Monday, March 31, 2014

Until Later

My Math class has three pages (technically two and a half) of homework tonight. Almost everyone should have completed page 67 in their white pages today. Lastly, we have a Caesar's English quiz on Thursday, as you know from last night's post.

More to come, but there's a good start!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Always Knew It

All I'm doing here is passing along a compliment.

Last week, Mrs. Gaw came to me incredibly happy with my class.

It turned out that, the previous fifth grade class with whom she had tried the gallery cake walk, had been a nightmare. One kid took his cupcake and mashed it in his face. One kid asked if they could have another cupcake, and everyone else piled on, saying that it was "cheap" that they only got one.

She didn't want to take another class through the gallery walk.

And then came 5-1.

She said they were all incredibly respectful. She said that one kid asked if he/she could have another cupcake. And then the rest of the class piled on top of them, saying that they should be happy with what they got and that it was really nice of Mrs. Gaw to get cupcakes in the first place.

There is something incredibly gratifying to that story. It was like I overheard my own words coming out of the mouths of my students.

Yep. I got the good class.

Before You Head Out

This week, we will not have a spelling list. We will, however, have Caesar's English. For Social Studies, I will not give a test-test for this chapter, but I will give a writing assignment for our chapter assessment. Also, we will have Theme 13 test on Wednesday. I know it's a lot, but it's nothing you haven't had before. Plus, we really need to get things wrapped up before Spring Break.

For my Math class, we will have a chapter test on Thursday. We will be reviewing on Monday through Wednesday for it. We've spent a little longer than necessary on chapter 9, but not nearly as long as we spent on chapter 8! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

You Are What You Eat

With his tickets, Mitchel E. has bought his own blog post. But instead of making it all about him, he insisted that I write about Cookie Monster. Mitchel--as longtime readers will know--is a huge fan of the blue-haired abominable cookie craver who we all know from Sesame Street.

I would have gladly gone on about Mitchel, though. Heck of a guy.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Template Replication Fatigue

Today the class was rewarded for their third quarter efforts with a screening of Despicable Me 2. It was a nice day in 5-1. It was a nice bump in the long winter and the otherwise monotonous days of the same old same old.

Many of you received sealed envelopes from me today. I told the kids not to open them until they got home. The automated report card comments just aren't very personal, and so I like to make my own.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

You Can't Write This Part

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.

--Frank Zappa

Lacking an Off Switch

Homework tonight:
  1. Spelling Test tomorrow!
  2. White Pages 64-65 (just the first letter referenced on page 65) due tomorrow.
  3. Math half page (mixed numbers addition) plus their review page from 9.9.
Tomorrow will hopefully be a movie day. They were incredibly talkative today, and I told them that they would have to be able to get quiet and listen tomorrow if they want it to be movie day. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Look! Up In the Sky!

  • Social Studies pp 62-63 in the white pages. They should also have their hardback books with them.
  • Meaning Exercise is due for Spelling.
  • My math class has a page of six area shapes and a small page of four multiplying fractions problems. 
That's tonight's homework! Sorry for the short and sweet post. If I have the energy later, I will post more. Right now I'm in a mad rush to head out. Places to go, people to see.

Click here to see today's brain break from Math. They thought it was lame, but I love it. I'm such a geek.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Artistic As a Result

  • My Math class learned how to find the area of a circle. I had them bring their Mathcabulary books home with them for their homework. They were given nine problems to do, plus four fraction review problems. 
  • 3x each is due tomorrow for Spelling.
  • Twenty minutes of reading for tonight.
The class had their art gallery walk today. Their gallery is on the stage right now. To my shame, I have yet to visit it. Mrs. Gaw is a world-class teacher, I have to say. We've really enjoyed having her at Woodbrook. 

Die Deutsch Tintenfisch

Once again, Dominick, a.k.a. "The German Squid", has bought a blog entry with his P.R.I.D.E. tickets. I hope this is the correct image on the Minecraft Squid, Dom.

Much like a squid, Dominick is quite and accomplished swimmer. Unlike a squid, Dom camped out for the new Scout camp out last Saturday night at St. Elizabeth Seton. Today he seemed to be mostly thawed out from that experience.

