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.



Room 414 Update- October

October 2015

Dear Room 414 Families-

Welcome back to Quarter 2! I hope families had a restful and enjoyable time with their children. We have lots of learning in store for this quarter. Here is what to expect:

515wROfUwqL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Language / Social Studies > We will be starting a new book, The Egypt Game, to connect with our Social Studies unit. The Social Studies unit, is of course – Egypt!  Each child should be getting his or her own copy of the book to use. Please remind them that this is still school property, and to be careful not to lose it.

Blogging >  The Student Edublog Challenge just got started thisStudent Blogging Challenge 2015 week. Students will be posting at least one topic each week for 10 weeks. They’ll  also be able to follow other students blogs in different countries to learn more about their cultures and schools.

Science > Life Science! Our science unit will cover plant and animal sciences, and more specifically cellular biology. San Diego is known for its innovations in the medical field. If you have information to share that can help students better understand biology research or environmental plant science, please let me know! I would love to have experts come visit.

We could be lost! > Our DonorsChoose Project: Find Me a Treasure needs just $600 left to bring GPS units to our classroom. The deadline is November 13th !! We intend to share these with all of the Camarena campus on Geocaching walks. If you would still like to donate, please visit the link here, or pass this onto your social networks or places of business. Every bit helps.

Camarena Fall Festival Silent Auction Basket > This year, Camarena is hosting a Fall Festival (instead of the Winter Wonderland). This will be the night of Friday, November 6th. Our class theme will be a Science Basket. If you can donate please visit this link so I can collect items.  Last year, our Science Basket went for the highest bid of all the classrooms, at over $200!

6th Grade Camp >  Forms went home for the Butter Braid Pastry fundraiser to help with camp cost. Students may fundraise until October 22nd. Orders will arrive November 5th. Your child will receive $6 for every pastry sold. YMCA Health History forms may also be filled out can be turned in any time between now and January.

Thanks for all your support!

Mrs. Hughes


Room 414 – September Update

September 2015

Dear Room 414 Families-

As we end our first school quarter of 2015, I want to thank you for making yourself so available during Fall Student-Parent Conferences. I was very pleased to meet each and every one of you to discuss how to make your child’s learning stronger this year. I hope you child walked away from our meeting feeling satisfied with what he/she has accomplished, and reflective in the areas that need improvement. Here are some reminders for the Fall Break…

Math > Module 2: Division of Fractions– Next quarter will be devoted to learning division o51d064d39653b4f6b101b3bf836036c10e1369e9f fractions. We have already started this week, so your child should be taking good notes of visual models. Several links to photos of worked examples can be found on their Schoology account. You can help your child by having him practice his multiplication facts for speed. Flash cards or their worksheets in the plastic sheet protector can aid in this.

Vacation Homework / Language > Bud, Not Buddy Vacation Homework (mandatory)- Students will need to complete a cereal box craft project about the last six chapters of the book we read in class. Digital copimgres 2.45.20 PMies of the book can be found online, and students know where to find this link. Paper copies will be provided for those who have asked in advance. Your child should have a complete description of the assignment with a rubric, which was passed on earlier this week. Likewise, digital copies are on Schoology to download.

As far as any other vacation homework...I will NOT be assigning any other mandatory language or math. However, your child has online access to Achieve3000 and TenMarks for practice as needed!   Some students may be getting homework passes for making these efforts!

Writing > Next quarter, we will be participating in the global Student Blogging Challenge 2015Student Blogging Challenge 2015. This is an exciting opportunity for your child to get aglobal audience reading their work!  Last year, we connected with a few middle school classes inAustralia and New Zealand. We hope to do the same this Fall, and make even more friends.

Science > SD MakerFaire 2015 - Interesting in creating and tinkeimagesring? Stop by Balboa Park on October 3 & 4 to see the San Diego MakerFaire. MakerFaires have been dubbed as part county fair, part artist & inventory gallery. It’s a great way to see these all fuse together. For $12.50/student and $20/adult,you will get a passport to ten of the museums in Balboa Park and learn about the Maker culture. For more information, go to

We could be lost! - Finally, our DonorsChoose Project: Find Me a Treasure just needs $600 left to bring GPS units to our classroom. Time is ticking! The deadline is November 13th !! We intend to share these with all of the Camarena campus onGeocaching walks. If you would still like to donate, please visit the link here. Or please pass this onto your social networks or places of business. I would be so grateful!

6th Grade Camp – A reminder that the YMCA Health History forms may be filled out (possibly needing a doctor’s signature) and returned anytime between now and the end of January. Camp payments are now being accepted. We will have one fundraiser to help with your $275 camp fee. Flyers for Butter Braid pastries will be distributed when students come back from the Fall Break.

