Thursday, March 31, 2016

End To an Awesome Day

Today we sang the best version of "Road Outside Columbus" ever. Have a fantastic Spring Break, everybody! Be safe and come back healthy and rested.

Sweet Spring Is Your Time

Today was one crazy, twisted up, and derailed day. This wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds, though. We began our day with a Caesar's English quiz instead of going to specials right away. Then, we went to the fourth grade specials time because they were having their Ruth Lilly presentations during their normal time. We came back to the room and alternated between Silent Ball and Four Corners, two games whose popularity evades me, but at least it gave me a little down time to make my Math quiz.

Next, we had some board game fun time, and then we went to an early lunch. Yes, we even switched lunch times with the fourth grade. Then we actually got to go outside for recess today, despite my fears that it would be indoor due to the rainy-looking weather.

And now, here I am at the end of the last day before Spring Break, enjoying the quietest, most peaceful Math class I've had yet this year as the kids work independently on their City of the Future. They are having a great time--I just got up and walked around to have a good look at what they're doing. We have some real architects in here, and some pretty interesting imaginations as well.

I think I may need to run around and take everybody's temperature, because this day has gone incredibly well, and it's the day before Spring Break. Usually, the day before a big break is like trying to keep the lid on a pressure cooker. I like to chalk it up to their training, but the truth is you just have some pretty great kids.

Five Days of Good Health and Good Times

I'm making this announcement now, and I'm hoping these pictures of your kids will remind you to glance back at the blog before break is over.

First off, Monday is the day when we will wear royal blue and bring in our pennies to support the IPS #56 Food Pantry.

 On Tuesday of that week, send in your nickels and wear green.

On Wednesday, send in your dimes and wear orange

 On Thursday, send in your quarters and wear yellow.

And last but not least, on Friday, everyone bring a dollar and wear your workout clothes.

I do plan to make the brain breaks work-out related throughout the week, and yes, I will participate in them so that I can be extra-healthy as well. Here's to a healthy first week back from Spring Break!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Architecture and Mortality

Today in Math, my class became city planners as they designed their own cities of the future. We used the scale modeling we've been doing in class, and they are turning out pretty well. Tomorrow our quiz will be easy-peasey, then we will continue on with our cities, already in progress.

Earlier in the day we read the end of a short book that we began just on Monday. The book is called On My Honor, and it's the one sad book I read out loud to the class. Everyone did like it, from what I gathered. It's about two boys that go down to the river to swim, but only one comes out. He has to deal with the guilt and the truth when confronted later on. We didn't have any tears, but it was sad nonetheless.

Tomorrow is a Caesar's English quiz! Don't forget to study!

Last but not least, let's not forget to dress tropically tomorrow. It should look like a regular luau in Area 51.

(And by the way, fans of OMD, imagine how excited I was to be able to use this post's title in such a fitting way...)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Up Close And Personal

For Science today, we studied worms. Seriously. We are getting ready to create terrariums for our anoles after spring break, but in the meantime, in the in between time, we have to set them up with soil, gravel, grass, earthworms, and crickets.

We discussed the importance of earthworms to creating fertile soil. 

Today we took a very close-up look at an earthworm, and the kids drew their own worm diagrams complete with labels.

The plan is to continue the practice with crickets tomorrow.

Get To the Bottom Line

Click here for the link to the CNN Student News from yesterday. I thought it was a really interesting story about all of the fresh food that is more popular now than ever. Bottom line: Wash it! But it's a very well-done piece and I highly recommend giving it a view.

Congratulations to Grant Egger, who won the latest Box Tops award for bringing in the most box tops.

Other important upcoming Woodbrook events:
  • Wellness Week is from April 11-15. More specifics to come.
  • April 13 is Hike and Bike To School Day.
  • April 18-28 is ISTEP online testing. (So we're seriously going to go through with it, even though it's been discarded already?)
That's all for now. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Better Late

The biggest news for 5-1 today is that the final drafts of the kids' papers are not due this week, but will wait until after we get back from spring break instead. Most of the kids seemed to be greatly relieved at this news.

