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Preparing for Summer Learning during the Last Weeks of School

June 3, 2015

Linda C.:

Preparing for summer learning fun…..

Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Summer Learning

There is so much to do as we near the end of the school year: grades, field trips, cleaning, etc. One huge concern for teachers and parents is how to avoid “the summer slide.” What can we do to not only sustain learning, but expand learning and growth over the summer months?

Consider giving your students summer homework, not pages or workbooks of math problems, but hands-on, exploratory, and fun activities that will enhance thinking, problem-solving skills, and collaboration within families. Simple techniques that will remind students (and parents) about summer learning are summer reading lists and resources for fun summer learning activities. Create summer folders or packets that you give to students during the last week of school. One idea listed below is to make a Summer Fun Shine Can ( from Dr. Jean) filled with engaging learning pursuits. Some teachers include a self-addressed and stamped postcard…

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End of the Year!

May 31, 2015

Quite possibly, May and June may be the busiest months of the year. In classrooms everywhere, teachers and students are frantically finishing projects, rushing to meet goals, and reflecting on past and future accomplishments.

While there is joy in the growth students and teachers have experienced, there is a quiet sadness and some fear of the unknown as students prepare to move to the next level and teachers gently push them on. Classroom teachers are also quietly preparing NOW for next year’s new crop of students.

At Thriving we are huge fans of lists as tools for organization. We strongly urge educators to begin the process of organization now, to end the year and prepare for next year with as little stress and as much joy as possible. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments, even as time is flying by.

Below is a sample”To Do” list for the end of the school year from our book, From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom. Personalize it to fit your needs.

Checklist – Last Week of School

  • Clean out classroom files and piles.
  • Throw out old materials that have not been used for two years or more.
  • Discard old and tattered wall posters, borders, and bulletin board papers.
  • Make a list of everything that needs repairing, replacing, and/or removing.
  • Assemble student and teacher materials that need to be updated or revised.
  • Make a list of resources that will be needed to create units and lesson plans that need enrichment.
  • Write thank you notes to those students who brought gifts on the last day of school.  Maintain a list of students and their home addresses for future reference.
  • Write thank you notes to staff members.
  • Construct a school calendar for the upcoming school year.  Record dates for summer meetings and for the beginning of the school year.
  • Mark the date when final class lists of students for next year, with their home addresses, will be available.
  • Organize and clean off your computer files.  Move documents into portable storage devices and organize in folders by topic (parent letters, team building activities, science units, math units).

 

I highly recommend these posts about celebrating the end of the year.

Read, Write, Reflect: Celebrate this Week – Celebrating Endings

Joyful Endings: The Last Few Weeks of School

 

Linda

Updated from my original post May 2011.

Choose Kind and Thank you!

May 31, 2015

Update – May 31, 2015

 

Thank you to all who supported Ashley and her host family. Ashley raised $960 for Emily’s medical fund.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Mother Teresa

 

May 15, 2015 Blog

May One of the greatest rewards of being a teacher is seeing our students grow and spread their wings as professional educators. Currently one of our students is completing her student teaching in Costa Rica. Earlier this week I received an email from her with a special  request. It wasn’t asking for anything personal, but it was a request for help for one of the children in her host family.

We know as teachers that our classroom communities include not just our students but their families and our school community. We know that it is a sign of professional growth when educators make every effort to support students and their school community in ways that truly make a difference.

In short, the relationships among the educators in a school define all relationships within that school’s culture. Teachers and administrators demonstrate all too well a capacity to either enrich or diminish one another’s lives and thereby enrich or diminish their schools.

(Barth, 2006).

Below is Ashley’s request. It is an excellent opportunity to choose to be kind and to help someone in need. It is also a way to support Ashley as she is trying to make a difference. Please consider a donation and help Ashley spread the word.

Emily is a little girl I’m currently living with while in Costa Rica. I cannot say greater things about this family. During my 2 months here, they have taken me under their wing and supported me in every way possible. From day one, they have gone out of their way to make me feel included. This isn’t easy, being that a language barrier is present. Emily, who is turning nine in two weeks, has a variety of medical issues and a week ago underwent a 6 hour heart surgery, from which she is still recovering. I want to support this family in every way possible, and I am hoping perhaps you do as well, so I am asking anyone who is willing to please consider making a donation to support this family. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please share it and spread the word.

