Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fight For Your Life

Here is some information on the upcoming Relay for Life. It's next Saturday and Sunday, and I'm planning to be there, probably in the evening. It's a great fundraiser for The American Cancer Society. See details below...


Team Woodbrook Relay for Life

Relay for Life is June 7-8, 2014 at Creekside Middle School. A 24 hour walk to fight against all cancers! Please consider signing up to walk the track for at least one hour with your family ( No need to raise additional monies. Our fundraising was completed in the coin collection and Color Run during Wellness Week at Woodbrook. Of course, we wouldn't turn down additional money. If you want to officially join our team, a $10 registration fee will secure a T-shirt for you. You can register for the event at, search for the Relay for Life of Carmel event, click on sign up, then join a team and look for Team Woodbrook. If you have any questions, please email Maria (Henry's sister) and Julie Saam (Henry's mom) at Thanks for helping us fight cancer!!

Friday, May 30, 2014


Billy, an old friend wanted to say hello today, and to wish you a good summer.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Somehow Awesome

I miss these guys already. Thank you so much, everyone, for helping make this a fantastic year that I will never forget.

HUGE thanks goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, who did this video for us. You have our sincerest gratitude. 

Our day was a day where everything got screwed up. Our failing technology meant that we had to do our end of the week song only watching the lyrics. That meant an a capella version of this song, where the kids just watched the lyrics and sang along. Luckily, this was the 36th time they've done this song, so they knew exactly where every line went. It ended up being somehow awesome. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Thank you parents for a fantastic Fifth Grade Party!

We were really happy (kids and teachers alike) to have such involved parents. From 5-1 alone, I want to thank Mrs. Springirth, Mrs. Hurdle, Mrs. Baier, Mrs. Conley, DJ Mr. Elshire, Mr. and Mrs. Detamore, Mrs. Mallon, Mrs. Kepler, Nurse Barb, Mr. and Mrs. Beutler, Mr. and Mrs. Colvin, Mrs. King, Mrs. Martinez, Mrs. Hadley, Mrs. Anderson, and Mr. Lundy. If I excluded anyone, please accept my sincerest apologies. And discretely let me know, and I'll slide your name right in there.

I know for a fact that both Mrs. Hurdle and Mrs. Baier took a guiding hand in this event, so I do think they deserve a little extra recognition. We will miss both of you ladies around Woodbrook!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Motor City Drift

The Kindy 500 was on Friday, and the members of 5-1 were happy that Mr. Z found my class to be the most responsible (okay, those were our words...) and therefore the best potential helpers. 

 Once again, these guys made me proud that day.

Between being the pit crews for the kindergarten teams, and running security for the perimeter of the Woodbrook Speedway, they really stepped it up once again. 

There were a few spin-outs, but luckily no injuries. 

The kids have been waiting for years to be the helpers for the Kindy 500. 

 I couldn't tell you which color won that day. 

Still, I'm sure the winners had milk with their lunch. 

Captain Jack

On Friday we said good-bye to Jack. Jack has now moved to Arizona because of his dad's job. He had his spirits up the whole time, never got down about it. He is already going through hockey tryouts.

I realize the rest of us only have three days left as a class, but we will miss you during those three days, Jack. I hope you and your hockey flow make some serious waves out there in Arizona.

Adios, Jack! Until we meet again.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Names Written On Water

Today we took the first half of our Rigby Reads testing. I thought we were finished with all of that, but it turns out that we had one last thing to finish. That's alright, though. Once we eventually got everyone logged in and started, it was pretty smooth sailing.

Tomorrow is going to be pretty busy, though. We need to grade our GCLs, take a Spelling test, finish up the Rigby Reads test, present Social Studies posters, and it's also the Kindy 500.

Full steam ahead up to the end!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blue Is the New Proud

If you look back on my post-Track and Field Day posts, you will find that they normally rave about how proud I am of my class. And any time I have said that, it's always true. I say this because I really am overjoyed that my class is so good. Today was no exception. They didn't get overly-competitive; they didn't argue, and they made sure to encourage each other. I saw and heard things today that made me smile on the inside--things the kids didn't even know I heard.

