A Comprehensive Guide to Miss Ford’s Class
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Quick Look Resources………………………………………………..15
Dear 5th Grade Parents,
This letter is long but it is designed to give you a clear picture of how the 5th grade behavior plan works
within the classroom. Consequences can stop unwanted behavior and encourage children toward
better choices. Positive reinforcement can actually change the behavior. In fact, most of the children‟s
behavior is controlled through positive reinforcement. It is rare for children to change past yellow, and
we can frequently go days without any color changes at all. However, a plan is necessary for
unaffected behaviors and this plan is by far, the most fair and consistent plan I have worked with.
First of all, the children know what is expected of them. The also understand the hierarchy of
consequences. They know what will happen if they choose to misbehave, (and misbehaving is a choice
that a child makes). The many levels are important because they give a child the chance to correct the
problem before a parent-teacher conference or visit to the Principal‟s office occurs. The consequence
hierarchy also assures that teacher will be consistent and not play favorites, or react unfairly because she
is having a bad day. Best of all, the hierarchy allows the consequence to be handled in a calm and
efficient manner, and is in your child‟s best interest. The least amount of teaching time possible is spent
on behavior problems.
“Billy Bob” is playing in his desk during a lesson. The teacher first tries to correct his behavior by praising
two children close to him for being good listeners and folding their hands, but Billy Bob continues to play.
Next, the teacher uses his name in the math problem she is discussing, to get his attention. Billy Bob looks
up for a second, but then leans over and starts poking his neighbor. The teacher decides to stand next
to Billy Bob‟s desk, hopefully to intimidate him without interrupting the lesson. Billy Bob stops poking his
neighbor, but begins to make sighing noises. By then the teacher is mad and slams her book down on
the table and shouts, “Billy Bob, you haven‟t been listening to me! You are being very rude and this has
got to stop! You are bothering everyone around you! You‟re going to miss all of recess and write 50
times, “I will not be rude!”
This is a pretty harsh consequence made in the heat of anger. If the teacher tries to change it later to
five minutes head down instead, Billy Bob thinks there aren‟t really any boundaries because the teacher
doesn‟t follow through, or mean what she says. The lesson has also been interrupted because all the
children are thinking about Billy Bob and the angry teacher. The teacher will have to backtrack some
before she can continue. If Billy Bob tries to agrue,”That‟s not fair! Sally Sue was talking and you just told
her to stop!” even more precious teaching time is lost. This is a poor way to handle behavior problems.
Replay the above example, but this time instead of getting mad, the teacher calmly says, “Billy Bob, rule
#3, please change your color.” There are no discussions about what Billy Bob was doing (he knows what
rule he broke); there is no anger, which shows caring and respect; and the consequence is not discussed
because depending on where his color is at the time, he knows exactly what the consequence will be
when he changes his color. Also, the teacher can continue the lesson while Billy Bob changes his color,
which results in the least amount of interruption possible during the lesson.
It can happen so fast, some children may not even realize a classmate has changed a color. Often, if
the teacher is circulating around the room as she is teaching, she can casually lean over and whisper to
the child to change their color with little distraction at all. Sometimes the teacher merely says the child‟s
name and points to the behavior chart. I want to spend as little time as possible on classroom discipline
and like the teacher in the example, I will provide the opportunities for a child to stop misbehaving
before they have to change their color.
All children are treated the same with this hierarchy. Without a solid plan, cute little Sally Sue with her
engaging smile could get away with everything because she is so adorable. And poor Billy Bob can get
a tough consequence every time because he is a “trouble maker”. With this plan, a yellow is a yellow,
and a red is a red. It helps teachers treat all children equally.
Finally, a consequence is really a positive action because it gives the child ownership of their behavior
problem, which, in turn, teaches cause and effect, responsibility, and internal controls. These concepts
are important for life-long learning!
I hope I have been able to explain the behavior plan to you in a way that will help you feel comfortable
with its structure.
The following is an outline of this year‟s behavior management plan. I believe
that if we work together it will be very successful. I would greatly appreciate
your taking the time to read and review this plan with your child so that it is clear
what will be expected in the classroom this year.
There is one basic rule that every student will be expected to follow. This rules
has been created based on your children‟s suggestions and have been
discussed and role-played with the children. I feel that it is well understood by
everyone. Here is our classroom rule:
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IN CLASS SO LONG
AS IT IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR ANYONE ELSE.
Every child has the right to learn and every teacher has the right to teach.
