Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Countdown Is ON!

Nine. More. Days.  For the first time ever...I can't wait!!  We only have students for nine more days. Then one teacher workday and I am outta there for the summer!!

I will miss this group of quarters...overall, they are a hard-working, well-behaved group.  There have definitely been challenges, but there always will be. 

Our challenge for the last two weeks has been BEHAVIOR.  They are not "bad" by any means.  But they know school is almost out and they just lllooovvveee to talk.  They talk about each other.  They talk about next year.  They talk about this year.  They talk about themselves.  They talk about mud.  They talk about carpet...you name it; they talk about it!!!!!  And this is all done WHILE I'M TALKING!!!  C'mon...

In an attempt to keep them very busy, I have dragged out our persuasive writing.  I have also dragged out a character trait activity about characters from The Hunger Games.  (See my last post.)  Well, today most of my quarters finished the group activity and I am most impressed!!  Their job was to draw and color their impression of the character they were assigned.  They then had to work in teams to list all of the character traits that apply to that character so far (we haven't finished reading yet...).  Below are pictures of Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta.  (The Rue and Cinna groups aren't done yet!)

Each group is going to present their posters next Tuesday.  I'm going to ask them "interview" type questions and make them "prove" why a particular trait applies to their character.

On a side note, one of my students completed a cartoon-like drawing based on some of his interpretations/feelings on the novel. 
He did this completely on his own...it was not an assignment.  THIS is why I went down this road with the novel.  THIS is learning.  It's his interpretation with what we have read.  It's not the movie; it's not the gore; it's not my idea.  It's the imagination of a fourth grader and the result of being immersed in a story for the sake of the story.  And...he is just an "average" student!  He is not GATE/GT, etc.  THAT is what teaching is all about, my friends!!

Here is a quote (in honor of the end of the year) that made me feel normal:

"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start.  So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake.  I feel better already."--Dave Barry



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