June 2, 2015
Endings As Beginnings
I try to think of myself as an optimistic person and this time of year sometimes calls this optimism into question- I never feel like I have done as much as I should have as a teacher. Having finished reports two weeks ago I was really focused on the progress the students have made and I came away in awe about how much they are now starting to do.
We have just 2 1/2 days of school left and we have been spending lots of time looking back and planning forward. Yesterday we set up reading plans for summer- including the (with) who, what, where, when, and why of summer reading. It was fun to talk about where they would get reading material, what they had planned, and where reading might take them.
Today as we took our “Hopes and Dreams” pictures off the wall where they have been all year we reflected on the goals we had set in those early days and how we had done. We also looked at a SQWORL of summer learning opportunities I have put together. It was great to see the excitement as students found sites that had ideas for outdoor fun, projects they could embark on, or ideas for alone time. We talked about the fact that we would still like to blog and comment over the summer. Other students wanted to make sure that they could still report on weekly “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?” Padlets. We talked about the math they would like to practice over the summer, and we will continue to make plans for next steps.
Meanwhile, this afternoon, the guidance counselor worked with a few students who are moving this summer- their end of year is even more concretely a new beginning. We took advantage of these moments to make cards for them and sign a school tote bag. We want them to know that they can always keep in touch with friends here.
Tomorrow we will have a writing celebration and share a “proud” piece. We will also host second grade as they visit to learn more about what is ahead for them after the break.
I have spent some time writing an end of year poem for the class. Copies are now printed but I am still adding a few lines written by hand to each student. We have half a chapter of our last read aloud to finish and a few “end of year” picture books I still want to get to. The students are working on iMovie projects to chronicle their year. We still have a few other loose ends we want to tie up, but most of all we are celebrating this community that we have built through all of these days together. The end of the school year is our chance to take our new selves on the road and try things out. The students have new skills, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge and this end is just another opportunity for a new beginning. It has been a special year and I will miss these 20 kids so much, but I know as our time together ends they are ready for their next steps.