Tuesday, August 31, 2010

State Your Business, Please

Mrs. Loeffler, the teacher of the Lifeskills class, has a program called Peer Buddies, where students from the mainstream classes can go in and eat lunch and go to recess with her students twice a week for a month. You should be receiving some information on this in the next day or two. If your child is at all interested, please encourage them to be a part of this program. Just sign the permission slips that are going home and send them back. If your child doesn't want to do it, it's no big deal. There will be many other opportunities for cool stuff during the fifth grade year!

We did quite a bit of work on the states project today. The kids will give their presentations next Thursday and Friday, but in the meantime, they're hard at work on their physical state that will go on the wall out in the hallway. This is a fun project for the kids, and we always learn quite a bit when they present their state to the class.

Of course, today was the Math test! Tomorrow we will begin chapter 2.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thinking Caps

Tomorrow is the Math test! Remember that the kids should bring their thinking caps, but I'm proud to say that it's pretty cool to see how much they've learned over the last few weeks.

Chapter 2 is coming right up!

More information tomorrow...it's going to be a big week in 5-1!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I did give the kids a "practice test/study guide" today in Math! If they can do that test, then they're in good shape for Tuesday.

I completely forgot to give them the study guide for the next region for the states and capitals quiz. They'll receive it on Monday. As for what the states and caps involved are:

Little Rock, Arkansas
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jackson, Mississippi
Nashville, Tennessee
Frankfort, Kentucky
Charleston, West Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Tallahassee, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Montgomery, Alabama

Remember: the next Caesar's English quiz is on MONDAY. Here are the words they will need to know:

countenance: facial expression
profound: deep, complete, or absolute
manifest: obvious, or to make obvious
prodigious: huge or marvelous
languor: weakess, and languid: weak

Words of the Day this week were: incognito, nausea, loathe, gaffe, and obstruct.

Have a fantastic weekend! Enjoy this beautiful weather!

Down for the Count

Yesterday in class, the kids drew their own life stories out in a style similar to the Sioux Winter Counts, like the one pictured here. These would tell the story of the Sioux people and its clans or families.

Today we will have a States and Capitals test over the Southwestern states (only four), and a Spelling Test. I'm going to hand them the next region today to take home with them. The next region is the South, and there are twelve states in this one, so it will take a little bit more studying.

Monday is a Caesar's English quiz over the five words, and then on Tuesday is a Math test for my Math class. I'm going to give them a practice test to take home at the end of the day today so that they will all know the format.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Smarty Pants

I had to pop on here again tonight just to tell you that I received a big compliment from one of your kids today. At the end of the day during Math, I just overheard a kid say, "Man, I feel smarter!"

I hope all of your kids come home feeling smarter each day.

Other Factors

We have a test next Tuesday in Math! The kids really seemed to be doing well with the concepts of breaking numbers down into their prime factorizations. We also worked a little bit with "umbrella factors" (have them show you), and both of these will be important for the test.

Next up: We finished up on reading I Was a Rat today, and the big reveal at the end was surprising for everyone. We also read a couple of very brutal Two Minute Mysteries, as well as a story from our reading book about the Revolutionary War.

I also paired the kids up for their big states project today, and so they will be working on that for the next week and a half or so. In the end, they're going to get up in front of the class and, between the two of them, are going to try to sell their state as a great vacation spot to the class. My class was given states such as Arkansas and Mississippi, so I look forward to seeing how this all works out. More information to come!

A huge thank you goes out to Susan Sveen and Becky Schmelz, our co-chairs for this year's trip to Camp Tecumseh. Make sure to be at the meeting here at Woodbrook on Wednesday, September 8 at 7:00pm. We will talk about the program, hand out the registration forms for kids and adult volunteers, packing lists, medical forms, and any other paperwork as well as answer questions you have about this phenomenal program.*

*No bias at all on my part.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I found some Rolodex cards, so my quest to remain virtually-Amish continues on!

I'll send them home tomorrow.

In addition to that good news, be looking for a book report form to come home soon. The kids have mostly been reading diligently during class time silent reading time (well, okay, when I've provided it--I've been a little slack on that the last few days), and so hopefully they will be able to finish up their books sometime in the next two weeks. More information soon!

There is a States and Capitals over a mere four states this Friday. It's the Great Southwest for us right now. Also, tomorrow we will begin our state research time in class.

Hope all is well!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Information Requested

We had a very good and very productive day today!

Be on the lookout (hopefully tomorrow) for a rolodex card to come home for you to fill out and return to school. I need contact information for you all just in case I need to call or e-mail about something. I may actually send two home so that I can have one here and one at home, but regardless, I'd appreciate you doing that for me.

