Sad news

Today we were greeted with sad news for Tristan’s family about the unexpected passing of his Dad. An email was sent out with a letter.

When Tristan returns to school we will want to make sure he knows he’s loved, supported, and has the space he needs to grieve.

Students today put together a simple, heartfelt message which I’ll share in this post.

Hug those closest to you.


Homophone Infographic

We have started working on building infographics for homophones. The purpose for this is: To better understand there are a variety of homophones that exist in our language. To practice using the Infographic design sheet. To practice building an informative, creative, and well-designed infographic. To practice using the infographic rubric. To practice revising our thinking […]

Daily Update

Today was busy! We wrapped up our math/art work using rectangles and a review of subtracting fractions and mixed numbers with regrouping. Several students began a new math/art review using protractors and multiplying fractions and mixed numbers. Want to see their work? Stop on by and take a look at the walls. They’re looking more colorful!

Reading. PLEASE encourage your child to continue reading Sea Otter Heroes at home on their devices. We will start looking at book reviews and begin thinking about what essential details should be taken from the Sea Otters book to be used for the trailer we’re producing.

We’re continuing to use Padlet to get students to reflect on their learning and thinking. Here’s an example of what an in-class reflection looks like! Ask your child to explain how Padlet works. They’re catching on VERY quickly. Not all reflections will be public. Some will be between student and myself, too.

Made with Padlet
We began diagramming sentences today as you might be able to tell by the Padlet above. This is a great way to get students looking at language and taking it apart in order to put it back together. This will help with our study of appositives and independent and dependent clauses. If it’s been a while since you’ve done this, it’s never too late to brush up on your skills. You can go to IXL for some practice pages that also come with answer sheets, too! Remember what an indirect or direct object is or a coordinating or subordinating conjunction? Your students will be diving into this and more soon enough.

Today kicked off with a review of geometry and fractions. Students worked on a HyperDoc to think and read and work together to create an abstract piece of art. You can view the HyperDoc below. What is a HyperDoc? It’s a digital lesson plan that allows students to work through a concept at their pace and to interact with ideas and each other.

It’s not a digital worksheet.

It’s using a digital tool to get kids thinking and learning differently. It’s the future. And your children are going to be well prepared for it at this pace. Look for more HyperDocs this second trimester in different subjects.

The day ended with several students beginning to read Patricia Newman’s new science book, Sea Otter Heroes: How a Predator Saved an Ecosystem and the rest working with me to find archival footage of military war dog handlers for another book trailer we are producing for Connie Goldsmith!

It is so great to see your students back in class. Thank you for the opportunity to work with your kids. This is a special group, and I missed them!

Homework: Monday, November 28, 2016

Welcome back!

Please encourage your child to read Patricia Newman’s Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators that Saved an Ecosystem. This book is not yet published, yet it can be found on our class blog. We were asked to create a book trailer for Ms. Newman which ties in nicely with our Wonders unit of writing a book review!

The webpage is password protected. Students know the password. PLEASE do not share this document with anyone else. Ms. Newman has given us exclusive rights to use this manuscript for the book trailer process.

Also, we will ramp up working on another book trailer for Connie Goldsmith for her soon-to-be-published text Military War Dogs. This manuscript can also be found on the same password protected page.

Welcome Back!

I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable and your time off was restful.

The second trimester goes VERY FAST! We are back for 3 1/2 weeks and then off for winter break. January and February have several three day weekends and suddenly it’s March.

That said, I wanted to share with you an opportunity to attend the EGUSD Family Life Curriculum Night to preview the materials we will use in 6th grade. Below is the information we were given today:


 Family Life Education

Parent Preview Nights


 Robert L. Trigg Education Center Board Room

9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove, CA 95624

Wednesday January 4, 2017

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.


 Robert L. Trigg Education Center Board Room

9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove, CA 95624

Thursday, February 2, 2017

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.


Elk Grove Unified School District

Curriculum/Professional Learning

Your school will be offering Family Life Education to 5th and 6th grade students.  In compliance with the California Education Code, Section 51938, you are invited to attend a Parent Preview Night of the Family Life Education Growth and Development video and of the curriculum used in your child’s classroom, which has been approved by the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education.

