I love that this year I've had the opportunity to teach many of my 3rd grade students in 4th grade. We work in two groups for English Language Arts, and one of my groups is currently reading "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" by Beverly Cleary. It's a fun book and they are enjoying it. Having used the book last year with a different group of students, these lessons are easy to prepare for, but that's not what I'm enjoy the most. This afternoon I had a chance to take a look at one of my student's written responses to some questions about the first two chapters. If I didn't know better I'd think I'd picked up the wrong book. I am so impressed with this student's work. I'm not saying he has interpreted and answered all the questions "correctly", but he has used complete sentences, and his responses show some thought. His handwriting is incredibly neat, and it is obvious that he is really taking a great deal of pride in his work. I'm really looking forward to writing his report card soon. What a privilege to make a difference in this youngster's life, and to see such growth in his abilities and maturity.
Then this afternoon my class were working on a social studies activity. We had spent time last Thursday exploring Egypt through our atlases, using half a dozen pages with maps and charts giving all sorts of information, from climate to economics. Yesterday I provided them with a note-taking worksheet, with 4 boxes headed "Draw It" and 3 lines for each box, headed "Write It". I turned the students loose with the atlases again, working with partners, and asked them to write and draw about what they learned from the atlases. They didn't finish yesterday, so I let them have another session this afternoon. When the time came to say "pack up", I was greeted with groans. They were really enjoying what they were doing. Some were finished, and had started a drawing on the back, while others have taken them home to finish off tonight. I've had a quick look at the finished ones and it's amazing some of the things the students have noted. Definitely an activity to repeat. Learning is supposed to be fun, so it's great when the students think it is.
Two days to go! I wonder how much more learning we can pack into those two days. We'll fit some fun in as well. Time for trading in "Go For Green" and "Homework" tickets for treasures like bendy pencils, sets of coloured pencils, and other fun items. And there's a special treat coming on Friday afternoon, but I'm not telling what it is or it won't be a surprise! Stay tuned for photos of the day before the holidays!