Friday, May 31, 2013

The Bunch

Okay, here we go. Now the infamous picture of the asparagus can live on forever. I drew it up on the board sometime last fall as a part of a math story problem about percentage discounts, we decided to try to leave it up there for the rest of the school year. Yesterday the time came to erase it, and I was laughing because it was actually kind of hard to erase a drawing of asparagus of all things.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

At Least Not Today

That was harder than I thought.

The picture of the asparagus was being awfully fussy right now. I'll try posting it from home.

It was a tearful afternoon around here, doggone it. I miss everyone already.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Passage of a Few People Through a Short Space in Time

Here's the link from today's slide show.

Thanks to everyone who helped out today, and a great big thank you to Mrs. Gollmer, who put the slide show together. Well done. Not sure there were too many dry eyes when it was over.

Tomorrow have the kids bring in a grocery bag to take their stuff home.

Doggone it, I'm gonna be bummed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We Are 5-1

Here's my crew from today. Love these kids.

Thank you so much to parents who showed up sometime during the day to cheer your kids to victory. Please let me know if I miss anyone I missed (tried to keep a checklist). Thank you to Mrs. Belcher, Mrs. Masuoka, Mrs. Moore (and bro Justin), Mrs. Ohrvall, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Pippen, Mrs. Pletcher (who took the photo above--thanks), Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Sanders, Mrs. Simpson, Mr. White, and Mrs. Wright. An especially big thank you to Mr. Page, who manned my clipboard morning.

Good sports all around. I expect nothing less from this crew.

Today we bid an early farewell to Harry, who is taking a trip to China for three weeks. Have fun over there, Harry!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Giving Our Opponents the Blue Rinse

Reminder: Tomorrow is Track and Field Day! Our color is BLUE. The kids know to come prepared to work up a sweat and have a great day doing it. I am still on the lookout for parent volunteers! Normally I am happily surprised with many folks coming out for the big day, so if you're even thinking about coming over tomorrow, please do. I'm such a dork, but I already have everything I'm going to wear all picked out. Yes, this is the one day per year when I go to bed the night before already knowing what I will wear the next day.

Another thing: The kids have asked me about bringing things in for a big auction we're going to be having on Wednesday. The day before the last day of school,  we will be holding an auction for many items using their tickets. Many of them have been saving up and looking forward to this. I've already gone shopping to get them some things to bid on, but what I'm looking for is bottles of pop, candy bars, junk food, McDonald's prizes, junk you were going to toss out, etc. Send it in! It would be great if we could have a variety of prizes to choose from. I had a lot of fun today at the dollar store buying up junk, it would be awesome to have even more.

Thanks again. And I will see you all tomorrow...right? (Ha. Hopeful thinking.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Marathon Man

This is Mark, who completed his complete Marathon today--twenty-six miles all run at recess! He made it his goal to do this, he came in and wrote down his mileage every day, and it's all added up. He is the only fifth grader to do this! I'm so proud that it was Mark! Way to go, man! We're all really proud of you.

Track & Field

Next Tuesday is Track and Field Day! Wear BLUE that day, Mr. Carter's class! Remember to wear BLUE. We will have lunch as normal in the cafeteria, so no need for a sack lunch unless you want to bring one. Sunscreen too!

Parents, I can use a few volunteers that day. Please come if possible--it's your kid's last Track and Field at Woodbrook. Come share it with us!

The Perfect Means to an End

Between doing the end of year Math test and experiencing Lewis and Clark's journey through the eyes of documentarian Ken Burns, it's been a pretty good day so far. Nothing horrible, and the kids were pretty patient for the most part this morning while we were getting logged on for the Math test. Hopefully this afternoon will go equally smoothly.

I did get it passed to attend at least half of the Kindy 500 this afternoon. I didn't think it fair for the kids to be penalized just because that's when we had our computer lab time scheduled for the Math test. This Math test is used mainly just to see whether or not a child is ready to be passed on to seventh grade math next year instead of sixth grade, and it's just one of many factors that goes into that decision.

Look for yearbooks to come home today. I'm going to wait until the end of the day to hand them out. Also, you will be receiving letters about your child's ISTEP results and how to acquire the information online. Search your child's backpack if they don't hand it to you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Into the Great Wide Open

Hello, everyone!

