Friday, October 30, 2009

Newly Strengthened by Shared Memories

  1. The best part was the way the memories flooded in like a dam burst open any time I stepped into a building and caught the scents again. You know how memory is so closely connected to the sense of smell? Man, nothing does that like camp.
  2. I take that back. The best part of this week for me was the way I got to see the kids and parents in a different element. We're all together in some other place, where you don't have to be silent in the hallway and where the classroom is huge and vast and where you can be hot, cold, and rained on. Yes, that was awesome.
  3. No wait, the best part actually was having so much fun at the campfire last night. Mrs. Shearman can play a frustrated chaperon in a way no one else can.
  4. Actually, the best part was seeing the kids in their individual trail groups learning to work as a team--each person with different talents and strengths adding to the group, and becoming successful in awesome ways.
  5. Okay, I actually can't decide what was the best part. All I know is that this is my favorite part of any school year. I get to show off what I used to do. A dad asked me this morning, "You left a piece of your heart here, didn't you?" And he was right. I can't help it. I love going to camp. And no one can take that away from me. (Or us.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Wilderness Is Calling

What an exhausting day! I'm ready for the peace and quiet of the woods.

Math page 131 is the only homework other than a DOL. I also promise to hand out the biography book report assignment.

Mr. C

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hiking Boots: Check

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great fall break, that you're all rested up, and most of all, that you're all READY FOR CAMP!!

I can't believe it's already time. As excited as I'm sure the kids are, I'll bet I am even more. I'll be talking to the kids about this over the next couple days, making sure I don't forget anything, and answering all of the ancillary little questions they may have.

In addition to camp prep, we will also be doing lots of other minutiae, such as preparing for the Veteran's Day program, which will be here on November 11. All of your kids will be in the program in one way or another, and I hope most of them will be willing to take speaking parts.

Also, this "week" (for two days only), we are not only going to try to wrap up reading Whales on Stilts, but I will also be reading them some of my favorite books about baseball, seeing as how we're on the eve of the World Series.

Oh, and in case I didn't mention it, we're GOING TO CAMP!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Hey, everyone, I'm going to assume that only four of you want to meet with me on Wednesday, and that otherwise I'm going to give everyone a phone call or shoot you an e-mail.

Just making sure all the notes went home, because I only heard back from a portion of you.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bad Moon Rising

Tomorrow the kids have two tests--one biggie and then just a Spelling test. If your child is in my Math class, they also have a Math test! The kids took home study guides for those today (or they were offered--several are still on the table). Make sure the kids at least look over the map and that you quiz them on their states and capitals, because they don't want to be faced with that maddening ONE state they just can't remember.

Oh, and ask them about the towers of tape and newspaper. A strange confluence of events took a science experiment intended for tomorrow and sent it one day into the past. We did it today, to limited success. But as the kids learned, sometimes that's how the best lessons are learned--kids and adults alike.

That's all for now. The kids have been REALLY chatty today. I suspect that behind all those clouds there's a full moon just happily sending its crazy vibes down to us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stomping Grounds

The kids had a sub for the first time today. I'm always a little nervous when this happens, but I think she turned out to be a pretty nice lady. The kids always have funny stories about their former teachers and substitutes, which makes me wonder how they're going talk about me next year!

Anyway, we were sorting through all the camp stuff, and we hit a minimum of snags, I'm happy to say. I think we're going to have a great time. No, I KNOW we're going to have an awesome time. It means so much to me personally, but I wouldn't do it each year if I didn't know how good it was for the kids. The entire dynamic of the class (as well as the whole fifth grade) will shift as a result. It happens every year, and that's why we continue to do it as long as possible.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In So Many Forms

Sorry for the lack of update today so far. If you haven't received a sheet about conferences yet, then please look in your child's backpack! If you still owe money and forms for Camp Tecumseh, please get them in ASAP!

The great big States and Capitals test is this Friday. In addition to the map activity online (scroll down and look for the link), I told the kids that they also have a map that I gave them at the start of the school year which is laminated and perfectly laid out.

Have a good night, everyone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Effort Expended

Hey, everybody! I hope everyone had a pretty decent weekend. The jury is still out on the Colts at this point. I'm blogging during commercials.

Thank you to those of you who came to the training yesterday for Camp Tecumseh! We had a lot more people than Mrs. Miller and I thought we would, so now we're pretty excited. At first, we didn't honestly know what to expect, but now I feel confident that we have so many people in our corner. This support is VERY much appreciated, and the kids are going to have a very good time at camp because of you guys.

I got the kids' paragraphs graded today, and I have to say overall I'm pretty impressed with them. There are a couple kids who warrant a conference to discuss how they just might put some more detail, facts, or descriptive words into their work.

