Monday, November 30, 2009

It Needn't Be Untrue to Be Harmful

I had a very good report from the sub. You have no idea how much that means to me. I get the feeling the kids liked this guy, and I'll try to get him in the future whenever possible. My tests went very smoothly today, by the way. No problems in the least. I actually fell asleep during my ultrasound, much to the radiologist's chagrin.

We had a very much-needed talk about gossiping about each other in class today. I hope it sticks; I really do. Kids can be so mean to each other, often without even meaning to.

Oh, and I realize this week's spelling list is pretty challenging, but I know the kids are up to it. They normally do really well at spelling as a whole group, so we'll see how this week's list goes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stars Our Destination

Tomorrow I have more doctors appointments, so I won't be there for the latter part of the day. The rest of the week, though, I will be there.

There is a Caesar's English test on Wednesday, and we'll be back into the swing of the normal Spelling schedule this week.

It is also in my plans to make this a very astronomy-heavy week, as we're behind the rest of the fifth grade on that one. I'm looking forward to this, because this is one of my favorite things to teach, and yet it's been almost summarily neglected this year so far. At least it gives me a good excuse to do some pure astronomy lessons, unfettered by time limitations.

Don't worry, though, we will be covering our share of sentence structure, focusing now on adverbs, while continuing to review prepositions, and the kids will get their final book report assignment for the semester. Don't worry, this one isn't nearly as involved as the previous one. It's only every other one that you need to worry about.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at 5-1, Woodbrook Elementary, Carmel, Indiana! What a group!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Successionary Modern

We all have so many things to be thankful for, and I hope that over your break, that you all stop to at least think about how lucky we are.

Put some serious thought into doing something to make the world a better place during this holiday season. Talk about it as a family, and/or maybe we could do something as a class. In fact, here's my challenge*: come up with something we could do as a class, that would cost no money, that would somehow help out someone less fortunate than us during this holiday season. We'll do our best.

*Yes, I did just now come up with that. And yes, I am this stream-of-consciousness when I'm teaching sometimes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Phantom Menaces

It made me really happy to come back today. I realize I was only gone one day in "school time", but in "my life" time, it was at least a week. Having those yanking, horrible wires glued onto my head was not cool at all, and even though I got lots of grading done (and even more tonight), it still wasn't fun. After the lady pulled them off of me this morning and I headed back to school, I was happy to go pick the kiddos up from Spanish and see them all. These kids make me smile every day.

And we hopped back into the routine with DOLs, grammar (subjects, predicates, and prepositional phrases--a little trickier than I thought), and reading. We didn't get to Social Studies today, but that's what tomorrow is for. (And pardon me for ending a sentence in a preposition...I know you'll forgive me.)

Can still feel those wires where she pulled them off. Didn't realize they had been super-glued onto my head!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Now the Halftime Air Was Sweet Perfume

So I have a bunch of papers graded now (even those giant sheets with the pictures of the adjectives), and now I only have a stack of Math papers left to grade and about 2/3 of the journals to finish. Even though I'm not allowed to exercise, I was about to go crazy just laying on the couch, so I had to put the rest of those off for awhile. I do have plans made for this half-week already, though, so that makes me pretty happy. Other than that, it's been a lot of laundry, tons of football (including a *ahem* certain Oaken Bucket game yesterday--who won that again?), and some movies (sorry, Carter, couldn't find Hot Rod in time).

Now I'm just excited to get these wires taken off. They're full-blown annoying now.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Okay, everyone! I'm at home and wired up. It actually isn't as bad as what I was picturing, but the fact is that I still have wires all over my head. I think it's going to be more comfortable to lay down. Anyway, I appreciate everyone's flexibility this week, as well as all the help I've received.

You people are great! I trust Mrs. Adaniya is having a good day with the class right now. They've been warned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fair Warning

I realize this went home with the Carter Current already, and that before that you received a note a few weeks ago, but please note that TOMORROW is our book fair day! This is a fundraiser for the library, so send in the money tomorrow.

