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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Winding Down The Year and Having a Dilemma

Well folks...we are down to the home stretch here in North Georgia. We are down to the last week of school, and there are only 4 1/2 days left with my kiddoes. This has been a tough year family wise, with lots of hospitalizations for both my mother and husband, so I'm glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as school goes. It will be nice to only have one layer of stress, rather than two. (The hubby is still recovering from his third back surgery) It has been a rough one.
Meet Mr. Smith--Ready for another back surgery!

While many of my teammates and coworkers are using the last week for unstructured activities, outdoor games, and all out fun frenzies, I'm just not feeling it this year. Is it just me, or am I leery of doing these things out of sheer fear that my kids will revert back into wildcat mode. You see, I was out for seven days with my husband and his back surgery, there wasn't a single day that went by that I did not fear for my substitute, and got a note every day about how horrendously my class had behaved. Granted, I have some "goofy goobers" as I like to call them, but they can be sweet, and they can behave, but it only happens for me.Last week was glorious, I was back, my kids had lots of work to catch up on, and they actually sat down and completed it!

This week is going to be much more of the same ideas. Finish up work, finish a Charlotte's Web Book Study, complete our Social Studies Project, learn some more cursive, and start on our memory/yearbooks. Want to see a few of the things I use?

I'm using bits and pieces of this Diary of a Third Grader, that will go along with other things that I have created for my own classroom. The kids love doing this one!
This is the second Outside the Box Project by Mr. Hughes that I've done with my kiddoes this year. The first was a Christmas Ornament that they loved. For this one, we played pin the tail on the Map and chose a state to research. We are wrapping up the research now and getting ready to assemble them.
And this one is something that I made myself to add to their little end of year books. It's a five-page interactive flipbook chock full of fun little prompts and ideas to get them remembering their best year ever! All of these products are available for sale. Click the images to take you to the owner's site.

We are still working...and we will continue doing so right up to the last minute. My kiddoes just don't do well with unstructured days and I want them to get as much out of our last week together as possible.

I'm still on the ledge as to whether or not to throw and end of year party in my room. They tend to get out of hand, make a ginormous mess, and leave me to clean it up on my gloriously shortened last day of school. (We Get Out at Lunchtime!) What should I do with them? Their behavior clearly did not earn a party, but I hate to be that grouchy old teacher who doesn't do anything fun at the end of the year...Any ideas?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Field Trips...It's a Love/Hate Relationship

Hey ya'll! The school year is winding up for us with only three weeks to go and it is straight up field trip season! It seems like every grade level in my school has gone on one or is going on one in the next two weeks. My class took our yearly trek to Ruby Falls last week and as usual, I loved it/hated it for all the same reasons. I'm sure this list isn't complete, but here is my list of reasons why I love/hate field trips!

Why I love them...
Ruby Falls Underground Waterfall

  • We're out of the classroom! Something about being free of those concrete walls just makes the day a bit brighter.
  • The wonder I get to witness in the eyes of my students is priceless. Even the drive is a learning experience as many of my littles have never left the city.
  • Everyone accidentally falls asleep on the bus ride home.
Why I hate them...
  • The stench of a school bus...kind of reminds me of riding in a condensed version of a locker room, with 82 people inside it..and none of them wearing deodorant.. (Third graders don't do that.)
  • All behavior plans, rules, regulations, etc. seem to be forgotten for that specific moment in time.We're not in the school, so let's go off the chain and run wild!
  • Sack lunches...yeah..cafeteria packed us some broccoli florets in our sack lunches.. Really?? Why don't you just put us in a metal can and tell us all to fart harmoniously. (This relates back to #1)

And since our field trip is so much fun, and since I am so lucky to live and work near Chattanooga, Tennessee, I will share a few of my snapshots from the trip. The kids absolutely love it (except the time the elevator that goes down into the cave broke while we were underground and we had to wait it out). It's a fun trip but the 1/2 mile walk to the falls is brutal!

And that's it folks. I know you all have reasons for loving/hating field trips and I'd love to hear them! So tell me, what is it about field trip days that you love/hate the most? I love reading your comments!

Have a great week!