Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy Summer Break!

I'm officially on summer break until Wednesday when summer programming begins...this past week was crazy trying to wrap things up as much as is practical before summer, get IEP goal reports and report cards finished, continue to get materials together and ready for our summer unit, etc. My kids (and let's be honest, me and my staff, too) were obviously very ready for the break and our shortened summer schedule.

Here are a few things that actually came out of my mouth at school this past week (we have the joke about "things you'd only ever hear at [our school name]" around our building quite a lot!):
-"...and he walked out to the car and started licking the side of it!"
-"I do not need the poop commentary."
-"Guys, the full moon was on Monday. Today you don't get that excuse."
-"Next time, let's try not to announce our bathroom habits to the principal."
-"Kissing is for at home, not school." (repeat that one ad nauseum)

Other than avoiding bathroom commentary and trying to squelch kissing habits, we did have some fun experiences the last week of school:

-We had our final sister school visit with our regular ed friends. They came to our school and we did center rotations that included an art project, music/parachute activities, and a sister school-themed Bingo game. With a total of 52 students in the program (26 of our students and 26 regular ed buddies), I was afraid all the transitioning between rotations would be chaotic, but it all worked out and was a successful day! There were not many dry eyes as friends sang the goodbye song ("Shalom, My Friends") for the last time and gave hugs and took final pictures together. I will miss this group of 4th graders we've worked with all year. Hopefully next year's program will be just as successful and valuable. Real friendships were really formed, which is awesome for my kids!

-To wrap up our unit on recycling, we attempted to make recycled paper! I had picked up Bill Nye the Science Guy's Paper Recycling Factory for $8 at the Scholastic warehouse sale a few weeks ago, and we finally tried it out. Though the instructions that came with the kit were not at all clear, and we could only make two small pieces of paper at a time, we figured it out and the kids had a blast ripping newspaper, blending pulp, etc. And the paper actually turned out pretty well!
Our paper drying on the windowsill. It dried much lighter. We are going to perfect our technique, experiment with colors/designs, and try to make more either for gifts or even to sell next year. Not sure if we'll continue using Bill Nye's kit or if I'll try to make my own.

-Finally, last night was our district graduation ceremony for the four students who are aging out of our program. In Michigan, students age out of special ed services at age 26. It was a really nice ceremony and I am so proud of these kids...I cried, of course. My current students already know Miss Kara will cry at their graduation! The first students I ever had are now 16 and 17 years old (I started out teaching a younger group than I have now) so at least I have 9 years to go before one of "my" kids graduates. There's a lump in my throat even now just thinking about it!

This is a long post, sorry! I'll stop now, and will be back later this week to share some of the Olympics-related materials I've been creating. Remember you can still enter my 100 followers giveaway! Just click the image below:

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