You all deserve to feel proud of your kids, and they deserve to feel proud of themselves.

The Walk of Life

Relay for Life is June 7-8, 2014 at Creekside Middle School. A 24 hour walk to fight against all cancers! Please consider signing up to walk the track for at least one hour with your family ( No need to raise additional monies. Our fundraising was completed in the coin collection and Color Run during Wellness Week at Woodbrook. Of course, we wouldn't turn down additional money. If you want to officially join our team, a $10 registration fee will secure a T-shirt for you. You can register for the event at, search for the Relay for Life of Carmel event, click on sign up, then join a team and look for Team Woodbrook. If you have any questions, please email Maria (Henry's sister) and Julie Saam (Henry's mom) at Thanks for helping us fight cancer!!

Thank You For Being Salt

Yes, I am still awake.

Here are some pictures from our field trip today:

This one is of some of my students (Evan and Reed) volunteering during the programming today on the topic of HIV.

This is Lucas, who was immediately concerned when he saw me take that picture on my phone, because he knew I would put it on the blog, and he wasn't in it.

And then there are these folks. They thought I looked lonely sitting under a tree and eating my lunch, and decided to come over and "invade" (this should translated to "make my day") and join me. Thanks to Kaitlyn, Eva, Qaliya, Katelyn, Catherine, Emma, and Corbin. Thanks, guys! You are all awesome. Even though I was just enjoying a peaceful lunch, it made me happy that you guys all thought that maybe I felt lonely and came running over to join me. It made my peaceful lunch even better--by joining me! You people are the salt of the Earth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Road Ahead Is Blue

Alright, I finally got hold of a spelling list from this week.

Here it is:
  1. refund
  2. reaction
  3. reconsider
  4. recount
  5. reorganize
  6. revisit
  7. prefabricated
  8. preoccupied
  9. reposition
  10. reunited

*Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

Well, everyone survived! We all made it through, no one threw up and no one fainted. I was proud of my class today--we were split up on two different buses (not my choice, but sometimes for the greater good, you make decisions), and everyone fell into line when they were expected to. I think everybody in my class volunteered when they asked for help.

For the subject matter, they did about as well as I could have expected if not better.

Monday, May 19, 2014


  1. Have a SACK LUNCH that can be COMPLETELY thrown away! (After the inside has been eaten, of course.) It's the big trip to Ruth Lilly!
  2. SPELLING DEFINITIONS are due tomorrow!
  3. My MATH CLASS has two worksheets that are due tomorrow. They MAY have finished these in class, but MOST did not. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Wall Both Wider and More Porous

Here's the scoop on this week's schedule:
  • Monday: 4th Grade Track and Field Day. This only affects my class if you have a fourth grader who is in my Math class. The rest of us, by the way, will STILL be having Math.
  • Tuesday: 5th grade goes to Ruth Lilly. This is the highlight of every fifth grader's year! Don't forget to pack a completely disposable sack lunch that day. 
  • Wednesday: 5th Grade Track and Field Day. Pack a lunch for today as well! But this one doesn't have to be completely disposable. (WTHR is calling for scattered storms at this point, so who stay tuned...)
  • Thursday: Normal! We will do tons of work that day. For real.
  • Friday: The Kindy 500 in the afternoon is the only thing that may affect our schedule. I'm not sure from where Mr. Z is pulling his 5th grade helpers.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Welcome To the Big Show

Great job, Woodbrook Choir and Orff! More to come later, but I wanted thank everyone for a fantastic show.

EDIT: I should have mentioned that the stage crew (Reed) did a great job too. Couldn't have seen the performers without them! (Sorry I forgot, man.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Happy Birthday to the one and only Chico.

Chico is one of those kids who seriously makes it hard for me to keep a straight face sometimes.

When I told him that I needed to get his picture for his birthday blog entry, he first just wanted a picture of an anole on his arm...

