Thursday, December 18, 2014


We're officially done with Narrative Reading and Writing. Tonight you'll get the opportunity to reflect on your growth as a reader and writer.

  • A guardian asks the questions and takes notes based on their child's response. Paraphrase the best way possible. Do the best you can. 
Questions for READING
  • How did you feel about reading in September? How do you feel about it now?
  • What book are you reading right now?
  • In 5 words, what's your book really about?
  • What specifically are you working on as a reader? Be specific. 
  • What do you feel like you need help with as a reader?
  • Show me your best post it. Why do you feel this is your best post-it?
Questions for WRITING
  • How did you feel about writing in September? How do you feel about it now?
  • How is your writing coming along?
  • What are you working on as a writer? Be specific. 
  • Can you show me evidence of that in a blogger response or narrative piece?
  • What do you feel like you need help with as a writer?
  • What are you looking forward to in 2015? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Getting deeper inside Chudleigh Manor

Tonight you'll get to focus on your main character and setting.

Name of character:

a. What does your character like to think about?
b. Where does that show up in your story?
c. What does your character usually hear?
d. Where does that show up in your story?
e. What does your character LOVE?
f. Where does that show up in your story?
g. What does your character like to say over and over again?
i. Where does that show up in your story?

Fill in the blanks.
____________ (main character) wants ________________________ but _____________________________________, so ___________________________________________________________.

a. What is your first main event?
b. What is your second main event?
c. What is your third main event?
d. What is your fourth main event?
e. What is your fifth main event?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More Chudleigh Manor

Chudleigh Manor Guide Map

  1. Main Characters: List 1-3 characters and write a one sentence description for each one. Are they major or minor characters? Think about their goals and motivations. Highlight the character who changes the most over the course of the story.

  1. Character #1(Major or minor character)
  2. Character #2 (Major or minor character)
  3. Character #3 (Major or minor character)

B. Conflict
What has gone wrong in the story and who was involved?
Attempts to solve:
First, s/he ….
Then, s/he…

C. Setting # 1
  1. Identify the time period of your story:
  2. Identify where your story takes place:
  3. What are some things you’d see in your setting?
  4. What are some things you’d taste?
  5. What are some things you’d touch or feel?
  6. What are some things you’d hear?
  7. What are some things you’d smell?

Setting # 2
  1. What is the time of day and where your problem first occurs?

Setting #3
b. What is the the time of day and where your problem is solved?

D. What is the message/theme of your story?
  1. Where does that message/theme show up in your story?

Monday, December 15, 2014


Tonight you'll get the opportunity to work on your Chudleigh Manor story.

1. Answer the questions below as best as you can.

a. What's the title of your story?
b. Who are some of the main characters in your story?
c.  What does each character want? What's their motivation?
d. What's the conflict in your story?
e. What's one question you have for your story?
f. What's the section do you want to work on tonight?

Sunday, December 14, 2014



Hang on Fireballs. Keep your balance and focus. We have an exciting week of Advent Calendar stories, Sound of Music Sing-A-Long, Blood on the River, Explorer's Report, and Robert's Market. Just 5 more school days until a glorious and well earned vacation. 

                  In search of the perfect pop song. F and W get it!

SECRET Fireballs GIFT EXCHANGE- Don't forget to make that special gift. Please put it under the tree by Friday morning.  

Camp W - Sometimes detour routes can lead to a memorable experience. That's what Frederick's Follies is about. Get inspired and take charge of the mic. Sign-ups are just a click away:

  • to the Fireballs for hosting such a lovely event on Wednesday. 
  • to the parents for attending the winter wonderland party. Your attendance was greatly appreciated. 

Work in progress
  • all students need to blog at least 3/4 nights. 
  • all students need to work on reading faster, stronger, and better.

Curriculum menu for week 17

  • We'll go back and revisit some important reading strategies
  • Students will improve their understanding of character motivation and behavior

  • Students will work on advent calendar
  • Students will focus on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization

  • Explorer's Unit is done. 
  • We'll begin Unit 4 in January: Colonialism. 

