Thursday, August 30, 2012

These Testing Grounds

Let me apologize for the fact that we do have three tests tomorrow. Yes, three. But before you come chasing me through the village with torches and hay forks, let me clarify. One of them is a Theme Test for Reading (can't study for those), one of them is a spelling test (okay, but I only give twelve words), and then the other one is in Math. I did give the kids a pretty exhaustive study guide today, so hopefully they won't have much of a problem.

One thing you should know about my Math tests, though, is that I always give the kids what I call a "Whoops Sheet" after they get their tests back. If they get a few wrong on the test, they always have the opportunity to fix their mistakes and earn back half credit for anything they got wrong. This way the kids can still show mastery of an idea even after we've moved on.

Also, the homeroom's reading bookmarks are due tomorrow! I forgot to have them write this in their assignment notebooks, but I do want those back tomorrow. I will give them a new one tomorrow for the next week.

The kids have been doing a great job of helping lead all of Woodbrook in saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning over the loud speaker. So far we've had pledge leaders Paige, Harry, Mark, Will, Cody, Matthew, Isabella, Nick, and Luke. Tomorrow we will have the honor of being led by Kavya.

Have a great evening.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where No One Had Gone Before

We received notification yesterday that the flag will hang at half-mast on Friday to commemorate the life of Neil Armstrong.

I ran across a quote the other day which I loved. According to The Indianapolis Star on Sunday, Neil Armstrong said:
I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer," Armstrong told the National Press Club in February 2000, "born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow.
The educator in me loves that the fact that we are celebrating the life of a brainy hero. Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong. Thanks for boldly going where no one had gone before.

The Hustle and the Flow

Quick homework news tonight:
  1. The kids are bringing home a writing assignment tonight. I was asked by a couple of kids what the minimum length could be. I told them that if they wanted to do the BARE MINIMUM, then I suggested at least four sentences. However, as I told them, those sentences had better blow me away with their high quality if that's all they were going to write. It shouldn't be too hard, though. The answers are pretty straightforward, and we discussed them in class.
  2. Uncharacteristically, there is no Math homework tonight. I did tell them that they had to bring that worksheet back tomorrow to go over with me in class. There is a Math test on Friday. I told them what it was going to be over today (it should be written in their assignment notebooks), and they will receive a study guide tomorrow.
  3. Meaning exercise is due tomorrow! This is either sentences or illustrations for each of their spelling words.
  4. Remember that tomorrow is Gym Day! Tennis shoes, please!

That's all for now. Have a great evening.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Within a League of the Dutchman

These pictures look almost posed, but really, I just got excited that the kids got so into the longitude and latitude activity and grabbed my phone and started taking pictures. "Perfect blog fodder," I thought.

Hope everyone has a great hump-day.

Secret Carpentry

Later this evening, if I am awake enough, I will post some pictures of your children doing some mapping activities for a very cool geography activity. Students were given either a set of coordinates or a city on the globe, and they had to use the map in their Social Studies book, a globe, and my gigantic map of the world hanging in my classroom to find the locations or the cities that correspond. This is the first time I've ever done this, but it was pretty cool seeing them work together so well.

In Math today, we did some calculator work, some non-calculator work, and some square roots and square numbers.

The rest of the day we spent learning about writing responses to articles, the meaning of a predicate nominative, and we read about women in the Revolutionary War. It was a full day, and we didn't get a chance to do everything I had planned. In fact, we got about half of it done. But that's what tomorrow is for, I suppose.

Some of the kids will be coming home with permission slips today for a program called Peer Buddies. This optional activity is where students work with kids in the Life Skills classroom, showing them how to play games the right way so that they're fair. This is a pretty cool program, and it's all supervised; no worries. It is all explained on the note if they brought one home. Everyone has an opportunity to do this, but we just need your signature.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Purely Conjecture

Just a quick shot today; we have a staff meeting in just a few minutes.

