Wednesday, May 24, 2017

And All the Ships At Sea

Well, today we tried to recreate the picture from the first day of school. We did...okay. It was much harder to get everyone arranged than I thought it would. This was the closest I was able to come to getting everyone to look at the camera. You could say that this is part of what I still love about this class.

We watched Home today, the kids helped me pack up boxes, and we had a bang-up talent show that showed we have a lot of talent in 5-1 alone. Then, for some reason, we had to sing an acapella version of the Friday song! It worked, though.

I will post more pictures and stuff in the days to come, but right now I'm spent. I hope everyone has had a great last day of school, and has a summer full of relaxation and good things.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ridin' Around In the Breeze

Thank you so much to Craig Anderson for once again putting this video together for my class. He is now a 5-1 alumnus dad, having had both of his boys, Reed and Luke, go through. Now he does this only out of the goodness of his heart, and with a good ear for music. He may love the tradition of the Friday song as much as I do.

Here's to another year! Thanks again, Craig!


Happy Birthday, Will!

This is him tonight at the fifth grade party. The first thing I did when I walked in was figure out where he was so I could get his picture for the blog. My mind had spaced it earlier today (sorry, bud!).

Will and his family are no strangers to 5-1, because his brother was in my class many years ago. It wasn't until last summer that I really got to know him, though, and I knew right away that he was the kind of person I needed in Area 51. He is calm and collected, which is always more than welcome in one of my classes.

He is Mr. Athlete. Basketball, baseball, you name it. He is 100% boy in his interests. I was really happy this year to watch him go from being someone who didn't like to read into someone who is now what I would call well-read. I would enjoy seeing him quietly, and with extreme patience, not exactly roll his eyes, but he would just look out the side of them, when people were acting like idiots this school year. It felt like I had a kindred soul.

Will, I am so sad that tomorrow is your last day, but I hope you will always keep in touch. You have a very bright future ahead, man. You're one of the good ones, Will!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Accumulation Of This

You know, last week may have been one of the most epic weeks in 5-1's fabled history. When I realize how much cool stuff we did, it is at least right up there with some of the best.

As you know, I have had the kids working on their end of year presentations over the last few days. This has been so much fun, and that is exactly what it is meant to have been. I told the kids that there are no rules for this, all they have to do is present what they have learned independently about whatever they want. They can do it with a book, a speech, a powerpoint, or whatever medium they want.

Here the kids are working hard last Friday, in between visitors and specials and math. I turned off the lights at their request. I thought these pictures look like a cross between a blackout and mission control.

Can't wait to see what they give me tomorrow! I hope no one is stressing out about this, because this is not supposed to be even a little bit stressful. 

Full Circle

Friday was a very special day in 5-1, because not only did we receive a visit from my mom and dad, but later in the afternoon, we were visited by Michael Pitz. Michael is a very-soon-to-be Carmel High School graduate. He has spent the last year as the student body president, a member of the basketball team, a bass player for the orchestra, and pretty much just a man of the people.

Honestly, I was surprised that he was able to come. I have always thought that he belongs to the people now, but luckily for us, we are some of his people. Michael is the founder of the Circle of Manhood, which he spoke to the class about. Michael and his family have come to mean quite a bit to me in the past ten years or so, and I was really glad to have had the chance to share him with the class, and the class with him.

He is off to IU next year (well, I tried, at least), and we are all thankful that he was able to stop in on Friday before we went home. I'm sure you helped inspire some of these kids, Michael. Keep on doing what you do at IU and it will be a better place for it.

The Grandteachers

I was so happy on Friday when my mom and dad came to read to the class. My mom reads the same way she did when I was a kid. The kids had been waiting for a long time for a visit from my mom and dad. I was very happy with how the kids behaved, with their excellent questions, and with how naturally my class interacted with them.

My parents even wanted to sing the Friday song with them before they left, so we all got to sing a round of "The End of the Line" together.

Thanks, Mom and Dad! The kids loved meeting you, and I loved getting to show off my class to you (and you to my class...).

Excellence On the Field

There will be more to post later on, but right now I'm just trying to catch up.

I want to say just how extremely proud I am of my students' behavior and sportsmanship on Track and Field Day. They were often in hostile territory in competition with another class, but I am so happy to report that my class had class. What's even better than that is the fact that we beat the other classes! We tug-o-warred them out cold.

This is another one of those classes where I could not be more proud of their attitudes. Good people right here.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Singularity And Continuity

On Wednesday, we actually did quite a few things that were counted as "fun" by one of my students later on that day. It wasn't intended to be a fun day, but it turned out it was, and from my end, too. Practically every day is fun for the teacher, but if it turns out to be good for the kids, well, that's bonus.

