Last day of the year thoughts!

I always feel like this time of year is busy and stressful! So much is happening, and I can barely keep up. This was especially true this year as I learned on the second to last day of school that I would be moving up to fourth grade next year. Having taught fourth grade in the past, I love this age group of kids. Plus, I get to follow some of my kids from this year and really learn what it is like for those who teach an ENCORE class (gym, music, art, technology, library, and guidance) as they are able to see the kids grow from one year to the next. The hard part is saying good-bye to an amazing team that I have loved and a curriculum where I finally (after two years) feel like I am starting to innovate new and exciting things versus starting all over. So as my last day of this year came (and now went), I am able to look ahead with excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and hope.

Knowing that I would be changing grades, the last day of school this year was really about building memories with my third grade kids. To start our day, we have an end of the year assembly where each teacher from the school sends 20 pictures to our technology teacher and a school-wide video is created and shown. We say good-bye to staff leaving our school and good-bye to our fourth graders who are headed to the middle school. Back in the classroom, students finish a memory book they make of pictures I print off for them. They create a mini scrapbook of pictures using scrapbook and construction paper I bring in from home. They also write a few sentences about each picture (dates, names of people, location, and memories along the way). In the afternoon, they create a Top 10 List of the memories for the year that we share with one another. Students have a great time laughing and adding their own stories as we relive these wonderful moments.

On that last day, I was also excited to give my kids time to play with new building equipment by Imagination Playground purchased for our school through multiple funds. My three year old daughter and I have played with these building blocks before at various children's museums, but I honestly wasn't sure how my third graders would react! They loved it! Within fifteen minutes, they had a castle built and were deciding on who would be the king/queen/prince/princesses/knights and more! They took it apart and built a ball track (similar to marble works), a car, and someone else built a store. So many times I feel like we don't give kids enough time to just play. Seeing their imaginations at work was a perfect way to teach me that we are never too old to build and create!

(This is a picture taken from the website, as we are not allowed to post pictures of our kids on-line, but I wanted you to get an idea of what Imagination Playground looks like!)

As summer is now here, I am excited to take a few minutes for myself (let's be realistic, with a three year old, that is about all I get!), and I hope that those of you reading this that are teachers do as well!

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