here for the next month! Here's a preview of San Sebastian where I will be based for one week after ten days on the El Camino French Way!
Later we will be moving on to Dublin and a week in Bushmills near the Giant Causeway so that we can explore Northern Island and hopefully, Donegal...
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Tuesday I just tried to get most of the projects finished up-autobiographies, cards to favorite people leaving the school etc. Wednesday after an early morning dental appointment when the principal took my class for their last music session and our last silent reading and response period I was going to attempt to have a last math lesson with the grade sevens as the grade sixes cleaned up their desks but I kind of gave it up with the grade sevens and let them clean out their desks too before they went off the last period to prepare for the graduation assembly. The grade sixes happily did their final chapter review after they left!
And finally we got to Thursday, the last day with students. We had another whole school assembly. We only give awards to seventh graders so this assembly honours library monitors, peer helpers, Me to We club members, and Students Council. Please note that due to job action we haven't had any extra-curricular sports or even club meetings since March break... I had put together a slide show of the school year and that played as the kids came in and went out (works very nicely). We also honoured our staff members who were leaving.
The rest of my morning was spent reading one of my favorite stories and having the kids write nice things about everyone in the class. I will put these lists together for them after I get back from holiday and e-mail them or they will pick them up. I have put the story on a page for you on this blog.
Yesterday was our last official day but without students. And I am kind of exhausted! And now I am into trying to get ready for my big trip-leaving Monday morning. I am going to switch blogs while I am gone. You will find me here! I am on another type of journey...
Sunday, June 24, 2012
When my kids are writing reports, I often seem to be reminding them about writing a conclusion, typing the bow on the package... And with this class, this year, we are at that point of typing the bow on the package, wrapping up the year.
It was the last of the presentations this week. The grade sevens did projects on Ancient India and the grade six students did individual city projects. I had the grade sevens deliver them to the whole class as they were group projects so that we only had five projects to evaluate. It was nice to see how my two students who came from the Philippines at the beginning of April were now very much a part of this.
Because we were going to have 15 grade six projects presented I decided to let them use a station approach so that half presented while the other half "evaluated" and then we switched. Each student has about five minutes or so to present and then we move to another station. Thanks to the ipads we can actually do this in our own classroom. Many of the kids had become very knowledgeable about "their" city and most of the class are now very confident doing prezis.
The 13 grade sevens had lots to do (last weeks survival give them lots to do and you don't have to mark too carefully at this point) so I let them out of viewing the city presentations. Since the computer lab was booked I let them work in the classroom next door that our Special Education Assistants use. I was so busy trying to watch 15 projects that I didn't even check on them. They assured me that they got lots done but I imagine there was a fair amount of conversation.
Last year when I had a full grade seven I really realized how "emotional" a time this is for kids who have formed a tight bond in their small elementary school and are now leaving for large high schools and will no longer be all day with their friends and teachers in a place most of them have been since kindergarten. I am also very happy to see how our new students have now very much become part of the class and the school after only a couple of months in a new country.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I may just be beyond words at this point. I still have a zillion things to do before I cart my suitcase on to a plane heading to Spain on July 2nd.
This time of the year you realize you aren't going to do everything you wanted to do, and you kind of yearn for the fresh notebooks of September. But I look forward to giving these Grade Sevens in particular great memories to take with them.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
As noted before, the years just seem to go faster and faster. It's hard to believe in less than a month I will be walking along the El Camino in Spain but in the meantime I have 28 report cards to write, a day at Playland to endure, witness my class telling a story as part of the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival, a graduation ceremony to behold etc. Sorry about that none too grammatically correct sentence! I love to read stories and there are a zillion stories every day in my classroom.
Michael Smith Laboratories by public transportation. Many thanks to my great friends, Val and Sandy, intrepid retired teachers who came along! The class learned more about mimicry, got to extract their own DNA, and in groups wrote choose your own adventure stories with their own invented creatures, learning how real science comes into science fiction. This week the kids are busily typing them up and turn them into real books! This is a good exercise in working as groups! What a great trip with these wonderful scientists, and I look forward to being able to do another workshop there next year!
The grade sixes had a great deal of fun doing the unit on paper airplanes as part of their science curriculum. The grade sevens are learning about plate tectonics. The grade sevens are continuing on their Ancient India projects and have begun a unit in the library on future problem solving. The grade sixes are back with me and have just begun the Cities of the World project, each picking a city to research and present to the class.
Human Eye. The kids finished off their beautiful lanterns and life size models, as well as having an opportunity to reflect on what they had gained from the project as well as enjoy a couple of their favorite games. I have to say a couple of times in the first session I had a bit of a panic that the material might be a little too much for my class, but it really turned out to be a great experience for us all. Special thanks to Neelam! And as noted before, this class is always up for anything and give everything 100 per cent enthusiasm.
The hardest thing in June is knowing there is so much to do and never quite enough time plus it's hard to keep the kids focused on school when the end is in sight. And I really don't enjoy writing report cards but in three weeks I will be trekking through Spain with other challenges and lots of good memories of this school year.