As the kids may or may not have told you today, I had a meeting to attend in the afternoon and therefore could not be in school for the last half of the day. This turned out to be better than I thought it would be. It really seems that we're heading in the right direction with what's around the bend as far as the district-wide curriculum and standards are doing.

I know this may ring empty to you all right now at the end of the school year, but the good news is that it will go throughout the grades for the foreseeable future. Things are looking good for Carmel.

I haven't been back to the school to see what Mrs. Hynes said, but I do know she loves my class, so I'm sure they all had a great day.

By this time tomorrow night, we should see the grades completely updated and caught up to the present. I figured out the glitch this morning (thank you, Mrs. Callahan!) and everything should be corrected and fixed by tomorrow at this time.

Hope you all had a great day as well.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'll Never Be Your Beast of Burden

For the record, everyone, I've been working since I got home (about an hour and a half ago) to get the grades updated from here, but my computer or Power Teacher or whatever just isn't having it. Sorry about that! It recently came to my attention that the grades weren't showing up. I did finally get Math fixed today, but then saved the rest until I got home (thank goodness they're still in there, it just takes some work to get them to show). Unfortunately, it's not working so well on this laptop.

Anyway, remember tomorrow to have a sack lunch that is completely disposable. It's Ruth Lilly Day!

The kids have really been looking forward to this. (Haha...)

The Last Spelling List

Whew. Well, here's the spelling list for this week. I told the kids that if they brought in their definitions tomorrow completed, they would get five tickets. The theme is irregular verbs. Here we go:


More later!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Camouflage and Other Adaptations

There is a big Science test tomorrow! We will be reviewing the material once more before the test, but I gave them most of the notes on Monday and the last smidgen on Tuesday and told them to start studying Monday night. I know one or two who are going to need to be having quite a session tonight, but it's all stuff we've talked about in class and learned first hand through our chameleons or anoles, our crickets, our grass, and to a limited extent, our earthworms.

Also, bookmarks, study link 11.7, and there is also a spelling test tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Until We See the Shore

The kids have now (or have been assigned to finish) their peer editing on their personal narratives. Many of these have already been completed, but we "ran out of time" and had to stop the editing process. If they haven't completed this, they need to do this for homework tonight.

We also read in Social Studies most of a chapter about the Manifest Destiny, also known as the Westward Expansion. This is one of my favorite parts of history (aren't they all?). Over the next few days, we will start watching a Ken Burns documentary about Lewis and Clark's journey west. It's a really good one--and any fan of documentaries knows the name Ken Burns.

Our Track and Field Day is on May 28th, and our class color is blue. Bring a sack lunch that day; we will probably be eating outside. I can always use a few parents to help out with the clipboards and score keeping.

Let's not forget Ruth Lilly--the field trip to that beloved Health Education Center downtown Indy is coming up next Tuesday. If your child hasn't had their permission slip signed yet, please get that back to us ASAP. Sack lunch for that day too. Make sure you can throw away the whole thing, so don't send your child's lunch in a Gucci bag or anything like that.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Twin of Infinity

We are going to have a Science test on Friday. We finished filling out our study guides today in class, and they should have come home tonight with the kids. Other homework includes our 3x each for spelling words (see list below), a worksheet for Math, and reading for 20 minutes.

Tomorrow we will be doing our peer editing for our rough draft of our writing assignment amongst other things. I've told the kids that we can't really afford to have "fun day" any time until the official ones. We have things that have to get done. I try to make it as fun as possible as long as they cooperate!

Our track and field day is two weeks from today. Notes went home this afternoon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Doubled Up

Here's the Spelling List if you didn't grab one on your way out the door:
  • chatting
  • refilled
  • equipped
  • mopped
  • omitted
  • referred
  • scarred
  • swimming
  • thinnest
  • winning
  • forbidden
  • practically
Great day today. Did some good old-fashioned review and learned about our respiratory system.

Tomorrow we're being visited by the Indianapolis Symphony. 

