Saturday, May 18, 2013

Author Visit, Laps for Literacy, and May Musings

May brings us all kinds of special events at school.  A couple of these events were wonderful community and literacy building events..  First, we had Stacie Vaughn Hutton come to our school.

Shovelful of Sunshine
Description from Indiebound:
Meggie Gwinn has lost her dreams. With the help of her coal miner Daddy, Meggie learns that to get her dreams back she must go where all Gwinn's have gone before.
Children and families of coal miners around the globe share a fear of the dangers of this job. From letters written by coal miners, author Stacie Vaughn Hutton writes a story of hope and inspiration by showing how a young girl copes with her father's job as a coal miner. Illustrated by renowned children's book illustrator, Cheryl Harness, this book will be a family treasure for years to come.
Stacie was a former gifted teacher in our district, so she felt very comfortable in front of a room full of 4th graders.  She had wonderful things to say about storytelling, the history of coal mining, and characters.

The other event our school celebrated was Laps for Literacy.  Students record their pages read throughout the year in their homerooms and at the end of the year, the principal, top class, top reader, superintendent, and parents walk laps around a nearby lake to correspond with the pages read.  This year they also combined it with wearing pink and running a lemonade stand to honor and raise money for a staff member battling breast cancer.  It was quite a celebration!

May is such a bittersweet time of reflection, anticipation, and endings when you're a teacher.  It can also be the second most stressful month of the year after September with its preparations for the next year, ordering, data entering, end-of-year celebrations and programs, wrapping up units, assessments, and general containment of excited kids.  It's a time of looking back at where the kids started and celebrating how far they've come.  It's a month of countdowns, laughter, tears, and plans for packing up a classroom.  For some students, their time at a certain building is ending, and they're scared to move on, or for teachers and parents of seniors, it's even more overwhelming and sentimental.  For me, I'm moving on WITH my students to an intermediate building after just one year at 4th grade.  It was the greatest year of my professional career.  I've found a teaching position I'm passionate about, teaching gifted readers, and it's a joy to be able to continue it with my current students.  I'll have them for two more years before they will move on without me!  I hope all of you have had a wonderful school year and that you will rejuvenate, relax, and recharge for next year this summer! Speaking of countdowns, we only have 8 more days with students.  I plan to make the most of them!

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