Pasta 4 Pennies Drive 2016


Room 414 Families-

Camarena will be hosting its annual Pasta-for-Pennies Drive through April 29th. Money collected will go towards the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to research cancer prevention. Your child will be sent home with a cardboard box to collect coins. We encourage them to do what they can to help fight the terrible diseases of cancer, particularly in young children.

The class with the most raised will receive a pasta party sponsored by Olive Garden! Individuals will also be awarded milestone prizes by the organization.

More details are attached here….pasta-dear-parent-letter

Thanks for all your support!

April 4-8: Slice of Life

Slice of Life

slice of life- roller skating
slice of life- roller skating

As we continue to practice narrative writing, let’s use our imagination to come up with a story or “Slice of Life” from this photo! Many of you had great first drafts. This week, you need to revise the story you started. Remember what are the features that make a strong narrative: (1) clear characters, (2) descriptive language, (3) a problem& solution (4) dialogue. You are allowed to use this photo on your post.

Once you post your narrative, we will have some time to give each other some feedback!


Room 414 – March Update

Dear Parents & Families of Room 414–

Thank you to all the families for taking the time to listen to your child’s student-led conference these last two weeks! I hope their presentations were able to give you some insight into what they’ve learned as a 6th grader. It should also give you an idea of what areas they need to improve upon before the end of the school year. Here is what’s ahead in the last quarter at Camarena…

MathStatistics & Probability, Geometry & Area  These will be the last two units to cover. We anticipate finishing by the beginning of May with time to reteach any other difficult areas before standardized testing.

Language – We will be integrating social studies with language and teaching content. We will also be reviewing all the writing genres we have tackled this year. Finally, we will be having reading groups to reinforce literature standards covered already.

Science – Students will be applying their knowledge from life & earth sciences,  then focus on an action research project connecting it to conservation. More details will be given when the students return from the break.

CAASP (California Assessments) – Our designated testing week for 6th grade will be May 16-20. Student performance on the math and language tests will determine their 8th grade courses. More information will be sent home as the date approaches.

End of the Year Activities – While the grade level is generally doing well, we have had some small incidents of poor behavior on the playground and/or distractions during class. We will be reminding that all students are required to follow the Camarena rules if they want to be considered for any “reward” activities. Teachers will be making criteria for behavior as well as homework habits for students to qualify for field trips and parties!

Spring Student-Led Conferences 2016

Families of Room 414-

Today, your child will be receiving a paper copy for you to sign up for Spring Conferences. These start March 10-17th, and all of these will be minimum days. Unlike the Fall conferences, these will be “student-led” conferences. So, your child will be making a brief presentation to you of his/her learning for the quarter. Our room will have up to three families presenting simultaneously in our room (not to each other- just their respective parents).

Below is a Google form to sign up. Families need only sign up online OR have your child return the paper copy. Please indicate your first, second, and third choices in case time slots fill up. If you have any questions, just let me know!


Room 414- February update

Dear Parents & Families of Room 414 — 

Happy Presidents’ & Valentine’s Day!  Please take a moment to review some important details about Camp, Eastlake Middle School, and Parent Conferences.  

23304_132957636723929_2050_n-1svo2tg6th Grade Camp >  Feb. 22-26 …. One week to go!

  • Camp Store money deposits – The last day I’ll accept any cash towards your child’s Camp Store purchases will be Friday, Feb. 19th.  Students are not limited to how much they deposit. Any leftover money will be returned to the child at the end of camp. I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCEPT MONEY THE MORNING OF CAMP!
  • Camp Equipment & Clothes – Please review the list of appropriate items to pack and NOT pack. The weather has been unusual since January. Layers are recommended. No electronics of any kind – phones, iPads, digital cameras. Disposable cameras are ok. Students are expected to carry their own luggage. Pack what is necessary, not just what they want!
  • Medications – All medications need to be in sealed containers with the prescription label. If your child gets sick the weekend before camp, any over-the-counter medication needs to be in the original packaging and appropriate for their age. Students may not even have cough drops in their possession. All meds will be collected by our school nurse and kept at the Camp Marston Health Office.
  • Parent Letters – You will be able to turn in as many sealed letters to your child as you’d like, with me on the morning we leave. Some parents write on each envelope, the day of the week they’d like their child to read the letter (ie. Jane Smith-Monday, Jane Smith-Tuesday..etc). This is a great way for younger siblings to say “hi” to their brothers or sisters. If you forget, another mail delivery may be collected at Camarena in the middle of the week, and our principals may bring these up during their visit. Please DO NOT directly mail to Camp Marston, because it will not get there in time. No care packages please- letters only.

