Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dictated from My Sick Bed

Well, I'm sick this weekend, so I'm hoping your kids are healthy. I believe I'll be spending all this cooped-up time getting some papers graded, movies watched, and plans solidified for the next two weeks. I told them that we were going to have to be working hard over the next couple weeks, but the fact is that there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I'll have a Carter Current for you on Monday, and you'll get a better idea of what we're doing right now. One thing that I got out of the inservice on Wednesday was the idea of having writing groups, and not just reading groups. This is a great idea because different kids need different things in their writing, even though that's one more thing during the week.

The musical is looking pretty good. The first day of rehearsals altogether went very smoothly. Looking forward to seeing everyone next Thursday night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Carter Current for November 14, 2008

Hello there! Well, hopefully everyone enjoyed this last weekend recuperating from our big trip to Camp Tecumseh. I would like to thank Camille Gaughan, Danny Hiter, Amy Hurlburt, Scott Johnston, Ryan Karpinski, Susan Linkmeyer, Michael Pickard, Jennifer Simone, Tina Smith, Marta Stanbrough, Jim Weghorst, Kevin Woodhouse, Liz Zalam, Matt Carlton, Sara Coss, Erick Eastes, and Melissa Elisha for coming up and helping support this trip by not only being there, but for being instructors, chaperones, and guides to kids across the board. That's quite a job, I realize, and it really is appreciated. Unfortunately, this looks like our last year at camp, but luckily your kids all got in on it for this last time. I had a lot of fun getting to know so many of you better, as well as getting to know your kids on a totally different playing field. For reasons that are obvious to anyone who was there, I love camp a lot. Personally, it was a large part of my developmental process, and one thing I've loved over the years is being able to share my "old home" with my students and even you guys. Thanks for indulging me that trip this one last time.

In Math right now, we're studying fractions. We've been adding, subtracting, and multiplying them. We have a test on Wednesday, and today I've given your children a study guide on everything that will be on the test.

I am so proud of how the kids did on the Veteran's Day program. Each student did their best to make sure the program went off without a hitch. I'd like to thank the Woodbrook choir and Mr. Jay Vahle for helping me out in making this production a meaningful one to the students as well as the veterans in attendance. I'm not sure how my class ended up in charge of this deal, but I'm really happy we did. I'm always impressed with how well the kids do at things like this, and Tuesday morning was no exception whatsoever. This week was thrown off a bit because of this, but what fun would life be if everything was always stuck in a rut?

One thing that has continued apace is the Rube Goldberg project. I've really enjoyed seeing how the kids' imaginations have flourished with this thing. This is really impressive. Watching everyone work together to make this happen has been really rewarding.

I handed out the book report sheets yesterday. These are due next Friday.

I'd like to apologize for not handing back the States and Capitals tests the kids took two weeks ago. These things take a long time to grade, but honestly it's no excuse for two weeks' delay. I will hand them back on Monday, I promise. Please note that these grades will go onto the next six weeks, and were not included in this one. I tend to cut off all the grades about a week early, but those grades are just added onto the next six weeks.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Minds Awake

I couldn't be more pleased with the way Camp Tecumseh turned out the last three days. My class was so well-behaved, everything went so well, that I can't even put it into words. Sure, we had a couple hours yesterday when I thought we would all be swept out to sea by the stormy chaos, but other than that brief window, we couldn't have asked for anything more.

My favorite thing about camp is getting to know the parents. Sure, it's a great way for me to bond with some individual students, but regardless of how hard I try, I always end up around a few of them a bit more than the others. This has to do with what I end up teaching, what individual circumstances are, and who is at my table during meals and stuff like that. But it gives me time each year to get to know certain parents and kids better, and I'm always thankful for this.

I'm so thankful for this class of kids and their parents. I'm not trying to gush, suck up, or anything of the sort. It is a pleasure each day to walk into work, knowing that I get to work with your children. I don't take my position lightly, and I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate my position in your children's lives as well as yours.

I had so much fun taking you guys to what used to be the pine forest, down to the river (sorry about the darn cat), and up to the lodge on the night hike. The kids couldn't believe how much hair I used to have. I loved how much the kids truly took to heart our two mantras this week: "Whatever", and "It's all good."

We all learned a new game: Ga-ga. It's pretty amazing, although Mr. A wasn't sure we were going to get a ga-ga pit made any time soon at the WB.

Mr. Vahle and I were talking on the way home from camp, and we both just truly love our jobs. We discussed how horribly we would take it if we were told that any one student would be removed from our classrooms. We are both extremely cognizant of the jobs we do, and it just reaffirms the fact that it's good to be in my position.

The trip really geared me up for the rest of the school year. We have a lot to get through, but I guarantee it's going to be totally worthwhile.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Can Vote However You Like

Love this video. It's like a more musical version of my classroom any time the subject comes up...

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Hope everyone had a good break, and once again I'm sorry for the length of time between now and my last post. It was good to talk with everyone during parent/teacher conferences. Thank you to everyone for showing up.

This week we're going to have to practice up for the big Veteran's Day program. I'm hoping to get everyone involved in this one, and the kids have already done a nice job with helping to write parts of the presentation. We're having to get a head start on this one, because we don't have a lot of time between now and then with the Camp Tecumseh trip in the middle there.

More later!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Read All About It

I just threw some links up on the left for Current Events. We don't have CE this week, but I thought I'd give the kids some suggestions about where they can find some good ones. I'm particularly taken with Happy News, because it's always positive. NPR and BBC will give us more of a world view, and CNN would be for your domestic news.

These aren't the only places kids can pull their current events from by any means, this is just to give them some more places that are easily accessible.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Better Late Than Never

It is with great shame that I update this post after a week and a half without posting anything.

We have been really busy in 5-1. We've started reading a new book called The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman. I told the kids we were going to have to take a sabbatical from Time Stops because of poor planning and timing on my part. I really wanted to read Kid for obvious reasons before the election in November. I may throw in another book before we pick back up in Time Stops, also.

Also, I've been meeting with guided reading groups, and those have been pretty fun for me to meet with smaller groups of kids.

In Science, we've started doing a unit called Newton's Toybox. We're applying Newton's Laws of Physics in experiments. These are a lot of fun, and the kids are pretty good about not getting all silly with them.

This class continues to get better and better. I hate to jinx anything, so I won't go on any more, but honestly, every day is fun with these guys.

Thanks to those of you who came to the camp meeting last night. I'm sending information home today for those who weren't there yesterday.

I'll be sending home a Carter Current tomorrow with more information and details, but I wanted to throw an update on here just so you didn't think we'd gone idle.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Busy Weeks Ahead

First of all, I'd like to thank all my old students and their parents from whom I've received comments on this blog as well as e-mails about how they're still keeping track of what goes on in my class by reading Mr. Carter's Dojo. Each day I hope you are all doing well over at middle school. From the reports I've heard, I know you are doing great. You have great teachers over there, and I'm sure they're all teaching you new things as you grow up and accept more responsibility.

As for you here in my class right now, I almost have your cereal boxes graded, I've rearranged the desks, and I've still got a few more things to get ready for Science on Monday. First up: Physics! We'll be learning about Newton's laws through experiments and, of course, you will have to write down all your observations and findings. And I also found a way to use that thing that's supposed to hang down with all the spaces for stuff that I was showing you guys on Friday. Plus we're starting reading groups.

