Thursday, June 18, 2009

Almost Over!

As the year has been winding down, there hasn’t seemed to be as much to write about. We’ve mostly been keeping reasonably busy with this and that, but nothing all that special.

Until today….

Today was a farewell activity, and what a fantastic time it was.
We started with a scavenger hunt. Just before recess the students were divided into teams, and each team was given 45 minutes – first and second recesses – to go hunting for the items on their list. Items ranged in points from 2 to 100.


As they found items on the list, you could sense the excitement. Water bottles, for examples, were one of the easier items to find on the list.


As the students did this, Akiko and some helpers filled up water balloons outside the library.


After recess was over, the teams points were totaled up. It was amazing how much stuff they found! But that wasn’t the end of the games. No sir! We returned to the yard where we had a variety of relay races. In one race, the students had to jump rope to a cone and back and hand off the jump rope to a teammate.


The best activity of all, of course, was the water balloon toss. That was my favorite until … well, until I was dumb enough to say that the wettest person was the winner. At that point, 27 students aimed water balloons straight at me! I’m still not quite dry.


Once we had cleaned up the little bits of balloon from the yard, we returned to the class where we had an amazing feast. Chicken, mandu, beef liver, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, salads … if you weren’t here, let me assure you it was way better than most restaurants!

I would also like to thank the class for their generous present. Believe me, particularly after losing my summer school job, the cash will be very handy this summer!

I will miss this class so much. You have been wonderful students and great parents. I better quit writing before I get tears on the keyboard and short something else out…..

HomeworkI don’t think so….

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blog’s Back

Last week I came in and my monitor was not working. I had had some problems with it earlier, and when I fiddled with the adapter power cable it had worked just fine. This time, I went to touch it and nearly burned my fingers. I ordered another adapter – computer parts, like those for Studebaker automobiles, have a long life on the Internet – and it arrived today. When I turned the monitor over to remove the old adapter, I found it absolutely charred. I am surprised that it did not set the room on fire. I am even more surprised, though pleased, the the monitor still works.

All this, I suppose, is offered an excuse for being such a bad blogger in the last few days. But, dear readers, I was thinking about all of you. And, as proof, I snapped this photo during Friday’s freak rain storm. Ah, but the students enjoyed that one!


Today was pretty low-key. We did a good bit of work concluding our Open Court Reading unit. We reviewed subject and predicate, which will be on the Checking Skills part of the unit test, and we discussed and worked on dependent clauses. We took the Comprehension part of the test, and we started to read “One TV Blaring and a Pig Outdoors,” the final reading selection in the unit. We checked our math homework.

We ended the day on an interesting note. We went to see Caroline Arnold in the auditorium. Ms. Arnold has written over one hundred books for children, mostly non-fiction. She did a fascinating presentation and then answered questions from the students. Thank you Mrs. Koneff for arranging this for our students.

HomeworkIt returns. (1) Do the Unit 5 Spelling Jumble. (2) Do the Unit 5 Vocabulary Crossword. (3) Do the division practice worksheet.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Still Life

These last couple weeks of the year have a frankly improvised quality. The year is over; the teacher knows it; and the children know it, too. No matter now wonderful the year has been, summer vacation hangs in the air like the scent of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It is like hearing the sound of the breaking waves before you crest the hill of the dunes and see the blue ocean stretched before you. The anticipation is almost tangible.

Still we do our best to do reasonable amounts of teaching and learning. We have been finishing up our math series and we will be bringing Open Court Reading to a close soon. We will be working hard to finish up the Science Unit. We will take a bunch of required tests.

Along the way, however, we strive to stretch our artistic imagination, too. Today I cut some flowers from our garden and made a simple flower arrangement. We talked about the artistic tradition of the “still life” painting, and the students tried their hands at one. The results are pretty impressive, I think you’ll agree!





Homework: Who needs it? But be sure everybody studies the muscles for Akiko tomorrow. Remember, movie tickets await the person with the most complete research on the Achilles part of the Achilles tendon.