Dear amazing students,
You renew my faith in teaching almost daily! Moving up 4 grades this year, I admit I was a little scared but you have proved just how amazing upper elementary students can be. What you come to school learning and your commitment to growth is phenomenal.
The first thing and by far the most memorable from our year would have to be how you question everything! Every single one of you wonders and questions the world around you. Be still my science heart! You have so many questions and few times I've had to take a deep breath and say we will get to them later and eventually we do, but I truly love how you wonder about so many things - from the names of planets and how they relate to our study on Greek Mythology or how big is our solar system? I want to be able to research and get to every question but it is not always possible. Thankfully I found Wonderopolis just in time for the end of the year and now we have a designated quession time (a great transition activity)
You taught me that humor and laughing at yourself can be ok. This was ongoing, because my own handwriting is atrocious (I'm working on it) and sometimes I talk to fast and the wrong words would come out. We had the running joke all year from this story. We were talking about first civilizations on North America (U.S.A.) and I the two theories in our old book discussed a land bridge or they road boats from another continient. I said they rode GOATS in class. You can bet every student got that question right if it came up again. They all said they laughed studying because they remembered that very line. Being able to laugh at myself and share my humor with an older grade I found is a much better fit for me. We rap (Flocabulary), sing our favorite video from the year (Tour the States), and even did some dance breaks all in the name of learning. We love that aspect and the chance to branch out a little in our learning.
You taught me that you can give responsibility and let go a little. Growing up I always felt teachers needed and were always in control. In a way, they are. They are the final say in what goes on and what decisions on learning should be made, but how they learn can be up to them. Giving students the option to work around the room, in groups, under desks, with flashlight, with whiteboards, backwards in chairs, on desks (Oh yes!)....and letting them still do work in their best learning position is fine by me. You showed me that you can handle it and be responsible enough to let loose but still learn. I mean, I don't go home and grade tests at my desk (I would love if I was that organized) and so I don't feel that desks are always the best learning position. I also try to get you up and moving and outside as much as possible if I can connect it to what we are learning. We take SS and Science tests outside if the weather is above 70. We do work in the outdoor classroom. We play SCOOT or States and Capitals musical chairs or the spelling version. I try to make review and learning fun with games. We do STEM challenges to challenge our teamwork and creative thinking. You have continually stepped up the plate and accepted and not abused responsibility with grace which made our learning environment even more fun.
You taught me to love reading. Last year in Kindergarten, I still read but adult books only. Now I love reading YA lit and what you guys are into. I loved getting the boys hooked on Percy Jackson especially one of my reluctant readers and I smile every time he updates me about his book. I love how I can recommend books to you knowing each of your reading styles and how I influenced you to pick books not based on points (AR :( but by interest and what you love. I love how I consider my homework reading - so I can be more involved and have better discussions with you.
I would love it if you would link up and take the time to reflect on your class this year. I'll leave it open till mid June. I'm excited to read how other teachers have grown and all your own amazing students. Feel free to use the template below if you want to include it but not necessary!