Let me know if I got this right, Dominick, you German Squid, you.

Monday, March 24, 2014


It was an awesome day at the Woodbrook Carnival on Saturday. I worked alongside the likes of Mrs. Sveen, Mrs. Van Zetta, Mrs. Woodhouse, Mr. and Mrs. King, Mr. Kepler, and Mr. Hurdle. It's always a great time, and I love seeing familiar faces from the past.

Just in case they're still reading this blog, I was happy to see Caleb Vahle, Ally Eaton, Mona Goggins, Maria Saam, Reece Tofaute, Kaitlyn Vahle, Hannah Cunningham, Ruby Sanders, Vaughn Niemiec,  Isabella White, Luke Belcher, Jonathan Faas, Justin Faas (I kind of said hi to them, but only in passing--sorry, gents!), Ainsley Wright, Mark Masuoka, Marta Weindorf, Matthew Pletcher, Blake Moulton, Jake Paris, Nick Katsis, Caden Wisdorf, Griffin Euler, David Sampson, Jacob Rodgers, John Keen, Will Hurdle, and last but not least, Noah, Drew, and Alex Storey. It was fun seeing Alex, who is about to turn twenty years old and is studying to become an early childhood educator.

If I forgot you, please yell at me and I will rectify the situation. I'm pretty impressed with myself for remembering all those names.

Thanks to Mrs. Anderson who grouped together this group of monkeys mugging for the camera and took our photo.

Spelling List Week of March 24-28

·     dependable
·     dreadful
·     acceptable
·     powerful
·     priceless
·     stressful
·     suitable
·     valuable
·     youthful

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Take Courage Tomorrow

This is for the parents of introverts. Very well stated.

The Masterpieces On Display

Note from Mrs. Gaw: Your permission slips MUST BE IN TOMORROW for next week's Cake Walk. I, for one, am looking greatly forward to strolling through the art gallery (the stage) on Tuesday.

Looking forward to everyone's edible artistry on showcase that day.


Sorry about the lack of post last night. I was a very busy man last night from the time the kids got on the bus until I got home at 10pm.

Yesterday I gave the kids a take home test for Social Studies which is due tomorrow. We made flash cards for the science quiz tomorrow, and we also have a spelling test tomorrow.

The kids are getting so good at working independently. I'm proud to see how much they've grown as little humans over the past many months.

Have a great first day of spring. Spring has sprung.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Right There in Front of Our Faces

We accomplished a lot today. I introduced a golden oldie today that I haven't used in years. The idea of "found poetry" is an old favorite. We made "book spine poems" as a part of our Daily 5.

Homework for tomorrow is (Math class) a worksheet on reflections (the mathematical kind; not the touchy-feely kind) and 3x each for spelling plus twenty minutes of reading. That's a pretty light Tuesday, but tomorrow will be a little heavier.

Hope everyone has a happy Tuesday night.

Monday, March 17, 2014

With Any Luck

I'm lucky to have a class as good as mine.

One thing that I will go over with them tomorrow, but that I ran out of time for today, is the kids' Latin root for this week's Spelling Test. This week, our root is port-, which means to carry. Modern examples include transport, portfolio, import, porter, and portable.

We graded GCL's today, finished our "Levels of Importance" papers, learned a bit about adverbs, did a quick-write in our journals, got a little more Science in, wrote our thoughts in a "reconstructive history what-if" paper on King George III, and finally in Math, we learned all about reflections on the y and x axes. Oh, and right before lunch, we filled out our NCAA brackets.

I also sent home not only the study link 9.3, but also a much-needed review page regarding adding fractions. I told the kids I would give them one of those "for the foreseeable future". Four problems isn't too much, though.

Happy Monday!

Just In Case They Left It Behind

Spelling List
for March 17-21, 2014

  • completely
  • constantly
  • extremely
  • home
  • rather
  • suddenly
  • gradually
  • immediately
  • repeatedly
  • typically

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Magic Bus

Well, it seems that maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew (idiom) this week. That is okay, however. It sure beats being under-prepared. I have to tell you that it sure is nice having ISTEP over with, because it really frees up the lesson planning. Plus we have have quizzes and tests again, and we will.

