Friday, April 29, 2016


Evacuations, the sound of shattered dishes, clothespin beak experiments, foreign policy and agriculture, and first graders doing the splits made this one interesting day. This was a crazy day for so many reasons, but thankfully, it was a good one throughout.

Our day started with the bus evacuation drill. I tried to get some shots of that, but the morning sun was pretty darn bright. It looked pretty much like the last one, to be honest.

Next, we had the honor of being visited by Craig and Reed Anderson, who filmed the class singing our Friday song. I was really happy that they did a great job of singing it today, and I can't wait to see what kind of video production they come up with this year. This has become a tradition over the last couple years, back when Reed was just a fifth grader in my class. Luke tells me that plans to keep the tradition next year by coming back with them to film next year's class. As long as they can do it, they will always be more than welcome in Area 51.

I was particularly disaster-prone throughout the day. I'm not going to say that such disasters are usually beneath me, but normally they don't come with the frequency that they did today. I knocked a large ceramic mug off of my file cabinet which broke and scattered pencils everywhere--luckily I didn't have kids working next to the doorway. I was cleaning out a cabinet while the kids worked on their "Bills On Birds" experiment, when a whole shelf came down onto me. Once again, this was behind my desk, so thank goodness no kids were around, and the only casualty was my foot. I had realized that the cabinet needed a good pruning while I was looking for a set of rulers for said experiment. Then, I spilled a bunch of pencils later on in the day. I told the kids that it was probably best just to keep outside of a six foot radius of space around me for the rest of the day. They didn't, but what are you going to do?

As a part of our animal adaptations unit for Science, the kids did the "Bills On Birds" experiment, which I thought was pretty cool, but they seemed to find a little bit frustrating.

They also worked on some sweet posters of different parts of the presidential cabinet with their partners. I thought these were really fun, and I always love this project.

Next week we will have to continue with everything full-tilt. We will be back to a Spelling schedule, we will have a Science test, and we will even have a few new things thrown in there.

Until then!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We Came To the Light At the End

We finished ISTEP today, and then we got right back to work.

Once again, I've had the kids working mostly independently. We did some science and then we did some Social Studies today. For Social Studies, they do have ten questions on the back of their packet. They are supposed to write those answers on a sheet of lined paper (I gave them one).

For Math, my class has lesson 9.4 worksheet and a page of math problems that I made. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Children And Monsters

The kids had some fun today taking their anoles out for a little break into the open world. The braver of the kids actually handled them, as you can see. It's kind of neat seeing them interact, and watching the anoles (or "American chameleons") start to change color when they are in the grass versus on a branch. 

ISTEP is nearly over, which is great news for this teacher. I'm so ready for life to get back to normal...oh, yeah, that's right. The year is almost over. Never mind. 

Ah, well. I've always said that most classes get just the way I want them in about April. This one got there in October, which has been huge. I fear that I've been spoiled, and the payback is on its way. 

In the meantime, in the in-between time, I will take this year for what it is. I thank you all for having made it what it is.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Rightside Up

It took a long time, but I finally figured out how to send this picture and not have it come out upside down. I've wanted to show this for so long, but I hadn't been able to figure it out. I'm still not sure how I did it, to be honest. This picture is from when my class did a service day down at Gleaners last month. I like to think and hope that my class will continue to do this every year. No pressure, but I do hope that if you all decide to do this again, that you will continue to include your old fifth grade teacher each year.

It's All Educational

13 WTHR Indianapolis

This video came over the Carmel Clay Twitter feed. It's about a Spam Museum that just re-opened. It's located in Austin, Minnesota.

You may wonder what this has to do with anything. No, this isn't another Spy Vs. Spy post that is a total non-sequitur. This is one of the feature attractions visited by Coke and Pep, the McDonald twins, in one of the Genius Files books I read much earlier in the school year. Like all of the sites in that book, the Spam Museum is a real national treasure. The only big difference is that in the book, the twins get thrown into a vat of liquefied Spam by the evil Archie Clone.

Anyway, I thought I would share this when I saw it. I wonder if the CCS Twitter feed follows Dan Gutman or what.

The Hottest Topics That All the Teens Are Tweeting About

Today is yet another day with a staff meeting after school so that I can keep up with all of the hottest educational topics.* Thus, I will give you a little something right now. The kids updated their terrariums today, removing some of the grass and adding in some natural hardware to see what happened. We also had a little bit of a conflict inside one of the cages, but luckily it was quickly remedied.

We concluded the English/Language Arts part of our ISTEP test today, so one down and...oh, who knows how many more to go? Okay, I just now checked. We have three more to go.

I hope all of your kids get outside to play tonight, because all the homework they have is 20 minutes of reading. Don't forget to be filling out your reading logs, kids!

*Hopefully your kids will understand that reference.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Thank you to everyone who came out and got your hearts pumping at the Woodbrook Color Run yesterday afternoon. Once again, it was an awesome time. This time, I was a color thrower rather than a participant, so I didn't get as much of a chance to see everyone who was there--most of you were a blur running by me! I was happy to add some color to that blur, though.

