Weekly Blog: “I Am” Poems (Apr. 19-24)


In celebration of April as Poetry Month, create your own “I Am” poem based upon the given template on Edmodo (or click the image here), and perusing the samples from former students. Include a photo, drawing, or other image to go along with your poem. If you need to, type in Google Docs, check for spelling, THEN publish on your blog! Check your comments too, for peer feedback, and comment on others.I-am-template

Weekly Blog: Military Child Week (Apr. 13-17)

April 13-17 is the Week of the Military Child! Camarena wants to recognize both the kids and parents who do so much to serve and protect our country. If you are a military kid, I’m so proud of you for your perseverance!! Our weekly blog post will fit this week’s theme.

Choose ONE for your blog post this week:

1) Write a Narrative based on the Slice of Life photo (see photo attached)
2) If you are “military kid” describe what it’s like for you – give details and examples of your past & present, positives & negatives
3) If you are NOT a “military kid”, describe what it might be like to be one. You can briefly talk to someone you know to get ideas.
All description posts need to be a minimum of 2 paragraphs long, narratives need to have beginning, middle & ends!

Weekly Blog Assignment: Apr. 6-10

9780375861253_p0_v1_s260x420 BudNotBuddy2Prompt: Bud and Noah are two very interesting male main characters in two fictional stories we have read this year. They each have their own unique personalities but there are also many comparisons that can be made about the two of them. For this week’s blog post, you will write an argument essay in which you compare or contrast which of the two boys is emotionally stronger. Your essay must include:
1) an introduction which clearly states your claim,
2) supporting paragraphs with at least 2 reasons that support your claim,
3) and a concluding paragraph.
For this week, you only need to revise/edit with one person. Additional images are optional.

Weekly Blog Assignment: Mar. 16-20 Extension Reflection

DUE Friday:

Reflect on at least one of the extension activities you participated in this week. Your choices are:329

  1. Write an App Review (education or fun)- describe what it is, how you play it, what you like or dislike about it, why or why not someone should get it.
  2. Coursera.org – peruse the list of college courses, and decide if you’d like to sign up for a free online class as an enrichment. This class can be done all the way up until the end of the school year, depending on the course schedule.
  3. News Story for Camarena News Broadcast
  4. Coding Practice – see Hour of Code app or another of choice
  5. Jigsaw Puzzle – our 1,000 classroom puzzle needs serious help! Stretch your problem solving with a friend.
  6. Pi Planning Party Committee- If you’re signed up for one of the three groups (invitations, decorations, or presentation) you are working in a small group to make this a reality!
  7. **Just added!!!… Mrs. Orr has just sent out a Slice of Life challenge to write a narrative about THIS photo below. Here directions are:1. Use your senses to describe what you see, hear, smell, and feel (touch and emotion).

    2. Put yourself in the picture and write a Slice of Life from that point of view.

    Email it to her work address here: cynthia.orr@cvesd.org



Weekly Blog Assignment: Mar. 2-6 Slice of Life – Camarena Classes!

Due tomorrow is your…

1) Camp Week Blog post: share about your (1) favorite class and your (1) favorite activity from Camp. Explain with detail to inform your readers.

2) Make two separate Student Portfolios tabs: Language & Math, and write your reflections. Be ready to have these for Monday for your peers to give you feedback.


Camarena Classes are doing “Slice of Life” too!! Please visit these class pages andsliceoflife give them some feedback.


Mrs. Alcantara’s 4th grade

Mrs. Mena’s 5th grade 

A “Science” to our blogs

If you have been following our student blogs, you will notice the recent posts were science-related.

San Andreas Fault in CA

Once post was a research project they completed in December for our school’s Gallery of Experts presentations. Individuals researched and wrote about a specific disease and argued what might be the best to address it.

The second post connects their current Earth Science unit on plate tectonics. After reading two first-person accounts of earthquakes in California, students needed to write a narrative from that point-of-view. Please feel free to comment on their works. As Californians, we have a unique perspective on these natural disasters. However, we would love to hear any experiences you have had with earthquakes or geology in your area.

Learn more about where earthquakes are on the West Coast! Check out these links…

Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC) – Earthquakes in Southern CA

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network – Earthquakes in Washington state & Oregon areas

US Geological Survey - Government page the watches earthquake activity across the country. (mobile version available!)

Virtual Museum of the City of San Franscico – first person account collections

Room 414- February Update

Dear Parents-

Welcome to the shortest month of our year, chocked full of things to do!! Here are updates for our class:

Spelling Bee – Last month, each class sent a student to participate in the Camarena spellingbeeSchool Spelling  Bee. We are SOOOO excited to have our own Patrick C. represent our ENTIRE 6th grade as the first  place winner!!! He will compete tomorrow, Saturday Feb. 7th in the District Spelling Bee level. It will be  at Camarena at 12:00. Come by to support him!

Camp Marston Notes-
1) Thanks to all families for being prompt in sending in your camp dues & slips! We have nearly all of  the 6th grade students attending. Students were able to pick their cabin bunk preferences this week,  and they will know their roommates once they reach camp. We’ve reminded them that there are no  guarantees who they get to bunk with, and the final decision will be made by the teachers.

Camp Marston2) Although I have access to your child’s medical information in the office, please remind me if your child has any allergies or dietary needs which the camp staff should be aware of. We will tell them in advance.