We had a pretty good day today. Talkative, yes, but I'll take happy talkers over bickering quiet people any day.

Oh, AND one more thing: The kids have taken to making paper glasses for themselves to wear. I told them today to please leave them at home and wear them around the house to look cool and impress you parents because Mr. Carter is already about as impressed as he can be.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Swine Repellent

Has it ever been an interesting day today! I said in my newsletter yesterday the scheduling was going to get funky, and it really has. I don't know why I'm ever surprised by anything anymore, but let's just say that it's a good thing that your kids are so flexible when it comes to routine. ("Flexible routine"? It's time for an oxymoron lesson.)

The kids lined up and dutifully got their shots (those whose parents gave permission only...don't want to cause a panic!) and they were all very brave. We had no tears. I was so proud.

We also got some Science, Social Studies, and Reading done today. In addition to the shots, that made for a pretty full day, in actuality.

Tomorrow is a Caesar's English quiz. Oh, and no Spelling this week! Woohoooo!

FYI: I will not be here on Friday, because I'll be doing some tests to make sure I'm not growing a third arm or something like that. (Although, come to think of it, the implications of what a third arm would do for karate would be astounding...)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Current Carter Current

It’s Still Last Week
Hey, there, everybody! It’s great to be alive. Seriously, I’m fine, but I wanted to thank you all for the magnanimous outpouring of support and love I’ve received since last Wednesday. You all are the greatest. When I got home Wednesday night, my inboxes overflowed with people concerned about me. I’m truly sorry that the kids were told that I had gone to the hospital, but the response was a nice reminder of the support I have in you all. Between the prayers, the kind words, and the food, I couldn’t ask for more out of you all. Please accept my sincere thanks.

On Friday, I went to the cardiologist, who says I have the healthiest heart he’s seen in a long time. The neurologist believes it’s probably just a pinched nerve, but wants to go ahead and run a few tests. Because of that, I’ll be out this Friday as well, and then a couple afternoons in a few weeks. Seems excessive, but I’m not one to argue with the doctor.

Because of this fiasco, we’re now a little behind. But God willing, we’ll catch up; don’t worry! It might take some funky scheduling, but we’ll make up for all time lost as soon as possible.

So as Long as You’re Still Feeling All Warm and Fuzzy About Mr. Carter…
Okay, I’m coming out and saying that I could use some volunteers in the classroom. Many of you have asked me when you can come in, and I’m always non-committal, but seriously, I could use some help. I admit it. I’m going to need help with things like 1.) organizing file folders for each child’s portfolio of work, 2.) organizing in my pigsty--er, classroom, I mean--in general, 3.) hang up student work in the hallways and make copies, and 4.) floating questions during any morning, which would allow me to work with small reading groups uninterrupted, or in the afternoon, help out with small groups in Math to help people with trouble spots. Anyone willing and able to help me out is more than welcome. If not, I understand completely. I already have more support than most teachers in out there.

Trial and Error
In Math this week, it was pretty crazy. We had to do a reset, because we had people completely lost on the fractions. Anyway, most of the week was spent doing logic problems and other Math puzzles, and we still have a few kinks in the system to work out, but this week we should be back on track as far as the fractions go. We’ve been adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions. This chapter doesn’t involve the dividing of fractions, luckily. I apologize that this class was the one most interrupted by my “neuro-vascular incident” this week. Let’s hope this week is much closer to normal.

I Didn’t Ask for Your Life Story…Oh, Wait, I Actually Did
Wow, do the biography book report projects look awesome! I can’t wait to get these babies hung up in the hallway. This is definitely going to be an every-year project for me now. I love it when I find a new book report idea that works. The kids have almost talked me into employing my original idea of doing a 3-D model of a character or part of the book. So remember, when they come home with that project assignment, it was their idea, not mine!

