Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I'm having fun getting these kids back! We've had a great week so far. I hate that I'm not going to be in there tomorrow, because it would have been nice to get a solid footing before having to take off, but this is when the science training was set up.
And speaking of Science, the kids seem to be enjoying it! I think they were starting to wear a little thin on the Social Studies (how that breaks me heart...but I do love Science too!), so it's good to have a little bit of a break for awhile.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
After we got back, I explained to the kids that we get all of our heat from the sun's light hitting the Earth, and not necessarily Earth's proximity to the sun. I explained it as though the sun is a can of spray paint, lighting the middle more directly than the top or bottom, hence the reason it's so cold on the north and south poles, but so warm at the equator.
The kids did get their spelling lists today. The assignment for tomorrow is both their definitions (many of them got that done already) as well as the 3x each.
We started on chapter 6 today in Math with a new Math Journal. The talk today was over reciprocals and multiplying fractions. They had two worksheets from the lesson for homework.
Anyway, I told the kids that as a part of the new status quo, I will be inspecting their desks after school every Tuesday afternoon, and it will be reflected as a part of their work habits grade. Some of the more Type A students did not, surprisingly, have the cleanest desks! But they do now, and hopefully this fresh start will help keep things in place--along with the weekly check-up policy.
Monday, November 28, 2011
The kids do have a book report which is due on Friday, December 9. It is a pretty simple book report, but I wanted to give them time to finish whichever book they are currently reading. I told them that if the book is indeed too long to finish before that time (this is while reading in class as well as 20 minutes each night, at least), that they could do a book that they have just read. By the way, I did remind them that it would be a very bad idea to wait until December 8th--the day of the fifth grade musical program--before starting their book reports!
Look for bookmarks to come home tonight, and then again once a week. These are to be signed by the parent or guardian nightly. I told them that they were not allowed to go home and read for 100 minutes and then call it a week. If they read 100 minutes tonight, then that's great. They still have to read at home tomorrow too. And the next day. And the next. They are due every Monday, and at that time they will be given a new one for the next week.
By the way, here's a Ma and Pa Kettle piece from the 1950's that ties in with what my Math class learned today. It's meant in good humor, so take it for what it's worth. And it's worth a laugh!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
- We have a short field trip to the high school on Tuesday for the planetarium. This ties in with the science unit on astronomy that we're beginning tomorrow. Yes, you read that right: We are starting science tomorrow! Speaking of which...
- I have a science training at Carmel Clay HQ on Thursday. It is an all-day training, and I will not be in school that day. Mrs. Weghorst, former Woodbrook teacher and now retiree, will be taking the helm that day. The fact that she has my class that day makes me very happy and very relaxed.
- After lunch on Friday, I have a conference at Clay Middle School, so my Math class will have someone filling in that day until I get back. That day I am planning on giving a quiz in Math on percentages, the topic for this week.
- We will be having reading theme test 6 on Thursday. On Friday, we will be having the spelling test.
- Look back at #1. Yeah, you haven't seen a permission slip come home on that yet. I think we forgot about it because of the short week last week. It will be coming home on Monday, but remember that the trip is on Tuesday. If your child does not bring it back signed on Tuesday, he or she will not be going on that trip. We have no choice. Make sure you get it and sign it on Monday night, or no trip to the high school!
We're still going to be doing all of the literacy in the ways we're supposed to be doing it. We will still be following the Common Core Standards. It's just that we have precious little time left when you get down to it. That's one of the things I'm going to be sharing with the students tomorrow. I'm planning to lay out the amount of time remaining as well as all of the things we need to get crammed into that time. It's going to feel good to get back in the saddle, I have to admit.
I'm going to start some new daily rituals tomorrow, I'm going to start reading them a new book, and show them the way things are going to be for the rest of their fifth grade year. It's going to be a great ride!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The excitement didn't end there! After school, at about 4:30, a burnt bag of popcorn sent the fire alarms into a tizzy and we found out that there were about three teachers left at the school--along with the after school program who were all lined up outside and taking attendance. The fire department made an appearance and everything. It was a pretty crazy pre-turkey day.
I told Miss Mellinger that I would post the letter she wrote to the kids here on the blog, but of course that was left at school. I will do so next week.