Remember: This week there is Current Events, spelling, and everything else, so make sure you make good use of your class time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

But If We Were In a Vacuum, We'd Run Out of Air

As alert reader and recent student of mine, Claire B., pointed out yesterday, the huge shockwave of homework does come at them like a brick wall. So I'm not going to hold back too much on it this year, although I do have to admit the beginning of last week was a bit over the top--but just a little bit. 

I'm hoping this afternoon or before lunch to get some more work in Time Stops for No Mouse done. The testing has been a little more time-consuming than I thought. We always make our testing plans as if we were in a vacuum, or not actually in the real world where life continues to happen whether or not you're in the midst of some earth-shatteringly important test in which you have to actually chain and bolt their test booklets into a closet if you want to go to the bathroom at any point during the day. And that, children, is a run-on sentence.

Indeed, life has continued apace this week, and between the bathroom breaks and the drinks and the snacks and everything, we're left with a pittance of spare minutes in our day, and have ended up reading about a paragraph and a half of this book each day or so. Needless to say, we'll be continuing this next week, as well as getting with our guided reading groups. 

And as we find that Time Stops for No Class, either, the kids may find themselves having to make good use of their spare class time. With some urging on my part, they might learn that they would have less homework if they spent more time working on it at school and not putting the 348th layer of tape on their name tags. 

These are great kids. I know I say it all the time, but I just continue to enjoy coming in to work each day. Please contact me if you have any questions about what is coming up in class, anything to do with camp coming up (anyone going to the workshop this weekend or next?), and if I can answer you, I will be happy to do so.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Standardization Nation

Testing is going great so far. The kids are almost all doing a good job of staying quiet during the duration, which is leaving me enough time to make some big time plans for the coming months! And I'll try to hold off on the homework a little bit, but not so much that junior high comes as a total shock.

And I know a lot of you have been asking, when will the book talks be? I'm shooting for next Tuesday. We really need to get them wrapped up soon, before the momentum is gone, if it's not already.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Taking Precautions

A new Carter Current went home today with most all of the information on it pertaining to the classroom right now. I gave the kids a break from the homework today, but they still should be studying up for Spelling and Caesar's English as well as putting the finishing touches on their book reports.

Talk Like a Pirate Day is Friday! The kids can wear their pirate costumes, but don't go buy anything. We'll supply the eye patches.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How Your Kids Can Relax and Learn to Love the Bomb (or this case, the test)

Yesterday we had a special guest with us all day, Mr. Shriver, a high school guy who teaches karate with me at Adamson's. He wants to be an elementary school teacher, asked if he could come in and shadow with me occasionally, and I said sure. I'd love to see him become a teacher, and so I'm going to encourage that one any way I can. He really enjoyed his day with us, and I told him next time he came we could do some karate with the students. And don't worry, no contact!

This week it's back to normal...well, kind of. We will have a Caesar's English quiz and a Spelling test at the end of the week, and there's a States and Capitals quiz on Tuesday, this is all true. However, ISTEP is looming large over our heads for next week. Some kids look forward to this because of no homework, etc. Some students loathe the bitter taste of standardized testing and the way it affects their future. It's such a fine balance between trying to get them to relax a little bit so that, for some fo them, they can do their best, while still putting the fire under some of them in order to get them to do their best. Whichever your child needs, make sure you place it into them at home, because there's no real way I can do both en masse at school.

To help the kids relax a little before the test, we always celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day right before the ISTEPs. This is an actual holiday (okay, not actual actual, but kind of actual). The kids are encouraged to dress like pirates for the day, and we'll have all kinds of activities and stuff like that during the day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Melt (updated now)

We're melting! Actually, a couple people have brought in fans, but now I'm having to yell over them. This isn't a huge problem because I have a pretty loud voice, but I've told the kids that we're going to have to be extra-nice to each other during this heat. When I went to elementary school, that's just the way it was. Amazing how coddled we've become, isn't it?

No spelling this week, but I am giving the kids a new Caesar's English today. That quiz will be over Latin roots, and it will be next Friday.

Speaking of next Friday, next Friday will be Talk Like a Pirate Day in fifth grade. On that day, we will learn all about pirates, do many fun pirate activities, and the kids are encouraged to dress like a pirate that day. (Not to mention take their Spelling test and Caesar's English quiz...) We do this on the last day before ISTEP testing for kind of a fun day before the big one begins. I have no idea what we'll do before we take ISTEP again in March. 

Oh, and UPDATE: Now we DO have air. Woohoo!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We'll Be Studying Perspiration This Week

Keep in mind that there is no spelling this week, and there are also no Current Events this week. We'll try to use these shortened weeks to play catch-up on other stuff while doing our best to charge forth in our curriculum. Next Tuesday will be our next states and capitals test over the Southeast. There are twelve states in this one, and they received their list today.

We also did another DOL today after grading three from last week. Tomorrow and Friday we'll be spending some time in the computer lab to finish up their typed up reports on their states.

Oh, plus NO AIR CONDITIONING until the end of the week, so I told the kids they may want to dress cooler than they had before. Most of them had adapted to the balmy 60 degrees at which I normally keep my room. (Okay, not really, but it's not that far off...)

Friday, August 29, 2008

When I Was Younger So Much Younger Than Today

Hey, a plea for help from any moms or dads interested in doing some volunteer work for me. I need someone to be in charge of Scholastic book orders for me. It would really help me out. I've got everything you would need. Just lift your voice and call me or e-mail if you would be interested in the job.

We started typing up our state reports this morning, and we'll continue with that with a few more lab days next week.

Your kids crack me up. Today I just realized again how fortunate I really am this year, or to even have this as my job. I'm doing my best to bring out their best.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Respect and Admiration

It was great to meet everyone at Meet the Teacher Night last night. The kids really enjoyed reading what you wrote to them this morning. I look forward to meeting with everyone again at parent/teacher conferences in a couple months.

Anyway, here's an update on what's due and when. I gave the kids a book report last week which is due on September 12. The test over their new states and capitals list is officially next Wednesday, but I told them they could take it on Friday. It's only over four (FOUR!) states, and one of them is Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, FYI). Spelling test on Friday, and tomorrow there is a Caesar's English test. In case you're reading this right now and your child didn't bring home his or her list, here's all you need to know:

melancholy: sadness
visage: the face
venerate: to respect or admire
abate: to lessen
repose: to rest

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One Hundred

Okay, so not so great about the daily posting. Sorry about that!

Today the kids have a DOL, some Math, and some of them are finishing up their journal assignment from today. One thing on the Math: Some of them seemed confused on the "divisibility by 9" rule. It is the same as 3 (where you add up all the digits in a number, and if the sum is divisible by 3, the whole number is divisible by 3), except that you have to divide the sum by 9 instead of 3. For instance, 9,585 is divisible by 9 because 9+5+8+5=27, and 27 is divisible by 9. Therefore, 27 is divisible by 9.

The kids ALL turned in their DOLs when we graded them yesterday! WOOOOHOOOOO! In fact, so far, this class has a 100% turn-in rate on homework. Let's keep that up!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Low Down

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, but we had a staff meeting after school and then I was a goner for the rest of the day. Here's a run-down:

  1. Tomorrow is the Caesar's English quiz. I told them EXACTLY how it's going to look, so they should have no surprises.
  2. They have a DOL due tomorrow.
  3. There is a States and Capitals quiz next Tuesday over the Western States, which they received today.
  4. Their 3x each ABC order is due tomorrow, and their meaning exercise for Spelling is due on Friday.