To help support the family’s  medical bills and other expenses while she recovers, I have created a gofundme page where individuals can donate money that will directly go to the family to help support their costs during this time. GoFundMe page: Emily’s Medical Fund Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please consider donating and sharing.

emily

 

Linda

Barth, R. (2006). Improving relationships within the school house. Educational Leadership, 63(6), 8-13.

Choose Kind

May 15, 2015
tags:

Update – May 31, 2015

 

Thank you to all who supported Ashley and her host family. Ashley raised $960 for Emily’s medical fund.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Mother Teresa

 

One of the greatest rewards of being a teacher is seeing our students grow and spread their wings as professional educators. Currently one of our students is completing her student teaching in Costa Rica. Earlier this week I received an email from her with a special  request. It wasn’t asking for anything personal, but it was a request for help for one of the children in her host family.

We know as teachers that our classroom communities include not just our students but their families and our school community. We know that it is a sign of professional growth when educators make every effort to support students and their school community in ways that truly make a difference.

In short, the relationships among the educators in a school define all relationships within that school’s culture. Teachers and administrators demonstrate all too well a capacity to either enrich or diminish one another’s lives and thereby enrich or diminish their schools.

(Barth, 2006).

Below is Ashley’s request. It is an excellent opportunity to choose to be kind and to help someone in need. It is also a way to support Ashley as she is trying to make a difference. Please consider a donation and help Ashley spread the word.

Emily is a little girl I’m currently living with while in Costa Rica. I cannot say greater things about this family. During my 2 months here, they have taken me under their wing and supported me in every way possible. From day one, they have gone out of their way to make me feel included. This isn’t easy, being that a language barrier is present. Emily, who is turning nine in two weeks, has a variety of medical issues and a week ago underwent a 6 hour heart surgery, from which she is still recovering. I want to support this family in every way possible, and I am hoping perhaps you do as well, so I am asking anyone who is willing to please consider making a donation to support this family. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please share it and spread the word.

To help support the family’s  medical bills and other expenses while she recovers, I have created a gofundme page where individuals can donate money that will directly go to the family to help support their costs during this time. GoFundMe page: Emily’s Medical Fund Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please consider donating and sharing.

emily

 

Linda

Barth, R. (2006). Improving relationships within the school house. Educational Leadership, 63(6), 8-13.

Another End of the School Year

April 29, 2015

Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Quite possibly, May and June may be the busiest months of the year. In classrooms everywhere, teachers and students are frantically finishing projects, rushing to meet goals, and reflecting on past and future accomplishments.

While there is joy in the growth students and teachers have experienced, there is a quiet sadness and some fear of the unknown as students prepare to move to the next level and teachers gently push them on. Classroom teachers are also quietly preparing NOW for next year’s new crop of students.

At Thriving we are huge fans of lists as tools for organization. We strongly urge educators to begin the process of organization now, to end the year and prepare for next year with as little stress and as much joy as possible. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments, even as time is flying by.

Below is a sample”To Do” list for the end of the school year from our book,

View original 197 more words

Surviving and Thriving During the Last Weeks of the School Year

April 27, 2015

Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Now that spring has arrived in most areas of the continental United States, students and teachers alike are noticing the signs that the end of the school year is coming. From conversations with other teachers, I know that many of you have just completed some type of standardized testing. Some teachers and students may be fatigued, but it is important to make the most of all the time we have left.

What do you do now to engage student interest and ensure that high level learning continues right through the end of school? Master teachers teach to the end, just like athletes go all out all the way through the finish line.

“The race isn’t over until you cross the finish line. You’ll be surprised at how much can change in the last twenty strides.” —Jackie Dugall

Getting Ready for the Last Weeks of School

  • If you haven’t already, take time…

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Sharing Our Love of Picture Books by Katherine Sokolowski

April 17, 2015
Featured Image -- 3309

Linda C.:

An excellent post on the value of picture books. Picture books are so important for all ages!

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

It was this photo that started it. Nine weeks ago I looked up from a reading conference with a student and saw this, took the photo, and posted it to Facebook and Instagram.

hat

It really wouldn’t be an unusual sight in my classroom of fifth graders. When we have independent work time, kids read and write what they would like. At any given time you might see some students writing a blog, others working on a presentation, some reading from their independent books, some talking to each other about their reading, and many kids reading picture books. I pop around, child to child, and talk to them about their reading and writing. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.

This photo, however, inspired Jennifer Shettel to contact me. Jennifer is an Associate Professor at a university in Pennsylvania. She wanted me to share with her class of…

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