Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Last Days of School: Saying Goodbye

The last week is always hard.  Grades are in so we spent this last week enjoying our last moments together.  All of these kids will be split among four different elementary schools so they will not all be in the same school again until Jr. High, so I wanted to make sure they had time to just enjoy each other as a community before they all left to go their separate ways.

We spent a lot more time outside as the weather was beautiful!  A group of kids noticed that there was a cool bug on the ground! I took a picture so they could share it with the class.

Later they all came running back to me saying I had to come back and see what this bug did!  If they did not show me where it was, I would have never seen it!  It was so perfectly camouflaged! Can you see it?

Here is a close up!  We talked about why it needed to do this and had such a wonderful authentic lesson on camouflage! We took more pictures and they presented what they learned to the class. Here is a close up to help you see it!

We continued to tend to our garden. We were getting frustrated because as soon as we felt the lettuce was really taking off and growing, we would come back to find it so small!  We thought maybe the grass was taking away all of the nutrients?  We weren't sure but continued to weed and water and hope we would be able to pick it and taste it!

These kids loved being outside! They are natural explorers!

I brought my pet tortoise, Steven, in to school for them to play with!  We let it walk around as they asked me all kinds of questions about him!

We wanted to see what food he liked best, but he was not hungry!  He sniffed the lettuce and that was about it!

They created things for Steven to play on.  They liked making tunnels for him to crawl through.

On our last day of school, we had Field Day all day long!  It is such a fun way to end the year!  Each class tie dyed t-shirts for a team color and we played all day!

My daughter visited and stayed with us for the morning. They were so excited to hang with her!

The kids loved cheering us teachers as we played "Sponge Basketball."  It was a good excuse to get wet!  It was so hot outside!

We went to the garden to pick a piece of the baby lettuces and try them.  We just could not get them to grow!! I found out the next day, after the kids were gone, why they would not grow.  I CAUGHT A MOMMY AND BABY GROUNDHOG MUNCHING AWAY HAPPILY AT OUR LETTUCE!!  That explains why they would seem so big one day, and smaller the next! Well, at least someone got to enjoy our lettuce!

Then came the time we were all dreading.  It was almost time to say goodbye!  This part is extra hard for me.  We are an early childhood center so we do not get to see them grow through grade school.  For us teachers here, this is goodbye for good.  It is heartbreaking and I try so hard not to cry, but I can't. We took a last class picture together!  Of course we had to do a goofy one too! You can see on the white board some of their advice to next year's class.

Then, I gave them their gift.  I gave them a magnifying glass and a notebook, and took a graduation picture for them. I added a note explaining my choice of gifts and saying what is on my heart at the end of every year.

I read the note to them and told them how incredibly proud I was of them.  I congratulated them on the accomplishment of becoming first graders! They have all accomplished amazing things this year.  I gave them a chance to hug each other and say goodbye and then we lined up.


As you can tell by their faces, they were not ready to say goodbye.  There were lots of tears.  As we walked to the busses, I reminded them that this is a happy time.  They are going to be starting a new chapter in their lives and will make so many more new memories and new friends...but they were not having any of that in this moment.

I gave them one last hug as they got on their busses.  We have a tradition where all the teachers stand by the first bus and wave as all the busses roll pass honking their horns!

It was such a wonderful class!  I truly love them all and will miss them.  I will cherish all of the memories that we have made together and I wish them and all of you families a very wonderful summer full of play, exploration and fun!

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