Behaviors that disrupt these rights are considered undesirable. These undesirable
behaviors take away valuable learning and teaching time. I feel that any
classroom rule that is broken is considered an undesirable behavior and must be
dealt with appropriately.
Each child has a behavior pocket in which a colored strip will be placed at the
start of each day. Children will begin the school day by placing a green strip in
their pocket. For each undesirable behavior, a different color strip will be added
to their pocket. Each color strip has a consequence, and the color code is as
GREEN – Great Behavior!
YELLOW – Warning/ Reminder to get back on track
RED - Time out for 5 minutes
BLUE – Time out for 10 minutes
ORANGE – Time out for 15 minutes at study hall, and either a pink or white
slip is sent home
SEVERE DISRUPTION CLAUSE: Any of the following behaviors automatically
bypass the above steps and may include consequences outside of the color-
coded behavior plan. (i.e./ incident report, conference, detention,
Fighting/Physical Aggression (includes bullying and harassment)
Defiance/disrespectful behavior (back talk, refusal to comply, abusive language
Unlawful acts (stealing,, drugs, etc.)
Chronic and cumulative offenses with weapons
Because a positive classroom environment leads to positive learning
experiences, there is frequent praise for desirable behavior. Any positive
behavior may be acknowledged in many different ways:
Verbal praise Note sent home Phone call home
Group acknowledgement Radio time A special sticker or stamp
Marbles in the marble jar Banana Bucks Good News Telephone
Parents will have the opportunity to review their child‟s behavior at the end of
each week by means of a “Behavior Sheet” (see attached). I will make notes on
the sheets as to the nature of any color changes for your information. It will also
be helpful if the children are asked each day about their “color” for the day. By
signing and returning your child‟s behavior sheet to school each Monday, I will
know that you are aware of your child‟s behavior at school. Your child will earn
one sticker on the Behavior Sheet Chart for each returned behavior sheet
(regardless of color changes). At the end of the month, or, at 4 stickers on the
Behavior Sheet Chart, your child will earn a trip to the sticker basket! However,
stickers for the Behavior Sheet Chart will not be given out to the students unless
their sheet is signed by you and returned to me!
I have found that this plan is most successful when we all work together.
Therefore, I would greatly appreciate your support and reinforcement of our
classroom rules and behavior sheets at home. I will work hard to be consistent
and fair here at school. If you ever have any questions about your child‟s
classroom behavior or behavior sheets, please feel free to give me a call here at
school (206-368-4165). Thank you for your support!
You get home from work as your child‟s bus pulls up at the stop. You wave happily when you see
your child. You can‟t wait to share with your child the special evening that you have planned for
them and the rest of the family. You are happy and eager to welcome your child home. But,
instead of a smile and a hug, a little sad voice says, “I got a color change in school today.”
(The most frequently expressed questions and concerns about color changes)
Q: Why do you give color changes instead of verbal warnings?
A: Children have short attention spans and verbal warnings are easier to forget. The
color change is a visual warning that the child may notice several times during the day.
When your child notices the color change, it reminds them to stay on task and what the
consequence will be if they don‟t. Also, during the early years, there are more visual
learners than auditory learners. There are even more children who learn by doing, so the
act of changing a color will have a more lasting effect than being asked verbally to
correct the behavior.
Q: Can my child get the color change changed back to green if the behavior is changed?
A: A parent‟s strong desire to keep a child free from discomfort, sadness, and
disappointment is natural and understandable. However, it is not a perfect world and life
doesn‟t always offer second chances. Sadness, disappointment, and discomfort are
experiences all children (people) must learn to face and much of our strength of
character comes from working through these kinds of situations. To change the color
back to green defeats the purpose of the color change. We don‟t want children to hide
from their mistakes, ignore them, or pretend they didn‟t happen. It is more desirable to
have children take responsibility for their mistakes by accepting they happened, facing
the possible consequences, internalizing what they have learned from the experience,
and choosing to make positive changes for the future.
Q: What if it is a soccer night and my child gets a yellow?
A: The consequence is more effective if carried out on the day of the color change.
Have your child stay with you until warm up begins. No socializing before or after the
Q: What if my child doesn’t tell me about the color change and I don’t find out until
Friday there was a behavior problem?
A: Let your child know that you want to hear about the color changes on the day that it
happens. Most children automatically tell their parents and it is not usually a problem.
Q: What if my child brings home 2-3 yellows in a week?
A: If this becomes a weekly pattern, we should meet to discuss the effectiveness of this
plan with your child and look more closely for reasons that could explain why the
behavior is happening.
