Thursday, August 28, 2014

Where Would You Make Your Home?

Huge thank you to Mrs. Williams for sending me this link. We watched it this morning during a brain break. I like to think the kids felt inspired after having their brains packed in with new information.

It's internet safety time again. Mrs. H, the computer teacher, will be going through a presentation to help kids stay safe from online predators, cyber-bullying, and other techno-evils out there. This will take place during our next time in the computer lab.

The kids set up campsites somewhere in our classroom today. They did this to simulate the reasons different early Americans chose different places to live when they crossed over the Bering Strait. This was kind of a fun activity, and I think the kids acquired an understanding. We will follow up on this up tomorrow.

Make sure to study up for that big Spelling test tomorrow! It's a rough one, but hopefully we're getting into a good habit of studying at home like we are doing in the classroom.

We will also have a quiz tomorrow on vocabulary (country, opportunity, culture, refuge, education, symbol, employment, transition, immigration, and translate). This one is not too hard at all, and they won't even need to know how to spell these words. We've gone over these meanings again and again in class, so hopefully it won't be difficult.

In Math, we will be having a big TEST next week for my sixth grade math class. I will give out a study guide on Monday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Organization Realization

Well, I found the snag in last night's homework debacle. My note had my email listed as "" instead of "". Thanks to Mrs. Harrington for tipping me off to that one, and thanks to everyone out there who figured it out.

In Math today, we set up the kids' Math Binders. These contain their past homework, notes, tests and quizzes, all for them to study with in the future. I told them today that when they receive their homework back graded, they should bring it back to school so that we can put it back in their binders. These may be sent home from time to time if it will help the kids for a test or homework. They are pretty hefty, though, so I don't want them trying to cram the binders into their desks.

We have been working that spelling as well as our subjects and predicates. No easy feat, but they kids are handling things very well.

Hope all is well. Over the hump with two more to go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

But the Levee Was Dry

Hey, everyone. I know it's late, but I want to acknowledge that I did hear from one parent who had a dickens of a time trying to get online to do the Social Studies assignment tonight. For anyone who is trying to do this right now, is frustrated to the point of tears, and pulling the right sleeve off their shirt and/or the hair off of the right side of their head, please stop.

I'll take a look at it tomorrow and see what went wrong.

Of course, it it worked out great, then it's no problem. Keep on keeping on!

Otherwise, it's not the end of the world by any means. We'll figure it out. Life's too short.

The Future Is Calling

Here is my Spelling City link. 

A huge thank you goes out to Mrs. Helgeland for putting this together for me. I really like having her as our resident computer leader. This is just to help them study for their Spelling test on Friday. Just trying to give everyone an edge.

You should have seen two pages for their Social Studies come home tonight. The one page is to tell them how to find their TCI link, complete with my email, their username, and their password. This is a very brief lesson, but I do want them to try listening to this at home and then doing the questions. If you have any trouble with this lesson, please let me know. It's the first time I've ever tried something like this, and you may know that I am pretty much Amish when it comes to computer things. If you would like, just follow the link given right here!

Study Link 1.8 consists of two pages for sixth grade math, and it deals with step graphs.

We all continued to melt today due to the hot weather--looking forward to the big cool-off coming soon. Man, I wish it felt like it did in July. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Helter Skelter In Summer Swelter

Man, this new reading program is great, but it sure is hard to cram each day's lessons in to one day. Right now in class, we are doing our best to transcend from complete subjects and predicates to the simple subjects and predicates.

We've been working on seeing character development in our reading. Some of the kids seem to have a better grasp on this than others.

Today we read a story, however, that didn't have a whole lot of character development, but it does fit in with the theme of this unit with the whole "moving to a new place". This story was told from the point of view of five immigrants who moved to the United States through Ellis Island between 1895 and 1952. I met with one guided reading group this morning to read from a book called Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman while other students either worked in the vocabulary journals or wrote in their journals.

We will get caught up, but in the meantime, make sure you are practicing those ten spelling words with your child each night. We will practice them in duos or trios throughout the week.

I want to thank Mrs. Christa Manahan, who helped me out this afternoon by filling in while I ran home to meet with my electrician. Mrs. Manahan is a really cool lady who works in our school, and the kids hadn't had much of a chance to meet her up until today.

More later.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sticky Notes

Upcoming Events:

Once again this year, CCS will be offering only one session each for 4th and 5th grade parents to view these presentations.  Representatives from Ruth Lilly will host each presentation here at ESC to accommodate the large crowds expected.  Please begin advertising these evenings on building calendars and in newsletters.  Additional communication on these dates will be forthcoming. 

