Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bon Voyage!

Well, the kids have packed it in and headed home for a week of doing whatever you're doing over the next several days.

Here's a little bit of information about next-next week's Wellness Week.

Tuesday: Physical activity day: Wear clothes for whatever physical activity you do (dance outfit, soccer jerseys, etc.). On this day, we are asking everyone to bring in your PENNIES.

Wednesday: Play a part in the fight against cancer: Dress as your favorite character from literature, TV, or movies. On this day, bring your NICKELS.

Thursday: Be a hero! SUPER-HERO day. On this day, bring your DIMES.

Friday: Fight Back Friday: Wear purple, the official color for Relay for Life. On this day, bring your QUARTERS.

All money will go toward the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. We're hoping to make some major moolah for Team Woodbrook this year. Props to RACHEL BLOCK, who is standing outside O'Malia's this afternoon to raise money for the event! If you need ideas on what you can do to help, just notify me and I will make sure you get in on the cause also.

I told the kids that if it's at all possible, they will want to plan to attend the Wellness Fair from 1-4pm on Sunday, April 17. It is my hope that they can man (or woman) the booth for Team Woodbrook for Relay for Life. I will have a sign-up sheet for an hourly shifts with about three kids at a time, and I'll train them on what to say and how to answer the questions that people may have.

Until that time, have a stupendous break!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's a Jungle in Here

Look to the left, and you'll see the link to Woodbrook's Relay for Life team. A few clicks is all it takes to join the team right now.

We've had a pretty good day today. Earlier this morning, we were paid a visit by Larry the Animal Guy. He showed the kids some pretty cool animals, but my personal favorite was the wolf. The wolf was really beautiful and majestic. (The alligator and the python are tied for my least favorites, in case you were wondering. Nothing majestic about either one.)

The Wednesday after we get back from break will be a short field trip to the Carmel Public Library for a talk with an author of Science texts. Permission slips will be forthcoming.

We had our Math test today (actually, right now...). I reviewed with the kids just before the test, so I hope they're doing alright.

The only real homework for tomorrow is to finish up those research papers. Several kids have already turned them in, so bravo to those already done, and everyone else, keep on pushing through! We're almost there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be Well; Do Good Work

First of all, here is a "link" I said I would "share" on the "blog" today.

Here is a more serious link taking you once again to the site for Woodbrook's team for the Relay for Life. My class is in charge of writing questions to be asked over the intercom on the week before the Wellness Fair (the week right after spring break). I had them write the questions today, and four of them will be asked that week. I also told my class that they can come in help man the booth for Relay for Life for the Wellness Fair on Sunday, April 17, from 1-4. I'll have t-shirts for them to wear that day. If they don't want to do that, but they still want to be involved, your family can also participate in the Amazing Race (fliers went home today).

Tomorrow we have a Math test! I gave the kids study guides over it today, they did them in class, and I explained everything to them. To be honest, though, not everyone was paying attention, and many people were either working in a race to get it finished while I was explaining or were talking amongst themselves either much of the time or the whole time. I would ask them to explain it to you. I even went over page two on the study guide with the class, problem by problem, and had someone then say I didn't show them how to do it. I realize that the end of this week is Spring Break, but this CANNOT HAPPEN!

Lastly, final drafts of papers are due THIS THURSDAY! If you are leaving before that, I need them before your child goes anywhere!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Caught in the Draft

Thanks to everyone who came to the Woodbrook Carnival this weekend! It's always good to see current and old familiar faces as well.

All of the kids have been given their rough drafts by now, and so now the only job that remains is to have them typed up for Thursday.

We will be doing some other things in class during this week, such as focusing on preparing for Wellness Week at Woodbrook, which is the week right after Spring Break (yikes!). 5-1 will be playing a bigger part in that than they realize right now, I think. There are also some other very cool little things we'll be doing between now and Thursday.

Math "Quest" on Wednesday! I gave the kids all the info today, but I will give them a study guide tomorrow.

Have a good one!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Unconventional Is the New Conventional (and Vice Versa)

I returned the kids' introductions and conclusions to them today. Unless I marked them up, they are just fine. People who got their rough drafts to me later, that's fine, but I don't have them edited yet. We'll talk on Monday about that. As it stands, the FINAL DRAFT IS DUE ON THURSDAY AND NO LATER!

