Types of Sentences
Nov 30th, 2009 by jonmoss

Confused about simple, complex, and compound sentences?  This website will help.

Here are the descriptions that your child aught to have brought home today.

Subject Who or what the sentence is about.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Predicate What happens to the subject.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Simple Subject Just the noun that makes up the subject.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Complete Subject All the words that show who or what the sentence is about.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Compound Subject A subject that has two or more people or things.  (Ex:  The blue ball and red baseball bat rolled down the driveway.)

Simple Predicate The verb that shows what the subject does.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Complete Predicate All the words that show what the subject did.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Compound Predicate The words that show multiple things that the subject did.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway and hit a passing car.)

Dependent Clause Part of a sentence that cannot be a sentence on its own.  (Ex:  I came to school late because of the late bus.  “Because of the late bus” cannot be a complete sentence.)

Independent Clause Part of a sentence that can be a sentence on its own.  (Ex:  I came to school late because of the late bus.  “I came to school late.” can be a complete sentence.)

Simple Sentence A sentence that has only an independent clause.  (Ex:  The blue ball rolled down the driveway.)

Complex Sentence A sentence with an independent clause AND one or more dependent clauses.  (Ex:  After Mary kicked it, the blue ball rolled down the driveway because of the blacktop’s slope.)

Compound Sentence A sentence that is actually made of two sentences that are joined together with the words and, but, so, or other words.  (Mary kicked the blue ball, so it rolled into the street.)

Want the answers to tonight’s homework so you can help your kids?  Click the link (right below this line) to read more!

Read the rest of this entry »

Interesting Site!
Nov 29th, 2009 by jonmoss

I need to reorganize my collection of learning links from the old website and recreate the database on the new site.  But until then, I’ll post interesting links here.

I just found an interesting site called Whyzz (a “kid” pronounciation of “Why is…” and a homophone of “wise.”)  This site lets kids (or grown-ups) type in a question and find an answer in their ever-growing database of knowledge.  Questions that don’t have specific responses are logged in their system so that appropriate responses can be written or paired later on.  The answer pages appear to be kid friendly in reading level, and some have follow-up activites to further inspire curiosity.  The site even has mobile versions for those times when kids will burst out with a tough question in the middle of the supermarket or on a long drive back home after Thanksgiving at Aunt Petunia’s house.

Quizlet is another new site that I was just introduced to.  It promises to teach vocabulary though customizable flash cards.  It has prepared “e-flashcards” for a lot of high school subjects and test prep topics (which might be good for some of your older kids), but it also lets users create their own database of flash cards for free!  (There is a demo of this on the main page.)  If your child is having trouble remembering the difference between a scalene triangle and an isosceles triangle, or what makes an independent clause different from a dependent clause, this site might help.

The usual disclaimer: I have quickly reviewed these websites and am confident, to the best of my abilities, that the content is reasonably accurate. However, parents should preview the sites to make sure that they are satisfied with the material and their ‘kid-friendliness’. As I do not control these sites, I make no guarrantee as to their content. Kids, get your parents’ permission before going to any of these websites.

Nov 25th, 2009 by jonmoss

After a lot of heard work sorting cans and bottles, I’m thrilled that we have now crossed the $200 mark in the funds we have raised for Gifts of Love.  Special thanks to the parents who have helped to sort cans and bottles already, and to all the student volunteers who have given their time to help us with this worthy cause.  We’re still working to raise more funds for Gifts of Love, so keep sending in those bottles and cans!  I’ll send out the new check to Gifts of Love next week.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fire Safety Poster Contest
Nov 23rd, 2009 by jonmoss

Posters for the Fire Safety Poster Contest must be turned in to the PGS office by Monday, November 30th. Students submitting posters must have their name, grade, school address, and classroom teacher’s name on the reverse side of the poster.
Thank you,
Ann Perrault

