Tuesday, September 30, 2014

That Will Be Then; This Is Now

Shhh! Right now, the kids are doing their baseline writing prompt for this school year. They are writing a personal narrative based on a moment in their lives that is important to them. I'm going to enjoy reading these, no matter how tedious it is to grade a writing assignment.

These will show me how much the kids are able to grow as writers throughout this school year. This is kind of like the language arts baseline the kids took last week, and the math baseline they will do soon. No pressure on any of these things, it's just to give us an idea of what they know now as opposed to what they can do at the end of the year.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Here are some shots taken by Mrs. Hadley last Wednesday at Jameson Camp. These are of her daughter Regan, and friends Ella and Lydia climbing the wall/s that day. Thank you, Mrs. Hadley! Everyone else, please send your photos. I will post mine soon, but I wanted to get these up right now.

Time for me to turn in. Hope everyone had a great Monday, and that everyone will have a fantastic rest of your week.

License To Thrill

Attention, everyone! Thank you to Miss Maddi, who told me today that the fifth book of The Genius Files has been solicited for January 2015. Thanks to Amazon Prime, I have already pre-ordered the book to be shipped directly to Woodbrook as soon as it comes out.

The best part of all: This is the not only the fifth book, but it is also the final book of the series. This means that after five long years (with each class getting one more book than the previous one), the saga will come to a conclusion. This current class will be the first one to hear the entire thing.

Honestly, I'm not sure I have been this excited for a book to come out since the final Harry Potter installment. I realized last year that the reason I love reading these books out loud (indeed, any book by Dan Gutman) is that it's just like comfort food. Gutman writes in a cadence that is easy to read out loud.

You know what? I should have the kids write letters to Mr. Gutman. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could convince him to come visit us in 5-1? He's a big-shot writer, but maybe we can convince him to come. (Or maybe a video chat?)

All-Star State of Mind


My Math class understood the lesson (3.1: Variables in Number Patterns) today first time around. Between this and the dependent clauses lesson from earlier today, I'm starting to feel like teacher of the year.

Some of my Math students may have some Math Boxes to finish up as well as that Study Link. 

De-Emphasizing the Question In Order To Answer It

Just a warning that I may not have time at the end of the day to do a post. I have to meet with Mr. Hunter to hopefully get some of my technology issues figured out. Right now the kids are doing their silent reading, though, so I'm going to take advantage and get it finished.

Already this morning I have been really pleased with how well the kids took to learning about dependent clauses. This was a little tricky for them early on in the school year, but today they really seemed to understand that a dependent clause is one that cannot stand on its own.

zB: Since it was raining, we could not go to the pool.

In this sentence, Since it was raining cannot stand on its own. You could say we could not go to the pool to someone, and it would make total sense. It is a complete sentence.

I'm excited about this (yeah, I know I'm pretty easy to impress), and I think by the end of the week I may even be able to teach the kids how to use a semicolon properly. (Then it's party central for Mr. C!)

The kids have had time to do their spelling definitions, but I will ask them to finish their flashcards for homework tonight. They are also asked to read for 20 minutes and do their Study Link for Math.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Spoke In the Wheel

Here is the Spelling List for this week.
  • abundant
  • asteroid
  • droop
  • eclipse
  • friction
  • slanted
  • wilted
  • ensure
  • wander
  • wonder
I have decided to take a break from spelling next week. We will have more than enough going on then academically, and I feel like we will need one. 


Okay, sorry about the radio silence there for awhile. Busy times and all that.

First off, I want to thank everyone who was a part of our trip to Jameson Camp last Wednesday. It would not have been possible if not for our parent volunteers. A huge thanks goes out to Mrs. Belcher, Mrs. Bintrim, Mr. Brown, Mrs. Hadley, Mr. Harrington, Mrs. Rodgers, Mrs. Smart, Mrs. Stephenson, and Mrs. Sveen. I also want to thank Mr. Williams who wanted so badly to go, but was yanked away at the last second. We knew you wanted to be with us!