Then, I asked him if he didn't want his face on the blog. Here was his answer:

So I told him, "Okay, I'll just put this up on the blog." At this point he changed his mind and mugged for the camera:

Look at that grin. Kid needs to be a salesman. Partner in crime.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Word from Mrs. Gaw

Hello 5th grade teachers,

I will be giving your students an opportunity to work on the wheel next week during art class. Could you please let them know the following information prior to their art day…


* Girls with long hair should wear hair up or bring a hair tie to class.

* Wear older jeans/shorts-Mrs. Gaw will have paint shirts, but there is a big chance that clay might make its way on clothing.

* NO jewelry/rings please. The wheel will easily catch on to accessories.

Thank you so much for doing this.

Mrs. Gwen Gaw

Monday, May 12, 2014

Value In the Group

Well, two and a half weeks left and we're still going full force. It's going to have to be this way up to the end. For one thing, I really need for these guys to stay busy. For another thing, it's the only way to keep them where they need to be before we move on to middle school. (And by the way, there is a small handful of the students that are REALLY ready for middle school!)

First off, tonight the kids have their Social Studies white page 88. I told them to have their red hardback book with them, so they know!

Here is this week's spelling list:

  • chatting
  • equipped
  • omitted
  • refilled
  • scarred
  • thinnest
  • forbidden
  • occur
  • practically
  • referred

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sensei and Students

These four guys joined me at the dojo this evening for a karate lesson. Dominick's parents bought my karate lesson from the PTO fundraiser way back in November, and it was great to finally get these guys in to throw some punches and kicks--and a whole bunch of escapes. It was a really fun night. Thank you, Grant, Mitchel, Dominick, and Nick! You all did great!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

In Case of Emergency

I loved all of the school supplies that came in earlier today. This box of tissues, however, came with the best note attached. I just hope there are still some left on that last day of school--I may need them after everyone is gone.

Rose Laureate

Thank you, Lara! This was a great way to start my day yesterday. Put me in a good mood the whole day long. I love Teacher Appreciation Week!

And the Word Was Law

Our day was a good one--most of our fallen classmates have now returned to our newly-bolstered ranks. We did get some Health in today (reading about diseases in the world), we reviewed Theme 15, and I had the kids finish reading their Social Studies chapter in duos.

Tomorrow the kids will have a SPELLING TEST. The theme this week (the list is there if you scroll down) is compound words.

The funnest part of my day was this morning, when I found myself attacked by a tidal wave of school supplies. Thank you to everyone--we have all kinds of supplies that had dwindled as the school went on.

I have a couple of photographs to post later, but something about my phone coverage here won't let me send a picture to my email, and that's about as high tech as I get.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

We All Need a Champion

I posted this last year during Teacher Appreciation Week and it proved wildly popular. I hope everyone gives this a watch.

I'll Tip My Hat To the New Constitution

Wow, the plague has infested 5-1! Today we ended up with a whopping SEVEN kids out of school because of some kind of gross sickness. (And one more gone to the--gasp--orthodontist!) Yes, it's 1793 around here, only I don't think this is yellow fever. I miss your kids, but if they are sick, then please keep them home! You don't want them coming back into the sick bay.

We did still get some play time for our reptilian friends (and some official scientific observations), we continued to talk about interjections and conjunctions, I taught the students how properly to use a semicolon, and we made a special thank you first aid kit for Nurse Extraordinaire, Nurse Barb. We are always thankful for what she does for our school.

Next we started a new chapter for Social Studies on the Bill of Rights, and I talked about the dubious reputation of the ACLU, and the turmoil they often face in their task of defending the freedoms of everyone out there--including those people whose opinions we don't care for.

Last but not least, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson popped in to our classroom this morning to film a special Wednesday morning round of Here I Go Again. I thought the kids did a great job of singing this morning--I was worried at first that they would be too nervous to sing on film, but they did it pretty darn well. Thanks, guys!

Hope everyone drinks mass quantities of liquids, eats tons of vitamin C, and stays in tomorrow if you're sick. Have a Wonderful Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Birthday Boy

Add caption
Happy Birthday to Lucas C.