Car Sale! Half off!
Nov 22nd, 2009 by jonmoss

Picture 4

Friday’s math lesson (part of it) and critical thought lesson came courtesy of Jay Leno’s headline bit from last Monday.  He showed this (above) advertisement, and he and the audience got a laugh out of the misleading wording that implied that the cost of the cars is twice the amount listed.  (“The price you see if half the price you pay!” = The price you pay is twice the price you see listed.)  The kids spent quite some time trying to spot the error (the highlighting was hidden) and we discussed the mistake in the advertisement.  Interestingly, as we discussed how the cost of cars have changed in the past 20 years, we noted the possibility that the ad is correct and that the advertisers did intend to charge twice the amount listed, and that the misleading advertisement was just intended to bring in buyers.  (I wasn’t buying cars in 1990, so I don’t have a good frame of reference, sorry.)  Given that my car is on its last legs, however, I’d be happy to pay any of those prices (or even double the prices) to get a new car!

After we discussed all the different possibilities, the kids responded to the following question:  Explain what’s wrong with the ad, why it’s unclear, and how it could be fixed. Because we discussed all the possibilities, I was glad that the kids could focus on writing well-written responses, rather than focusing on finding the “right answer.”  These responses are graded and will go home tomorrow or Tuesday.

Can you hear me now?
Nov 12th, 2009 by jonmoss

Your child may have mentioned that I’ve been using a microphone and speaker in class lately.  I wanted to let you know what’s happening and why.  After having a flu a few weeks ago, I had a lingering cough that badly irritated my throat, leaving me without a voice.  Although my voice is starting to come back, my job does require me to talk throughout the day, which usually means that my voice is gone again by day’s end.  (Did you know that teachers are at the highest risk for voice disorders of all common professions?  Professional singers are the only population to be at higher risk.)  I have been advised to use a classroom amplification system to conserve my voice, so that’s why I’ve been joined at the hip with my microphone.  (Plus, wearing a pop-singer-style microphone on your head is just so darn stylish!)  Hopefully I’ll be able to part company with my microphone sometime soon.

T-Shirt Orders
Nov 12th, 2009 by jonmoss

Tomorrow is the deadline for ordering fourth grade signature t-shirts.  If you need an order form, you can download it here.

Strings Tomorrow
Nov 11th, 2009 by jonmoss

Strings lessons WILL be held tomorrow.  Students will be clustered into larger groups because of the early dismissal.

Simple and Compound Sentences HOMEWORK
Nov 10th, 2009 by jonmoss

This is a TWO PART assignment!
Part 1:  Go to the Quia website (see below) and take the Simple and Compound Sentences quiz.  (Don’t worry, I’m not counting it as a quiz.  Just as a typical homework assignment.)  No need to print anything!
Part 2:  Ask a grown-up to help you to email me with the percentage score you got after you submitted your answers to the quiz.  That will show me that you did your homework AND how you did.  While you’re at it, practice your typing by including a sentence or two about how you liked this assignment, how your evening is going, or about something else!  If you definitely can’t email me, I will accept a written sheet with your score, but I’d like to you to TRY to email me!
Here’s the website so you can get started!

If x+(30/2y)-4=72, solve for z.
Nov 10th, 2009 by jonmoss

Does the title of this post send shivers up your spine?  Are you breaking out in a cold sweat?  Is steam coming out of your ears?  If so, perhaps you were like me and had a hard time coming to love algebra.  (I still have to fake it for the kids a bit, I admit.)  But let’s be honest – algebra is neat.  You have a variable that you need to identify by solving the rest of the problem.  It’s a mystery!  A challenge to be solved!  Tonight may be a good time to start getting excited about algebra, because it’s here for your fourth grader!  Yesterday, November 9th, 2009, at 9:19am (we noted the time) your child started learning about algebra!  We are starting slow – just looking at solving equations like x+3=8 or n=20×3.  But it will get more exciting from here!

(And to be clear, there is not adequate information to solve the equation in this post’s title, nor is there any “z” variable for which to solve.)

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