That's the short of it. Remember Meet the Teacher Night next Tuesday, August 26. That's one week from today, so be there if at all possible. I'm looking greatly forward to meeting all of you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back in the Groove and Not Weakened This Weekend

Another great day. Something about Fridays that usually makes them extra good. Anyway, we had a chance to do some drawing today at the end of the day, and the kids really got into it--so much that we almost missed the bus!

Anyway, before that we read a story in their reading books and discussed everything from the Latino lingo of the characters to how cooking is a form of Science.

We also read Whales on Stilts, a two-minute mystery, reviewed their Latin stems, and did our Word of the Day.

Next week we have a full schedule. Between starting Spelling to our first quiz (Caesar's English on Wednesday!) and starting in on our Math classes, it should be chock-full of learning goodness.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Three Days Grace

Hey there, the only thing really due tomorrow are the kids' All About Me Posters. We'll be sharing them tomorrow during class, so make sure the kids have them ready. Many of them finished them during class sometime earlier in the week.

Other than that, we did everything during class today. I warned the kids to enjoy it now, because it wouldn't be this way for the rest of the year!

Next week we'll start in with Spelling and several other things. Remember also that they need to have a composition notebook by Monday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Routine Establishments

Homework update:

The students have an assignment due tomorrow in Social Studies. Page 11, 2-5. They have to answer each question with a complete sentence. Many of them finished this before they went home, but I didn't get to see how they did just yet. They were also assigned a day next week to have an article for Current Events, as well as a sheet to fill out for what they learned from their article.

Make sure the kids have a composition notebook by Monday for their daily writing journals. I showed them this today, but I think I forgot to have them write it in their assignment notebooks.
For Math we did a division test of simple facts. I told them that if they didn't do so well, it's time to break out the flashcards. They also worked on a "scavenger hunt" through their Math books to help them learn how to use their Math books when they need help with how to do a problem.

In English today, I introduced the kids to DOLs and the proofreading marks. DOLs start out difficult, but after doing them three times a week every week of the year, they get used to them pretty quickly. We graded this one in class today, and they'll do another one tomorrow. I also told them that there's nothing wrong with taking them home and letting the parents take a look at them. Of course, I'd prefer you didn't do it for them, but rather just tell them "look for two more things in this line..." They should also always take their WriteSource 2000 book home for reference.

Later this week and next, we'll be doing some exercises that involve commas, because that is the most common thing on which to make mistakes.

Whew! We got through quite a bit today. And I haven't even managed to pass out the Reading books yet! So much to do, so little time, but so much more time than we had last year. This is a very good thing.

Your kiddos are great, and I look forward to getting to know them more and more as the next couple weeks pass.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All Ready Already

Happy first day! Wow, do I ever have a great class. Very well-behaved, and everyone was so friendly.

Here's the only homework for right now: The kids need to bring in a book to read during silent reading time tomorrow, and they were to have made a note that the Meet the Teacher Night is on Tuesday, August 26th, and NOT on Thursday, August 28th, as I wrote in my note that went home today.

Your kids were awesome, and I look forward to a great year. As I told them today: as a class, we operate as a family. Do families always get along? No. But they get along for the most part, and they do look out for each other. I told them that I would be there to help them out when they need it, to put some pressure down when I think I can get more out of them, and hopefully to help them be the best that they can be.

I think we will have a great time this year, and I look forward to meeting all of you soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

From Here We Go Sublime

Okay, so tomorrow is the big day. Actually, in about nine hours. I really need to get some sleep. You know, I've put more work into getting my classroom ready for this week than I ever have in the past, even my first year. I'm not sure why, but I have.

Anyway, I plan to talk to the kids tomorrow about my expectations for their success during the upcoming year, and look forward to getting to know each of them in the coming weeks. If I flub up tomorrow, it certainly won't be for lack of preparation.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The View From the Ledge

Well, the classroom is almost finished. I have a few more things to get put away before the big day on Tuesday, and I have to say it's quite a dramatic change. And I think that's a good thing. I will feel more fresh, less like I'm just continuing on from last year, and more like I'm starting all over. I think this is a good thing to have a feeling of renewal. With a new set-up for the classroom, we have new carpeting and new wall coverings and all that stuff. This is probably the longest I've ever spent trying to set up my classroom, and that includes my first year of teaching.

With fewer students this year, I feel pretty good about how it's going to go. I also am pretty sure I've got a great class. I showed my class list to one of the specials teachers, and she said, "I love every single one of these guys." I think this is probably the first time I've ever heard that, so this is a huge plus.

I have so many plans for this new year, and I'm very excited about implementing all of them. Each year I try to improve as a teacher, and I have high hopes that this will be my best year yet.

Former students? Feel free to e-mail me with a report from Clay. I'll post it here, without your whole name, if you want me to. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Imagine

I sure hope someone is still reading this blog, even though it's summer. Because all the sudden, I was stricken with the feeling that I needed to tell you all that you can be anything you want to be, and you can do anything you want to do. Point:

When I was a kid, there was a basketball player who played for N.C. State and eventually for the Atlanta Hawks (this is mostly where I remember him from) and then the Kings for awhile, whose name was Spud Webb. Webb was five foot seven. In the NBA. If you can imagine that. Whenever I've met a player from the NBA, or even walked by one in the airport, I feel like a midget, and you all know how tall I am. Six foot two. I'm guessing Dylan ended this school year at about five foot seven, if not taller, and this is the size Spud Webb was. (Dylan, of course, will get much taller in his lifetime, I'm just using him as a point of reference.) Webb was cut from his high school varsity basketball team because he was too short.

By the time he got to college, he started scoring ten points a game, and when he got to the NBA, he won the Slam Dunk Contest. He had all kinds of special trick dunks that were amazing. At five foot 7 inches tall. Against giants. There were all kinds of David and Goliath references when he played, and I think they were true, but I'm sure that's not what he dwelled on. He made the most of his talents. He wouldn't listen to anyone when they told him he couldn't make it as an NBA player. Just think if he'd listened to the coach who cut him for the varsity team, and given up. What would have happened?

Let's take George Washington Carver. I read you guys his story. He was born a slave. When the Civil War was over, he watched the rest of his family as they were dragged off and killed by the Ku Klux Klan. He wasn't going to stay a slave. He went and became a botanist, which is a scientist who studies plants. When his peanut farmer friends suddenly found themselves with too many peanuts--so many more than people were asking for, what did he do? He went and found more uses for peanuts. Over two-hundred of them. Shampoo, glue, stain-remover, you name it. Made from peanuts. He even invented peanut butter. Suddenly there was more demand for peanuts.

What if his friends had been cotton farmers, or squash farmers? Then we'd have hundreds of uses for those things. Honestly, his story just goes to show that there is still so much untapped potential out there.

Do you guys understand this?

Anyone can do anything.

There are thousands of other stories like this in the world. Many of them we don't know anything about.

