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

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Many families are already traveling, trying to beat the traffic and the nasty weather that has been forecast. Others are staying near home but are preparing for family and friends to visit. As a result (and probably for a host of other reasons), several of my students were absent today. Fortunately, I had planned on today being a day heavy on review and celebrations instead of trying to teach new material.

The fourth graders finished their marathon study of Cinderella stories and, to celebrate, we brought the two classes together to watch the Walt Disney version of the story. (Then we did a quick compare-and-contrast activity afterwards and realised that Disney’s version is actually quite different from all the others that we read!)

We also did a check on the multiplication facts in math and a quick review of adding greater numbers, reading tables, and identifying quadrilaterals. The end of the day was our end-of-the-week routine of cognitive games and activities that I call Read, Write, Think! Then we cleaned up and I read more of Hattie Big Sky to the class until dismissal.

Of course, way back at the beginning of the day, the class wanted to share their Thanksgiving traditions. We learned that many of our classmates will be traveling to see extended family this weekend while many others will be staying here and hosting their family and friends. I also asked my students to think about the things they for which they are thankful, especially when it comes to school. Here is what they said:

  • I am thankful that we have a lot of books because I like to read.
  • I am thankful for SOAR. [Note: This is our independent reading time. It stands for Spread Out And Read.]
  • I am thankful for recess.
  • I am thankful that I get to learn.
  • I am thankful for learning all I can do to get into college.
  • I am thankful for math and writing.
  • I am thankful for math and that we get to learn.
  • I am thankful for math.
  • I am thankful for my teacher.
  • I am thankful for friends.
  • I am thankful for the teachers because if it was just kids it would go crazy.
  • I am thankful for lunch!
  • I am thankful that we can even go to the school and that we have all the supplies we need.
  • I am thankful for math.
  • I am thankful for the teacher.
  • I am thankful everything!

And lastly, I am thankful for the ability to learn something new every single day and for reasons to laugh with my students and colleagues!


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