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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Five for... ahem, yes, it really is Saturday again.....

Five for.... yep, Saturday, again. *sigh* I'm exhausted this week. It seems that some things are stacking up on me again and I'm struggling with my one word for 2015.... balance. It is not fair to myself, my children or my students when I am exhausted all. of. the. time. My goal today is to focus on making focused choices about my health, including the food I put into my body. Ironically enough I just told my Doctor on Monday that I am finally feeling good and by Friday I was plagued with exhaustion again.

We have been focusing on making 2015 awesome for our school. This week we made cards for support staff thanking them for all they do. I saw all the things that didn't go well, such as building that character appreciation into their habits. Which we'll work on this all semester. Rumor has it that my little learners were not well-mannered in the lunchroom. While they know all the right words to say, they are lacking in follow through, like putting trash in the trashcan instead of on the floor. These are life skills and necessary for success no matter where they go to school or what career path they choose. But our venture WAS  success. We brightened the days of several people in our building, and one of our goals is to build more and more of a positive atmosphere in our home away from home. Not that we don't have a positive building but just to make note of the areas that we can improve and focus on the improvements. We were motivated by several things. One thing we've been talking about is how Martin Luther King Jr. changed America and he was just one person. We can change our world one person at a time. And we watched the following video and realized that by making this choice to open doors, this young man changed the atmosphere in the hallways of his school. 

Question of the day, which was not really a question this time.... Name a famous Kansan and what they are famous for. This is the only student who pursued this. I call this little learner my Historian. He loves learning about history and people who have changed our lives! He spoke about Dwight D. Eisenhower. His answer for who a famous Kansan is was... Ike Eisenhower. Seriously, how many second graders know enough about Eisenhower that they casually call him Ike, like he's someone they hang out with. I love seeing this little learner shine. And I cannot wait to see him get to share more! 

You can't see it but it's there! We are all about jumping rope this week! It cracks me up a little bit! And my best jumper managed to escape the camera! One of my Fourth grade boys is really good. I couldn't remember some of the chants we did when I was in school (oh-so-many years ago!) and had to google them! I have heard a LOT of "Cinderella.... dressed in yella...." and "Engine, Engine, Number nine....." We've been cooped up indoors a LOT since Christmas Break and we really enjoyed the sunshine! Somedays we braved chilly winds, but the sunshine was good for our bodies and our brains!
4. Wrapping up our Literacy this week with Fantastic Friday! I borrowed foodie fun friday from Smedley's Smorgasboard. I discovered Mr. Greg right at the end of winter break and I love his ideas! I have been obsessed with following him and learning new and exciting ways to bring my classroom to life! This week for whole group literacy we read Julius by Angela Johnson. I used some of the resources provided for Second grade in a Second grade reading textbook. We made bagel snacks on Friday afternoon as a fun to reinforce learning.

 We also made paper plate pigs. In some ways this targeted the lower grades. The biggest reason I did this as a whole class activity has to do with Numero Uno.... making 2015 awesome for others (and ourselves). One of my Firsties wrote his "I Have a Dream Speech" focused on making snowflakes. Rather than looking at how he might not be focused on really changing the world I thought about how art makes life more fun on a basic level and took this a step or two farther. Beautiful hallways and displaying students work does several things: it increases pride in their accomplishments, and it increases pride in their school as well as brightening the halls and spreading cheer for other students. Providing artwork for our halls also gives a cheery feeling for visitors to our building. So... while my learners just feel like they got to paint and make a paper plate pig.... I felt like I was also focusing on the whole idea of our awesome 2015 focus and making 2015 for our school. If you see my point, please leave a little love. I made sure students all wore paint shirts, but somehow my hoodie (my favorite hoodie even) got covered in white acrylic paint (it's black). I'm hoping it will come out, acrylic paint is water based.
I probably say this every time we make something.... but I LOVE how they all made the exact same thing, and they all have something different from their neighbor! We also learned about color.... I put white and red acrylic paint on a plate and they mixed it to make pink. 

Saying good-byes. We had to send off some of our new friends this week. I understand it more than my students do.... there are some situations that our little school is not adequately equipped to handle right now.... and there is no eloquent way that I can explain this to my class. But we lost a family of students. They are staying our district, and some needs they have will be met more completely by going to the other school. I support their decision. But I am just like my class, I am grieving their choice also. I am already attached to these students and they were already becoming an important part of our class family. So having said all of this.... how do you send off students that leave before year's end? We sent them off with a promise to stay in touch on edmodo and with high 5's, hugs, or thumbs up. We also promised to continue our letter-writing skills and writing to them. I am excited about this part. We will miss you so much!

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