Tuesday, January 31, 2012
This is going to be really important, not only for their research paper and their book report, but also for ISTEP and their continuation into middle school.
We've also been having some fun reading Genius Files. I'm thinking that I could write a whole paper about how Dan Gutman is the perfect read-aloud author for guy teachers of fifth graders. So much funny material here about spies, exploding frisbees, renegade teachers, geeky parents, Pez, yo-yos, and RV cross-country family vacations, all tied into 9/11, and yet somehow never failing to be outrageously hilarious. I love this book. This is the one I went back and added to my "wish list" at the book fair because I needed something to add. Dan Gutman is all it took for me to add this to my list, but only because I needed to add something. Man, am I glad I did. This is instantly moving up to #2 on my read-aloud list for next year. It would be hard for anything to replace I Was a Rat for the beginning of the year, but this would make a choice for the second book of the year. We've even been following the family's trip on Mapquest, as suggested by the book. Pure joy. I really hope there's a sequel out there.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Second of all, we need to do some heavier review on Venn diagrams, evidently. We also need to do a heartier redux on the tree diagrams for probability. These are the parts of the test that was planned for tomorrow, but now I am going to go with either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on their apparent grasp on the material. I don't want to rush them through it, especially since after chapter 7, there are only three chapters left! Needless to say, we have wiggle room to make sure the kids are ready for the sixth grade (seventh grade) Math class. Miss Mellinger did a great job of getting these guys through without missing a day on the lessons, so now we will have plenty of time at the end of the year to go back and see what we need to take another look at and clean up .
Sunday, January 29, 2012
This is going out in the Woodbrook World in a couple weeks, but I thought I'd toss it up here just to see if we have any biters. I'm available if you have any questions about it. I am going to fund raise and participate, either through Woodbrook or Adamson's Karate (more likely both), and it is always a great time. It's like a big party--just bring your camp chairs and keep someone from your team on the track at all times. It takes place at the Carmel High School football stadium. It's always a very neat experience, and I'm sure this year will be no exception.
Friday, January 27, 2012
We also had a spelling test and managed to get some more of Genius Files read (I'm having fun with that book), but unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze it in, we were unable to fit in an auction using their dollars. I told them that we would do this on Tuesday, because that is the last day of "dollar days" before we go to the Woodbrook unified "tickets" system. It's a long story that the kids understand (I think), but you'll have to trust me.
More to come. Hopefully everyone has a great weekend!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
- How to set up a true scientific experiment!
- How to pronounce the name Sacagawea, even if some people go with the wrong pronunciation still.
- Taking research notes over our topics isn't all that bad. Plus, some people are almost done with their note cards.
- My Math class learned more about Venn Diagrams, and how they really are Math.
We have also been reading a really good book, The Genius Files. It's another one by Dan Gutman (how I love to read his books out loud) about a couple of kids who are chosen to be a part of an organization of children who have been selected to replace the thinking minds to take over intelligence agencies in the post-9/11 world. It's an action-packed story that is pretty funny too.
I hope everyone reads the post below this one. Not everyone took their mail home tonight and there is information in there that is also posted below. Please have all of your required shirts!
This is what I have for groups that are going to be photographed tomorrow.
It looks as if most groups are 4th and 5th graders. Choir and Orff will get there pictures first since they are the bigger groups. Choir and Orff pictures will be taken on the steps in the gym. Please have all t-shirts appropriate for the pictures! Mrs. Shearman tells everyone just to look nice if you're in Student Council.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The second note is about the note cards for the research papers. I will let that note speak for itself when it comes home, but please know that I did tell the kids earlier that the deadline has been moved back to February 3rd, and I'm only going to want 30 to 40 note cards instead of the earlier 40 to 50.
You should have seen a take-home test come home for Social Studies tonight over slavery. We spent quite a bit of time discussing all those topics before this, so hopefully they didn't have too much trouble.
Lastly, after asking the kids if they had seen the footage of Boomer shattering the backboard of a local high school gym during a basketball game, I had to show them the footage on Youtube. It's only 42 seconds long, but it's pretty funny. Evidently, Boomer is accustomed to a break-away rim. And evidently whoever runs that school's athletic program and allowed Boomer to visit has never seen what Boomer does with a trampoline and a basketball during a Pacers game.
Monday, January 23, 2012
We read about Lewis and Clark in Reading today and had a lengthy discussion about them, we read about slavery for Social Studies from a book written by a man with historical artifacts of quotes from slaves. The artwork in this book is pretty stunning.
And last but not least, in Math today we talked more probability.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Anyway, I hope everyone had a fun afternoon/evening at Clay Middle School today. I told the kids today that I know a few of the teachers over there, and I'm happy to know that at least my students will be in good hands next year.
The kids are getting used to getting their research materials and using them to take notes onto one note card at a time. I'm enjoying watching the students get into their materials and learning all about their topic. Remember: We have a long way to go. This whole process is going to take about ten more weeks, so there is no need to rush things just yet.
