Thursday, February 28, 2013

If It Weren't for You Meddling Kids

By the way, everyone, I want to extend my personal apologies for Math this week. During Math class, we've had many people gone for stage crew preparing for tomorrow's first and second grade program. We mostly did review stuff while at the same time trying to give an overview of the current chapter. I have decided against giving them a quiz tomorrow, as I think I said below (?).

Here's the "I feel old" idea from today. While reading a story in our reading books about Kristi Yamaguchi, I told the kids that she was outshone during the 1994 Winter Olympics, where she earned herself a silver medal, by the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal. I told them that 1994 was a weird year for sports because that was the same year the O.J. Simpson thing happened. One kid said, "Who's O.J. Simpson?" I realized that he was far from being the only one who didn't know who O.J. was. I mean, Nick knew, but Nick knows everything regarding history, athletes, and rock music, and O.J. is at least two of those things. I was also impressed by Amaya's knowledge of the "ill-fitting glove" in the courtroom. I realized how absurd it sounded when I told them about the low-speed chase down the highway.

The Simpson case was seven years before these kids were even born.

So this is how my teachers felt when they told us about Kennedy or the Beatles. I remember thinking how ancient that sounded at the time.

Bowling for Woodbrook

Hey, everyone! First off, I want to wish Harry Zhou and Kavya Harish good luck on the Math Bowl this evening! They will be representing 5-1 as Math Bowl contestants this afternoon. Best of luck to them as they calculate along with Mr. Vahle and the rest of the Woodbrook Math Bowl Team.

Secondly, the kids don't have a typical workload tonight, and they won't for the first half of next week, either. But I told them I'm going to expect some pretty lofty grades on tomorrow's spelling test as a result.

Hope everyone has had a good week. Hard to believe it's almost over.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I received a great pamphlet on a Writing Camp at Butler this summer. See the link here if you're interested in it.

We learned about putting commas between double adjectives today--sometimes you do; sometimes you don't. See a piece of homework come home on that this evening.

Spelling is due tomorrow also--3x each, that is.

Finally, there is a page of Math that the kids have due tomorrow. Remember that to find the area of a triangle, you multiply the base times the height and divide it in half. The kids have actually written the formula A=bh*1/2 in their Mathcabulary books.

Have an awesome day.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mammoth Nation

Spelling List for 2/5-3/1/13
(This one seems a little random, but I just do what  I'm told...)


Being Generally Positive As a Balance

Hey, everyone! After the kind of Friday and the rest of the weekend I had, it feels like it's been forever since I've posted here. Last week we passed my 1000th post on this blog. Seems like a lot, but when you consider the fact that I started this out in 2006, it's not that many. Certainly they're not quite as sparse as they used to be.

This week we will have a Spelling test (the list will come home tonight--definitions due tomorrow), and hopefully a Math test (or pumped-up quiz) on Friday. That's what I know for now.

Next week is ISTEP. I told the kids today that there are all kinds of very important and very strict guidelines on this test. Some of the restrictions and requirements may seem a little bit silly, but they must be followed to the letter. I talked to the kids today about making sure they do their best on their test, that they get enough sleep, and that they go to the bathroom BEFORE the test begins. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter of Discontent

The first round of presentations for the state projects were today and the kids did great. Hopefully tomorrow's will be just as good. I feel like that project became very cumbersome the more it was drawn out, so I'm being a little lenient with the grades as long as they followed the guidelines they were given in writing two or three times.

In Math today, we did some area of a triangle and some multiplication of fractions. I have yet to take a look at their exit slips, but they seemed to get it for the most part.

Tomorrow we will have a Theme Test for Reading and a Caesar's English quiz. Everyone remember to wear your thinking caps.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's Cold Outside, So Stay In With Math

Just a quickie regarding the homework tonight: for Math, they have to do the odd numbered problems, but not including #1 or #27. Yes, they have to do the story problem at the end. It won't hurt you, guys, come on now.

As for Social Studies, the answers are all right there in Chapter 9. Answer the questions in the boxes accordingly.

Take care! Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Future Bearing Down

Well, this week got off to kind of a slow start. But that's okay sometimes, especially after a whirlwind like last week. We did get into our Social Studies chapter a bit and they received a new Caesar's English list today. Most of what the kids did in Colonial Days more than covers this chapter for Social Studies, so we're just going to read through this one in a few days. Next chapter is where we get to the meat of the American Revolution. As for Caesar and his English, we will be having a quiz over those five roots this Friday.

The robots looked great as they came in today, by the way.

