Saturday, May 10, 2014

Week of May 5-9: Teacher Appreciation Week

I do feel appreciated! Along with it being the week where I was treated to lunches and got cards and flowers, it was also a school-wide "Stress-less / Laugh-more Week". In the spirit of this, I gave no homework at all and I incorporated that extra practice into the school day. All seemed to enjoy the extra time at home to just play and relax a bit (not that I give tons of homework...)

I'm excited about the project I'm going to have them do to use their creative energy and google apps. I used my knowledge from teaching Kindergarten and got books at the library by Bruce McMillian, Tana Hoban, Donald Crews and others. I did an intro lesson to have them discover the concept that each book was teaching. Then in their writing notebook, they brainstormed possilbe concepts for their eBook that they will create. I scheduled June 13 as the day to invite others to come read our books. It will be our Popcorn Presentation Day!

Along with this fun writing, we are busy doing test prep. The kids reviewed state videos that explain how to use the computer tools on their state tests. We did practice tests to think about which strategies we would use while taking the tests. And we ensured that our computer is working and ready to go for May 20th, 21st, and 22nd. One more week to review and then we can take the tests and then get back to reagular workshop time!

32 more days...

I've been busy thinking about end-of-the-year stuff. I plan to give out Paper Plate Awards (something my daughters got in MS and HS). It's inexpensive and fun. I should start thinking of an award for each kid. I already know that Will is getting the Best Debater Award. Quint might get the Best Poet Award. Lela is getting the Best Dressed for Colonial Day Award. Now just 25 more. I also know I want to take all the photos I have taken all year long and and make a presentation with music. I want to use the song from Wicked, For Good. I think I'll use this part to make a card for my families:

"It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good."

It will be hard to say goodbye to these crazy kids. They drive me crazy how they never STOP - stop moving, stop talking. But they also have written wonderful things this year. They have read wonderful stories. They have learned about VA history and done science experiements and played strings and created wonderful art. Most of all they have taught me how to be a classroom teacher again. Some days, it all worked. Other days I had to keep reflecting to see how to get all to be engaged and perform well. Overall, we all had mostly fun times! And we all have been changed for good.

This coming week, I need to stay focused but I'm starting to get distracted because Anne graduates next Sunday from UVA as a brilliant Drama Major and French Minor - WAHOOWAH!! And she has a job this summer working at the Washington Theater Lab's Summer Theater Camp for kids and THEN she heads to FRANCE for a 7 month contract to teach English in French public schools in Grenoble!! So crazy cool!! So I will try to stay focused on my test prep activities. I will try to keep all very busy and focused. I will write sub plans for Friday and Monday as I am taking those 2 days off to enjoy Anne's graduation. Then I return for 3 days of testing. It is doing to be a fast 2 weeks.

Due to Anne's graduation, I won't post next Saturday but will be back on May 24th to post the highlights from graduation and form testing prep week and testing week.

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