Sunday, December 10, 2017

How to Succeed in Business

A huge thank you goes out to Mrs. Zimmer, Mrs. Reasoner, Mrs. Holtz, Mrs. Elshire, Mrs. Douglas, Mrs. Dorman, Mrs. Chandler, and Mrs. Alderman for helping make our trip to BizTown on Friday possible. I cannot thank you enough, personally. I hope you had fun that day, and enjoyed getting to see your kids in action!


By the way, they didn't have enough merchandise this year! That was my biggest disappointment. So many lessons thrown down the drain.

Nonetheless, it was a great day full of fun and real-world lessons.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


I hope everyone has had a great (and snowy!) weekend. I had kids in my neighborhood sledding right in the streets. It seems like it's been a long time since we've had a snow-covered winter, and call me old-fashioned, but I think it's high time we have another one.

Tomorrow I will lay out our next week. For the past month plus, we've been planning for BizTown, but now it's time to move forward with the last bit before the semester (!) break. We still have a few major chunks to finish up or get done in their entirety.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Black Friday

I have a ton of pictures to post (and I realized I also still have a ton from Camp Jameson!), but for now, just know we came back to Woodbrook this afternoon and played silent ball while we listened to John Lennon (it is the anniversary of his death today, after all).

What a great day! Thanks to all the parents who came out to help today. You worked hard and your kids worked harder. I will name names when I post the pictures. Thanks again!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Properties of the Times

Don't forget--tomorrow your child needs a completely disposable sack lunch, and they ought to look really good and professional.

I'll take tons of pictures!

The kids worked really hard at their writing this morning. I'm looking forward to how these papers are going to turn out. We are combining their graphics with their information, and it's working out really well.

In Math, we did some review on PEMDAS and the distributive property.

Right now, we are having indoor recess, which is the seventh circle of you-know-where for teachers! Let's hope the second half of our day is a bit more docile. 

Are We There Yet?

This picture is actually from yesterday, but it's of a group of kids wrapping up their preparation for BizTown. I think they're getting excited about the trip.

Plus, there's snow outside right now, and that also has the kids a bit riled. Let's hope we can bring back some of the serenity of the past few days before the room explodes!

We have all the permission slips, so we are in good shape! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Productivity's Peak

One thing I'm going to tell the kids about Friday is that they are doing jobs that are important, and that they need to dress for success that day.

We accomplished so much today, it's not even funny. In fact, the kids have really come through the last few days--extremely productive and incredibly flexible. I couldn't be more proud!

Loving my job as much as I ever have right now.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Define the Great Line

We got a lot done today! I am happy to say that we got everything "official" crossed off our list, so we are well on track for BizTown, reading, math, social studies, and everything.

Just a reminder: we do still need a couple more permission slips for Friday.

Speaking of which, we received word that:
  1. We have all of the parents we can take to BizTown with us. 
  2. We cannot take anyone else. Also, you're not allowed to just come and visit or peek in or spectate. We will take plenty of pictures! Your child is safe there. They will be okay, even without the live Facebook updates. 
Talk soon! Hope you're having a good evening, and that you're staying warm. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Man On the Supermoon

I wasn't there at the end of the day today, but I trust (with great hope) that it went well with Mrs. Dawson at the helm of the ship.

We worked some on our research papers today, we started in on a Caesar's English lesson, and in Math we had quite a lesson today, which the kids did really well with.

Not a bad way to start the week (okay, hopefully even after I've talked with Mrs. Dawson tomorrow morning).

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

Once again, we have a full week ahead of us.

This week, we are set to:
  • almost wrap up our research papers 
  • keep on plugging away on our Colonial times in the history of America
  • continue our great reading chapter on the concept of justice
  • do a complete Caesar's English lesson
  • and in Math, we will keep doing chapter 4--there will probably be a quiz (open note) on Thursday (not totally sure yet)
I hope you all have a fantastic week. Don't forget that BizTown is on Friday! 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Yesterday Is Coming Up in February

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

This is just a reminder that, if you can, please sign up to volunteer on the Sign-Up Genius for Colonial Days on February 2! That's a Friday. It's always a great time. Our very own Mrs. Elshire is in charge of it this year.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Math In the Real World

I hope everyone had a great week. We had a very mixed-up, madhouse day in Area 51, but at least we made it through in one piece. We had substitutes all over the place, taking tests at weird times, and we read a great story called "Crossing Bok Chitto" in our crab books.

We also finished watching Hidden Figures this afternoon. We not only got to see the triumphant ending, but it was extremely satisfying to see how all of the ladies ended up in real life.

