By the time most of you read this, the sun will have set on your summer vacation. However, hopefully, you are at least a little excited to be starting a new school year as 5th graders down in the middle school wing. I am very excited to welcome all of you and to help lead you on your journey this year as new middle school students. It will be a little different for you as you move from having only two teachers in two classrooms to four teachers, Mrs. Hill, Mrs. O'Leary, Mrs. Sampson and myself whom are spread throughout the school. It does take some getting used to, but that is just another reason why we've introduced a new study skills class this year for 5th grade only. Mrs. O'Leary and I have been working hard to plan this course for you to help you transition to middle school, stay organized, keep up on assignments, and make the most of your educational experience this year. Beyond welcoming you back to school, I thought I'd write a little summer wrap-up here for you to get a little background on me, your teacher, when I'm not busy teaching.
Although I'm not teaching during the summer, I am by no means not busy! I have a son and daughter at home that keep me going quite a lot. We LOVE summer vacation and thoroughly appreciate all the time we get to spend together. We start making a list of all the fun things we want to do during our summer vacation a good month before it gets here. Things on our activities list usually include time with family, biking, fishing, camping, movies, swimming, day trips to places like castaway cafe, Kensington, the zoo, and turtle cove (a water park), and of course playing with friends. This year we managed to accomplish almost all of it, not to mention a few things that weren't even on the list. Two big things we did this summer that weren't on the list were a couple of fun road trips, one to Indianapolis and another to St. Louis. The Indianapolis road trip was inspired by a family member's graduation open house. We decided to make a weekend of it and went down early. While there we went to the Indianapolis Children's museum and it was pretty awesome. Of course, I'm not sure what my kids enjoyed more, the museum or just staying in a hotel and swimming at the pool.
Unfortunately, my husband wasn't able to join us on our St. Louis road trip, but my mom and step-dad came along for the ride. My kids really enjoyed having their Bubba and Bousha on vacation with us, and they helped me keep the kids going for our busy schedule to cram in as much fun as possible. The trip included a visit to the St. Louis Arch (which is REALLY big and impressive), a cruise on a Riverboat down the Mississippi River, going to the St. Louis Zoo, a trip to Meramec Caverns, the City Museum (which is totally AWESOME), and Grant's Farm all in just 2 and a half days (not counting travel time). It was a long 9 hour drive there and another 9 hours back, but it was totally worth it. The kids cannot wait until we can go back and show their Daddy all the fun things we did. It was a great last trip to round out our summer, and we really enjoyed taking it easy for a week or two afterwards before the back to school rush began.
So, that was my Summer, and as I've already said, I'm really excited about this year and looking forward to getting to know each of you. What kinds of fun things do you do this Summer?
Many of you know that I was planning to do a color run this year. As a matter of fact, many of you wanted to do it with me or at the very least come and throw color on me. Well, my husband, son, and I completed the Color Me Rad 5K in Detroit on May 11th. A few of you were aware and asked to see pictures, I've been waiting to get the ones from the photography company to add to mine before showing you because I think they did a better job of actually showing how MUCH color there was. We did our best to start out decked in white (although none of us had white pants). Don't we look nice all pearly and white and clean???
Originally, just my husband and I were going to complete the race. However, Peyton really wanted to do it, and since it was Mother's Day weekend, I wanted to spend the time with him too. So, Peyton cam along for the fun and did pretty well. Although, his running stints usually lasted only about 1 minute before asking to walk (I think his longest was 2-3 minutes). That was o.k. though. It was more of a fun run and there were people at all levels in the race. We all made it to the finish line somewhere between 30-45 minutes. We weren't really keeping track and did a lot of walking with Peyton. It was a BLAST! I had so much fun, and we'll definitely do it again. My husband and I are already planning to do one in Lansing in September without Peyton so that we can run more. I've also started looking into other 5K's and found some pretty awesome ones for next year like a 5K foam fest, electric 5K, and Run for your lives where you can be either a zombie or someone running. Anyway, I now present to you the moment you've all waited for . . . pictures of your teacher all color bombed up!
Hello 5-M! Since our schedule was a little bit off today, we have the benefit of having an extra Social Studies class than 5-O and Mrs. Hill reserving the computer lab for your class. SO, I thought we'd take advantage of this excellent opportunity to allow each of you a chance to explore the class web-site, in case you haven't already, and to interact with it a little bit by posting a response to this blog. I'll also take this time to navigate around the room and see if there are any of you still having trouble accessing the site or signing in to interact with the forums or the blog. Sound good? Ok. Let's get started!
Now, what kind of response can you post to this blog? Well, I do not expect you to just randomly post anything. As a matter of fact, your response is going to count as a grade in Social Studies! I know how much you all love writing the current events! ;) However, there is a point to them, and that is to keep you all paying attention to some of the things going on in our town, state, country and the world. So, for your response to this post. I'd like you to tell me about something interesting you've seen or heard about in the news recently. You can look through one of the Scholastic News Magazines I've made available to you in class to get an idea or you can explore the current event links available on this website to find a story. I DO NOT expect your response to be like a current event. Simply, tell me the name of the story you read, where you found it, and a sentence or two on what it was about. Then if you'd like to read through your classmates responses, you can comment back to them on anything you found interesting in their articles or would like to know more about.
Finally, if you are absolutely stuck and have no idea what to write about, I have a topic for you to think about. There is a recent movement to try and get the next X-Games to come to Detroit. The movement, known as XG2D, has their own Facebook page and twitter account. Big steps were made forward with this movement this week as the group released their first video bid to draw the X-Games here, as discussed in a Detroit News article from May 8th. Read the article and/or watch the video below. Then, discuss what you think. Would Detroit make a good host city for an X-Games? Why or why not? Do you think this video bid is a good way of drawing attention to the idea? How else do you think this effort should proceed? How do you feel about the video? How do you think it makes Detroit look?
So, here we are in the 4th quarter of the 2012-2013 school year. I realize that the introduction of this website may come across as not being very timely. I do apologize for that. However, there is a point to it all. Most of you know that this was my first year teaching 5th grade in quite some time. As when most of us are introduced to something that shakes up what is normal for us, there is a period of adjustment. During that time period, I usually find that I generate the best ideas of what might be changed, what worked well, what didn't, and what else might be done to improve. So, here we are. I thought that a class website might add a lot to our little classroom experience as I could use it to post copies of notes, attach assignment descriptions, rubrics, and study sheets, and post important dates and information. Finally, I also thought it would give you another avenue for interacting with me as your teacher because I care about each of you and want you to feel comfortable in our class and approaching me if and when you need help. So, if you'll allow it, I'd love for all of you to be my "guinea pigs" as we close out this school year and see how this website might help enhance your 5th grade experience and your time in my classroom. If it works out well and you all see it as a helpful tool, I'm sure the upcoming 4th graders will appreciate your part in making their transition to 5th grade a little bit better.
"For bet than never is late." - Geoffrey Chaucer