A huge thank you to Mrs. Sveen, who took the pictures above. I also took some, but I was a part of the same group as Mrs. Sveen, so it will be the same kids. If any other parents took any pictures from that day, please email them to me and I will put them up here.

This week is another jam-packed one, guys. Be prepared! I will try not to give too much homework.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Short Of It

Tomorrow we will have a Math Quest (6th grade Math only) and a Spelling Test.

That's the basic version of today. I have to run, but never fear; I will post more later on. I have pictures to get posted up soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

They're All Good People

First off, today was Camp Jameson. No, wait. Today was Jameson Camp. Not sure what the difference is, but it's important to the people there.

Tomorrow, maybe Friday, I will post some pictures from there. Unfortunately, I only got pics of about a third of the kids. This is simply because we had to split our class into three parts and then follow the same third around for the entire day. So if you are one of the two thirds whose kids are not in the pictures that will be posted, I profoundly apologize. Don't worry; you will have plenty of opportunities int he coming eight months for your kids' pictures to be posted here.

Lastly, I just want to say to my students from '13-'14 that yesterday I finally gave my current students the letters you wrote to them last year. Most of them were underwhelmed: "We already know this, Mr. C." But still, some of them did ask me questions (Cookie Monster, etc.), and that led to some conversations.

Tomorrow (or Friday) I will post some pictures from Jameson Camp. Until then, please know that I am extremely proud of the kids' behavior throughout the day today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jameson Here We Come

Tomorrow is the big day! Be ready. I sent home last minute reminders with each of the kids today.

Thanks so much!

Monday, September 22, 2014

There's Just a Song In the Trouble and the Strife

Well, I graded the second wave of Math quizzes. They were much better, I'll give them that. Still, all kinds of tiny mistakes that make multiplying and dividing with decimals such a pain. The problems aren't hard, they're just time-consuming. And with all kinds of little problems spread throughout each problem, it's easy for one mistake to lead to a domino effect and ruin the whole doggone thing.

Thanks for the outpouring of parents we have going on the field trip on Wednesday. I am so proud of the amount of parent participation from 5-1. Looking forward to a great day.

It's All Good

At the end of the day, I became aware that a couple of the students still didn't have their large pieces of paper for the Buffalo Winter Counts, which are due on Wednesday. I told those kids to just draw their pictographs on a piece of white paper, then they can just cut them out and glue them onto their larger paper here at school. No biggie!

The kids should have all of their Spelling homework done already, and for Math, they just need to do all problems except for 9-13.

I'm late!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Woodbrook University

Hello on a brisk, fall Sunday evening. Hope everyone has had a great weekend--it sure was a pretty one.

Friday brought with it a meet-up with our first grade buddies from Mrs. Haberfield's class, and, perhaps more importantly (depending on who you are), the big end-of-day reveal on the parts for the upcoming fifth grade musical. By the way, the musical is on October 30th at 7pm, just in case you're marking your calendars.

Field trip on Wednesday: Kids need to have a completely disposable sack lunch, appropriate dress for the weather that day (rain included--sorry, didn't mean to say that "out loud" and jinx it, just saying in case...), and prepared to have a fantastic day.

This week is College Week! We teachers will be bringing up our respective places of higher learning throughout the week in an effort to encourage the kids to start thinking toward that goal.

Lastly, here is this week's spelling list:
  • breathe
  • depth
  • extinguish
  • fathom
  • hearth
  • lightning
  • threaten
  • thrive
  • thunder
  • wither
Hope everyone has a fantastic week! I look forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

They Help You Remember What's Important

The kids had a very successful bus evacuation drill this morning. Here are a couple of pictures of them in the early morning hours coming off the buses. You have some very responsible kids.

Morning Sunlight

Good day today started off by some successful bus evacuation drills. I will post some pictures from that event later on.

My Math class has ten problems to do tonight, and the kids also have a Spelling test tomorrow to study for as well reading for twenty minutes.

If the students haven't finished their take-home test for Social Studies, tomorrow is the last day to get that one turned in. 