This was not your typical Friday, but it was a pretty fun one in the end. Here is a smattering:
  • We watched the first grade program as they showed us a peek at life in the jungle. It ties in with the jungle theme to our carnival tomorrow...
  • We took the spelling test.
  • We graded several papers.
  • Because of the carnival tomorrow, we had to get this room cleaned up. And that's how we spent most of the Math class. The kids all did a great job, and props to everyone for managing to stay inside the room during the cleaning of Barton and Todd's tank. For a turtle the size of a deck of cards (and another one the size of a silver dollar), they managed to make the whole hall smell admittedly like sewage. That was until we got some air freshener from Rose.
  • We ended the day by doing the Hoedown Throwdown dance. You can't go wrong with that one.
I hope to see you all at the carnival tomorrow! I'll be working the trading post from 1:00-4:00.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bibliographies Made Easy

I showed the kids this morning how to do a bibliography on Easy Bib. This should make it much easier on them to do the bibliographies for their papers. They're going to be doing this tomorrow during their computer time, so if your child won't be here tomorrow morning, they will need to do this at home. As I told them, this is why I told them to hold onto their note cards.

Here's a link: Easy Bib.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What the Tortoise Said to Achilles

Today we explored finding the area of triangles and rectangles and parallelograms. The kids really took to it pretty well. They should have a page of homework tonight (I told them they HAD to do it at home--it's only six problems!) for that, as well as their meaning exercises, their introductions, and their conclusions for tomorrow.

Can't believe it's already Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A few things about the research papers I shared with the kids yesterday and today:]

First off, if you (or, preferably, your child) are having trouble with writing your introduction and your conclusion, here are some pages in your Write Source 2000 books that should help you out.

Introduction: 63, 111, 120, and 171 especially.

Conclusion: 66, 71, 111, and 128.

A few tips on your introduction (these are NOT musts, these are just little things that could help if you get stuck): Have an amazing, grab-you-by-the-collar first sentence, stating some kind of startling fact about your topic. Your first sentence should not leave the option for the reader not to finish reading this paper. The last sentence in the first paragraph often states the focus of the paper. (ex: Benjamin Franklin was a major and influential leader during the early days of the United States of America.)

A few rules for writing a proper concluding paragraph: Do not give any new information in the last paragraph. It's too late! Go back and stick it into your paper somewhere if you have more information. It should summarize, wrap up, and tie your paper up in a neat little bow.

DO NOT end your paper with "I hope you liked this paper," unless you want to see Mr. Carter cry and throw up at the same time. This will also have a negative effect on your grade. Also, do not put "The End." I can already tell it's the end because there are no words left. Also, don't write "By Jen Snodgrass". I can tell it's your paper by looking at the front cover.

Information on your front cover should be written this way:


Your Name
Spring 2011
Mr. Carter's Class

such as...

Benjamin Franklin:
The Gentleman Leader

Jen Snodgrass
Spring 2011
Mr. Carter's Class

Have fun!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Old-Timey Friday

Sorry I'm just now getting this post put up, but as you can see, Colonial Days on Friday was a rollicking good time. A huge thank you goes out to Mrs. Clark (and Mr. Clark) as well as Mrs. Adaniya for being the honchos of Colonial Days. And let's not forget about our other 5-1 volunteers that made the day possible: Mrs. Ackerman, Mrs. Gripp, Mrs. Klotz, Mrs. Schipp, Mrs. Spangler, and Mrs. Spencer. You guys made this a great event for the kids.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wheels in the Sky Keep On Turnin'

You know, for the last couple weeks, there just hasn't been a dull moment in 5-1. I knew that things were coming at us fast and furious, but you're never quite ready. We had the Rube Goldberg contest today, and it was really amazing. I honestly have to say that at least all of the machines were sound, and more of them worked than have ever before.

Mrs. Haberfield's class of first graders came down to watch them. We made a barrier of desks between the machines and the kids, and they stayed inside and watched the machines from there. That way no one got too close.

Please remember that tomorrow TWO things are due: the adult edit on the papers, and the corrections on the math test from yesterday. I can't believe I never came up with the idea for the "Whoops Sheet" before now, but I can tell you that it's here to stay.

