Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's SUMMER!!! Woo hoo!!!


No seriously. Whoa.

Thanks to Lindsay at My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher for giving my blog a shout out in her last post! My followers have more than TRIPLED in the last couple of days! SO EXCITING!!!

And, it's SUMMER!

Ahhhh. I feel more relaxed already.

So it's been about 5 6 days since my last post, and I've missed you! (Yes, you!)

Man, the last few days of school were a big ol' bowl of craziness.

Let's start with Monday.

Monday was our last semi-normal(ish) school day. Last year, we found a really fun mock trial to do with the kids at the end of the year, so I've been promising my class for weeks that we'd do it before the end of the year. The whole thing is pretty cool. You go to the Make Your Case! website, and it basically gives you an awesome courtroom simulation. I split the class into two teams, the plaintiff's defense team and the defendant's defense team. The whole game is self contained; the teams get to choose questions to ask the witnesses in the case, and are awarded points based upon how relevant the question is to the case. The other team can make objections (and the game gives them a mini-lesson on the grounds for objections). By the way, they LOVE making objections. And I was impressed by how much they thought it out. Sometimes they would make an objection, but didn't know right away WHY they were making it. The teams would sit and argue why they thought it was relevance, heresay, or speculation-and they meant business!

I think my favorite part of this activity was the beginning. It starts off giving a little scenario about how a lawyer has something come up so he can't attend the trial, so it's your job to fill in. Then it switches to the courtroom where the judge enters. As is the norm, when the judge enters, the bailiff, call out, "All rise!"

I had my back turned for a minute and started to here a bunch of movement. "Great," I thought. "They're already getting bored."

Nope. I had to hold back my giggles of amazement when I saw that my group of crazies had done EXACTLY as the bailiff had asked. They were all on their feet!

Did not see that one coming.


Those kids meant business!

Do any of you know of any other activities like this? I would love to be able to do a few like this throughout the year instead of saving it until the last week!

Tuesday was Play Day. Last year, Play Day ended up being the last day of school because of rain, but this year, it was back to being on the second to last day of school.

In the morning, the PTO rents a bunch of inflatable obstacle courses, bounce houses, etc., and the grades are on a rotation from one station to the next. The first stop for 6th grade was rock climbing, which sounded like a lot of fun. Except we couldn't find it. Anywhere. In our defense, we couldn't find it because it wasn't there. Apparently, when there was a misunderstanding when they reserved the inflatables, and they thought that they had reserved 3 different inflatables-the rock wall, giant slide, and obstacle course. The problem was that the obstacle course had a rock wall and giant slide. So our schedule for the morning was a little confusing since half of the places we were supposed to go to were actually one and the same.

The scheduling snafu did allow us to take the 6th graders to a bounce house that they weren't scheduled for. Let me tell you, 6th graders LOVE bounce houses. Totally didn't see that one coming. They spent an hour rotating in and out of that thing!

In the afternoon, we had scheduled our 6th Grade Send Off. I had my camcorder and my trusty new tripod all set up and ready to go before the kids/parents came. We had the teacher notes and memory books all set out, we were good to go. Right before we started, I ran over and pushed the button on the camcorder to get started. (We were going to burn copies of the Send Off for all of the kids to take home on report card day.)

The program went pretty well (except the kids were SUPER chatty). No craziness, nobody fell, pretty painless. Painless until I walked over to turn off the camcorder. I pushed the button to stop recording, and nothing happened. It was at that moment that I realized that I hadn't actually started the recording like I thought. Nope, I pushed the power button instead.  I turned the stupid thing off. Needless to say, I was seriously kicking myself. Next year, someone else is in charge of handling the camcorder. I can't multitask under pressure.

After the Send Off, we had cake and punch in the cafeteria, and then sent the kids outside for the last activity of the day--the DJ on the playground. I must say, there is something incredibly hilarious about watching an entire school do the chicken dance in unison. Lots of butt wiggling.

There may or may not be some footage of me doing the Casper Slide. I want you to know that I was tricked into this by my students who failed to inform me that the other 6th grade teacher had whipped out her iPhone to capture my dance skills. Not cool Teri. Just remember, I'm pretty sure I have video of you dancing during the 1st quarter reward party. Don't make me look for it.

And then came Wednesday, the last day of school. Because I've been completely unable to get/stay healthy this year, I of course felt terrible. But I couldn't miss the last day with my kiddos! I was smart this year and had the kids help tear down the room. Last year, I was there several extra days packing stuff up.

Not doing that again.

They were a HUGE help and saved me a ton of time. I was even able to finish everything up during our work afternoon on Thursday. The room looks so sad now. And ugly. The paper that I had used to cover the panels above my windows had to come down since they're painting this summer. I had forgotten how ugly those things were. Ick.

Oh! Remember those girls that were helping me organize my cabinet? Check out how awesome it looks! I'll actually be able to find stuff next year!

And check out what they did with my scary closet of stuff!


How insanely awesome is that?!?!?! It looks AMAZING!

The kids left one last message on the chalkboard outside the room before they left:

I'm going to miss those little boogers. They were a pretty good group of kids.

And that brings me to now: SUMMER!

So far, I've had lunch with my mom and grandparents, had a breathing test at the hospital (but more on that later, this is getting to be too long), went grocery shopping, and got a hair cut. 
The new 'do
And I slept in. Man, I love sleeping in.

I hope you all have a wonderful (and cool-it's supposed to be close to 100 here all weekend!) Memorial Day weekend! 


  1. Happy summer.
    Try looking at Interact units for similar simulation activities.

    Yearn to Learn Blog

    1. Ooo-those look like a ton of fun! I just wish they were cheaper! You don't happen to know of anything similar that's cheaper (or free), do you? :)


  2. Congrats for the growth in followers! The interactive court case sounds soo much fun! I hate having to pick up my room and then having to get everything out, but I do like polished floors! Hope you start feeling better.
    Special Teaching in the Middle

    1. I'm with you on that one! I can't wait for my floor to have that glorious shine again (or to make it through a day with black dress pants without them mysteriously turning gray...)


  3. That is so awesome you got those girls to help you organize! It's so funny which kids LOVE to help out in those crazy ways. I moved out of my classroom and had my students pack it up. We ran out of boxes before we ran out of time or energy so that was a huge gift to get that out of the way! And I agree those interactive simulations are so fun and memorable!

    1. No joke! They saved me SO many hours of organizing! From now on, I will be fully utilizing the weird things that my students find "fun." No doubt about that.