Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Resources


Please visit the websites with your child to gauge its appropriateness (Is it too hard? Do I want them using this website instead of another one? etc.).

As with most FREE websites, there will be advertising.  Students should know by now not to click on those areas.  Also, make sure you have updated your virus protection on your computer just in case.

I will be adding websites and resources to this post throughout the summer.


- Mr. Amutan



Book Adventure (FREE):
  • Similar to Accelerated Reader, this website requires the creation of an account and your child will be able to take quizzes based on the books they read. I don't know if EVERY book will have a quiz but it's a pretty extensive list.
Pizza Hut's BOOKIT! Summer Reading Program (FREE):
  • After a parent registers their child, s/he can begin to read and play games. Their progress counts toward a sweepstakes of prizes, including $10 Pizza Hut gift cards, books and tablets!

Analogy of the Day (FREE):
  • From Factmonster's site, this should assist students with making connections via analogies.

Education Flashcards (FREE; may need parental guidance):
  • Create your own flashcards to study OR search for flashcards you can use to practice.
Vocabulary Can Be Fun (FREE):
  • From the creator of Time4Learning, various vocabulary games will help your child build their knowledge of words. Harder and more challenging games are located on the left sidebar. From Israel (notice the .il at the end of the URL).
James Patterson's ReadKiddoRead (FREE):
  • Need recommendations or suggestions for books to read? Visit this site.


Time for Kids (FREE for most parts of the website):
  • Think: Newspaper for Kids. In this connected world, it's important for students to know what's happening in the US and abroad as it relates to cultures, politics, and entertainment.
Harcourt Reflections (FREE):
  • Learn about the topics covered in 5th grade history (First Americans, Exploration of North America, Colonies, American Revolution, Early U.S. History up to the Civil War)
  • Change the "05" in the URL to "04" for a review of 4th grade history


A+ Math (FREE):
  • This site contains resources to practice math skills: flashcards (for Java or non-Java devices), games (some need Flash), and worksheets (printable or virtual)
AAA Math (FREE):
  • Looking for drills and practice problems that target a specific skill like rounding decimals or finding equivalent fractions? Or are you looking for harder math from 5th grade and beyond?This is a good site that can "answer" those questions.
Cool Math Games (FREE):
  • Math games. 'Nuff said.
EduPlace by Houghton Mifflin (FREE):
  • Publisher Houghton Miffflin's website. No access to textbooks without a log-in, but you can access supplementary materials from grades K-6.

Math Playground (FREE):
  • Math games that are grade, skill, and Common Core specific.


Bill Nye's For Kids and Teachers (FREE):
  • Coolest part of this site are the Home Demos and their printable Do-It-Yourself (DIY) sheets (actual science experiments kids can do at home!). Also, there are Episode Guides and a Pop Quiz.


Friday, June 14, 2013

It has been a great year!

Dear Parents/Guardians.

I think back to what I said at Back to School Night ("This class hasn't revealed its uniqueness, its personality unlike last year's class") and on these last days of school, I've realized that, for the most part, this class really enjoys the company of each other. They're all good kids, who have their own quirks, but love doing things together. And some of you know, it was a bumpy ride to get to this point.

Although I am not there on the last day of school, I want to thank the parents for being supportive of their children (and me) through the good and bad times. Everything this year was done for your child's best interests, not ours.

Alan's mom deserves a special recognition for opening and setting up the fitness center for us every Monday. THANK YOU!

Lots of you contributed to the success of this school year by donating time (School Site Council, PTA, field trips, etc.) and resources (donations to the classroom, science lab, fundraisers, party supplies and food, etc.).

You are appreciated and the students enjoyed a wonderful year because of your efforts.

Ruskin is grateful to call you, "family."

Thanks again for everything you have done.

Have a blessed, safe, and wonderful summer break!

Mr. Amutan

P.S., I will post some educational links next week to help the students prepare themselves for the 5th grade.

P.P.S., School begins on Monday, August 26. 75 days and counting!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Last Meeting with Our Little Buddies

Tomorrow morning right after announcements, we will meet with our Little Buddies.

If you want to make a card and/or give them a little something, please bring it/them tomorrow.

Sorry for the late notice.

Tomorrow's Grade Level Picnic at Cataldi

First, I would like to thank parents who provided treats for today's class party and Mrs. Lee-Tran for coordinating the majority of the food, dirnks, and desserts.  Most of the students had fun playing and sharing their electronic handhelds and games.  I was surprised how many enjoyed playing Dance Dance Revolution; there were times when it got really competitive!  To top it all off, a former classmate - Lucy - visited our class and celebrated the class party with us (her school already started summer break).

Second, tomorrow's field trip is to Cataldi Park off Morrill Avenue. PLEASE WEAR YOUR CLASS T-SHIRT.  Students will still go to Music and PE then, bringing their lunches and play equipment with them, we will be leaving Ruskin around 10:00 a.m.  I encourage chaperones to meet us at Ruskin and walk with us to the park.  Students will be able to play and have fun with the playground and the open fields.  We will begin walking back at 2:00 p.m.  (Remember to wash your Class T-Shirt when you get home as you're going to need it for Wednesday's Tech Museum Field Trip.) Also, NO PERSONAL ELECTRONICS will be allowed unless it's a camera (NO iTouches) or a cellphone given to you by your parents for EMERGENCY purposes.