Homework for tonight is spelling definitions and the Study Link 1.6. The kids will have a few more pages about Goldbach's Conjecture in their bags if they're in my Math class, but those are not homework. (But the conjecture itself is pretty interesting, I have to say. Plus you can feel like you're Sheldon or a professor of some sort talking about Goldbach's Conjecture.)

Initial Consonants

Here's this week's spelling list:
  • bicycle
  • curtain
  • distance
  • fashion
  • measles
  • message
  • pasture
  • saucer
  • tissue
  • vegetable
  • wrestle
  • genius

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Come On Just Ride

We had another good day today. The kids are working hard for me as they learn the ropes in fifth grade. Remember that Grandma Rose will be here tonight at 7. I know it sounds funny, but it really is a neat program.

In class today, we read about the Nighttime Ride of Sybil Ludington (a little lady who rode door to door with a giant staff pounding on the doors of Colonial troops), we learned about geographic terminology, discussed the idea of abandoning books and reading and discussing critically. We also learned about divisibility--a term many of the students were unfamiliar with.

Homework for tonight: Study Link 1-5 and study hard for the Spelling test.

Tomorrow is Friday! Yeah!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jump the Scratch

Today at Woodbrook we had a visit from Grandma Rose. Grandma Rose is a lady who makes speeches at schools that pertain to bullying. One thing I love about her is that she says that we cannot control how other people treat us. We can't control what they say to us. The only thing we can control is how we react to it. She talks fast and she has a fantastic message. She pulls a few kids up onto the stage with her and they act out these short skits that teach her lessons. She teaches three main tactics: agree with them, distract them, or make a joke. The idea is not to let it have any effect on you whatsoever. Grandma Rose is giving a more grown-up message to parents tomorrow night at the Woodbrook Cafe, and I highly recommend it. She gave a lot of good points about things like road rage and just all-around negative people. It starts at 7:00pm, so be there.

In Math class today, we talked more about factors, I taught them about square roots and square numbers, and then we played a game called Factor Captor. The homework for Math is Study Link 1.4. By the way, you may have to think for a second on #1, but just make sure you read through the table above it and then you'll start to see it if you think about what it's asking.

Homework for my homeroom is the meaning exercise for the spelling words. I told them that this is where they either write a sentence or draw a picture for each word on their list.

It was great meeting everyone last night, by the way. Thank you so much for making the effort to come.

We're over the hump now. Hope everyone has an awesome Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Take a Bow for the New Revolution

The kids are reading silently right now before we go out for recess. Earlier, they wrote letters to you, their parents, to be read at Meet the Teacher Night. They will be leaving their journals out tonight and should have the page marked for you to turn to.

Earlier we did some work with maps in Social Studies (maps are always a little bit tedious for some--including me, I will admit). At least we were able to go through and look at the map and discuss the qualities of a map and how to use a legend. This was echoed from a lesson we did in Reading today as well.

As for the rest of Reading, we are currently looking at the short vowel sounds, we're reading about the history of the United States (in particular, the Revolutionary War), and we've read about Paul Revere and John Hancock. I'm currently reading the kids the book Qwerty Stevens: Back in Time With Benjamin Franklin by Dan Gutman.

In Math, we're learning about factors and factor trees, etc. Today, however, we will be taking the beginning of the year Math test so that we can figure out just where we are to get the year started. We are almost done with the beginning of the year testing!

Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight at 7:30 sharp. They cut us off right at 8:15, so we need to get started as close to 7:30 as possible. See you then!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Daily Specials

Forgot to post this anywhere! Your poor kids have been finding out from day to day.

A: Gym
B: Library
C: Computer
D: Art
E: Music

It All Adds Up

I walked the kids through my weekly assignments for Spelling today. Once they get into the groove, it will be totally okay. It's just making a groove that's the difficult part. I told them today that all they need to know is that their definitions and parts of speech are due tomorrow. They should have this written down in their assignment notebook.