Q: Does this system work for everyone?
A: No, it doesn‟t. It works effectively with most children most of the time. It may be
necessary to implement a different plan with some children.
Q: What about the positives?
A: Of course! Positive reinforcement is an important component to changing unwanted
behaviors. You love your child no matter what and your child needs to know that, but
please do not consider a consequence as a negative action. Remember, your child is
choosing to misbehave. Discipline teaches internal controls which lead to positive results.
(A quick reference for homework and behavior)
Homework is written down daily
(around 3:15 p.m). Please look
over your child‟s planner at least
weekly so that they are aware
that YOU are aware of the
homework assignments. Thanks!
Here behavior is recorded daily and signed by the teacher.
If you are planning an absence for your child for either vacation, a day away, etc.
please let me know ahead of time. When I record absences in the morning it saves both
you and Laura a phone call if she knows why your student is absent. This is also helpful in
the event that your child is absent for multiple days due to an illness. Work assigned
when the student is absent will be put on top of their desks to be done as homework or
study hall work when they return. Work will not be given out ahead of time in the event
of a planned absence because the schedule and workload changes so much from day
to day, it is hard to predict exactly what will be taught a week ahead of time. This is a
I thoroughly enjoy parent volunteers, they add to the atmosphere of the classroom, and
the amount of work that can be done when we work as a team always amazes me.
With that said, it is my policy to start parent volunteers in the classroom after the
Thanksgiving holiday. I have this policy because I need the first part of the year to
establish routines and expectations with the students. Usually by Thanksgiving students
are familiar enough with the classroom climate that they can be self-managers, and
therefore the classroom should work like a well-oiled machine. So when you finally come
into the classroom, the students are ready for you, and so am I. Thank you for your
understanding and patience. After Thanksgiving break a room parent will contact you to
re-confirm the time you signed up for at Parent Night, and make any changes if
ROOM 20 ALL STARS
This year, 2 students per week will be picked at random to be our, “All Stars.” Star
students will use construction paper to mount their 5 photos onto since we hang the
photos up with magnets. Photos are due on Monday morning so that they may be
enjoyed all week. Our „All Stars‟ will share their photos with the class during the 20 minute
period prior to instrumental both on Monday and Wednesday.
Birthdays are celebrated on or close to the student‟s real birthday. In the event of a
summer birthday, we celebrate their special day on their half-birthday. Typically, treats
are brought to share with the class, and because I fit the birthday celebration anywhere
in the schedule that it works out, it may be easier if you dropped off the treats before
school starts or send them with your child. If you would like to come in and celebrate
your child‟s birthday with us, let me know ahead of time and I‟ll try and pick a time that
best meets both of our needs.
BON VOYAGE PARTIES
In the event that your child has to leave Syre because of a move, please let me know
about a week ahead of time when your child‟s final day will be. It is so important that
the students have time to process the information and get ready to say goodbye. When
notice is given to the student‟s way in advance it can seem a little abstract and they
spend a lot of time dwelling on it, and when they are told on the last day, it doesn‟t offer
them enough time to process the information. I know, it‟s a tricky thing, but if you do
have advance notice, please let me know. We do have a goodbye routine in the
classroom, and it is very similar to birthday celebrations, so treats to share with the class
KEEPING YOU IN THE LOOP!
E-mail is by far the best way to get in touch with me, I can often be found
checking my inbox a couple of times a day. In the event that you do not have
e-mail the next best way is to write me a note. I must confess that the phone is
my weakness, although if you need to get in touch with me via phone the 20
minutes before and after school are your greatest chances of getting me in the
Boomerangs are sent home every Tuesday. Please check your child‟s backpack
on Tuesday to ensure that they have brought it home. Communication items
typically found in the Boomerang include graded assignments, parent letters,
and school newsletters. Please be sure to check the Boomerang every week, it is
a quick way to let me know that your child has shown you the important
documents that the Boomerang contains. Boomerangs should be returned by
Planners are filled out daily, and should go home daily as well. At 3:15 I put up
on the computer what assignments students are to be working on. It is the
student‟s responsibility to write down the information in their planner. In order to
hold students accountable for writing in their planner, students are not allowed
to pack up at the end of the day without a planner check from yours truly.
