Saturday, June 9, 2012

And It's June...

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.

Last week ended a bit more peacefully than the week before.  It was actually a very fun week.  Last Monday we trekked out to UBC to the 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!

On Friday morning there was another Human Eye workshop.  The kids had a great time creating lanterns  and poster paper images of each other.  On to these this week they put some of the wishes and If you knew me students that the class had created.

That afternoon we had a great time doing Hoops for Heart and Jump Rope for Heart stations with our grade one reading buddies. 

This week that has just ended, we were back at Moberly Arts Centre on Monday for our final session working on our story for the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival.  I think we are all going to miss these sessions. It has been such a special experience.  The big day is today so that I hope that all goes really well.  We had a few classroom practices and the kids did a great job filling in if someone was missing (the common cold seems to have appeared...).  I also have to say what a special place Moberly Arts Centre is, and the herb garden is truly lovely. 

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.

And of course, there is always Math-the grade sixes will actually finish the whole book and most of the class demonstrate a very good understanding.  We have come along way with Grade Seven math but I think I may have to do math every moment that I can and I don't think we will finish probability nor make it to circle graphs.  

Yesterday we had our final session of 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. 

It's been a hard year with first basically no field trips because we couldn't collect money due to job action, and then field trips but  no extra-curricular activities, but the story telling project, Human Eye, and the Artist in Residence program  have been such a bonus for the class and me. 

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.

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