Immediately after school tomorrow, 4th grade parents are invited to attend a meeting in the multipurpose room regarding next year's week-long Walden West Science Camp.  I strongly encourage you to attend and ask all the necessary questions then.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tomorrow's Class Party and Guidelines

Tomorrow is the class party, and the food is already been taken care of by a parent.
You are most welcome to bring a snack to share with others, and if we don't finish the snacks tomorrow, we'll save them for Tuesday's 4th Grade Picnic at Cataldi.

For tomorrow and Thursday ONLY, I am allowing for students to bring handheld electronics, laptops, and tablets. They may also bring card games or any other games to school. HOWEVER, STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY BRING TO SCHOOL.

The following guidelines will be observed by the students:

  • Parents will have given permission to their child to bring electronic items, etc. prior to their bringing them to school
  • No internet access
  • Any questionable or (deemed as) inappropriate games, music, etc. will be dealt with immediately
  • Any misuse of their games, electronics, etc. and/or violation of above rules (or my directions) may lead to the student putting away the item in question for the rest of the day
I will be bringing my game system and dance pads so students can play against each other.

I would like this last week of school to be a fun, memorable and safe time for all students.
Please cooperate with me to make it so! Thank you!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Year in a Glance: Accelerated Reader Results

As the year is winding down and final report cards are being completed, it's always nice to look at the progress the students made and "crunch the data."

Using June 5 as the final day of AR quizzes, this year:

  • Students collectively took 1182 "independently read" AR book quizzes and passed 983 of them for a passing rate of 77.2%
  • All thirty-two students took at least one "independently read" AR book quiz.
  • The average of "independently read" AR book quizzes taken per student was 37 quizzes (of which, nine were assigned AR quizzes based on classroom novels we read).
  • The most "independently read" AR book quizzes taken by one student? 131  The least? 9
  • FOUR students answered 100% of their "independently read" book quizzes correctly. (One student took 100 quizzes and passed ALL OF THEM!)
  • The average Book Level of "independently read" AR book quizzes taken? 4.6
  • Of the AR quizzes based on our textbook stories, students passed 612 of the 656 quizzes taken for an 85.8% passing rate.
  • Seventeen students answered 100% of their AR textbook quizzes correctly.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thank You Parents!

Parent Chaperones,

Thank you for making today a success!  More importantly, thank you for being patient and understanding, especially those who had to travel via cars to Mission San Juan Bautista and back.


Mr. Amutan

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Missed Your Chance to Order Your Yearbook?

You can still order one directly from the publisher:

Enter   RUSKIN    in the field for the $35 yearbooks.

Yearbooks will only be available for order through 6/30/13.

Call them with any questions: 408.245.5170

Monday, June 3, 2013

Attention Students

To Whoever Used the Bandages and Left a Mess on the Floor Near the Sink,

I am not happy with the wrappers and seals you left on the floor.
Moreover, I have asked the custodian to leave them there so tomorrow morning, you can clean up after yourself.

When you're done, I also would like a word with you.

Mr. Amutan

Monday's Update

Since there will no longer be assigned homework for the class, there really wasn't a need for a HW post.

Instead, I will be posting daily updates.

We are finishing up Stargirl and took our last STAR Reading assessments for the year. Let these assessments guide the students in choosing books this summer. But more on that next week.

Tomorrow, students will have PE and Music classes at their normal times. (PE and Music classes will still take place this Thursday, next Tuesday AND Thursday.) Also, Ms. Rice's class will be doing a Gold Rush play after recess.

This week has two major activities: Wednesday's Mission San Juan Bautista Field trip and Friday's 4/5 Field Day.

Mission San Juan Bautista:  I have enough chaperones for the MSJ Field Trip. In fact, I have a waiting list of three more parents who would like to go. Due to the limited space on the buses, we have to cap the number of chaperones who can attend. I will be talking to those students - whose parents will be chaperones - and having them pick their groups. Keep in mind that each chaperone will be given a pencil, clipboard, and packet to complete as they lead their student groups through the Mission and State Park grounds.

Field Day:  This Friday will be a fun but TIRING day.  And to boot, they predict that it's going to be "scorcher" (in the possible 90s).  Please make sure students:
  • Wear their class t-shirts
  • Arrive to school in clothes that will keep them cool but also tailored to a lot of running and moving
    • WEAR: light-colored shorts, athletic wear, socks, running shoes, hats, sunglasses
    • DO NOT WEAR/AVOID: dark-colored clothes, sandals, overly cumbersome clothing, sweatshirts
  • Bring a water bottle AND put your name on it (preferably with a permanent marker)
  • OPTIONAL: Students may bring cameras (not iPod Touches, Game Boy Advances, etc.), but they will be responsible for whatever they bring.

Next week at a glance:
Monday is our classroom party.
Tuesday is the 4th grade picnic at Cataldi Park (we're walking there and back).
Wednesday is the field trip to the Tech Museum.
Thursday is the last day for some of us leaving early for the Summer.
Friday is the REAL last day for Ruskin. Report Cards to go home.

If you placed a Scholastic Book Order, they will be arriving next week.