Proud Americans
Did your kids ever deliver on the Veteran’s Day program the other day! I was so proud of them. This is one “Mr. Carter assignment” that I’m willing to hold onto, because I’m always left with a feeling of pride in my class. Awesome jobs all around.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eleventh Hour Recycling Post

American Recycle Day is November 15, and Woodbrook is celebrating by kicking off a Paper Drive this next week, November 15-21. Please drop off any recyclable paper you have to the Paper Retriever in the Woodbrook parking lot. Remember this is only for paper items and not cardboard. Woodbrook receives money for the paper we collect and we are being “green.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Real quick because I have to go:
  1. I am alive and unscathed! Getting checked out with the neurologist tomorrow, but I'm guessing it was just a pinched nerve or something like that because they determined that despite the symptoms, it had nothing to do with my heart. Thank you all for they thoughts and prayers and worries. You are all VERY much appreciated, and so are your loving kids.
  2. I will be gone most of the day tomorrow, but know that tomorrow is the day that they will go to the planetarium.
Have a good day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

Okay, so tomorrow is the Veteran's Day program, so I'm sure it will go off without a hitch. I'm not sure why I always worry about this, because it's not like it's ever gone with major problems. Well, unless you count the time I forgot to have the kids include a time to have the veterans stand up to be recognized--I had about half a dozen people calling for my head on a platter that year. As long as Nick remembers his line tomorrow, I'm covered on that front.

Remember (assuming you're either up late or reading this early in the morning) to wear red, white, and blue!

Monday, November 9, 2009


HUGE apologies to Laura Moriarity for leaving her off of the Carter Current for yesterday! She went to camp, the training, and went a long way to help make camp the experience that it was for so many kids! THANK YOU, and I'm so sorry!

I do this very year. Someone is left off.

Sorry again.

Carter Current for November 9, 2009

Distance Lessened Between Them
From October 28 to October 30, the class had an incredible time at camp. Sure, there were some injuries (in fact, a few more than normal), but I think it's very telling that the people who got hurt either stayed at camp or came back as soon as they were okay. This was with good reason. During this trip, we bonded as a class, and as a fifth grade as a whole. The parents, kids, and teachers all came together and this is a huge part of what makes the Woodbrook Family what it is. The kids learned about leadership skills, team building, tried new things that they'd never done, hiked through the woods, through the creek, even through the rain one day. They all at least tried to get a fire started in the woods and fill a bucket riddled with holes, but the true worth of the experience is in the journey, isn't it? So many memories were made at camp as always. It was fun that two of our three staff members helping us were two of my old campers from summer camp when I worked there years ago (I won't say how many years ago). I would like to thank all of the parents who went. It's no secret that this trip means a lot to me, and this experience would not have been possible without your help. Thank you very much to Tim Allen, Fred Gans, Jennifer Christy, Beth King, Jill and John Pitz, Stacey Harrington, Sally Houck, Brad Shaffer, Abby Breedlove, Ed Skarbeck, Monica Henderson, Natalie O'Hara, Mirey Comes, Brian Cox, Brett Fleitz, Troy Franklin, Todd Snow, and CHS student teacher Dean Shriver. Thanks to you all, the kids now have memories that they will never forget. Thanks especially to our long-suffering camp nurse, Sally Houck! I don't think you ever rested. I also can't go without mentioning the efforts of Nancy Miller, without whom this trip would never have happened. She helped us fight to even keep the trip this year, and did the organizing, the buying of snacks, the calls to camp, the calls to parents, the calls back to camp and the calls back to parents. Thank you so much! You were all great sports, and that is something that makes me very proud. Thank you, my wonderful 5-1 parents, and thank you to my awesome 5-1 class. I couldn't have been more happy with the way they represented my classroom.

