Students are often called upon to read "chorally".
That is, they read together simultaneously as a group.
Repeating this practice assists young readers with reading fluency -
the speed, accuracy, and inflection of oral reading.
Why not, since it's called "choral" reading anyway, actually read the chorus of a song?
"It may be bad to talk when your mouth is full,
but it isn't too good either
when your head is empty."
(Herbert V. Prochnow)
In the last week of school, our class studied the names of the 44 United States presidents. More than memorizing the presidents, I wanted students to learn how to use a mnemonic device to remember a list of items in order. For the presidents, with a little work, a silly story was created, relying heavily on imagery and wordplay. Students, with a little effort, perhaps you can still remember the list. Try it!
After a long wait, the permanent handrails have been installed inside and out. They still need paint.
In the back of this year's yearbook, there is a two-page spread that is chock-full
of our fifth graders' favorite memories at Cecil Floyd Elementary.
I am honored that nine of the fifteen 2012/3 Hoggatteers listed have mentioned
their fourth grade year in their responses.
This was the second year to use Class Dojo in my classroom. With the program, we were able to track positive and negative points based on behaviors and choices made by students. The donut graph below illustrates the results from the 2013/4 school year in Room 404. Green areas of the donut represent our positive points, and red areas indicate area in need of improvement.
NATHANAEL was clearly the highest earner, having taken a large early lead and never relinquishing it. He ended the year with 184 points, single-handedly earning almost 8% of the class's total positive points. Coming in second was our highest earning girl, FAITH, with 131 points.
I recently received these high compliments from a parent for my speech addressing the fifth graders at their graduation ceremony.
I know I am very late on this but I wanted to thank you for your speech at the 5th grade graduation. I was touched by your words and compassion you show your students. And out of 5 children, one that graduated high school 2 weeks before, your speech was the first time tears ever came to my eyes when it came to my child and school. I have always looked at school as a new beginning. New things to learn, new friends to meet, new challenges to accomplish. You, you however (along with another fabulous teacher) have proved one thing I forgot in all the newness, love. Love is the greatest thing that you can teach a child without ever trying. Thank you for loving our children!
I don't always know how to respond to kindness, other than to say thank you - or should that be you're welcome?
For that wonderful group of graduates, I tried to select words that meant something and string them together to make them sound good. Those students deserved the best I cold give them. I know my words probably won't stick with them, but perhaps the sentiment will.
It's finally time to clean the carpets. Just a year of wear and tear definitely takes its toll.
When we return, there will be more physical changes at the school,
including refurbished restrooms in the original part of the building. Restroom sinks have already been removed, and I'm told we will have new drinking fountains in the hallway!
I'm already getting messages from some of my Class-of-2022 Hoggatteers. "I miss you already," they say - and we've only just begun our summer break. It's refreshing to know we forged such a family bond, this year. This was reflected in the last day of school.
For the last three years, my class has upheld a tradition. Rather than giving a heartfelt speech of my own, I have invited students to deliver impromptu speeches of their own. They simply sit in a circle and talk to their classmates...and the tears flow. Presentations come from the least likely sources, and their messages are sincere. This is the day when I finally get to see proof that my students have been listening to me!
All year, I pound a message of family into my class. All year, we talk about what this means. On this day - last Friday - students demonstrate that theme by looking directly at their classmates and telling them, "I love you. We are a family. We are brothers and sisters. I will miss you over the summer. No matter what happens we are a family. We will never meet again as this class, but we will always have each other as a family." Wow!
Suddenly the eyes begin to sting and a lump comes to the throat as we share hugs. The parent of a former student came to the room and told me, "Your class cries more than the [graduating] fifth graders!" That simple statement lets me know that what we have in Room 404 is special. It has been that way for each of the three years since we started this accidental tradition. I love it.
During the last week of school, this year, next year's Hoggatteers were given the opportunity to "fly up" from third grade. In one short, 30-minute period, they met their new teacher. That, of course, was just long enough for an introduction to the energy of our class and some quick questions about me. Naturally, they are curious.
I loved the opportunity to make this presentation. When I went to the classroom where they were gathered, I asked the third grade teacher if she had some new Hoggatteers for me. The students were all smiles, and I think I witnessed some cheers. How exciting when we made it to their new room for next year. All summer, they are going to wonder about their fourth grade experience!
Are you one of my new recruits or the parent of a new recruit? Stay in touch by commenting below or by emailing me over the summer!
Cheers to the following students who managed to stay on the Honor Roll for the entire year:
HANNAH, CORALEE, FATE, DAELESA, FAITH, and KIELYN
...and the livin' is easy! For the first time in several years, I am not teaching Summer School, so perhaps I can focus more on my family, my writing, and church work during my time away from school.
I will continue to update this website daily, so be sure you check in regularly. In fact, I still have several things to post here about the last days of school. Remember that you may comment on each entry, or send email to me directly from the site.
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