Tuesday, January 31, 2017

As In a Blender

Today in Math, I was incredibly pleased with how well the kids seemed to learn the concept of adding positive and negative numbers. We used the idea of red and blue poker chips, the illustration of digging holes and putting ladders in them, and the idea of looking at which digit is highest to tell whether the answer would be negative or positive.

We also learned a few things about Lewis and Clark, possessive pronouns, the states of matter, and a thing or two about Colonial Days.

I think that's all for right now. I will be out tomorrow afternoon, so you may not hear from me for a little bit during that time, and it may be tomorrow night again before I update around here.

Have a great evening!

Straight From the Lion's Mouth

If you're like me, you received this in email form (plus some that wasn't easy to cut and paste). 

I have to run for now, but I will definitely post more later. But all the kids have for homework tonight is reading for 20 minutes and math!

Woodbrook Father / Daughter Dance Feb. 10

Grass skirts, flower shirts, torch lights, and tropical delights -- Daddy / Daughter Luau
Girl Scout Troops 690, 218, and the PTO are hosting the first Woodbrook all girl Daddy/daughter dance on Friday, Feb. 10, 7-9 p.m. Please sign up to attend and enter your daughter's name in the comments. The dance is $5 per girl ($2.50 for food & $2.50 for craft photo frame) and two cans of food that will be given to various food pantries in our area. Music will be provided by Tim Elshire. Snacks and drinks will be served. A photo booth will be set up and the girls will be able to make a frame for their photo with dad. If dad is not available bring a brother, uncle or grandpa. Please RSVP ASAP.

If you have any questions please reach out to Jill Elshire at jmelshire@hotmail.com

Winter / Valentine's Day Classroom Parties Feb. 14 

Celebrate Valentine's Day with your child's class. This year's Valentine's Day Party will take place Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 1:30 p.m. Please sign up below to help out with the party in your child's classroom. We need 3-4 parents for each classroom. Volunteers should arrive by 1:25 to sign in before going into the cafeteria for a brief meeting before heading to the classrooms. Parties will last until 2:25 and will include a special snack, games, and a craft. ALL volunteers must have a current background check on file in the office as well as have watched the anti-bullying video available on the myccs website. Siblings may not attend the party due to district policy. Please direct any questions to Jessie Mock at jtmock@gmail.com. If you have any allergy concerns, please contact Nurse Barb at bneukam1@ccs.k12.in.us

Note: On the Valentines Day Party we will be serving iced sugar cookies from Kroger to all the students. For an alternative snack, we will be serving Enjoy Life's Sugar Crisp Crunch Cookies. https://enjoylifefoods.com/our-food/crunchy-cookies/crunchy-sugar-crisp/ These cookies are free from: Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Peanut, Tree Nut, Egg, Soy, Fish, Shell Fish, Casein, Sesame, Sulfites, Potato.

Former WBE Student Seeks Input for Research

Hi everyone! My name is Jamie Goetz and I am a senior at Carmel High School. I am currently working on my AP Capstone Research Project. For this project, I am researching the importance of encouraging students to recreate outside during the winter. I will be using this research project to study the important effects of recreating outdoors during the winter as well as research how to do so in a safe manner. I will be combining research regarding the powerful effects of nature and the healing qualities of winter with the significance of unstructured play, an interconnected topic not yet explored.
It would be extremely helpful to my project if you could fill out the attached survey if you are currently a parent of an elementary school student. The survey is only 5 questions and will only take 2 to 3 minutes to complete. If you could fill it out within the next week that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for your time. I am very excited about this project!
Jamie Goetz, CHS 2017

WBE Enrichment Specials - Carmel Clay Parks

Please check out all of the amazing classes that will be offered on-site at Woodbrook between February 21-March 30, from 2:45-3:45pm. Offerings may be found below or online here.
Woodbrook Elementary Enrichment Specials. Registration is currently open and can be accessed on the Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation website here.
These classes are opened up to all Woodbrook Families. The Enrichment Specials are posted online at http://carmelclayparks.com/ese/enrichment-specials/, with an enrollment link provided. Minimum enrollment must be met ONE WEEK from the start date of the respective class.

