Friday, December 24, 2010

And All Through the House

I hope everyone has had a great break so far! Whether you're headed off to family members' houses today, or just staying warm by chilling out with your family over the next couple days, I hope all your days of break are good ones. Before I head home to my family today, I need to wrap my presents. I just wanted to check in and make sure everyone is getting outside and enjoying the snow once in awhile so that your parents can get a moment's peace. Be good this holiday and add value to your family.

Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Holidays

Today has been a really happy day, everybody was calm. Which normally is not the case with the day before break. I got a lot of presents with my awesome class I have, awesomely I do not have a favorite present. we just finished cleaning tiny, turtle, Todd , and big boy, bombo, Barton's tank.
Christmas is nine days away so I hope you have all of your gifts purchased. I hope to hear about all your amazing gifts you hopefully got your kids.

By Griffin Gonzalez

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Storm Warnings

We had a nice choir show today, a very nice pizza party (THANK YOU, Cool River Pizza, and a huge thank you to Mrs. Gonzalez for going and getting the pizza for us...very nice!), and we even managed to squeeze a little bit of learning in there as well.

Have a great Wednesday night, and I'll see all the kids tomorrow...I hope!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Pizza party tomorrow is a go! EVERYONE REMEMBER TO BRING A DRINK, PLEASE!!

Tomorrow, right when everyone gets in, we will vote on pizzas and submit our order.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sledding Day!

Hey, everybody!

Hope you're all doing something fun and cool like Ethan is in the picture above. (Okay, so that's not actually E, but it sure looks like him, doesn't it?)

The make-up Math test will now be on Wednesday, by the way. Know your stuff!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Bulge Was Benjie

Well, the kids have their backpacks and hiking boots ready for one more trip to camp--Camp Woodbrook, that is. I did tell them right before they left that they didn't have to do the homework I gave them for tomorrow. However, they do still have their Math Boxes due, which I assigned at the beginning of the week (and in all fairness, they were all assigned long before that--I just told them to have them ready for Friday at the latest).

See you all tonight!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not Hack Pieces

Wow, I just got done grading the essay questions for my Hatchet group. While some of them were very technically correct. One student was even so brazen as to cross out "Essay" and write in "Easy" wasn't so "easy" if you put as much thought into your answer as most of the boys did. Much more than I would expect out of most fifth graders:

Ethan Schipp said, "It would change his life because he would actually have a break for once not having to hunt. He has food."

Jason Jaffe said, "The hatchet keeps him alive and maybe keeps him wanting to get out of there. This is because it reminds him of his mother. I think that's why he titled it Hatchet, because of both the tool and what it reminds him of."

After telling about all of the survival methods performed with the tool, Stefan Buba wrote, "His mom was the one who gave him the hatchet and that's how the story really started."

Emerson Halbleib said, "His whole personality changed in the book. He wouldn't have had as much knowledge, he wouldn't be as tough."

Thanks for a great experience, gentlemen! This was a lot of fun. Too bad we can't really go out there and try to survive--hopefully the knowledge of knots from the other day will help if you're ever in that situation.

Strange Days Indeed

Today was a really good day. We had a really nice Social Studies history lesson first of all. I love it when the kids get into the history lessons--not the reading right out of the book, but the meat of the real stories behind the history. Of course, I love that part of it too, so it's probably just that I love seeing them share my interests. I tend to be kind of a history cheerleader, so it probably rubs off a little bit. Also, some great things came from Math today (they all seem eager to retake the test--and believe me, many of them will want to).

Earlier in the semester, we set some goals for what I wanted to get done in language arts, particularly grammar. We are almost there. I'm having the students do some review work with nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. I don't want my class to be one of the ones that I hear about from the middle school teachers that doesn't know their parts of speech, the difference between a subject and predicate, and how to use punctuation. I'm happy to let you know that they can tell what a clause is and whether you need a conjunction or just a comma/conjunction.

You know, I'm really happy with how well these students are able to hold all of this information, do all of these things, and still function as people after school. We ask quite a bit out of them (and I say this "we" collectively), and they show us every day that they can rise to the occasion.

Remember: Tomorrow the kids should be wearing their Camp Woodbrook t-shirts. I think you'll really like this show. They did a great job at rehearsing today.

