Vinci Park School

Room 31

 Mr. Curry's 5th Grade 

13 11 Vinci Park Way
San Jose, CA 95131
Berryessa Union School District

San Jose, CA

This website was chosen as one of USA Today's Education's weekly "Best Bet" websites in January 2004.
 It was also Busy Teachers Cafe's Site of the Month for December 2003.

edworldSelected and featured in Education World in March/April 2005.
largeoscarThis website also was awarded a special Oscar Award.  We are very appreciative that our classmate, Oscar C. likes the class website.
  Special April 1st Class Website
August  |  September  |  October  |  November  |  December  |  January  |  FebruaryMarch  |  April  |  May  |  June

This Week's Lunch Menu

Monday - Filet Mignon (meatless) with a dinner roll

Tuesday - bean and cheese burritto (bean and dairy free) and a dinner roll

Wednesday - Escargot Pocket and a dinner roll

Thursday - All-American Classic
Ultimate Deluxe Cheeseburger  (meat & dairy free) and a dinner roll

Friday - Spaghetti (with meat-free meat and dairy free cheese and soy-based tomato flavoring) and a dinner roll

Contact Mr. Curry

Mr. Curry can be   contacted at
or by voicemail at 408-923-1800 
              ext. 3831.


All reading logs

 for Reading Is Cool

 are due by the 5th 

of  each  month!

Congratulations to Katherine V for setting the record for reading 9, 258 books last month.  She can really now say "I read that already" no matter what book Mr. Curry suggests.

Room 31




Rm 31 MyWay Page
  (user name: vproom31 
   /password: homework)

Gaggle e-mail 

Animation Factory:
   (User name: rdcurry 
    Password: vproom31)

Time for Kids

New School Mascot Unveiled

 School Song is now "I Love You"

barneyvinciTo show  the universal love of our students for popular children's television star Barney, our student council voted to change our school mascot from the Vinci Park Explorers to the Vinci Park Purple Dinosaurs.  Because of class size reduction, primary classes abound and the lower grade representatives, who outnumber the 5th grade reps 28 to 4, voted overwhelmingly for the change.

From now on, after the morning flag salute, the pledge leader will lead the entire school in singing the new school song, "I Love You, You Love Me".  Fifth grade teachers have been asked to report any 5th graders who either refuse to sing or who sing improper lyrics.

Penny Pitch and Count-A-Thon Fundraisers
All Vinci Park Parents are invited to join the Home and School Club for our 31st fundraising event of the year.  The event, at which parents can win high fashion items from Crate and Barrel and Nordstroms by pitching pennies, will also feature our customary cuisine, hot dogs, nachos, and cotton candy.

    That will be followed the next day by the Math Count-a-thon.  For every number that a child counts to, those who pledge will have to pay a minimum of $0.25 per number.  In practice, Room 31 students Rajandeep and Thien C. have both gotten up to 29,345,786,453,234,001 before collapsing in exhaustion.

  As usual, we thank Mrs. Herring, Mrs. Gibbs, Mr. Mensinger and Ms. Nowak on spearheading yet another fundraiser to help fund things that the district, due to state funding shortfalls, can't provide our students with otherwise.  It also helps pay for the 56 field trips that our class has taken this year (including the 20 fun trips to the school production room to watch Mr. Curry print out homework sheets and tests).

Modernization Update: Phase 47

asandjiNow that all our students in the 3 inside pods are all in newly modernized classrooms, we will be starting construction on the just approved Arnold Scwarzenaggar Physical Fitness Facility.  Funded by the state with the money saved by not fully funding the state schools , the five story structure will be built on the blacktop recently covered by portable classrooms as well as 80% of the school's field.  The field was deemed as not usable due to deferred maintenance.  Although the facility may eventually be available for use by students, outside political donors and outside "fee-based" programs will have priority.  Mrs Izant was less than enthusiastic as she attended the groundbreaking ceremony along with the governor (above photo).

The district still hopes to eventually upgrade the 5th grade permanent portables.  Those rooms need for workers to change the air filters and connect the rooms for cable for basic television transmission, but that will have to wait for the next round of modernizations.

ymcaplansThe Schwarzennegar Rec Center will lave an olympic sized swimming pool , full gym and a weight lifting center.  The governor, a former body builder and Mr. Olympia, was once the Chairman of President Reagan's  Council for Physical Fitness.