Have a wonderful, rested break with your children!

See you back at Camarena on Tuesday, October 6th (minimum day)

– Mrs. Hughes

Room 414 Update – August

Dear Room 414 Families-

Our first month of school is now under our belt! Your children have been working diligently on several content standards and should have multiple representations of their work to show for it. Here are some highlights of what we have learned thus far:

Math > Ratio & rates – defining ratios and their equivalent ratios; using tape diagrams, double number lines and ratio tables; comparing ratio tables and graphing data on a coordinate plane. We have taken at least 2 quizzes and one Mid-Module Test. All these scores are recorded on your child’s Schoology account. If you have not connected with them on a Schoology parent account, just email me and I can send steps for creating one that joins directly to your child.

Language > Read Chapter 1-7 of Bud, Not Buddy; discussing theme, citing evidence, examples of figurative language, and general plot and details; quizzes on theme and vocabulary development. 

Writing > Have written at least 2 blog posts (some still awaiting moderation approval from me), and progressing through the narrative writing genre; “showing not telling”.

Science > Energy – types of energy transfer (conduction convection & radiation), forms of energy (kinetic, potential, chemical, mechanical, light, electrical, wind, etc.); introduced 2-week project-based learning task of designing and building a Thermos that conserves heat energy. Students received a detailed packet this week about this project, which they will be working with one other assigned partner. They are encouraged to bring in any approved materials discussed in class (these are also listed on this week Google Slide on Schoology) to start prototyping in another week. Tentatively, our grade level plans to highlight these projects at the upcoming SDMakerFaire on October 3-4 hosted by Qualcomm. Please help them do their best!

Behavior > As a friendly reminder to the students (and parents)… the Sixth Grade Teachers have noticed that between all classes there’s been several issues with lining up before school and during recesses and lunches. We had an especially poor performance yesterday when we had a fire drill during recess. While not everyone, the majority of the students were talking, laughing and even attempting to carry each other to their respective lines. All teachers needed to speak sternly to address the issue and remind everyone of their responsibilities – particularly during a fire drill – not to mention showing forms of disrespect to the adults. Because we have had so many inconsistent examples of behavior, we will be rewarding students whom we feel exemplify Camarena Rules and Code of Conduct through monthly Fun Fridays in the classroom (games & free time). I will be selecting those students based upon behavior Class Dojo Points, as well as thorough completion of homework percentages. Students will be informed of our new reward system tomorrow.

Parent Conferences > Amazingly, we are already at the first checkpoint of the year! Student-Parent Conferences will begin Sept 10-18th. However, I will only be available to meet in person with families on the following days: Sept 10,11,14 & 15 right after school until 6:00pm. A Parent Conference signup is listed here. I will accommodate parents on a first-come, first-serve basis. The form will open until approximately Sept. 7th (Labor Day weekend). Please have your child with you for this first conference. If you have difficulties attending, please email me directly and I may be able to make other arrangements for you.

Finally, our DonorsChoose Project: Find Me a Treasure is only 1/3 fulfilled. Thank you for ALL the donors who are contributing to the goal of getting GPS units in our classroom. We intend to share these with all of the Camarena campus on Geocaching walks! If you would still like to donate, please visit the link here.

Looking forward to seeing you in the coming weeks! – Mrs. Hughes

What is “The Pit”?

Students learned last week that “The Pit” is a metaphor for a place you may feel from time -to-time in learning…a place that makes you feel STUCK! We want to climb a mountain, but get caught in a pit, and are not sure how to get out.  If a student brainstorms strategies to overcome these obstacles, he/she is much more likely to break free and succeed—just through perseverance!

This week, write about an area in school where you feel STUCK, or in “The Pit.” Maybe you have been there forever!In 2 paragraphs:

(1) Explain what the problem in The Pit is…

(2) Explain your ways for trying to get out. What will you do if your ideas still don’t work?

All About Me

Describe in 2 paragraphs a little about yourself.

The first paragraph should be about you and your family, hobbies, interests, and any other details. Do not use last names, or give any specific personal information.

The second paragraph tell a little about your take on this school year. What are you interested in learning? What are you concerned about?



Camarena is ON! Welcome to the First Day of School 2015! I hope you are looking forward to the journey of this year as much as I am. Students, you have a lot of paperwork to sift through with your family. One thing I would like you to complete by Friday is your Class Job Application. Please take a look at each choice from the drop down menu and make a first, second or third choice. If you don’t have more than one choice, you still need to type something in the box for “why” to submit your answer. There’s no guarantee of choice positions, but I will try my best. DON’T FORGET TO TYPE YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME! :-)