Thursday, August 29, 2013

Take Courage Tomorrow

Testing update: Friday will be a testing field, that's for sure. However, to soften the blows, I've taken several measures.
  • The Spelling Test tomorrow will happen as normal. We will review the words and their meanings before the test. 
  • I gave the kids copious notes on their Theme Test for tomorrow. They can tell you how that one is going to work!
  • For Math, I gave them a study guide. I don't see it being much harder than the last one. Square numbers, square roots, and prime factorization. 
We had a chance to have part of our Language Arts lesson in the hallway today. We were making lists of the books we'd read, when who walked by other than Dr. Nick Wahl, CCS Superintendent. The kids shared some of their favorite authors and books with Dr. Wahl and he in turn did the same. He said he would pop back in at the end of the year to see if the kids' lists of favorite books had grown.

Man, it it getting warm in the room, so I'm going to have to go now. One more day until a three day weekend! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Welcome to Woodbrook

Mrs. Gaw handed out papers with information today about her art website for Woodbrook. It looks pretty neat. Here's a link, and I will also try to attach a link to the sidebar on this page as well for easy access.

The kids really seem to be loving art this year and enjoying Mrs. Gaw. Welcome to Woodbrook, Mrs. Gaw!

Keeping Cool

Profoundest apologies for not updating yesterday! Between getting kicked out of the computer lab during our test, on-again/off-again air conditioning, and trying to maintain a sense of balance in our day, it was a little hectic. Just like life.

Tonight I will be sending home a writing assignment for the kids, so be on the lookout for that to come home. It is due tomorrow, along with their meaning exercise and a study link for Math.

Let me know if you have any questions. Talk soon!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Family Album

You know, there is one thing I forgot to mention a week ago at Meet the Teacher Night. It hit me as I drove home tonight after hearing some horrible news.

A month ago, almost to the day, when Tonja Weindorf died in the horrific bus accident, it was amazing how everyone came together. At the visitation, there were so many people from my class there to comfort Marta in her time of need.

This is what I meant when I talked about my class being a family. Even if they weren't one at the start of the school year, by the end, they had become one.

Sadly, I say this about four hours after hearing about the tragic death of Doug Gripp. Doug was a 5-1 father. I taught his daughter, Sophia, a few years ago in a class that was a family like few others. His wife, Judy, was a consummate room mom who was always involved in the PTO and volunteered in the library.

My heart, and I'm sure the hearts of many others, goes out to Judy, Sophia, and Isabel with the loss of their husband/father during this time. It's hard to understand. As I've said too many times in the past year, words fail.

That's it.

Words fail.

Strange Days Indeed

The kids seem to be getting used to the daily schedule of the typical fifth grader. I have to admit that this is a big relief to me every year. The first several days of school are completely exhausting. In fact, I came home Friday evening and went to sleep at 8pm, I'm not ashamed to say. I'm ready to have my energy back.

One word of warning for this week: It will feel like we do nothing but test all week. This is just a beginning of the year thing. Not only that, but on Friday we will have a math test, a spelling test, and a theme test. We will be reviewing each of these tests (well, except maybe the spelling...) in class, and they will bring home study guides for each as well before then. After this, the tests should be much more staggered, but yes, Friday will be especially test-heavy due to scheduling constraints.

Final note: There is a call-out for the Girl Scouts on Wednesday August  28, 2013, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. If you want to join but can't come, please email Mrs. Mathew at 

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday's Gone

Tomorrow we will have a spelling test and a math quiz.

The kids also have a "proofread this" page to do for tomorrow--finding capitalization errors within the paragraph.

We had a convocation this afternoon in the gym about being a good friend. It was difficult to hear what the lady was saying, but luckily the fifth graders have been around Woodbrook for several years now and know the lessons well.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Use Your Words

Today we've covered quite a gamut, from a re-reading of a previously better-performed poem about a bear to a discussion about current events (starting next week!) to learning about the origin of the San Francisco 49ers' name. Tonight for homework, the kids will have a meaning exercise due for Spelling--this is where they will either use each word in a sentence or draw an illustration for each word. Today's word of the day is plethora.

On Friday, we will be having a quiz for my homeroom Math class over products of numbers (factor curtains for factor rainbows, for instance) plus their four math vocabulary words (sum, difference, product, and quotient).