The first thing was that in Math class, we cut out and constructed 3-D models of geometric shapes to help us learn about vertex and edges. Everyone seemed to like this, and it was fun just to hang out while the kids cut out shapes and then did their best to mold them into the proper 3-D form with tape and glue sticks. I am proud to say that at least all the glue sticks came back with caps properly in place and firmly attached.
We did research with the 360 laptops for the kids' independent study program for the last few days of school. That was fun. It was silent for a good portion of this! Who knew? If I had known this, I would have checked out a couple of technology carts long. long ago! It was so much fun to see the kids researching whatever they want to present, and coming up with the appropriate way to present their findings. This project has just been perfect so far.

Finally, Will Keen safely got his anole back home to its new home. So did many other students, and I am very thankful to report that none of the anoles are left over at this time. Thank you, Will, and to all of the other students who gave our anoles a new hope and a new life beyond our research in science class!

Oh, and back up to the first picture--the library summer reading program starts very soon (if it hasn't already), so make sure your child has brought home their materials and get them reading over the summer--or keep them reading over the summer, I should say.


This isn't even one of Chris Cornell's originals, but I find this song to be an especially healing listen. This is a great performance, and I hope it's a good tribute to a man who struggled with mental illness. I hope this sheds some light on a less-and-less taboo topic that needs to come into the light if it's going to be dealt with in a realistic and unashamed way.

Another Mad Smile

Let me start off by saying that many things have happened since the last time I posted here last Wednesday:
  • Chris Cornell died. 
  • My mom and dad came to read to the class.
  • We had track and field day.
  • An old student, Michael Pitz, came to read to the class. 
  • We did the locks. I may try this one again with my class. 
  • We continued a research project. 
I will discuss all these things coming right up, but in the meantime, in the in-between time, I will leave you with a brief schedule of upcoming events:
  • Tomorrow, we will continue with our research projects. We will also have Math. By the way, these research projects are pretty much just for fun and using the computers.
  • Tuesday, we will rehearse and also have our fifth grade graduation.  There is also a graduation party later on that day, after school. I have received absolutely zero information regarding this, but I'm hoping you have? I'm in the dark, personally. :(
  • Wednesday is, of course, the last day of school. We will clean out desks, etc., that day. 
Okay, now I'm on with the show...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Getting Over the Last Big Hump

Tomorrow we are BLUE.

If you are coming tomorrow (I can always use parent helpers for Track and Field Day!), let me know! Evidently, I as supposed to let Mrs. Strong know by today...but I just got the email today, so there you go.

I look forward to a great day tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Birds, Bees, Etc.

The kids survived the Ruth Lilly talk today. Our presenter did a great job, and was very frank and no-nonsense. I thought the kids did a great job. 

I did take some pictures of them looking extremely uncomfortable, but decided it would be unfair of me to post them here. However, if anyone gives me a good reason to, I will not hesitate. (Ha!)

And Now, a Word From Mr. Z

Woodbrook Track and Field Day 2017

To: Woodbrook Elementary Parents

From: John Zangrilli

RE: Track and Field Day

Woodbrook Parents,

All grade levels will have their Track and Field Day on Thursday, May 18th, with a rain date scheduled for Friday, May 19th.  Track and Field Day will be held at Woodbrook starting at 9:30. All parents are encouraged to come and watch their son/daughter participate in this fun-filled day. Please feel free to interact with your child, as this is what they would prefer.  We just ask that you do not take them away from the group, so they do not miss any activities.

Other Track and Field Day notes:

  • Wear your team color T-shirt (which is listed below) with a sweatshirt or jacket over it, if necessary.
  • Lunches will be eaten outside during normal lunch time.  If needed, sack lunches can be ordered via the cafeteria the morning of the event.      
  • Don’t forget other specific items your child may need for the day: sunscreen, inhaler, allergy medicine, etc. 
  • Please write your child’s name on his or her water bottle

Mr. Vahle                                                        YELLOW                                                      
Mr. Carter                                                       BLUE            
Mrs. Stemnock                                                GREEN
Mrs. Loeffler                                                  RED

Thank You,
John Zangrilli
AKA, Mr. Z

Monday, May 15, 2017

This Is the Way We Roll

There is not too much new today compared with yesterday's update. Tomorrow we do have Ruth Lilly, but unlike in many of the years past, we do not go downtown. They come to us, so there is no need for a permission slip or a sack lunch or anything like that. We won't have math tomorrow because two of the other fifth grade classes will have their Ruth Lilly program during that time, so we can't separate out for Math classes.

We do have spelling, and the kids do have their bookmarks for the last time this week due on Friday. We also had Math homework tonight (three problems...three!).