Coming Up at Woodbrook

  • Feb. 1 -- Jump Rope for Heart
  • Feb. 3 -- Fifth Grade Colonial Days
  • Feb. 10 -- Father Daughter Dance
  • Feb. 14 -- Valentine's Day Parties
  • Feb. 17 -- Incoming Kindergarten Tours
  • Feb. 20 -- WBE Ice Skating Party 10 a.m. to noon. at Fishers Fuel Tank
  • Feb. 20 -- Presidents' Day - No School
  • Feb. 23 -- PTO General Meeting
  • Feb. 23 -- Family Food Night @ Mellow Mushroom
  • Feb. 24 -- 1st/2nd Grade Musical
  • Feb. 25 -- Mane Bash Auction / Parents' Night Out
  • Feb. 27 - March 10 -- ISTEP Testing Window
Mark Your Calendar for April 12 -- Spring Hike / Bike to School Day
Spring hike/bike is scheduled for Wednesday, April 12 (rain date Thursday, April 13). Parents should check email the morning of the event in case it is cancelled due to weather/fog. Parents should utilize the School Dismissal Manager for any changes on the way home from school including hike/bike. Bikers/Hikers need to be accompanied by an adult and guided across intersections. Questions can be directed to DeanaKeen@me.com 317.374.4592.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Near Future; Recent Past

In Math today, we began by going over the quiz from last Friday. The kids didn't do all that hot overall, so I decided to break the subject matter up into chunks and give them an Exit Slip each day this week. Today it was over expanded notation using exponents and powers of 10. Yes, that's what we do in fifth grade now. But it's okay, because even though it sounds incredibly complex, everyone got it no problem today.

The kids also received a new Caesar's English list, we did most of a lesson on matter, and we did a little bit of reading as well. Oh, and the kids wrote their butts off as well. Mrs. Dunlap made another appearance today, and she is so good at getting the most out of even the most reluctant writers.

Finally, a few teachers from Clay Middle are coming in tomorrow--not to observe the kids they will be getting next year (although, I wouldn't blame them for two birds and one stone), but to watch me teach and see how fifth grade runs at Woodbrook. Well, as far as the language arts portion goes, anyway. I've been told not to do anything special, so I plan to just do what we would normally do.

Talk soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Same Riff; No Apostrophe

Happy Chinese New Year, all!

As for this week, well, the obvious biggie is Colonial Days on Friday. I know that many of you parents are volunteering for that one, and we are extremely thankful for you coming and giving your time that day. It would be impossible without your dedication.

We will have a Caesar's English quiz on Thursday (list going home tomorrow) and a Social Studies take-home test that is due on Friday.

Wednesday is Jump Rope for Heart day, and Clay Middle School counselors will come that day to tell the kids about making their schedules for next year. They will bring all that information hope that day.

For now, I think that's all there really is to know. Have a happy cock-a-doodle-doo year!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy To Report

We got quite a bit done today, I'm happy to report. We had a couple quizzes and a spelling test, but other than that, our day was relatively chill.

The kids did do more power-writing today, and that was pretty impressive for the most part. These kids are really doing well at telling meaningful stories, and if not, they are telling stories that they are making into meaningful ones.

More to come soon. Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up on a good Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bulletin Board

This is yet again a late post, and for that I apologize.

Your kids really worked their butts off today. And we also had first grade buddies, which can throw things off a notch, but everyone rolled with it and all went well.

Talk soon! Expect some updates on Saturday or Sunday about next week, including Colonial Days on Friday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Library Cat For Life

First off, I have to share my favorite story I just read on a website called Sunny Skyz. This one had me laughing so hard I literally had tears running down my face (although the other stories probably helped that one out a little bit.

Here's the link. Here's the picture that goes with it:

Tonight all the kids' homework was a page for math, meaning exercises for spelling, and read for 20 minutes.

Thanks. Hope everyone had a great hump-day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I had known many of my students already for a little while before the school year started. Brooke is one of them. I have known Brooke for a couple years pretty well at this point through her sisters and tutoring. But it has been such a pleasure to have her in class, as I should have known it would be.

