Sunday, March 18, 2018

Point and Counterpoint

It hit me today that next Saturday is the volunteer day at Gleaners. If you think you and your child might be able to make it, please let me know ASAP and I'll get your information to Mrs. Fleming.

This week, we will have a project on the Constitution, a spelling test, and we will be working toward wrapping up chapter 7 in Math. In Language Arts, we will be talking about indirect objects, prepositions and prepositional phrases, and of course we will continue on with our reading.

My heart is a little worn out after watching Purdue and Butler and Michigan State today, but I hope you have all had a great weekend. Plus we had some incredible weather today, so there's a lot to be thankful for right now.

And now, as if my bracket wasn't busted enough, UNC was just beaten. Why am I always surprised by stuff like this?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Not Everything Has a Name

I worked with Tripp Zanetis way back in the days of ancient history--the late 1990's and the early 2000's--at Camp Tecumseh. He was one of those children who came up through being a camper, became a Counselor in Leadership Training, a Daycamp Staff member, and then eventually a part of the resident staff. By that time, I was large and in charge of the resident staff as a summer camp administrator.

What was always impressive about him from the time he was a kid was how collected and calm he always seemed to be. By the time I left, he was working as a firefighter in Carmel. All I knew is that I was happy to know someone who worked in Carmel (even though I do not believe I ever saw him) when I first moved here.

Today I found out a few things. He became a fire marshal for the FDNY after the 911 attack. He was then deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. He had to have been about 20 at the time, and had done more substantial stuff with his life than I had at 26.

He graduated from Stanford Law School. At the time of his death, he was a member of the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York National Guard.

Is there a word for the weird feeling of sadness that comes from the loss of something that hadn't effected you for years and years, but in the back of your mind, you must have known that the world was a better place because of someone's presence? That's what's going through my mind today. I know that his family and friends have to be feeling an incredible loss today.

I know that he made Carmel a great place before it was a place I was ever going to work, and I know he made camp a great place as well. As I said, he must have left a gaping hole in the lives of the people who knew him day to day.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lucky Class

Today, Area 51 received a visit from one of my favorite people--my sister, Mindy.

She brought a couple of books with her to read, and she let the kids choose which one they wanted her to read. Before they came back in from recess, I told her that I knew for a fact that they would choose the one with the gorilla on the front. Of course, they had to prove me wrong and choose the other one, which was a hilarious book about the origin story of rock, paper, scissors.

She then answered questions about her favorite subjects in school, her sports, her job, and everything else about herself and us as brother and sister. Then she even hung out with us until the end of the day, and sang our Friday song with us.

What a great way to end a fast and eventful week.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

He Positions and Shoots

This week has gone really fast and it's been so weird.

Tomorrow we will have our spelling test. The kids have either finished or are finishing their memoirs, we've learned about direct objects ad nauseum, we're still learning all about the Constitution, and we are working hard and hammering down on the couple weeks before spring break.

Oh yeah, plus we filled out our brackets today. There's nothing like the last minute--literally.

Talk soon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Letters to a Young Mathematician

Well, today marked a few losses in life. The mother of a colleague died. Michael Fleisher died. And Stephen Hawking died.

Of course, Stephen Hawking is the most well-known of the deceased. The world's most famous astrophysicist dying isn't something that happens every day. The victim of a motor-neuron disease since 1963, he has lived a full life and continued to be one of the thinkers most responsible for a whole bunch of theories that I cannot even pretend to comprehend.

Rest in peace, Dr. Hawking.

You probably have never ever heard of Michael Fleisher, but he was a comic book artist. This hit me today, especially for his cover to a comic book (which way-predates me, for the record) of The Spectre.

I had thought of this very cover recently because I kind of wished someone with the power of the Spectre on this cover would have been around when the guy was shooting the kids in Florida and the police officer in Lebanon. I know it's dorky, but it was kind of ironic that he died so soon after those events.

Today was Pi Day. We worked on pi-related problems in math. I was happy that the kids seemed to cooperate for the most part while I had a sub for a meeting over at Clay. All in all, it was a pretty solid day.

Other than people dying. That part stinks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Age of Persuasion

Today we have been talking direct objects. If your child seems to have a hard time with this, I would suggest having them watch this video. It also contains something we will be talking about in the near future, indirect objects. So they may get a little bit of a preview into what we will tackle next.

We are also talking persuasion. In our crab books, we are reading some persuasive essays. The important thing is the distinction between persuasive essays or writing and straight-up non-fiction writing. It's kind of hard to find the non-fiction stuff in today's world, and students need to have a good understanding what the difference is and how to spot it.

In Math, we talked about making healthy choices (it was seriously the name of the lesson provided by the curriculum!) using unit rates--along with the prices of horseradish and ginger.  We're also talking angles. Each lesson in the foreseeable future will have two components, because I have discovered kind of a gap between what they have the kids do at the middle school in sixth grade and what we do in sixth grade math here.

During our Social Studies time this afternoon, we are taking a beginner's look at the U.S. Constitution. It's an important thing to say the least, because you never know, we may have some future Supreme Court Justices in 5-1. Even if not, it's important to know your rights. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

For What It's Worth

I have to admit that this was probably Monday as usual.

We started a new chapter in Math, a new unit in Health (Science, technically), and we talked about direct objects. We had a new spelling list also.

The day was a blur for me, but that could be because of the daylight savings time thing. I think that's the lamest excuse in the world, but it's all I can think of! Hope you all had a good day today.

More to come, I'm sure.