Student-Created Classroom Expectations

Today we worked hard on coming up with our expectations for one another in 4th grade. I figured I could stand up at the front of the room and yada-yada-yada about what I expect, or I could let students write down their thoughts about what they expected in our classroom environment. Here’s some students’ ideas that I found interesting/funny/thoughtful:

And the last photo here is our final list. We will revise it tomorrow to create our classroom expectations contract.

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Classroom 2012-2013

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Here it is!! I finally remembered to take pictures : ). Today was our first day of school, and students oo-ed and ah-ed about the SmartBoard (Okay, so I oo-ed and ah-ed as well : )). After meeting my students today, I am even more excited about this school year! More stories and ideas to come!

End-of-the-School-Year Madness

I’m going to zoom you through the last week of school so then maybe you’ll understand why I’ve been on a 2 week retreat from anything school-related (including blogging about school! : )).

On your marks…. Ready… Go!

My 5th graders and I took a trip to Springfield to sight see and to conclude our Abraham Lincoln studies, so the next day, we made scrapbooks (chaos pictured above : )). 

Here they are posed with a young Abe Lincoln at the museum. They thought the wax figures were creepy but yet they were so fascinated that it was hard to leave.

We went inside the new capitol building as well. Here’s a photo I captured of the outside, and a student added his thoughts on the printed photo with his Sharpie marker. (To see closer, click on the image above.)

The 6th graders and I went to Six Flags as a reward for following through with their behavior contracts. Somehow I was signed up as a chaperone for an all-boys group (my 6th grade boys plus 2 more from another class). Here we are after our third time on their favorite water ride. These boys sure talked a lot of smack on the bus ride to the theme park, but once we were in front of the X-Flight (the latest amazing rollercoaster), their inner chickens surfaced and they refused to even get in line to wait while I rode the coaster. Bummer. Maybe next time : ). 

Then the 6th graders graduated from elementary school. I was strict about dress code: boys had to wear ties and girls had to wear skirts or dresses. My class was the finest looking 6th grade class this year. Of course, I may be just a bit biased : ).

(Note: To look at the pictures in a larger view, click on the image.)

During the 6th grade graduation, my 5th graders were industriously helping serve cupcakes to the many 6th grade family and friends that attended the celebration. Here’s the aftermath:

Valeria and Tamara not willing to show off their blue mouths…

Oscar and Marcelo begging for a third cupcake…

Ariana’s natural hospitality shining through…

And as Marcelo phrased it: ”Miss Siscoe, I think I just died by cupcake.” (a.k.a. too many cupcakes)

Then I concluded this field-trip-loving lifestyle by packing up yet another classroom… nothing like teaching at 4 different schools in 5 years (hopefully I’ll stay put in this next school for a while : )).

27 boxes of teaching tricks. Impressive considering last year I was only able to bring back 100 pounds of anything from Costa Rica (in other words, I hardly brought any teaching items back to the U.S. lol… seriously, how did I accumulate so much in just one year??!)

And the classroom ready for the next teacher to move in…

Whew! There you have it. The end-of-the-year madness marathon.

Scratch Art

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As a final math/art project this school year, we made our own scratch art! Inspired by a project I had done in high school, we recycled cereal boxes and painted the brown cardboard side white. Then we added a simple design in Sharpie marker and colored the white spaces with crayons. Next, we painted blank ink over the whole surface, let it dry, and finally we were ready to start scratching the ink off!

Art Teacher’s Note: Buy the ”Black Cat” Ink from a Dick Blick art supply store. It covers the crayon much more thoroughly (and quickly!) than another knock-off brand we tried.