She is a spokesperson for the kids in the lifeskills class. Often at recess, she is seen trying to coax a girl from that class into playing with her, or just trying to get her to come off of the playground after the whistle is blown.

Brooke is also one of those kids I can always count on when it comes to paying attention to what we are learning, who always has a thoughtful answer, and who puts true care into and takes pride in her schoolwork. No one ever complains about having to work with Brooke. Ever.

And she is much more than that. She is a smart girl. I know she will be a strong thinker and have her own strong opinions one day.

I can't wait to see what becomes of Brooke. In the meantime, I hope she had a really great day today. She deserves it.

Happy Birthday, Brooke!

But Why Exactly Does Aunt Sally Need To Be Excused?

Good afternoon. The kids are at lunch right now, but I wanted to update you on what we talked about and learned today in class.

We have been not only reading a book on Thomas Edison, but we have tied a couple of lessons into his teachings.

One of these lessons is our memoirs. I showed the kids how I sketch out a drawing before I add on any details. If I started with the details, it doesn't turn out right. It ends up looking really awkward instead of showing any movement. I told them that it's good to have a plan down for their memoirs, or even have written it, but to expect to have to go back and tweak and add in details to what they have written. Tomorrow we'll do more writing and then I will have some of them share what they have done so far.

We also read a really great little story this morning called "Thank You, Ma'am" by Mr. Langston Hughes. It's about a kid who tries to nab a lady's purse who ends up learning an important lesson.

In math this morning, we covered Order of Operations, also known as Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, also known as PEMDAS.

I hope everyone has a great afternoon!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Last Jedi

Woohoo! It has a name!

Sorry. I'm kind of a nerd.

Coming next Christmas!

Monday Update

Sorry for the late post, but homework for tonight was a social studies page/s, spelling definitions, and math.

I am pleased to say that the kids were doing really well on their NWEA testing today. Most of them really took their time, and they payoff has been great so far.

The kids should have brought home their Colonial Days forms today with all the needed information. Let me know if you have any questions!

More to come. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It Takes a Village...Including You

Dear parents
  • We would like to remind you that magic words such as hello, please, you’re welcome, I’m sorry, and thank you, all begin to be learned at home
  • It’s also at home that children learn to be honest, to be on time, diligent, show friends their sympathy, as well as show utmost respect for their elders and all teachers.
  • Home is where they learn to be clean, not talk with their mouths full, and how/where to properly dispose of garbage.
  • Home is also where they learn to be organized, to take good care of their belongings, and that it’s not ok to touch others.
  • Here at school, on the other hand, we teach language, math, history, geography, physics, sciences, and physical education. We only reinforce the education that children receive at home from their parents.
These words were copied down from a school in Portugal that I found (and re-posted) through Facebook. As much as I hate to mix my Facebook life and my school life, I had to share this on Facebook because it is absolutely true. 

My parents (okay, my school parents) are some of the best people around. But some it is no less true that I spend a crazy amount of time reminding their kids to push their chairs in, to pick up their trash instead of walking away from it, and not to interrupt while someone else is talking.

Oh, and by the way, my actual parents are some of the best people around, too. If only you could understand how often I tell them stories about how I've had to talk to my students about not caring about their work, and my mom looks at me and says, "Does that sound familiar?!" Not only do I understand what she was dealing with at the time, but now I understand what my teachers were dealing with as well.

Our work is cut out for us! Let's tackle it together. I'll do my part for sure. If you can do yours, mine will be all that much easier!

The Road With a Yellow Line Through It

Profoundest apologies for my radio silence since last Wednesday. I was not in school on Thursday, and then Friday I didn't get around to posting (normally I don't until Sunday anyway there).

That's not to say that nothing happened in that time. Not by a long shot!

I got a great report from the substitute, and the kids seemed to have a decent day from reports I heard. They got a lot of work done; that's for sure.

On Friday, we had a math quiz, a Caesar's English quiz, and we did our fair share of science discussion. The kids (as well as I) are hoping to do a cool experiment as a part of the NASA Design Squad (from the awesome teacher tools from PBS's online resources). I will try to post some pictures tomorrow night if this goes according to plan.