  • Closed until January

  • Students will focus on all 8 of the words from Lesson 9
  • Students will try to incorporate the words into their daily writing
  • Students will continue to learn the proper parts of speech for each word

Boys vs. Girls Contest: 
Boys will practice their song
Girls will practice their song

  • Sound of Music Soundtrack
  • Camera Obscura "The Blizzard"
  • Pink Martini "Ocho Kandelikas"
  • Ben Kweller "Rock of Ages"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last night was so fun because...

Tonight you'll have the opportunity to express your feelings about last night's party. I'm still thinking about the good times.

 Chatter it up, Fireballs!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Winter Wonderland Party

Tonight you'll have an opportunity to think about your party.

1. How are you feeling about the party?
2. What are you looking forward to?
3. How will you know it was a successful party?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Explorer's Unit

Age of Exploration
Unit 2
Short - Answer Questions

1. What caused Europeans to become interested in Asia?
2. What were two goals of the Counter Reformation?
3. Name two present day cities discovered by the Dutch and French.
4. How was Christopher Columbus like an entrepreneur?
5. What was the Northwest Passage all about?
6. What areas did the Portuguese claim and settle in?
7. Locate any place on a hard or digital map. Identify the lines of latitude and longitude.
8. How did explorers use a chronometer?

Saturday, December 6, 2014



"December's wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer's memory...”

Cold, windy, and wet weather on the horizon. Sounds like December to me. This week all the students will work on their Explorer's report, Advent Calendar story, Memoir writing, WW party, and plenty of other important items.  The Explorer's test is on Friday. A study will go out real soon. SECRET FIREBALLS GIFT EXCHANGE- Don't forget to make special gift. Fireballs, you have until Dec. 18th to place the item underneath the tree. 

FABULOUS DUO - Jocelyn Perlow and Donna Dempsey deserve a massive round of applause. They consistently show up to room 503 with an effervescent smile and high enthusiasm to help all the Fireballs. Both ladies are hard working, fair, and focused. They put in the time to keep the level of standards high for all the students. We're fortunate to have them as part of the Fireball family. 

  • to the Fireballs for being well behaved at Chabot Space and Science center.  
  • to Fireballs for working hard on Blood on the River work. 
  • to the parents for driving to Chabot. We appreciated your generosity and willingness to make it a special day for the Fireballs. 

Work in progress
  • All students and Mr. Frederick will continue to work on the conventions: grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • All students will continue to read 15-20 minutes at home 

Curriculum menu for week 16

  • We'll go back and revisit some important reading strategies
  • Students will improve their understanding of character motivation and behavior

  • Students will read and listen to more examples of memoirs
  • Expecting Depth from writing
  • Studying and planning structures
  • Inspiration to revise

  • Students will review notes from Unit 2
  • Students will prepare for big Unit 2 assessment on Friday
  • Study guide will be shared on Monday

  • Students will practice using good eye contact 
  • Students will practice using varied expression

  • Students will work on Lesson 9
  • Students will work on these words: civics, civil, coordinate, extraordinary
  • Students will work on writing the words in a sentence

Boys vs. Girls Contest: 
Boys practice their song
Girls practice their song

Winter wonderland songs

Pink Martini "Ocho Kandelikas"
  • Ben Kweller "Rock of Ages"
  • Coldplay - Christmas Time
  • 2,000 Miles - The Pretenders
  • Camera Obscura "The Blizzard"

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cool as winter ice

1a. What kind of verbal exchanges are going on in your life(home, school, clubs, teams, friends)? 
1b. What kind of worlds are being created by these exchanges(safe, friendly, unfriendly, competitive)?
1c. How do your choices or verbal exchanges impact your happiness and others around you? Please feel free to share about family, school, and/or job. TYPE YOUR RESPONSE. 

2. Get a guardian, a timer, a towel, and an ice cube. Hold the ice cube in the palm of your hand for as long as it's bearable. One person should time it. Switch hands, then do it again, this time using a tip/strategy to deal with your "pain". Switch partners.

a. Were your own times different? Why? TYPE YOUR RESPONSE.
b. What strategies did you use to help cope with the pain? TYPE YOUR RESPONSE.
b. What other observations did you make? TYPE YOUR RESPONSE.
c.  How you can apply the same tip/strategies in dealing with struggles or conflicts in your life. 

