All posts by Mrs. Hughes

Donors Choose Update

Otay Ranch Town Center is a supporter!

Hello, Room 414 Families!
A while back, I posted on our class blog about my signing up for This is a  non-profit organization which permits teachers to set up projects hoping to get donations in  support. I finally have our first project approved: BOOKS!  If you click here, it will take you to my page on If you click  through the page, there are specific details of which books I am ordering, and you can also see our supporters. If you are inclined,  you may make a donation.

Halfway there in just two days!!

In turn, once the project receives all the funds, they will send me  the exact order of books on the list.

The project was just posted this weekend, and already our goal is halfway met!!!

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the match code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through September 22, 2013.

Thanks for your support in any way!


Scholastic Book Fair

book_stackYour child received a Scholastic Book Fair flyer this week. The school’s book fair will go on the rest of this week and next. If you can shop with your child before or after school, this would be great. If you child is interested in shopping and has money, our class will be visiting THIS FRIDAY SEPT. 13TH. They may also shop during their recess or lunch on Thursday 9/12, and I will send them with a note. Other than these two times, our class will not be making extra visits to the Book Fair. I will also be including a “Wish List” for our classroom library, if you feel generous!

Homework listings- Edmodo only

In an effort to get students using Edmodo exclusively, I’ve now discontinued posting homework on the class website. Students should be sure to use Edmodo, and the “Turn In” button to inform me that their assignment is done. The following morning, I am able to click into their post and give then a subjective score between 1-4 for quality and accuracy. We will then review the homework in detail (especially math) to make sure the student has mastery of the topic.

Parents, if you have not joined Edmodo yet, this is a great way to follow what your child is doing in class. It also allows you to see the level of participation and thinking.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences

**A duplicate of this post has been sent to parents via

Our Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences are approaching in less than three weeks. Attached is an online link for you to sign up to meet with me. Some notes:

• Conference availability will be Thurs. 9/12-Thurs 9/19. I will not be free on Friday 9/20.
• Slots range from 1:30-5:30pm
• Meetings will be between 20-25 minutes
• I ask that your child attend the conference with you, if possible.

Please click for the online Fall Parent-Teacher Conference form, or make a choice here:

If you have any last minute changes or cancellations, please let me know at least 24 hours in advance. I will be happy to reschedule the date, the best that I can. Email is best, since our school still does not have voicemail attached to our classroom extensions.

Thanks for all your support!

Thanks to Parents

Thank you, parents for helping us through our third full week of school. I won’t lie, it has been a long few weeks for the teachers – but a good “long”! Both you and the students have absorbed a lot of new information in a short time. There will be plenty more to come. However, in the meantime, I want to update you so far:

Donors-Choose-LogoDonation gratitude!! > If I haven’t said it enough, thank you families for donating so many wonderful supplies at the start of the year!! We have enough Lysol wipes to last us the entire school year! A very special thanks to the Riley Family for donating several NEW books to our classroom library. These books will make a fantastic addition to Room 414. I am very grateful. If you would also like to make donations, or know of individuals who can… I will be setting up an account with This clearinghouse helps fund supplies and projects for teachers. More to come…

40 – Book Challenge > Your child has been working with me to determine his/her reading level. As we mentioned at Curriculum Night, the 6th grade book_stackteam is implementing the 40-book challenge in lieu of having Accelerated Reader. This will give your child more choice, without compromising the accountability. Once I have a clear idea of your child’s reading level (accuracy, fluency and comprehension), then I will ask each student for book recommendations and help make a plan to reach the goal. While not every child may reach the goal by June, it is a worthwhile opportunity to be exposed to other genres. Part of that accountability will be to do more writing, blogging and book reviewing using different mediums.

Math > We have been studying ratios and proportions. I have been sending the textbook and workbooks as needed. Likewise, most work will be review of skills or introductions to new ones via a video. I want to stress that your child will need to work harder to “explain” his/her math reasoning. One way to look at it as if giving step-by-step directions, with a rationale included with it.

00_01Social Studies / Language Arts > Our grade has begun studying Early Man and the Paleolithic Era. We are making connections to archaeological findings and how these may be affecting our modern culture, even today. Narrative writing practice has been incorporated into this content area.

Homework > Students have been learning how to find homework both through this website and through Edmodo. While it may be redundant, I made this purposeful in case Edmodo ever decides to “crash”. At least the website is a backup. Students are getting the hang of it, and being great editors to catch me if I haven’t explained the directions clearly. I will do my best to make sure students know when they need to send their homework digitally, or simply on paper.