Mr. Curry will be leaving Vinci Park

      Saying he needs a change of pace, Mr. Curry will be transfering from Vinci Park Elementary next year to teach 6th grade Language Arts/Social Studies at Piedmont Middle School.  He says he eventually would like to move up one grade level each year.  Mr. Curry, who has taught here at Vinci Park for 6 years, stated that he would like to broaden his experience and teach a different group of students.

     In an unrelated event, upon hearing the news, all 31 students from Room 31, many of whom also had Mr. Curry as their teacher in 4th grade, have suddenly filed transfer requests for next year so as to attend Morrill Middle rather than Piedmont Middle School.

5th Grader Makes Huge Stock Market Mistake

   A 5th grade student didn't listen carefully and he invested a real $100,000 in  the Stock Market Game Student groups were told to research stocks and then invest an imaginary $100,000 to manage.  A student, who like many students doesn't listen carefully enough to Mr. Curry's instructions, instead invested the money their parents had obtained as a new mortgage for their house.  We will find out on April 8th, just how much they earned or lost in their portfolio. 
Science-O-Rama (sponsored by Synopsis) Coming April 21st
   A pair of  overachieving 5th grade students have proposed building a real nuclear reactor for the 2nd Annual Vinci Park Science-O-Rama (sponsored by Synopsis).  They were inspired by our class celebration of Albert Einstein's birthday on March 14th.  Instead of simply doing a report or powerpoint on Einstein, they decided to actually test some of his physics theories and test  them as their Science-O-Rama (sponsored by Synopsis) project.  Mr Curry felt himself agolw with pride and/or anticipation of their demonstration at the Science-O-Rama (sponsored by Synopsis)

Coming Projects

  • Social Studies:  "You Are There" News Reports from the Revolutionary War, using video, with our students as reporters and the people who made history!.
  • Science/Technology: We will continue with our AAA (Amazing Aquatic Adventures) collaborative project with a second and a third grade class we are telecommunicating with elsewhere in San Jose.
  • Science: Earth Day Cleanup of the entire San Francisco Bay - Friday, April 22nd.
  • Science: Matter Project (Chemistry) was due March 4th
  • Science-O-Rama:  Our annual Science Fair, sponsored by Synopsis, will take place on April 21st at Open House.
  • Science Solarquest online Web Quest/Group Project.  groups will present their finished presentations to NASA scientists at NASA Ames and the best one will decide the first planet chosen for manned exploration.
  • Reading/Language Arts: Spring Novels. Choice of a book Dear Mr. Henshaw, ShilohHoles, Illiad, Odyssey, War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago, or Hop on Pop to read in small groups and to do book reports on (due April 8th).
  • Language Arts: Young Author's Fair-- students are encouraged to create a book to enter in our school-wide fair.  Student entries are due by April 25th.
  • Math:  Division of Whole Numbers & Decimals and Stock Market Game .Math Challenge Site: 
  • Accelerated Program for advanced students in competition against students from Cal Tech and MIT
  • GATE Math assignment Java Math Problem Solving
  • Last weeks of Stock Market Game (through April 8th).  Student groups will research stocks and then invest an imaginary $100,000 and they will then manage their portfolio.  See Mr. Curry's sample list of possible stocks.
  • Vinci Park Recycling will occur again in mid-April

NHL decides to Hire New
Replacement Players
to Start Delayed Hockey Season   

 Several Vinci Park students have been draftedhockeyteam by the San Jose Sharks, including the first ever women in NHL history. They will be the youngest rookies in NHL history as well.  These players first came to the attention of the San Jose Sharks while passing a hockey puck back and forth to each other on the cement floor of the HP Pavillion while on a Reading Is Cool Field trip.
We can all see them play locally at the HP Pavilion.

