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! :-)

Are you a Left or Right Brain?

Camarena Elementary is just days away from opening its doors to the 2015-2016 school year! Where did the time pass? As I’m getting ready for the onslaught of new, worried, excited, maybe-somewhat-perplexed 6th grade faces, I came across this dandy infographic by So, if are a soon-to-be 6th grade student you may want to decide who are you? Left brained or right brained. That way, if you are in my class, I will try my best to meet you in the middle! ;-)

Are You Left or Right Brain?

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.