Thursday, October 31, 2013


Tomorrow we will have the States and Capitals quiz for the South (I had very few takers for the extra maps in the back of the room). We will also have a spelling test as well, and my math class has Study Link 5.3 tonight.

What Kind of Spooky Thing Are You?


This is the first panoramic photo I've ever taken. I like it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Well, the musical looked fantastic this morning. I'm sure it will look awesome this afternoon and this evening as well. I will post some pictures here on the blog later on after I've sent them from my phone to my computer.

I want to take this opportunity to wish Dominick Baier Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Dominick, known in the musical as inventor Robert Fulton, is also a special guest star in Grammar City Limits, because he was the first to ask. Hope you have a fantastic day--I hope you get to blow out the candles soon.

The States and Capitals test has been postponed. We will study in class before taking it, don't worry.

The speeches continue to impress! And we even got some Social Studies in today. We're actually having a little fun with the explorers and investigating what they were all about. Their contributions are vast, but as heroes, some of them come up a little more human than kindergarten history would have had them believe.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vanishing Points

The kids' projects have been great. I love seeing them present what they've come up with to the class. It has been a pretty crazy time in class the last couple days. One thing I would highly recommend is that the kids get started on their writing assignment tonight, because tomorrow night is the performance of their play, and Thursday is Halloween. So to avoid having a costumed child in tears working on their writing assignment on Thursday evening, go ahead and have them take it out and read through it tonight and maybe get started writing it. I gave them their "cheat sheet" that will help them know exactly what it will be graded on. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Trouble and the Strife

Here's this week's spelling list:


I promise this list didn't come from my head; there are a lot of Negative Nellies in that bunch.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pardon Today's Infodump

The fifth grade musical on Wednesday (old news here) at 7pm (there's the new part). Everyone received their paper about the fact that Mrs. Melchi is video recording it as always, and also as always, those are available for sale. Have the kids get to school at 6:30 (not before, as they won't be allowed through to the classroom areas).

I think that's all I know on the matter. 

Fun and Fundraiser

Tickets on Sale for the PTO Parent’s Night Auction Nov. 2
Our PTO Parent’s Night Auction on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 at Brookshire Golf Club! Your ticket order forms should have come home in backpacks last week! There are extras in the Woodbrook Main Office if you need another. Also, click here for addi-tional copies of the ticket order form.
If you’ve never been before, this is the year to get started on this tradition! If you HAVE been before, then please come again…we’ll have all of your old favorites plus some new items! We will have live music, appetizers, desserts, and a full cash bar. Along with all this we will have our Silent and Live Auctions.

We have some awesome Live Auction items including an up-to-14-night European Celebrity Cruise for 2! We also have some GREAT items in our Silent Auction, too. Check out the top 10 reasons to attend below to get an idea of the types and price range of items we have to offer. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to support our school…MANY packages start at $20 and some even less! You can even just come and enjoy an evening out and meet other Woodbrook Families and Teachers!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend

10. Something for EVERYONE…many Auction Items start at only $20…some even LESS

9. Live Music by Circuit Thursday

8. Full Ca$h Bar

7. Woodbrook Teacher auction items (Your kids will love!) and Class Projects for years of memories

6. So close you can WALK!! Great Location at the Brookshire Golf Club.

5. Great time out with friends, Teachers, and other Woodbrook parents!

4. Door Prize Give-A-Ways

3. Overnight Getaways, VIP parking, and more!

2. 100% of Auction proceeds benefit Student Programs and Teacher Grants

1. A European Cruise for 2 on will be awarded to the high est bidder. Recipient may choose from select 7-14 night 2014 European sailing dates.

Five Times Five

Here is this week's presentation schedule for the project. See the grading rubric from last Tuesday's post.

