Thursday, September 30, 2010

More homework... and more pictures

Here is another wonderful installment of science homework for all the 6th grade students in Mr. Russo's science classroom this week.

Tic-Tac-Toe week 5

the back looks like this

Say the words "Beware the Black Box!" to Russo and get a free table point!

valid Nov 1 to Nov 5

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Homework... and more!

Hi there everybody!
First the homework, just in case you forgot it Thursday and Friday when I said repeatedly, "Does anyone NOT have their homework???" Homework tic tac toe week 4 It is a little difficult to put all on one page but at least you can read it all. If you want to see what the back page looks like, here ya go!

Here is the link to the Brain-Pop on "Scientific Methods." It beats typing in

Now, the aforementioned "More" from above. Students complete a tic-tac-toe homework by choosing 3 in a row of 9 possible activities for the week. Some activities repeat but most are unique tasks that will not be asked for the rest of the year. I want students to be exposed to every task even if they did not choose to complete it for homework. To that end, I have students work together in groups to create a "mini-poster" summarizing the task, strategy students took to solve the task and the solution at which students arrived. (And to do it all in about 12 minutes!) Students present their poster to the class and there is a short Q and A which follows giving students time to defend their ideas and explain their understanding further. It is a process which develops with students throughout the year and here are just a few samples from 2 classes.

MAP testing is Monday and Tuesday so we shall have and alternative schedule for those days while that happens. We start back up on our "normal" schedule on Wednesday and remember, the Tic-Tac-Toe is due on Thursday.

Mark Russo

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneak peek to next week's homework

Ta Da!!!
Click on the following link to Next weeks homework. Parents, hide the family pet, your child is going to try... SCIENCE! That's right, Alexander Graham Bell is our featured scientist / inventor this week. Activities range from jumping to dropping paper to finding the moon. So get started, you only have 6 days left!

Monday, September 13, 2010

the first science homework... online!

Well sort of online. Here is the homework that is due Thursday, September 16th. Click on the following link to access the front page of WEEK 1 HOMEWORK

Sunday, September 12, 2010

And then there was school...

Another year started with a bang last week. I was in the middle of a sentence on Friday and stopped when I realized that these 6th graders just learned so much in only 4 days. Most mastered their locker, figured out the bus schedule to and from school, and navigated the halls with a different schedule for each day of the week (well... 3 out of 4 days but who's counting?). This does not include learning the lunchroom, keeping all their stuff as they suddenly go to 8 rooms a day, and keeping track of their assignments. Phew!

This week, things get more serious. We will spend a day or two setting up the science notebooks and practicing using them in class. The rest of the time will be devoted to understanding homework expectations. Homework is a huge part of the grade (approx 25%) because of the amount of time students spend working on, and presenting the material. If you have any questions about homework or how things work in science this year, please email me at

Mark Russo

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome to the new school year!

Hi there!

This blog is intended for the students and parents of Crosswinds Arts and Science Magnet School in Woodbury, Minnesota for the 2010 to 2011 year.

Eventually this blog will be used by students and their parents to learn what is going on, get access to assignments, and link to our grading application. I will be the first to admit that I am not much of a blogger, but I will keep up to date every week or so with new information.

So far the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are all alive and breeding (I loose count at about 60 because they keep moving around). The Rose Hair Chilean tarantula is roughly the size of your fist. Finally, the corn snake is basking in the sun and seems quiet content. All in all this is going to be a fantastic year and I can't wait until September 7th to get started.

See you then!
Mr. Russo

Oh, any questions? Please feel free to email me at