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5th Grade

Planet Inquiry

posted May 2, 2013, 1:30 PM by   [ updated May 2, 2013, 5:55 PM ]

We're taking a break from our state projects today to answer a few really interesting questions about planets and the solar system.

  1. How do planets form?
  2. What are some different kinds of stars? What makes stars different from each other?
  3. What is an "exoplanet" and how do scientists find them?
  4. What characteristics make a planet or moon a likely place to find life?  What are examples of places with those characteristics?
  5. What is a star's life cycle?
  6. Why are the inner planets rocky and the outer planets gaseous?
  7. How big is space?  Give lots of examples and analogies.
  8. Why is a manned mission to Mars so hard?
  9. Pick a space mission: What did or are we learning from it?
Use the following resources to answer your question:

Create your Wall (only one team member)

  1. Go to
  2. Click Build a Wall
  3. Click Modify Wall
  4. For the Title, write the question your group is answering.  For address, write your question without spaces
  5. Click on the Wall to add Text, Images, Links, and Videos


States Research Project

posted Apr 11, 2013, 1:49 PM by   [ updated Mar 10, 2014, 8:58 AM ]

Getting Ready

For your state project, the first thing we're going to do is research.  We need to find out:

  • 3 places to visit
  • Famous people from the state
  • Major industries of the state


Here are some resources for learning about your state:

History of the 50 States

Links, lists, and facts, such as a list of Famous Louisianans.

State Websites: Type in your state's abbreviation and .gov into the address bar to go to that state's page.  Examples:
    On these pages, look for "tourism" or "visit"

US Census Bureau Quick Facts
Statistics like population, demographics, economy, business

Lonely Planet
Travel site with things to do and see all over.


  1. Start creating your brochure in Pages.  Go to the Template Chooser and use the "Classic" template.
  2. Fill in all the required text.  All writing must be in complete paragraphs.
  3. Adjust text size, text box size, colors, and fonts to create a unique and readable brochure.  Be sure that your choice of fonts and colors are not difficult or distracting for readers!
  4. Export your brochure as a "Best" quality PDF when complete to allow easy sharing.
To view ALL the brochures from 2012, click here (CTK login required).


  1. Before you start, know that the steps below must be completed in one sitting!  You cannot edit the map created in this way.
  2. In Google Maps, Get Directions from your starting point to the next place you will visit.
  3. Click Add Destination and enter the next location.
  4. Repeat step 2 until you are at your endpoint.
  5. Make sure you are signed in to your account and click Save To My Maps.
If you are creating a paper poster board:
  1. Make browser as large as you can on the screen.
  2. Zoom in to each state and take a screenshot by using Command-Shift-4
  3. Print out your screenshots, rather than the map itself (otherwise it will print all the directions!).
If you are creating a digital poster board:
  1. Click the link button: 
  2. Copy the link
  3. Add it to your digital poster board


  • Create your budget in a Google Spreadsheet.  Use this spreadsheet as an example.

Poster Boards: Analog or Digital

Keep the following in mind if you're creating a regular old poster board:
  • Don't print your maps straight from the maps page. Instead, take screenshots, then use the method below to print the right size.
  • Before printing any images, drop those images into Word or Google Docs and adjust the printout size in that document.
  • For your budget, be sure to delete any extra columns or rows you don't need. Also, check "fit to one page" and when you print.
We can make "digital poster boards" using several ways tools:
  • Prezis are zooming presentations set on a single canvas (instead of multiple slides). They look cool but can be difficult to work with.
  • Padlets are like a corkboard for the web. You can link images, videos, and even whole websites (like your budget or map) and arrange them however you like.

Water Website

posted Mar 4, 2013, 8:59 AM by   [ updated Mar 25, 2013, 10:07 AM ]

In order to review and explore concepts from your science Chapter 5, we will create a website to inform others about how water moves through the environment.  You will compete in teams of 6 to create the most informative, well-written, and interesting website.  The winning team will have their site published with the domain name of their choice!

Day 1: Organizing

You will work in teams of 6.  These are the responsibilities of the different roles:
  • Team Leader:
    • Overall web site design
    • Supervising and editing team member work
    • Conferencing with Mr. Dreyfus-Pai about your team's progress
  • Team Members:
    • Create page content
    • Page design
    • Peer edit teammates work


As a team, decide who will be the team leader and who will cover each lesson in your textbook.

