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Monday, April 8, 2013

Geometry & Art

I have always been a looping teacher. I actually began teaching in a K-2 multi-age classroom. As a new teacher I was completely frightened. I felt so unprepared and I always felt like I could do more. What I realized at the end of the third year, was that keeping the same students for that amount of time gave me the time to work with them at their own developmental stage and to see them flourish at the end of our journey together. I grew to LOVE the learning, time together, and the fulfillment it gave me. I have never looked back since.

This has been the longest stretch of time that I have kept a group of students. Most of my class has been with me since first. A few left to other schools, but they were soon replaced by other kiddos. Every year, I tell myself that this would be the last, but I just couldn't not let them go. I kept going up in the grades with them. I think I grew quite possessive attached to them. Now that they will be leaving this June to middle school, I feel quite sad, but I above all, I feel so very proud of them. Today, I had a moment where I felt very validated. I received one of my kiddos at the end of third grade. She was far below grade level compared to the rest of the group. I saw some progress in fourth, and today as we finished our last practice test before the CST, she scored in the 90 percentile on both the math and language arts practice book. I felt so very proud of her, and I could see how proud she was of herself. It is these moments that make me love looping.

What does all this have to do with 2D art and geometry? Well, I had never before done 5th grade beyond subbing. This past summer, I dedicated a lot of time to planning and looking for resources that would engage, motivate, and help my students do their best. I also found Blog-land and I am so grateful I did. There are just so many amazing teachers out there that inspire me every day. One such teacher/blogger, that I am constantly 'borrowing' ideas from, is Jen from Runde's Room. She is just an unbelievable teacher that has saved me more than I wish to count.

As way to have my students de-stress, get their mind of the CST, and close up our unit on Geometry, I decided to do 2D geometry activity Jen did. My kiddos totally love it and loved the end result of their project. They also want to try other things instead of shapes--maybe their names. We'll see.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you for being my life jacket through the year.


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Children...

By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
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