End of School and a FREEBIE!

It’s the last week of school. My brain hurts. Sometimes I wonder if my kids brains hurt, too. We stuff all this knowledge in-and the ROCK IT!

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I knew my kids were checked out, so I took some time to write our schedule for the week on the board and talk it over with them.

It went something like this:

Monday: Normal day, as much as possible

Tuesday: Review and Game Day

Wednesday: Camp Read Alot (more on that downstairs) and K5 Graduation

Thursday: Clean up, pack up, book pack up, memory circle, presents, Class Party, Field Day

Then, just like that, my little second graders are third graders. When they came to me at the beginning of the year, they seemed so little. Now they are these crazy joke-cracking, sass-masters and ninja-coffee-finders. No joke, it took until almost Christmas for one of my students to not get offended over jokes, and now he tells the funniest jokes! The change is amazing, and I love seeing how much they’ve grown.

I have read up on classroom transformations. I’m not entirely sure I completely understand how to run one, but I’m going to give it my best shot. On Tuesday night my husband  and I are going to come in and set it up. I have a kids tent I borrowed that will be set up with pillows and husband pillows for leaning on. I bought a blue tablecloth to spread out for a “pond.” I will be bringing place mats, so each child will be able to float in the pond and work on some math. I also have an area to set up a “campfire.” They’ll sit around the campfire and have to “Tell Me S’More.” I came up with a writing activity in which they have to build on what they read. There are several different options. If you would like to see/print the Tell Me S’More Activity, click here. Please feel free to print and use it. Contact me if you would like an editable text version. 🙂 There will also be a coloring/puzzle station. Kids will be in assigned groups to rotate with. I am so excited to see how this goes! I hope they enjoy it.

In my next blog post, I will have pictures of the final set up. Stay tuned for photos-hopefully my room will be…well…transformed!

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Spring into Summer Reading!

It’s finally spring! I actually wrote this first draft sitting outside on my porch in between entering grades.

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It was still cold! I was in sweats and slippers

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Man, I love the view from my balcony.

When we moved in, we couldn’t use our little balcony area. It had this horrid green astro turf that the previous owner had let their pet piddle on. It also was moldy and plain old gross. We were at Ikea and saw this amazing tile. It is plastic and snaps together. We rolled up the green grossness, and started laying down the tiles.

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The grossness is rolled away, and the tiles are going down

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Tada! We finished laying them, and now we have chairs, too!

I love my job. I am so excited when my kids have an “Aha!” moment and finally understand what I’ve been teaching. But sometimes…it takes alot of work on both our sides (and mom and dad’s) to reach that. It can be draining, but trust me, it’s so worth it. Lately I’ve taken to watching teacher Vlogs while I grade because it’s something outside my immediate bubble that I can learn from. The Lettered Classroom on YouTube is amazing, as is Teachers Learn 2. I love seeing a super organized class, but also seeing the unorganized one. I aim for the organized one, but it generally fails. At least we all know where stuff is in my class. (except the glue sticks. No clue why they don’t seem to notice they’re ALWAYS by the pencils. Selective eye sight? Pencil Tunnel Vision? Seriously, it’s an epidemic.)

I decided to offer my kids a summer reading challenge, with an ice cream party at the end. I’m kind of excited to be looking ahead to next year.  If you want to see the book list/tentative parent letter, click here. It is still being worked on, but I’m definitely using that list! This isn’t your typical list. It doesn’t have a single book title. Some choices include: a book that was published the year you were born, a book from the bottom shelf of a library, and a book whose author has the name first or last name as you. Don’t those sound so fun?

The main reason I’m offering this, is to attempt to deepen their desire to read. Reading is vital to learning.  I shudder to think about what would happen if some of my kids didn’t open a book all summer. Yikes!

I know there are no recipes in this…but that’s mainly because I have barely had time to cook, much less take pictures. 😉