Today is our last day of school and like most teachers I have mixed emotions. This year's class was very bright academically. They needed to learn as well as practice several social skills including choosing to be kind with their actions and words, choosing to push forward when academics became challenging and finally although we're all different we all have strengths. I modeled every day how to use kind words and most importantly how facial expressions could be read even if words were never spoken. I read several books aloud that helped my students open their eyes including Capture the Flag, How to Steal a Dog, and Wonder. We ended the year reading Haymeadow by Gary Paulson. It is an excellent survival book because young John had to choose to persevere as he summered in the haymeadow with 6,000 sheep and no other adults.
This year, I asked my class to reflect on the year by creating large anchor charts for all six subjects that I teach. When the students were finished, I asked them to choose their favorite activity for the year in each area. As I read through their 6 Boxes, I was amazed at how many students loved word notebooks, DEAR Mrs. Caplin letters, celebrating poems every Friday, cooking in math, learning how to wonder at Wonderopolis and finally Earth and Space science was at the top of their list. Lessons learned this year in Room 228 far extended beyond academics, and I am positive my fifth graders are ready for their next adventure-middle school.