We are into the routine now with Spelling and the other ways of the classroom. It's so much easier when the kids are into a routine. We never did get to a journal today, but we got the DOLs graded. This is normally a Friday piece of the schedule, and this week we're going to do our darnedest to do that. I think the kids are becoming more and more accustomed to what to look for on these.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blip on the Radar

Hey, guys, just a few things here over the weekend...

First off, I got home yesterday and thought that it did not seem like my typical Friday. I'm not sure why, but it felt off. Next week, I will do my best to make it my normal Friday. Not sure what went wrong--no misbehavior or inattentiveness or anything like that on your kids' part, but just know that it was an odd Friday.

Secondly, I received an e-mail yesterday saying that we are to start posting grades online (through myccs) next semester. At least that gives me some time to get used to it!

Hope it's a good weekend so far.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today we made some major headway in prime factorization! It's pretty fun watching the kids start to understand some of these math concepts. I've been used to teaching the sixth grade math class for so long that I almost forgot how much fun it is to teach fifth grade math.

I hope everyone has a happy Friday. More over the weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Show Me the Math Facts!

Happy Hump-Day, everybody. Today in Math, we did two timed tests with forty questions only on each one. I gave them one minute on each one and asked them to take them home. That way you guys have an idea of which ones they need to work on. I told them that a silly mistake is just that, and that they know the difference whether they know the problem or not.

Like I told them today, I'm not big into "memorizing" ways to do math; I like it better when they have an understanding of what they're doing, and letting that be the reminder of how to go about it. However, this is one bit that will make all math SO much easier if they can just get their facts down. We will keep doing quick timed tests at the start of the day at least a few times a week, just so they can get used to their multiplication.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Classroom Tonight

Hope to see everyone tonight, although I know a few of you already can't make it. I'll be going over my policies and talking about camp and everything else that is in store for this year.

Click right here for a great place to study up for your states and capitals on the computer. Remember, the quiz on the Western Region is this Friday.

More information tonight! Be here if you can!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Walk in the Woods

Happy Monday from 5-1!

Just wanted to throw out the idea of going to Camp Tecumseh this fall with the fifth grade for an exciting three days and two nights away from life in the suburbs. If you have been before, you know what a great experience it is, whether with third grade or fifth. If you have gone with the fifth grade before, you know what an awesome program it is. Sadly, this is quite probably our last year to go to camp, so your children are amongst the lucky last.

You will be able to get some more information on this tomorrow at Meet the Teacher Night, which begins at 7:30. Whether you're going to camp or not, I hope to see you there, especially if I've never had a child of yours in my class before.

Friday, August 13, 2010

That's What I'm Talkin' About

I received a very nice compliment from Mrs. Melchi today in the computer lab. I went to pick up the kids after she had spent an hour working with them, and she said, "What a fun group of kids!" I said I absolutely agreed.

Everybody have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help Wanted

Hey, guys, day three went very smoothly. I've been very happy with not only their behavior, but with how well they treat each other. Really nice group of kids!

Just wanted to throw a message on here about Mrs. Kleinschmidt, the librarian and media specialist at Woodbrook. She needs some volunteer help in the library. If you are free to give up a morning or afternoon a week, it's a fun way to get plugged in at the school. Give it some thought if you haven't yet.

Looking forward to a fantastic Friday and a terrific week next week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Second Day

The kids are out at recess right now, so I'm going to take a few moments to let you know how impressed I am with their politeness. They are such a nice group of kids. They are pleasant when we're in class, and seem genuinely happy to be here. It's great.

I told them today that it is my job to help them be successful--not to just give them good grades, but to show them how they can earn them. It's not going to do them any good unless they can feel that they have earned it.

We started in on a paper about commas. That's when I realized that they could probably stand to go back and review subjects and predicates. I had them wad up the comma paper and throw it away, but we'll revisit it later in the year.

One other thing we've done today is Caesar's English. Parents are big fans of this program, because it teaches kids to recognize prefixes and other roots such as pre-, de-, and super-, which will in turn help them to figure out what words mean.

Uh-oh, there's the sound of their feet coming in the door. Better run for now. I think Day 2 has been successful for everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Welcome!

What a great time I had getting to know your kids today! Welcome to Mr. Carter's Dojo. This isn't so much a place to get all your kids' assignments as it is a place to learn about what's coming up in and around the fifth grade and my classroom.

Look soon for some Camp Tecumseh volunteer information to be coming your way right here. We do have a go for the trip for at least one more year, so I hope everyone is up for three days in the woods. Also, I'm looking greatly forward to seeing everyone at Meet the Teacher Night next Tuesday at 7:30 right here in 5-1.

I know there is a lot of information I skipped out on today, but that's what tomorrow is for. I hope your children came home today with a smile on their faces, ready to come back tomorrow. All I know is that after I worked with them a little bit today, I was greatly relieved. You never know what you're going to get, and let's just say I'm feeling good about this class already.