June 25, 2014
Dear Room 121 Fourth Grade Friends,
As we end our year together, I just want to take a moment to reflect on a few things I have learned with you. My favorite part of being your classroom teacher was the many read-alouds. Lucy Calkins says “Books can inspire us to reach toward becoming the kind of person we want to become.” I do think the characters in the books we read together gave us inspiration. I will never forget what the following books taught me this year and I encourage you to always:
(book cover images HERE of Where the Wild Things Are, Ish, My Name is Maria Isabel, Flora and Ulysses, Wonder, The Julian Chapter, and The Book Of Elsewhere: The Shadows)
Remember Max, a boy with a fabulous imagination who taught us that books (and teachers) that are 50 years old are still OK.
Remember Marisol, Ramon’s sister, who taught us to see beauty around us and showed us the importance of giving compliments.
Remember Maria Isabel, that very shy girl who blossomed by reading Charlotte’s Web and by putting her big ideas into writing. I hope we will also jot down our big ideas in order to change our world when needed.
Remember Flora and Ulysses, the 2014 Newbery Winner. Flora, her dad, her mom, Peter Spiver, and Ulysses all seemed a bit lost. Yet together, they find their way. If they can do it, we can, too!
Remember Auggie and Julian, who taught us to be kinder than is necessary. However, if we do make a mistake and act unkind, we must apologize and mean it.
Finally, remember Jacqueline West, the author of The Book of Elsewhere: The Shadows who visited our school. And remember Olive, who taught us to be curious, observant, and brave, even when strange things start to happen around us.
In the Broadway Musical, Wicked, the Good Witch Glinda and the Wicked Witch from the West, Elphaba sing together. One line in their duet is “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” I deeply believe that I am a better person because I have known you and had the honor to teach you this year. You have taught me so much that I will carry with me next year and for the rest of my life.
As this 4th grade school year ends, know that I am so proud of you. You have grown as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians and as kind friends. Now enjoy your summer, taking some time to read and write! I can confidently state that WE ARE ALL READY to do well next year in 5th grade!
PS – Do stay in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org