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Mr. Wdowiarz (Fifth Grade)

About Mr. W


  • West Chicago Community High School, Class of 2001

  • B.S. Elementary Education, Northern Illinois University, 2006

  • M.A. Education in Reading, Olivet-Nazarene University, 2009

Educational Philosophy:

  • The role of the educator is to encourage, foster, and assess the progression of the student into a positive and active citizen of their local, state, and national communities.

Favorite Quotes:

  • "In this living world, the body that I give up and burn would be wretched if I thought of myself as anything but firewood." - Ryonen

  • "We write our own destiny.  We become what we do." - A fortune cookie

Extracurricular Activities:

  • I enjoy spending time with my wife and three sons.  I've been a guitar player for over 20 years. I play in and around the Chicagoland area.  I like to exercise, work on my house, and play video games, too!

Currently Reading:

Teaching By Numbers, Deconstructing the Discourse of Standards and Accountability in Education, by Peter M. Taubman

This book is one of the books I have to read for my first class toward my doctoral degree. Understanding the movement in education toward increased accountability for students and teachers via the achievement of specific learning targets is fascinating. One of the things that has struck me so far is how new so many of our educational paradigms actually are. Consider that even being in a specific grade (3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade), for example, is only around 100 years old! Crazy. Taubman has a great sense of prose too. I’ve dug this book so far!


War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

Mr. Baum, Mr. Leisering, and I thinking about getting a book club for the adults going at Winfield. War and Peace has been sitting on my nightstand for a couple years now, but it’s such a dense novel that I’ve been putting it off. I’m excited at the prospect of having a group of people to go through it, think deeply, and analyze some intensive literature. 


Currently Listening to:

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By

I’m big into music, if you didn’t know. One of the the last concerts I got to go to prior to the COVID restrictions was Tedeschi Trucks band at the Chicago Theatre. I spent the summer learning to play electric slide guitar, which is super fun. I learned a new tuning on my guitar, and worked specifically on Derek Truck’s solo on Anyhow. It’s so gritty and wonderful. The group is a sort of gospel/blues/country/rock mix with a two drummers, a horn section, and some of the best vocals I’ve heard (Susan Tedeschi) in a long time. Check it out!

5th Grade PRess

This week in Mr. W’s class was a wonderful week! Without further ado, let’s jump right into math class. This week in math class the learning target was to be done with 5.NF.6 portion of the fifth grade math series. Also, one of the great things about this week was that some of the students are well past the 5.NF.6 standard, and are in the 5.MD series which is about ⅘ done with fifth math curriculum. 

Now switching gears to social studies. This week in social Mr.W’s class started a new unit, The European exploration, and they are learning about the Mongol Empire. One of the first things that the students did in the third unit of the school year was listen to a podcast of someone describing the Mongol empire, what they were like and where the lived. We at the press learned that where the lived was called the step. Lastly one of the most impressive things that we learned was that it took 150 lbs. of pull to draw an arrow in a bow.

So folks, that will conclude this weeks article of what happened in Mr. W’s class this week. We at the press hope that you enjoyed reading this article. Also, as always, thank you for reading!

Audio and Book Picks

Read: Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, Alexander Freed

I’m about one-third into the book, at the moment. The story takes place after the Battle of Endor, being the story of a series of different pilots who are coming together to hunt down a nefarious Imperial Fighter Squadron who is still resisting against the New Republic. Freed does a nice job depicting some of the internal conflict that ex-Imperial soldiers might have been dealing with. It’s not my favorite Star Wars book of all time, but I always loved the starfighters, and it’s a neat exploration of that pocket of the Star Wars Universe.

Read: American Nations, Colin Woodard

In an attempt to understand why the American political system is so divided, Colin Woodard analyzed by county voting and cultural trends across the entire country, and came up with 11 distinct cultural regions. His book analyzes how these groups have interacted over the course of American history from the pre-colonial era to our current, modern era. It’s a fascinating read which certainly helps the reader understand how we’ve got to this moment in history.

Listen: Megaman 2, Bit Brigade

Bit Brigade is such a cool band. Their show is must-see. First, they find a classic eight-bit Nintendo game, and break into the coding so that they can play the game without any music. Then, the band (two guitar players, a bassist, and a drummer) learns the music to the video game. The game is projected live in behind the band. Their sixth member “speed-runs” (or plays the game from beginning to end as fast as possible) the game live for the live audience while the band plays the music in time with the game. It’s incredible. My boys really like the Megaman tracks. I’m partial to the original Metroid game. But you should go see them. It’s awesome.