Okay, gotta fly. I'll try to get some video of the Rube Goldberg machines up on the blog, but I haven't had much luck just yet. (Of course, if you recall from Meet the Teacher Night, I'm pretty backward when it comes to high tech stuff...)

Oh, and THANK YOU to Rachel Block, who brought in green beads for everyone on this very happy St. Patrick's Day! We were high-stylin' today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Sum of Its Parts

What a big day! We actually managed to get everything checked off of our pretty crowded checklist today. The students should be bringing home their rough drafts tonight so that they can get a parent to edit them. They may already look pretty sloppy, but that's okay, because they've been peer-edited twice already. Now it's your turn. I don't expect professional-level graduate work here, just look through, see if anything reads funny or ambiguously, and go over with your child what they can do to fix it. Then I will go through over the weekend and do the teacher-edit. We have two weeks to finish these babies up, and we're going to make it. Parent Edits are due on Friday, so you will have at least a couple days. If there is no parent with enough time, I will accept any adult editing. Even high schoolers.

We also spent some time working through the Rube Goldberg projects for the last time before tomorrow's big show-off time. At that time, they MUST TAKE THEIR MATERIALS HOME! I want all of it out of this classroom BEFORE Colonial Days on Friday!

We had a math test, and I am proud to announce that we are finished with fractions for the year! The only time they should show up is on homework at the bottom of the page. Next we're on to the coordinate plane! Woohoooo! (Actually, they're taking the test as I type these lines...shhhh! Test going on!)

We also ducked and covered for the tornado drill and had some kind of chemical in the air seep into our classroom for a short time (someone was working on the lawn, we discovered) creating a stench. But through all this, we persevered through another day.

I hope your hump-day was an awesome one as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Say Hay

Swept Away

Math test tomorrow! They should have the study guides with them and study up tonight.

The Broombinder came today. It was a lot of fun making brooms, actually. Your child should have their broom with them also... I took a picture of the broom making on my phone, but it didn't go through the network, so I'll try sending it again later and post it then.

Meeting time, gotta scat.


Sorry for the lack of post last night, but the WB internet was down! More later...

FYI, folks!

Could you please have your office announce a reminder that the 1st performing arts try-on session is tonight. Also, please let the students know that all try-ons will be held in the Clay Performing Arts Department. They can enter through the main entrance and follow the posted signs.

Jeff Frizzi

Friday, March 11, 2011

One Busy Week Leads Right Into the Next

Highlights for next week:
  • Colonial Days is on Friday.
  • The Rube Goldberg contest will be on Thursday.
  • There will be a Math Test on Tuesday.
We had a visit from author Sarah Weeks today, and it was really cool listening to how she comes up with her ideas. It became clear that she never gets writer's block, and when you look at the world the way she does, you can see why. Very cool presentation!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Abbreviated, But Never Compromised

We went to the planetarium today. After an exhausting afternoon of constructing enough dipper finders for Mrs. Stemnock's class and mine (ask your child to see it...some came out a little better than others, to be honest, but hey, it was a rush job...), we got to experience the fruits of our labor today with Mr. Keith Turner at Carmel High School. If you've never been in the planetarium, it really is a pretty cool place with lean-back seats and a sky far starrier than anything we have in Carmel.

In the library today, the kids "charved" cheese in anticipation of our visit tomorrow from Sarah Weeks. Weeks is an author who has written books about a fellow named Oggie Cooter who has a penchant for "charving" shapes into cheese slices by chewing them.

In Math class today, the kids did a pretty impressive job of learning to find and calculate percentages of numbers, for instance, they found 35% of 80, etc. Their homework tonight is reflective of everything we did in class today, but we covered a lot of ground. Remember that if they are confused (although they seemed to all get it), remember to call 1-800-ASK-ROSE any time between 7 and 10 and they can help! It's a free telephone tutoring service from Rose-Hulman (and I'm told they don't speak in engineerese to the kids). I always forget to suggest this, but any time you're stuck (and yes, I know that Everyday Math can feel like a foreign language at times, and I understand that), you can call them between those hours! Even better is that RH has all math materials on hand used in the state of Indiana! (I'm pretty sure this is still the case.) It's a fantastic resource.

Reminders for tomorrow: there is a Spelling test over the list of abbreviations, and the kids' rough drafts are due tomorrow. Rough drafts are allowed to be sloppy and ugly, just as long as they are legible.