If you have any questions, please contact Raymond Pietersen, Health and Family Life Program Specialist, at 686-7797, ext. 67224.




New Filming Dates Set for This Thursday & Next Monday & Tuesday

We are all set with filming this week and next week.

PLEASE text, email, or call my cell to let me know if your child can join in and assist with filming. We could use at least 8 or 9 students for each session.
Thursday, November 3 we will film at Stone Lake Farms and Todo Un Poco. 
Meet at Foulks Ranch at 1:45 to grab film gear and leave by 2:10 to go to Stone Lake Farms. Afterward we will drive to Todo Un Poco to film in their kitchen. 
Monday, November 7 we will film at the Elk Grove Food Bank.
We will meet at Foulks Ranch at 9:30 to grab film gear and then drive to Elk Grove Food Bank. 

Tuesday, November 8 we will film at the Elk Grove Food Bank.We will meet at Foulks Ranch at 9:30 to grab film gear and then drive to Elk Grove Food Bank.

Addresses for locations are below:
Todo Un Poco 9080 Laguna Main St #1a, Elk Grove, CA 95758
Stone Lake Farms Stone Lake Road, Elk Grove, CA 95757
Elk Grove Food Bank 9820 Dino Dr #140, Elk Grove, CA 95624
Jim Bentley
Teacher, Elk Grove Unified School District
National Faculty, Buck Institute for Education |

Filming Postponed Until Next Week Due to Rain

We are looking at 100% chance of rain starting tomorrow at 6:00AM. We will have to postpone filming tomorrow due to weather.

I will coordinate with Cliff Wilcox and Marie Mertz to set up a day next week we can film. As soon as I have a day, I’ll send email and post on blog. 
Here is some good news though: We now have dates to film at the Elk Grove Food Bank!
We will film Nov. 7 starting at 10:00am at the Elk Grove Food Bank and again on November 8 also starting at 10:00am. 
The plan will be to meet at Foulks Ranch at 9:30am to gather film gear and then drive to the Elk Grove Food Bank located at 
9820 Dino Dr #140, Elk Grove, CA 95624
If your child can film at the Elk Grove Food Bank, please let me know via email or text. One day we will focus on getting b-roll of the facility. The second day we will focus on interviewing staff at the food bank. 
Last location we are still working to film at is the anaerobic digester at Clean World in Sacramento. I’ll keep you posted on that. 

Filming Friday, October 28 at Stone Lake Farms & Todo Un Poco Bistro


Want to film Friday morning if it’s not raining?

We have our first location filming opportunity this school year. If you can join us, please could you email or text me (916-216-9056) by no later than Thursday night that you can bring your child to film? If texting, please tell me who’s texting and your child’s name.
Friday, October 28 we will meet at Foulks Ranch at 8:45 am to gather film gear. We will leave school by no later than 9:05  before heading to Stone Lake Farms and then to Todo Un Poco Bistro to film for our project with the City of Elk Grove.
We will film Marie Mertz owner/chef at Todo Un Poco as she brings recycled organics to farmer Cliff Wilcox to be used for chicken feed. We will then film Marie getting produce from Farmer Cliff and follow her back to her restaurant to prep the produce for customers.
If you haven’t been to Cliff Wilcox’s Stone Lake Farms, he’s open to the public and grows organic, pesticide-free produce and eggs. You can check out their Facebook page by clicking HERE. If you haven’t been to Todo Un Poco, it’s an amazing Mexican-Italian fusion bistro.
The address for Stone Lake Farm is Stone Lake Farms, 10886-10890 Stone Lake Rd, Elk Grove, California.
The address for Todo Un Poco is 9080 Laguna Main St #1a, Elk Grove, CA 95758
To get to Stone Lake Farms we will head south on Franklin Road then head west on Hood-Franklin Road. We will head south on Stone Lake Road. Cliff’s farm is on the right side and marked by a small sign.

I’m SO EXCITED to film with your kids this Friday. If you are unable to drive your child, please would you coordinate with other parents to carpool?
We will have two students per camera and will need kids to haul gear and snap photos. I imagine we’ll use three video cameras and run two still cameras. I’ll run a video and take stills as well. Parents are always encouraged to snap photos of students at work and to share images, too.
Got questions? Send me an email at or text.
See you Friday!