Saturday, November 29, 2014

Looking back to Thanksgiving week and forward to December!

I am so grateful that I work in a school that takes time to celebrate all we can be thankful for. At Jamboree this week, kids could come to the microphone and say what they are thankful for..."school, family, the chickens, the playground, their teachers." At Tuesdays staff meeting, we spent over 30 minutes sharing anything we are thankful for. Our principal said, "This will be much like a Quaker Meeting. Feel free to stand and say what you are thankful for." Despite the fact that it was Tuesday, 3:30pm, she just let it go and for over 30 minutes people shared. I loved being able to say how much I appreciate the co-teaching model and my co-teacher especially. What a wonderful way to build and honor a community! Then Wednesday was just too much fun!! We had a PAW PRINT celebration - kids get "paw prints" as we are the Janney Jaguars and once the school earns a good amount (and more honestly, once it is a day we can take 2 hours to celebrate), we hold a celebration. Wed was my first!! I loved it. First, we went to the gym and could choose one of these activities - dance party in Art room, quiet reading in library, small games in atrium or ball game in gym. Then we went to our classrooms and my students created out of paper a turkey costume for me to wear during the turkey derby. Such great collaboration and creativity! Then we went to the cafeteria to have hot chocolate and play Heads-Up 7-Up. So fun and simple!! After the 3 activities, we returned to the classroom to "dress me"!! (I will have to add pictures!)

The culmination of the day was The Turkey Derby!! I was on a team with my 2nd grade Book Buddy and the ESL teacher. I ran the length of the gym, then Lucy hopped the length back and then our anchor was Brianne on a scooter. We did not win our heat but boy, did we look SWAG! (the name given to us by the kids was Swaggest Turkeys!!) In the end we won the award for being the Most Caffeinated Turkeys!!

So fun. So thankful to be a teacher at Janney ES!

In Writing Workshop, all printed their draft essays stating that chocolate milk should / should not be served at school on Tuesday at the end of class. It's Saturday and I've read 2 classes so far and will finished the rest tonight. I now have a good conference plan (my first, really!) and I was able to add comments to each essay so independently, the kids can revise and edit.

Then I read more of the Unit of Study for Research Based Argument Essay and I have a fun celebration planned!!! I got the movie The Great Debaters as suggested and after they write a final essay of their choice, we will reflect and celebrate with that movie.

Then I have the week before Winter Break to introduce and help the kids decide on a nonfiction topic to write about that is related to their Social Studies learning. How crazy that I am planned until Winter Break!!!

So fun. So thankful to JUST teach 5th Grade Writing Workshop!!

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