Last night I wrote up my final week’s lesson plans for this year. I wanted to end the year on a good note. We just have three short remaining days left together.
I wanted to review this past year’s standards in a fun, meaningful way. I wanted to offfer closure. Goodbyes.
I saw it as a time to reflect on what they’d learned, and celebrate their successes as they promote to 5th grade. And to say our good byes before I gently nudged them on into their futures.
Many teachers do not see it the same. It’s a countdown to the finish. Many students and teachers alike have checked out mentally these past two weeks that we are making up from the walk out. The teacher next door to me is more of a placate and vegetate kind of guy. His class often watches movies or listens to music or plays games on their chromebooks.
I teach in a Title 1 school. Poverty runs rampant. We may be the only healthy relationship these students know. I try to offer an example of consistency and order in some of their otherwise chaotic lives. I believe in respect and order and routine in the classroom mixed with equal parts of love and fun.
My last week is more about celebrate and appreciate. We are having a pizza party in math tomorrow as a celebration. For all 25 of my students promoting to 5th grade with a little hands on fractions. What better way to learn what 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 8/8 is than a pizza? For many, pizza is a rare treat. One that I can afford to provide them.
We will then move on to evaluate and stimulate. Writing Wednesday lets them get to grade me! Time to reflect on the bests of the year and critique me! Then they’ll fill in the blank of a simile or metaphor, “I am like a___________because_____________.” I plan to give their simile to their next year’s teacher as a sample of their work and personality. Then comes the math games. An outdoor scavenger hunt Wednesday with 10 math problems over 4th grade math standards as a review. Then outside to find the numbers they wrote as answers taped to rocks, trees, etc. Each number has a corresponding shape to review such as trapezoid, parallelogram, rhombus. They will draw the shape next to their answer on their paper. Prizes will be rewarded to those who complete them correctly. Thursday offers more of the same.
Before they leave, I have prepared a packet for each of them with the alphabet in cursive to practice (something schools no longer teach, but I do) as well as their multiplication facts, a book of their choosing from my library to stay fresh on reading through the summer months, and a little personalized note on what I will miss about each of them.
Many think we’re in them. And I’m not talking about school here. I’m talking about life.
Now is a good time for us all to reflect on and evaluate our own lives, and make the necessary adjustments to live more Christ like. Now is the time for us all to celebrate the last days that Christ was on this Earth as a living example for each of us to pattern ourselves against. These last days are certainly a promotion none of us want to miss!
May this week bring last days to all that are joyous and engaging!
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty for people will become lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful and unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 1 Timothy 3:1-5
Love and laughter,