Discipline Assembly > Last week, all grades has a discipline assembly to remind us of the school rules and expectations.  I will continue to enforce and inform of your child’s daily behavior through Class Dojo. Please email me if you are not connected with a parent account, since you will need a code to login.

over_03Camp Fundraiser > Our first 6th Grade Camp fundraiser will be with Butter Braid. Your family can reduce a significant amount of the cost of 6th Grade Camp with this fundraiser! Order forms will go home Friday, Aug. 16th with your child. The fundraising sale goes until Sept. 9th.



Parent Conferences > I will be sending more information soon regarding sign ups for parent conferences in September. Conferences dates will be Sept 12-19th. These will be minimum days, with dismissal at 1:15pm. Please note that I will not be available for conferences after 6:00pm. 

Thanks for your continued support to get us off to a good start!


This week the 6th grade classes have been working more on “teamwork.” Room 414 has discussed as a whole, brainstormed in small groups, and even participated with the other 6th grade classes in several activities requiring teamwork. This is a great way for the students to think “outside of the box” as well as determine ways to meet a goal…without getting into WAR!  I’ve addressed that part of being a team means “letting go” if you don’t agree with the majority for the sake of finished the mission. Also, to not take things personally. Students need to be reminded of the purpose of the goal, and that ultimately that they have to keep moving forward and not give up, even if there are disagreements. Students came up with some great analogies such as watching politicians on the news, and even recent stories like the Zimmerman trial.

Below are some observations students came up to describe the various team-building lessons we’ve done so far. Click on our Student Gallery to see what our recent PE activities looked like that involved TEAMWORK!


We made it!

Parents & Families-

Welcome to Week 2 of Camarena Elementary! We had a lightning fast first week. I was so happy to see many of you in the mornings. I know a lot of paperwork went home the first few days. I just want to update you on where we are at as a class & grade level.  I also wanted to inviteIMG_5639 you to follow up on some tasks that will be important to your child in the coming weeks.

Team Building > We spent a good amount of time introducing ourselves to one another through interviews and presentations. Your children are really passionate about their interests and hobbies! It was so great hearing from each one.

Class Behavior Expectations > We have started using a classroom management tool called ClassDojo. You received a slip for both you and your child to create accounts. You should be received weekly reports of what your child did to receive an online award (or negative). It’s a great tool for me to praise a child’s attitude, focus, and participation. Please see your account for options to get text alerts!

Assessments > The class took both a beginning of the year math test and writing sample. Based upon the math results, we will be reviewing some number sense skills this month. Please take some time to look at the SUBJECTS tab on this website, and review the general curriculum for the school year. These are aligned with Common Core State Standards.

Camping cartoonCamp Info Mtg > A parent information meeting was held on Thursday about 6th grade camp and potential fundraisers. The minutes for the meeting can be found here.

Enrique Camerena’s Birthday > Friday was Camarena’s birthday. Our class watched a short video highlighting his work as a DEA Agent, and what his foundation  is doing to honor his death.

For this coming week…

Morning Line-up > Although our start is technically at 8:15, I am going to try to pick up the class and start heading up the stairs by  8:10. This should clockhelp our class (which is at the very far end of the wing) beat the bottleneck traffic with the rest of the grades.

imagesBYOD (Bring Your Own Device)> VERY important…if you’re agreeing to have your child bring in an online device (iPad, Android, laptop, phone, etc) then the parent needs to sign the waiver that went home on Friday 7/26. If you need a copy, email me and I can send a copy home with your child. I will also try to provide a link for you to download, soon. Students are allowed to begin bringing in their devices this Monday, 7/29. We will be spending some time this week talking about Digital Citizenship!

Books > Please have your child bring in a few books (paperback or digital) to read for independent reading time, working towards our 40-book Challenge! We have an extremely limited classroom paperback library.  If you would like to make a donation to our classroom library, these are always welcome. I will also be implementing Scholastic Book Club for periodic book orders. Any orders made accumulate points for our classroom account, which in turn can be used to buy more books! More info later…

Gradebook > Finally, I will be using an online gradebook called It allows you as the parent to check in on your child’s grade and see any comments I’ve made to assignments. It is also a more direct way for me to contact you via mass email. You should receive an email from Teacherease in your mailbox by Monday 7/29 inviting you to join.  You will have directions and a code to connect with me. If you do not receive the email, please let me know right away. I may have transcribed your email address incorrectly, or it may have gone to your Spam folder.

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Thanks for your support!