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Friday, June 09, 2017

Looking Ahead: What's Important?

Those reading my blog must think that the it's the longest end-of-the-school year ever. It's true that the end chapter has lasted weeks and is filled with a very large number of culminating events, reports, assessments, and celebrations. There's many chapters within this last chapter, and in some ways, this last chapter is a new one due to subtle changes in curriculum, postponements of events due to weather, and the reality that we're not going to be able to fit in all that we planned. With that in mind, however, what does stand tall in the days ahead.

Biography Study
I edited biography reports with several students today. It was fun to discuss famous people from throughout the ages. Many important life decisions and events were included in the reports. My colleagues who led the project have done a fantastic job helping students zero in on what's important when taking a deep look at a global changemaker's life. The art teacher, tech teacher, and librarian pitched in to to help students create Google Draw mini posters (complete with project QR codes) and beautiful portraits of each famous person. Next week students will have the chance to share their research with family members as they portray the famous person they studied, engage in discussions about the changemaker's life, and share their reports, posters, and portraits.

Amazing Adventure in Nature
There will be ponding, map reading, using compasses, exploring grasslands, testing water, learning about the wetlands ecosystem, and hiking as we explore a local nature preserve.

Field Day
Students will engage in all kinds of playful, collaborative athletic events on this day that is favored by so many students.

Visiting the Middle School
We'll travel to the Middle School to take a look, meet teachers, and listen to sixth graders tell us all about what students can expect next year.

Changing Bodies Unit
Students will learn about their changing bodies using updated videos, discussion, and explanation. We teach this unit with the idea in mind that our bodies are amazing machines (or living systems), and the more we know about our bodies, the better we can take care of them.

Boston Walking Tour
We'll have the chance to explore historic sites in Boston.

Memory Book Signatures
Parents have made the students special Memory Books of their elementary school days. Each child has added a special memory to the book and there will be lots of pictures too. We'll have time to sign the books and share the stories inside.

School Assembly and Cultural Enrichment Events
Students will gather two or three times to say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the school song, watch special presentations, celebrate people who have helped us a lot, and enjoy a cultural enrichment event too.

Class Clean-Up and Portfolio Completion
Students will add final projects to their portfolios, clean out their desks and drawers, and contribute to a classroom clean-up too.

Fun Day, Slideshow, and Clap-Out
The final day will be spent having lots of fun, celebrating the elementary experience with a slideshow, and the school clap-out.

We'll squeeze in a bit of STEAM study too.

Most of all, teachers need to bring their good energy during the final days of school. The plans are set, the materials ready, and now it's time end the year with peace, care, and focus. Onward.