Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hey 2008-09 ConKids...Remember this?!

Fun times. I can't believe it's already November. Leave me a comment and tell me how things are going for you in middle school. Better yet, stop by and visit sometime!

I was going through some photos and found these. I don't think I ever got to share them with you. Check them out HERE!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New "Official" Con Kids website now up and running!

Don't worry, the ConKids blog is still alive and well, but I'm happy to announce the launching of my new classroom website

You can bookmark the site (recommended) or you can navigate to it through the Edina Public Schools website

From there click on Schools (drop down menu)>Creek Valley>Classrooms (on the left hand side of the page)>Grade 5>Classroom Website (under Mr. Alexander Converse) .

My hope is that parents and students will use this new site to get information they need (homework updates, newsletters, sign ups, useful websites, etc.). I'm also hoping to have photos of classroom activities as well as student work available soon.

ConKids blog will now be more of a traditional blog, with posts ranging from thoughts on issues we're discussing in class to just fun, random things I find and want to share with a larger audience.

I can't believe summer is already almost over, but I'm excited for a new school year with a new batch of fifth graders!

Mr. C.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In Three Words

Dear ConKids,

I have one last assignment for you, if you don't mind. I'd like you to fill out a brief form by clicking on the link below. Once I collect all of your forms I'll create a cool visual to sum up our year together, so don't forget to check the blog over the summer.

It's been an amazing year! I will miss every one of you and wish you nothing but the best in middle school next year. Have a restful summer with your friends and families and be ready to work hard in school next fall. Don't forget to visit me!

Mr. C.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Idiom from The Phantom Tollbooth

Idioms are phrases whose meaning cannot be determined by the literal definition of the words themselves. For example, the phrase raining cats and dogs does not mean that animals are literally falling from the sky. The actual meaning is that it is raining very hard. The book The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with idioms which the author, Norman Juster, cleverly slips into his story. Do you know what the following idiom really means? Leave a comment with your answer.

Idiom from The Phantom Tollbooth

Idioms are phrases whose meaning cannot be determined by the literal definition of the words themselves. For example, the phrase raining cats and dogs does not mean that animals are literally falling from the sky. The actual meaning is that it is raining very hard. The book The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with idioms which the author, Norman Juster, cleverly slips into his story. Do you know what the following idiom really means? Leave a comment with your answer.

Idiom from The Phantom Tollbooth

Idioms are phrases whose meaning cannot be determined by the literal definition of the words themselves. For example, the phrase kick the bucket does not mean to kick an actual bucket. The actual meaning is to die. The book The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with idioms which the author, Norman Juster, cleverly slips into his story. Do you know what the following idiom really means? Leave a comment with your answer.

Idiom - Killing Time (Phantom Tollbooth)

What is an idiom? It is an example of figurative language. Idioms are most often phrases whose meaning cannot be determined by the literal definition of the words themselves. For example, the phrase raining cats and dogs does not mean that animals are literally falling from the sky. The actual meaning is that it is raining very hard. The book The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with idioms which the author, Norman Juster, cleverly slips into his story. Do you know what the following idiom really means? Leave a comment with your answer.

Tock - The Phantom Tollbooth

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Brain Pop! movie on Swine Flu

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Big Things in Unexpected Packages

In my classroom we talk a lot about things like kindness, character, inclusiveness (or appreciation of diversity), courage, persistance, etc.

I try to make my classroom a place where everyone feels welcome and safe to take risks. I want my students to be themselves and to allow others to be themselves, without judgment.

I explain to my students that if they'll just open themselves to the possibility that they have more in common with each other than they have differences, they may lead a happier and more fulfilling life and everyone can reach their full potential.

Sometimes I come across something in the "real world" that so perfectly embodies what I try to teach students within the walls of my classroom that I just have to sit back and let it speak (or sing, as the case may be) for itself.

With that, I give you Susan Boyle....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Assignments for Wednesday

Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to show the daily assignments via the computer. I did write them by hand on the Smart Board so the kids should have the information. Just in case, here's the scoop:

Math - Study Link 8.3 (see the newest link on the blog for a helpful tutorial)

Reading - responding questions due Friday

Spanish - Mercado Central permission slip and $$ due next Friday

Reminders - Reading MAP test tomorrow; Kids Against Hunger tomorrow; Band/Orchestra tomorrow.

