Sunday, June 7, 2015

End of the Year... in GIFs and Pictures

Yeah that's me right now... except I'm sipping Starbucks and don't get into a firey crash.  
#spoileralert #whohasn'tseenzoolander 

It's summer break for me...  but I still wanted to share all the fun stuff that happened on those days leading to the end of the year.

First and foremost my class was counting down the days just as hard as I was.  Thanks to Ciera, one of my lovely coworkers and fellow blogger, our team was doing and End Of The Year ABC countdown.  I'm not sure who enjoy it more the kids or the teachers.  For example one of them was Future Day.  Our kids came in wearing different outfits about their future.  I had one of my reading students copy our teaching badge and wear a dress shirt over jeans.  That kid is going places.  Another day was Soak Up the Sun Day, which basically meant we got to have a picnic for lunch with our kids.  I loved creating special moments with this group and that was definitely one of them.  

But, to be real with you... not all of the end of the year is that pretty.

Kids go absolutely crazy at the end of the year and let's face it... you're exhausted.
But you HAVE TO fight the urge to not go absolutely mental.

I honestly think I survived because of chapter books and teaching outside of the box.  
In my reading class devoured the book Frindle. If you teach 3-5 grade and haven't read it to/or with your class, GO OUT AND GET A COPY NOW.  
Aside from the normal book study activities my kids were invested in book talks and responding to the text in various ways.  They even began to enjoy learning vocabulary with much more enthusiasm than they'd had before.  Oh my goodness they were so so so sad when the story ended.  I felt so bad that there isn't a series related to this story that I knew we had to do something special.  
On my last class with my reading kids we gathered all together and I told them, "I need their signatures on something so I could always remember them.  Here let me get you something to write with.  Here everyone can have their own FRINDLE to sign this with."  
And yes if you're a fan of Frindle you know exactly what they said without prompting.
"3, 2, 1 FRINDLE"

But I still had a couple more weeks with my homeroom class!  14 days of controlled chaos??
What do you do when it's the end of the year, the kids are antsy and you've already completed standardized testing?  You teach outside of the box of course!
  • Reviewing reading/math concepts with board games.  They have no idea they're still learning and applying their knowledge in order to play.
  • Write, Pass, Write, Read.  During writing we would take our journal time to a more interactive level we began to write as groups.  One person would start with a story and write for an allotted time on a timer.  When the bell went off they had to pass to the next person to be completed.  Best writing my kids have ever done.  
  • Candy as manipulatives.  Introducing probability to 3rd grade can be extreme.  We used M&Ms (on M-Day) to explore probability in real life.  

On our last day it was quite bittersweet to say goodbye to this group.  
These kids have grown so much in the year that I have been blessed to work with them.  Tears and hugs were shared among all of them!  

I'll leave you with a toast and a question.

Here's looking at you kid.

So now it's your turn... what did you do to end out the year?  
Cheers to all you teachers sticking it out and making a difference one kid at a time. Enjoy your summer.

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