Next week, it's full steam ahead with BizTown, a Caesar's English list, paper writing, and more and more math!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Regularly Scheduled Chaos

Man, must be a full moon or something today.

Homework tonight is just study for the spelling test, bookmark is due tomorrow, and my math class has home link 4.3!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Office Space

I don't know if I'm going to have much of a chance to update the blog after school today, so I wanted to let you know what's going on in 5-1.

Today is going to be a big BizTown day. We have already filled out our checkbooks with our account numbers and names. Later on, we will be writing friendly letters. That could be quite an undertaking.

We will also be doing some more Social Studies in the in-between time.

In Math this morning, we did quite a bit of work with order of operations!

Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Wake Up the Echoes

Well, today was the first day we've had the "big triangle" since we went to Camp Jameson! Your kids will know what that means, but I have to say that I was extremely pleased with their behavior all day today. They were quiet, respectful, and kept up with what was going on throughout the day today.

We did close out the day by watching some more of Hidden Figures. This is a really powerful movie if you haven't seen it. By the way, if you haven't yet, the video above is worth a watch for sure. More true history and another really great story.

In the middle, we did some history (including discussing the reasons for the founding of the different colonies), we did some researching time, took some catch-up language arts time, and in Math, we talked exponents! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Color of Money

First and foremost, I am extremely grateful to my class because they were incredibly well-behaved for Mrs. Barnes, our guest teacher, this morning. She is a keeper--I will make sure to try and get her again sometime if I have to be gone.

We got some other things done when I returned. Some information gathered on the research projects, I was able to clear up some missing assignments, and we did quite a bit of check-writing this afternoon.

Tonight, their only homework is reading for 20 minutes, their math box fill-in (my math class only), and their spelling definitions.

Hopefully everyone had a great Monday. 

A Message From Clay Middle School

It is hard to believe that we are already beginning to prepare for the 2018-2019 school year. [That's because it's way too early to be starting this! Every. Year. Sorry, that's an editorial from Mr. C. Now, back to Clay...] We are excited for the opportunity to welcome and get to know our incoming 5th grade students.  Below is a summary of orientation activities.  These events are designed to answer questions, provide information, smooth the transition and get students excited for the transition to Clay Middle School. 

February 15, 2018
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Woodbrook Activity Night

Students will tour our school, learn about the day-to-day life of a Clay student, enjoy pizza, and receive a Clay t-shirt! Parents should drop off and pick up children at the front entrance.

January 23, 2018
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Parents - Clay Middle School Auditorium
Students - Clay Middle Gymnasium

While parents attend a meeting to receive information regarding curriculum and the course selection process, incoming sixth grade students will meet in the gymnasium to learn about our performing arts program. Teachers and current students will provide an overview of the middle school band, orchestra, and choir programs for students.

Jan. 29, Feb. 1 & 3
Instrument Try On Dates

Students considering playing an instrument in either band or orchestra will have the opportunity to try on a variety of instruments to determine what may be a good match.  Details and information will be upcoming.

February 1, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Parent Coffee

Clay Middle School administrators, counselors, and student services coordinators will be hosting an informal coffee at Clay Middle School to address any unanswered questions and get to know our new Clay parents.

February 5 – February 9
Clay Counselors Visit Elementary Schools

Clay Middle School counselors will be visiting elementary schools to speak with 5th grade students about requesting courses for 6th grade. Parents will login to the online course request system to view and finalize their child’s selections.  Detailed instruction will be sent home.

February 26, 2018
Deadline for Online Course Requests

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Combinations and Permutations

Here's what you will need to know this week, as far as I can tell right now:
  • First off, I will be out tomorrow morning in a meeting, but I will be back at 11:30. I have left the substitute some pretty detailed instructions. I will be in the building, so I will make sure the kids know that I am easily within reach.
  • In addition to that, I have quite a few missing assignments from certain students. I will go over that list with them when I come back tomorrow. 
  • For Math, my students should get their tests back tomorrow, unless they haven't finished them yet. I will make sure they complete them tomorrow!
I leave you tonight with some Tom Petty, and best wishes for a great week!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Wild Ride Ahead

I hope everyone is having a great start to their holiday season.

I was at the school today, and let's just say that the next four weeks are going to be pretty packed. More updates tomorrow, but buckle up, buckeroos. You're in for some busy days.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! However you're celebrating, I hope you enjoy yourselves.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Feast of Friends

A huge thanks goes out to Mrs. Zimmer, Mrs. Alderman, Mrs. Elshire, and Mrs. Bailey (who was called away to help out in her younger son's party, but was still with us in spirit) for today's fifth grade fall party!