"Five Top Fives", by Will

William’s Five Top-Five’s

My Top 5 Vacation Spots
1. Puerto Rico
2. Key West
3. Phoenix
4. Naples
5. Disney World/Cruise

My Top 5 Local Restaurants
1. Original Pancake House
2. Salut
3. Oceanairre
4. TGI Friday’s
5. New Beijing

My Top 5 Fruits
1. Orange
2. Watermelon
3. Mango
4. Kiwi
5. Honeydew

My Top 5 Drinks
1. Dr. Pepper
2. Coca Cola
3. Fanta Orange
4. Water
5. Pink Lemonade

My Top 5 Foods
1. Sweet Potato French Fries
2. Pancakes at OPH
3. Barbeque Ribs
4. Steak
5. Shrimp

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Legend Comes to an End, by Alan

After the successful battle from FireDragon and EarthCracker, Marcus was sure all villains feared him, for FireDragon and EarthCracker were 2 of the most powerful and strongest beasts. But little did Marcus know, eyes and ears were out there, spying on him, all of them working for a cruel and clever monster, the evil king of Atheseth. He was named BloodBlade and hence the name, he had a blade, or blades. But this blade was made for BloodBlade and it was called the killer; it was only for one ceremony, death…

Marcus was having his daily breakfast, 4 eggs, 2 slices of cheese, 3 slices of blackberry pie, a pound of bacon, and a gallon of fresh hot milk. His big black bulldog came over to him with scared white mouse hanging gently from his mouth. “Let the poor creature go.” boomed Marcus observing the odd looking mouse. It had green eyes and a long fat slithering tail. Marcus threw it out his window and decided to begin his warm-ups, running full speed on a treadmill with two 125 pound weights.
BloodBlade squinted at his gigantic army.
“Archers, cannons, lazershooters, axefighters, Underground knifeteam, spear ambushers, simple clubmen, stickgliders, daggergroup, and underwater warriors, Captain Glubface!” shrieked BloodBlade.”
“What may I do for you Master?” asked Glubface, the green-eyed mouse.
“Where are the Firebounders!” shouted BloodBlade.
“Oh, y-y-yes s-sir” said Glubface.
Ambush on back door tomorrow thought BloodBlade with the killer in his hand. Black silk covered itself around the sun and the world, seconds ticked by, the ambush was coming closer.
Marcus woke up the next morning, head dizzy. He had dreamed last night that there had been an army at his door, a knife… that green-eyed mouse… Something was wrong thought Marcus. He put on his gear; lazer helmet, rocket shoes, his freezing glove and that new reflective coat. His instinct told him that there was going to be a big war. He went to get his fighting friends, Thright and Peter. The day seemed darker than usual and the air smelled of dirt and pollution. He got to Thright’s house and knocked on the door.
“Wazup Marcus?” asked Thright merrily.
“Get your stuff and we need to get Peter” said Marcus. He waited feeling cold and grim.
“All good buddy” said Thright.
Together they walked to Peter’s and got him.
“Where are we going?” asked Peter.
“To my ho-” He was cut off by an arrow pinging of his reflective coat.
He looked ahead. There was an army at his house. It looked exactly the same as his dream. The 3 of them charged. Marcus shot his lazer and ice, floating around in the air. Peter and Thright fought back to back, throwing grenades and darts.
“Archers back! Go knifeteam, clubmen charge! Rear Lazershooters! To the side Clubmen, right, not left!!” BloodBlade ordered the army. They charged and shot at the trio harshly. They were advancing.
“C’mon” shouted Thright, holding his bleeding arm. Marcus ignored him, he was furiously trying to get to BloodBlade, slashing and hacking with his huge war sword. Finally they met, one on one, hard. Marcus slashed at the beast but BloodBlade was quick and dodged every hit. Exhausted, Marcus threw back his head and sunk to the floor defeated. BloodBlade took the advantage. He used the killer to stab at the Hero. Marcus winced with pain and fell to the dusty ground. “I’ll never let you go!” whispered Marcus. His eyes bore into BloodBlade. Took away by sudden determination, BloodBlade was shocked; he angrily hacked at the Hero. Marcus rolled away like a flash of lightning
“ATHESETHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” roared Marcus and with that, he picked up all his strength and sliced blindly. The great hero legend looked at the ground at his fallen foe and closed his eyes forever.