Become one of them. I assure you, all of you can do it. I know that first hand. Now prove it to the rest of the world.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lessons Learned in the Past Ten Months

I wanted to say a few things after having just closed out this last school year. If any of you are still reading, I'm going to talk about the mistakes I made and how I plan to fix them. This was the first class I've had that was not a gifted students class. This is not a bad thing, but it is definitely a different thing.
  1. The first thing I learned about the "regular" (how I hate that word! I was one of them when I was a kid!) kids is that they don't love to read right off the bat. By the end of my school year, I had readers. Sure, I still had a few who would just look at the pictures in my giant DK books, or magazines, or whatever. However, the majority of my kids had found a series or an author or a genre that they enjoyed reading. However, it truly took some cultivating. One way I plan to turn this page with them* earlier is to be more proactive in showing them the books that thrilled me as a kid, the kids books that I find exciting now, and the books I enjoy reading as an adult. I did this last year, but I need to be more consistent in sharing to try to keep the kids pumped up.
  2. One thing I've learned from teaching karate is that I need to "give candy" to the kids who need it. Some kids are going to get bored while you're teaching to a lower common denominator. Those are the kids you need to show something cool. In karate, this means showing a little something extra--why you do a certain move in a kata, a little something cooler than the standard fare on a certain move, a special fighting technique. Now that I'm allowed to teach Social Studies again, I'm so looking forward to doing this with certain kids. One of my favorite moments in this past school year was watching my students' eyes light up when I gave the ideas for their research projects (all of which had to be over a historical event). This time I'm the teacher for everything. I can't wait.
  3. I need to make plans for the entire year ahead of time. I have the time in the summer, I don't have them in the fall. Of course I'll be flexible, but I have to have plans laid out, instead of just taking everything as it comes. Because my experience thus far has been that I don't get it all fit in if I don't work it out. This is not particular to the regular class, but to all classes thus far.
  4. For Math, I have to train them to utilize their book earlier in the year. I talked before about how, in the movie Finding Nemo, the theme was that kids need to learn how to do things and learn things for themselves, otherwise they never will. If the grown-ups bail them out every time, they'll continue to be dependent for the rest of their lives. I suppose we can do this for just about everything, and not just Math, right?
  5. That I never know how I've affected them, and so when I wonder if I'm making a difference, I need to just hush up and not worry about it. I am affecting them, even if it isn't always apparent right at first. I need to keep in mind how much I realized when the kids were singing their song for me, or when all the boys were huddled in a massive group hug full of tears on the last day of school. I need to keep this in mind. I need to keep this focus throughout the entire year. My mid-year declaration to amp up my teaching served as something of a tent pole for the year in terms of kid-respect and parent-respect, but I really need to be a lot better about having more tent poles throughout the year. It will make for a more even "roof" for the school year.
Those are the biggies. If I think of more, I'll post them here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Almost Done

We are almost done with our years at Woodbrook. We have some exciting things to still do. Wednesday we will be going to the Monon Center for a end of the year party!! We will be having a Talent Show on Friday ( sorry to all those old Woodbrook students who wish to come and watch, we are in the midst of renovation)!!!! For the Talent Show each class has a representitive who that class voted for.
5th grade is going to 6th grade and will be visiting over summer to get lockers, schedules and much more!! Sadly that isn't the subject of this report, so I am finished talking about that.
New Subject: Today Mr. Carter's class had gym today and a indoor recess because of the bad weather. We are all so sad.:(
Well I have a huge Math test to take so I have got to go!! Over and out.

Writer: Helper:
Maria Megan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Hands of Giants

Forgot to write about our new class pet, a new turtle. At first I was a little scared about how Barton might react to this new turtle, but the first thing he did to him was cover him up, like the little one was his son.

His name is Roberto, named by George (who caught him) after Roberto Clemente, the greatest baseball player ever to live. Does this kid know how to get on my good side or what?

Thus far, Roberto and Barton have made 5-1 a very popular place. Now we just have to get his feeding times under control, and get a screen over his tank (hey, we used to have one of those...). The kids like to put their hands in the tank, which is freaking Roberto out.

School of Fish

What a successful bake sale we had yesterday at the choir program! We made about $350 for Relay for Life. A huge thanks to Mrs. Rigsbee, Mrs. Gatte, and all of the parents who sent in baked goods to be sold at the sale.

The book report is due tomorrow, so make sure your kids are all putting on the...uh..."finishing touches", which I'm sure is all they still need.

We've been talking a lot about personal responsibility in class recently. Caring for the classroom, trying to work things out on their own, etc. I asked who had seen the movie Finding Nemo, and asked what happened when Nemo got sucked into the filter. Everyone rushed to help him out, but then the black and white striped fish with the torn fin said, "Nope. Let him figure it out for himself." I related this to the way they need to view school. I teach them how to do it, and then they do it. However, I can't do it for them. I asked them what Nemo would have learned if they'd all pulled him out of the filter. The kids all agreed: nothing.

And I hope that after having had me, pushing them along and pulling them along, that they will have learned something. And I know already that they have.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Miracle Miles

The following is an open letter that I e-mailed to my local circle of influence today. I altered the names slightly to prevent stalkers from being a bunch of creepy lurkers.

Hey, Guys--

Just a reminder about Relay for Life coming up June 7-June 8, 10am to 10am. Several of you have already signed up, and I thank you for that.

Here's an update on what's going on for Team Woodbrook:

1.) It looks like we've met our capacity for the team members. They've started cutting us off at 20, but that doesn't mean you can't still register for Team Woodbrook! It looks like Eric F. had to start a new team (and I thank him for that). It's simply called "Woodbrook". As far as I'm concerned, I consider us to be one big team, and nothing about our team changes. Keep joining, and if you need to start a new team, just make it Woodbrook II or something like that.

2.) About on-site fundraising: SH is heading that one up. We're going to sell pulled pork sandwiches in the late afternoon/evening. I personally think this is awesome.

3.) Mrs. G and Mrs. R are holding a bake sale at WB Wednesday night (moms and dads of kids in my class, you know this already), and so that takes care of pre-event fundraising. But if you'd like to make a donation, I'm not going to stop you! You can make a check out to the American Cancer Society and either bring it into the school, or mail it to me at 4311 E 116th St, Carmel IN, 46033.

4.) I'm working with the kids on ideas for an activity during the Relay. As Carmel Relay continues to grow, we're starting to focus on this as being a big community event, beyond just the relay itself. The kids have had all kinds of awesome ideas, and I think we're going to go with the funniest one: dropping stuff off the top of the stadium and trying to land it in the target. Tell me we won't have any takers on that one. I still have to talk to the Logistics Committee on that one, though. Also, we're thinking about having "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" again this year, as last year it was a pretty major hit.

5.) For members of my class and their folks: So far, I've had five students sign up to help with the distribution of the Luminaria bags around the track from about 6:30-8:00. These tough guys are Michael C., George P., Nick S., Jack E., and Andy R. I'm sure we'll get a few more, but I wanted to give everyone the FYI just in case your kid is on that list and you're not planning on being there at that time.

6.) We're supposed to keep someone on the track for the whole 24 hours, with the exception of three of the hours. From 4:00-5:00 Saturday night is the Fight Back Ceremony, from 9:00-10:00 Saturday night is the Luminaria Ceremony, and there's one other time that I forget right now. The first lap after the Opening Ceremony (this might be the phantom hour) is the Survivor's Lap, so any cancer survivors out there, you might want to make sure you're there during that one.

If you'd like to sign up, please visit this site and sign right up. If you have any problems, let me know.

I'm really looking forward to this year's Relay for Life. Come on out and join the team and join the fun!


Friday, May 9, 2008

All In a Year's Work

The book report project, which is rather involved, is due next Friday. Make sure your child is working on this at home. I'm actually toying with the idea of changing the due date to the following Monday, but that will take some doing. I'm pretty sure the grades are going to need to be in by the end of that week, and I'll be hard pressed to find the time to get them all graded during that week. I'll figure something out, but have them try to aim for Friday.

You know these kids; they're very social. I don't mean this in a bad way, but I'm working hard to keep them really busy up until the end of the school year. It's amazing how much they're growing up. If you look at the pictures of them from camp, they look like babies when you compare them with how they look now. They're growing up like crazy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Baking Money the Old Fashioned Way

In response to a comment left on the blog yesterday (and again, I apologize for the lack of updates), we are actually shifting away from the car wash idea. We have decided to go with a bake sale at the choir show next Wednesday. It will be going on before and after, I'm pretty sure. Mrs. Gatte and Mrs. Rigsbee have set this up for the team, and I've very grateful.

