We have 3 days before summer vacation, and these kids are SOOOO ready!
This year seems worse than usual. I blame the rough winter.
Seriously, it really was a rough winter here in New England, and I truly believe it took its toll on the kiddos.
They're done. They're so done. They are like a saturated sponge... you know when the sponge just can't hold any more water and it's just dripping excess water? Yep, that's the kids. They just can't take any more in! They need the time to let all the learning settle so there will be room for more.
People who don't work in education don't understand this. Those of us who work in the trenches understand the need for vacations.
Yet we have 3 more days to work. I've been pulling out all the stops. Trying every trick I know to hold their attention, to keep them behaving, and maybe help all that learning from the year stick!
I've been having the kids play a lot of review games! The card game you see is the only remnant of my Everyday Math Program: Name That Number! The kids get hooked on this game, and it's a great way to combine addition, subtraction, multiplication, and strategy! The goal is to use as many of the 5 cards as they can to equal the target number. They love it!
Scoot is a great game to play this time of year! It can be used with any task cards, but I tend to use my review cards like the Social Studies Review seen above. (It's a freebie!) The children go from desk to desk responding to the task cards on each desk. (No time to sit down!) I usually put a brain break or two on some of the desks. After they've visited each desk, we go over them and they self correct with a highlighter. (Fun with highlighters and immediate feedback for them, no correcting for me!)
See also these review Scoot games:
Language Review (parts of speech)
Vocabulary Review (prefixes, suffixes, antonyms, synonyms)
We had a day to honor our Assistant Principal, who is about to retire. We've been lucky to have him for the last 4 years, when he was originally going to be at our school for only one year. I guess these kiddos are tough to leave! They dressed like him, all the way down to the details on the nametag he wears, and his mustache! (Unfortunately, since I cover the kids' faces, you can't really see the "mustache on a stick" the kids made!)
We finished the BEST read aloud! I wasn't familiar with the Lulu books before, but on the recommendations of a couple of teacher friends, as well as a couple of the kids who had read the book, we've had a blast these last couple of weeks!
This is the second book in a series of 3 by Judith Viorst.
Lulu and the Brontosaurus is the first.
Lulu's Mysterious Mission is the third.
I'm going to have to buy the set!
(Each image is a link to Amazon for more information.)
Our Enrichment teacher came into the class and did a whole group/ 3 session science/ engineering challenge with the kiddos. Their challenge was to create a structure that would float a peeled orange. Luckily, with an extra adult in the classroom, it was controlled chaos rather than the total chaos it would have been! The children worked with partners drawing plans, choosing materials, revising plans, and testing to see if their structure worked. I wish you could see the intensity in their eyes! They were amazing! (Plus, they didn't realize they were learning, they were so busy having fun!)
At the beginning of the school year, we chose a tree in the school yard to be our class tree, and sketched it at various points through the year. Last August, when school started, the tree was leafy and green. Later it changed to orange and red (we sketched several times through this process.) Later, all the leaves fell off and we sketched a bare tree. In the dead of winter, we sketched a tree with snow on the branches. (Luckily, we could see it through the window, since it was way too cold and snowy to go outside to sketch!) Finally this spring it started to bud, then grow leaves, and finally it has full grown leaves like it did at the beginning of the school year. As the children looked back through their sketch books, they realized their sketches weren't quite the same as last August: Their sketches were much more detailed! Their sketching skills had grown! As they have! :)
Here are a couple of freebies to get you through the rest of the year, if you're not on vacation yet!
Everyone needs Thank You Cards this time of year!
Let's hope those kiddos are read to this summer!
I'll be sending How to Help Children at Home with Literacy Skills home on Wednesday!