We are getting excited for the big field trip next Wednesday. Once again, if you have your police background check, you are more than welcome to come!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcomed Allies

One week from today is the big trip to Camp Jameson! I took an informal poll today (not really meant to be informal at the time, though) to see how many parents we have going. I know I heard from some of you at the time and that a lot of plans have changed since then. I am more than willing to take as many parents as can possibly come, so feel free if you are free!

If you don't have your child's money in yet, please get it to us ASAP. That goes for the permission slips as well.

The Hot Five

Homework rundown for 9/17/14:
  • 20 minutes of reading
  • Meaning Exercise due tomorrow for Spelling
  • page 67 in the Math Journal (6th grade math only--they should have the majority of this finished already)
  • Take-Home Test for Social Studies is due Friday
  • Lastly, the kids received a large piece of paper today to make their Buffalo Winter Counts like in the Sioux tradition from Social Studies. These are due next Wednesday, September 24

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kung Fu Hustle

It sure was fun seeing Annie and Ty the other day at the karate dojo. They both came out for a class (or three, in Ty's case) on Saturday for the Fall Celebration. I can't believe I haven't mentioned it yet. I also can't believe that I didn't manage to get a picture of myself with both of those kicking kiddos on Saturday. Drat. Just means you're both going to have to come back for a free class sometime soon!

Thanks for coming, guys! Hope you had fun.

Tomorrow, Only This Time In Hyperdrive Mode

Homework for tonight:
  1. Only the first two words on their mini vocab packet (assume and event).
  2. Their take-home test for Social Studies is due on Friday.
  3. 20 minutes of reading. 
  4. 3x each for Spelling.
  5. My Math class has a review sheet on multiplying numbers with decimals in them. I showed them how they could do the problems with either method using the grid on the page. 
  • Donuts With Dad is tomorrow morning starting at 7:15am.
  • Also tomorrow morning, fifth graders will be practicing their bus evacuation drills for Thursday
  • Tomorrow and Thursday after school are the tryouts for the big 5th grade musical. Should be a pretty cool show, and I hope to see 5-1 well-represented up their on the stage.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So Bright and Sunny

Happy Birthday to Turner! Turner's smile makes every day a little brighter. And you would never know from her kind and sweet demeanor that she can play a killer game of volleyball. She gets along with everyone, and is incredibly caring toward her friends. Everyone should have a friend like Turner. Here's to another trip around the sun, Turner. Keep on shining bright!


Oh, man. First off, I want to apologize that the Spelling List says "spendor". That isn't a word. The word I was going for is "splendor". And I copied and pasted directly from my blog to make the official spelling list, which is wrong. Thank you to Mrs. Vossler for asking me about that earlier--otherwise, I would have had some very confused students all week long. Corrected spelling lists will go out tomorrow.

Second of all, I want to tell members of my Math class that I did not want to imply that they were not allowed to do the Everyday Math method, lattice multiplication, to do their multiplication problems on their homework. They absolutely can, so long as they get it right and draw their boxes and lines well. That way they won't get things confused.

I did, however, model my problems in the "old-timey" way--the way the kids' parents and I learned way back when...

Lastly, I want to tell everyone that I am working on getting my web page on the Carmel Clay site to show up. I had no idea that everyone got a blank when they clicked on it until today. I get the feeling that the lack up updating just pitched me right out of the system. What a pain. I have gone through the proper channels and so I hope to get some answers soon.

Hope everyone had a great start to your week.

Thunder and Momentum

First off, happy birthday to Turner Stephenson! I took her picture today right after school, but of course we will now have to wait until I get home tonight (uh...we're talking pretty late at this point) to get her own post, but it will be there later on!

Homework for tonight:
  • 20 minutes of reading!
  • Spelling definitions!
  • My math class has Study Link 2.5, #'s 1-5. 
Today we have yet another staff meeting,  but I really hope to have a more informative post for you then.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Adding Value

Here's the breakdown for this week as of this writing:

First of all, here is the spelling list. Theme: short /e/ sound.
  • avenge
  • ceremony
  • comet
  • constellation
  • desert
  • excessive
  • intense
  • sensory
  • splendor
  • vessel
All week Woodbrook will be taking book donations for a book drive we are having.