Planners that have been checked have my initials at the bottom of the daily
column. In terms of due dates, to keep things simple, consistent, and easy to
remember, most assignments are due on Friday (with the exception of A.R which
changes from year to year). If your student is absent for any reason and misses
an important assignment, a portion of the south wall in the classroom has been
dedicated to monthly assignments, so they can just glance and check (and you
can too!). In addition, the homework assignments can be found on the website
under the link homework, and Mt. Math answer sheets can be found in the
documents section of the website as well.
ROOM 20 NEWS
The Room 20 News will be sent home every other week. The letter will include
two pieces of classroom happenings, a section on questions to ask your students,
reminders of homework, and parent reminder for things such as field trip money,
picture day, etc. On occasion, an off-week parent letter may be sent home, but
these are typically few are far between.
Every two weeks an assignment log will be sent home containing all of the
assignments that students have been working in class. The log includes when the
assignment was given, assignment title and due date, and whether or not
assignments are missing or need to be redone. If a student needs to redo an
assignment, their score (a 2 or 1) will be written next to the assignment. Students
have until that Friday to turn in the missing assignment or show improved work
otherwise the grade will be „as is‟ in the grade book. If your student does not
have any missing assignments or any redo work it will be indicated on the
assignment log by either a hand-written smiley face or stamp. Assignment logs
must be signed by parent or guardian and returned that same Friday.
Sorry mom and dad, but you have homework in fifth grade too! Part of what I
need to teach fifth graders are how to set up a letter in friendly letter format.
Clever me (yes, I am giving myself a pat on the back) I‟ve decided that students
will meet this learning expectation by writing you a friendly letter every Friday.
Each Friday, we will create a pre-write of 13 things that happened in school. It is
the student‟s responsibility to choose at least two of those items in their letter to
you. When the students are done I do a quick check for formatting and
conventions, and then it‟s off to you! Your homework? Write them a letter back!
It doesn‟t have to be long, just a quick note will do, but writing a letter back will
not only keep the kids involved with the lesson, but it‟s a great opportunity to
have a special writing time with your pre-teen child every week.
PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE OFTEN (AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK!) Not only does the
website contain monthly information such as homework, but it also contains
items such as the Room 20 News, data (including rubrics and timelines) on major
projects, and photos of lessons learned in class. Items that are added to the
documents section, announcement section, and links section are shared with
students in class and contain information to help support them at home on
concepts taught in class. Enjoy the wealth of information that it contains!
MOUNTAIN MATH – (Starts the 1st week of school)
Mountain Math is weekly math homework that is passed out to students on Friday, and due
the following Friday for 25 weeks. Every Friday students will highlight the weekly problems on
the Mountain Math sheet, these are the mandatory problems the students must complete.
Any problem not highlighted can be tried for extra credit, with the understanding that if they
try the problem and get it wrong, it will not negatively affect their grade. As the year
progresses and students become more familiar with the concepts being taught, more
problems will be required. A parent/student cheat sheet is provided for you at the back of
All of your student‟s spelling homework for the year can be found in their spelling workbook.
Spelling words are assigned on Friday mornings, and tested on the following Friday. The
spelling practice sheet is a classroom assignment that should only be done in class. After that,
students are asked to practice their spelling homework at home using a variety of strategies
either provided by the teacher or a strategy of their own. The idea behind this strategy is to
provide each and every student with a spelling practice that works best towards their skill
level and learning style. Moreover, by giving students an opportunity to discover study
strategies that work best for them, they gain valuable information about themselves as a
learner, thus preparing them for the demands of other subject areas and grade levels. A
teacher check will be done every Friday morning to see that students have practiced and
recorded their spelling strategy for the week. A parent signature is required in order for the
student to get the homework points for this assignment (see rubric in spelling workbook).
There are thirty spelling tests throughout the year.
AR READING LEVELS AND HOMEWORK
Accelerated Reader, or A.R. is a reading program used throughout the Shoreline School
District. Students take a STAR test, which is a computerized vocabulary test, and from that test
the student is given a reading level, which indicates books with vocabulary that they can
read and understand independently. In 5th grade students are required to read 6 AR books
(at their level) per trimester. After they have finished reading their first AR book they will take
an AR test about that book, if they pass with a 70% or more, then they may move onto their
second book. If, for some reason there is no AR test for the book your child has chosen, they
can create a 10 question multiple-choice test (with answers) as an alternative. To ensure that
students are reading their AR books on a regular basis, they have nightly AR reading
homework. A copy of the AR due dates for the year can be found in the Quick Look
Resources section of this packet. For further information regarding A.R., please refer to your
child‟s A.R. Journal.