Monday: Katelyn, Kaitlyn, Lucas C., Shoji, James

Tuesday: Madi, Corbin, Eva, Lucas L., Grant

Wednesday: Dominick, Reed, Billy, Jenna, Nick

Thursday: Jack, Emma, Lara, Catherine, Kinsen

Friday: Qaliya, Griffin, Evan, Mitchel, Kaiya

Busy Times Just Ahead

Pay attention this week, because there will be many reminders and announcements throughout. The first is that your child's procedural (how-to) speech is one day this week. They all wrote down their own. The ones who go on Thursday (the day after the fifth grade musical) and Friday (the day after Halloween) all volunteered for those spots, by the way.

The fifth grade musical, as I said, is on Wednesday night. Hopefully you all know the time, because on the Woodbrook calendar, it just says "TBA". I'll try and track that down and post it here ASAP.

YIKES! I just realized while looking at that calendar that Veterans' Day is in two weeks. This can only mean one thing for 5-1; we need to get rocking and decide who's going to do what and get it knocked out.

More to come.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Here are today's bullet points:
  • For tomorrow, the students have a Social Studies take-home test for tomorrow, and they also need to have their Southern states and capitals filled in on their big sheet of paper. We got a few done in class, but it shouldn't take long to get the rest of them filled in.
  • The states and capitals quiz over that region is next Wednesday.
  • Tomorrow we are going to watch Wreck-It Ralph as a reward for the kids' behavior for first quarter. They didn't like my other two choices.
  • Tomorrow we will be having a math test just over division. Chapter four wasn't really very meaty, but many kids struggle a little bit with long division, so it lets that breathe a little bit. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good Cause; Great Stuff

Attention Woodbrook!!  The Scholastic Book Fair is headed our way!  The Scholastic Book Fair will be taking place at Woodbrook Elementary, in the Library, from November 11th to November 15th. 

Everyone is invited to the Book Fair featuring the theme:  Reading Oasis: A Cool Place to Discover Hot Books!  Journey back to Ancient Egypt to an oasis overflowing with fun, engaging, and affordable books kids want to read.  In addition, check out the “Classroom Wish List” located at the Book Fair to see what books your teacher would like to add to his/her classroom library.

Book Fair Dates:            November 11th to November 15th

Shopping Hours:           Monday - Friday
                                      8:20 am to 2:30 pm
                                      *All students will have the opportunity to visit t© 2013 Scholastic Inc. 10921 • 131400he Book Fair at                                  least once with their class during Media time        

Special Event:                Family Night
                                      Tuesday, November 12th
                                      5 to 8 pm

If you’re all booked up during Book Fair week, no problem!  You can still participate by visiting the Book Fair online at  Our Online Fair is available for an extended time from November 7th to November 19th.  Books ordered online are expected to be delivered to your child’s classroom 7-10 days after the Online Fair ends.

Come visit the Book Fair and see what great books you can discover!  All purchases benefit Woodbrook, so please help make this our most historic Book Fair ever!  Don’t forget that books make great gifts, and the holidays are right around the corner.  We hope to see you there!

Image Versus Substance

Welcome back from fall break! Here's the deal:
  • Next week, students will be giving their procedural speeches. Today I gave the students their rubrics for how these will be graded. Tomorrow we will talk about their notecards and how to put just the main ideas on them.
  • We will have a Math test on Friday. This is just over division. The only tricky part may be interpreting the decimal. See tonight's study link for more information on that front.
  • Here's the rubric from the aforementioned procedural project:
    Procedural Speech Project
    Grading Rubric

    _____ 5 points     Introduction: I have a clear introduction which tells what is being taught. If this is something that your classmates may not have heard of, then explain what it is before going on.
    _____ 5 points    Materials Listed: At the beginning, I lay out and say aloud all of the materials we would need if we were going to make this on our own.
    _____ 15 points    Steps Explained: Each step is clearly identified and demonstrated individually for the audience members.
    _____ 5 points    Conclusion: I showed my audience the finished product and wrapped up my speech without saying, “I’m done.”
    _____ 5 points    Audible Voice: I spoke clearly and was easily heard by my audience members without yelling.
    _____ 5 points    Eye Contact: I looked at my audience when it was not necessary for me to look at the project I was creating.

