser.smugmug.com/

Two more books to consider...

The first title, Peak: Secrets From the new Science of Expertise, based on 30 years of empirical studies and research by preeminent Professor of Psychology, Anders Ericsson. His groundbreaking studies in expert performance in a variety of skill-based domains, such as music, chess, medicine, and sports, has shed light on how expert performers attain their superior performance by developing complex cognitive mechanisms through extended deliberate practice. 

 

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The second, Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success challenges the conventional wisdom that "failures" are something to be avoided, offering as a basis for comparison the stark differences between the health care and airline industries as the products of their practices and mindsets around learning from mistakes.

 

My Amazon review of the book...

 

"Having listened to this book twice through, then read the reviews posted thus far, it’s difficult to imagine adding to what has already be written by way of summary. So rather than a review, this is more a reflection of personal experience which I hope proves insightful.

My goal in downloading this book was the hope of drilling down into the concept of “failing better;” an idea borne of Samuel Beckett’s oft cited quotation. And though my initial intention was not to validate my own opinion about the efficacy of introducing my students (I’m an educator) to the idea of iterative progress, I wanted to know whether “success through failure” was more than an empty promise. I was not disappointed.

Matthew Syed is a compelling storyteller. His keen eye for our cultural biases toward kneejerk blaming and scapegoating, overvaluing perfection and underestimating the transformative power of “learning from your mistakes” illustrates how reasoned evaluation can been hijacked by expediency and need for tidy (but misguided) explanations when things go badly wrong.

In my view, the most valuable takeaways from Black Box Thinking include, but are likely not limited to, the following:

• Understanding the complexity of a situation requires decelerating the evaluation process if for no other reason than for the sake of making time to take a broader view.

• Ignoring variables doesn’t make them go away, but does make for an incomplete formula that begs for inaccurate conclusions.

• Intuition-based assumptions are generally self-serving and, for the most part, accurate by pure chance alone.

• Data is a four letter word that needs to be part of decision-making. That it may appear as inconvenient truths or mitigating circumstances doesn’t invalidate it.

There are no doubt additional important insights that I’ve not listed, not the least of which is the book’s underlying premise that success is an iterative process which must include failure, and even repeatedly so. The bottom line is that Black Box Thinking is well worth the read -- all 300 pages of it -- and particularly worth the listen as an audiobook (well-narrated). The thought-provoking storytelling alone is worth the price of admission. More than food for thought, the well-substantiated assertions and suggestions are inspiring signposts along the path forward."

More on the Science of Learning...

 

 

In his book, Make It Stick, co-author Dr. Mark McDaniel, makes accessible to us layfolk, the theories and empirical findings of people like Bob Bjork (see below). In particular, he has brought these not-so-radical ideas to life with compelling case studies and examples of how learning occurs in the human brain. 

 

        √ Highly Recommended 

 (click dust jacket below for description and reviews)

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Theory and Revelations About How We Learn with Robert A. Bjork

The Critical Distinction Between Learning and Performance...

In my constant search to better understand how we humans learn, one of the blogs I frequent (as a reader) lead me to Robert A. Bjork, a cognitive scientist who researches how learning occurs. His work was an eye-opener...provided you can make it through his videos. They're brief, but a bit dry. At any rate, I find it interesting and thought it would give you all more insight into why I do what I do in the classroom.

 

Read and watch more here... 

UCLA Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab Applying Cognitive Psychology to Enhance Educational Practice

There's not doubt about. I need to return to photography as a hobby. ;)