Students will also be expected to practice their instrument per Mrs. Ault and Mrs. McDavid‟s
instruction. Students are to record their practice times on the calendar sheets provided by
both teachers. Instrumental practice is considered part of the 50 minutes of daily homework
The Science Tri-fold is the only long-term project in fifth grade, and only a fraction of that
project will be assigned as homework. Most of the work is done in class, with over a month of
in-class scheduled work time. Due to the fact that this assignment is key in preparing students
for the Science WASL, and due to the overwhelming support given in class, students who do
not turn in a completed tri-fold on time may find themselves removed from a position of
leadership (Conflict Managers, Patrol, etc.) for not holding themselves to the leadership
contract that they signed in the beginning of the year. This may jeopardize their opportunity
to go to Wild Waves in May.
Homework excuses are offered during the first and second trimester of the school year.
During the first trimester students are allowed 2 homework excuses, the second trimester
they are allowed 1 homework excuse, and the third trimester they are allowed 0
homework excuses. In the event that your student needs to use a homework excuse
have them fill out the excuse form in the back of this book, and then cut it out. On
Friday, when I collect the student‟s homework, they should turn it in to me. Once they
have used their homework excuse they have a certain number of days to complete their
homework and turn it in before it is entered as a zero in my grade book. The schedule is
Trimester #of excuses What it gives the student
First 2 2-day extension
Second 1 1-day extension
Third 0 NA
Once a student has used all of their homework excuses for the trimester, if they still fail to
turn the homework in on time, then they will start their day by putting a red ticket in their
pocket, and they will spend their recess in study hall. In addition, the student‟s grade will
drop one whole grade. This may seem extreme, but as we get further into the school
year, students should be very familiar with both what the homework is asking of them,
and when it should be turned in.
In the event that there is a family emergency, please contact me for specific instructions,
depending on the situation, it may or may not be necessary to use a homework excuse.
Homework excuses are not to be used for tests, or long-term special projects.
HOMEWORK EXCUSE NO.2 FIRST TRIMESTER (SAMPLE ONLY, NOT FOR USE)
Assignment due date:____________________________________________
You have 2 days from the due date of this assignment to complete your homework and turn it in before
it is entered as a zero in the grade book. Therefore, if the assignment was due on a Friday, it must be
turned in before lunch on Wednesday.
Organization: Advice for Parents
Developing good organizational skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in life.
Although some people by nature are more organized than others, anyone can put routines and
systems in place to help a child "get it together." Here's a list of strategies that you can use to help
your child get -- and keep -- his life under control.
1.Use checklists. Help your child get into the habit of keeping a "to-do" list. Use checklists to post
assignments, household chores, and reminders about what materials to bring to class. Your child
should keep a small pad or notebook dedicated to listing homework assignments. Crossing
completed items off the list will give him a sense of accomplishment.
2.Organize homework assignments. Before beginning a homework session, encourage your child
to number assignments in the order in which they should be done. She should start with one that's
not too long or difficult, but avoid saving the longest or hardest assignments for last.
3.Designate a study space. Your child should study in the same place every night. This doesn't
have to be a bedroom, but it should be a quiet place with few distractions. All school supplies and
materials should be nearby. If your young child wants to study with you nearby, too, you'll be better
able to monitor his progress and encourage good study habits.
4.Set a designated study time. Your child should know that a certain time every day is reserved for
studying and doing homework. The best time is usually not right after school -- most children benefit
from time to unwind first. Include your child in making this decision. Even if she doesn't have
homework, the reserved time should be used to review the day's lessons, read for pleasure, or work
on an upcoming project.
5.Keep organized notebooks. Help your child keep track of papers by organizing them in a binder
or notebook. This will help him review the material for each day's classes and to organize the
material later to prepare for tests and quizzes. Use dividers to separate class notes, or color-code
notebooks. Separate "to do" and "done" folders help organize worksheets, notices, and items to be
signed by parents, as well as provide a central place to store completed assignments.
6.Conduct a weekly clean up. Encourage your child to sort through book bags and notebooks on
a weekly basis. Old tests and papers should be organized and kept in a separate file at home.
7.Create a household schedule. Try to establish and stick to a regular dinnertime & a regular
bedtime. This will help your child fall into a pattern at home. Children with a regular bedtime go to
school well-rested. Try to limit television-watching and computer play to specific periods of time
during the day.