Just Say No

Red Ribbon Week at Woodbrook Oct. 22-25

The National Red Ribbon Campaign, sponsored by the National Family Partnership takes place every October to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a DRUG-FREE AMERICA.

Woodbrook will participate in the campaign Oct. 22—25 and students are encouraged to show their support through the following school spirit days.

Tuesday: Say Peace Out To Drugs & Bullies : Wear Tye Dye
Wednesday : Shade Out Drugs & Bullies : Wear sunglasses
Thursday : Vote for your future…be drug free : Wear Red, White & Blue
Friday: One School One Goal Bully & Drug Free : WB Spirit wear

This is for THIS week! I told the kids today that I don't have any tie-dye, but I will dress accordingly for the rest of the days. Doesn't seem like it should be that hard.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shaken, Not Stirred

Today was the Great American Shake-Out, and your kids did very nicely with the earthquake drill as well as the fire drill that came immediately after.

We also welcomed Shoji back today. He took a hit to the face with a baseball over the weekend and we are all really happy that he is back with us and feeling better.

I told the kids that I would give them their rubrics for their procedural speeches next week. Their speeches will be given the week after that, during the week of October 28-November 1.

Hope everyone has an awesome fall break. Drink some cider and take a hayride to relaxing times.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Road Ahead Was Blue

Thursday is the day for Colts Blue! I was supposed to remind the kids of that at the end of the day today. We did talk about it earlier, but just in case anyone forgot (because I almost did): WEAR COLTS BLUE ON THURSDAY!

I am not going to wear orange tomorrow, nor will I wear my Peyton Manning Broncos t-shirt, and I won't even wear my Manning lanyard which carries my recess whistle tomorrow.

Also, remember there is a Caesar's English quiz tomorrow. We will do some reviewing beforehand, but it sure wouldn't hurt to go over them at breakfast.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Suddenly Feels Lighter

“I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (“I’m not a big one for paying compliments…”), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.”
Jonathan Carroll (born 1949);

Rehearsing for Life's Improvisation

Today we read about a man who was finally able to vote and to write his name on his ballot, pirates of the Pacific in both our read-aloud book as well as in Social Studies, we learned the difference between a homonym and an antonym, how to make possessives both plural and singular, and we learned a couple of ways to do long division.

Caesar's English vocab quiz on Thursday!

That's the short of it. Have a terrific Tuesday.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Close Quarters

Well today was a good day. We took a spelling test and a theme test, and as normal, we ran out of time to do about 60% of what I had planned. For Math we watched Dr. Strangeglove (No, not the Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb one, this is a British math video series) and some Schoolhouse Rock.

I told the students to have three ideas for their procedural reports next week. We will be writing their reports and then the following Wednesday through Friday, students will be delivering their procedural speeches to the class.

Can you believe the school year is one quarter over? Crazy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On Using Words

What a wonderful day today. The kids are getting really close to earning a movie day. Hopefully tomorrow will seal the deal.

Tomorrow we will have a Theme Test (we've been and will be reviewing before the deed is done) and make sure to review those spelling words tonight. It may be a little tricky knowing the differences between some of the reference materials as well as their spellings.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The first three sections for Social Studies chapter 4 are to be read tonight.

Remember also the meaning exercise is due for Spelling tomorrow.

More later, but right now I have to run.

Orange > Bullies

If you're checking this in the morning, make sure to wear ORANGE today! This is part of the anti-bullying campaign that goes across the school district.

As my students learned today, I hate bullies. Hate them. They know how strongly I feel about this.

Wear orange. If you're not reading this until later, relax. I will have plenty of orange for those who forget.

