Monday, April 21, 2014

Do You Hear It? I Know I Do!

The rumble of the impending earthquake has been growing steadily louder over the past week. Finally, the world started to shake in earnest as my son turned to me this evening and asked, “Mom, are there only about four weeks left of school this year?”

Yep, our district finishes around this time in May. That means we have about one month left. Although we had snow less than two weeks ago, spring has finally arrived, and summer is just around the corner. (Today’s 80-degree weather and day off from school definitely add to the feeling.)

State testing begins this week for us, and even though everyone is tired, I know from past experience that the kids will be anything but mellow after those final scantron forms have been submitted.

Nope. Instead, they’ll be wired. They will be DONE with school. Oh, their bodies will still be there, but their minds will be outside, in the sunshine. All the teachers out there know exactly what I mean. J

So just when teachers can smell the upcoming summer break, just when we start feeling like we just want to lay down and let the kids run all over us, (like one of those tired mama tigers with their playful cubs crawling all over them at the zoo) it’s time to step up our game, infuse some creativity, and involve the kids’ hands as well as their brains.

One of the ways I would like to accomplish some classroom FUN while still keeping in mind the almighty standards, involves having the kids create a lap book about what they learned this year. I’m also hoping to keep them busy, of course. :D

It’s not just that, though. I really need a quick snapshot of what they’ve learned and what they’ll remember from our classroom. Even more, I want THEM to know, and to remember years from now, what they learned in fourth grade.

I’m not talking about what percentile they’ve reached, or what quartile gains they’ve made. I want to know how they’ve grown as little PEOPLE, and I hope to find out whatever small influence I’ve had in that growth. After all, that’s why I became a teacher. J

(If you want to take a closer look at this project, you can find it here: 

How do you plan to spend the last month with your students? I would love to hear about it! Please tell me your plans in the comments! Thanks!

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