Going the Distance

Congratulations to Mr. Mark Masuoka for completing a half marathon in total during recess over the past few weeks. Mark has been keeping track of the laps he has run (and I've kept him honest--he's really doing them!) during recess ever since the challenge started. As far as I can tell, he is the only one doing this in the whole fifth grade.

We all know who will have the healthiest heart in the fifth grade! We're proud of you, Mark.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Greatest Kind

This is the one of the best kinds of teacher appreciation.

Thanks, everyone, for a week full of feeling like the job I do is appreciated. I didn't really doubt it, but it's still great to feel it expressly. I'm one lucky man.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rumble Fish

We finished things up with our owl pellets and our posters in Social Studies today. We got through a good lesson in during Math class on the volume of cylinders.

Tomorrow we will have Theme Test 15 (the penultimate one!), a spelling test, and that's it as far as tests and quizzes go. I feel better about the Math quiz from today than I did their previous one. That one still gives me nightmares.

Hope everyone has had a great week--not sure where it went.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fever Pitch

And by the way, THANK YOU for not sending me flowers today. As a result, my eyes and sinuses were only slightly bothered by the presence of so much pollen in the building.

Thanks so much for the cupcakes, candy bars, popcorn, classroom supplies, and everything I've received this week already. I even received some hand-written letters that have already made their way into my binder.

Tying the Loose Ends Into a Gordian Knot

Today we've been wrapping up a lot of loose ends, and trying our hardest to prepare for what comes next. The kids only thought they were finished with testing, but we did the first section of our Rigby Reads end of the year test today in the library, and we will do the second part tomorrow during computer class. We also did our beloved Dibels test today for reading in class today.

The kids worked on their posters for Social Studies (the three branches of government plus the Bill of Rights) today and picked at their owl pellets once again this morning. My hope is that they will be able to finish both of those projects off tomorrow.

And that's about all for now. Hope you are all having a great week thus far. We're over the hump now. Not sure where the weeks are going.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We All Need a Champion

Compound Words

Here you go, Luke. As promised:
  • barefoot
  • household
  • keyboard
  • newscast
  • salesperson
  • southwest
  • teammate
  • teaspoon
  • touchdown
  • kickball
  • pancake
  • bedroom

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Failure of Formulas

First of all, thank you to those who showed me appreciation today in some way. I had kids asking me what I want for teacher appreciation week. I told them I want to see their bright smiling faces each day when they walk in. They weren't satisfied with that. When pressed, I told them to make me a card or write me a letter. I have a binder at my house where I keep every letter a student has ever written to me. Those are the best I could ask for. 

Today we took the penultimate chapter of our ISTEP testing saga. We're all excited about the end of testing, and the kids are all giddy because tomorrow night we get to have homework again! Don't freak out, though, because I will make sure it is as manageable as possible.

Oh, and one more Teacher Appreciation Week request: I have nasty pollen allergies and so does half of the class. In the past, they've said to bring in flowers one day. I will feel truly appreciated if they do not bring in flowers!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Driving Sideways

Well, we're almost back on track with ISTEP. We're only one day behind as a whole grade level at this point, so all seems to have righted itself. We did a lot of work this morning, we picked away at the fur in our owl pellets, and this afternoon we did a math packet in groups regarding a man's orange orchard.

To say our week was topsy-turvy would be a little bit of an understatement, but it all seems better now.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

So Make the Best of This Test and Don't Ask Why

We really had a pretty good morning. I decided yesterday that amidst the chaos of ISTEP uncertainty, that I would front-load the day by reading from the Social Studies book (which led to a fantastic discussion about conscientious objectors and the grey area that the Vietnam War remains), we took a look at the food chains on a video, diagrammed one of the lower parts of a food chain by drawing and labeling the anatomy of an earthworm, and the kids finished up their friendly letters and began writing their personal narratives.

Then I turned them loose and gave them time to get all of these things done. In there somewhere, we stopped everything and took the ISTEP test. Now we're smooth sailing for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mayday! Mayday!

It looks like tomorrow we will be another odd timing issue for ISTEP. Right now, the plan is to have us test from 10:15-11:15, but that could easily change.

The good news is that we did run on a "normal" schedule today!

Happy Mayday, everyone!