Monday, October 7, 2013

You Just Get Better

Here are this week's spelling words:
  • almanac
  • biography
  • calendar
  • directory
  • geographic
  • quotation
  • statistics
  • survey
  • bibliography
  • journal
  • literature
  • periodical
The Latin stem this week is inter, meaning between. Examples provided on the list are intermission, intergalactic, interrupt, and interstate.

Students did receive their Stage Crew letters today. I told them that 66 kids tried out for sixteen positions. We discussed the low probability of anyone individually getting in to stage crew, but we talked also about how--if they needed a back-up for any reason--they were much more likely to be called upon if they took their defeat gracefully rather than crying. I think the stats made them feel better about it actually.

States and capitals quiz tomorrow! I was a little saddened by how few people knew any of the states and capitals from this list, but I did tell them it would be a really good idea to cram tonight. Not the best way to study, but it's better than nothing at all. I reminded them that we would be having these quizzes every Tuesday until we were through. I told them that the jury is still out on the final one with all of the states and capitals.

I told the kids that for tonight and tonight only that I would eliminate their 20 minutes of reading because of the amount of homework and studying they have to do tonight. 

Wednesday of this week make sure to wear ORANGE to school. It's for an anti-bullying campaign here at Woodbrook. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Well, once I have one of the kids help me get the pictures from my camera onto the blog, I promise to get some photos on here from the other day. I think I've been spoiled by the simplicity of using an iPhone for my pictures, but I take a lot, and I have no idea how much space they would take up in my memory.

Speaking of memories, however, I want to thank the parents of 5-1 for helping my class make some great ones on Friday. A huge thank you goes out to Mrs. Detamore, Mrs. Mallon, Mr. Neukam, Mrs. Beutler, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Cobas, Mrs. Hurdle, Mrs. King, and Mr. Lundy for coming along with us as the kids learned to work as a team and challenge themselves and walk around in a creek. I don't think I was alone in being a bit worried at first about how they were going to work as a team. As many times as I've led those very same activities (wow, it has to be at least a hundred times, literally) and seen groups come together as a team, it's always different when they're yours.

And as much as it's more nerve-wracking when they're your class, it's also much more rewarding when you see them finally start to listen to each other and begin cooperating.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic (however rainy) weekend. I'll see everyone tomorrow for a day full of full steam ahead.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Indian Summer

Word has it that tomorrow is supposed to be HOT and MUGGY. Way to go, October! Shorts and quick-dry shirts would be perfect it sounds like.

Remember: BE HERE TO PICK UP YOUR KIDS at 5:30! We may be a few minutes later than that because of the traffic, but we don't want your kids to be waiting around for you forever.

Disposable sack lunches too, please.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Something to Show

Today we watched a really quick video about how to make macaroni. Yesterday we watched one on how to tie a tie. We're watching these to demonstrate to the kids how I'm going to want them to do their demonstration speeches coming up in a few weeks.

Here's a link to the one from today:

I told them to note how they show and explain all of the ingredients or materials needed for their project, and how they show and tell everything as they're doing it.

The kids won't be actually giving these speeches for a couple weeks yet, but I wanted to give an idea for what I am hoping for before we get started brainstorming what they can show in class for their procedural speech.

We also read about Duke Ellington, the kids read their kindergarten books (they will be reading to a kindergartener, each student having a turn on a rotating basis, as a part of their Daily 5 schedule).

Tomorrow my hope is to be able to have the kids do a Science experiment as a part of their Matter Unit. Should be a pretty interesting and fun.

Looking forward to Friday's field trip. I've never been to Camp Jameson, but it sounds exactly like what I used to do at Camp Tecumseh. I told the kids to be on their absolute best behavior and that I expect good things out of all of them.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Fragile Blow

Okay, so I think I forgot to hand out the Science papers that I told the kids were due tomorrow. Obviously, they can't do them. So sorry about that.

Other than that, we did have a pretty productive day. I do remind my Math class that we will have a quiz over the information I put on here yesterday.

Everyone have a terrific Tuesday, wherever your road takes you.