Eastlake Middle School course registration

ELM_Logo-212x2006th Grade had an hour-long orientation of Eastlake Middle School onFeb.11th. Your child has an important packet to share with you about selecting his/her 7th grade elective. All the details are in the packet. A minor mistake: please DISREGARD any stapled orange slip regarding Dual Immersion. This was a mistake on the middle school’s part. For parents interested in learning more or visiting the campus, a separate parent orientation will be held at Eastlake Middle on March 3rd for Camarena. All registration packets can be turned in to Mrs. Hughes by March 9th.

Student-Led Parent Conferences

parent-teacher-conference.previewPlease save the dates of March 10-18. These will be Parent Conference days. This time, your child will be in charge, making a presentation of their learning. A separate Google Form will be emailed soon, for you to choose your conference day & time.


Room 414- January Update

Dear Parents & Families of Room 414–

Welcome back, and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 brings you and your family great joy and blessings. I also hope you had a wonderful, restful Winter Break. I am excited to see your children back in class. I’m not sure if it was something in their stockings, but they all seem to be a whole lot TALLER! Here are highlights of things to come…

Math > Module 4 Expressions and Equations – Students are practicing modeling and writing algebraic expressions. They will have had some indirect experience with this through coding and word problems. We will be using both the Eureka & GoMath workbook sheets to help with this concept.

Language > We are starting a new book called Flush by Carl Hiaasen. 9780375861253_p0_v1_s260x420The premise of the book is set in Florida, about a boy who wants to vindicate his father’s imprisonment related to environmental issues. This topic will go along well with our science unit for the quarter: Earth Science. Students will also continue adding to their blogs. These will serve as student work portfolios later in the quarter for conferences.

Science > Earth Science & climate will be our next focus. We will be specifically discussing weather patterns and how the Earth’s water is related to weather and climate. As we go to 6th Grade Camp, many of these concepts will be strengthened through the YMCA program activities.

6th Grade Camp > We will be having a Camp Marston Parent camp marstonInformational Meeting on Wednesday Jan. 20th at 3:00 in the Camarena Library. This will be the one time for parents to meet all the teachers in person to discuss any concerns for your child attending camp. If your family still needs to turn in your child’s Medical Health History form or money, we need it NOW. January 29th is the deadline for Camarena to make our deposit. If your child will not be attending camp, please also let me know so that I can make accommodations for their instruction. **Room 414 only has 4 families paid in full. Without ¾ of the total student attendance, we may need to cancel Camp!**

Quarter 3 will prove to be a very FAST quarter. Please remind your children to keep up with their regular homework responsibilities and attendance. I’m excited to see where we are going in 2016!

Dates to Remember

  • Jan 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL
  • Jan 20 – Camp Marston Informational Meeting in Library @ 3pm
  • Jan. 29 – Camp Marston full payment due – $275 (payable to Camarena Elementary)
  • Feb. 12-15 – President’s Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
  • Feb. 22-26 – 6th Grade Camp @ Camp Marston

Edublog Award – Asking for your vote!

CVqQXMmU4AAjb91Our classroom has been so fortunate to have been nominated this year in the Student Edublog Challenge- Best Class Blog category. I am extremely excited and honored, since this is the second year our class has received any kind of nomination. There are so many great blogs out there, so this is a real treat! It’s also so encouraging, as a teacher, to know others like me are promoting writing for the 21st century in fun and creative ways. I often feel guilty for not having more time to read through as many blogs I can. I know I need to work more as a better blog mentor. However, just learning a bit from other countries is an inspiration! Whoever is out there…I speak for my class that we thank you for your vote. Keep reading and writing, and communicate with the world! You can vote for us until December 16th: under the Best Class Blog downdrop menu.

Room 414- December Reminders

Room 414 Families–
Some quick reminders as we head in the last week of school before the Winter Break…

celebration-of-learning-flyer2Tues. Dec. 15th > The Celebration of Learning (formerly Gallery of Experts) is this Tuesday from 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm. The 6th graders will be presenting their ancient Egypt project in the classroom . Students are welcome to dress up as Egyptians for the presentation, but this is not required. Please see the time schedule below.

3:00-3:20 – Students will stand with projects and give oral presentations 3:20-3:45 – Students are free to walk around to other 6th grade rooms to view projects

Wed. Dec. 16th > Project Pie Pizza  – 6th grade fundraiser for End-of-Year e9e1ddc1145b512edc0ac439253f06db_400x400activities. We get 40% profit. This money will help with any end-of-the-year field trips or rewards for the classes. Grade level fundraising paid for our Legoland trip last year! Save a night of cooking, and come down to the Vons shopping center on Otay Lakes Road.

Fri. Dec. 18th > Movie Party  in the afternoon. A “reverse” permission slip will go home on Monday asking permission for your child to possibly watch a PG movie in the classroom. District policy is that G-rated movies are only permissible. If you DO NOT want your child to watch a PG movie, please sign it and return (and email me just to be sure I get the notice). Attached is a Google form if your child would like to donate a snack for the party to share. We will not be having any large food items (no pizzas, no cakes). Students will still need to bring / buy lunch. Download the reverse permission here if you need it. MovieParty

Report Cards > Home with your child. No signatures needed.