Lastly, we met with our groups for the books for the last time today. The boys wrote a short essay on Hatchet, and from what I've seen, they look pretty good. I've said it before, but this is quite possibly the manliest book I've ever read, and it was a lot of fun to read it in an "all-man" group. When we were done, I asked them some gross-out "Would You Rather" questions and they thought that was pretty funny. They were a little disappointed that I wouldn't let them run outside and roll around in the snow without their coats on (as manly as that would have been), but they seemed to like Plan B well enough.

Doggone it! I just realized that not only yesterday was I going to talk about Pearl Harbor (anniversary, you know), but today I was going to talk about that and John Lennon. Today was crammed pretty full, and I forgot both. Tomorrow looks like it will be even worse, but I'll do my best to talk about both of those things. Whoops!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Daily Beat

Most of your kids are going to be having a bit more homework tonight, but it shouldn't take them long if they get home and get to it.

The play is looking good! Can't wait for you all to see it on Thursday night.

Sorry to cut this short, but I have to run. Hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Camp Is Coming to Woodbrook

Today was anything but normal. We did at least get to meet with Mrs. Shearman's class, get our mid-year testing done for one of our myriad reading assessments, as well as some Social Studies. Oh, and we got our DOLs graded from last week also. This is, once again, about a two thirds of what I wanted to get accomplished today, but that's life. We had a couple of curve balls thrown our way, but tomorrow should be much better.

Right now, the kids are peacefully taking their Math test. I told them today that they would need to take home their spelling list tonight and have the definitions on them tomorrow (from the looks of their spelling tests from Friday, many of them failed to do this last week), and they also have their DOLs for tomorrow.

They have been hard at work on their fifth grade musical, Camp Woodbrook. It looks really fun, especially considering that they all come at this one pretty much fresh from Camp Tecumseh. It draws on all of those camp nuances, except that the kids are all indoors. The campfire even looks exactly like the one they have at the inside area at Camp T.

Remember to be saving your juice can lids and your cereal boxes for Mrs. Adaniya and the kids for Colonial Days, coming up at the beginning of February. It's creeping closer...

More as I think of it! Have a great week, and stay healthy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Freight Train

Wow. Well, I feel like I was just hit by a freight train. Thursday night at about 11:30 I started getting sick to my stomach, and late last night, I finally began to get over it. In fact, this was at about 1:30am that I woke up and felt okay. Of course, after fading in and out of sleep with a well-worn path to the bathroom during my awake times, I was pretty much awake for the rest of the night. By the time the sun came up this morning, imagine my surprise to look outside and see all the snow.

Hopefully next week we will be able to get back on track. If we were only a little bit behind before, we really need to put the pedal to the metal. Luckily it's nothing that we can't accomplish this week and the part of next week that we have. Even with the musical program this week, we can get it done!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Such Is Life

The best laid plans of mice and men... That seems to have been the theme of this week.

The good news, as the kids pointed out to me yesterday, is that we have almost met all of the goals for English we set to have finished by Winter Break. There is still one remaining--the difference between subject and predicate, which may not be quite as easy as it sounds. But it certainly is something that we need to do, and it's nothing we shouldn't be able to get accomplished in two weeks. Mr. Alig at the middle school will be so proud of us!

Tomorrow is a Math test and the Spelling test. Come prepared!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Don't You Know That You Are a Shooting Star?

Okay, so thank you those who have heeded my pleas that your kids stay home if they're sick--I had to do the same thing yesterday. I can't stand the flu and cold season.

Today we did have our Science test. While I haven't taken a look yet at this four-page giant since they turned it in, I think they were well-prepared for it.

I hope to feel equally as good about the Math test, which is on Friday. Go over fractions with your kids--namely converting from mixed numbers to improper fractions (or, as I had a kid say to me once, "inappropriate" fractions) and then back again. Then turning fractions into decimals and vice versa--that was our focus for today.

Here are some upcoming events for the fifth grade:

December 8, 2010 @9am: Winter Party room parent planning meeting
December 9, 2010: Fifth grade musical
December 16, 2010: Choir concert
January 14, 2010: Winter classroom parties
January 19, 2010: Family fun night provided by the Children's Museum
January 25, 2010: General PTO meeting
January 26, 2010: Everybody Counts begins
February 2, 2010: Cool River Pizza fundraiser
February 4, 2010: Colonial Days
February 11, 2010: Live and Silent Auction