Also all week: Custodian Appreciation Week.

Tuesday 7:15a: Choir practice in Music room.
Wednesday 7:15a: Donuts With Dad, 8a: Bus Evacuation Drills
Thursday 8a: Bus Evacuation Drills

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sidekick Saturday

Self-promotion time...

Adamson's Karate Studios, where I teach every Thursday night, is having a fall celebration tomorrow afternoon at their location at 1307 Rangeline Road (right between Dunkin Donuts and Zacky's Hotdogs). It goes from 2:30-5:00pm, and is totally free to the public.

Here is a schedule of the classes:
  • 2:30-3 Board Breaking
  • 3-3:30 The Three Best Kicks
  • 3:30-4 Bully Self Defense
  • 4-4:30 Flying Side Kicks
  • 4:30-5 Three Best Combos
I will be there! 

Escape Tactic

We had a pretty good day today. It wasn't bad by any means. Between the blue and gold spirit today, homecoming tonight, and a fire drill at the end of the day, we belted out "Already Gone" with gusto at day's end.

After the fire drill, I did show my Math class (who hadn't seen this yet) a way to escape if anyone ever tries to grab them and take them away. FOR THE RECORD: I also told them I did not want to see them doing this to each other on the playground or otherwise. I told them that it would be okay to show it to their parents, though.

Everyone have a great homecoming weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stars and Stripes Forever

Only seconds ago I handed out the letters for stage crew. Everyone was so anxious. I told them that statistically it was far more likely that they didn't make it, but it's not always easy to reason with a fifth grader, as I'm sure you all know.

Math homework for sixth grade math class: Study Link 2.4, but I told them not to worry about doing problem #9. I don't want any break-downs happening at any dinner tables over that problem.

Other homework tonight:
  • STUDY for your Spelling test!
  • READ for 20 minutes!
  • TOMORROW is Blue & Gold Day to cheer on the Greyhounds!
With all the stage crew excitement at the end of the day, I was unable to snap a picture of your star-spangled children, but just know that we had one of the most spirited classes in all our old glory today.

We have (another) staff meeting right now, but later on I will try to tell you a little bit about our ill-fated remembrance of 9/11 today.  At least our hearts were in the right place!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Good, the Bad, And the Ugly

The sounds of boots scuffling along pervaded the halls of Woodbrook today.

Oh, and here's something we all learned today: canceled with one l and cancelled with two l's are both perfectly good spellings of the same word.

Bullet Points and Blazing Saddles

Homework for tomorrow:
  • Meaning exercise for spelling!
  • Study Link 2.3 for my math class
  • 20 minutes of reading
  • Tomorrow is Red, White, and Blue Day! The perfect day to be patriotic.
Again, I will post the picture I took of your buckeroos today, but not until later when I can finally email myself the picture.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hula Monsters

Here is 5-1 in all its tropical glory. They looked good!

Remember that tomorrow is Cowboy Day. Cowboy hats, chaps, and bandanas...I'll take another photo tomorrow provided we have some people dressed for the occasion!

Oh, and I have updated the grades at this point...kind of. I left a couple clipboards at school that have more grades on them for reading and word study. Oh, and work habits are on there too...and those are going to have some hits to them. So be on the lookout tomorrow night. But tonight will get you up to date on Science and Math.

Points of View

First off, a message about the Math assignment. It is a double-sided page, but the kids only have to do #1-10 and then 20-23. Your child is not lying if they tell you they only had to do those certain problems!

Today we did one last lesson for now in Science and then the kiddos did an exit slip over the material.

For Language Arts, the kids wrote compare and contrast entries in their journal and we had a discussion over "point of view" vs. "viewpoint".

Remember: Get your permission slips in if you haven't already for Camp Jameson on September 24! And don't forget to send in cash or a check for $15.

I will post the picture of the kids in their Hawaiian wear later on this evening. It won't send from my phone to my email in the school building for some reason.