Marcus, Thright, and Peter were honored in the Atheseth church. They were buried next to each other in Marcus’ house. There Atheseth lay in peace and happiness, protected from evil and the bad by Marcus and his friends…

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dreamwalking (The Graveyard Book), by Josie

Dreamwalking (The Graveyard Book), by Erin

Nick (The Graveyard Book), by Grace

Bod (The Graveyard Book), by Erin

Nick (The Graveyard Book), by Alana

Poems, by Erin

The Graveyard Book, by Grace

Miracle on the Hudson, by Anna

Recently on flight 1549 the pilot uttered three words that made complete strangers reach out to each other and pray. Those words were “We’re going down”. While everyone was in a panic and thinking of “What Ifs,” in the cockpit Captain Chesley Sullenberger had to make a choice, land on land or land on water which had never been successfully done in a plane that size. Sullenberger made the choice of landing on water which he did safely, but the next step was getting everyone off the plane. Chaos broke out as people tried to get out of the plane and into the life raft. Then everyone’s sliver of hope grew as they saw Captain Vince Lombardi’s ferry approach the plane ready to save people. Other boats came to the rescue and divers jumped into the freezing waters to save those who had fallen in. In the end the people’s prayers paid off when all 155 people (including the crew) were rescued and the first successful commercial plane landing on water had been carried out.

Fireboy (continued), by Michael

Steve Had just turned 13 and it was summer, summer was Steve’s favorite time of the year he had kept so many villains in jail. When it was summer nothing ever happened he was walking to the park to play when he saw sand man ripping the park down he got so pissed off he ran 69 miles per hour and nailed him in the face and he fell in the gutter. He put the lid on and shot his fire as hot as a laser and sealed the man hole. He ran home and told his mom what happened, she said take a rest you probably just got to thirsty and saw that. The next day Steve went to the library when he was walking he thought he would take a short cut and tripped over a man hole and sand man shot from the hole and started choking Steve.

He didn’t know what to do at first because he was so stunned but he gained his concentration and grabbed sand mans huge fist and turned it to stone because his hand was so hot it shrunk his hand into a wincey hand and flew out of sand mans grip. Then he started to lose control of his wincey hand and it disappeared Steve then got an idea so he flew home to tell his mom what happened but as usual she said “Steve stop saying dumb stories or I’ll take you to the doctor”.

The next day Steve had a brilliant idea he remembered how yesterday sand man’s hand disappeared so he tried to build a trap. After one week it was brilliant all he had to do was lure sand man to the park then try to heat him down. The next day he went to the park and started yelling “sand man!!!!!! Come and fight”. Sand man jumped out of the man hole and lunged at Steve but luckily he shot him with his hottest fire laser and pinned him against the steaming metal soon the park got so hot it disappeared with sand man into nothing because his fire laser he was working on was so hot. The next day he felt so bad about what he had done that he made a coffin out of sand and used his laser to make it a solid object and put it in the cemetery.

The Diary of Hans Stevens - Part 2, by Hunter

December 7, 1941

I found Tony’s body I flipped it over… he had some cuts and browses but he was alive. He was hurt but he was walking, I was hurt to, but I still helped him to get to the hospital. When he was there I ran to an airplane so I could shot down some zeros.

There were all but 50 airplanes not touched by any bombs. I ran to the plane that was closest to me. When I got to the plane I jumped in to it. When it started up I put it in to full throttle and it went in to the air. There was a group of zeros fling over my head. I pulled back and let them fly over me, so I could have good firing aim, the dog fight begins. I started to aim at a zero and began to shot at it. It took a couple of rounds to take it down. When I took it down I yelled “yes!” I shot down around nine out of ten zeros after that. The last one was an ace; this is going to be a challenge. He flew up I followed, the ace started to dive (this wasn’t a move I’ve fully mastered) when I started to dive my tail ruttier stated to shake violently, I thought it would brake off. When the ace stopped diving he flew in a straight line, I thought again that this is going to be easy, I was horrible wrong. He flew left he flew right I thought I will never get him. But then I said in my mind angrily “Never say never!” I shot so many rounds at him that I almost ran out of ammo. I finally shot him down. So I landed on the plat form, and I was met by ten men saying “Congrats” to me for shooting down so many zeros and bombers. After that I went to see my Tony when I saw him he was doing well, he was talking and every thing. I told him every thing that I just did. I told that I him that I thought it was over… but I was wrong (again).