Walden West Outdoor School Fundraising Update
otterOtter Pop sale every day 8:15-2:50.  We hope not to impact  the learning process too much. We will have to ask that the teachers leave class occassionally to help the 3 parent volunteers who are now full-time otter-pop sellers. Proceeds will go towards our Science Camp Funds.  Ever since the county has raised the fee for camp, we have been working hard to make it possible for every student to go.  Special thanks to Mrs. Edith Caldera for going everywhere from Gilroy to Iceland in search of frozen goody donations.  Her next stop will be the Haagan Daas factory, by request of the 5th grade teachers who are very particular in their choices of frozen desserts for their own appetites.  Mrs. Izant is also checking with the local 7-11 stores to see if they can arrange a Vinci Park Slurpee Night.  That would mean that for every $1.99 slurpee bought, we would earn 3 cents. If we were to get 100 people to buy slurpees that day, we could earn up to $3.00! More details will be announced soon.

In April, we have been asked to take part in BizWorld's new program, BizWizGeezWizzBubblyFizzCheeseWiz.

Spring Concert to be at
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
Our students warm up along with new Vinci Park Advanced Strings performer Yo Yo Ma 

     Mr. Anthenian, Mr. Villegas and Miss Amador have announced a change in location for our Spring Concert.  The Winter Concert on February 9th was at Piedmont Middle School, which was not nearly big enough for our students and their extended families.  Therefore, the Spring Concert, scheduled for early June, will be at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.  However, our nusic students will have to share the stage with a guy named Yo Yo Ma (pictured above in rehersals).  We sure hope he can keep up with our advanced strings students!


Upcoming Events March-June 2005

Mar 14-18               Spring Parent Teacher Conferences
Wed Mar 16            GATE BioSITE II trip 1:30-5:30 (GATE only)
Thur Mar 17            Basket Bingo
 Mar28-Apr 1          Spring Break Vacation  M-F
Friday April 1          April Fool's Day
Thurs April 21         Vinci Park Open House/ Science-O-Rama
<>April 25-29             Science Camp at Walden West
<> May 2-20                CAT-6 Testing
<> Mon May 30            Memorial Day Holiday
<> W-F June 8-10        Vinci Park Olympics including Marathon to Palo Alro and back
<>  Wed June 8             Field Trip to Saturn /7th planet (Chaperones are needed)
<> Thur June 9            Class Family    Potluck
<> Thur June 16           5th Grade Recognition Noon
<> Fri June 17              5th Gr Picnic/Last Day of School
<> Sat June 18             Teachers begin preparing for next year
As part of the 5th grade Science curriculum, all 5th grade students are expected to attend Science camp at Walden West.  For this year, we will be going in late April.  We will have parent meetings to explain the costs, fundraising opportunities and other details on February 16th.

Environmental Eco-Action: Vinci Park's 5th graders take part in an Eco-Action project to help clean up our community.  Our classes have taken part in the "Adopt-A-Creek" program of the Santa Clara County Water District.  Each class will make 2-3 clean-up visits to Upper Penitencia Creek, just a few blocks from our school.  Our first cleanup will be on Friday, September 17, 2004 from 10AM - 12 Noon.

Project ASTRO: We will once again team with a Lockheed Martin Space Systems volunteer engineer, Mr. Bernie Lin, to do science experiments and to help set up our annual Star Party.

Science-O-Rama: We will once again have the annual science fair this Spring and students will enter individual projects. The Science-O-Rama will be on April 21st at the school's Open House.

Reading Is Cool: Our class will once again take part in the Reading Is Cool program to encourage students to read.  Last year we gave out some neat Sharks prizes and we even got to go to the Shark Tank!

Newspapers in Education: Vinci Park students in Room 31 will be getting weekly copies of both the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle to keep up on current events and we will follow the stock market as part of the Chronicle's Stock Market Game program. We thank both newspapers for their support for education.

Some of the Things we Have Done 2004-05

A Review of the School Year...So Far

First Day of School...only 180 days to go!

Sept. Activities : Creek Hike & BizWorld
bworld  biz4
Happy April Fool's Day

Other Activities / Photo links
October 2004: Exploring the Unknown
nasaaeeNASA Ames Exploration Encounter
Fieldtrip Thursday, October 21st

O' Neill Sea Odyssey Trip was on
Wednesday, October 27th

Our coolest trip of the year was in October.
We sailed aboard a catamaran out of Santa Cruz Harbor onto Monterey Bay.


Tech Museum Trip

On January 18th, we went to the Tech Museum

< style="font-family: jokerman;">Happy AprilFool's Day


1 1 1 1


1 1 1