FYI: I will be gone on Thursday afternoon for a conference for the Common Core Standards. I try to be out of the classroom as little as possible, but this is a must for all teachers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Almost Colossus

One thing the kids have over the three-day weekend, if they haven't already completed it, is the Human Systems Design Project. They have a Criterion page (with Criterion 1 and Criterion 2) and a rubric page. We talked on Wednesday at length about what the kids will need to do in order to get a good grade on this one. They will want to make sure that their robot illustration shows the different joints and that they're labeled well. They also need to make it clear to me that they understand the ideas needed at a secure level. (See the rubric to get an idea of what is meant by this. We talked about it in class also.) I had them take home their Science journals, so that should help them out.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Candy Hearts

After school today, Mr. Warriner got to experience the deafening quiet of the classroom right after the kids are gone at the end of the day. He had come back for the Valentine's Party, thrown by our very own Mrs. Katsis, Mrs. White, Mrs. Pletcher, and Mrs. Freeman. We played bingo, we played music, and we went hog wild on candy. Thank you, ladies (+Mr. Warriner), for helping us have an awesome afternoon.

Hope you all have an awesome Valentine's Thursday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Time in a Bottle

Tomorrow is the Valentine's Day Party. I need to get mine finished tonight! The bags have been made and are standing at the front of the room.

Also due tomorrow: The states projects should be almost finished, but the finishing touches are to be put on prior to the kids walking in tomorrow. They have five (FIVE) problems due for Math tomorrow. And a meaning exercise.

That's about it for now. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Are things ever busy around the 5-1 classroom.
  • The state projects have gone home and are due back by Thursday. 
  • We discussed the requirements for the robot project, and those high-quality drawings complete with diagrammed explanations of what the robot can do and what its limitations are. These are due next Tuesday. 
Those are the biggies. There is always 3x each due tomorrow (we went over the trickier abbreviations today), and they do have two things to do for Math. One is the Study Link. They struggled with this more than I thought they would.

Here's a helpful video:

The other thing for Math is a page where they have to copy down the answers to some of their Math Boxes. Many of them already have this handed in. 

Friday is wear red day. This is for the high school dance marathon to raise money for Riley Hospital, so if you have some loose change at home, scoop it up and bring it in that day to help the high school as they boogie down for charity.

A huge thanks goes out to Mark Masuoka, who brought in a King Cake for me along with a nicely written explanation of the historical reason behind Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and Lent. I read it to the class and they convinced me to give up soda for Lent. I tried to get by with only giving up Diet Mountain Dew, but they weren't quite buying that. Coffee, you've always been a very close friend to me. Now you're going to have to really step up your game to get me through.

Speaking of holidays, Happy Chinese New Year! It is the Year of the Snake, reported Bobby Considine yesterday. Glad he was there to tell us, because I couldn't read what year it was on my Chinese calendar because, well, it was written in Chinese.

Everyone remember to add Kevin, Jack, and Sky to your Valentine's lists. I told the kids that if they were already finished with theirs, I would have some extras for them to sign. 

Hope everyone has a Terrific Tuesday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why Is Abbreviation Such a Long Word?

Here's the Spelling list for this week. I told the kids that I'd post it right away. It's weird.
  1. cm
  2. dept.
  3. Inc.
  4. Jr.
  5. lb
  6. oz
  7. Pkwy.
  8. tsp
  9. vs.
  10. yd
  11. etc.
  12. misc.
They may need your help with some of these!

Thanks. More later. Busy week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Picture Pages

Don't forget that MONDAY is the day when yearbook pictures will be taken for the various clubs around Woodbrook.

I forgot to give the kids their bookmarks today also. Sorry about that! I will hand them out on Monday.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll post on Sunday (hopefully) about next week. Should be another busy one.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A More Extensive Rundown

Here are some more bits of business for 5-1 and/or Woodbrook over all:
  • The Valentine's Day parties are next Thursday (Valentine's Day) after lunch. Thank you to Mrs. Katsis and Mrs. White for putting this together for us. 
  • The next Monday, on Presidents Day (February 18th), Woodbrook will be having an ice skating party. I honestly just realized that I have no idea where this is. The Carmel Ice Skadium, I would assume? Check with the front office for details.
  • Family Fitness Night is on February 22nd. That's a Friday night, and if you're interested in learning a little karate action from yours truly (as well as many other fitness stations), then bring the whole family out that night. And I told the kids, no, they are not allowed to just hang out at karate all night. (As if they would be able to handle that anyway!)
  • Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation is offering new enrichment classes to all students, not just those who go to the after school program. There will be classes with golf instruction, 3-D drawing [ummm...I may have to go check that one out, because I don't even get how that would work], and chess. Should be pretty sweet.
  • Please remember that ISTEP testing will be March 4-13 for the first round, and April 29-May 8 for the second round. We don't allow any volunteers in the building during this time. 
  • However, they are currently looking for another library volunteer. If you're interested, call the school, extension 1810. 
  • Last but not least, if you're looking forward to the Mane Event as much as we all are, it is on Saturday, March 23rd, from 11am-3pm.