We got a lot crammed into today, including in my Math class. I love days like this--days where I had fun teaching and we got a whole lot of stuff taught and done. More tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The first event is the Family Fitness Night. This will take place on Friday, February 17th. I just realized that I don't have the times on that one, but it's an evening event as you may guess from the name. This has been in the works for awhile, but as it looks from the previous meeting's minutes, I wasn't there, so my apologies. Anyway, we are planning to have ten to fifteen fitness stations set up in the gym. Mr. Z, Nurse Barb, Mrs. Jackson, and I will all be there, as will parent coordinators Lori Baldwin (technically a 5-1 parent, seeing as how Alex is in my Math class...) and Jackie Krueger (former 5-1 parent) are also helping to head this up, and it should be pretty awesome. They were asking me today about having a karate station, so I'll be looking into that soon. But for now, plan on coming to Woodbrook that night and plan on working up a sweat.
That's February. Then on the afternoon of Sunday, April 29th, we will be having the Annual Woodbrook Wellness Fair. This event is different from the Family Fitness Night. This is more of a fair with stations set up with different health and wellness businesses there to answer questions and show off what they've got. Also, we will have the big obstacle course set up in the gym, where you'll be able to test your heart rate. There will be the Amazing Race once again this year, which is always a lot of fun (okay, so I'm told...admittedly I've never done it yet). Finally, the Woodbrook Blood Drive will take place during the Wellness Fair, so it would be awesome if you could come out and give blood that day if possible.
Here's the plea: If you would be interested in heading up (or co-heading up) Team Woodbrook for the Relay for Life on June 2, 2012, please let me know! I am relinquishing this duty this year, and I'm trying to find someone to head this up for Woodbrook. I will be there for part of it, but won't be heading up a team. Nurse Barb has volunteered to co-chair the team, but doesn't want to do it on her own. I'm not going to lie--it's a pretty big undertaking, but the Relay for Life Committee is great about helping you all throughout the process. And having done it for years, I am always free to answer e-mails and questions. This is a 24-hour event. Fundraising would be involved as would team meetings with the Relay for Life Committee. In fact, they're already underway, but it's never too late to join up. Remember: This is for the American Cancer Society. Who hasn't been affected by cancer? Woodbrook has lost many family members to this dreaded disease, and personally, I have a grandfather who lost his life to cancer, a mom who is a two-time survivor, and just lost a cousin to breast cancer on Sunday. I'm just over-committed this year, so I can't do it like I used to, but I am planning to participate. If you are at all interested, please let me know via e-mail. And if you can't head it up, please consider joining either Team Woodbrook or any other Relay for Life team.
And there's to your health, Woodbrook.
The kids should be hard at work on reading their books for their book report projects. Mrs. Appelsies and Mrs. Somers walked around and wrote down the titles of everyone's books today, so we now know what to look for from everyone.
In Math class today, we talked probability. Dice, spinners, and playing cards all came up, as well as the idea of rolling a dice (or "number cube" in case you're against dice and "number cards" if you're against playing cards...you never know) more than once, such as, "What is the probability of rolling a six and then a two?" We covered it all.
Lastly, there is a Caesar's English test on Friday. Lists went home at the end of the day today, but we did not go over them yet. We will do that tomorrow.
Friday, January 13, 2012
While speaking of this project, I always tell the kids: One deadline at a time. It's like eating an elephant. One bite at a time.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
They will begin doing the research tomorrow in the computer lab. A few of the kids came to me today and wanted to change their topics for their papers. I was actually relieved in all of those cases, because the topics they changed to are much more interesting. I told them that they are going to dedicate a substantial part of the next twelve weeks to this topic, and I want them to want to learn more about it.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The first is the research paper. This is a big project that will ask the kids to spend twelve weeks (!) researching, writing, taking notes, more writing, typing, bibliography-ing, and finally presenting a finished product based around what they have learned about their subject matter. I've told them that I've learned to spot a cut-and-paste job from a mile away, and since they will be writing these under my guidance (and let's definitely not forget the help of Mrs. Appelsies and Mrs. Somers), it is our hope that in the end, the kids will all have something that they are very proud of doing. We will be using the Rigby lessons to directly apply to the paper. This will count in their grades for Reading, Writing, and Social Studies. The reason for the latter is that they are all studying historical topics. I told them nothing younger than 25 years--and I've really enjoyed what I've seen so far. I realize some of them are still changing their topic around a little bit, but that's okay, understandable, and entirely expected. This project will take us all the way up to Spring Break!
Don't panic, either. I told the kids that we are going to do this research one deadline at a time. I'm not just turning them loose and then sitting back and waiting until Spring Break. We have a lot of learning and instructing to do between now and then to guide us home on that one.