The book reports also looked pretty good. I was particularly impressed with the kids who managed to go online and put them onto the "book report blog", Dojo Books. The reason I sent home those half-page papers was because some of the kids were still unclear on how to post to the blog. We spent some time in the computer lab on Thursday, but some kids couldn't get the hang of it. But the ones who were able to do it really impressed me! This book report was relatively easy, but the next one will be more time-consuming.

There will be a Math test this Friday. This is only for my Math class, of course, but it will be over all of chapter three. We still have two more lessons to do tomorrow and Tuesday, but then on Wednesday and Thursday we will be reviewing the material in class.

Also, we will be having a Social Studies test either this Friday or next Tuesday. I'm actually leaning toward next Tuesday. They will have some good notes before this week is over to study, though, regardless. The kids took some good notes as a part of an assignment this week, and we will be continuing that tomorrow.

Tomorrow the kids will get their last spelling list until November!

Okay, everyone, please stay healthy and do good work.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Final Opportunity

Dear 5th Grade Parents,

This Saturday, October 10, is your final opportunity to receive instructor training for Camp Tecumseh. This training will be held at Woodbrook Elementary School. Please enter at the Haverstick Road entrance. We will most likely be in the cafeteria. Sign-in will start at 9:00, and training will begin at 9:15. Training will conclude no later than noon.

Training sessions will be conducted by Mr. Carter and me. Camp Tecumseh does not provide us with any instructors. We cannot have a successful camp experience without your help!

If you have attended training in the past, will you please e-mail me the sessions you are trained to teach? This will help me schedule the trail group instructors.

Thank you, and I hope to see you Saturday!


Nancy Miller

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Music Boxes

The only big thing we had today is that the kids had to do the last three boxes on those Social Studies workbook pages. This was the continuation of what we did yesterday.

We enjoyed the symphony this morning, and then we came back to a peaceful day at school. I think we have many future musicians in 5-1!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quotable Quotes

Here's a fantastic link for anyone who wants to study for the gigantic states and capitals test, which I have moved to next Friday instead of next Wednesday. So it's now on Friday, October 16.

The kids tonight also need to write a persuasive paragraph. They will have their WriteSource 2000 books with them to help them with these. We discussed this heavily in class today, and they have two topics that they are not allowed to write about. The first is that they can't make the topic "less homework," (every kid's fallback), and they can't do "Can I get a pet?" because that was our topic of discussion today. They need to back up their stances with facts and not emotion.

Also, we talked about quotation marks and the proper way to use them. They are to write ten sentences using quotation marks properly. These also play into tonight's DOL, which has a whopping fifty-three mistakes at least. Sorry, tomorrow's has far fewer, I assure you. It's a little one.

In Social Studies, they have to fill in two boxes on page 17 in their white workbook (they should have at least five things in each box) after reading pages 32 and 33 in their hardback book.

In Math, the kids are just getting their Sunshine Math for the week. Normally I will give these out on Monday, but this week they're getting them on Tuesday. Sorry about that!

They have been given nearly a half hour of work time to work on these at school, plus about fifteen to twenty minutes to do that monster DOL (I gave a lot of help on that one).

If you didn't send in your permission slip for the symphony tomorrow, get it in tomorrow, or your child will have to stay here and do...something. Probably work for Mrs. Smith in the office. Nobody wants to miss the symphony! And thank you for sending in your Camp Tecumseh forms--that also told me that there are more people who read this blog daily than I realized. Makes it feel worthwhile.

Whew! Big one!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Painting a Picture Using Words

Okay, folks, IN ADDITION to needing your camp money ASAP, I also need you to send back a permission slip tomorrow for the symphony show, which is on Wednesday. That day, we will go to the high school and listen to the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (it's either that or the Indianapolis one--quite frankly, I can't remember which). But it's always good, I do know that.

Further, we learned about structuring a good paragraph--you know, the beginning introductory sentence (pardon my redundancy), the closing paragraph, and everything in between. In addition to that, we started out by learning descriptive paragraphs in particular. The kids' assignment tonight is to write a descriptive paragraph about their bedrooms at home. I don't care whether we get the clean version or the cluttered version (the latter would probably be most entertaining, in all honesty). I told them to have their Write Source 2000 books with them, but I still see a lot of them on desks...

We also had a DOL and the normal spelling assignments, so that's about it for tonight. Have a good one!


Please send your Camp Tecumseh money in if you haven't already. Thanks!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baby Face

Tomorrow is a Spelling Test, and that's the highlight for our Friday. Actually, I have more top-secret stuff in store for them, and how much of it we'll be able to get to, I'm still not sure. It's best to leave that stuff under the rug until it's time to pull it out.

It IS picture day tomorrow! Make sure they all look good and sparkly and toothy, for tomorrow is they day that they will be immortalized as fifth graders.