We will continue work on our memoirs--and yes, I mean our memoirs. I have been inspired to write my own along with the students. I am excited to see how these turn out.

We will continue to learn about the American Revolution in Social Studies.

As far as grammar goes this week, we will focus on possessive nouns, both singular and plural. We will have a quiz on that next week at some point.

It should be a busy week--we will have spelling this week and either a Study Link or a different math page each night for homework. Don't forget that bookmarks are due on Friday! (This week we came in at fewer than 50% turned in...come on, guys! Read!)

That's all for now. I hope everyone has a great week! It will be over before we know it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How To Go On Forever

Hey, everyone.

I won't be there tomorrow. I have just finished my sub plans and sent them in. I will be dealing with a personal situation (don't get the wrong idea--just a car issue that could only take place during school hours) tomorrow.

One thing I did want to talk about was that we have been working on our memoirs in class. Mrs. Dunlap, who is co-teaching this unit along with me, had this to say in an email today:

I seriously LOVED Writing Workshop with your class today!  I thought they did so well—not only coming up with topics for memoirs, but also utilizing their time efficiently to get as much as they could down on paper. 

This is so true. They really did work hard. She won't be there tomorrow either, but I will be back on Friday and into next week while she is in New York. I heard some really great stuff. In fact, just listening to the parts she taught made me start brainstorming my own ideas. I could write four, five, or six of these easily. Of course, I have a few more years on the kids. But I wanted to say that this is shaping up to be one really cool writing unit.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Happy Birthday, Ella!

Ella is somewhat of a 5-1 legacy, as I had her sister in my Math class a couple years ago. I should have known at the time, though, that Ella is very much her own person.

Ella is very much the level-headed person in any group, and in fact, in a classroom that needs a few level heads. She is a friend to everyone, and she manages to be a good friend while also being the voice of reason. Ella is the type of student who makes me not only glad she is in the room, but also feel a little bad for her having to be in a classroom full of boys along with a male teacher.

But you know what? She puts up with us. And we are extremely thankful. We are also thankful that, if anyone ever needs any help with any work, she is always able and willing to help. There isn't a girl in the room who isn't relieved when they get her as a partner, and there also isn't a boy in the room who isn't secretly glad they have her to work with.

Happy Birthday, Ella! We all know you deserved to have a great one today.


Happy Birthday, Talulah!

Talulah is a gifted writer and a wonderful artist. She has true talent in both of these fields.

One of the best things about her writing is the way she can just sit down and pour a story out onto a page, leaving the editing to be done later. For many students, getting them to write anything at all is like pulling teeth, but that is not a problem at all with Talulah. She has a knack for storytelling that says "Enough is never enough!" That is truly refreshing in every way for a teacher.

As for her other artistic side--her drawing abilities--Talulah is quite the accomplished pencil artist. As a fairly decent pencil artist in my own right, this is a great thing to see. It's awesome to see a student who can draw without erasing every other line she puts down. It's wonderful to see such a free-wheeling sketch-artist in the room.

Happy birthday, Talulah! I hope it was fantastic. You deserve it.

The Last Footprints On the Moon

Well, doggone it. As if the previous year didn't bring enough deaths, it's not fun to have two astronauts go so close together.

Gene Cernan (Purdue class of '56) died yesterday. He was--right now--the last man to have walked on the moon.

Thanks for your good work, Mr. Cernan! You continue to be one of the good ones.