3. Click on Uplifters and Proposals
a. Type up something you're enjoying about the class.
b. Type up a fair and reasonable proposal. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Writing Small about Big Topics

Read this memoir.

The games I remember most from my childhood aren't Little League or hoops. Instead the game I remember most was penny pitching. This was usually played in hospital waiting rooms. I grew up with leukemia and spent a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms. To pass the time, my mother would take off her shoe, push it onto the middle of the rug, and we'd take turns pitching pennies into her shoe. 

Now when people ask me what it was like, growing up with leukemia, I do not tell them about the scabs around my mouth or IV lines. Instead I tell them that what I remember most is the thrill of the perfect arc and the soft thud as the penny landed squarely in my Mum's shoe. 

I am writing this column not because this has anything to do with Memphis or sports, but because I do not want another year to go by without saying thanks. My mother took a potentially scary time and made it sweet. 

And isn't that the meaning of September 11? Whatever it is we have been meaning to do--we need to do it, and do it now. Write that letter. Go for that job. Make that phone call...

Answer these questions.
1. What makes this a memoir?
2. What elements make it a personal narrative?
3. What are some small ideas in the story?
4. What are some big ideas in the story?
5. What are some themes in the memoir?

***Continue working on your memoir. Be careful that your memoir isn't just a retelling of events; that becomes a story. You've already written a personal narrative. Bring out the small and big moments.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Memoir Writing - Interpreting the small and big comings and goings of life

Tonight you'll get the opportunity to begin an entry.


  1. Pick a subject that you'd like to explore and write about. 
  2. Write down your subject so the Blogger community can see it clearly.
  3. Answer these questions before you begin writing


  • The time Jim made fun of my shoes and said they were dorky looking
  • The time I made fun of Laura to impress my guy friends in my class
  • The time a large group of friends came over to my house to see my pet monkey, which I pretended to have, but didn't
3. Now you can begin writing your entry. When you finish one entry, you can begin the next day and write about a second small or large moment that connects directly to BIG THEME(S).  Think about those moments that leave your reader with a GASP just like the story I read to you today about the father and son. 

Off you write!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Memoir Writing

What we notice about Memoir Writing

  • The writer has an idea to share and might begin by explaining this idea to the reader
  • The writers might use a personal narrative to show how his or her idea is true. 
  • Some memoirs look more like essays, with plenty of ideas and just a few, small stories
  1. List 3 subjects that mean so much to you: mother, father, brother, poverty, bullying, etc. 
  2. Find and write down 2-3 idioms that you like: For example "life is full of ups and downs" or "sometimes you just have to keep fighting
  3. List two books that had a big impact on you. What were the big ideas in each book?
  4. List one movie that had a big impact on you. What was the big idea for the film? 
  5. Think back to WONDER. What was the BIG idea for the book?

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Happy Holidays!

Wow, I certainly enjoyed the time off. My family and I spent the days catching up on quality time. Glad to see the rain is upon us. 

The final 3 weeks will be fast-paced, challenging, and very collaborative. December is my favorite time of the year! You'll see why. On Monday and Tuesday, you'll have plenty of opportunity to work on the Explorer's report(see Public Speaking), Memoir Writing, and Reading. The Secret Fireball gift exchange begins now. Each student is to create something from scratch and wrap it up as a gift for one of their classmates. The idea should be original. The cost of materials to make the gift shouldn't exceed $10. All gifts should be brought into the classroom by December 19th. Camp W lowered its fee price to $650. The camp is adrenalized to begin the Frederick's Follies journey in January. 

Get ready for an exciting, wet, and wonderful December!

  • to the Fireballs for handling the conferences quite well. Thank you parents for attending. 
  • to the Fireballs for doing a better job with their post-its especially in class.