8.Keep a master calendar. Keep a large, wall-sized calendar for the household that lists the
family's commitments, schedules for extracurricular activities, days off from school, and major
events at home and at school. Note dates when your child has big exams or due dates for
projects. This will help family members keep track of each other's activities and avoid scheduling
9.Prepare for the day ahead. Before your child goes to bed, he should pack schoolwork and
books in a book bag. The next day's clothes should be laid out with shoes, socks, and accessories.
This will cut down on morning confusion and allow your child to prepare quickly for the day ahead.
10.Provide needed support while your child is learning to become more organized. Help your child
develop organizational skills by photocopying checklists and schedules and taping them to the
refrigerator. Gently remind her about filling in calendar dates and keeping papers and materials
organized. Most important, set a good example.
Adapted from "Tips for Developing Organizational Skills in Children" by the Coordinated Campaign for Learning
Disabilities (CCLD). Call 1-888-478-6463 for important resources and information about learning disabilities.
EIGHT WAYS OF LEARNING
Children who THINK LOVE NEED
Linguistic In words Reading, writing, Books, tapes, writing tools,
telling stories, paper, diaries, dialogue,
playing word discussion, debate, stories
Logical- By reasoning Experimenting, Materials to experiment
Mathematical questioning, with, science materials,
figuring out logical manipulatives, trips to the
puzzles, calculating planetarium and science
Spatial In images Designing, drawing, Art, LEGOs, video, movies,
(Visual) and pictures visualizing, slides, imagination games,
doodling mazes, puzzles, illustrated
books, trips to art museums
Bodily- Through Dancing, running, Role play, drama,
Kinesthetic somatic jumping, building, movement, things to build,
sensations touching, gesturing sports and physical games,
tactile experiences, hands-
Musical Via rhythms Singing, whistling, Sing-a-long time, trips to
and humming, tapping concerts, music playing at
melodies feet and hands, home and school, musical
Interpersonal By bouncing Leading, Friends, group games,
ideas off of organizing, relating, social gatherings,
other people manipulating, community events, clubs,
mediating, partying mentors/apprenticeships
Intrapersonal In relation to Setting goals, Secret places, time alone,
their needs, meditating, self-paced projects,
feelings, and dreaming, choices
goals planning, reflecting
Naturalist Through Playing with pets, Access to nature,
nature and gardening, opportunities for interacting
natural forms investigating with animals, tools for
nature, raising investigating nature (i.e./
animals, caring for magnifying glass,
planet earth binoculars)
(what‟s the point?)
Mountain Math is given each week with the purpose of helping students
maintain concepts already taught in the previous grades, in addition to
helping students maintain new concepts as they are learned throughout
the year. The goal of Mountain Math is to ensure that your student have
the necessary math tools needed to succeed both at the fifth and sixth
grade level, and that is why it is assigned each week. At most, students
will be responsible for answering 45 questions (starting during week 14). In
order to help students and parents adjust to the responsibility of weekly
homework assignments, a suggested guideline for time spent on Mountain
Math homework has been created for you using both a five-day, and
seven-day schedule. As always, if there is something that you don't
understand about Mountain Math, please come see me right away so
that we can work on it together. Thanks!
MOUNTAIN MATH SCHEDULE
Number of Weeks Average Number of Math Schedule
Problems Assigned 5 Day Plan 7 Day Plan
Weeks 1-4 26 questions 5 a day 3-4 a day
Weeks 5-13 33 questions 6-7 a day 5 a day
Weeks 14-25 45 questions 9 a day 6-7 a day
What does that look like when put into practice? Well, for example for
problem number one, which is a problem dealing with number-sense,
students are responsible for answering eleven questions. When the
schedule (either five-day or seven-day) is put into practice, students may
only be answering about half of those questions as part of their study for
the first night of homework during the first 13 weeks. After week fourteen,
at most students would have to answer all but two of those questions for
problem one during a night of Mountain Math homework. So you see,
when Mountain Math is broken up during the course of a week, students
are actually given a very reasonable amount of math work each night.
MT. MATH TROUBLE SHOOTING
Question #1 Just write the answer using words, so if the number is 17,430 then the answer
is seventeen thousand four hundred thirty. Questions # 3-10, use the original number, in
this case 17,430 when figuring out the answers for each problem. Question #11
expanded form means that the number is broken up into place values, but written as an
addition problem. Therefore, if the number was 17,430 the answer would be 10,000 +
7,000 + 400 + 30 + 0
Standard form just means writing down the answer the „normal way‟. So if the problem is
eight thousand six hundred fifty six, then the answer is 8,656.