Outcasts, by Kyle

Lightning flashed across the ash filled sky, it seemed to go on forever in this world. The boy lay peacefully sleeping in this foreboding world. His father had died years ago before the war and he had laid in his crib much like he did now unaware of the hardships to come. Every time a child reached 13 they were given the choice whether they were going to stay in the city, or venture out and explore. This child had chosen to explore the world and try to survive. The thing he didn’t know was that almost every explorer had died before him if they didn’t run back first. The days had seemed to slowly creep by while he starved unwilling to try the plants knowing they could be poisonous, and having his rations run out. But as he awoke he heard the almost silent footfall of this newly exiled girl. The boy struggled to get up, the hunger draining all of his last energy. The one thing he did manage to do is get a croak from his dry mouth. The girl startled at hearing this and wondering what had made it, wondered over to his rock. She almost stepped on him, having trouble seeing him through the layer of sand and silt on his face. “What… who are you!” She exclaimed after seeing him. In his rough dry voice he replied “I need water” sounding rather pitiful and weak. She backed up for a minute then her humanity winning over her logic allowed her to give him a sip from her canteen. She had a father who frequently left the city and now knew all there was to know about surviving in this barren oasis because of him. Her skills had allowed her to forage from the plants and knew ways to gather water from bone dry soil. She had decided to stay for the night and help him, there was no harm that it could do. They said nothing after those first words knowing there nothing to say and being content just knowing that there was someone else around. Soon they drifted off into a deep and dreamless sleep not waking till afternoon. She was about to leave when she thought of how nice it was to have someone else around for once, in this filthy, solitary desert. Once she left him she knew she would never find another person to quench the loneliness that this place starved her of. She slowly drifted off into a happy unperturbed sleep.
The boy awoke next to the very girl who had just saved his life, and now seemed peaceful even elegant in a way. He noticed his strength had come back to an extent that pleased him, knowing he had the ability to do something without the constant starvation pains. To his surprise she woke up moments after he did. She startled used to being alone at all hours of the day. She then came to her senses grunting some form of a hello before wandering over to her pack. She checked the pockets thoroughly until she found what she wanted. She pulled out some sort of plant and something that resembled a pocket knife but with a flashlight at the end. She strolled back to the boy who seemed stunned at the fact she had food other than the rations they started out with. She spoke up then and said” here eat this it’s good for you” she handed him a piece of the brown plant. The boy prodded at this newfound sustenance at first, then savoring every bite it was gone. “My name is Tess what about you” asked the girl. the boy thought whether he should tell her for a second then cautiously said”My name is Luke and I never thought I would have to be saved when I left the city” “ Don’t worry It’s better than dying isn’t it plus, if I didn’t have my father to teach me I’d be in the same place as you” Tess added reassuringly before sitting down again. “Anyways” said Luke trying to shrug it off ”you’re going to have to show me how to survive out here and get stuff like that plant.’ So she did over the next months he mastered the skills that she learned. He harvested plants found small crabs hidden in the sand created a packed shelter and more it seemed they would make it as long as they kept moving. They talked about their old lives about the decision to leave the city and what life could have been like if they had stayed. One day they decided to make camp so they setup the small tent and made a fire from her flint. Halfway through the night they heard a meek grumbling faint but loud enough to just barely be audible. Tess looked around wondering what the noise could have been or if it was just her imagination. Then it happened again the muffled noise seemed slightly quieter this time. She woke up Luke so they could go find whatever it was that was making it. The night seemed dreary and blurred from lack of sleep but they soon found the cause of the sound. It was a teenager slightly younger than them with brown hair and blue eyes. He was dressed in a t-shirt with a thin coat, over it they put one of their blankets over him and hauled him to the fire. Luke soon wondered” so will we keep him?” “I don’t know but… we can’t just leave him here I mean I didn’t leave you, and were much more stable now then I was when I brought you in.” Tess said determinedly “ so it’s decided then where keeping him and we can teach him just like you taught me, I mean it’ll be nice to have someone else around no offense” Luke added, so they kept him.
“what where am I who are you” the newly adopted boy murmured only half awake “ you’re safe and taken care of there’s nothing to worry about. Do you want breakfast.” Tess once again said reassuringly treating the boy just like she had treated Luke. But she knew they were both very different…….. Luke just waking up mumbled around for a bit then remembering the new boy got up to observe him. Tess had served him breakfast and made him comfortable she was now up and about setting up a more permanent camp. Luke found it an opportunity to talk to the new boy so he walked over to him and sat down then said “ what’s you’re name” “It’s john, what’s her name.” replied the boy seeming eager to figure things out so Luke soon replied “ She’s Tess we’ve been surviving out here for months how’s the breakfast?” “Um it’s good she just made it for me with this weird plant I’m still starving though if you don’t mind could I have some more” So with that Luke walked over to the sack reached in an outside pocket and took out some more of the delicious plant, which happened to be named sugarcane. He walked back over to john gave him some and slumped over on his hay bed wondering. How could I help him but most importantly what’s gonna change now that he’s here.

