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.