Again, with standard form, just write down the answer the way you usually would when
solving a math problem. If the problem is 30,000 + 700,000 + 9,000 then the answer is
Find the special number and write down (using words) what the place value of that
number is in each set. So, if the special number was 4 and it was in the following number
739,347 then the correct written answer would be 4 tens.
PROBLEM FIVE AND SIX
Multiply/divide the two numbers and write down the answer.
Changing a number to a mixed number or a whole number….here‟s the trick! If the
number is an improper fraction, meaning that the number on top (numerator) is larger
than the number on the bottom (denominator) then just divide the numerator by the
denominator. Therefore, if the fraction was 14/6 then problem would be set up as a
normal division problem 6 14. The remainder, which would be 2, then becomes the
numerator, and the original denominator stays the denominator. So the answer, a mixed
number, would be 2 and 2/6.
Changing a mixed number into an improper fraction is easy if you just follow these steps.
1) Multiply the denominator and the whole number 2) Take that subtotal and add it to
the numerator. This total becomes your new numerator, and your denominator stays the
same. To reduce to lowest terms, first write out all of the number that can be multiplied
to create that number. Then for every number that appears both on the top and the
bottom of the fraction, cancel them out, until only one number is left.
List the first six multiples, this problem is asking you to give the answers of the first six
multiplication answers starting with one, for this particular number. Therefore, if the
number is 3 the first six multiples are 3,6,9,12.15,18. Also, if the other number you need to
find multiples for is 11, then the first six multiples are 11,22,33,44,55,66. The common
multiples are the numbers that these two have in common. Sometimes you may have to
go beyond the first six multiples to find more than one. In the case of the example
above 33 and 66 are the common multiples, but to find those the number three had to
be multiplied by 11 and 22. The Least Common Multiple (LCM) is the smallest number that
the two original numbers share, in the example given above, the LCM would be 33.
I like to tell the kids that „n‟ stands for mystery „number‟, for some kids it makes this
problem a bit easier to do. Also, replacing „n‟ with a question mark is also another easy
way to ease a student‟s tension about this problem. If the problem is 3 + 7 = 7 + n, then
„n‟ is 3, so that on either side of the equal sign the total is 10.
When adding or subtracting fractions, the denominator needs to be the same number
for each fraction ( 4/5 + 3/5) In these situations, the denominator doesn‟t change, but
the numerator will depending on the operation you are using. If the denominator is not
the same (Mt. Math #10: 3/3 + 3/5) then a common multiple must be found between
the two fractions (3 and 5 share a multiple of 15) before adding or subtracting can take
place. In the example of Mt. Math #10, 3/3 is multiplied by 5/5 and 3/5 is multiplied by
3/3 to make equivalent fractions 15/15 + 9/15.
If the problem is asking you to multiply fractions, don‟t worry, in this case all you need to
do is multiply the numerators and multiply the denominators (regardless of whether or not
the denominators are the same).
For adding or subtracting fractions follow the steps listed in problem eleven. If the
problem involves a mixed number (whole number and fraction) then follow the steps in
problem eight to change the mixed number into an improper fraction before following
the steps in problem eleven.
Throughout the 25 weeks of Mt. Math, you‟ll be given three different scenarios to solve.
In scenario one both fractions have a common denominator, and you‟ll only need to
glance at the fractions to see which one is greater (see Mt. Math #1). In the second
scenario, you‟ll be given two fractions that do not have the same denominator (see Mt.
Math #3). If the fractions in problem thirteen have different denominators, then find the
LCM (see problem nine) of each denominator and make an equivalent fraction (see
problem eleven). Scenario #3 is first seen in Mt. Math #2, in which you‟ll be asked to find
5/8 of 72. The easiest way to find this answer is to make an equivalent fraction of 5/8 in
which the denominator is 72. Since 8*9=72, then 5/8 needs to be multiplied by 9/9 so that
the equivalent fraction is 45/72, and that’s your answer!
To multiply fractions, all you need to do is multiply the numerators and multiply the
denominators (regardless of whether or not the denominators are the same). If the
problem wants you to multiply a mixed number and a fraction, convert that mixed
number into and improper fraction (see problem eight). Sometimes you‟ll be asked to
multiply a fraction by a whole number (Mt. Math #2, 3/4 * 7), in situations like these put
seven over one so that the fractions being multiplied are 3/4 * 7/1 = 21/4.
Use the numbers to find the sum and difference.