VAPA Showcase archive > We had 28 out of 30 students in our class participate!!! Yeah! Your child’s amazing dance & vocal talents is on our Camarena News YouTube channel. Subscribe, watch and send link to friends…or use just as blackmail for your child in high school! 😊

Have a wonderful Winter Break! School will resume January 12th (minimum day).


Room 414- December update

Dear Parents & Families of Room 414–

Tis the season! Now that we are entering December, we know we’re at the halfway mark of the school year. Here are highlights of things to come…

Math > We took our Mid-Module test before the Thanksgiving Break, and about 60% of the class passed. If your child was in the 40% who did not, please encourage and work with him/her to justify their answers in sentences. Students are working on precise vocabulary to explain their reasoning.

Language > We will conclude the Egypt Game in just a few days. Students will then be writing an essay focusing on tracking the main character & her traits. Our Edublog Challenge will also conclude next week. Students are nominating “Best of” blogs from around the world, and will vote in the coming weeks. Maybe one of ours will get on the ballot!

Social Studies & Gallery of Experts > Dec. 15th will be 6th grade’s turn for our Celebration of Learning (formerly called “Gallery of Experts”). They will be presenting projects on over ancient Egypt. In class next week, students will be working on a 3D model for this project. Only students who are up to date with certain requirements will be allowed to move on to the model portion of the project. They will need to bring a shoebox to class by Monday. The following will be provided in the classroom: construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, pencils, crayons, and colored pencils. Any other necessary supplies can be brought from home (clay, etc.).

Science > Students will be presenting their group animal adaptation video project in class and these will be posted later online for parents. The Living Coast Discovery Center loved our video project idea so much, they may post some of the video projects on their website as well! Please let me know if you would prefer NOT to have your child’s image posted on the web since these will be public on YouTube.

Report Cards > Will go home the last week of school. There are no parent conferences this quarter.

Extended Absences? > If you plan to take your child out of school for longer 5 consecutive days, please remember to see the office for an Independent Study Contract. Otherwise, absent days go against their record and will show up on the report card as “unexcused”.

6th Grade Camp > If your family still needs to turn in your child’s Medical Health History form or money, please do so soon. January 29th is the deadline for Camarena to make our deposit.Dates to Remember

  • Dec. 9 – Nuyo 6th Grade Fundraiser – 3pm-8pm
  • Dec. 7-11 – Scholastic Book Fair
  • Dec. 9 & 10 – VAPA Showcase– 6th Grade’s showcase will be Thurs. Dec. 10 from 5-7pm.
  • Dec. 15 – Celebration of Learning (formerly called “Gallery of Experts”) Time TBA
  • Dec. 18 – Report Cards for Q2 (no parent conferences)

Room 414 – November update

Amazingly enough, our second quarter is halfway over. In just another week we will be on Fall Break for Thanksgiving.  Here are some things we have covered this quarter…

Math > We’re halfway through Module 3 about Integers & Rational Numbers. Students seem to be picking it up fairly quickly, yet still need work explaining & justifying answers with clear vocabulary. Students can look to their notebooks and pictures taken on Schoology for guidance.

Language > We are well into The Egypt Game. We continue to write summaries, identify characters traits and connections to the story’s tone through the author’s word choice. Students are also deep into the Student Edublogs Challenge, with about 4 more weeks to post to a larger audience through their personal blog.

Social Studies > Using our language unit as a springboard, the class has learned more about Ancient Egypt, culture, religion and practices. Students also continue to develop strong informational writing.  Look for them to culminate the unit in December with a Gallery of Experts project.

Science > Our first field trip to the Living Coast will be Monday, Nov. 16th. This will tie into our quarter unit of Life Science & cellular biology. The class has learned from the basics of cell structure, to organ systems and plant & animal adaptations. We will wrap up this unit in December with a study of the brain, and reading excerpts of a book about Phineas Gage, a man who survived a severe brain injury.

Dates to Remember

  • Nov. 16 – Living Coast Discovery Center field trip
  • Nov. 23-27 – Fall Break (No School)
  • Dec. 7-11 – Book Fair
  • Dec. 9 & 10 – VAPA Showcase– 6th Grade’s showcase will be Thursday Dec. 10 from 6-6:40pm. Your child will have art on display and will be doing a dance performance! Please come!
  • Dec. 15 – Gallery of Experts (after school- TBA)
  • Dec. 18 – Report Cards for Q2 (no parent conferences)

I am so excited to report that our class’ DonorsChoose project “Find Me a Treasure” has finally been funded!! On Veterans Day, AT&T made the generous donation of covering the difference of my proposed project- nearly $700 worth!! So, hopefully within a few weeks our class and others at Camarena will be able to learn the sport of geocaching with our new GPS units. Again, thank you to all who helped in any way they could.



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