Just in case you have lost/thrown away/fed your dog/origami folded/or lined your bird cage with your spelling list, here are those abbreviations once again. Remember that capitalization and periods do count on these.















And with that, let's call it another successful day in 5-1 at the WB!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ten Banana Cream Pies

Multiplying mixed numbers, the American Revolution, book reports, and rough drafts are the biggest chunks of what's going on in 5-1 right now. Oh, and the Rube Goldberg project as well. Man, ideas are just flying every which way right now in this class...the momentum is picking up and the last day of school will be like crashing into a brick wall.

And tomorrow we go to the planetarium! We had just a handful of people who didn't have their permission slips today, so make sure you get those in TOMORROW, or your critter will be left behind while we all go into outer space.

Have a fantastic rest of your day...and your week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Putting Old Heads On Young Shoulders

There is a lot going on right now in 5-1!
  • We have a field trip this Thursday to the planetarium. I'm sending home a permission slip with your child today, but if they made a paper airplane on the bus or use it as a makeshift kleenex, you can always cut and paste from that abomination in the post from Friday.
  • The kids' rough drafts are due on Friday for their research paper. Again, this is just the body of the paper, not including the bibliography, title page, or even the introduction and conclusion. I'm going to try this year having them write both of those after they've finished everything else.
  • The Spelling list this week is very odd. It's made up entirely out of abbreviations. This sounds really easy, but I want everyone to understand that some of the abbreviations (and why is that such a long word, anyway?) have a period after them and some don't. Also, some of them are capitalized and some aren't. This is part of the spelling of those terms, so that will probably be the most challenging part. Because they are so short, I put fourteen words on this list instead of just twelve.
  • Page 55 in their Social Studies white pages is due tomorrow.
  • The kids have a very simple project involving prepositions which I made due on Friday. The extended time would seem to indicate that this "project" is more complicated than it really is, because all they have to do is come up with illustrations for any eight prepositions and color them. I showed them how I wanted them to fold the paper and everything.
  • There is a Caesar's English test NEXT Tuesday, March 15. They received their lists today.
  • COLONIAL DAYS is next Friday, March 18! Not this Friday, but the next one. Don't panic--yet!
  • Oh yeah, and last but not least, the book report is still due on Thursday, as it has been for the last month. Sorry for the constant reminders! Most of the kids have already turned these in, so thank you for the early arrivals!
  • Have a great week, everybody. Something tells me this one will fly by like they all do.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We Have Ignition

Yeah, I've decided that I'm just going to print off those permission slips instead of expecting you to copy and paste that horrible mess below. The way it came out in reality and the way it was going to work in my mind are two polar opposite things.

I've been working here in the classroom today, and it will hopefully look much different when you walk in on Monday morning. If I had one of the big bucket trash cans from the lunch room, I could have done a more thorough purging, but that's for another day. Hopefully a day to come soon!

We're going to have a big week around here, so get ready.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Moon Bouncing

Our post-ISTEP day was anything but normal. We had the second grade program this morning; we learned about part of the American Revolution; we had a visit our first grade math buddies, and we learned about percentages in Math class. It may help to verify this by asking them to find the sale price on an item that costs $35 but is on sale for 40% off. We also dealt with brown velvet paper, a big spill of tiny yellow blocks, and a whole lot of laughter.

But next week we will be back to no laughing matter! We need to get back into the mode of research writing after this ISTEP week. But in addition that, we also have this:

WBE Fifth Grade

Trip to CHS Planetarium

To support our state and district fifth grade science standards, our class will be visiting the CHS Planetarium on March 10th . Students will be provided bus transportation and will return to school in time for their normal lunch schedule. Please sign and return the attached slip giving permission for your student to travel. We’re looking forward to a great trip.

- Mr. Carter, Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Shearman, Mrs. Stemnock, Mr. Vahle

My student: ______________________________________________________ has permission to attend a field trip at the CHS Planetarium on 10, 2011. In case of emergency, I

can be reached at: _____________________________________.

___________________________________ ___________________

Parent/Guardian Signature Date

You may cut and paste this permission slip, or send in a sheet of paper with this information written on it. This is for next Thursday. It will be from 10:15 am until about 11:30 that day.