Black History Month Contest Results

Hello Families!

This month I worked with the class on our social studies project for Black History Month, which was a contest hosted by the Fontana Teachers Association. (Unfortunately I was unable to attend the awards ceremony so I do not have complete results. As soon as I do I will update this post to reflect them.) There were 4 categories and I entered the following students:

MULTIMEDIA (Board Builders)

Tied for 1st: Denise and Brandon
2nd Place: Bella


Third Place in Visual Arts: Wyatt

VIDEOS (PaperSlides – Links to the videos are private and can be provided to parents if they contact me.)








Women’s History Month


Hello Families!

The Fontana Teacher’s Association has announced their next contest and it is Women’s History Month (March 2015). I have spoken with the class about this and have begun to get them thinking on who they would like to become an expert on.  I am providing you the information I have received from the FTA so that you can better support your child as they investigate who they would like to select for this social studies project. I have instructed the class that I will not be asking them who they have selected until Monday, March 2nd. No two students will investigate the same person, so we have a variety of women studied. This project will be completed by Thursday, March 19th.

FTA Women’s History Month Flyer

FTA Women’s History Month Guidelines

I came across an excellent article on Scholastic regarding Women’s History Month that I will be using to aid in guiding the class on their selections. This article directed me to The Makers website, which is an incredible resource for information and inspiration.

I am requiring that each student write an essay on the woman they have selected to research. Then the students will work on either a PaperSlide video, Board Builder, or poster to coincide with their writing. This IS NOT a homework assignment. This is classwork we will be doing in the area of Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology. I am asking for as much support as possible in aiding your child at home as they research and build their projects.

The woman your child selects to report on need not be from the United States. The theme for this work is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” and is not specific to the US.

On a related note, we had quite the showing at the Black History Month awards held this week, with many of our students placing! Regretfully I was not able to attend, but I have requested a list of who placed in each category and will be posting that here as soon as I know. If your child’s digital work was submitted (PaperSlide video or Board Builder) and you would like to see it, please contact me. Essays and posters are presently not in my possession, but as soon as they are returned to me I will send them home with your child.

Please do not hesitate in contacting me via Class Dojo, email or in the comments below. Thank you in advance for your assistance and support!


Virtual Manipulatives


Hello Families,

I just wanted to share an app I found to use with the class for our work with fractions (it will also work with decimals and percents, so it will certainly come in handy for more than one use.)

The app is simply called “Virtual Manipulatives” and is absolutely free.


I found the app very intuitive and easy to use. I demonstrated it with the class today as we compared fractions. I will have them using it on my Apple tablets as I am able. (I wish I had 31 tablets so they could each use it during a lesson!) I did look for this app in the Google Play store on my Android tablet, and unfortunately it was not available. There was one called “Equivalence Tiles” (also free) but it is not as nice as “Virtual Manipulatives.” It does get the job done though if you need manipulatives to help your child with their fraction work.


The interface and usability was perfect and made the app very fun to use. The kids were excited to see it and definitely made the fraction lesson a whole lot more fun.

Please don’t hesitate to message me on Class Dojo, send me an email, or make a comment below if you have any questions.




Spelling Story of the Week

This week’s story is by…



There once was a puppy named Melissa. Melissa had an owner named Ashlyn. They were perfect for each other. On Ashlyn’s birthday she and the puppy would blow out the candles together. When Ashyln would come home from school and her Mom opened the door handle the puppy would jump into her arms. When Ashyln tangled her hair Melissa would untangle it with her claws. Ashlyn taught the puppy to play marbles, bubbles, and waddle on her hind legs. The puppy never misbehaved. One day there was a fire at Ashlyn’s house. Ashlyn’s mom had gotten out of the house but Ashlyn was sleeping in the house. The puppy ran in the house and pulled Ashlyn out and started barking with excitement. Ashlyn’s mom and the puppy were happy Ashlyn was ok. From that day on the family was always careful with each other.

Spelling focus: the /el/ sound spelled -le

Note: This story was typed in part by Xiomara.


Our Avatars!

The class has been so excited to create their avatars, so of course I have to share them all! Each one of these was created by the individual student one of 3 of my own iPads that I bring to school to share with them, because I believe in the power of technology to engage and inspire.



In an effort to make the class website and online activities more fun, I have decided to have the class make avatars of themselves that I can use when sharing their work publicly while protecting their identities. We are using the free iOS app called “Avatar Creator” in the Apple App Store. I did look in the Google Play store for it for those students who may have an Android tablet at home and was unable to find it. Students are welcome to use the app at home on their Apple devices and email me (ruizmy@fusd.net) their avatars. Students are taking turns on my iPads making them in class, but not all will get to make them today and some students may want to play more with this at home. Stay tuned for our collection of creative avatars!