Full Steam Ahead

I will type up more later on, but for right now, I want you to all know that tomorrow's homework consists of:
  • making corrections on Math Exam Chapter 6
  • Study Link 7.1
  • two Social Studies pages (these may have been finished or partially finished in class)
  • read 20 minutes.
As I said, I have more to say later, but right now I have a meeting. If nothing else, I have to do a birthday post each for Talulah and Ella! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Dear Woodbrook Families,

We are hosting a Mane Bash Parents Night Out with a silent and live auction
on Feb. 25 at Woodland Country Club in Carmel. It is going to be a fabulous
and fun evening for all our Woodbrook parents and staff. Many volunteers
have worked the past several months garnering some great auction items.
At this time, we still WELCOME any donations from our families. One
hundred percent of the auction proceeds help support free family events, room
parties, fitness programs and new playground equipment at Woodbrook.
Ideas for family donations include:

• Electronics (garmin watches, fit bits, ipads, etc)
• Restaurant Gift cards
• Retail gift cards
• Airline tickets or vouchers
• Games
• Tickets to events

Thank you for supporting Woodbrook PTO. We hope to see you there Feb. 25
for a night of fun. Please contact Tina Fleming (tchang@siumed.edu or
317-833-4502) if you have donation.

Kindest regards.
Woodbrook PTO

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

Mrs. Dunlap came to our class on Thursday to help jump-start our writing unit on memoirs. I have to admit, I felt pretty intimidated by this unit, because my experience just in teaching personal narratives has had some pretty mixed results. She read a memoir out loud to the class, and as much as I pride myself on my read-aloud abilities, hers are different in a way that my class really reacted to. It was awesome hearing their responses to what she shared. I am relieved that she and I will be co-teaching this unit.

As for Friday, well, it was a day full of testing, really. We had a math test in the morning. Then we had our NWEA testing, then in the afternoon we did our spelling test.

Luckily, my twinge of guilt over this led to me giving the kids a little indoor game time (the uneducational kind, even!). The kids played Clue, Blokus, they played with Legos, and the assembly of the foosball table (the extremely cheap one) continued. I figured they deserved twenty minutes of fun.

We have been learning about Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth, and the colonial life in Social Studies. I have to say that this is going really well too. I had kids who took the book home to read it one night! I love teaching this stuff, too. And don't worry, Science lovers, I have some more NASA challenges coming your way this week.

Mrs. Delaby and Mrs. Pradeep came in on Friday to take some pictures of the kids for the auction item for the big Mane Bash (see the message right after this one) in February. This led to a fun photo shoot, and I jumped in with my own phone, as you can see in this post.

Lastly, we got snowballed by Mrs. DeHaven's class, in particular, Will Strines's sister Anna! Turn in those box tops and we can return the favor, or at least pay it forward.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Citizen Alert: From Mrs. Loeffler and Mrs. Stemnock

Please let your students know about the upcoming Math Bowl call-out meeting which will be on Wednesday Jan. 18th at 7:40am in 5-3.  It is open to all 4th and 5th graders.  There will be an announcement done tomorrow morning as well…..If students have questions as to the practices or the competition itself, they should come to the meeting. 

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Forest And the Trees

Hopefully the kids learned a lot and had fun at Clay tonight.

The only homework the kids had tonight was the Math study guide (one page, front and back), 20 minutes of reading, their meaning exercises for spelling, and the social studies questions from the book. They were given a good amount of time to get the social studies finished in class, but some of them were struggling with finding the answers, but the biggest problem was that they expected for the answers to be laid out right in front of them. We will be talking about this in the coming weeks, because this is something I hope to get them past in the near future.

I do know that tomorrow night is another Clay night, so I will try not to load them down with any more work than necessary, so please know that anything more they need to have finished will be because they didn't use their time too wisely during class. I plan to give them all kinds of time tomorrow to get it finished.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Series Of Unfortunate Commas

Tonight the kids' only homework was to read for 20 minutes, 3x each for spelling words, and math homework (my math class).

We talked covered commas in a series (and I am a strong proponent of the Oxford comma), the seeds laid down that led to the American Revolution, and we talked multiplying and dividing fractions. We also read the first half of a startling story about the percentage of the Earth's water that is available to us for drinking.

I keep telling myself I need to take some pictures for the blog to liven it up again. I apologize for not doing so. Here's hoping I get that done soon.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Today in math, we began a new daily habit of reviewing our multiplication facts. I give the kids a page to do in just a few minutes, and then they have to circle any they got wrong. I told them that I can't learn their facts for them, but that it was up to them to make flashcards at home of the ones they got wrong. Here is a great website for your child to make their own digital flashcards. They should have brought their paper from today home with them.

