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.