In the meantime, we will also be really busy with other things: Science, Social Studies (ISTEP is coming...believe me, this is being driven home to us teachers too...good thing I love teaching Social Studies), and as for work at home, the book report. The book report is a pretty big undertaking in itself, but like the research paper, my hope is that they will be proud of the finished project. By Friday, they will have told me the book they're planning to read for that one.
Monday, January 9, 2012
There is more information forthcoming about both of these projects soon. Do not panic yet! One of the kids asked today about due dates. I told them that for right now, I only wanted them to worry about the first due date, which is tomorrow on which they need to have five possible topics to write about for their research paper. (At least five...I told them a horror story today of a real past year's experience...thank goodness it's in the past...) Anyway, that's all they need to worry about for now.
More to come on all fronts. For now, it's bedtime!
Sunday, January 8, 2012
January 18 @4pm-5:30pm: Parents should drop off and pick up children at the front entrance of Clay Middle School. A flyer will be sent home with your child prior to the event. During these afternoon meetings, students will take a tour of the school, meet with current students, enjoy pizza, get a Clay t-shirt, and learn about the day-to-day life of a Clay student.
January 24 @7pm: While parents of incoming 6th graders attend a meeting to receive information regarding the scheduling process, incoming sixth grade students will meet in the gymnasium to learn more about being a student at Clay. In addition, the performing arts department will provide and overview of the middle school band, orchestra, and choir programs for students.
February 9 @9am: This one is for parents only. Clay Middle School administrators and guidance counselors will be hosting a coffee at Clay Middle School to answer any unanswered questions and get to know incoming Clay parents.
February 13 @9:15am: Clay Middle School counselors will be going to the elementary schools to speak with the students about scheduling their courses for sixth grade. Expect the kids to bring home information regarding the course offerings.
February 24: Course selections must be completed through the online course request system by this date.
April 25 @6:30pm: Incoming sixth grade students and parents can attend an informal open house at Clay. They will take guided tours, learn about school clubs, and have the opportunity to ask questions about life at Clay.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Just look over the past week's posts to see some of the stuff coming up. I have a whole lot of karate practice going down tonight, so if I'm not too wiped out after that, I hop on later and type up the information for some upcoming events and activities for the transition information for the 2012-2013 school year.
Opportunities Are Just Around the Corner
with Clay Performing Arts!
January and February will be your 5th grader’s opportunity to explore and join
Band, Choir or Orchestra at Clay Middle School.
Tuesday, January 24, 7:00pm
(To take place in conjunction with 5th grade parent night)
· This fun concert will feature important information about our performing groups.
· Students will have an opportunity to see all the instruments in action.
· Parents are strongly encouraged to bring their student to this event.
· Each student in attendance will take home a special gift!
Performing Arts Try-On Sessions
Monday, January 30 (4pm-7pm)
Thursday, February 2(4pm-7pm)
Monday, February 6 (4pm-7pm)
· Sessions will be available for students to try up to three different instruments they are interested in, as well as sing for our choir director.
· Your student will choose the instrument they are best suited for on these evenings.
Please contact Jeff Frizzi, Performing Arts Department Chair, if you have any questions
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Everybody Counts is a wonderful program put together by the PTO (and in this instance, our very own 5-1 mom, Dr. Julie Saam...thank you!) which teaches the students about people with disabilities and what they go through each day. The program for fifth grade is very important because it focuses in on learning disabilities.
The program will be on Friday, January 27, 2012. We're looking greatly forward to this program once again during the kids' last year at Woodbrook.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Calling all 5th grade parents!!
Ruth Lilly Parent Preview Nights
Each school year the 5th grade class attends the Life Begins Program at the Ruth Lilly Health Center. Parents have the opportunity to preview the material covered by the Life Begins Program prior to the students attending the program.
This year the two parent preview nights are scheduled for:
Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm at Woodbrook Elementary
Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 pm at Orchard Park Elementary
Parents may attend either session. As an integral part of the fifth grade health curriculum, 5th grade students attend the Life Begins program at the Ruth Lilly Health Center. The purpose of the Parent Preview is to acquaint them with the subject matter that will be covered by the Life Begins program. An informational letter and flyer concerning this field trip were sent home to parents by your child’s school last semester.
More later: I have information on Everybody Counts, more on Colonial Days, and scheduling day for Clay. Have a great day!
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
To All Ye 5th Grade Parents
Colonial Days is coming
Friday, February 3, 2012
All Woodbrook fifth grade students will spend this noble day engaged in the time-honored arts of basket weaving, quilting, candle making, square dancing, cooking, and more! Take notice and plan ahead to dress in Colonial attire and to carry to school a lunch prepared without modern conveniences (see attached page).
We are in need of donated items for the day’s activities:
Frozen metal juice lids 12oz –16oz
Cereal boxes one per child
Kindly send in these items to your child’s teacher.
We appreciate all your support to make this a fabulous experience for our students.
Karen Watson Carolyn Crane