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

Well-Rested and Ready to Learn

Today was an important day for my students, although I don’t know how many of them even realised it. After all, in many ways it was just like any other Monday: they came in, made their lunch choices, wrote a brief journal entry about what they did over the long holiday weekend/break, got onto XtraMath to practice multiplication facts, came to the carpet for a morning meeting, learned about comparing fractions with unlike denominators in math and practiced specific skills related to fractions on Front Row, had recess, went to library, started a new unit for science, worked on writing, went to lunch, had physical education after lunch, engaged in independent literacy tasks while I met with small groups, went to a Coyote College, came back to the room for our read aloud at the end of the day, and then went home at 3 pm.

Yep, a pretty typical Monday (well, except for the Coyote College which interrupted our literacy block).

So what made today so important?

Two things: first, it marked the end of November, which means the end of that period of time that, because it sometimes feels like a long Dark Evil Vortex going from Late September, and passing through all of both October and November, some teachers call DEVOLSON. And I have to be honest: with the cold and the rain and the random bursts of warm weather followed by more cold and more rain, the past two months felt like they were dragging on for-eh-ver.

But all things come to an end, and thus has November ended. And now we are on the second part that made today important: it was the first day of the final push to Winter Break. In just three weeks (fourteen days of school) my students will have completed 50% of their fourth grade careers! From feeling like November would never end to suddenly realising how much time has passed, we are taking advantage of the relaxing Thanksgiving break to push ourselves forward to the end of the semester!

We kicked the final stretch off with a new science unit. Students cheered as soon as they saw me wearing my white lab coat because they all know exactly what that means! (If I had enough hours in the day, we would have science and social studies every day. Instead, I teach them in blocks.) We began exploring concepts about energy, heat, and renewable and non-renewable resources.

So here’s the getting through Late September, October, and November! Here’s to eating way too much pie, getting lots of sleep, and getting back to work! Here’s to the final push to the end of the first semester! And, of course, here’s to lots and lots and lots of learning!

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