If you have any questions, give them a call (they're in the directory, don't want to publish their numbers online!).

The kids have a book report project that you should have seen come home yesterday. It's due next Friday, May 16. Ask for it!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

In Case Your Kid Doesn't Bring Home Their Carter Current

Dear friends,

We have all had relatives and friends who have been affected by cancer. It is a harsh reality that seems to work its way into everyone’s lives at some point. Things have come a long way the last several years, but we still have quite a bit further to go before it is a thing of the past. With research, education, and service comes new hope. Now is our chance--as a community--to do our part to help fund the work for a brighter tomorrow.

This year marks Carmel’s third Relay for Life. Many communities have had a Relay for several years now. It is a 24-hour team event at the Carmel High School football stadium. Teams keep at least one member walking or running around the track for the entire event. It begins on Saturday, June 7th, at 10:00 AM to Sunday, June 8th, at 10:00 AM.

As the team captain for Team Woodbrook, I would like to invite you, your family, and anyone else you would like to recruit, to join our team and help the Woodbrook family to raise money for The American Cancer Society. You can help by joining the team, sponsoring, or volunteering for the event. You would not need to be there for the entire 24 hours; just come on out and put in a couple hour shift for the team. If you’d like to help with the fundraising, creating a great “campsite” on the field.

If you’ve never experienced a Relay for Life, it is a wonderful event. There will be door prizes, entertainment, and a chance to hang out and relax. It’s a fun time to spend with friends and colleagues, and honor those in our lives who have suffered from this terrible disease. There is a registration fee of $10 per participating team member, which goes to the cause. If you’d like any more information, please contact me at

Please consider joining the team--and, in turn--the fight against cancer.


Jeff Carter
Woodbrook Team Captain

This letter went home this week, but I'd like to add that the kids have been hard at work this week coming up with ways to keep Team Woodbrook up and running. We'll need help with getting the bags distributed around the track, fundraising before (WE REALLY WANT TO HAVE A CARWASH!), fundraising there, and coming up with a theme lap hour for the event. If any parents out there (assuming anyone still checks this blog) have any interest in helping out, PLEASE get in contact with me. Your kids are extremely interested in helping. (Of course, my enthusiasm is hopefully rubbing off on them.)

Thank you!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Counting to None

Next week we go to the Ruth Lilly Center to have The Talk. That's on Thursday, so make sure you pack a sack lunch for that day with a drink and, of course, make sure the whole thing is completely disposable. Oh, and make sure you send in your permission slips for that one. They should be going home today.

This week was pretty wonky, between guest speakers, a field trip, and the odd schedule we had yesterday because of the third grade program. I'm sure there was more stuff toward the beginning of the week which, by now, is part of my memory the same way the Challenger Disaster is back there somewhere.

As we zero in on the end of the year, we're working harder and harder to make sure that a.) everything gets crammed in, and b.) the kids don't go completely crazy. Spring has sprung, believe me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tower of Babble

Ini mini mini mo, catcha tiger by its toe, if he likes chicken let him go big old potty got toed. It is the beginning of the dum (which is nicer than stupid) chronicles. E=mc2. The energy inside an object is equal to its mass times the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). Which means an objects mass would have to be infinite to have enough energy to move at the speed of light(186,000 miles per second). Boombasdebamba(see you next time). But theres not going to be a next time because the person who is(not) paying me for this will see this and think it is stupid. Byebye Noogynanapooschoo (this is dumb) (which is nicer word than stupid).

That was by Murphy, not me, by the way (I'm Mr. Carter).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Science in Rhythm

Hey, folks. Not a whole not of new stuff to report, but I hope everyone had a good half day. Just a reminder here that next week is the trip to the Ruth Lilly Center. It's on Thursday. Send a lunch with your kids, completely disposable. You should have that down to a science now, right?

Here's a fun link to a commercial for my favorite educational cable network. Boom-di-yada!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dry Fire

Okay, wow. Have I ever gotten a reaction of e-mail from you guys. Let me first state that I didn't mean anything by the "personal problems have led me to be unable to fulfill my duties as the team captain of Team Woodbrook". By that, I meant that I've been spending way too much time doing karate and tutoring, and have been left with very little time to do anything else. Just let me state for the record that I'm perfectly fine. Could I use some help with Relay for Life? Absolutely. But that's about it.

I sincerely appreciate your concern. Honestly, I don't know anyone else who receives this much support from the parents of his students--both past and present.

And from one of you, you sent me this link. Thanks, this looks like an awesome opportunity from Apple. I'm wondering if they'd mind a teacher showing up to these things...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Carter Current April 21, 2008

Well, it has been a pretty crazy week since Spring Break ended. This week we have to head full throttle into the material we still have to cover, but mostly reviewing what we’ve done this year so far. I hope everyone is ready, because from here on out, it’s pretty much a roller coaster.
First off, I wanted to thank the moms for helping with the trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art the other day. This was a great trip, and the kids--at least the kids in my immediate group, but seemingly the others too--enjoyed the experience to go and look at the different artists and ethnic artifacts from all over the world.

Second of all, we had a visit from Buckeye and Hollowbones on Thursday. Buckeye and Hollowbones are two ladies from out in the wilderness of a long time ago. They share the ways of the backwoods with the kids in a very entertaining way. I’m always impressed at how these two can do such a great job of keeping the kids’ interest with their stories and strange lingo. All I know is that these ladies are incredible conveyors of a time that, in the grand scheme of things, was just yesterday.

In my Math class recently, we’ve been working a lot with decimals and computation. Be on the lookout for my summer math packet that the kids can be working on throughout the summer. I told them that before they go into “seventh grade math” in middle school, they’re going to have to have quite a few things mastered. We’ve been feverishly going over these things lately (if your child tells you they have no homework these days--except for Fridays--they’re most likely “mistaken”). Look for a summer packet to come home to help you keep them refreshed during those weeks before sixth grade begins.

This week, we’ll be doing quite a bit in reading. We’ll be heading to the computer lab during the half day on Wednesday to do a Criterion writing project, and we’ll be reading a short book on how to build a greenhouse during most of this week.

In addition to all this, we’ll be having Spelling as usual, and there is of course a quiz for Caesar’s English on Wednesday morning.

Bits of Business
·This weekend, I thought of a way anyone can help me out if they still want to. Because of some personal business, I’ve been unable to fulfill my duties as captain of Team Woodbrook for this year’s Relay for Life at Carmel High School over June 7-8, 2008. Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. As someone who has even within the past week dealt with the horrible reality of cancer, I’m sure many of you have dealt with this harrowing disease. If anyone would be interested in helping, I’d like to set up an fundraiser any time between now and then. I was thinking we could do a carwash, but I was hoping someone out there could help me out with the logistics. I don’t know anyone who could set this up for us. I was thinking the kids from my class could help by coming out for it (of course I would be there) and helping wash cars or something like that. Maybe you have a better idea. Anything. Please give me a call if you have any ideas or connections that could help with this.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot.”
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Today, the last day before Spring Break, I want to publish a poem that one of the kids wrote this week. I asked him permission to post it, and I asked him if he wanted me to put his name under it. He said yes to both.


