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

The Last Full Day

Today was the last full day of school for the year. After the three day weekend (due to Memorial Day), students will return on Tuesday for one hour to get report cards, clean out their desks, return materials, and clean out their lockers. If there is time, I will have them do a quick writing task related to our reading of Wonder, but only if time permits.

The first part of our day was like any other Friday. The students came in, made their lunch choices, sharpened pencils, turned in mail, and wrote in their daily journals. The journal topic of the day was “What would you like to be able to do better next year?” (Each of our journal entries throughout the year have involved some kind of personal reflection for the students, often related to social/emotional skills.) Then we did some vocabulary practice and had one last spelling test, which was focused on words that have prefixes that identify numbers (such as unity, tripod, pentagon, and octopus). We did one final independent, silent reading session for twenty-five minutes and then the students were off to Music.

Afterwards, we went outside for a brief 15-minute recess and then came in for one last math assignment. We reviewed angles and protractors, and then I had the student complete a worksheet on measuring and identifying angles. They also did a short assignment on reading graphs and line plots. The morning ended with our fourth and final All About Weather video, this one on wind and clouds. Without even being told, the students got out their science journals or other paper and took notes on what they were learning! Several of the points in the videos repeated themselves, and it was great to hear my students finishing statements about weather and the water cycle!

After lunch, our day was considerably different from our usual Friday afternoons, or any day, for that matter. The students got to stay outside for about 15 minutes longer than usual as they finished off snow cones that had been provided by a member of our PTA. We came back in and I read one last part of Bridge to Terabithia to the class. (We started on Monday, even though we knew we wouldn’t be able to finish by the end of the week. I hope that some, if not all, of my students will go to the library and check out a copy so they can finish.)

At one o’clock, we went outside for the third annual Students vs. Teachers Kickball Game! I was once again on the teacher team, so I changed into my awesome teacher uniform (a jersey with a W and “Wiley School” on the front and “Teacher” and the number “00” on the back) and joined the other teachers on the field while my class got settled in the spectator section. I was one of the pitchers for the teachers, and I was glad of all the practice I’ve gotten this quarter as my students played kickball in P.E.! After about 45 minutes, we had to call the game, even though we hadn’t finished all of the innings. The students won for the first time, partly due to the help of Urbana Fire Marshal Phil Edwards, who had come to provide music and play on the teacher team, but he defected to the students and helped bring in a couple of grand slams and home runs. The final score was 17-14. I’m glad the students won this year. While all of the teachers tried our best, I think we were all secretly rooting for the students to beat us for once!

The day ended with a final school-wide assembly in the gym. Fireman Phil continued to act as our DJ as students showcased their amazing duct tape accessories in a fashion show. Then we had a dance party before returning to our classroom, cleaning up and stacking chairs, and then the students were dismissed. It was a long, busy day, but we had a lot of fun. The students earned an all-time high ClassDojo score of 92%, which I thought was a fantastic way to wrap up the year!

One final hour and then summer break! (Of course, my summer won’t have much down time, what with the STEM Enrichment Camp, Chancellor’s Academy, a research cruise on Lake Ontario, the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute, and moving  in July/August!) Enjoy the three day weekend and remember to take time on Monday to remember those who gave their lives in defense of our nation and to thank their fellow soldiers who have lost their comrades-in-arms for their service and sacrifice!

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