I am also sending home their report card comments. These don't need to be signed or anything like that, they are just information to share. Feel free to let me know if you need or want to come in for a conference.

We do have spelling as normal this week!

More to come.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Immediate Future

Well, I got the report card comments finished. Your child should bring home a sealed envelope tomorrow! Sorry it took a little longer than I had anticipated.

This week we will have a spelling test and a math test on Friday. I think that's all you have to know right now on my front. Talk soon. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Face the Facts

Yeah, remember what I wrote yesterday? Not gonna happen today. I thought I would have some time to get them finished up this morning, but then I had a meeting this morning that I had forgotten. I apologize, but I will definitely have time over the weekend to get them wrapped up, stuffed into envelopes, and home to you on Monday.

This afternoon, I am hoping to finish reading The Genius Files to the kids. You may remember we started reading this on the first day of school, and now we are finally at the end of the fifth and final book of the series.

In Math today, we took a little quiz and then we played a Math game that proved a little too challenging for them (Ringo), which reiterated to me that these kids still need to practice their math facts. Luckily, I found a book full of math fact pages. We are going to start doing those every day starting Monday.

We also took a Caesar's English quiz today, and I feel pretty good about how the kiddos did on that one.

I have to say that I received a disappointingly low number of bookmarks this morning. I have already entered them into the grade book. I told the kids that they can still turn them in on Monday, but they would not receive full credit for them. They have to get this in order before next year as well. I told them I have gone ahead and put those grades in the grade book as well.

The last thing we have to get in order is names on papers! Don't even get me started on that one...

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Talk soon.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Unsealed On the Porch, a Letter Sat

Tomorrow, your kids will be bringing home a sealed envelope with their report card comments. I like to hand-write them for some reason. But I will address them "to the parents of", so I will tell the kids to make sure that they are opened by you. I'm not looking to put anything to awful in them, but I did want to ensure that you did receive them.

Right now it's indoor recess. I still hate indoor recess, but I have to admit that this year is a lot better because all of the teachers have classes that are expected to behave pretty well. All is good.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Way With Words

I am happy to say that, for the first time this year, I'm hearing kids (plural!) are liking social studies. I love teaching this subject, and it's so nice to have kids who find it interesting as well.

If only I could get them excited about math problems and grammar! What can I say? I may be overreaching a bit.

We have been reviewing the Caesar's English words in class, and I'm pretty comfortable that they will know them all by Friday, but it wouldn't hurt to review them at home a time or two as well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What We Can Learn From Yesterday

Today we got right into it by going into our American History. This is where I tend to go off the beaten path of the book work and look behind the curtain of everything that led to the American Revolution. I really enjoy this part of it.

As promised yesterday, the Caesar's English list this week was given out, and the kids already have a pretty good grip on the definitions.

I started talking to the kids today about Colonial Days. On Friday, February 3rd, we will be celebrating the olden days of the colonial period here in what is now the United States. Students will dress up in their old-timey outfits and dip candles, churn butter, stencil, and best of all--square dance. More information is on its way.

The Leader Of the Band

Dear 5th Grade Students and Parents,

I am excited to tell you about a fantastic opportunity at Clay Middle School.  On Wednesday, January 11th the Clay Middle School Performing Arts Department will be presenting a Demonstration Concert for all current 5th grade students.  The concert will begin at 7:00pm in the Bob Weber Gym.  The Demonstration Concert is a great opportunity for your child to get a firsthand look (and listen) to what Band, Choir and Orchestra are like at Clay Middle School.  

This concert is the same time as the 5th Grade Parent Meeting which is held in the Clay Auditorium.  Parents and students should enter door #1.  Students should report to the Bob Weber Gym when they arrive while parents should report to the auditorium.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone there. 

Also, next week, I will be sending another email with a link to register your child to try Band and Orchestra instruments and learn about Choir.  The dates to try instruments are Saturday, January 28th, Monday, January 30th and Tuesday, January 31st.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. 

Jeff Frizzi

Clay Middle School