Last goodbyes and tributes to life
Old photographs of happy times
The lump in your throat
Tears falling from your eyes
Fragrant flowers everywhere
Grief gets me through the pain
To face the future

Jason Garcia

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Daily Inspiration

Here is an awesome website for students looking to broaden their vocabulary when writing, which, I'm sure, is everyone on the face of the earth. Use it, kids! Although I do notice it's a site you have to pay for eventually, so use it sparingly, that is.

As for doing service for others, this site looks really inspirational. Give it a look.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mere Flesh Wounds

A friend of mine started a program in Pittsburgh for Bayer Aspirin called Everyday Science. Here's the link for it; it's got an awful lot of good stuff on there. Click and learn! It's a bunch of radio spots, and there are several to choose from. I learned quite a bit from it, actually.

The kids have been so good to me while I've been laid up after a karate accident last weekend. I'm going to try to go all day tomorrow without my crutches. But don't worry, all you moms out there, I'll have them in case I need them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

All Over the World

Click here for the newest way-cool educational website! Actually, I have no idea how "new" it is, but it's new to me. Most excellent in all ways.

As you may have heard, I'm pretty gimpy right now, but it's okay. I only have to use the crutches for a couple more days, and then it's all cool. The kids were very good to me today, and that's about the most I can hope for. They even got together and made me a get-well card. My ankle's not broken, as I found out right after school, much to my relief.

We do have spelling this week, but we do not have Caesar's English this week. We'll actually be doing some Social Studies during Word Study this week, and in my homeroom we'll be reading a short story from the A-Z website. Oh, and also there's a Geography quiz tomorrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Come Undone

Well, I've spent the last several hours grading and recording, so expect an avalanche of papers being returned to your child tomorrow.

Unfortunately, this doesn't include the research paper. I never got the rubric by which I'm supposed to grade the papers, but expect them before the week is over. I know how hard the kids worked on these, and I want them to get them back as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Words Cannot Express

Here's an awesome site that someone shared with me. You could have a lot of fun with that one.

I hope everyone has survived the research paper. I know we've had trials and tribulations, but I hope in the end that everyone ended up turning out a product they of which they can be proud.

Shout outs to my mom volunteers: Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Sarpa, Mrs. Woeste, Mrs. Snow, and Mrs. Frenzel have all come in recently and helped me either get organized, helped me teach algebra, or helped me with small groups. With thirty kids, I couldn't do it without you guys. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't Spill On Your Bib

This morning I spoke with Mrs. Shearman and received an okay to use EasyBib for the kids' bibliographies for the research paper. This is an awesome awesome tool that I used to use with my Challenge kids. It does everything for you. This should really help out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My sister sent me this teacher's blog the other day. I guess we have it pretty cozy around here, don't we?

Monday, March 17, 2008

With Any Luck, This Will Continue Onward From Here

Many apologies for the lack of blogging lately. I was convinced that I'd find time during my day to have a kid or two go ahead and fill you in on the latest goings on, but I'm just going to do it right now.

The Social Studies test for Mrs. Jackson is going to be on Friday. Friday is also a Spelling Test for me, and let's not forget that Wednesday is a Caesar's English test. Today's Word of the Day was gouge. We started in with probability in my Math class.

More info tomorrow, I hope.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Math Bowl Update

Dear Math Bowl Parents--

The big event is only one day away! Hopefully your kids feel prepared and ready. Even though I do my best to prepare them, a couple questions always catch me off guard, so go easy on your kids! I’m confident they they’re going to do extremely well.

A few logistical matters:

1. The event begins at 5:00, but I’ve told the kids I want them to arrive between 4:30 and 4:45. At this time, I will be in a coach’s meeting, so I’m looking for some parents who could keep an eye on the kids during that time.

2. Forest Dale is the location, just south of Woodbrook on 106th Street. Be thankful for this! One year we were in downtown Indianapolis, and typically we’re somewhere out in Fishers or Westfield. This is the closest we’ve ever been.

Parents are encouraged to stay and sit as a block to cheer the kids on as they go.

If you have any more questions, please e-mail me at

Mr. Carter

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Not Doctor Goldberg, RUBE Goldberg

In Mrs.Callahan's class we are learning about Rube Goldberg. Our inventions are due 3/3/08. Rube Goldberg made everything more complicated than it was supposed to be. Every year Purdue holds a Rube Goldberg contest. Contestants from all over the U.S. they take about 100 steps to screw in a light bulb,or scratch someone's back. we had to make a Rube Goldberg comic strips, we had to use 4 pictures she gave us, and we had to draw two things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spelling and Caesar's English

Today we will talk about Spelling. Here are our Spelling words:

1. ceremony 2. celebration
3. compassion 4. exciting
5. motivate 6. prohibit
7. fortunate 8. permission
9. maneuver 10. strategy
11. inferior 12.superior
We also have a Caesar's English list.


grat pleasing gratify,ingratiate,gracious

curr run current,recur,incur
trans across transfer, transfusion, transform
migr wander migrate, migration, migratory

rubt break abrupt, corrupt, interrupt

by: Maria, Nick, Lindsey and Jack (most important one)

The Hundred-Twenty-Third Bomb

Okay, yesterday we were supposed to have a celebration for the 123rd day of school. I didn't realize we were going to have a guest-speaker that day. The rest of the day I was given an assignment, which I botched. Wow, I'm 0 for 2, aren't I?

I promised the kids that I'd make it up to them as soon as possible. Which may be sometime in May.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well At Least There's a Part About How to Work a Rubik's Cube

In the mornings we come in and do our attendance and then we go to are desk and read silently til 8:30.Then we go and do centers we have different groups and there are 5 groups they are comic creation ,computer we go on math games ,scholastic news, hang man and blog witch we are at today.Then we have specials witch are Spanish,art,P.E ,music,and library .When we come back we have snack then we switch to either Science and Word Study or English and Social Studies then we come back and go to recess then lunch . When we come back we then switch for math . Well now you know what our day is like in the fifth grade at Mr. Carter's class. But before you go you might want to know a fraction of the formula for a rubik's cube. Here is Brandon to tell you. You want to get to get the first row first second, second and third last, not side by side. Here is the formula for the second row. Flip it over from the first row. Here is the edge flipping sequence! Start by turning the cube to the face you want it on. Sorry! I ran out of time! I will tell you next week!

And will see you next time

By:Molly ,Mckenna,Brandon,and Zach

Monday, February 25, 2008


Friday we are going bowling at Woodland bowl. The permission slip is due Wednesday the 27th. The cost is five dollars. Your inventions are due March 4th and the invention convention is on March 6th. The invention convention is from 6:30-7:30. Everyone got to choose a topic about history for their research paper. By:Dylan, Claire, Ben

Friday, February 22, 2008


We have different specials each day. To tell witch specials we have we check the specials list. Each special has a letter.
A: Art
C: Spanish & Media
D: P.E
E: Spanish
F: P.E & Music
In art we are painting famous paintings.
In music we are learning how to play the xylophone.
In Spanish Mrs. Haberfield is reading us a book.
In Media we are checking out books to read.