One last thing: By midnight tonight, I will have updated the grades up to this point. Now that I've put it on the blog, I will have to do it!

Monday, September 8, 2014

To the Rhythm Of a Steel Drum Band

Don't forget, tomorrow is Tropical Day! I completely forgot to get a picture of the kiddos in their pajamas today, but I'll try to get one tomorrow of everyone in their loud Hawaiian shirts.

Real Quick

Staff meeting in just a few minutes! This one has to be a quickie.

Homework for tonight:
  • Read 20 minutes.
  • Venn Diagram (if they didn't finish it in class today, that is...)
  • Study Link 2.1 + Whoops Sheet if they want to do one for an extra point or two on their Math Test.
  • Definitions for spelling.
Hope everyone has a good evening. I'm out of here--you know, I would hate to be late for a staff meeting...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Again, We Creep Forward

Here is this week's spelling list. You can see the weekly spelling schedule to the left on the sidebar. This is an interesting spelling list. It's not as tough as the one a couple weeks back, and be happy that the list is not as hard as the fifth grade list in a certain other school in Hamilton County (I tutor a kid from this school--spelling is a nightmare...).

Anyway, here goes nothing:
  1. charter
  2. enrich
  3. glitch
  4. merchant
  5. orchard
  6. squelch
  7. stitching
  8. top-notch
  9. trenches
  10. wretched

Strange Days Indeed

ITEM #1: Do not forget that Monday is Pajama Day! Get into the spirit of homecoming this week!

ITEM #2: Yesterday's news here, but I still want to congratulate all of the Woodbrook team of Pups Runners who had their first meet in the heat of last Thursday night. Racers included Maddi, Jake, Regan, Izzy, Lydia, Ella, P.J., and Turner! (If I left anyone off this list--please let me know! I'm going from memory...) Don't know how you did it without passing out.

ITEM #3: Congratulations to Dominick from the 5-1 class of 2013-2014. His science teacher Tweeted out this picture after Dominick's foil boat held the most pennies of anyone in the class in what I would assume was a lesson on buoyancy. That's a future Boilermaker's German engineering mind right there! Seriously, it's fun to see former students going forth and doing awesome things. Great job, Dominick!

ITEM #4: We will have a Science quiz ourselves this week on the states of matter and a couple of the ideas we've discussed so far in this unit. (This is actually more of an exit slip...nothing you can really study for--you just have to listen in class!) Then, we are moving on to Social Studies for awhile.

ITEM #5: We will have a Math quiz on Friday based around the first few lessons of chapter 2. We will start chapter 2 tomorrow. It's all about big numbers, little numbers, and all computation in between. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Science Friction

Today we read a story in our reading book about a Sudanese refugee named John. John's story--from losing his family to starting first grade when he was eighteen years old to finally coming to America and going to college--was sad and inspiring. It led to a good discussion on First World Problems. I was kind of surprised that the kids knew this concept so well, but I'm happy that they did.

Here are some shots of the kids doing Science a couple days ago. They were sucking air, water, and flour into a syringe and making scientific observations. They did this again today, but with a different experiment. They also wrote these observations down in their science notebooks. I began collecting them today for a grade, just to make sure they are recording their observations and procedurals carefully--you know, just like real scientists.

All Spelled Out

Tomorrow we have our Caesar's English quiz and our Math Exam for chapter one. It feels like we've been back in school forever--can't believe this is our first test.

Here's what they will have to know for the Math test:

  •          The landmarks mode, median, minimum, maximum, range, and mean.

  • ·         How to construct a line plot.

  • ·         How to construct a stem and leaf plot.

  • ·         Be able to read a line graph.

  • ·         Be able to construct a bar graph.

  • ·         Use a percent circle.

Home Sweet Homecoming

Next week will be Spirit Week in celebration of Homecoming next Friday night at the high school. 

Monday:  Pajama Day
Tuesday:  Tropical Day
Wednesday:  Wild West Day
Thursday:  Red, White & Blue Day
Friday:  Blue and Gold Day

I will announce this to the class and post here each night before as well.