June 25, 2015

So many moments...

We still have another day to go, but I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the boys and girls, and their families for a wonderful school year. 

We made so many memories together this year! From "Fall Y'all Day" to all those Fun Friday afternoons, we sure did laugh a lot didn't we? Everyday, so much laughter. Sigh...what a special place to be. Room 208 really is great and this year just seemed to be, well, the greatest yet. 

Dr. Seuss said, "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory" and I have so many special memories from this year. 

About a month ago, I read the boys and girls the story called "The Relatives Came". My point in reading it was to help the kids make text-to-self connections.  At one point in the story, the guests leave to go home to Virginia and the author writes about how the house felt so empty. I told the boys and girls that this reminds me of the last day of school, when all the kids leave.  On that last day, I return to the classroom and have a moment and it's *so* quiet. 

Suddenly the plants, the stuffies, everything just doesn't seem as alive as it did minutes before, with all that energy and love in the room. I explained to the boys and girls that I usually have a little cry as I realize they're gone and another year is over and that never again, will they be "my kids". 

Then, I pack up the last of my belongings and head to the car.  I'd love for everyone to head off and have a great summer vacation, but then in September, come back to me so we can do it all over again.  

I hope all my "school kids" have a great summer. I'll look forward to seeing you in September and hearing all about your adventures. Remember to come back on Treat Lunch Fridays to watch Full House with us!  I'll always save a spot for you all! 

You were a wonderful group of kids to teach and I think we made a great family. I hope you enjoyed your time with me as much as I did with you. Please don't forget about me. I'll always be your teacher, always your Mrs. M, always your friend...always.  

June 24, 2015

What a great day!

We had fun, games and cupcakes this morning and an incredible talent show in the afternoon! It was a great way to spend our last Wednesday together. 
I'm really going to miss the energy this crew brings to Room 208. 
No kids in the room and you can still hear the laughter!

Look at the beautiful banner we made this morning! 

Don't forget, tomorrow is Play Day! Wear your hat, bring a water bottle and plan for more fun! We're going to have a nice relaxing afternoon after all the morning wackiness! 

June 23, 2015

Country Heritage Park!

It was a great day at Country Heritage Park and we have all kinds of photos to share.  Take a trip way, way back in time and see some great kids enjoying a wonderful day together! 

Trip photos! Click here!

June 22, 2015

June 19, 2015

It's not just about me

I posted this last year during the last days of school and it still speaks for me. I decided to re-post today. 

Here we are, our last weeks of school.  It's so hard to believe that we've spent nearly 40 weeks together as a class family.  

As my wonderful crew of students move on to Grade Four, I want to take this time to ask for one more, I don't know what you would call it...a favour?  I'm asking that parents and loved ones remind students that the things they learned this year, the habits and practices they developed can help them to be successful in the future.  You know my feelings around the importance of routines and procedures in a classroom; they optimize the learning environment for everyone.

In addition to this, good habits help us to be successful in life and my goal was to teach my students skills to last well beyond Grade Three, which is why I've called this post, "It's not just about me". 

Sometimes students think that when they move on to a new grade and teacher, the expectations change. Of course, in many ways, this is indeed true. But there are also times where it's not, sometimes there are expectations that carry over.  My hope is that the boys and girls will take some of the things I've taught them this year and continue to use them to help them to be successful in the future. 

Specifically, I want the boys and girls to always remember that: 

  • using a person's name before you speak to them shows tremendous respect, especially in the work world 
  • manners and courtesy will take you very far, especially when you are in one of those situations where you're feeling unqualified or uncertain
  • always keep your work space neat and well organized
  • use your good judgement when problem solving, you'll never get in trouble when others see that you've tried to exercise common sense 
  • you all have great handshakes...remember this. A lousy handshake is, well, lousy. 
  • read, read, read 
  • make sure your work is your best work before you hand it in (use a whisper-phone,proofread aloud and then ask a few friends to do the same)
  • always use your teacher's feedback to improve your work
  • always remember to get the hard stuff out to the way first and then go on to the fun stuff
  • ask for help when you need it, even if you think the instructions were just given, you can always ask a classmate
  • when you have to point out someone's mistake, starting it with, "I might be wrong but" usually softens the blow  (especially when it's your boss)and makes you look and sound very considerate.  
  • remember to include your purpose for writing in all subjects. It keeps your writing focused and polished and in high school or beyond, it will be essential.
  • encourage others to follow classroom expectations-don't tattle, just encourage 
  • be kinder to others than is expected 
My hope is that years from now, when my students are well on their way to achieving their lifelong dreams, I might, in some small way, be a part of their success.  

June 18, 2015

June 17, 2015

Here's our Art lesson from today!

I promised the boys and girls I'd post these videos on the blog so they could practice their skills AND see that third video the (ta-da) finished product! 

June 15, 2015

Week 39: how'd you get here so fast?!

The Room 208 News!

Congratulations to all the boys and girls on their hard work in preparing and recording our News Report! 

Blog visitors, I'm sure you'll agree that this News Report is the best 16 minutes of your day! 

June 12, 2015

Your support is appreciated

In order to minimize disruptions to my classroom, please write a note in your child's agenda when they are being picked up early or there is a change to the evening pick-up routine. In the case of appointments, I will set an alarm on my phone and have the student to the Office in time for the designated pick up time. 