The second thing is that we will have a Caesar's English quiz on Thursday. This is the kind of list that is the five words from classic literature. The list went home today.

Lastly, my Math class will have an exam on Thursday, and the study guide will go home tomorrow.

I had a lot more planned for the blog today, but that didn't even happen after school like it was supposed to, and now I'm just putting something out there with the vital information. More tomorrow, hopefully!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Gotta Love 'Em

I hate indoor recess so much. It's really difficult watching your class having to play silent ball with another class wherein--it would seem--character education isn't a thing.

I'll say it again. I love my class.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Much Ado About Much To Do

One of the best things about the owl pellet project is that it gives me the chance to just sit back and let the kids take charge over their own thing. Right now I'm listening to them chatter away while intensely focused on their specimens.

I told the kids earlier that their rough drafts for their paper are not due until tomorrow. It was my mistake when I didn't even mention it yesterday.

Also due tomorrow is the meaning exercise, and at least the Study Link for math, maybe more.

Don't forget that the Social Studies take-home test is due on Friday, two days from right now.

The Parade Of Bikes

Hike/Bike to School Day
April 13
Don’t miss Hike/Bike to school April 13, the week students return from spring break. hike/bike is right after spring break.
Please remember to make any dismissal changes on
on myccs for after school. All students must be accompanied by an adult to help cross intersections.
If you have questions, please contact Deana Keen at or 317.374.4592.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Feast On the Bread Of Kings

Don't forget that tomorrow night is Arni's Night for Woodbrook. If you eat at or order from the Arni's on East 96th St. any time tomorrow from open to close (11am-10pm for your convenience), the good people of Arni's will donate 20% of your check back to Woodbrook.

When I think back to eating at Arni's in Lafayette growing up, I think of their pizza and salads, but mostly I think of their heavenly, exquisite garlic bread (seen below).

I'm sure it's just a nostalgia thing, but doggone it, was it ever divine.

Excavating the Future

An owl pellet is made up of the regurgitated bones and fur of an owl's prey. I told the kids all about this yesterday morning, and then today, the kids got the chance to begin picking away at their own owl pellets. As you can imagine, the reactions thus far have been pretty mixed, but I'm hopeful in our future biologists. They have their bone charts as well as the animals that they might find within the digested nuggets of compacted fur, beaks, bones, and teeth.  

The kids are digging very carefully, so as not to break any bones. They are like little archaeologists or forensic scientists carefully combing through the pellets to try and figure out what their owl had for lunch on the day their regurgitations were harvested.

I think everyone would probably agree that this is a little more interesting and exciting than our unit on matter. 

The kids also performed their skits today from Social Studies/Reading a couple weeks ago. One of the groups took it really seriously, but then the other half didn't. Luckily it was an assignment from an already-completed quarter. 

Hope everybody has a pleasant Tuesday evening. 

Bits Of Business

ITEM! The date for the Fifth Grade end of year party has been changed to Tuesday, May 24 for some reason. Before, it was on that Thursday, I believe. It's at the same place and at the same time, but just an altered date.

ITEM! The following "Community Message" came across the wire earlier: 

Two (2) tornado drills will be conducted statewide today as part of Indiana Severe Weather Awareness Week. Outdoor emergency sirens will be activated at approximately 10:15AM and 7:30PM today unless weather conditions warrant a delay. Outdoor sirens are designed to alert those outside and may not be effective inside a building. Residences and buildings should be equipped with weather alert radios.
Please review your severe weather plans at home and at work so everyone is clear on how to respond in the event of a weather related event. For more information on tornadoes and other severe weather visit
 Sounds like everyone can everyone can practice this at home! Sounds like a plan.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Just a quick update--Monday afternoon staff meeting, you know.

I gave the kids a take-home test today that is due on Friday. I even wrote at the top the pages it covers in the hardback book.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Other homework is just a Study Link for Math and their spelling definitions.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

But It's Not Going To Stop

My plans for the week have been made, and I have to say that it will be a pretty busy one, but it should have a decent amount of fun thrown in to the mix.

