I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday for the first time! Of course I've seen lots of others link up before, but I've just never had 5 things to talk about before I guess!
So, here we go with #1!
We've been popping a balloon each day with a couple of surprises inside for the next day. This week we had a PJ day, a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament, played some minute to win it games, wrote thank you notes to support staff, had lunch outside, made balloon rockets, and a few other fun things. The kids are excited, and popping a balloon before we leave each day requires "excellent behavior" for that day.
My kids having been wrapping up what I call their "Personal Passion Projects." It's our multi-genre culminating writing project. I have the kids pick a "people problem" and then make a 'zine about their topic. They have time to research and complete control over the topic as long as it is a "people problem." They make some pretty killer end-products, and their presentations about their 'zines are usually pretty awesome too. My kids this year have chosen topics like dog fighting, breast cancer, frakking, modern slave labor, etc.
Here's a freebie copy of the rubric I give them. Most of the kids are so excited about their topic that they go overboard and work on it at home as much as at school!
I decided to take this ol' blog up a notch! I have been pretty proud of my patchwork self-made blog design that I've had going on here for the last couple months, but I think it is time for an upgrade! So I've sought the help of A Bird in Hand Blog Designs! Many of my favorite blogs have been designed by her, so I'm going to challenge her with designing a blog for a man (who's only kind of manly) that teaches elementary! I'm on the list for an upgrade in mid-June! I can hardly wait!
An opening appeared in our school for an intermediate teacher, and I put in my request for it a while back. My principal has honored my request to change grade levels!
I'll be moving to a 3rd and 4th grade multi-age class next year! I got to meet next year's 3rd graders today!
Before moving to 5th grade last year to fill the spot of a teacher who moved, I had previously taught K, 1st and 2nd for the previous ten years. 5th grade has its charms, but my heart is with the younger grades. I think 3/4 will be a really great fit for me and the science and social studies units we teach in intermediate here are awesome. The units change every other year. Next year we'll be teaching Africa, Japan and Festival of the Arts for Social Studies. Ecosystems, Air/Weather/Aviation, and Energy and Electricity will make up Science! I taught a Japan unit for years in GA as part of 2nd grade and I think it is probably my favorite unit ever.
I am beyond excited about the move. Learning two grade levels worth of curriculum and teaching two grades at the same time will be interesting, but I taught a 1st/2nd multi-age class for the 5 years before I moved to 5th so I know I can handle it.
So now I need to go find about a hundred boxes to pack up my classroom, AND I get to dig through my spare bedroom and pick out all of the things from my 2nd grade boxes that I think I will be able to use with my thirdies!
So, any exciting changes coming for the rest of you out there?