Polar Bears, by Erin

Angles Among Us, by Taylor

Angles Among Us, by Taylor

Angles Among Us, by Taylor

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Newsflash, by Anna

Hannah Montana Gets Robbed by a Monkey

Yesterday Hannah Montana was on her tour bus minding her own business when out of no where a monkey smashed through one of the windows. He had a pair of safety scissors which he pointed at Ms. Montana. He asked for a million toasters but Hannah refused. The monkey saw what she was doing; the toasters were too pricey so he thought he could negotiate so instead he asked for two-hundred packing peanuts. When Hannah refused again he lost it and came at her with the scissors. The bodyguards managed to tackle the monkey but Hannah is now in intensive care from receiving a severe cut on her finger.

Picacchu Outsmarts and Angry Hulk, by Michael

The characters are Pikachu :( he is a nice caring little mouse and is 1 foot tall, he also has red dots on his cheeks where electricity shoots out from). Hulk :( he is a mean selfish green human and is always hungry and eats anything even people).

One day Pikachu was taking a walk when Hulk jumped out of the bushes and said need to eat. Hulk tried to eat him but Pikachu used thunder and stopped Hulk from eating him. Pikachu said I know where there is a lot of food and lead him to a grocery store and said here your food is. So Hulk ran in and started eating little did Hulk know Pikachu was calling 911 and said there is a giant Hulk eating all the food in the grocery store.

When hulk saw him calling the police he was furious. Infact he was so mad he started chucking watermelons at Pikachu. Pikachu had to think quickly so he dodged and dived behind a big box. Hulk got even madder and he lost his temper, Hulk was about to destroy the whole building by punching it down.

But the police came and put Hulk to sleep and took him into a titanium zoo and was there for eternity but people can’t live forever so he died, who knows when though, While hulk was in prison the rest of his life, Pikachu was a hero and was honored the rest of his life and got a huge mansion. The end

The Diary of Hans Stevens - Part 1, by Hunter

December 7, 1941
Tony: he is a strong young man, he is also only 18 and he enlisted in the army. Hans: a strong tall young man, he also enlisted in the army with Tony at 18.

We were training at Pearl Harbor today. My friend yelled “Hay Hans!” I yelled back “Yeah!” Tony started to run to me. When he got to me he was out of breath. He started to talk to me “I heard that were going to Europe and Germany.” “Really?” “Yes really” “That… that’s awesome! But I have one question why are we going again” I asked “Were going beca…” Boom! Boom! “What the heck is happing!” I yelled. “I have no idea!” Tony yelled back. BOOM! A plane was fling over us. It wasn’t one of us. The plane dropped out a bomb. BOOM! The bomb hit about 50 yards away. “I think those where Japs” I yelled to Tony. “There zeros” said Tony. “What should we do?” I said nervously. “I have a plan” Tony said. “And what is that” I said like a jerk. “My plan is to go and tell the general” “he already knows I guess” I said unsure about my self. “And if he doesn’t…” Tony said. “He’ll hear the bomb setting off.” I said. Another bomb exploded. “Let’s get moving!” yelled Tony. We started running to a building. The closest building was an airplane mechanics. We ran to it wandering if we will live or die. I saw an airplane I ran to it. I got in it and a bomb went off. It blew the whole building sky high. I want to know if Tony was still alive…

Friday, February 20, 2009

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Alana

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Greta

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Hunter

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Arvind

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Erin

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Ria

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Taylor

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Grace

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Nate

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Jess

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Kenrick

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Will

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Alyssa

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Josie

Album Covers We (Dis)Like, by Kate

Haiku by Carl