For now, just know that I am thankful for the opportunity I have to teach your kids as well as all your support as I do so. Enjoy your days with your families tomorrow, and rest up--we've got a lot of learning to do and no time to slow down when the kids get back on Monday.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I did receive a forwarded e-mail from Mr. Greg Pergal (Cole's father) regarding the Macy's parade this Thursday. Turns out they're not only doing the parade, but also playing the national anthem on Fox News. I'm not sure whether this is an actual press release or not, but it did come from Dr. Charles Sinclair, who teaches at CHS:
While the CHS Marching Band is in New York for the Macy’s parade they will be seen Wednesday morning, sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. [EST] on the nationally broadcast Fox and Friends.
Fox and Friends is a morning television show on the Fox News Channel. The show runs 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. [EST] with the latest Fox News Live headlines and analyzes the news of the morning. It continues with many different segments including interviews, updates of news stories with correspondents at any number of bureaus, analysis from the hosts, and many different regular morning show segments.
The Fox News Channel appears on our inhouse school video line-up at channel 59. This should not be confused with the local Fox affiliate station, WXIN, which although it coincidentally broadcasts on channel 59 appears on our school video line-up at channel 11.
Monday, November 21, 2011
- There is a Caesar's English quiz on Wednesday.
- The fall parties are on Wednesday also; this will take place in the afternoon.
- Miss Mellinger's last day is on Wednesday. We will miss her!
- Friday is Turkey Day! Remember to wish our Carmel Marching band well as they perform in the Macy's parade, and on Saturday wish the football team well as they compete at state!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
More later about the rest of the school day and what we're doing there.
Monday, November 14, 2011
In Social Studies today, we started reading a book called Roanoke: The Mystery of the Lost Colony. This is one of my favorite subjects of history to teach on because it is a very interesting story filled with greed and people doing very bad things. The book is by Lee Miller, who also has a grown-up book about the same subject. I recommend both.
I received this from Mrs. Davis yesterday:
I would like to thank you and your students for a touching and well done tribute to Veteran’s Day on Friday. Veteran’s Day is such an important day in our country and by making sure that we have a program every year, our Woodbrook Lions learn so much.
I was very proud of all of you!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thank you to the members of my class who took part today: Jacob Pitz, Winter Owens, Reese Hicks, Elizabeth Hargis, Kyle Porter, Maria Saam, Caleb Vahle, Trevor Berridge, Will Hurdle, David Sampson, Alyssa Pisano-Martin, Matthew Harcourt, Anna Gans, Charles Hargis, Christian Chacko, John Keen, Cole Pergal, Emma Cunningham, Trey Brown, Jake Zimmer, Austin Vertesch, and Tera Botta. Flag holders from my class included Frisco Gonzalez, Vaughn Niemiec, and Reece Tofaute who sang in the choir. I also had choir members and flag holders from my math class, which included Derek Fronek, Ashley Witucki, Jackson Adams, Nick Atkins, Yosuke Yanagida, Tyler Trent, Divy Sunderraj, Xavier Cocca, Corey Birch, Alex Baldwin, and choir members Ally Eaton and Quin Dreyer.
Thank you also to Mrs. Kleinschmidt (who talked me down from panic mode at one point this morning) and Mrs. Melchi for helping me get everything situated on the technology side, Mrs. Davis and Mr. Hunter for their work in getting the presentation started and keeping the crowd controlled. Mrs. Ratner and the Woodbrook Choir for the songs they provided. Mr. Zangrilli was manning the sound system the whole time. It was just a great presentation. Mrs. Hegeland took some awesome pictures. She said she would burn them to a CD and get them to me by next week. Look for them here on the Dojo when I get them. Thank you to Mrs. Elder and Mrs. Bowman for working with some of my students to help them prepare the delivery of their lines. As I told the kids when it was all over today, I was just the guy who pulled down the screen.
As the show closed out while Mr. Vahle sang America, Lt. Col. Spencer had all of the veterans in attendance line up at the doors where the exiting students shook their hands and thanked them for their service. It was very moving.
Miss Mellinger's own father, a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, came in after the presentation and told the kids about what the coast guard was and what they did. The kids had so many great questions. I loved watching the kids as they held his special agent badge in his hands and looked at the pictures of boats with names like "Midget" and "Ice Breaker". As he was leaving, I thanked him and, smiling, he said, "Thank you, that really made my day."
The rest of the day was a blur to me. We had a math quiz for about five minutes in there somewhere, and I seem to remember throwing together a spelling test, but I apologize if the daily grind was pushed to the back of my mind to make room for the overwhelming pride I felt for what your kids did today.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Kids should wear RED, WHITE, and BLUE tomorrow! I want to see a bunch of star-spangled students coming in tomorrow!