That is what we are doing in specials right now!!
Written by: Caroline, Katie, Matt, and Megan

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lessons Learned

In Mrs.Jackson's math class we are learning about negative numbers. We are adding and subtracting negative numbers and positive numbers. this is an example 12 - (-15) = -3
:>) Kaitlin V.
In Mr.Carter's math class we are adding & subtracting positive and negative numbers Reciprocals(12/14 =1 1/7), and Dividing fractions(3/4 / 2/6 = 6). Yesterday we had a math test over this. It was actually pretty easy! :)
(:^)Taylor S.
In Mrs. Sherman's math class we reviewed adding and subtracting fractions. An example problem is 1/3 + 1/5=8/15
Haley H.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Math Bowl will be held on March 4th, so if your child is in Math Bowl be sure to come. Mr. Carters Class will be celebrating the 123 day of school on Feb. 26, 2008 since Mr. Carter was not here on the 100 day of school. Colonial Days was on the 111 day of school. In science class we are making inventions. First, you find a problem. Then, you create a theory on how to solve the problem. Next, you design a machine that can use your theory and solve the problem. Now, you make a prototype and fix the problems that prototype shows. Finally, you make the final machine and solve the problem.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Very Abbreviated Summary of Recent Events

In Science we are writing down problems on the way to make an invention. Some of the kids from the past years made money off their invention. In English we just did 35 or more note cards all with facts on them. All of the facts have info on your subject. It is going to be a very long project. You have to take all of the info and make it in to a three to five page long paper. It will be very hard. In Mr.Carter's math class there is going to be a test on Wednesday. It is on pemdas, dividing fractions, intergers, and reciprecals.

By: Chad,
and George

Friday, February 15, 2008


Today the note cards are due for our research project in English. The Presidents Day Program is today. The 2nd is performing and so is the choir. Speaking of that, there will be no school on Monday due to Presidents Day. But there will be an ice skating party for anyone who wants to come. In math we are learning about pemdas. It stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Devision, Addition, and Subtraction. In English we are working on our research project. But today we have Word Study and Science. In Science we are making inventions. To come up with our ideas, we keep a journal with all of our problems in it. Then we try to come up with ideas to solve these problems.We have three new pets in Mr. Carters room. They are fish their names are George, Mr. Carter, and Zach.We had a fish called Drew, but he died. Then we feed him to Barton (the turtle). Right now Mr. Carter is drinking Mountain Dew (Diet).

By Jack and Nick

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Funny Valentines

Hello webites! I am very pleased to see you. Today we are going to talk about valentines day and the weekly poll! The weekly poll is going to be when you people out there in the world right a comment that says two subjects and we vote for which one is better in class. Which do you prefer Star Wars or Harry Potter?

PEMDAS are them order of operations that you use in a mathematical equation. First you do whatever is in the parentheses, then any exponents, then any multiplication or division problems, and then any addition or subtraction problems.
Now to talk about valentines Day we will not have a party this year but we do get to give out Valentines and the lolly pop drop will be done by student council.

By Molly, Brandon, Zach, and McKenna

and will see you next time.

Edited for mathematical correctness by Mr. C.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Visitation of the Plague

Being that we have been hit with the black plague, we are mostly reviewing and stuff in class right now. I'm hoping this spout of illness passes soon, because this is the first full-length, uninterrupted week we've had in awhile.

But anyway, the kids' notecards are due on Friday, there's a Math test next Wednesday for my class, and the kids should be hard at work on their inventions for the upcoming Invention Convention.

All spelling is due next week instead of this week, but they already have their lists. Hopefully everyone is taking lots of vitamin C and fluids. If this doesn't pass soon, you may want to consider burning your sheets and stuffing flower petals in your pockets.

Mr. C

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Such a Dope

Possibly due to my current doped-up-on-cold-medicine state, although I like to think it's because I'm so benevolent, I've changed the due dates on the regular spelling assignments this week. Nothing will be due until next week, as to alleviate the pressure on the kids because of the notecards which are due on Friday, the science, and all that other stuff that's going on right now.

One kid actually said, "I feel like the world is closing in on me!" No kid should feel like this before high school, or possibly college.

Math will continue as normal, for the most part. Today we actually didn't have any homework, but we will be having a test next Wednesday, so ask your child to show you the study guides we're doing in class.


Almost every day we have centers. Right now we are going to tell you about all of the centers we do.
1. Journaling-
It is when Mr.Carter gives you a topic and you right about it.
2. Hangman-
At hangman we use either our spelling words or our latin roots to use as the words.
3. Blogging-
What we do is blog about something we have learned and teach you about it.
4. Comic Creation-
In comics you can get in a group or work by your self and you just create a comic and then color it.
5. Reading-
In reading you pick a book and read and disguise the book in your group.
6. Math Games- (on computer)
At math games we get a chance to get on the computer and play games. Some of the games include Lost City, Math Blaster, Flashcards, and more.
7. Overhead-
On the overhead we practice are spelling words and latin roots.

These centers take up to 30-45 minutes. You stay with the same group every time. So far everybody has seem to enjoy them. Especially the Comic Creation.

posted by: Matt, Megan, Katie, and Caroline

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mr. Carter Recovering from Shock as a Result of "Normal" Week

The kiddos have a Latin quiz either tomorrow (for Gold Day) or Wednesday (for Blue Day). These are all based on the Latin words (the short list) below.

Also, as per normal, the 3x each ABC order for their spelling words is due on Wednesday and the meaning exercise is due Thursday. This goes for all students in the fifth grade.

For Math, page 226 in the Math Journal is due tomorrow, as well as #s 11 and 12 on page 227. 11 and 12 are hard, and they will be counted as extra credit. Also, in class today we did a handout that I made to help them with order of operations.

Next Wednesday will be the big math test over this mixed-up chapter. There's a little bit of everything in there, but once we get through, I'm pretty sure the next chapter is fairly smooth sailing.

Vocabulary for the Masses

Jump rope for heart is/was today!! Last Friday the Indy Air Bears were here!! It was cool!! Latin roots test tomorrow or Wednesday!! Yikes!! The Latin roots are...
  • vulgar: common
  • traverse: to cross
  • undulate: to wave
  • vivid: bright
  • pallor: paleness
P.S. Vulgar means common but not a good common thing!
The spelling words for this week are ...
  1. meander
  2. converge
  3. regulate
  4. condone
  5. banish
  6. reliable
  7. constant
  8. drowsy
  9. gradual
  10. improper
  11. diagonal
  12. certain
Goodbye for now!!
#1 Bloggers!!!!
(Everyone else is too!)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Even Better Than Steel Wool

We had a lot of fun at Colonial Days last week. Thanks to everyone who came in to help us out. Like so many of you, I was amazed by the amount of parental support we have at school.

Yesterday was kind of a catch-up day with the class. As far as I know, next week is pretty normal, so I'm looking forward to getting back into some of the routines I tried to establish right at the first of the semester.

The journals? I can't remember whether or not I said anything in the last post, but I've been so happy with the things the kids have been writing. And they sit there and just write for the amount of time they're given. It's amazing. At the beginning of the year, most of these kids would have rather chewed on steel wool for twenty minutes than write; now they're writing machines.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Days of Fire and Madness

Hey, guys, it's me this time. I have to get you all caught up on everything--from crazy changes in the schedule to everything else going on, I think it's time for a quick update.

First off, Buckeye (of "and Hollowbones" fame) is pretty sick with an intestinal flu. Sadly, there will be no Buckeye and Hollowbones this year, but we will be having Colonial Days tomorrow as planned. Actually, come to think of it, that's not exactly "as planned" either, is it?

Today the counselors from Clay are coming to do their scheduling meeting, and then you will have until sometime next week (I imagine...I'll let you know when I know) to get it back to me.

Right now the kids are hard at work journaling. I've enjoyed reading their entries--often extremely entertaining! They have a list of possible journal topics from which to choose, but of course freestyle is always welcome too.

