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Thursday, June 28, 2012

End of Year-Part 3

Time to pack it up!

Those of you who read our blog know that Kelly is moving her grade level and classroom this year. (Far away from mine Boo!)  Below are pictures of both of our rooms during pack up for the end of they year. Can you guess which room is being moved?

Time to wrap it up!

This classroom has teacher ADHD written all over it!
Lots of plans to re-model, re-organize, and re-decorate for September.  Make sure to keep checking back as we continue to show the progress we've made!

-The Reading Buddies

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

End of Year-Part 2

Time to talk about the celebration!

For the last few years Kelly and I have celebrated the end of Reading Buddies with a Water Balloon and Ice Pop celebration.  Kelly's paraprofessional blows up the balloons and we usually do just a balloon toss. This year Kelly wanted to do a towel toss. We blew up extra balloons and had the 5th grade buddy bring in towels.  After we loaded each pair with water balloons we called for a toss....AND JUST ABOUT EVERY BALLOON HIT THE GROUND AND BURST! 

Before the Towel Toss balloons burst!

Our pair ready to toss their water balloon. 
It seems the kids weren't holding the towels tight enough to toss them and they got all tangled up. Oh well, it was WORTH A TRY!  Then we went into our regular balloon toss which is always a blast!

My favorite part of the whole event is when we sit the kids in a circle together "waiting for their ice pops".  Then Kelly and I grab some water balloons are start throwing them at the kids. The kids always love getting hit with the balloons and this year one of the kids caught one.  He very wisely didn't throw it back at us, but handed it to me.  I thanked him by popping it over his head.  :0)

This is definitely one of my favorite Reading Buddy events: low key, relaxed, and FUN!
The Reading Buddies

These two lovelies got quite wet during the "Teacher Toss"
when Kelly and I started taking aim at them. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

End of Year-Part 1

The Reading Buddies have been up to so much the last few days of school that our END OF YEAR POST is coming to you in multiple parts.

Let's start with the gifts:

For her class Kelly makes them personalized scrapbooks of all the events, activities, and lessons from the year.  Although technology was not her friend this year. (Printing was a nightmare and she started 3 times over) I think this was the best one yet!

To go along with her Ocean theme Kelly gave each child a personalized Beach Pail filled with some summer fun!
How ADORABLE is this?

I like to give my kids, 5th graders who are leaving our building to go to middle school next year, a small gift each day for the last few days.  Day one was a Hershey Bar with a school themed wrapper connecting to my LOVE of chocolate.  I made a personal slideshow of all the events from our class and showed it to the students making a personalized DVD for each student. My kids and their parents always LOVE this and it is one of my favorite moments of the year as we watch the whole year pass by. (Though next year I promise to start early, and not be up until 4 in the morning burning DVDs.)

I saw this idea online, and LOVED it.  Each child got an individualized Wordle with a poem gift tag.

For our class parents, Kelly found this idea somewhere and it was such a cute presentation, I couldn't resist copying it.

Stay tuned for End Of Year post Part 2 where we discuss our End of the Year Reading Buddy Celebration-A personal favorite!

-Damien of The Reading Buddies

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just a day, Just an ordinary day!

Today I went to school prepared to give a performance assessment on fractions and I wound up on the beach with 76 first graders...allow me to explain!

As our followers know I teach 5th grade and Kelly teaches 1st grade.  Today, as I arrived at school I had heard that something happened to our other first grade friend, Diane.  She had seriously hurt her back getting out of her car and was in her classroom and such EXTREME pain that she couldn't even move.  With our principal out, due to a recent surgery, we knew we had to come up with a plan.  Without missing a beat Kelly gave me a look.  You know the look, the one where you knew what your friend was going to say before they said anything.  Just looking at her face I knew I was going on the trip.

Seconds later, Kelly said "call the office and let them know that Diane is going home, and you are going on the trip".

Within seconds, we had:
-Notified the office that Diane was going home
-Organized her permission slips and emergency bag
-Met with my Co-teacher to tell her she was going to be taking over my class today
-Re-planned my day

...And before I knew it I was in my classroom with 23 fifth graders, 24 first graders and only half of us were going on a trip.  Now, it is awful to admit, but I kind of enjoyed telling my kids that I was heading to the aquarium and the beach on this gorgeous 84 degree day.  Don't judge, it's the reason we LOVE personal days.  The fact that we are out enjoying the day while everyone else is at work.  After a few organizational details we were on the bus heading to the aquarium.  Kelly and I have never been on a trip together and have never been on the same grade level-we were rather excited to be grade-level colleagues.
Not a bad Wednesday!

What I learned on a first grade class trip:
-When the tour guide asks for questions, every child will want to tell their own fish story.

-Even though they are told not to touch the glass, everyone WANTS to touch the glass. 

-First graders will touch a horseshoe crab without a second thought. 

-Keep your eye on the nurse, because when you need her she will be 100 yards down the beach on her cell phone. 

-It doesn't hurt to have a male teacher on the trip for boy bathroom breaks. 

-No matter how many times you tell a first grader to stay away from the water there will always be that one boy who tries to get hit by a wave. 

-All beach-goers eyes are on you as you ruin their peaceful beach day storming the shore with 80 seven year olds. 

-I LOVE first grade enthusiasm.

-Even though you are told not to bring peanut butter because of allergies someone WILL bring peanut butter and he WILL wind up sitting next to the allergy child during lunch. 

-Once you rave about one child's beach findings, EVERY child will want to show you something so you can rave about them as well. 

-I can so handle first graders.

-Kelly and I make a good pair whether on different or the same grade levels.

I have to say, this trip had both Kelly and I questioning whether some grade level change requests were in need because we REALLY enjoyed working together.  There was such a natural flow and we were ALWAYS on the same page.  Maybe it's time for me to move down a few grade levels? Just a thought!

So, how was your day?