The rest of the day was spent with a Math test, a special extra-credit Word of the Day quiz, and then watching Hidden Figures. And then, when the party committee ran out of stuff to do with some time left, I told them they needn't worry. The kids were more than happy to play Silent Ball for the rest of the time.

More later, but for now, I wanted to thank our moms for their patience and cooperation during our afternoon parties. I was very happy to say that all of my moms had prior experience in 5-1!

Monday, November 20, 2017

We Call It Our Burden, But It's Really Our Privilege

As challenging as the class was today, I couldn't help but feel a soft spot in my heart when I thought back to the attention and doting I have received from them over the last few days.

We have one more day, guys! Let's hold it together.

Math test tomorrow!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Survey Says

Well, the ladies beat us men, but the best thing about all of it is that they did bring in much more food than we would have otherwise. Great job, everyone!

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The best parts of my Friday in Area 51:
  • The excellent report I received from Mrs. Bennett (and, I am guessing, Mr. Hunter) as they were my "subs" this afternoon while I was busy with the other teachers putting the kids in their jobs for BizTown. The very fact that they were playing Silent Ball when I returned was a good sign, but Mrs. Bennett's "perfect" report did my heart some real good.
  • The "card" the kids gave me when I came back wishing that I get well soon. It was signed not only by my class, but also by Mr. Vahle's class (I'm guessing they all came into the room at some point while I was gone?). That made me smile out loud. It's a keeper, I assure you.
  • All of the help I got today (and yesterday) from Nurse Barb, Mrs. Somers, Mrs. Stemnock, Mrs. Loeffler, Mr. Vahle, Mrs. Jarding, Mrs. Ratner, Mr. Z, Mrs. Helgeland, Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Wald, Mrs. Allen in the lunchroom, Mrs. Young, Miss Liz, Mr. Sloane, and Mrs. Vahle, Not to mention the help the kids have given me--in both homeroom and math class--over the past two days. Doggone it, I love where I work! 
The worst part of today:
  • Having to report to my class that none of the three who ran for the office of mayor, girl DJ, or boy DJ won the election. What can I say? That's life. But life isn't always fun. But I am happy to say that I loved putting all of my students into jobs today. Even if barely anyone got one of their three picks, we have all done this for many years now, and we know what each kid is going to like and dislike.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On Ice

First of all, I am sorry that the blog hasn't been more content-heavy this week. I was out yesterday (and took a fall as well...), but it looks like I have a somewhat decent report from Mrs. Ullman. 

For Math, I helped the kids figure out today what is going to be on the Quest next Tuesday. 

For Social Studies, we're plugging right along with our BizTown unit. The kids are getting pretty great at writing checks so far. 

Your kids were all really good at helping me out today--I turned my ankle yesterday and have been pretty gimpy all day. Luckily I had a bunch of little assistants looking out for me. 

More to come, but right now, I'm turned in my chair with my foot up on ice and it's kind of hard to type. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Happy Birthday to Luke!

To say that Luke is the heart and soul of the 5-1 class would be an understatement. He is always happy. He is always up for anything. He does such a great job of coming in every day and doing his attendance, and not only that, but he lets me know if his Lifeskills friends Dalila and Liam are here or not.

During the morning announcements, whenever someone is talking in the classroom, he always looks at me and puts his finger to his mouth in a "shhhh!" movement. Whenever he walks into the classroom, I am always greeted with a big hug. When I see him again at recess time, it's like he hasn't seen me in a year.

I've heard it said that you don't remember people for what they do or say, you remember them for how they make you feel. I think this is very true. And I have to say that I think Luke will always be remembered for someone who makes people feel great.

Happy birthday, Luke! You definitely deserve it!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Oh, It's On!

During the staff meeting after school today, Mrs. Stemnock, Mrs. Loeffler, and I came up with a great idea. Instead of pitting one class against another (it was originally going to be my class against their two classes), we thought we would do a boys (MEN, seen above) vs. girls. We challenged each other to make cool signs, and now in fifth grade, we have the "Man Barrel" vs. the "Girls Rule" barrel. The challenge is to be the first to fill it!

Thanks to the ladies of the fifth grade pod for coming up with this great idea and making it fun for all of us.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bring It!

After the exercise in Math the other day with the groceries, I jump-started 5-1's donation barrel. (I wish I had read what they said here about corn, though...)

I'm thinking I may need to challenge another class to try to get the highest amount of donations. Come on, guys! Let's show them that Area 51 has more than just alien life forms!

Red-Shifting Toward the Speed of Light

First off, I'm going to link right here so that everyone can see that I did finally get a picture of Dalila after school was over the other day!

