Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What do you think?

We have been reading Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule in our ELA class. Here you will find out what the students have to say about this book. Please read and enjoy the students' comments.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Assignment Sheet Sept.28-Oct. 2nd

Fifth Grade News
Barrier Island payment of $45.00 is due Friday, Oct. 2.
Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule diorama project is due on Thursday, Oct. 1. End-of-book Test is Friday.
This week, we will be studying gcf and lcm.
We will work in teams to learn about different kinds of ecosystems. Ecosystem Test 1 is on Friday.
We will continue with our new unit, Westward Expansion. This week, we will be learning about ranchers, cowboys, and native americans.

1. different
2. illustrate
3. terrible
4. irresponsible
5. accept
6. semi - half
7. co - together
8. mis - wrong, bad
9. inter - between
10. extra - outside
11. semicircle
12. cooperate
13. misbehave
14. international
15. extracurricular

"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." Napoleon Hill

Friday, September 25, 2009

Conference Day

Today was a great day. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet with the majority of my students' parents. I have a great class, and it shows because of the amazing parents I met with. Parent involvement makes a huge difference in the success of a child's education. Thank you parents for all of your help. You are wonderful. Keep up the hard work!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule Project

Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule

We have seen history come to life while reading our very first novel, Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule. The author has used such vivid vocabulary and figurative language to help the story seem so real. Now, it is YOUR turn to make the story come to life EVEN MORE!

**What do I do?- Create a shoebox diorama showing a scene of your choice from the novel.**

My Scene: _____________________________________________________________________

You might wish to find illustrations or photographs in books or on the Internet about this period in history to help you make your depiction as accurate as possible.

You will present your diorama on Thursday, October 1st. You will dress up as one of the characters who is in the scene that you chose. “This Character” will present the diorama to the class while giving five facts about the scene.

Choose the scene for your diorama and gather or draw pictures for it.
Brainstorm and web the important points you think should be included in your diorama.
Make sketches of how you want your diorama to look. Plan the front, back, sides, and top. Make the inside of the diorama look as deep and three dimensional as you can. Use lots of details!
Share your sketches with other creative people. Ask them to make suggestions of ways that you could improve your diorama.
Gather the materials you will use to construct your diorama. ASK an adult to do any sharp cutting or hot gluing for you!
Use the rubric and the sketches you made to construct your diorama. Make sure that the box is sturdy! Remember: Have fun and be creative!
Share your diorama during your presentation.

International Peace Day

International Peace Day
Monday 9.21.09

The United Nations' International Day of Peace - marked every year on September 21 - is a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. Established by U.N. resolution in 1982, "Peace Day" has grown to include millions of people around the world who participate in all kinds of events, large and small.
This year, to honor International Peace Day, many schools around the world are participating in the Pinwheels for Peace Project. Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers in Florida, as a way for their students to express their feelings about peace. The first Pinwheels for Peace were installed on Sept. 21, 2005. Since then the project has grown from 500,000 pinwheels planted the first year, to 2 million pinwheels in 2008!

Students have been working on their pinwheels last week and this week. As part of the creative process the students discuss peace, its meaning and how they can promote peace in their day to day lives. The students are writing their thoughts on their pinwheels as they decorate them. On September 21st the students will install their pinwheels in the grass near the bus ramp as a school statement of peace. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the world!

On Monday, September 21st we are asking all the students and teachers wear clothing and accessories that represent peace.
Thanks in advance for promoting this day in your classroom and for making Calhoun’s first day of peace a success!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Constitution Day

Today in Social Studies we celebrated Constitution Day. We looked at several videos to help inform us of the Constitution. We also watched some Ron Clark Academy videos to show how the students there focus on current events, our government, and history. JUST LOOK AT THOSE PERFORMANCE SKILLS AND MANNERS!!! Enjoy these links!

Schoolhouse Rock - The Preamble

Full Interview with Ron Clark Kids - You can Vote However You Like

"Dear Obama" for Oprah - Ron Clark Academy

Ron Clark Academy Sings for T.I. "what ever U like"

Ron Clark Academy Performs Their Tribute To Sojourner Truth

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Action Verbs

Today we reviewed Action Verbs. We are currently learning a song called, "All the Action Verbs" written to the tune of "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. So, today the students posed an ACTION shot of the things they like to do! ENJOY! We have a very ACTIVE class!

Reconstruction News

To review for our Reconstruction Test, the students pretended to be news reporters and acted out scenes from that time period. The students learned about the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, Freedmen's Bureau, Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws, and much more about the rebuilding of the South.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Adopt MY Classroom

Dear Friends:
I am reaching out to you to help me inspire my students to reach their highest potential. Adopt-A-Classroom ( is a non-profit organization that offers an easy and accountable way for you to donate funds to my classroom and make a real difference for me and my students.
All donations are tax-deductible. 100% of the donation goes to my classroom. Adopt-A-Classroom takes $0 out for administration.
Here`s a description of my classroom and our specific needs:
School: Calhoun Academy of the Arts
Grade: 5th Grade
Subject: ELA and Social Studies
Number of students your donation will impact: 72

Calhoun is an arts school where we teach core curriculum but through arts integration. We need a variety of art supplies throughout the year from drama materials to visual art supplies to accomplish hands-on learning activities. We also are in need of laptops, iPods, ink cartridges, and digital cameras. These kind of activities motivate the students to learn and without the adequate funding, we cannot encourage these students to become independent learners and successful in the classroom and beyond. Since I teach 72 students everyday, it becomes difficult to make learning fun and bring in materials to create an exciting atmosphere where the students will retain information since I cannot afford all the supplies out of my pocket. Additional funding would allow me to purchase materials to help the students become motivated to learn the social studies standards and therefore retain valuable information.

