Tuesday, June 19, 2012

For the 35th Time, Ending on a Monday

I just finished my 35th year of teaching, and I am proud to say  I enjoyed another year.  I not only survived, but I'm happy about how it went!

I'm kind of glad our last day turned out to be on a Monday.  I know it seems silly to come back to school for just a Monday (especially since it's a half day) but I really liked the way it turned out.

The week before school got out was crazy.  My report cards were due for inspection at the beginning of the week, so I worked all the previous weekend on those.  (The report cards we use are quite complicated, and really do take that long!)  Then I spent my afternoons planning my End of Year Academic Olympics activities, and tried to find some time to get ahead on end of the year packing. At home, in the evenings, I was typing up this year's Memory book.

I was determined to stay Friday evening until the custodians kicked me out at 11:00.  I had dreams of having the whole room completely packed up except for the few things I'd need on Monday.  My "gentleman friend" (I'm far too old to have a "boyfriend") came to help at about 4:45, and I was pretty wiped out by then.  Most of the school supplies were in boxes, and I had set aside the few things I'd need for the last day, but the place was a mess, with a lot to be done.  He was amazing, piling boxes, carrying stuff to my car, and keeping my spirits up.  We finally called it quits at 6:15, when I was pretty much a vegetable.  But my room was in good shape.


Our last story for the year!
I had no school work to do all weekend... that was a very strange feeling!  My report cards were done, printed, folded and packed.  My cumulative folders were stuffed and marked.  I was all planned for Monday, and my only paper work - the Memory books - were run off and waiting.

By the time Monday came, I was rested! I wasn't stressed about finishing the packing, since I really got a lot done on Friday.  So I got to enjoy the last day with my students!!!!  I honestly don't remember a "last day" where I wasn't overtired and stressed about finishing.

It's a quick day, so I didn't want to waste any time with the children.  As they came in, I had them work with partners on individual whiteboards.  Some played hangman, some played Tic-tac-toe.  As long as they were thinking, I was fine!

We had our morning meeting, and I read them one last story, then showed them their Memory books.  After choosing a gel pen color of their choice (I bought a selection of 24 colors) I gave them 15 minutes of Independent Reading time. I insisted they spend some time alone reading the memory book before the conversations/ autographing began. They were fun to watch when it came to autographing each Memory book.  I also got to autograph most of them, which I was glad to do.

What's in the memory books? A couple of weeks ago, I asked the children to write a comment about each of their classmates.  I also asked them for their favorite things about second grade, favorite things about the school, and ideas for things to do during summer vacation.  Since not all children were allowed to be photographed, I took the photo for the cover of their hands (idea from Pinterest!) And I took a picture of each child holding their favorite book... in front of their face.  I wasn't about to have all the children's pictures except one!  Here's my picture from the Memory book, with their comments for me beside it.
This is my "picture", and what the children had to say about me.

At 10:00, our PTA has a tradition for the last day of school:  ice cream sundaes!  We lined up for the last day of school tradition (Thank you PTA!) and enjoyed our last recess together.  I gave the children some time for centers when we got back.  I had a few books still out so they could have partner reading time.  I kept out the math cards so they could play math games, and the white boards were still out for playing Hangman.  No brilliant skills were discovered on this last day, but they were involved in activities to practice the skills they've learned, and I got to enjoy them for one last day.  At 11:45, we all lined up for our 5th graders' final walk, then they went off on their buses for the last time this school year.
Click the image for this freebie.

It was completely a fabulous day.  I eventually finished packing my room, and checked out for the school year.  I've done a lot of sleeping since, and I'm starting to catch up on the housework I haven't done in months.  But it was a very good day.

I thought you'd like a little freebie from my kids.  Here's a copy of their "Things to do during summer vacation so the TV won't suck out your brain" list!  Enjoy!

12 comments:

  1. It sounds like the perfect day :)
    Just found you through Fabulously First!
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thanks, it was a great day, one of the best "endings" I remember!

      Sally

      Delete
  2. Sounds like an AWESOME day Sally!! 35 years???? THAT IS FABULOUS!!

    ღDeAnne
    First Grade and Fabulous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DeAnne,

      Yes, 35 years! And boy, can I feel it! But honestly, I've loved "almost" every minute!

      Sally

      Delete
  3. Sounds like a great day. 35 years and still going strong! Congratulations.

    Meanwhile I've got 6 days to go, so I'd better get back to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen,

      Thanks! Ugh, 6 more days! I hope you don't go back until mid-September!

      Sally

      Delete
  4. I would love to end on a Monday! I think that is such a great idea. Way to go on 35 years. That is so awesome...

    Hive2nd.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rikki,

      Monday worked out great for me! Thanks!

      Sally

      Delete
  5. Sally, I love your posts!
    What a terrific freebie!
    I am so glad I'm not the only one that lets the housework fall to the side during those last few weeks of school!
    Thank you for sharing this at TBA and linking up!
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fern,

      No way could I keep up with housework and everything else!
      Thanks so much!

      Sally

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on 35 years!! I love your summer to-do list! Great idea! :)

    I found you at the Free 4 All Linky - I'm your newest follower!

    ~Erin
    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the "to do" list! Thanks for sharing :-) Sounds like you had a magical day with your munchkins. Ice cream sundaes? Wow. Cool school. haha super cool teacher, obviously.

    ReplyDelete

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