Secondly, our trip to the Palladium is this Wednesday. This is just during the morning hours, so everyone will be back way before lunch; no need to pack one. I will not be at school this day. Luckily, one of the kids' favorite guest teachers, Mrs. Ullman, has agreed to take over for me that day. I am not worried about her going on the field trip. What I am worried about is that not everyone is going to have their permission slips turned in on time. I am still missing a few, so if you haven't signed one for your child, take a look through their go-folder to make sure it's not in there. If it's not, I need to know ASAP so that I can get one to your child before then.

Third item: This week, I am starting a new thing in the grade book under work habits. They will have one for their general homeroom, and I believe I'm going to set one up for my Math class as well (probably just ten points). If they come in without their homework finished, they lose a point--I have told them countless times that it does not count if they come in and are doing it really fast in the morning.

Talk soon!

Appreciated Even More

Our day on Friday started off with the Veteran's Day program. Although it's been two years since my class last ran this program, it still makes me happy every time I see it. I am happy to report that nearly all of my class was quiet and respectful of the veterans Friday morning.

We said good-bye to a beloved WBE staff member on Friday morning, and it's most likely someone you have never met if you're a parent. Mrs. Carol Moore spent the last eleven years at Woodbrook as the cashier in the lunch line. She was one of the "invisible" people who makes the school run as well as it does. She always spoke so kindly to the kids, calling them "sweetie", and always made sure that I was taken care of as well. Everybody at Woodbrook is going to miss her like crazy. She gets to retire now and help take care of her grandkids. We would never want to deprive her of that.

Lastly, the speeches for BizTown were very successful. 5-1's own Connor A, Hope E, and Kiarra T did a great job and did us proud by getting up and delivering their speeches to the entire fifth grade.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Fair

Dear Parents,

It’s time for our school book fair!  Join us on a trip to the  “Wild West Book Fair - Saddle Up and Read!”  The book fair will take place in the Woodbrook Media Center on November 13-17, 2017.

Our class will shop on Tuesday, November 14, from 9:30-10:20. You may send money with your child on that date or you are welcome to join them at that time to shop as well.

In addition, there will be a Family Night on Tuesday, November 14th from 5-7:30 p.m. where you can shop together as a family.

We are looking forward to a fabulous week of adventure on the wild frontier during book fair week. Hope you can join us for some fun.


Mr. Carter

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Wolves of 116th Street

What a good day we've had!

Today, we started off with Math. In Math, we did our version of Supermarket Sweep. Students walked around and took down statistics on two similar items. For instance, I had a can of Kroger corn, and a can of Del Monte corn. They found that what appears to be the best deal is not always the best deal.

Then, the kids went to specials, where, luck would have it, it was their day to do the Pacer Test! Most everyone decided to change out of their nice clothes for that one, understandably. But of course, they had to put their good clothes back on when we came back, because then...

We had the big BizTown interviews! The kids looked so nice. They had a mix of anxiousness and confidence as they were called out one by one to be interviewed. I gave them a good amount of buzzwords yesterday to help them; hopefully they remembered.

This afternoon, the kids learned the fine art of check-writing. If you think writing checks is time-consuming now, try teaching the kids the importance of every little detail of writing a check, writing a deposit ticket, and keeping a bank ledger. I told them that, yes, this is a pretty outdated thing in the days of debit cards, but we still do write checks from time to time, and it's a good habit to record things in your check register.

All in all, a great day full of real-world learning opportunities. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Farewell, Friendly Smile

Today we said goodbye to Mrs. Sculthorpe. You may not have heard her name this school year, but I assure you that hers is a face that is known well to all members of Area 51. You see, Mrs. Sculthorpe was the long-range sub for Mrs. Mitchell, who adopted a baby this summer and is on maternity leave. She has been the teacher for the Lifeskills class, and so she has been the main teacher to three of our 5-1 classmates. Normally, she plays invisible, just walking around and helping Luke, Dalila, and Liam with their Word of the Day and with their attendance in the morning. She has been really great about including many of the mainline fifth graders in helping the Lifeskills kids during silent reading time and during dismissal.

Starting tomorrow, she finally gets to begin enjoying her retirement! She officially retired from CHS this spring, but came right back to work on the first day of school this year. We all wish her the absolute best, and we hope to see her subbing again soon. She said that right now, she gets to focus on some volunteer work she does for Janus Developmental Services, which provides help in finding jobs for developmentally challenged adults.

So long, Mrs. Sculthorpe! We all know you will love the retired life, and we thank you for all you have done during this first few months of the school year.