To learn how you can support my efforts in the classroom click on the link below (or copy and paste it into your Internet browser):Robin Bracken Adopt-A-Classroom Homepage
I greatly appreciate your consideration in adopting my classroom. Please pass this on to your employers and friends.
Thank you for your time.

Assignment Sheet September 14-18

Friday, September 18th: Vocabulary Funeral (dress in all-black),
Tar Wars Presentation (12:45-2:00),
Arty Dancy Party (6:30-8:00--$1.00, parents MUST attend)

We will be continuing Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule. There will be another quiz after classes have read through Chapter 10. Be sure to study your notes and summaries!

We will be working on DIVISION this week and creating some totally awesome ALGORITHMS!

This week we will be studying food webs and ecosystems. Students did a good job on their cell models! Keep up the good work!

We will begin our second unit, Westward Expansion. In this unit, we will take a look at ways our country spread into a booming nation!

1. community
2. embarrass
3. appreciate
4. rearrange
5. successful
6. aqua-water
7. aud-hear
8. terra-earth, land
9. tri-three
10. dict-speak
11. aquarium
12. audition
13. territory
14. trilogy
15. dictator

Reconstruction Unit Test

Here is the True/False and Short Answer section to the Reconstruction Unit Test. Please use this section to help you with your homework tonight! Correct the ones you got wrong to receive extra points on your test.

16. The 15th amendment gave all African Americas, men and women, the right to vote.

17. The Emancipation Proclamation freed all slaves.

18. Andrew Johnson became president after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

19. President Lincoln wanted to humiliate the Southern elite.

20. The Southerner’s aim for Reconstruction was to end the war, but keep slaves.

Short Answer

21. What was the overall goal of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments?

22. How were the lives of African Americans made more difficult after the end of Reconstruction? Use the word segregation in your answer.

23. What effect did black codes have on African Americans?

24. Why were many African Americans still unable to vote even after the 15th amendment was passed?

25. Explain the system of sharecropping. Why were many African Americans forced into this system after being freed?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This year the students' writing portfolios are hosted in our very own NEWS STAND. The students notebooks have their pictures on them like they are on magazine covers. So, if you want to see what our famous writers are writing about, come by ROOM 54 and check out our very own NEWS STAND!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mrs. Allmon- Clemson Student Teacher

Message from Ms. Allmon:

I just wanted to take a few minutes and introduce myself. My name is Ashley Allmon, I will be Mrs. Bracken’s student teacher until December. Last week I started teaching Social Studies to Mrs. Bracken’s homeroom class. Starting this week, I will also start teaching Mrs. Koch’s homeroom class. In the coming weeks, I will be taking over all Social Studies classes.
I am super excited to be learning from such a great team of teachers! I attend Clemson University and will graduate in December. I love Clemson football , playing tennis, cooking, and spending time with my two nieces and two nephews. I am originally from Asheboro, North Carolina, but I have fallen in love with the upstate and plan to stay here for awhile.
Teaching has always been something I have been very passionate about. To me, there is no other career as rewarding as this one. I believe that every child has special and unique talents and abilities that enhance the atmosphere of the classroom. My goal is to help children find those special talents and use them to the best of their abilities without fear or shame.
I am truly ecstatic about working with Mrs. Bracken, Mrs. Koch, Mr. Pearson, you, and your child. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email me c/o Mrs. Bracken. I look forward to a great year!

Ashley Allmon

Please email me c/o Robin Bracken at:
or call (864) 260-5090

I AM poem

Today in Social Studies we wrote first person accounts using the I AM poem format. We wrote these poems as if we were African Americans during Reconstruction having to deal with the Black Codes. I cannot wait to post these writings! Here is the format if you would like to write an I AM POEM at home!

I am (two special characteristics)

I wonder (something you are actually curious about)

I hear (an imaginary sound)

I see (an imaginary sight)

I want (an actual desire)

I am (the first line of the poem restated)

I pretend (something you pretend to do)

I feel (a feeling about something imaginary)

I touch (an imaginary touch)

I worry (something that really bothers you)

I cry (something that makes you very sad)

I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

I understand (something you know is true)

I say (something you believe in)

I dream (something you actually dream about)

I try (something you make an effort to do)

I hope (something you actually hope for)

I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Assignment Sheet Sept. 8-11

Science: Cell test on Tuesday, Cell-ebrity project due on Wednesday and Cell model due on Friday.

We will continue reading Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule. In writing, students will continue working on their newspapers.

Next week we will add and subtract decimals and take our first Unit Test on Whole and Decimal Numbers.

We will begin discussing and diagraming food chains and food webs.

We will be finishing our unit on Reconstruction this week. Students will be preparing for the first unit test on Friday.

1. grown
2. through
3. clothes
4. except
5. let's
6. opt - best
7. ped - foot
8. port - carry
9. sci - know
10. sect - cut
11. OPTional
12. PEDestrian
13. transPORTation
14. conSCIence
15. interSECTion


Please log onto our District Website at and click on the “Join us on Twitter” link. It’s easy to sign up to get updates on our Twitter Page. These updates will be very helpful if we have any type of weather emergency or other urgent info to share.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Proofreading Site

Here is a really neat site you can use to practice proofreading. It is a great game! Have fun!