With a heavy heart…

January 30, 2018

My Wonderful Students-

As you know, I have been training to become an administrator. When Mrs. Travis left, I was afforded the opportunity to become the 6th grade administrator.  While this opportunity was unexpected, it is something that I have worked towards for a very long time.

I must admit I have tears in my eyes as I am writing you this letter. They say time flies when you are having fun, and in this instance, it is very true. This has been an incredible year for us. We have grown and learned so much …We have shared all kinds of moments: happy, sad, fun, magical… Such incredible memories, such meaningful adventures! We have stepped away from our comfort zones and delved into so many unforgettable experiences. Your commitment to me has been powerful and absolutely inspiring.

Watching each of you put your heart into your work, projects, and presentations has been priceless. Seeing your eyes glowing with enthusiasm during our lessons has helped me to realize how meaningful learning can be when connected with reality. It is amazing how you are willing to work when tasks are relevant to you.  I am definitely not the same educator that stepped into our classroom in August. I have changed and grown too. What I liked the most was that we walked this walk together.

All the adventures, great moments and difficult times have helped us create, not just a class, but OUR class, OUR family. We created a friendly and safe environment that we all felt happy to be part of. Each of you have given your best, and it is difficult for me to find the words to describe how proud I am of you.

I am so excited to see all the amazing things that you will do, and the amazing places you will go. Wherever life takes you, I hope you remember to live fully and enjoy every second of the moment you are in.
My greatest wish is that you laugh daily. Love each other well. Sacrifice for others. And never give up on your dreams.   Be a kid. Live a life of fun and adventure. Support and build up; do not tear down and destroy.

Readers, I’m so thankful for all your smiles and hugs. I am grateful for all we have shared. Thanks for opening your hearts and letting me be part of your life. I would especially like to thank you for helping me to become a better educator. Thank you for making me feel that my job is not just a job, but also a passion. Each of you has made a difference for me. I will never forget you.


Mr. C

Context Clues



Today we continued our unit on Finding Word Meaning in Context. We learned to use context clues to help us identify the meaning of an unfamiliar word.  Context Clues are words near an unknown term that can help you figure out the meaning of the unknown word.

We used the following paragraph as an example:

What is a Zarf?

My mom took me to Starbucks this morning and bought a cup of hot chocolate for me.  When our order came, she gave me a zarf to put around the cup, so I could hold it without burning my hands.  She opened one up and slid it around her cup of coffee as well.

We can tell from the context of the paragraph that a zarf  is a holder or sleeve designed to fit around a coffee cup that has no handle.

I hope you have an awesome day! – Mr. C

Finding Word Meaning in Context


Today we talked about how we can find word meaning in context when we come across a new word.

When you figure out the meaning of an unknown word from other words, you are finding word meaning in context. The words and phrases around an unknown word often provide clues to the word’s meaning. These clues are called context clues.

  • Context clues are often in the sentence where the unknown word appears. They can also be in the sentences before and after the word.
  • Synonyms of the unknown word are often context clues.
  • Antonyms of the unknown word are often context clues.
  • A comparison or a definition often provides clues to the meaning of an unknown word.

In class we talked about four different types of context clues:

The 4 Types of Context Clues

  • Rewording the word.
  • Giving its Synonym.
  • Giving its Antonym.
  • Giving us Details about the word.

Rewording is when the author says the word in another way, that is typically easier to understand.

A writer sometimes uses synonym context clues to help with hard words.  A synonym context clue is one or two words that mean almost the same as the one that the author does not expect us to know. Example:

The Cruise family moved from their dilapidated house, that was  old and run-down, into a brand new home.  Within the context of this sentence, the author rewords “dilapidated” by using “old and run-down.” So dilapidated must mean old and run-down.

The three brothers began to altercate over the game. This was not the first time that they had a dispute over it. The author clues us in to the word “altercate” by using the word “dispute”.” So, altercate must mean a fight or dispute.

A writer is using antonym context clues when they use a word with opposite meaning to give us hints about the word that they don’t think we will know. Example:

David was very outgoing as opposed to his coy older sister. We know that David is “outgoing” as opposed to his sister. The opposite of “outgoing” is introverted. So coy must mean “introverted.”

A writer is using details as context clues when they give us explanations or examples as hints about the word that they don’t think we will know. Example:

Father was ecstatic because Joshua decided to go to the college that he wanted him to. We can assume that the word ecstatic means happy.

Have a great night!- Mr. C



Today we participated in a rhetorical analysis of Adele’s hit song “Hello.”

