Monday, May 21, 2018

May Marks our End of the Year Highlights and Celebrations in Room 111

Summer break is near.... I mean 5 days away NEAR, and the hurricane of rushing emotions are stirring up this poor teacher's heart!  It's almost time to let go and it feels like we only had just begun our journey such a short time ago.  My biggest challenge?  Not letting all the testing and hectic end-of-the-year chaos get in the way of my time with the kids.  This year, I did not start any cleaning projects early or ditch the schedule for videos.  My kids crave their schedule.  They adore routine.  They look forward to every single block of learning that leads up to Daily 5 & STEAM Rounds at the end of our day because that is when they can truly explore, create, and be independent.  Here's a few of their favorites:

May has been extra-special in Room 111.  I was invited to be apart of our District Literacy Team this spring to create something truly amazing for all three of our elementary buildings to participate in during the last few weeks of school.  We used ideas from the "One Book, One School" model framework and decided to launch a book club based on the HUMPHREY chapter book series!
   Each child received their own special copy of "The World of Humphrey" and the last two weeks, we have been reading a chapter a day.  The principal has a daily morning quiz question over the announcements, and students can fill out a response ticket and have a chance to win a plush HUMPHREY keychain!  We even have a real, live Humphrey the Hamster rolling around our building!  He came for the entire day last week and visited our classroom!  #teacherwin!!!  

 We put Humphrey in his green ball and passed him around so we could introduce ourselves properly!

 Of course I took this moment with Humphrey to brainstorm and create adjectives and verbs for Humphrey so we could write all about him after he left!

This has been a very engaging, very exciting time for our entire school building and a great way to "harness" that year-end craziness into something that continues to make reading fun every, single day!

We plan to repeat this process with a second book club over the summer months.  Students will be given a copy of "Summer According to Humphrey" and be able to follow our District Twitter Page, Facebook Page, and a Google Classroom Blog to post answers and pictures of their summer fun with Humphrey!  In addition, there will be a Scavenger Hunt for Humphrey around the community!  We have asked 10 neighboring businesses to post HUMPHREY images in their storefront window.  Students will be given a "FLAT HUMPHREY" cut-out (much like flat Stanley) and will need to take selfies of themselves, with Humphrey, in front of these locations!!!  Prizes will be awarded the first week we return to school in August.
How cool is that!
And for our last surprise, each grade level came together to read a chapter from the book on video.  The links will be shared on our Facebook page and students will be able to read along with their teachers!
Here is my first grade team reading Chapter 5-

Last week, 
we had an incredible trip to The Toledo Museum of Art!
We learned about lines, color, textures, and how to experience art with more than just your eyes!

 Our museum guide was amazing!
She had us outside right away introducing us to cast iron art by Jaume Plensa.

 She then invited students to sketch what they see and it was much like a directed drawing of sorts!

 Aria was so passionate about her intent!

 Then we walked over to another metal art form nicknamed "Dinosaur!"

 What does recycled gas cans look like?

 The kids had me in stitches when they commented that the businessman looked like stranger-danger!

 Our guide here explaining how COLOR has a huge impact on artist renderings.

 The Blue Wall.

 Looking for primary colors to represent the key focus in the painting.

And, by special request from this teacher, we made a quick detour to see my all-time favorite painting in the gallery- 
 I have seen her here a 100 times and each time, only gets better!
 Isn't she lovely!
 Then it was time to leave, but not before a few class photos to mark our special day!


So what trip to the art museum doesn't have some fabulous project in mind???
Here's to you, Pablo Picasso, for teaching us how to use colors that represent the many layers of our personalities!

Happy Countdown to Summer Friends!
Enjoy every blessed moment!
Mrs. DiBenedetto

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