As you can see, we had a lot of fun on Colonial Days. Of course, the kids were a little saddened after it turned out to be a shortened day because of the weather, but I told them that we would try to reschedule the square dancing for another day down the road.

Huge thanks go out to Mrs. Freeman, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. White, Mrs. Sanders, Mrs. Pletcher, Mrs. Pippen, Mrs. Ohrvall, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Katsis, and Mrs. Masuoka. And while we're at it, thanks to Mrs. Euler, Mrs. Ryan, and Mrs. Wisdorf--all for making this day possible for our students.

Elephantine Duplication Strategy

Here are the kids working on their state projects yesterday. I still have the Colonial Days pictures yet to upload.

It's been an interesting week around here. Trips into outer space, one where we barely got past the event horizon of a black hole, a visit from a skeleton so we could observe his joints, scheduling the classes for middle school, and after that the kids came back to write up an entry for the bulletin board outside the classroom for Mr. Warriner about what they're excited about for next year. We've taken wagon trails west, we've taken trips to various resorts in their individual states. This is all a part of the chaotic (yet hopefully educational) time between winter break and spring break. I call this period The Long Now.

A couple of things before I have to scat: MONDAY is going to be picture day for all of our clubs and stuff like that for school. Student Council, choir, orff, Math Bowl, Spell Bowl; I imagine stage crew? Recycling club? Gardening club?

Tests Friday: Spelling, Theme 10 for reading, and Math (more of an extended quiz). They also have something due for Social Studies that same day.

As I wind down at home tonight, I'll try to get those Colonial Day pictures up that I am remiss in posting. Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Orbital Speed Is Not Constant

I loved the way the trip to the planetarium went today. Kids in Carmel don't realize how lucky we are to have a big planetarium right here in our town. Mr. Keith Turner, astronomy teacher at the high school, walked the kids through a really well-organized and interactive presentation today. I was really happy with my students' answers to his questions also.

This morning was Jump Rope for Heart, and I am exceedingly proud of my students for raising the most money in the fifth grade. Word is still out as to whether or not my class raised the most in the whole school. If so, we will get another PE class sometime in the next few weeks.

Here are some bullets for the rest of the week:
  • Tomorrow is our scheduling with Clay Middle for next year. Last year we were the Guinea pigs at the beginning of the day (we're at the start again tomorrow) and there were some connectivity issues going on with the computers. 
  • Tomorrow night is also Pizza Night at Cool River Pizza. Support the PTO by visiting guest servers Mrs. Stemnock and Miss Hume from the fifth grade! (They haven't asked me to do this in several years now, oddly enough. Wonder if I was unsanitary or something last time...)
  • Thursday is the Shake-Out Drill. In other words, an earthquake drill.
That's all for now. I have photos to post!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wonders of Technology

We had a little bit of a blog blockage snafu over the weekend. A temporary glitch in the computer systems here at WB kept me from being able to update this page on Friday right after school, and a full weekend kept me from being able to update it during that time. Soon I will post the pictures from Colonial Days.

I wanted to share that, much like we had Miss Lauren last semester as our cadet teacher from Carmel High School, this spring we have Mr. Warriner. Mr. Warriner is no stranger to Woodbrook either. He went here all throughout his grade school days, and his sister, Madeline, was in Mrs. Stemnock's class next door just two years ago. Mr. Warriner is a senior this year, and as of right now undecided for where he is going to college next year.

Here's the spelling list for this week. It's a pretty easy one over contractions. We already did our definitions in class today, but 3x each is due tomorrow.
  1. couldn't
  2. didn't
  3. hadn't
  4. hasn't
  5. I'm
  6. they're
  7. we'd
  8. weren't
  9. who's
  10. won't
  11. needn't
  12. there's
Remember that tomorrow is our trip to the planetarium. The two classes who went today came home and said that they were finished really early, so you can probably count on them being gone between 9:15 and 10:45/10:50 instead of 9:15-11:15 as previously announced.

That's all for now. Glad to be back online.