It was really cool to see some former students in addition to my current ones. I saw Jordyn Callahan and Casey Alderman to name a couple from last year. My biggest surprise was getting to see Griffin Gonzales, who was there as a deejay for Carmel High School radio station WHJE. I hadn't seen him in about a year, so it was fun to catch up.

Anyone who was there or has ever been there knows what an awesome time this is. If you weren't there this year, make sure you come back next year--you're always welcome back at Woodbrook.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Forest For the Grass

He does a pretty good job of blending in, doesn't he? The kids have had fun this week working with their chameleons and making observations.

I've been really happy with how well the kids are doing at working independently right now. I have given them a number of assignments and ongoing projects, and my homeroom class is making me even more proud than ever.

I hope to see everyone at the Color Run tomorrow!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Life These Days

I wish I had more news than I really have.

Make sure the kids wear green today. I'm supposed to wear white. We'll see. Hopefully I will find something. Anyway, it's all for Earth Day tomorrow, which hopefully we can all appreciate to at least some extent.

It's a little boring during these days of ISTEP. You end up getting blog posts about Mad Magazine, which I love to write, but I can't imagine is interesting to anyone other than me.

Let me just say that I hope to see everyone at the Color Run on Saturday. 12 noon! Be there and prepare to run and be splattered with colorful dust. Just don't run with your mouth open like I did last year. Big mistake.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cold War Humor

Tonight on my way home, I was listening to a trivia podcast (have I mentioned how much I love random podcasts? Such a nerd...), and they started telling the story of a man named Antonio Prohias.

Prohias was a political cartoonist in 1960 in Cuba before Fidel Castro closed down the free press there. In fact, it was an accusation by Castro himself that Prohias was a spy (many of the subjects of his cartoons were Castro-related, as you could imagine) that sent him to the United States to seek a safer place to live. He had won many awards for his cartoons in Cuba, but was pretty much an unknown in the U.S.

Although he spoke no English, Prohias was looking for a place to publish his cartoons in New York when he stumbled upon a little publication called Mad Magazine. The cartoon he submitted was "Spy Vs. Spy". It has been a part of Mad ever since. I'm sure all of the dads out there (and some of the moms too, I'll bet) can testify that this strip always brought a smile with their simplicity.

As is pretty manifest, the whole thing was a metaphor for the Cold War. The reason it has always been completely wordless is because he didn't speak any English when he first moved here.

I love the American success story. I always love when I learn about another one.


It's hard to imagine Area 51 without Eli. He is what I think of as a "chameleon student". By that, I don't mean that he blends in and is hardly noticeable. What I mean is that he is the type of kid that I can group with any other student in the classroom without worrying that it will cause any kind of problem.

Eli has a great sense of humor. In fact, I think it's safe to say that if he was my age, he's what I would call a "good ol' boy". He's a real man's man--the kind you would go fishing with and then finish the day by eating a steak. I know Eli will take it as the compliment I intend it that I would not feel embarrassed to let out a loud belch in front of him.

If I want the job to get done without being asked a thousand questions, I give the job to Eli. I know he will find a way to get it done.

Eli, I hope you had a great birthday. You definitely deserve it.

Taste the Rainbow

I have a few bullet points for this morning.
  • I will be out this afternoon, just in case you try to get hold of me during that time.
  • Friday, all fifth grade students are supposed to wear green for Earth Day. I realize we just had Green Day last week, but hopefully it won't hurt the kiddos too bad to have another day of green. In fact, I'm hoping that my whole classroom looks like a great big field of fresh grass. 
  • ISTEP keeps plugging along (or should I say plodding along?), and the kids are all being real troopers. It's quite a relief that most of them are staying healthy--I remember this time last year, I had about a third of my students absent due to a pandemic stomach bug. 
  • Don't forget that this Saturday is the big Color Run right here at the WB starting at high noon. I'll be there throwing paint powder on everyone who runs by me. As always, be there and be square. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Well, it was a great day at the ballpark today as Woodbrook celebrated Baseball Day. We also took the ISTEP this morning, read some more of The Million Dollar Strike, and then the kids continued their work with their anoles, worked their vocabulary, drew cricket diagrams, etc. None of it is homework, by the way. They will continue working on this--among other things--tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week.

No homework at all tonight, and this will remain throughout the rest of the week. I am trying to give the kids a number of assignments and due dates and trying to get them to learn how to best manage their time, getting them ready for middle school.

I was pretty amazed this morning when this song came on before the announcements and the kids all said, "What's this?"

Makes me want to take a road trip to Cooperstown!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Let Me Go On Like a Lizard In the Sun

As I'm sure you've heard from your child, our little critters arrived on Friday. When I came in yesterday morning to water them, they were all basking in the sunlight. Luckily they were all still alive. I thought for sure that we would have a few reptile carcasses to dispose of, but nope. I guess everyone did such a great job at creating a healthy habitat that the lizards are all making a go of it.

ISTEP week is amongst us--AGAIN. At least this is the last time our fifth graders will ever have to take it...until they get to middle school and take whatever standardized test replaces this one. We will get through this!

