Do you know the feeling of wanting to say something – but you have so much on your mind that you can’t get the right words out? That is how I am feeling right now. I want to blog – very much – but between keeping my students engaged these last 10 days, getting end of the year procedures checked off, and making a list of things I absolutely do not want to forget for next year – I’m scattered! To reference the quote above – my fire is lit, bucket filled, gears are turning! So – here are just a few snippets of what we have been doing…
We started “balloon popping” today to count down the last days of school. I got the idea from Pinterest and the kids seem pretty jazzed about it. They noticed the balloons right away upon walking in this morning and wanting to know all about it. Our first fun activity was “Stinky feet day”. The students were allowed to take their shoes off whenever we were in the classroom. This was a true motivator for many kids who have been struggling with self control the past couple weeks – and it was a lot of fun. They just seemed comfortable. We will “pop” into a new fun thing tomorrow morning… Will it be sit wherever you want? Dance party? They can’t wait!
In trying to get my students ready for first grade – I’ve been pulling away gradually and getting them used to working more independently. I love seeing them make a more conscious effort to be responsible for their own learning. In the picture above, one student took control to check her work during a math rotation. She felt confident in her answers, but before turning it in, she took out her iPad and used the number grid app to double check. When bringing me her work, she said “I remembered I have that tool on my iPad. Is it ok I used it?” I answered with a resounding – YES! The students use this often to practice counting fluency, missing numbers, and skip counting (all parts of building math literacy).
Next week, I’m closing out the year building some literacy in science with experiments (and journaling):
Exploding bags: http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/summer-fun-43-fizzy-explosion-bags.html
The classic Diet Coke and Mentos: http://tinkerlab.com/diet-coke-mentos-experiment/
Sparkly volcanic explosions: http://preschoolpowolpackets.blogspot.com/2012/04/science-experiment-sparkly-explosion.html
And maybe some Oobleck/Gak/Flubber: http://www.happybirthdayauthor.com/2011/02/happy-birthday-dr-seuss-march-2.html