Yesterday during Social Studies, we came across the word tributary in our geography lesson. I was trying to figure out with the class if the Latin root tri-, meaning "three" of course, factored into that word. We couldn't decide how it could work. I looked it up and found out that it was actually the stem trib-, which means "to join a larger body", which of course makes more sense. Other examples the kids came up with: tribe and contribute. I love etymology!

For Math, my class will have Study Link 1.6 and Math Boxes 1.5 for homework tonight.

Great to see you all here last night. My class was covered 100%! Very cool.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mapping Futures

We continue to establish our daily routines and procedures as we progress through the school year. We're working on getting quiet when it's time to get quiet and setting a good example for the kids from the life skills class when they come in for silent reading time.

Tomorrow the students in MY math class have Study Link 1.5 due. Also, I told the kids to bring in photographs, magazine pictures, whatever signifies them as being who they are. We will spend some time tomorrow or Thursday decorating the covers to our journals.

Also, I gave them time today to work in their white pages (Social Studies), but if they didn't finish pages 2 and 4, that is due tomorrow. Lastly, their Spelling 3x each is due tomorrow.

Hope to see everyone here tonight at 7:30!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Spelling List 8/19/13

Here's your spelling list for the week of 8/19-8/23:
  1. adopt
  2. bandage
  3. budget
  4. closet
  5. hollow
  6. rapid
  7. rustic
  8. special
  9. weapon
  10. whimper
  11. cylinder
  12. success 
Our Latin stem this week is tri-, as in triangle, tripod, and tricycle

Today's word of the day is valor.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Regularly Scheduled Programming

There is no homework for tomorrow. I told the kids that this was a very rare Thursday indeed, but I did not end up having them fill out their assignment notebooks because we ran out of time at the end of the day and there was none anyway. By the way, assignment notebooks are $5 and available in the office in case you don't have one yet. They are a much-needed item for the fifth grade.

Today the students received their sheets about the musical this year. Looks like it should be a good one! We also discussed the Veterans' Day program this year--I told them that we would not wait until November to start on that one as I have done in the past.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

True North

Awesome first day!

Great group of kids. Happy to be doing what I do. I look forward to meeting everyone next Tuesday night at Meet the Teacher Night at 7:30pm.

The first day of school is always so much info-dump. I think I got most of the stuff out that I wanted them to know, though. 

I'm sure the kids have told you that they have TWO things to do tonight for their homework:
  1. Bring in a Bio Bag, a grocery bag containing three items of significance to their lives that will help me find out more about them that they will share with the class.
  2. Write down their three goals for the school year on their goal sheets. 
Thanks. Hope everyone had a fantastic first day of school. 

To all former students reading in, I hope your first day was awesome as well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Because Spidey Cares About Cleanliness

Remember all that Spider-Man and Avengers body wash I tried to get people to buy in the auction at the end of the school year? And no one wanted it? Well it's going to be my sink soap this year, I decided. Hands are a part of the body, so it should work, right? If not, the hand sanitizer is right there.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Thought Before Middle School

Don’t let yourself get caught up in popularity contests. When you care
about winning a popularity contest, or maintaining some kind of popular
status, you make pleasing other people more important than being true to

“One of the keys to happiness is not caring about popularity contests, or
worrying about what THEY will think. THEY don’t know anything about who
you are inside, THEY don’t care about who you are when you wake up
terrified in the middle of the night, or struggle just to get to the end
of the day. THEY aren’t worth your time and energy, so don’t put your
sense of self worth and control of your happiness into their hands.

“Be kind. Be honest. Work hard. Speak up. Be honorable. Be silly. Be you.”

                                                                                                 --Wil Wheaton

Friday, August 2, 2013

Meal Train

Here is Mrs. Baldwin's email address: She is coordinating the meal train for the Weindorfs. Send her an message if you can help them out sometime over the next few weeks.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


It was so neat to see so many people from my class today there for Marta. I would list them here, but I don't know who all was there that I didn't see or came after I left. It was really touching to see the 5-1 family come together just like a...well, family, when it comes to one of our own who is hurting.

It clearly meant a lot to Marta, and it meant a lot to me too just to see so many there.

I hope you people never change. Love you guys.