Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Fine Day- Slice of Life

Today was our annual Fine Arts Day. I admit, it's a day I dread every year. The theater and visual arts teacher plan the day. The kids are spread through out the school with a few from each grade in each room. We have various activities to lead that are often way out of my comfort zone and area of expertise. And we find out the morning of who is in our group and what the activities are. It often looks like orderly chaos. You have a group of kids who don't know each other or you very well and are separated from their friends. The last two years some of the activities involved building things out of cake and candy or decorating cookies with frosting and candy (of course the kids LOVE this).

All in all the day went well. I think this was the best one yet. The theme was gardening. We created mosaic tiles that will go into the new school garden; we made wind chimes, and best of all, didn't make anything out of sugary foods! I think my favorite parts of the day, even through I always groan and just try to get through the day, were watching my 8th graders really step up:

JP and K helped lead my group because I didn't have a parent volunteer. PJ had his arm around a really young kindergartner who get's overly stimulated to help him stay quiet while the principal was talking. X, D, JR, JM, JP, and PJ played soccer with the kindergartners and first and second graders- giving them the ball, cheering them on, racing across the field with them.

One of my favorite quotes from the day was JP, a former non-reader who has in the last couple of months read The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and The Knife of Never Letting Go. These are not short books. He's currently working on The Ask and The Answer, and there where several points in the day today that he stole chances to read- even carrying his book outside with him during some free time. As the day was beginning to wind down he said to me, "I never thought I'd be saying this, but, I'd rather be reading!"

After school today one of my colleagues and I went to the Scholastic Warehouse sale. I love books, and I love getting books for my students. It's is one of my greatest joys.

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