Lucas is posing here with his anole, whose name escapes me right now. But that's not important. I've known Lucas since he was in the first grade, and that's why I was really happy when I found his name on my class list at the start of this school year. On the first day of school (which seriously seems like it was yesterday), he brought me a Batwing comic book and a Mountain Dew. He had an inside man or two who had tipped him off to my habits.

Lucas plays soccer for Hoosier FC out of Noblesville, which means you don't want to be in the way when he's kicking. 

You're one of the good ones, Lucas. Hope your birthday was fantastic.

Dead Things Make Flowers Grow

Today we had...
  • the most efficient Math test ever.
  • a good time letting our anoles out of their cages for a little free playtime while the kids observed them and their natural habitats.
  • an interesting lesson on how decaying animals, plants, and manure are all amongst the most fertile grounds for growing new life.
  • lessons on conjunctions, interjections, and compound words.
  • a lesson on the founding of our nation, which will lead right in to our chapter on the Bill of Rights.
It was a really great day. I also had an abundance of flowers, pictures of flowers, a wonderful metaphorical poem about flowers and teaching, edible flowers, drinkable flowers, and t-shirts.  Thanks to everyone for making this Teacher Appreciation Week feel a little extra-special.

Oh, and don't worry, I will put up a special birthday post later on tonight.

In the meantime, in the in-between time, here is this week's spelling list:
  1.  barefoot
  2. household
  3. keyboard
  4. newscast
  5. salesperson
  6. teammate
  7. teaspoon
  8. touchdown
  9. worthwhile
  10. masterpiece

Monday, May 5, 2014

Holy Moley Guacamole

Today's day of testing and getting some Language Arts and Science finished didn't allow much time for extra celebration, but I do hope everyone here had a fantastic Cinco de Mayo. 

If only we'd all had time to don our guacamole hats at some point today...

Take My Anole, Please

Today we accomplished quite a bit, plus we FINISHED our ISTEP testing! The kids were pretty relieved as they finished the test off one by one today in the computer lab.

Also, I loved the cards I got from the kids today. Teacher Appreciation Week always sneaks up on me, but is a lot of fun. I really appreciate the letters and cards more than you can possibly know.

By the end of this week, I need to be rid of our anoles. So if you could, take a look around and see if maybe your family would be willing to take in a new reptilian family member.

Just think, a small cage with a few crickets, and he's all yours. Plus, he's an American chameleon, so he can disguise himself. This means he will even match your furniture. (Assuming all of your furniture is either green or brown.) So let him blend right in with your family, and it will feel like he has been around for years.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Show Your Stripes

Well, I hope everyone had a great Star Wars Day, and was able to celebrate accordingly somehow. I was at the Fishers Library yesterday and it was nerd heaven, complete with droids and bounty hunters everywhere.

Here's the thing: If you get this before heading off to school on Monday, wear STRIPED SOCKS. This is to show support and awareness for a disease called Cri Du Chat. There is a girl in Mrs. Stephenson's class with Cri Du Chat, and we didn't get much notice on this (Mrs. Stephenson admits this--not her fault!), but my hope is that we will all learn about Cri Du Chat tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a fantastic start to their week. Talk tomorrow.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day

Today we didn't have our morning specials time, because the computer lab was in use. We took advantage of that time and made the most of it. We read in our green reading books about cooking giant vegetables; in Social Studies, we learned about the three branches of government and the system of checks and balances; in Science we continued to study our reptilian friends and saw some substantial growth in our grass levels.

In Math class, we are starting to learn about surface area. This shouldn't be too much trouble, but in the past it has been a real problem for many kids.

I'm trying to give the kids a bit more independence than I normally would. I'm trying hard to provide them with a small workload, and let the try out some time management skills. This is easier said than done, but it's a worthy pursuit nonetheless.

I hope your kids, even though we are in the final stretch, are still coming home each night with a thirst for knowledge, and that each day they are learning something new.

I'll post later on what I've learned from karate, but until then...