Team Leaders:
  • Email me the names of each person and what content they will be covering.
  • Set up your website
    • Site Name: <Your number> Water
    • Site Location: leave the automatic url
    • Theme: Any you like - can be changed later
    • Categories: water
    • Description: Informational website on how water moves and is used by people
  • Share it with your teammates
Team Members
  • 1 team member should create a shared folder with your team and me
    • Name it: Water
  • Create a Google Doc for your research notes.  Drop it in the shared folder.
    • Name it: <Your number> - <Your Lesson>

Day 2: Developing


Team Leaders:
  • Create pages on your site for each Lesson
  • Start working on site design
Team Members:


Finish your lesson notes for homework!

  • Start taking notes on your Lesson.  Write them in your Google Doc
  • If you finish early, peer edit
  • Finish your notes for homework

Day 3 until Done: Formatting for Web

Today you will start creating your pages.  You will have to follow the proper conventions for writing on websites:
  • All images must be attributed to their sources.  The easiest way to do this is by linking the image to its source.
  • Do not indent for new paragraphs.  Instead, separate paragraphs with two returns.
  • Use lists, images, and floating text boxes to create a more visually interesting page.
  • Add videos and animated gifs to make your site more interesting
  • Add interactive elements like quizzes, surveys, or games.
  • Make sure your site looks good at a variety of browser sizes.  Check that images, videos, and text do not overlap.


You will comment on yourself, your teammates, and your leader in this project.

You will comment on the sites created by your class.

Grading Rubric

Holes Symbols

posted Feb 4, 2013, 10:04 AM by   [ updated Feb 4, 2013, 10:25 AM ]

Gallery of Completed Videos

Holes Symbols Rubric

Food Group Presentations

posted Jan 16, 2013, 8:18 AM by   [ updated Jan 16, 2013, 11:30 AM ]


Research Questions
While you are researching, be sure to answer the questions below:
  • What foods are in this group and why? 
    • Fresh/Whole foods
    • Processed foods
  • Some surprisingly healthy items in this groups that may or may not be very popular: 
  • Why do we need these foods?  What are the major nutrients?  What are the benefits of these nutrients?
  • How much do we need? 
  • What is a typical serving size?  Bring a good example.
Game Templates 
See Mr. Dreyfus-Pai for help using these templates.

Outlining Body Systems

posted Nov 29, 2012, 1:09 PM by   [ updated Nov 29, 2012, 1:50 PM ]

Today we're going to start a short project outlining and then presenting information about the body's systems.


  • Circulatory System
    • Arteries and Veins
    • Capillaries
    • Heart
  • Respiratory System
    • Nose/Mouth, Sinus', Larynx
    • Trachea, Bronchi, Bronchioles, Diaphragm
    • Alveoli (air sacs)
  • Digestive System
    • Mouth and Esophagus
    • Stomach
    • Intestines
  • Urinary System
    • Kidneys & Bladder


Use your science textbook for information about the body systems.

Watching James & the Giant Peach Sequels

posted Nov 1, 2012, 11:39 AM by   [ updated Nov 1, 2012, 11:39 AM ]

James and the Giant Peach Sequels

posted Nov 1, 2012, 11:28 AM by   [ updated Nov 1, 2012, 11:38 AM ]

Having written sequels to James and the Giant Peach, we're going to turn them into cartoons using Toontastic.


Playing with Phase Changes and Chemical Reactions

posted Oct 11, 2012, 2:32 PM by   [ updated Oct 11, 2012, 2:32 PM ]

Here are three fun activities to help review Changes of State and Chemical Reactions:

Secure Passwords

posted Oct 11, 2012, 2:29 PM by   [ updated Oct 15, 2012, 10:22 PM ]

Today, we're going to go over what makes a password secure, and then go through the process of changing our own passwords.

First, read this comic about password strength.  It's kind of mathy, but you'll get the idea.

xkcd passwords

Read this one as well, about password reuse.

xkcd password reuse

The Third Way

There are three big ways that people can get your password.  The comics above cover two:
  1. Guess it using a lot of computer power.  This is called a brute force attack.
  2. Steal it from an existing database or by tricking you into signing up for something.  The first is called hacking, the second is called phishing.
The third is the MOST INSIDIOUS OF ALL!
3. You give it away to someone because you trust them.

This is one of the most common ways that people's passwords get passed around and cause harm!  Always keep your password secure from friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, BFFs, classmates, and students!

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