The other thing for MY FIFTH GRADE MATH CLASS (this does not apply to four people from my homeroom) is that Study Link 1-3 is due tomorrow.

Here's the Spelling list for this week, just in case it didn't make it home:
  1. adopt
  2. bandage
  3. budget
  4. closet
  5. hollow
  6. special
  7. weapon
  8. whimper
  9. arithmetic
  10. cylinder
  11. success
  12. cattle

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night at 7:30 for Meet the Teacher Night. I'll try not to make it an information overload!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Better Place to Play

How good it feels to have a week under our belts. The kids got a little more used to my routine today, and it was a good feeling in the end of this three day week to establish the classroom and school rules, traditions, and the way things will work. Today we even kept our tradition set a few years back of singing together every Friday at the end of school. This year's weekly song will be Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis, perhaps familiar to all of you whose formative years were in the 1990's, as mine were.

Next week we'll get into the normalcy of Rigby Reads, Everyday Math, Social Studies, etc. For this week, I just had some fun getting to know your kids' personalities and what they like and what they do when they're out of school.

Thank you everyone for a great beginning.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Starting Point Is Everything

Day two has come and gone and it feels like we're hitting the ground running. The kids shared their Bio Bags today (well, three kids forgot theirs, so we will do those tomorrow) and I had fun learning about these kids. We have lacrosse players, jewelry makers, guitarists, swimmers, magicians, dancers, Scouts, softball players and tennis players, people from big families and small families.

One of the things I told these kids yesterday is that my classroom runs as a family. I'll talk more about that on Meet the Teacher Night, but I can see these guys coming together quite easily.

Homework for tonight is their completed goal sheet. I sent them all home. I told them to color them, write their three goals neatly within the goalposts, and to write their name on the crossbar of the goalposts.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Putting Old Heads on Young Shoulders

Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! I hope your children came home today charged up and ready to get this school year underway.

The kids do have two (count' em two) assignments for tomorrow. So if you're wondering what kind of evil teacher assigns homework on the first day, the answer is me. These aren't too rough of assignments, though.
  1. I asked the kids to come up with three goals for this school year. I told them that they needed to discuss these goals with their parents and to come up with their list together. When they come in tomorrow, I will have them transfer these goals onto goal sheets which will look great all together on a bulletin board in the classroom.
  2. The second thing I want the kids to bring in is a Bio Bag. This is just a grocery bag (paper or plastic, I don't care) with three objects in it. The objects must be able to fit in the bag, and the students will be able to share them tomorrow in class.

Assignment notebooks (which your child will need!) are available in the office for $5 each. If you need one, just send the money to school with your child. They're available right now!

Great first day. Tomorrow, we start getting all academic. It's going to be a fantastic school year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Already I Can See It

I'm sure that many of you are reading this shortly after getting the note that went home with your child on the day school started. This is where I will give you the majority of my news, and you should be able to find a link to this page on my CCS website.

It was fun to meet everyone the other night at the Ice Cream Social, and for those of you I missed, well, all I can say is that this is going to be a fantastic year. There are some changes to the 5th grade norm, but I can see already that this is going to be a year of greatness.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grapefruit League

Oh yeah!

Today, I received my class list for this school year. When I walked in, Raelynn told me, "You've got a really good class."

That's always good to hear. I've been regaled all day from various sources that tell me what good kids I have, and needless to say, I am pumped for this school year to get underway. I'm not saying that I'm so happy that I won't enjoy my last couple weeks of summer, but I'm not going to mind going into the school to get work done so that the launch goes smoothly either.

We have a lot of new and returning things in store for this school year, so if you are someone who already knows about this blog from past years, or if you somehow found it linked on my webpage, then welcome to the preseason of the 2012-2013 school year. We're wearing pads to practice at this point, and opening day is August 15th, mixaphorically speaking.

It's going to be a good one!