CLASS OF 2015-2016

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tell-Tale Heart.  Post Story.

R.M. (student)

      They stood their looking at the corpse.  At last the heart grew quieter and quieter. I was in the police station. A doctor was assigned to my  case. Meanwhile I was waiting in the interrogation room. A window was there I looked at the detective who came in.
     "Will the press know about this soon?" I said hoping they would know the evil eye  was destroyed.
     "You're crazy and a madman. A  jury wouldn't fall for this reason for murder," the detective said.
     Standing up I smiled and said, " I am not a madman for to be a madman you have to be mad. I was mad at the eye, but now its gone so what am I to be mad at now?"
     After the case a jury sent me to the mental house the doctor asked me why l denied it.
     I told him, "What you say about me is wrong  to prove it observe how calmly so calmly I can tell you the whole story".  I started by saying "It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain but once conceived it haunted me day and night".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GRADE 12 - ART / Cartooning and Animation

My student's animation project.  
I was was lucky enough to get a drawing pad funded by Google-LA through Donor's Choose. 
Please take a peek!

"BIRD" by W.C.

Friday, April 25, 2014

GRADE 2 - MATH / Expanded and Standard Form

Differential learners may have difficulty with expanded form.  So I used this method on the whiteboard.

This was my goal.

I made 2 cards, blank on the underside and with "0" the top side.  
The student placed the zeros in the tens and ones place to see the value of the hundreds digit.

The the student turned the middle card over as if turning a page which blocked the hundreds place, displaying the value of the tens digit.

Then, the student turned over the final card, turning it like a page covering the tens place, exposing only the ones place.  

Finally, I have the student add the numbers again to show the original, standard form.


GRADE 4 - MATH / Fractions…half and whole

This was a lesson my daughter brought home.  I liked it so much, I'm going to use it!

HALF - equivalent fractions

ONE WHOLE - equivalent fractions

GRADE 3 - MATH / Customary units of Capacity

Equivalency Guide

Understanding the relationship between units.

When changing from smaller units to a larger units…DIVIDE.

When converting from larger units to smaller units…MULTIPLY.


 1 Pint = 16oz.

GRADE 2 - MATH / Money - Counting by 5s

Understanding the relationship between counting by 5's using a hundred's chart and counting nickels.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


 When teaching time, I find starting with the minutes is more beneficial than starting with the hour hand.  I have my student memorize the position of every 5 minutes on the clock.  This way, they understand where the minutes are on the clock before they are taught the very visible numbers assigned to the hour hand.

Materials :  Paper plate, bobby pins, cardboard, glue gun.

Everyday, my student places the 5 unit increments on the clock.  We also practice this kinesthetically with our bodies standing, using ourselves as the minute hand.

I adapted them a bit to include the hour hand exercises that you will read about as you scroll down.

Color coding the clock helps my student learn and follow the hour hand.   I also use the same kinesthetic exercises for memorizing positions of the numbers representing hours.  We practice rotating our bodies in a full circle from various starting points on the clock before we try it on a real clock.  We also count with our bodies by 5's, 10's, 20's and 30's.  

After positions of both sets of numbers of memorized,  and a review on fractions (quarter and half hours), I then teach how to tell time and elapsed time.  When counting elapsed time, I find that using a tally system to count hours and then a minute hand to count minutes work best.

GRADE 8 - PRE-ALGEBRA / Graphing

Students with specific learning disabilities can have difficulties with orientation when graphing.  So I use a kinesthetic approach to feel the motion of positive/negative, moving along the x and the y axis.

 Then, I color the x and x axis, so the student knows which line to follow first.  

GRADE 3 - MATH / Fractions of an inch

A simple, visual way to teach fractions of an inch…color the ruler!

GRADE 2 - MATH / Money

Students with learning disabilities can have extreme difficulty counting money.  So, these are the steps I used to scaffold learning.  First lesson, pre-teach coin values.  Student writes the value right on the face of the coin.

Second lesson, use blocks to represent coin values.

Student place corresponding blocks with coins of the same value.  
Student can then add blocks incrementally.

When quarters and half-dollars are taught, I use real coins...

and write the value with a sharpie on the back of each coin.
(Sharpies are erasable)

When counting money, the student can place the coin to match the pictures on the worksheet.
(I find student confuse nickels with quarters, so this is a useful technique)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

GRADE 2 - MATH / Fractions

Fraction Box

I have found that my young students with spacial/visual disorders have trouble with placement when it comes to fractions.  The fraction bar gets confused with many other lines on the page.  So I started using what I call a "Fraction box" to make it easier for them to understand that the part goes in the top box and the total goes in the bottom box.  

It's not a great stretch of the imagination, but the simple addition the the fraction bar really helps them visualize how the fraction should look.

GRADE 6-12 - WRITING / Lipograms


A Lipogram is a piece of writing with an omission of 1 letter.  

This writing assignment forces my students to use sentence variety and experiment with word choice.  At first, they think it's an impossible task, but after a bit of practice, they realize, not only is it possible, it is also fun!  My hope is that they will carry on this practice to their other writing assignments.  


First, I have my students make a collage with images they are drawn to for whatever reason.  Here is an example from one of my 9th graders.


Second, I have my students write about their expression.  This can include an interpretation of the collage…why they chose the images, what importance they have, maybe representing their current emotional state and/or interests.   Here is my 9th graders interpretation.


Finally, I have the students rewrite their piece without a selected letter.  In this case I chose the letter "i" because she began many of her sentences with that letter and I wanted to encourage her to experiment with different beginnings.  Here is her rewrite.

As you can see,  a couple of "i's" found their way into this write-up,  but it is an amazing transformation!  It presents quite a challenge.  I love this exercise!!