This is really mostly an FYI at the beginning of the week that we will have a normal spelling schedule, a take-home test for Social Studies (due Friday), and for my Math class we will also have a quiz on Friday, of course. I will keep you updated for other assignments throughout the week.

I hope everybody had a great weekend. I got over my illness from last weekend just in time to get slammed with the allergies, it would seem. If you were one of the many disappointed by Purdue, Michigan State, and Kentucky over the last few days, then you are in good company.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rhapsody In Green

The class looked like a field of green clovers today. I hope it was a fortuitous day for everyone and that you all find a pot of gold sometime soon.

Spelling test tomorrow! Don't forget to study up!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Both Wider And More Porous

Today we took a look at the density of different materials using braided yarn ropes vs. twisted paper towels. The kids found out, scientifically, of course, that the paper towel is far less dense than the yarn.

We also learned about the events leading up to the American Revolution, continued on our outlines (due tomorrow, but most people are finished or almost there), and made flashcards for their spelling words.

In math, we learned all about calculating rates. I also found out that the class knew very little about the mongoose, which I thought was common knowledge. They learned a thing or two today!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mess Up And Praise

Oh, man, I have to apologize for the Math tests. I am reevaluating them right now. I thought they were all fixed, but then it turns out...not so much. I will have them all bandaged up and returned tomorrow.

I only have a couple minutes right now, but I want to say that I was so impressed with how well my class was working on their outlines for their papers. This is the absolute smoothest this process has ever gone. Ever. Seriously. It's almost scary.

I could go on and on, but I really owe these kids. For now, I have to run, but thank you--your kids are making my job really easy right now.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Well, look at who got a special shout-out in the Woodbrook World on such a tight turn-around! In the little article, it thanks me for showing kids how to give back to the community, but really we all know the thanks should go out to the parents and kids, and especially to Tina Fleming, for the whole big shebang. Thanks again, everyone. I heard this morning that we set a record for doing 900+ bags in under two hours. What can I say? We all work together well.

This morning I had the students put their notecards full of information into categories. I stood and had the students tell me categories of what I was wearing--things about my plaid shirt, my pants, my shoes, etc. We took all the facts that had to do with my shirt and put them together. The same went for my pants and then my shoes. Then I had the kids put their notecards into categories similarly. I told them to spread them out, take a look at them overall, and then try to categorize their research. It turned out pretty well. Tomorrow we will talk about writing an outline.

We also took some time this morning to fill out our March Madness brackets. This is the time where I have to apologize to anyone who isn't into that kind of thing--it was only about fifteen minutes! But I have to say that a much larger portion of my class got into it than I thought would at first.

I hope everyone has a decent week--from the looks of the weather, the barometric pressure will be up and down like a yo-yo this week, so I hope things don't get too volatile on you at home or here at school. I'll try to keep things on an even keel on my end.

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Well-Oiled Machine of Awesome

I want to give a big thanks to Mrs. Reasoner for sending me these pictures yesterday. What a cool experience it was to all work together--parents and kids (plus a teacher thrown in there) to work for Gleaners for Saturday morning. It was quite a learning experience for everyone, and I was really proud of all of them. Thank you to Dr. Fleming for putting this whole thing together for us. She did all the legwork for it. All I did was collect the permission slips and send them home with Gavin.

While I'm at it, I want to apologize to everyone for not having the grades updated right now. I had tried to get this finished up today from home, but for some reason, it won't let my computer run the program--evidently my Java is too up to date, and we're still not supposed to update it at school. It is on my long to-do list for tomorrow to get that finished up, and calling kids back to get everything updated the way it needs to be finished up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Another Packed Day In the Books

Thus far today, the kids have worked almost entirely independently. I'm really happy with where we are as a class. They have done exit slips on quotation marks, work in their Social Studies, and worked on their research for their papers. Right now, they are working on their Wild West skits about the Nevada town of Rhyolite, which is now a ghost town.

Here are the kids doing a quick activity right before recess today to show their great appreciation for our food service staff. These students aren't only choosy eaters, it turns out they are also choosy when it comes to what food they color in.