The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

The End of the Year

Well, I made it! The first half of the year is now done, and I am still alive, my students are still with me, and none of us have gone off the deep end. If that’s not good enough, we’ve accomplished a lot so far. I could make a list, but then that would only remind me of everything we still have to do, and I am afraid that that may set me off in a panic. Besides, if you really want to see a list of what was accomplished this year, just read through the titles of the blog posts I have written since I started working at Wiley!

Today was a crazy day. I didn’t want to send any homework with my students, since they have a two-week break, and it can be asking a lot of 9- and 10-year-olds to keep track of something for that long, so I didn’t want to start teaching any new concepts. I have encouraged the students to practice multiplication facts using their flashcards or Mr. Martini’s Classroom. I’m not sure show many actually will, but hey, I can hope! Also, we had a pretty full day with some set activities: P.E. in the morning, followed by the book exchange, leaving us with an hour and forty-five minutes before lunch. After lunch, the class had another hour and fifteen minutes before going to the 3rd grade fashion show (the culmination of a very awesome art project they had been working on), which was followed by our classroom party. (The classroom party was a lot of fun, although I think the next party–in February, I believe–is going to be much more structured than the first two were. Just part of learning and growing as a teacher, right?)

So I had about three hours of instructional time available to me. That is what made the day crazy, although the students were kind of crazy, too, what with the excitement over the classroom party and the winter break. I gave the students time to read independently from their books they got at the book exchange, and also had a few more type up their pages for our alphabet book. Sadly, not everyone got done, so we’ll need to pick up after the break and get it finished quickly so we can move on.

We also took time to clean out desks and tidy up the room. Several students have been working on reorganising my collection of storybooks and nonfiction literature, but there are roughly 650 books in that collection, if I recall correctly, and it has been slow-going. I plan on finishing it up during the break because, despite what we call it, I will definitely be going in to the classroom during the break to get some work done.

Not every day, though. I do want to be able to do things around the house that I’ve been putting off until the break. In addition to the random jobs, I am also going to try to make several slow-cooker meals that I can portion out and freeze so I have a ready supply of lunches available when school resumes in January.

So, on the one hand, I feel like I could have and should have done more this week and even today. On the other hand, I think that we did what we needed to do. It wasn’t the greatest day we’ve ever had in our classroom, but it wasn’t the worst, either. It was… well, it was the end of the year. Everyone is ready for a break, and I am already making plans for when we get back together. There is so much I have wanted to do, and I feel like I now have time to think it out and start implementing ideas that I have been floating around in my mind for the past several months. I don’t think that my classroom is going to be completely different, but there will definitely be some differences that will make it a better learning environment for all. Or so I hope!

 

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