Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May? Already? Seriously?

Omiword. STOP. How is it May already?!

I'm torn. Yes, I like summer. I'm excited. I've got big plans including spending time with my own children, going to the beach, rock climbing, sewing, running more than I can during the school year, writing new curriculum units, attending professional conferences, attacking the list of books I want to read... But I love my little darlings. The past several weeks have been nothing short of AWESOME! It's that time of the year when their learning is accelerating, they know all the rules and routines, and all my students are friends!

On a side note... all my students are friends. Yay! I've worked hard all year to establish a sense of community and teach students to treat each other respectfully. We've practiced the oral language that's appropriate for talking with peers, they've had opportunities to work with lots of different class members, and we've discussed inclusion/exclusion at length. Well, guess what?! It worked. Another yay! Of course that means that the classroom seating arrangement is challenging, because they all love to talk to EVERYONE! Gotta love it!

So here's what's up in May.

We've been studying the rainforest, and my little geniuses are experts on toucans. We started our toucan study with a list of questions. Students wanted to know if toucans build their nests on the ground or in trees, whether the male and female toucans look alike or different, and whether they can fly or not. I was pretty pleased with all the questions they asked, but especially those, because they illustrate concepts the students have learned about other birds! Students learned some interesting things about toucans, including the fact that a toucan's beak is hollow! We drew toucans and wrote about toucans, and pretended to eat fruit like toucans do (they spit out the seeds!)

Here's one of our charts near the beginning of our study.

Toucan chart







And here's a book that we found especially useful for learning about toucans!

Toucan Book 2







We're nearly finished with our toucan study. Last two activities: students will be writing a simple "Toucan Facts" book, and they will use water colors to complete the adorable toucan drawings that they did today.

Other big news in our classroom... we're preparing for two big field trips, Open House, and the end of the year. Tomorrow we're making Lemonade Sugar Scrub for the moms for Mother's Day, as well as writing "Mom" books. We'll be starting on our Memory Books next week.

And have y'all Noodled?! That's what my class calls it! They LOVE GoNoodle, and I can get them to do practically anything with the promise of some time with "Our Champ!" If you haven't checked out www.GoNoodle.com yet, you really should. Some teachers I know weren't too eager to get started. It seemed complicated, all that "signing up." (Can you see my rolling my eyes?!) But I talked them into it and they are hooked, too! GoNoodle is just a collection of brain breaks for students. Many involve movement and music, and some review academic concepts. So. Fun. My kiddos especially love Maximo, who leads yoga and has a darling personality, for a blue cartoon monkey!









The year flew by. My class this year has been pretty challenging due to an enormous range of abilities and many, many changes (fourteen new students since the first week.) But I adore them!

Susie Card









Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, Teacher Friends!

Thank You Teachers Google

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