Week XIII —November 11 – 15, 2019

Sorry this is late. I had hoped to publish from Texas. Houston apparently had a problem, but it is solved; Mr. Olliff has returned. Because of the Veterans’ Day holiday, we will have a four-day week with all the usual spelling, dictation, comprehension, state capitals, Ancient History quizzes, and all manner of happening activities.

There are still appointment times available for Parent Conference Week, the week of the 18th through the 22nd. A paper went home, but you can also download it from this site— and then send it in with your child. So far, everyone who wanted a particular time got that time. It’s a small class.

I was away from my desk on Friday, but I have heard that Ziggy Legaspi and Chloe Estrada (not pictured) were the professors, and that they did a fine job. Also of note, Veda Clayton was a fine reading teacher on Tuesday morning for the fifth-grade class.Ziggy


Last week, we had another meditation class, the third of six.The Brain Institute at UCLA presented for our students. The presenters were of rather a high caliber, based on their vocabulary. But they loved them some brain science.

Weekly Chalkboard

No Changes from the Previous Week

Oral Language (6,5,4): Due Friday, November 15, 2019

6:       The Rose That Grew from Concrete

5:       Stopping by Woods (The Bells)

4:       The Pasture

Reports Due (5,4): Due Friday, November 15, 2019

4:       Biography Book Report (Standard Form), due November 15, 2019

5:       Biography Book Report (Standard Form), due November 15, 2019

6:       Historical Soliloquy, due November 22, 2019



Week XII — November 4 -8, 2019

randomThis week, the assignments listed in the Weekly Chalkboard section of this page will all apply to the second reporting period. Any previous work ought to have already been turned in. There was much warning and fanfare on that topic, and I gave everyone an extra week or two, but there was very little real response. Many students think of it as a buffet. “I will do this because I like it, but I won’t do that because I don’t.” The next things that happen are the report cards and conferences. That’s when everyone decides that from now on we will be getting the work done. And then we don’t, with a few exceptions. Paul Revere can ride through the night shouting his warnings. “The future is coming! The future is coming!” But it’s up to the farmers to get out of bed and muster.

If you go to the “Class Videos Available on You Tube” page, the Halloween Flash Mob Thriller video is posted. Jade Diaz (Grade 5), Mr. Ceely (Room 8), and Mary Botello (Jacob’s mom) were the videographers. I mashed them together. It was a remarkable performance!

The fourth and fifth grade will each be doing poems by Robert Frost.

Robert Frost as a young man, looking down the two roads

Robert Frost fairly far down the road.

The sixth grade will do one by Tupac Shakur.

The fourth and fifth grades have completed Trumpet of the Swan and we will next be reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It may seem too soon, but I have my reasons which will become apparent in the fullness of time.

My aunt Marilyn has determined that I will not be present at school on Friday; she believes I will have a cold and that it will be treated in Houston, Texas. There will be a substitute of the highest caliber, so we don’t expect anyone to try to take advantage of Ms. L. I’m a big picture guy, anyway, so who needs me on any given day?

Kudos to our two latest professors, Rosa Lopez and Jonathan Vasquez, and to our fourth grade professor, too.

Photos by Kaia Jones

Weekly Chalkboard

Oral Language (6,5,4): Due Friday, November 15, 2019

6:       The Rose That Grew from Concrete, due

5:       Stopping by Woods

4:       The Pasture

Reports Due (5,4): Due Friday, November 15, 2019

4:       Biography Book Report (Standard Form), due November 15, 2019

5:       Biography Book Report (Standard Form), due November 15, 2019

6:       Historical Soliloquy, due November 22, 2019


Week XI — October 28 – November 1, 2019

Dulce and the Class put together their own Halloween Board.

I am not assigning any new book reports or oral language assignments this week. This is not the result of a sudden generous impulse on my part. Such things don’t happen to me. My problem is that a great number of the students are letting dates sail by with nary a wave nor a tip of the cap. This includes fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. Ms. Danieri tells me that I should soon be inputting grades into the grading machine which must be fed in a timely manner. I will do exactly that as time allows.

The Fifth-grade professors were Lokelani, whose picture is unavailable, and Leslie, whose picture is presented herewith.

Appointments2019 Parent Conferences are coming up in November, the 18th through the 22nd. I am posting a document on the Sixth Grade page. I will also distribute a hard copy early in the coming week. There are only twelve of us, so I tried to limit the times, but I am flexible if you need a time not listed on the paper. Let me know.

The Halloween Parade and Scare Fair looked to be a wonderful success! Chloe and Jade both took shots of the parade. A few are included herewith.


Matters should be up-to-date. Previous “Weekly Chalkboards” should contain any make-up assignments.

Week X — October 21 – 25, 2019

The Richland Avenue Scare Fair is set for one PM Friday, the 25th. Children can get into their costumes during lunchtime to be ready at 1:00 PM, but they may not come to school in costume, for safety reasons. Parents are invited to come and see our frightening fiends.

Here are our two professors for this week: Edwin Bautista and Jade Diaz, along with a professor from last week, Gabriel Casillas.

You might notice a new style of photography as developed by our Historian/Photographer Chloe Estrada. She really gets close.

Thursday was Shake 2019. Rolando got the coveted part of the dead guy who had to be hauled out on a stretcher. Good thing it wasn’t Mr. Olliff who they had to carry! Below is the fire suppression team of Mrs. O’Neal-Mrs. O’Neal-Mrs. O’Neal-Mrs. O’Neal and Mr. Olliff (in the red hat).

