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.



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