Ready, Set, Grow! (4th grade) – Tuesday, November 4th, 7:00 PM
Life Begins/HIV (5th grade) – Tuesday, November 11th, 7:00

  • I'm sure P.J.'s dad would appreciate me letting you know that August 26th, from 6:45-8:00pm is Boy Scout registration! Great organization--don't forget it!
  •  And I'm also sure that former 5-1 Mom Sally Cunningham would appreciate it if I let you know that Wednesday, August 27th, from 6:30-8pm is Girl Scout registration. 
  •  August 28 at 9am is the PTO general meeting. 

Surprised In Translation

On Friday, Mrs. Wischmeyer came down and read to the fifth grade a book about bullying. First off, it had a great message and it's an important one for all kids to hear.

Secondly, I was so impressed with how my class behaved during this presentation. They were attentive, they answered questions properly. They said, "Thank you," when she was finished. I was amazed by this, and it made me really really happy. I am so proud of my class.

We took a Spelling test as well as a Social Studies test on Friday, and both went very well.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Back in to it tomorrow.

Next week: Three day weekend!

Zero To Sixty

Here's this week's Spelling list:
  1. accommodating
  2. autonomy
  3. compromise
  4. lofty
  5. modify
  6. occupy
  7. policy
  8. proper
  9. scholar
  10. tolerate
Tough list! I will give them chances to practice these words (and their meanings) in class, but I urge you to practice with the kids each night, even if it's just ten minutes. They are going to need it!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pattern Recognition

Today in Math we had a "pop quiz" (which they already knew about). I think everyone did a pretty good job on it, but as of this typing, they are not yet carefully graded.

I want to make sure everyone remembers to study for the Social Studies test tomorrow. We corrected their study guides in class today. These were due today, and I was lenient this time, because I had a few people who had not completed it. In the future, this will be counted against their homework grade.

Also, don't forget that tomorrow is our first spelling test!

Adios for now. And to the kids who nominated me for the ice bucket challenge, I will get the video up later tonight, because I have to be Sensei Carter and teach at the dojo tonight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Calling Doctor Heckyll

We had fun in 5-1 today in Science class, where students decorated the outside cover of their Science Journal by creating their own mad scientists!

Prisoners Of the 21st Century

Today we read a story in class about a girl who has to migrate to a new country so that her father can find work. We discussed how hard that must be, and we talked about the character development that took place during the story. Without character development, a story isn't quite as interesting.

I handed out the study guide for the Social Studies test on Friday. It's kind of between a quiz and a test, so it's more of a quest.

Don't forget: Quiz tomorrow in Math. They have all the information they will need. Due to a technology malfunction, we got to have an old-fashioned math class today. Despite the efforts of all the men in the room, we just couldn't get Humpty together again. We somehow survived math class without our technology, just like they did back in the 80's.

Lastly, MEANING exercises are due tomorrow. They will either write a good sentence containing the word for each word, or an illustration for each word, or any mix thereof.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Foot In the Door

Okay, now that I'm at home, of course I'm remembering a few things that I wish I had shared with you this evening. I could have filled up more time this way!

1.) I try to conference with each of you at some point during the fall/winter. I will try to get in contact with each of you on an individual basis at that time, but if you ever want to come in and conference with me and I haven't prompted you, please let me know!

2.) I know it may not have come across in my caffeinated high-speed ramblings this evening, but I really do enjoy working with your kids already. They have good hearts. It's so easy when you're starting off with kids who already want to be good. This is the most familiar I have ever been with a class before even really getting started. I plan to milk this for everything it's worth for the entirety of the school year. Thanks already for raising kids who are good people.

Okay, I'm sure I'll think of more, and when I do, I will post.

Until tomorrow.

Success Formula

Looking forward to meeting everyone tonight. Remember, meet in the cafeteria at 7:15, then you will be dismissed to come down to 5-1.

The kids wrote you all letters that are on top of their desks as I type. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Stems and The Leaves

Hello, everyone! First things first: Meet the Teacher Night is tomorrow at 7:15 for fifth grade. It's okay to be there and be square.

Secondly, the kids have three things to do tomorrow for homework.
  1. Read for a bare minimum of twenty minutes. 
  2. Write definitions for their spelling list for this week.
  3. My Math class has Study Link 1.3 due tomorrow. (Other classes may vary.)
Ask your child to use the word valor in a sentence. It was the Word of the Day today. We also wrote in our journals, read in our reading books, listened to a song (admittedly a fairly corny one) from our reading book, learned about landforms and longitude and latitude, and my Math class learned about stem-and-leaf plots.

Our days are full, but they are also good so far. I really truly enjoy working with these kids. I hope they are coming home excited about what we are learning each day.

Hope all is well out there in Carmel Land. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

First List: Short /a/ Sound

  1. absence

  1. accent

  1. anticipate

  1. aspect

  1. bashful

  1. behalf

  1. diplomatic

  1. financial
  2. reality
  3. tragedy

Latin Root: sub: meaning “down”
examples: submarine, submerge, subtract

Friday, August 15, 2014


I sure was happy with how well your kids did with silent reading today. I know this doesn't sound all that impressive, but most of you have never taught fifth grade, I'm going to guess.