3) Finally, your child may start bringing in any extra money they may want to spend on the camp store.  How much they spend is up to you. They are allowed to buy one snack and drink each day, and souvenirs. Prices were listed on the initial packet that went home.

Eastlake Middle School Orientations-
1) Next week, Eastlake Middle will be visiting our campus TWICE during the school day. ELM_Logo-212x200The first visit  will be by the Eastlake Middle Band. They will explain to your child why band may be a good fit for  them as an elective. If your child has NO experience with musical instruments, but you’d like for them  to try it…may I say this is the PERFECT way to go about it, especially when it’s free! The second  presentation will be from the Eastlake Middle school counselors. They will go over in detail about  choosing classes for next year. Expect a registration packet to come home with your child which will  need to be completed before the end of the month.

2) A separate Parent Orientation is scheduled at Eastlake Middle School on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6pm.  For those students who may be going to a different middle school, you should have received  information in the mail describing “next steps.” Please contact the middle schools for clarification, or  attend the Parent Orientation for more info. Download the flyer here.

2015-2016 Parent Cover Letter for Course Selection Sheetscopy

Valentine Day Swap - In celebration of Valentines Day, your child may bring in Valentines cards/candies for classmates next Thursday. We have 29 students. I will provide a separate list of first  names for them to download on Edmodo. If your child chooses to bring valentines, please do not  leave anyone out. They should bring one for EVERY CHILD. This is an optional swap. Please do not  send cookies or desserts.

SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) – You may have heard and are wondering, “What  IS this??” Last year, your child was exposed to the new state testing methods. This involved using  computers rather than paper-pencil scanned test. Last year was purely to get the feel of how the test will be run, and nothing counted. This year, the scores will count. In February, we will take the  Practice SBAC test, with the real test coming later in Quarter 4. This practice test will take two days.

Spring Conferences - Already?!! Please save the dates of Thursday March 12-Thursday March 19 as  Student-Led Spring Conferences. These will be minimum days. Your child will be reflecting the next  several weeks on their reading, writing and math performances this quarter, and will be making a  presentation to YOU on their conference date. More info to come.

No school Friday, Feb. 13 & Monday Feb. 16 for Presidents Day Weekend

Thanks for your support!

Camp is coming!!!

Families of Room 414-

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the grind! I hope you had a wonderful,
relaxing break with your children. I was happy so many great stories of their break.
Apparently, dogs must be the best Christmas gift?! There were at least three
students who received one!

We have just started into Quarter 3, but we all know the month is now halfway over!!
MOST important announcement for this month:


It is imperative that money and forms be turned in as soon as possible. I need to
give Camp Marston a tentative number of who is attending. Also, the nurse needs to
review every child’s health history individually, before leaving. If we don’t have at
least 90 students from the entire grade level paid, camp will need to be cancelled!! If
you need to attend the informational meeting, this will be held Wednesday Jan. 14th
(tomorrow) at 3:00 in the Camarena library. We will NOT have extra camp forms,
however these will be provided here for you to download. Students will attend a similar meeting for them on Friday during school hours.

Parent Guide (English)

Parent Guide (espanol)

Medical Health Form (English)

Medical Health Form (Spanish)

Packing List (English)

Packing List (Spanish)


12 Things to Reflect Upon…

For those outside of our classroom walls who follow our blog…this week the students’ assignment is to reflect upon their Quarter 2 learnings. It also got me thinking and reflecting on my teaching and guidance with these 6th graders. So on this day that marks our Winter Break, and in the spirit of the 12 Days of Christmas… here is my list of 12 things to Reflect Upon (and cheer for!) about Room 414:

1) Room 414, you are WRITERS! I am inspired to see your thoughtful, creative, humorous blog posts every week- and excited to see others read your work (Yeah Student Blogging Challenge!) I plan to try as many of the recipes you posted on your blogs during the Break!

2) You are great mathematicians, constantly working towards communicating your thinkings and steps.

3) You’re avid readers that make connections to subjects in class or things out in the “real world”.

4) You are inquisitive! If only we had more time and paper to chart all your curiosities about cells and diseases….

5) You are patient, kind, compassionate and respectful individuals, who rarely complain. When you do, you always try to question authority with respect.

6) You are honest! Edith- only you would point out that a math answer was out in the open during a test!

7) You are a team – you recognize it’s often better to work together to do good, rather than work alone.

8) You have great morale & spirit – I love hearing Patrick’s group chants at the end of PE.

9) You are funny – Kyle makes a great play-by-play reporter (and time-keeper) during our basketball games.

10) I admire your perseverance with yourselves and others, especially when you are frustrated with anything (learning a new concept, getting devices to work, having broken or sprang body parts!…)

11) You’re true friends to each other – you were welcoming when new students arrived, and sad to see others go.

12) Room 414 is moving forward and growing.  I hope our quote on the whiteboard continues to inspire you: “Learners are like branches of a tree…we all grow in different directions, yet our roots stay the same.”

As we move forward into 2015, I hope you will continue all these positive things on my list and many more. We want our branches to keep growing and keep getting stronger. Don’t let negative things “infect” and “rot” them. I also want you to make me accountable. Let me know how I can be a better teacher for YOU! Make Camarena your safe place to learn and to never give up!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!