Happy Monday.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


His name is Zach, and if today told me anything, it's that he is one of the most-liked students in a class full of extremely likable students. What can I say about Zach? He loves to invent, create, and tinker. I have no doubt that he could have a future as a big world-changer with his crazy ideas. As I was cleaning out my desk one day, I found a whole pile of random items that I gave to him, just because I wanted to see what he would do with them. He also loves babies.

One thing I really appreciate Zach is that he has a heart for all students in the class--not only the people he hangs out with after school. He just really loves people for who they are. I think his appreciation for all people is probably what makes all people really like him too. It's hard not to.

Happy Birthday, Z. Sorry your post is going up so late, but at least it will be date-stamped with your birthday. I hope it was a great day. You deserve it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow?


Thank you for your flexibility in cancelling this morning’s Hike & Bike to School.  While tomorrow is only going to be slightly warmer, we will plan to hold our Hike & Bike tomorrow morning. 

Please update your School Dismissal manager for tomorrow afternoon.  Parents can meet students outside of Door #2 upon the completion of Car Pool tomorrow.

Please note that Woodbrook is holding Hike & Bike to school this week during our Wellness Week instead of May 4th which is National Hike & Bike to School day.

Kelly Davis

It's the New Black

Well, just like we did yesterday, we began our day with a healthy walk around the school. You can see my class here, even though much of their orange is covered up. Maybe it was too cold for Hike and Bike to School, but it didn't seem that bad to walk around the school at all.

Here's a quick look at the kids' homework load for tomorrow:
  • My Math class has a test tomorrow. 
  • The students' conclusions for their papers are due tomorrow. They will have had time to work on this in class.
  • Page 81 in their white pages for Social Studies is due tomorrow as well. They will have time to work on this in class today as well. If they aren't finished, they will need to bring home both their white pages as well as their red hardback books tonight.
  • Meaning Exercises are due tomorrow as well for Spelling.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Today the class looked pretty green to me. Tomorrow may be a little harder one: orange. There are certain kids who seem to wear quite a bit of orange, and some people that I don't think I've ever seen in orange. I love orange, though, so I will be there looking like a great big tangerine. Also, don't forget to bring in your dimes tomorrow!

The Wild Contained

Well, today we covered writing intros and conclusions, how the colonies won the Revolutionary War, and we made our animal habitats for our critters, and we went to the library.

The kids have vowed to be much more on-task tomorrow during Science, because otherwise, they will get the joy of watching me take care of the animals all by myself, which won't put any of us in a good mood.

Here's tomorrow's homework:
  • Write an introduction for their papers. We worked on this in class today, so many of them may possibly have this finished. You will want to ask them about it, though, just to make sure. It's due tomorrow whether they are finished or not! 
  • Three times each for their spelling words is also due tomorrow.
Oh, and don't forget that tomorrow is Hike and Bike to School Day! If it's at all possible, get here that way tomorrow!

Monday, April 11, 2016

These Colors Do Run

I hate indoor recess. The best people are trying to play a game of "silent" ball, and everyone else is glued to their electronics.

Now on to better and brighter news: The Woodbrook Color Run is on April 23, and it starts at noon. This is a free event for the community. The event takes place entirely on Woodbrook's property. It is a 2-mile untimed walk/run, and the runners and walkers will be hit with colors at each of the six color stations. This started a couple years ago, and it's a fun time every year. You are strongly encouraged to register on the Sign-Up Genius before race day, but you can just be a walk-in participant as well. Children do all have to be accompanied by an adult, though. Oh, yeah, and don't forget to wear white clothing for the event.

It was good to see so many people wearing blue today, and keep in mind that tomorrow is GREEN DAY.

Have a good one!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Blue Monday

Hello hello! Hope everyone had a good Spring Break!

This is just a quick reminder to everyone that tomorrow we will be BLUE DAY for Wellness Week. And we're talking royal blue (as per the directions), so none of this sky blue or navy blue. We will not, however, turn away anyone wearing either of those two colors.

More to come tomorrow--although I have to say that I know already that I have a staff meeting after school tomorrow, so the time may have to be flexible.

Talk more soon!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Happy Birthday to Miss Parisa! Parisa is one bright girl with legendary fashion sense and an even better mind. Nothing Parisa ever does (to my knowledge, anyway) is ever less than excellent. She always gives her best effort. She is very strong-minded without being bull-headed. She actually thinks things through, whether it be the sentences she writes on her spelling tests or her incredibly talented writing.

Parisa is one of those students who keeps me politely informed when I have gone too long without changing the desk arrangement, changed the jobs, or done a ticket exchange. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I keep her pretty busy in that regard.

I hope you had a great birthday, Parisa! How lucky you are to have had a spring break birthday. We are lucky to have you as a part of the 5-1 Family.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Happy Birthday, Becca!

I think I've known Becca since she was about two. She was definitely tiny. But this rough and tumble hockey player has grown up, kicking butt and taking names the whole while. Becca is one of only three students I have for the entire day, including Math. She is one of the students that I could just leave in charge and take the rest of the day off. I have made her responsible for keeping me honest on the end-of-day dismissal changes.

Thanks for being that type of person, Becca, and for having such a big personality and a bigger smile. Hope you have a happy birthday--you deserve it!