We took the third in a series of Geography quizzes this morning. Next up, I'll be asking them to place the names of countries on a blank map. Don't worry, we'll only do about eight at a time, but I think this will give them a better idea of how the world--and all those countries they hear about--fits together.

Still on today's schedule: grading DOLs (sorry for the delay--it's harder to schedule than you may realize), book talks, word of the day, today's poem, and a little bit of review of our spelling test coming up on Friday. Tomorrow we won't have a chance to get to it.

Oh, and sorry about the ski trip! I know so many of you were looking forward to it. Who knew it would be sixty and stormy yesterday? I know a lot of the kids were pretty bummed.

Mr. A did say that some time in the next couple weeks, he's going to have the kids come down to the cafeteria for a pizza party and a movie or cartoons because he feels bad about everything being canceled. The kids were certainly in no mood to learn yesterday, so luckily for them, it was decided (by someone else) that the kids would all watch a movie yesterday. Personally, I was excited by the idea of getting another day of education in, but I'm pretty sure I was the only one in the building. I'm such a nerd.

Okay, I think those are the highlights. If I think of anything more, I'll pass it your way.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Delays of the Colonial Kind

Colonial days is going to be withheld/delayed until next Thursday due to the possibility of a snow day. We have a S.S. quiz Jan. 31. 2008. We also have a global quiz next Monday. Next Tuesday we are going on our ski trip. We are to have a lot of fun. Also in English we have a 3-5 page essay on a historical event. To make colonial lunch, you get a basket and make a sandwich and corn. Rap it in Cloth, and your done! For a drink you can bring a glass bottle and cork, or a glass cup, but no plastic!

Monday, January 28, 2008

What a Week

On Thursday the whole fifth grade went to Clay Middle School to see all the Instruments, Choir people, and Music Men. Just today Mr. Carter played the trombone for us and two classmates got to try out some insturments . Don't forget come to Clay on the 4th 7th and 11th of Febuary to try out insruments for next year.
On Friday it is Colonial Days and also on Friday our book reports due!!!!!!!!! All fifth graders must dress like they did back then and bring lunches like thety did back then. We will be playing games, dance, and make things like they did back then!!!! So don't forget to dress up and bring a lunch!!

Nick, Jack, Lindsey, and Maria

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

book mania

Upcoming Feb 1 book report due!

This book report requires an empty cereal box , construction paper, scissors, markers or crayons, glue, tape, and white or
light-colored paper
1.find and read a book
2.The book must be at a reading level appropriate for YOU.
3. Get the book approved by Mr. C. and a parent
4. Design your cereal box.
5. divide your box into appropriate spaces
6. Write a rough draft of your items. (proofread for errors.)
7. Transfer your ideas to your box
8. Practice your book talk. Book talk includes a one-two minute commercial for your cereal.

The whole goal is to make a cereal related to the book, then promote it with a commercial ( your book talk)
Today, Mr. Carter's math class will find out who made math bowl! Great job to everyone who tried out and congratulations to everyone who made it!
Dylan, Claire, Claire, and Ben

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Madden-ing '08

Hello! There are 4 events coming up. We have a spelling test tomorrow,Latin roots test tomorrow, a science project due Friday, and we have an English paper that we will be working on. The English project is interesting events in history. In science we are making a made up animal and a legend about how it got to be.

Kaitlin, Taylor, and Haley

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Half Mile

In science we are learning about animal adaptations. We had homework on our favorite animal. On that homework we had to write about its habitat and where else it could live. On the back of the homework we had to draw and color in the animal's new habitat and the animal. Today we are going to Carmel Clay Middle School for a tour, free pizza, and to watch a free basketball game from 4:00 to 6:00. Coming up in English, we have to do a 3-5 page report on history. In math we have been learning about angles and coordinate planes. We had to do 12 laps in gym Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Colorful Language

In word study we are doing really fun things. Today's word of the day was valor. These our spelling words, balloonist, drooping, raccoon,waterproof, moonlight, overlook, doorway, tablespoon, parenthood, cooperate, cocoon, and toothpaste these words are easy "they will get harder"(says Mr.C.) We also have Caesar's English: these are our words countenance: Facial expression, profound:deep (as in a profound thought or idea), manifest:obvious, or to become obvious, prodigious: huge, languid:weak, languish:to become weak. Our Latin phrase is caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware.

Posted by:Anthony,Chad,and Drew

Monday, January 14, 2008

Biztown Memories

Friday, the fifth grade went to JA Biz town. Before we went to Biz town, we each got assigned a job. The place you could work were Lilly Laboratory, City Hall, The Insurance Agency, Steak in Shake, Emmis, JA Journal, and much more. We were taught how to handle money, how to write checks and work as a team to pay off our loans. Each citizen got a break. During your break you could eat lunch or shop, we had a variety of choices to buy then bring home. Some of them were sunglasses, visors, pencils, goo, lip balm, wooden airplanes,soda, popcorn and a newspaper. We had a great time.

Lindsay, Maria, Nick, and Jack

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So Much Time

You know, after all my declarations, I have to say that we will get back to having the kids blog every day. It's just been awhile because of BizTown taking up so much time.

Monday, January 7, 2008

All Along the Watchtower

Just wanted to drop a line and let everyone know that we started a new status quo today. I've been really convicted by my own conscience lately about how much I can expect out of the kids. This isn't to say that I'm going to start giving the kids a lot more homework, but I know most of them can put more care into what they're doing, read two books in addition to whatever else we're reading in class, and journaling and writing every day, we're going to read or listen to a poem every day and discuss or analyze it. We're going to further build their vocabularies with Word of the Day--every day. We're going to have geography quizzes so that the kids know where the United States is on a world map.

I've told them that "I don't get it" is no longer an okay thing to say in my class. "Could you please explain that again/further?" sounds a lot more like something that says they're willing to learn. I told them that I'm going to hold them to higher standards. They're all worth it--every single one of them.

In fifth grade, there is so precious little time spent in class, especially during the second semester. We have to squeeze everything we can get out of the small windows of time we're given. I'm done with filler. Of course, we'll still do drawing lessons and stuff like that occasionally, but it's got to be occasionally. I like to have fun in class, and I do--we do, but still, the kids' education is the most important thing. I'm going to teach them.

The next thing I want to stress to them is that I pray for them individually every single night. I realize I run a risk saying that as a teacher in a public school, but I do. I'm not getting overly-religious here, it's just true. My point is that I have the kids' best interests at heart. I pray that I would be a better teacher. I know I've made mistakes before and even made poor decisions in my past, but I strive every day not to do it again. I'm not going to ask anything out of them that they can't do. I want their very best. I'm going to have to give them my very best in order to get this, and I'm willing to.

I may suddenly lose my spine and delete this post, but I sure hope not. It's no wonder More and More Children Are Getting Left Behind when we can't push them. I promise to push them harder than they want to be pushed. I promise not to push them any harder than they can be pushed and still give us all results. I promise you they'll love me for it, if not now, then one day.

If any of you guys have any questions, please e-mail me.

"Let us not talk falsely now. The hour is getting late."
--Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower

Back from break

I hope everyone had a great winter break! Now welcome again to Mr. C's blog. We are going to talk about Mr. Carters new book called The Automatic Friend about a boy who finds a robot to replace his friends because the kid's friends always have anguments and sometimes don't get along. The robot's orginal name was chad, but Mr. Carter is still in the process of making the characters names. We are also going to JA Biztown on Friday. (Biztown is a city with a lot of buisnesses that kids run.) Now I am finnaly going to tell you that I forgot my A B C's this morning. That is all!


By Brandon and McKenna Hook and Zach