The biggest things that we will have this week are the Theme Test on Wednesday for Reading, a vocabulary quiz on Thursday for Science, and a Spelling Test on Friday.

Here is a smattering of other things that may affect your foreseeable future as it involves your child and/or life at Woodbrook:
  • Saturday, March 22: The Mane Event at Woodbrook. I will be there selling tickets. Hope to see everyone there!
  • April 4-11: Spring Break!
  • April 14-18: Wellness Week at Woodbrook. 
Let me know if you have any questions. I may not have the answer, but I'm sure I'll be able to hook you up with someone who does. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

From Here In My Cocoon

ISTEP is over, and it wasn't that big a deal. I think the kids found the Social Studies portion of the test to be much easier than they had anticipated. They all finished with time to spare.

After that, we read about some athletes who set the bar in their respective fields (everything from baseball to mountain climbing), did some work with adverbs, more with idioms, and last but not least, some Science. The kids made some "remote target transports" that turned out pretty neat. A few of the groups need a little more work on theirs. I took video of the finished ones on my phone, along with the kids' explanations. Maybe one of the kids can show their Amish teacher how to take it from my phone and put it onto the blog.

Lastly, I want to apologize that my classroom phone is broken and our email has been down all day. I need to make some phone calls to some of you and return some emails (and make some emails), but I won't be able to email until I get home tonight, and I'll try to make the calls tomorrow from another classroom.

Hope all is well in your world. Enjoy your Thursday night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Personalities of Hazards

Well, today went pretty well. It was a little crazy. It went a little longer than I wanted it to. But it says in the directions, "Does anybody have any questions?" And if there is one thing your kids love, it's their chance to talk.

The good news is that today was the long testing day. Tomorrow we only have an hour. Thursday is a half hour. Not a big deal. It's all downhill from here.

Relax, guys. It's all good.

Tomorrow we're going to keep going on our Science projects. And our Reading. And our research projects. I had all these grandiose plans two days ago. Now it's the middle of the week and of course we've accomplished only a fraction of what was planned. I guess that's better than the alternative.

Have a good week, everyone. Eat a hearty breakfast! ISTEP continues tomorrow.


Today I was handed a paper for ISTEP testing with which I was supposed to check off everyone's middle names and birthdates. It was then that I realized that I had skipped a birthday posting during our Winter Break/Snowpocolypse Extension. For this, I profoundly apologize. To his credit, he didn't mention it until I realized it.

It was the birthday of Mr. Reed. Reed is what I would call a natural leader. People listen any time he talks. When he doesn't talk, everyone is watching whatever he does. The girls all laugh (who doesn't love a natural leader?--and we all know how girls express their infatuation). He got the most votes by far in the election for Student Council.

But those are just the superficial things that make Reed an awesome guy. The best is that he always wants to do what's right. He's a stand-up young man. He deserves to feel proud of who he is.

I remember when I first met Reed. He came to me at the Ice Cream Social (wasn't that just last month?), shook my hand, looked my in the eye, and said, "I'm really really excited about this year, Mr. Carter. I'm so glad I got you for my teacher."

It really doesn't take much more than that to win me over.

Happy Birthday, Reed. Two and a half months later.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Did anybody else see this guy walking down 116th Street last Friday after school? Evidently he decided to defect from the Empire and was trying to hitch a ride to the Dagobah System or something. Either that or he got really lost.

What I did see what this Stormtrooper wave at a bus full of kids, pumping his fist in the air. Thank you, Random Stormtrooper. You made all our already-sunshiny days a little brighter still.

The Forgotten Pair

I was startled today to realize that I missed (along with the front office, evidently!) the birthday of not just one, but two of my students. Granted, it was yesterday (Sunday), when we weren't in school. But it wasn't mentioned until recess. I'll hand it to them, they didn't get angry when they were snubbed by both me and during the morning announcements!

Anyway, I'm sure the oversight will be corrected soon. In the meantime (in the in-between time), I will take this opportunity to wish a happy belated birthday to Grant D. and Eva M!

Eva is a girl who loves to read. When I say this, I mean that she could read through an earthquake. As long as she isn't hit with a slab of cement with rebar sticking out of it, she will continue reading. This is a trait I love in a student. And while she is normally in the middle of a great novel (she's been known to tear through one in a day), she is also an awesome artist and appreciator of manga.