Factors are the numbers that make a number what it is. If the problem is asking you to
find the factors of 12, then the factors are 1,2,3,4,6,12 because 1*12, 2*6, and 3*4 are the
numbers multiplied to find 12. The greatest common factor (GCF) is the biggest number
that the two numbers share. So in Mt. Math #1, the GCF is 4.
The alligators mouth always eats the bigger number.
When using decimals always think money, it makes it much easier to think about it in the
context of the real world. Remember, when reading a number to the right of the
decimal, it starts with tenths….
Finding the mean (one type of average) students will need to add up all of the numbers
and then divide by the amount of numbers they used. In Mt. Math #1, student‟s will have
to add 2+5+8 =15 and then divide by three, since that‟s how many numbers were
added. The mean is 5. Later on in the school year students will be given an opportunity
to find the median for extra credit, in this case, the median is found by putting the
numbers in order from least to greatest. Then, find the number that is in the middle. If
there are two „middle‟ numbers, take those numbers and find their mean.
When adding or subtracting decimals remember to align the decimals, otherwise your
answer will be wrong.
When multiply decimals, ignore the decimal altogether and just treat it as a normal
multiplication problem. After finding your answer, but before putting it on your answer
sheet, pay attention once more to those decimals! Find the amount of numbers that
appear to the right of the decimal. In Mt. Math #1 the problem is 1.4 * 8.3, so there are 2
numbers to the right of the decimal. When putting the decimal back into your answer
start with the ones column and count out until you stop on the number to the left of the
decimal, put your decimal there.
Every Friday as Mt. Math is assigned we will decide as a class which place value we will
round to, starting usually with the hundreds column in the beginning of the year. As the
year progresses and students become more comfortable with estimating answers we will
narrow the rounding field.
Finding perimeter: Add all the sides together. Be sure to label the answer.
Finding area: Area is found by multiplying length & width. Be sure to label your answer.
Think „math‟ when answering these problems. Sometimes a student will take a look at
this problem and answer silly answers like “pizza hut roof” instead of trapezoid or “hands
on a clock” instead of angle. Usually the problem focuses on something that has been
taught previously either in fourth or fifth grade.
If, at any point in time you find difficulty with any of the problems, please have your child
come in with their work so that we can go over it together, or feel free to e-mail me with
any questions that you may have.
A.R. Schedule for 2006-2007
First Trimester (STAR test the week of Sept. 6th)
week of (date listed is a Friday)
Book 1 September 22nd
Book 2 October 6th
Book 3 October 20th
Book 4 November 3rd
Book 5 November 17th
Book 6 December 1st
2nd Trimester (STAR test the week of November 29th)
Book 1 December 15th
Book 2 January 5th
Book 3 January 19th
Book 4 February 2nd
Book 5 February 16th
Book 6 March 2nd
3rd Trimester (STAR test the week of March 7th)
Book 1 March 23rd
Book 2 April 6th
Book 3 April 27th
Book 4 May 11th
Book 5 May 25th
Book 6 June 8th The student‟s A.R.
Journals list not only
the book schedule
and the student‟s
QUICK NOTE: A.R. level for each
trimester, but it also
A.R. reports are printed out and sent home the contains information
Tuesday following the book 3 due date and the about what counts
as a passed test,
book 6 due date. If you would like updates on a
which books we will
more frequent basis have your child follow the
count as an A.R.
instructions in their A.R. Journal to print out what book (acceptable
you need. non-AR books) and
how to print out an
(Rubrics for science and writing are available on the webpage in the documents link.)
4 95% - 100%
3 80% - 94%
2 65% - 79%
1 64% and below
MATH FAST FACTS
4 26 & more correct
3 20-25 correct
2 11-19 correct
1 0-9 correct
ALL OTHER ASSIGNMENTS
3 80 – 99%
2 65% - 79%
1 64% and below
All classroom work containing comprehension questions must be answered
using complete sentences that restate the question in their answer. Work
that does not meet this expectation, regardless of whether or not the
content is correct, will be graded as incorrect. No exceptions.
Assignment due date:
You have 1 day from the due date of this assignment to complete your homework and turn it in
before it is entered as a zero in the grade book. Therefore, if the assignment was due on a Friday, it
must be turned in before lunch on Tuesday.
Assignment due date:
You have 1 day from the due date of this assignment to complete your homework and turn it in
before it is entered as a zero in the grade book. Therefore, if the assignment was due on a Friday, it
must be turned in before lunch on Tuesday.
HOMEWORK EXCUSE 23