The book fair is next week! Information was put in my mailbox today, which has been in turn put into the kids' mailboxes. Haven't checked it out myself yet, but I guarantee I will be doing a little shopping myself.
The kids seem to all be ready for the Veterans' Day program tomorrow. We still have the matter of getting the flags ready (as well as the flag-holders), but that's all good. We still have about 21 hours to finish preparing this thing! I told the kids this morning why this was such an important thing. I told them that these men have gone to war in our place, and that they have seen things that no one would ever want to see--as well as things that I hope they will never see. They took this to heart, and I truly believe that they are going to give their best tomorrow. I hope everyone can come and see this presentation.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Keep in mind that for Math class, we do have a quiz now on Friday over the coordinate plane. I also am providing the kids with another copy of the spelling list today, just in case they need it.
Here's an e-mail forwarded to me yesterday from my mom. I love it:
A lesson that should be taught in all schools ... and colleges.
Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.
When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
'Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?'
She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'
'No,' she said.
'Maybe it's our behavior.'
She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.
By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.
Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.
Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'
This teacher was awarded Teacher of the Year for the state of Arkansas in 2006.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
More information to come--just wanted you to know ASAP that it is next week.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Math quiz Thursday: My sixth grade math class has a quiz over the coordinate plane on Thursday. They will be asked to label the four quadrants, label the y and x axes, and know which quadrants hold the positive and negative coordinates.
Veterans' Day program: This is Friday! 9:00am! We really need to make invitations tomorrow!
Pizza Night Wednesday: At Cool River, go get some pizza, tell them you're from Woodbrook, and a portion goes to our awesome PTO!
Spelling test Friday: As normal. List went home today!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
If you went to Camp T with us, and you would be willing, please send me your shots and I will share them here.
I truly appreciate you all going with us. I think everyone who went had a great time, and as always, I'm extremely grateful to you all.
Friday, November 4, 2011
The other homework assignment they have is to memorize their part! Some of the kids have longer lines than others, but that was their choice, for the record!
I'm looking forward to this program. I told the kids that this is my very first class where I've had enough volunteers that I didn't have to pull kids in from another class to fill all the parts. In fact, we had to add parts this year so that everyone could have a line who wanted one. Hope to see you all there next Friday.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
- We went to the Carmel Symphony Orchestra at the high school this morning. The conductor and the orchestra did a fantastic job of keeping it entertaining to the kids while informing them about the different families of instruments. Before long, it will be time for the middle school orchestra and band leaders to come to Woodbrook for the kids to "try on" their instruments for next year.
- Tomorrow we begin working on the Veteran's Day program. Looking forward to that one. It's a perk of being in Mr. Carter's class. When I first started at Woodbrook eleven years ago, Mr. Akin told me that it was always the duty of the newest teacher at WB to do the Veteran's Day program. Despite many hirings since then, it has remained in my lap. I don't mind, though, to be honest. It's a good learning experience for the kids.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tomorrow is a test for Social Studies, so hopefully everyone has studied up! Friday, I take over Social Studies again.
About Science: Yes, I realize we have not had Science yet. We are not supposed to teach it until we've been trained on it. I received an e-mail the other day that said they are closer to knowing when that day will be. Until that time ("soon" is what I've been told...), we will continue to do Social Studies. To start off, though, we are going to be working on the Veterans Day program for Social Studies. My class is always in charge of the Veterans Day program, and that program begins at 9am next Friday, November 11th. We will be making invitations to hand out to friends and relatives who have served our country or are currently in the service. I'm hoping we will have a lot of speakers from 5-1 for the program. We will also be hosting Colonel Todd Spencer from the United States Army, who gave the talk last year. Col. Spencer is the father of former 5-1 student Gary Spencer, and we look forward to working with him again.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
2. There is a Social Studies test on Thursday. Miss Mellinger went over the study guide with them very thoroughly today, and they are in the kids' mailboxes to go home. Make sure and study with your child this evening and tomorrow evening. It's a fairly simple study guide, so it shouldn't take all that much time to go over.
3. Your children are reading biographies that they got from the library today. These will be formed into a report that the kids will be working on in class and eventually at home. Have them tell you about who they chose for their subject. We had fun in the library this morning trying to get people matched up for the more indecisive students.
4. Please do not send Halloween candy in for your child's snack! Please. For my sanity.
5. I will be away from school on Friday morning for a meeting at Clay Middle School. I should be back by 10:30, though, so just relax! It's all good.