Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rockin' Field Trip & Last Day of School

I have been a teacher for many years.  Just over 10 to be exact.  I think in all my years of teaching and taking kids on field trips, I can honestly say I have never been on a more wild one!  And this was one I didn't plan.  We were "sent" on this outing, which turned out to be the kids' most talked about day of school to date.

180 buses came from all across Iowa to HyVee Hall.
Look like a rock concert?  If I didn't know any better I would guess it was the Justin Beiber concert.  Bless that boy's heart- I think he is the heartthrob of every fourth grade girl in the country.

And to think I'd never even heard of the guy!

Back to the field trip...
Okay, so it was a rock concert dedicated to Character Counts.  So that makes it okay.
Okay that there was no possible way to keep track of my class of 22 students the whole time, as they were rockin' and boppin' and chasing T-shirts being thrown into the crowd!
There were cheerleaders.  Characters and mascots from all the local area teams.  And there was music.  Very loud music.  And a lot of dancing.
The national anthem was sung.  
When they brought out this young girl... everyone went crazy.  In case you can't tell...
That would be Shawn Johnson.  
She spoke to the kids about character, determination and achieving their goals.  It was quite impressive!  I even have to admit I was a bit star-struck!
The kids couldn't have been more excited or had more fun.  The place was jam-packed.  And I think the kids all brought back a message about character counts...even if it was presented to them in rock concert fashion.  

Hey- we have to reach them somehow, right?

I have mentioned before how much I love my class this year (Oh, and this isn't even half of them!  Don't ask me where the other half was...because I think I am supposed to know that stuff...ahem.)
We came back to school and had a picnic outside.  HyVee sent a box lunch for all the kids, and when they opened their lunches...
They got these way cool Shrek bags!  I think I was slightly more excited about them than they were!  Ha!
This is why I was so excited.  I knew one little boy that was going to go crazy over them!
Can you tell I snagged a few extra?  Ha!  Don't worry, all my students got one and I didn't steal anyone's lunch!  But it did involve some digging through the school dumpster.  Yeah, another first!  Oh, and please ignore the inside of my pantry.  It makes me look disorganized.  Ha!
My students are beyond awesome.  Not many people can say they go to work each day excited to see their students and to have so much fun!  It has really been a highlight of my teaching career.  I was so worried about this year.  My first year back to work after so much time off.  I was afraid I didn't know how to teach anymore.  Let alone fourth graders!  They were too "big!"  It would be too scary.  But I was ready for a change.  And I didn't realize until now that this was the just the change I needed.
After our field trip my homeroom mom came to class and worked on a special project with the kids.  Isn't this adorable?  She had them each write me a sweet little note, then rolled them all up to look like stems, and stuck some flowers in a few of them.  It just made me cry it was so sweet!  I am going to miss this class so much.
 Yesterday I had Craig bring Andrew to class at the end of the day- I knew the kids would be so excited, they just love hearing about Andrew!
He had fun entertaining everyone!  Ha!
My students are so funny- they know just how to distract me during the day...they just ask me to talk about Andrew, or tell them a funny story about him and they know it buys them some time away from math or something!  Ha!
They know how much I love this little guy!
He wanted to write on mommy's board so I helped him write his name.  He knows all the letters in his name now.
 Future teacher?

I just have to share this story.  A while back we read about heroes in our reading series.  So after discussions and lessons on what makes someone a hero (they don't have to be famous, etc) I asked the students to write about their hero. 
Three of them wrote about me, which I thought was so sweet.  They had to illustrate the cover and fold it with their writing on the inside.  I just had to scan these because they crack me up.  Check out my highlighted hair!  The kids are always asking me about my hair, earrings, shoes, etc.  They are really into fashion at this age!  Ha!
Do they pay attention to detail, or what?  I love it!  Look at the highlights again!  And my glasses are even black and brown (which totally matches my hair- and they have pointed this out to me on more than one occasion!  Ha!)

This was written by one of my sweet little girls, Paige.  Her mom was my homeroom parent this year and has done so much for my class and for me.  I was so blessed to have her!  They always were sending little things for Andrew, too.  I loved reading all of their hero writings, but this one is just so sweet (and darn funny, too!)  I love how she mentions that I think I'm old but points out that I'm not!  Ha!  And of course, notice how she mentions distracting me with Andrew stories! 

Tomorrow is our last day of school.
I have a little treat to share with the kids- I give these treat bags out every year.  They have a little poem about moving on to the next grade and inside they have a symbol to represent certain things, like an eraser to let them know it is okay to make mistakes, a marker to encourage them to leave their mark on the world, etc.
 Then last week I had them all write "grafitti" and decorate a frame on a piece of paper, then I attached a class photo and laminated it so they can always keep it.  They haven't seen the finished product and they don't know what I'm doing with them yet so I can't wait to see their faces!
They are so excited about these.  These are their "Time Capsules," which they wrote on the first day of school.  Things like what their favorite song is, their favorite food, how tall they were, etc.  Then on the last day we will open them after they've been buried in my backyard hidden in my basement all year.

As fun of a year as I've had, and as much as I'll miss my class,  I can't help but be excited about the summer!  In fact, I can't wait!  It is so hard to believe that tomorrow is my last day.  How does time go by so fast?
Soon, this little man will be entering his 4th grade classroom!  I can't imagine!


Courtney said...

Sounds like you had a great class this year. That is always such a blessing. Andrew looks so cute writing on the board. Enjoy your last day and your summer off.

Stefenie said...

Enjoy your last day of school Jen!

Your update cracked me up wit the pictures the kids drew and the hero letter. Yep, they have you figured out! LOL!!!

Andrew looks like he had a great time in your classroom too!

Jenny Lincoln said...

Awwww! Rocks with a capital R! How great is that! I think that is the highest rating a teacher can get. :) Andrew looks like just eats that attention right up. :)

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