Doing so means the Office Staff do not need to phone up to the classroom, interrupting both my instruction and my students' learning. Multiple interruptions a day quickly add up to lost learning/instructional time.  

I realize there are times where this may not always be possible for you, but I sincerely appreciate any efforts you can make to minimize classroom disruptions.  

June 11, 2015

It's Marker Day!!!

Way back on the first day of school, I asked the boys and girls not to pick at the "No-Excuse" word list on their desk. It takes a long time to apply each word list to the desks with this clear plastic contact paper and it's one of those chores you really prefer to do just once. 

I told the boys and girls that to thank them for not picking at the plastic that covers the list, I would have a special thank you gift for them at the end of the year.  

I picked these Crayola markers up back in August at Walmart in Florida for a dollar a pack and believe me, they are worth their weight in gold.  Not once this year did I have to re-cover a child's word list! Not once! 

This $20.00 investment was well worth it. 

Thank you to the boys and girls for abiding by my request and I wish you lots and lots of happy colouring!  

June 09, 2015

Such a change!

Now that EQAO is all done and behind us, boy has our Morning Message ever gotten shorter! It's still one of my favourite parts of the day, but now it's just, well, lighter!  
We still do the letter that outlines the plan for the day. And we still do the weather and some type of countdown where we can review number-sense skills; but overall...it's way, way shorter!  

Have a look at some of the new-ish things we've added to MM.  

For calendar, the kids practice both rounding numbers AND counting money amounts to represent the number of days we've been in school. 

Today we added a page called "Ideas for Summer Fun" and here we'll revisit a favourite page from the start of the year. The kids really enjoyed our "Photo of the Day" back in the Fall, so I decided to bring it back in a way. What's super-cute is that I told the boys and girls these will all be photos from things I found on google/pinterest and if they were interested in making/doing them, they should record any key information I provide so they can talk to Mom and Dad about it. I loved how many pencils were moving with these two photos today! 

It's pretty incredible how a photo or two can really get the conversation going.  I enjoyed chatting with the kids today about which treat they preferred and why. 

This slide is all about fluency! We take the same sentence, tweak it here and there and it totally changes the meaning! Go ahead, try reading each sentence aloud and you'll see what I mean! We've really enjoyed reading these four sentences and the hilarious discussions that follow. 

The minds of 208 are really working hard on analogies! Each morning I put up a new one and the students must finish it. And I'm really fussy! I really want my students to think critically about their response to the prompt. You would be so impressed to see the growth that's taken place over the course of the year with respect to how quickly and easily the boys and girls can determine the "answer" to the analogy. 

Starting next week, the boys and girls will learn cursive writing as part of Morning Message. My *hope* is to create videos for the kid to watch and then post them here as well for home-practice. I've never done a cursive demo-video before, so I'm not promising anything!  

It's hard to believe we have just 12 days left together. I don't know where the time has gone, I really don't.  
Have the kids had as much fun as I have? I certainly hope so. It's been a great year, that's for sure.  

Buuuuutt...we still have 12 days to go, lessons to learn and fun to have, so I'd better log off the ol' blog and find some more delicious treats to show the kids in tomorrow's Morning Message!  

June 03, 2015

Mid-Week Round up!

I was concerned that I had bit more off than I could chew this week, but we're just about right on track!  We haven't gotten to that carnival brochure I mentioned earlier in the week. We'll take care of that next week.  We still have tomorrow, but let's face it, we have some pretty big plans for Thursday in our classroom, so I'm thinking next week will work out just fine.  

In Social Studies this week, we've talked about how Canada is truly a land of opportunity. This great nation really does have something for everyone! We've talked about how the land has really shaped how and where people settle.  It's also shaped the various industries in our country. We have skiing in Whistler, white water rafting in Ottawa and beautiful scenery to take in out East! It's really been fun this week talking about the variety of ways one can earn a living in Canada based on our natural resources.  

We wrapped up Unit 10 in Math on Wednesday with our test and that brings us to the end of the Grade Three Math curriculum.  I can't get over this for a couple of reasons: 1)Where did May go and 2) I still keep thinking we have all kinds of time together!  This has been one of the fastest school years ever. Fall Y'all Day seems like yesterday and now here we are, the day before the "big party"! 

We recorded our News Report today and oh my word...it's fantastic! We have one more part to add tomorrow and then I'll begin editing it all together.  We broke it down into 16 sections to make life a bit easier. Once it's all pieced together, I'll be sure to post it here on the blog.  

So there you have it, we have one fabulous party to go and then that's it for Week 37!  Be sure to visit the blog on Friday to see the photos from Thursday's big event! 

This week, my read-aloud focus was on books that would evoke a response of some kind. We've read funny books, sad books and books that took us on an emotional roller coaster.  We have one more to go on Thursday that should evoke lots of laughs! 

June 01, 2015

Fun Friday Returns!

I left my camera at school on Friday and wasn't able to share the return of Fun Friday with blog visitors!  
We had a wonderful afternoon making our sunny characters! 

Ironic isn't it? I told the boys and girls now that the stress of EQAO is over, we have nothing but sunny days ahead of us and then here we are, June 1st with clouds and cool weather! 

As you can see, the boys and girls were very creative in their interpretations of their sunny characters! 


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