What was even better is the quality of their journal writing so far. So many of them students want to read to me what they have written, and it's fantastic.

Don't forget that next Tuesday night is Meet the Teacher Night from 7:15-8:15.

We did our first Friday send-off singing of "Already Gone", which is one of my favorite traditions, just adding a new chapter to it.

And with that, I am already gone. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Rundown

THIS TUESDAY is Meet the Teacher Night. For fifth grade, we will begin at 7:15pm and go until 8:15pm. (I may not go quite that long, though.)

Most of you have already been to at least one of my Meet the Teacher Nights, but if you want some information that is a little more pertinent to this year, then please come on in. Plus, I look forward to meeting the few of you I haven't yet met.

This Vict'ry Song

The second day has come and gone. This morning we did our rotations with Mrs. Davis, Mr. Hunter, and Mrs. Wischmeyer--as well as the fifth grade teachers--for learning about how to behave on the bus, in the halls, cafeteria, and playground. This wasn't anything new to these kids. Being fifth graders, they have heard this countless times before. Still, a few reminders never hurt anything.

We also wrote in our journals after decorating the covers. I really enjoyed watching the students get up and present their Bio Bags this morning as well. We have a multitude of soccer players in this class.

We started up our Math classes today. I am personally teaching sixth grade math in my class, and I had some fun getting to know that class today as well as filling out our Mathcabulary notebooks, doing mental math, and then finding the landmarks of certain data sets. So far we've done mean, median, mode, and range

Finally, when my homeroom returned, we did a practice run on our song, "Already Gone" by The Eagles. It's a 5-1 tradition, and now that they know how the song goes, I'm ready to hear them start belting it out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Birthday Girl

Miss Emily, Happy Birthday! I was just asking the kids their birthdays this morning and recording them when the announcements came on to wish our very own Emily a happy birthday.

This is the part where I would normally do a write-up on the child, based on what I know. I don't know very much about Emily quite yet, I'm afraid. I can tell you this, though: She is a very nice girl, and she comes from a very nice family.

I can also tell you that my phone camera refused to cooperate with the blinding sun on the way out to the school bus today, so I don't even have her picture ready yet to put on the blog.

Nonetheless, have a great day, Emily. I'm sorry that you had to have the first day of school on your birthday, but hopefully it wasn't too bad.

Starting Off Right

First day is over!

The first day, as I told the kids, is so full of so much information.

And WOW do I have so many brothers and sisters of the past. I had them raise their hands today, and it was uncanny.

It's going to be a good year. Tomorrow we will get into Math in the afternoon, we will continue on with much of what we did today, and we will start all kinds of new things as well.

Homework for tomorrow: Bring in a Bio Bag with THREE items in it to help the rest of the class learn more about them. For instance, I brought my black belt in mine and talked about how long I had been doing karate.

Here's to the start of a fantastic school year. Come back tomorrow all ready to learn!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Launch Sequence Has Been Initialized

Well, my classroom is starting to look like a classroom. Everyone has books and supplies and everything in their desks. We are go for 2014-2015.

Personally, I'm ready to be back into a regular schedule.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Man Griffin

Happy Birthday, Griffin!

Griffin is one of those guys who everyone likes instantly. He's very easy-going, intelligent, and has a strong sense of loyalty. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things basketball and baseball, as well as anything we have studied in class. (And, as I mentioned just a couple posts back, a big Reds fan, so yeah, he had that going for him all school year...)

He's one of those people who I could put anywhere in the seating chart without having to think about whether or not it would be a good idea.

Thanks, Griffin. I hope your sixth grade year is pretty darn awesome.

Griffin's birthday also marks the final birthday in the school calendar from 5-1. The next birthday posted here will be from the '13-'14 school year.

Time rolls on! But remember, once a member of 5-1, always a member of 5-1.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Next Crop

Right now, I'm not letting go of last year's class. I never really do.

But I'm starting to get excited for next year's class. I'm ready to read all the Two-Minute Mysteries again. I'm ready to read The Genius Files and Qwerty Stevens again. I'm ready to teach the kids about Roanoke and the colonies and matter and astronomy and all the other stuff I love to teach.

I'm excited that I get the chance to teach sixth grade math again.

My new class is full of kids that I've taught before, whose siblings I've had before, and a few (at least THREE) who I held when they were newborn babies.

Class of '13-'14, I expect lots of updates from you. I expected the same from last year's class this time last year. As I've always said, "Once a member of Mr. Carter's class, always a member of Mr. Carter's class." You know, as a member of the 5-1 class, we were all a part of something pretty special. I want you to spread that out in the middle school.

Now it's time to get the new crop ready.