Avatar Creator iOS


Mrs. Ruiz

Mrs. Ruiz


Sample Distance Education Mini-Lesson

(This post is designed to meet the requirements for the Distance Education Mini-Lesson as assigned by GCU TEC 571)

Lesson Format: Hybrid
“A hybrid lesson is a combination of modalities and technology with face to face instruction.”
I chose this format as it is closest to my actual teaching environment. The lesson is designed as remediation where direct instruction based on the gradual release model has already taken place.


SUBJECT AREA: Mathematics – Division
Number of Students: 31 (16 male & 15 female) | Age Range: 8-9 years old

Mental, Social, Physical, Social Notes:

  • Disabilities: none
  • Learning Differences:(Based on recent MAPS results in Math: Operations and Algebraic Thinking)
    • Challenge: 10 students
    • Benchmark: 9 students
    • Strategic: 7 students
    • Intensive: 5 students
  • Ethnicities:
    • Hispanic/Latino: 22
    • Asian: 5
    • Caucasian: 1
    • Native American: 1
    • African American: 1

Current Knowledge, Prerequisites, and Notes About Learner Attitudes:

The class on the whole is eager and well behaved. There is a broad spectrum of academic abilities.

Learning Styles (29 students assessed via “What’s Your Learning Style?“)

  • Visual: 8
  • Auditory: 13
  • Kinesthetic: 3
  • Auditory/Visual: 2
  • Auditory/Kinesthetic: 2
  • Visual/Kinesthetic: 1


TITLE: Division Review
SUMMARY: In this lesson we will revisit the concept of making equal groups (dividing).
3.OA.3 – Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g. by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How could you solve problems breaking quantities into equal groups?
1. Creativity and Innovation

a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
c. Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
2. Communication and Collaboration
a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
3. Research and Information Fluency
a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry
d. Process data and report results
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
d. Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.
5. Digital Citizenship
a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use information and technology.
b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
c. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
a. Understand and use technology systems
d. Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.
Students will be able to solve problems breaking quantities into equal groups.
Blooms Taxonomy:

Students will remember how to solve a problem using division strategies.
Students will understand how to apply division strategies to solve problems.
Students will apply what they have learned about division to real world problems.
Students will evaluate their own division projects as well as those of their peers.
Students will create projects demonstrating their mastery of division strategies.
Relatively up to date computer (Windows or Mac operating system)
Smartphone or other device to record and upload with.
Internet browser (e.g. Safari, Explorer, Firefox, Chrome)
Ability to operate a computer.
Ability to navigate the Internet.
Familiarity with how to post to YouTube privately.
Familiarity with Discovery Education and Board Builder.
Familiarity with Edmodo and BrainPOP Jr.
DURATION: 20 minutes in class, as much time as needed at home
GROUPING: In class whole group, at home individual


ANTICIPATORY SET:  Review the BrainPop Jr video “Making Equal Groups(Since BrainPop Jr. is a paid service, access information has been shared privately with those who require it.)
Watch and discuss the video pausing at key points with the entire class, being mindful to select students from each ability level (Challenge, Benchmark, Strategic, Intensive) to contribute to the discussion.
Once the video has been reviewed and discussed, the online portion of the task will be explained including the rubrics that will be used to score them. Students will complete tasks remotely as outlined via a Discovery Education Board Builder. (For sample purposes, a guest log in to Discovery Education has been provided privately.)

ONLINE PORTION (parent/guardian permission and assistance required)

      1. Students will log into their Discovery Education accounts for the Board Builder that has been assigned to them entitled “Division Review.”
      2. Students will then visit the “Making Equal Groups” video page themselves where they will review the video.
      3. Students will complete the following activities related to the “Making Equal Groups” video page.
        1. Activity – Print out the activity page and record yourself solving the problems, explaining your thought process. Post privately to YouTube and share the link in the class group on Edmodo. Students will then review and comment on their peers’ work. (summative assessment)
        2. Division Is All Around You – Students will identify as many division problems in their daily lives as they can and have a parent record them identifying it and solving it using any of the division strategies we have discussed. The video can be privately posted to YouTube and the url shared in Edmodo for class review and comment. (formative assessment).
      4. Students will review and comment on their classmates’ work in Edmodo.


Other ways this lesson can be extended:

Students create a podcast using SoundCloud that takes a division sentence and makes it a story, then post the link to it in Edmodo for the class to listen and comment. Students could also use the same idea and instead of create a podcast, the could create an online book of it using StoryBird, sharing their completed story on Edmodo for peer commentary.

Students could create their own division Board Builder, and upload text, drawings, audio and video…serving as a portfolio of their mathematical and technical understanding.


The main area of concern would be the level of parent support and willingness to aid children this young in completing online tasks. A secondary concern is the technology literacy of the household and the level of necessary preparation students and families may need to accomplish online tasks.