The lyrics in Adele’s song “Hello” make a few things fairly explicit.  We know that the relationship between the speaker and the audience is strained, and we know that the speaker is trying to communicate an apology of some kind.  But who is the speaker?  Who is the audience?  What is the exact nature of their relationship?

We discussed three claims about who the speaker and audience are.  (You probably noticed that these claims become increasingly complex…) 

You were tasked with finding textual evidence taken from both the lyrics and the music video to support our three claims. Here is copy of the worksheet: Adele Hello-qmx2ut

Claim 1–  The speaker and the audience were in a relationship.

Claim 2:  The speaker is the audience from the future – a heartbroken version of her past self, wishing she could give herself advice (i.e. “If only I knew then what I know now…”)

Claim 3: The speaker is the audience’s ghost.  As in, the speaker is “dead” and revisiting a memory of her past life that she can’t interact with.

It was interesting to see how the same evidence can be used to argue a different point. You had to really think “out of the box,” and I appreciate your hard work and effort.  Next week will be  conducting a comparative rhetorical analysis between (1) Adele’s “Hello,” and (2) a second text that you’ll be choosing from a short list of options.  In other words, you’re going to analyze (1) how Adele crafts her argument (rhetorical strategies, overarching message, purpose), and then compare it to (2) how a second, similar text does the same things in different ways (…or different things in the same ways).


Have an awesome 3-day weekend! – Mr. C

Math Literacy


I hope you enjoyed your ICE day on Monday. Today we started our unit on Math Literacy. We spent some talking about “reasonableness.” By establishing reasonableness, we can determine if an answer makes sense. Too often we punch digits into a calculator and never question if the answer we derived is reasonable.


When you have a math problem that you are working on, and you have worked out the problem and think you have found the solution, a good way to help you make sure is to use reasonableness. In math terms, reasonableness means to verify the answer you have found by either estimating or plugging in your answer to check to see if it works.

It might feel like you are doing double work, but if your life depended on you getting an A on a math test, then making sure that your answers are correct by using reasonableness will be a lifesaver.

So, let’s see how you can go about using reasonableness to help check your answers.

Outrageous Answers

Let’s say you are working on the problem 235 * 4 – 10. You have worked out the problem, and you have an answer of 93. Is this the correct answer? Well, one way to use reasonableness is to estimate the answer to see if your answer is an outrageous answer or not. So, looking at your problem, you see that you are multiplying a two hundred something number by 4 and then subtracting 10 from it. Estimating, you can say that your answer should be somewhat more than 800. Looking at your answer of 93, you see that your answer is nowhere near 800! Your answer then is an outrageous answer and therefore not a correct answer. You will need to rework your problem.

Reworking your problem, you get an answer of 930.

You can use estimation to check for reasonableness when you have math problems with all numbers. When you do use estimation, it won’t tell you whether you actually have THE correct answer, but it will tell you if you are close and your answer is probably right.

We will continue to work on math problem solving techniques for the remainder of the week. Have an awesome night! – Mr. C



I hope that you enjoyed your “book tasting” today. I added over 100 books to our classroom library and I wanted you to have the opportunity to familiarize yourself  with as many new titles as possible. I picked out these books based on your interests . Happy reading!

-Mr. C


Happy New Year!!!


Happy New Year!  I hope that 2018 brings you great health and happiness!

Today we took an assessment of our reading strategies. I am not a fan of assessing you the first day back from break, but it was something that needed to be done. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. Have a great night!—Mr. C

Doll Bones Projects


What a great job you did with your Doll Bones games! I am truly impressed with the time and effort you have put into creating a game that was relevant to the book. I appreciate all of your hard work and determination!

**Remember, that tomorrow(Tuesday) is the last day I will be accepting bonus work. If we are not meeting on Tuesday, you are still responsible for getting your work to me on TUESDAY. There are no exceptions to this.**

Have a great night!- Mr. C

Ghost Town


Today was like being in a Ghost Town. I missed all of you that went on the trip to the Aquarium. I hope that you had an awesome time and represented our school in a positive manner.

We put the finishing touches on our Doll Bones project today. All projects are due on Monday. I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labor!

Have a great weekend! -Mr. C



Reading Inventory


Today you took your Reading Inventory in the PC LAB. Thank you for being so diligent!

On Friday you will have your LAST classroom work session for your Doll Bones Project.

Remember that projects are due on Monday. No exceptions.

Have a great night!

Mr. C