There aren’t any new assignments this week, but it is important to get all the assignments done for report cards are inexorably approaching. Of note, the sixth grade will be finishing Holes early next week, and we will commence reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. It’s usually a big favorite, but one never knows.

WEEKLY CHALKBOARD All due October 25, 2019:

4th:   I’m Skeleton (poem)

Susanna of the Alamo (Book Report)

5th:   The Bells (poem)

Flying Solo (Book Report)

6th:   Education First by Malala Yousafzi (oration)

EXCEPT: due  Monday, October 21st

Three Day Meal Plan (with calorie count)

Week IX — October 14 – 18, 2019

Much going on at Richland! We got ourselves a little cleanup because Beutner’s Brigade comes ahead of the superintendent so that he never has to see how schools really are. Our school is very nice by historical standards (in my career), but we did get a little short-term polish.


This was Ride Your Bike to School Day, and the students took advantage of that! The photos are by our new Historian/Photographer Chloe Estrada.

Last week, we went to visit Madame Sandrine for another art lesson. The students were interested in the food, but not for another two weeks!

Sixth Grade will be learning a short passage from a speech by Malala Yousafzi, the Afghan girl who was shot in the head for going to school. She is still alive and fighting for the rights of girls and other folk to be educated. We are also working on our three-day food chart project, but we have been bogged down. So, parents, the date is very soft right now, so don’t pressure. If you are inclined to pressure, let’s make sure everyone is up to date on reports and oral language.

Our Fifth Grade Professors of the week Gabriel Casillas (couldn’t find his photo; will work on it) and Veda Clayton. IMG_0820Fifth Grade will be reciting the first verse to The Bells by E.A.Poe. They will also be doing a fiction book report on Flying Solo. We will all be reading the same book and doing a book report on it. The book report form is different from the usual fiction form. It involves answering ten of twenty questions, student choice.

Fourth Grade has completed The Hundred Dresses, and they are now beginning to read about Armond in Paris: The Family Under the Bridge.

The fourth grade will be learning a Halloween poem: I’m Skeleton. In addition, they will be doing an historical fiction book report: Susanna of the Alamo. This will involve a special form. Students will respond to six questions on the special form.


Fourth:       Oral Language:    I’m Skeleton, due October 25, 2019

Book Report:       Susanna of the Alamo, due October 25, 2019

Fifth:           Oral Language:   The Bells, due October 25, 2019

Book Report:       Flying Solo, due October 25, 2019

Sixth:           Oral Language:   Education First, due October 25, 2019

Food Plan Project, Unclear, but we’re going to get her done!

Week VIII — October 7 – 11, 2019

Remember! Wednesday, the 9th, is a District Unassigned Day; these things seem to happen. This week, we have school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but not on Wednesday.

If this is Week VIII, then I will be filling out report cards in about three weeks to a month, depending upon when Ms. Danieri tells me it’s time. That means that any missing major assignments should be completed by that time. I will mention on the Friday letter how many major assignments and of what sort are missing, if any. I am also stopping the clock for a week while everyone has a chance to catch up. After that, we will assign more work that may or may not affect the first report card, depending upon the dates.

Our Professors of the week for fifth grade were Sebastian Villa and Ziggy Legaspi.

The fourth grade professor continues to be Mr. O.

Our new Hislorian/Photographer, Chloe, who can’t be pictured here due to release problems, took these shots of the fourth graders reciting The Elf and The Dormouse (two of them, anyway).

She also got some shots of fifth graders reciting Figurative Language.

She did some random shots besides.

Weekly Chalkboard

Sixth Grade:       Just Anything You Need to Make Up

Fifth Grade:        Biography Book Report, due Friday, October 11

Fourth Grade:    Biography Book Report, due Friday, October 11

Week VII — September 30 – October 4, 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019 is an Unassigned Day, which is the District’s way of saying: No School. School resumes on Tuesday.

Addendum:  Forgot to include our two fifth-grade professors from the spelling and dictation for this week, Idalia Cruz and Christopher Natividad.

Wow! The fourth and fifth grades from Room 28 absolutely killed The Constitution video, which was premiered on Wednesday before our Student Council election activities. If parents would like to have a copy of the video, please send a flash drive. It is a little under a Gig (860MB). We can turn it over same day. We can’t post this one on the blog page, but we will be posting future videos.


The speeches that the candidates offered were of the quality we have come to expect here at Richland. We congratulate the elected Representatives from the classrooms, and on Tuesday, Mr. Granade will announce our new officers. Here are some Hit Pix.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth grades have been going to art classes on Monday mornings with Madame Sandrine. Occasionally, she teaches the children some kitchen skills. This week, she had the children preparing banana bread!

The sixth grade will be learning some nonsense verse over the next two weeks. And the fourth and fifth grades will begin reading for their biography book report. As always, keep in mind that the forms for fourth and fifth grade reports, though similar, are often different. I will post the correct form on the correct page, with any luck. You can find them on the Access Forms page of this blog.

Weekly Chalkboard

Fourth:        Oral Language: The Elf and the Dormouse October 4, 2019

Biography Book Report, October 11, 2019

Fifth:            Oral Language: Figuratively Speaking, October 4, 2019

Biography Book Report, October 11, 2019

Sixth:            Oral Language: Nonsense Verse, October 11, 2019

Health: APPROPRIATE Three Day Meal Plan, October 11, 2019