Thursday, May 22, 2014

Your Mountain is Waiting...

Well, we've done it.  This amazing little group of young people has completed yet another school year.  It wasn't just any school year... it was a huge one.  It was a year full of growth, of friendships, of field trips to awesome places, of challenging assignments, of life lessons, of growing up.  I have been so blessed to have had a front row seat, not just for a year, but for two or three years with each of these precious kids.  I have seen them transition from chubby cheeked children into blossoming youth. 

 Our last day was a great one!  The class had a special treat.  The Southern Crescent Storytellers came and the kids had their very own storytelling workshop!  They learned important skills for public speaking, tips for telling a great story, and even practiced with some improv.  It only took a little time for them to warm up, and in no time they were using their new skills!  The class told a couple guided stories with Ms. Anne and Mr. Neil, learned about story-boarding, and were so enjoying the workshop that they asked to take turns sharing their own stories!   After the session, the children "graduated", receiving a storytelling diploma, as well as a book of stories and fables.  It was a great experience!

After lunch, the class gathered to share their Civil Rights Leader posters.  Each student was given a different Civil Right Leader to study.  The posters were graded on creativity, neatness, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.  Boy, have these kids come a long way since their first poster projects! These were amazing!

Finally, the students finished sharing their persuasive essays on the Bill of Rights.  Again, I have asked a lot of these kids... and they have risen to the challenge!  Over the past three years, Ms. Sharon, Ms. Bev, and I have lead these students through the writing process.  In the beginning, writing was so stressful for them.  They were unsure of their writing voice, and they shed tears over it!   Over the last three months, they have demonstrated their progress in narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive writing.  I could not be more proud of them!  Good job, guys!

Next year will be different, but I know that the strong bonds formed in the past few years are firmly planted!  As each child makes their way through the next journey in their education, I want each one of them to take with them the confidence, kindness, strength, and motivation that I have seen them exhibit in class with me. 

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

End to a Great Year!

I seriously cannot believe that this is the final week of class.  The school year has simply flown by!  I have been so blessed by each and every one of these special students.  They have amazing things ahead of them, and I am very thankful that I could play a small part in helping them along their way!

Equipment by Edgar A. Guest

Figure it out for yourself, my lad.
You’ve got all that the greatest of men have had,
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
And a brain to use if you would be wise.
With this equipment they all began,
So start for the top and say, “I Can.”
Look them over, the wise and the great,
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes.
The world consider them brave and smart,
But you’ve got all they had when they made their start.
You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will.
You’re well equipped for the fight you choose,
You have arms and legs and a brain to use.
And the man who has risen great deeds to do,
Began his life with no more than you.
You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place,
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know.
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.
Courage must come from the soul within,
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You were born with all the great have had,
With your equipment they all began.
Get hold of yourself, and say: “I Can.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Day on the Town

Today, the class met at City Hall to meet the mayor of Peachtree City, Vanessa Fleisch.  Vanessa taught the students about her duties as mayor, as well as the duties of the council-members of Peachtree City.  Most of the class wasn't even aware that City Hall was right next door to the library, which they frequent!  Now, they know what goes on within those walls!


After our trip to City Hall, the class headed over the library.  Here, they worked as volunteers to prepare the library's Summer Reading Program packets.  Although the class's goal was 600, they ended up assembling and stapling 1480 packets!  It was completely awesome to see the joy they had for being so helpful to the very busy librarians!