Not that you need it, Eva, but here's a cool tutorial on how to draw manga characters:

Next we have Grant. Grant is a hockey player, a Purdue fan (a rarity in 5-1), and best of all, he has done some amazing work with two of our students, Charlie and Henry, who are a part of the lifeskills program. He has natural skills that I just don't have--that I truly envy. He is a loyal kid who will make the world a better place through his care for those with disabilities. Plus, with one upside-down Post-It note triangle placed on his chin, he can become Evil Grant.

So lest Evil Grant visit me sometime, I give you this picture which sums up the most superficial part of what makes you awesome:

Happy Birthday, you two. I'm sorry that your birthday was only 23 hours, unlike people whose birthday takes place on a regular, normal day. You guys really got the short shrift. I hope they were a good 23 hours! You deserve them.

Tranquility of the Buffalo

My only request for tomorrow is that you all be calm and collected like the buffalo magnet. And much like the buffalo, I want you to trample over ISTEP like it's a fragile toothpick house. Do your best. Show it who's boss.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

These Testing Grounds

I'm at the school right now trying to get things ready for this week. Trying to prepare for ISTEP is like trying to secure Air Force One.

Between our ISTEP testing this week, we need to keep covering ground. Science, Social Studies, reading, vocabulary, and math will all continue to be a crucial part of our week (and yes, we will have a ticket exchange tomorrow--individually). We will have spelling this week, but all studying/word work will be handled in class, with the exception of Thursday night (there is no ISTEP on Friday).

We will also finally make more headway on our research projects. Last week we let everyone play catch-up who still needed it. This week, we'll be talking about writing an outline and beginning our rough drafts.

Hope everyone is ready to take the ISTEP test this week with a good attitude, a sharp mind, and without worries. It's one test.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Engineering the Future

As a part of our Mars Rover Robot unit in Science today, we did a Design Squad activity where the students had to create a lunar lander given certain materials. We discussed their limitations: time, materials, and creativity. Luckily your kids are not short on creativity.

Wonderful jobs, everyone. I have a really fun one in store for tomorrow. Let's all hope we can do it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wake Up Two Minutes Earlier Tomorrow

Well, for better or worse, Math chapter 8 is over. I haven't looked at the tests yet, but we are done with fractions for awhile. (Unless your child has a few corrections to do on the test...)

Today we read the harrowing story of a lady named Gertrude Ederle, who swam the English channel. This reading unit is all about fantastic feats of athleticism. Today they worked on their "appreciative listening" skills.

Our classroom is a little discombobulated right now because we're preparing for ISTEP next week.

And as if anyone didn't know at this point, today was our last day of letting out at 2:35. Beginning tomorrow, we will let out at 2:50! I will work the schedule a little bit to figure out how to maximize those extra fifteen minutes. Trust me, it won't be game time.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Use Their Instagram Technology Against Them

Here's the math homework. It looked like I had a few too many left in my stack, so I'm not sure everyone grabbed one. Just in case your kid got home and said, "Oh, I forgot to get one..."

Ground Control to Major Tom

Okay, today we were kind of all over the place. We took Theme Test 11. We did some language arts time--some writing and some reading (the kids either read about Mount Everest or the Titanic, so I guess you could say the theme was enormity). The kids did a very cool Science experiment to replicate the messages sent from NASA (the control) through the radio waves (transmission) to Mars (where the builders were). We did a little bit of Social Studies (with the kids taking notes) about the colonists' unwillingness to pay their taxes if they weren't going to be properly represented in Parliament. And rightly so on their parts, I should add.

For Math, we got ready for tomorrow's big test. We took tons of notes, and they will be allowed to use them on the test. I am ready for chapter 8 to be over!

Hope everyone has a fantastic Fat Tuesday.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Today's Special

Spelling List for this week:
  • attitude
  • chocolate
  • exercise
  • grumble
  • island
  • nation
  • pajamas
  • reptile
  • stubborn
  • particular
We will have a MATH test tomorrow. See tonight's study guide (they're supposed to do all of them except for 21 and then 26-29. 

Oh, and the kids did have a chance to do their definitions in class today!