Saturday, May 11, 2013

Five for Friday... A Week Worth Appreciating

It's Time for Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday! (Shhhh... let's just not tell anyone it's already Saturday, Okay?) Click on the picture below for a peek into this week's adventures in other classrooms.

This week FLEW by! It seems like there was something important happening every minute...

Monday was our last day to review for The Test. We finished our English Language Arts testing last week and this week we had two days of testing for math. I've changed the way we review for testing... I've added more partner work, move "move-around" games and more group study. Time will tell...

By Wednesday it was all over. And I was soooooooooooo proud of my students. They really worked hard! It was funny to be watching them and suddenly hear someone say "Yes!" (Translation: "One of my answers is in the list!") and "Oh, Oh, Oh!" ((Translation: "I've seen a problem like this before"). Even if their scores are not all stellar, I will be more-than-pleased with their efforts. The state measures their scores against a standard of proficiency. In my mind, they all worked at a proficient level... including those who waited quietly (and waited and waited!) for their classmates to finish. I'm glad that's over!

Wednesday was Teacher Appreciation Day. Some of my students brought flowers... and chocolate... and sweet notes... and they left me a giant note on the white board with everyone's name included. I left it up for an extra day because my heart wouldn't let me erase it!

My principal gave each teacher a book for Teacher Appreciation Day. (I love that my principal is a serious reader!) Mine was called Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach. (I wrinkled the ribbon, sorry, J.) and the quote on the card was "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited" --Plutarch. I thought that was so inspiring (and thoughtful). And, of course, I loved my purple pen! My favorite section is called "Holding On." Now I know just where to look when I need a little extra motivation to try again the next day.

Our PTA puts on a luncheon for the entire staff at our school... and our tiny staff barely filled six tables! Yep, we are a small school. But what we lack in numbers, we make up in determination!

Yes, I did do laundry, but that's not why this picture is posted! Sometimes, when the stars are all aligned, I can manage to sneak in a surprise for my colleagues. Under the guise of "practicing for promotion," twenty sixth graders learned a song in sign language called "Do I Make You Proud?" Our colors are white and royal blue, so they dressed in school colors and took the stage. Some were nervous and some were... more nervous!

Just like the differences in students' voices, their signing is different too. Some sign in a "timid" way and some sign in a "dramatic" way. It makes the whole performance that much more touching. And, since they only had two days to pull it together, it was so gratifying that they managed to shine (brightly!) on stage. They were SO precious! I was fine for the first few verses, but at some point, the tears started and that was that. Later, they said they thought it was funny that I was crying, but I think they knew it was just an acknowledgement of how proud I felt at that very moment...

If you have never heard the song--or you missed a season of American Idol, I left the link below. Imagine it from a student to a teacher... Pretty sweet, huh? The part about raising my hand really affected me because we worked so hard this year to become participants. The video is a little "over the top," but twenty kids in blue and white shirts, signing with all their hearts would have made even Taylor Hicks proud!

Friday was Western Bar-B-Que Day. By 10:30, the smell of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill had reached every classroom. We sneaked out a few minutes early--only to be among the three other upper-grade classrooms who were thinking the very same thing!

Living in suburban southern California, most of my students don't own any "western wear." Three kids had a variation of a cowboy hat. A few had plaid shirts and jeans, but we didn't look very festive. The night before, I had made a trip to Boot Barn. This is a local store filled with cowboy boots and other western attire--quite dissimilar from the shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes worn by most of my students to school each day. The salesperson was laughing as I sorted through the big barrel to find 32 bandannas. She didn't know that I was thinking with each choice: "Ashley will want a pink one, Marcus will probably be wearing black basketball shorts, Roxie's favorite color is green..." That morning, I let them choose bandannas, and soon we looked ready for a photo shoot... or at least for a tray of "special" food prepared by the Food Service people!

Once lunch was over, we finished our Mother's Day letters, and then my cowboys and cowgirls waited for the clock to finally tick its way to the weekend.

Twenty more school days. I keep alternating between being excited and feeling a bit melancholy. This is definitely a class I will always remember...

PS  Don't you just love those cupcakes? Just another wonderful clip art set from Ashley Hughes... find them  HERE at TpT!


  1. Sounds like a great week! Thanks for sharing Kim. Enjoy the next 20 days!

    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

  2. What a full week- testing, performances, BBQs and more! I know you are so proud of your students. The extra time you take with them and for them (searching for the right bandanas) pays off!! Have a great follow up week this week :)

    Fun in Room 4B

  3. First, love love love the cupcake numbers!
    Second, hooray for proficient testing and that it's over!
    Third, I am so glad you felt spoiled and appreciated for Teacher's Appreciation. You really really deserve that!
    Last, I absolutely love that you picked out bandanas with your kids in mind. I want to rewind time and be a kid in your class.
    Have a great week!!!

  4. Go Western Day is fun ... but so is the PURPLE pen! I hope that you were showered with LOVE and pampered like there's no tomorrow. You ROCK their world, my friend, and you are a blessing to each and every one of them. I'm with Kristin ... how fun it would be to be a kid in your class!


  5. What a wonderful week!!! You deserve to feel appreciated every single day ... scratch that - every single moment. YAY for finishing testing ... I've got two weeks to go before our week of testing - how much review can I possibly squeeze into the next two weeks ... I guess we'll find out. ;)

    Runde's Room

  6. So great that you were able to find time for that song. So wonderful!
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  7. I received that book of poetry from my principal about 6 or 7 years ago. There's some good stuff in there - some favorites that I return to from time to time to keep me going.

    Love the bandannas too! What a great idea. I bet the kids loved it! It shows how much you care about each of them, that you knew what color they'd most like. Very nice!


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