Stars Our Destination
We will be doing some exercises in Astronomy over the next few weeks in Science. I realize that we haven't had Science much in class yet, but that's because they're asking us to compress it into shorter times than what we had before. We watched a video about the Apollo mission last week, and it should lead in nicely to what we're about to learn, with the creation of stars and the more cosmic crazy stuff out in space, including gravitational pull, black holes, and quasars. It's enough to make you feel pretty small. This Friday is our trip to the high school for the planetarium. Mr. Turner at the high school always puts on a wonderful show for the kids, and we'll definitely be looking forward to this one.

Unlikely Subjects and Other Predications
In Reading this week, we will be continuing in our chapter involving the ocean and its creatures. In addition to that subject matter, we will use that as a backdrop while learning about prepositions and objects of the preposition, reviewing subjects and predicates, and clarifying the difference between an adjective and an adverb. Of course we will be doing our journals and DOLs as always, and of course the book report project is due on Friday. This is a the big comic strip project that I handed out last Monday.

Words to the Wise
This week we will not only be having our normal spelling list, but we will have a list of Latin roots from Caesar's English as well. The quiz over the Latin stems will be sometime next week (in fact, by the time you read this, the kids should have the date written in their assignment notebooks). Of course, the normal schedule this week will follow for the Spelling list: definitions are due on Tuesday, the three times each alphabetical order is due Wednesday, and on Thursday the meaning exercise (either sentences or pictures) is due.

Brave Old Worlds
I realize that the last chapter in Social Studies was very short, but the next one isn't quite as brief. It's really just a continuation to the previous chapter, but it's about the explorers that came from Spain, England, and France. We'll be learning about everyone from Ponce de Leon to Robert de la Salle. I'm going to "explore" the Woodbrook library to see if I can't find another book like the one about the Lost Colony of Roanoke, because that one was extremely interesting for not only the kids, but also for me!

If You Think Our Dance Is All in the Hips
Didn't the kids look great the other day during the fifth grade musical? I was so proud of them. I know that during the earlier part of the school year, my class didn't want to sing during Music class, and it was like pulling teeth for poor Mrs. Ratner. But on Thursday night, they all looked awesome, dancing and singing and smiling. They made me so proud! Even if I did have to give them a little motivation, it was a very good experience. (Ummm...on a completely unrelated note, we will be watching Finding Nemo throughout the week this week.)

Honoring Them
This Wednesday at 9:00am is the Veteran's Day program. My class is always in charge of doing this, and I was proud to have so many kids help out with not only volunteering for this (thank you, guys!), but also to help me write the program. It won't be very long, but it should be very worthwhile and meaningful. If anyone has any veterans in the family who live nearby, please, bring them in and let them be a part of the service.

"The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others." --Sir Robert Baden-Powell

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Performance Anxieties

The kids looked great today! You've all raised a bunch of good children. Hope to see everyone tonight.

Tomorrow we have the Social Studies test and the Spelling Test, but as long as they pump up the energy tonight, we're going to watch a movie tomorrow--the only-slightly-educational kind!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Colonial Day items needed:

1. Volunteers!! Contact

Corinna Ottinger:

2. The large sides of cereal boxes

please give to Abi C.

3. Large soup cans (18.6-18.8oz)

-without label and washed

please give to Olivia S.

or Claire H.

We've been hard at work in Social Studies, Reading, prepositions and linking verbs. It's enough to drive the kids batty, I'm sure. I'm just trying to get everything done in the time we've been allotted. The kids' musical is looking good, but there is still room for improvement! I'm sure you'll love it by the time you see it tomorrow night.

Over and out for today!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Out of the Frying Pan

Hopefully everyone is all dried out from last week. It was a soggy last day!

Anyway, the kids received information on their biography book report project today. Anyone without information needs to let me know ASAP. The kids all wrote it down on this template I gave them today, complete with rubric and a professional (and fictional) example.

We need to cram in as much before Thanksgiving as possible, so hold on tight. I won't give so much that the kids can't handle it.

They may have told you that we have a Social Studies test this Friday. It's a short chapter, and tomorrow they will receive their template study guide for it, so DO NOT PANIC!