Curriculum menu for week 14 and 15

Students will work on stirring their empathy through personal response
  • Students will work on letting the text revise their image of the character

  • Students will continue to work on Memoir writing.
  • Students write a reflective piece on a life's experience.
  • Students will use a graphic organizer
  • Students will generate several drafts
  • Students will work on grammar, punctuation, and spelling

  • Students will explore Unit 2's big essential question: HOW DID THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AFFECT THE NEW WORLD?
  • Students will answer these guiding questions: why did explorers come to the new world? who were the explorers and what did they find? what explorations were made by land? where in the Americas did Europeans claim land?
  • The unit test will be on December 12th. 

  • Students will work on Explorer report with their partner

Read Aloud - Blood on the River By Elisa Carbone

  • Lesson 8: Review of Lesson 5, 6, and 7

Boys vs. Girls Contest: 
Girls practice "their" song.
Boys practice "their" song.

  • Camera Obscura "The Blizzard"
  • The Pretenders "2,000 Miles"
  • Coldplay "Christmas Lights"
  • Ben Kweller "Rock of Ages"
  • Pink Martini "Ocho Kandelikas"
  • Auld Lang Syne "Pink Martini"

Monday, November 24, 2014

What's your character?

After today's less than stellar Lockdown drill, I want to know just what the Fireballs are truly made of? Where's your moral fiber? Where's your character? Where's your focus? Where and what are your priorities?


  • Answer this very deep question in 8-10 sentences. 
  • Give examples to support your comments or reasons. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shake it out in this Mad World

Tonight you're asked to really examine a very serious subject matter through the lens of empathy. Children suffering at the hands of unfortunate events. Children in need. I strongly encourage for each student to work with a guardian on this exercise. 

  • Watch both of these complete different yet inspiring YT clips
  • Answer the questions below

  • What does empathy mean?
  • Can you and a guardian think of how children might be suffering globally?
  • Can you and a guardian think of how children on the Peninsula might be suffering?
  • What are some ways to show empathy for children in need?
  • What are some ways children or adults cope with suffering?
  • Can you and a guardian find a children's charity online that interests you?
  • How do you know that charitable organization is respectable and worthy?
  • Is there an organization that the Frederick's Fireballs could support?
  • How can we show our support and empathy during and after the holidays? In other words, how can we take our "thoughts, care, and ideas--put them into action?"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blood on the River + Winter Holiday Party

Tonight you'll get the opportunity to work on Blood on the River questions.

Chapter Two

1. Each chapter opens with a quotation from a primary source.
a. What is the value of primary sources in learning about history? 
b. Do you think journals and diaries are important for people to keep today?

2.  In this chapter Reverend Hunt speaks about making decisions based on love, not on anger. Anger is a problem for Samuel. He is angry “with the world.”

a. What do you know about him so far that would explain why he is so angry? 
b. Can someone so angry follow Reverend Hunt’s message to “make decisions based on love when there is no one left to love?” 

3.  Who paid for the building of Jamestown?
4.  What was Jamestown?
5.  Where did they build the settlement? 
6.  When?
7.  Why?

Holiday Party Event
1. How did planning go with your group today?
2. What did you accomplish today?
3. What's your next big task to accomplish?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blood on the River

Tonight you'll get the opportunity to think more about Blood on the River and your holiday party. Please answer these questions.

BOTR Discussion:
1. What is the definition of prophecy? 
2. Discuss the prophecy that begins chapter 1.  
3. Do you think the prophecy will turn out to be accurate? Why or why not?
4. Do you have a journal or diary at home that you write your personal thoughts in?
5. The boy's locket is very important to him. Is there an item that you own that is deeply personal? Why is it personal?

Holiday Party:
1. What group are you part of for the party?
2. How will you as an individual contribute to the success of your group's work?
3. What are you looking forward to during the planning process?

Monday, November 17, 2014

What will you pick?

Tonight you'll get the opportunity to work on a story. Choose from one of the prompts. Write a beginning, middle, and end.

  • You went on an archaeological dig with a team from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. What did you find that was super important?
  • "Mr. Frederick, I can't take the Social Studies test because..." 
  • Describe what happened to you on the day that the new zookeeper left the gates open and all of the animals escaped.