Watching a painted lady butterfly emerge. During our half group math lesson, one of the chrysalids started wiggling back and forth with such force it was hard to miss. We were all surprised how well it stayed attached with all that movement. We waited and waited and still the butterfly did not emerge. After the children returned to their math work, I kept a careful watch and called them over as soon as it was time.
At this time in May, children begin to feel anxious about the end of
the year. In a heartbeat, they react with tears or anger, even for the
smallest infractions. The room is bustling with energy, constant movement and
noise. Every few minutes my voice calls out with reminders, "Work
quietly, keep your hands to yourself, sit down." As we walk down the
hall in some semblance of a line, children are spinning, jumping, tapping on
the walls, even popping their heads into their old classrooms just to say
a quick hello. All the rules and routines of the last 152 days seem to have
been forgotten or never learned at all. It's a wonder we get any work done at all.
Here's a snapshot of my day: During snack, a Eli's blue "gogurt" exploded across the table. Drops of blue yogurt covered work papers and streaked children's clothing and hair.
During a measurement lesson in math, Lauren asked if she could use a ruler to measure her nose. All day, she kept pulling her socks down to completely cover her shoes. She walked around with "sock shoes."
Molly came to me with an empty lunchbox that her parents forgot to pack.
Joe decided to take on the role of teacher today. In addition to scolding other children for misbehavior, he also corrected me several times as I read out loud.
As you walked past my room, you may have overheard me saying, "Stop shooting guns and making those sound effects!"
Carly's braid got caught in the zipper of another child's backpack. Ouch!
But then... Katie, who has struggled with reading most of the year, read independently at a 5th grade level on reading assessment.
It's a crazy, busy time of year. I'm often impatient, frustrated and sometimes grumpy and when I can come up for air, I am counting down the days until summer. Moments like the one with Katie today, however, put it all into perspective. Hurdles jumped. Challenges met. New learning, thinking, growing. Confidence. Pride. Joy!
Right now, we have two mystery insects in our classroom that are changing quickly. We had three, but I let it slip that the third ones will become mosquitoes. Oops! The kids won't let me forget that mistake! Overnight, our caterpillars transformed into chrysalids. The room was abuzz with excitement as children gathered around the table, forgetting to put away backpacks and jackets.
I am drawn to the poetry of Douglas Florian, especially when
teaching science. His poems are so appealing to a second grade sense
of humor and wit. My kids love them! Here's one called The Caterpillar from Florian's book, Insectlopedia. Happy Poetry Friday!
She eats eight leaves at least To fill her, Which leaves her like a Fatterpillar, Then rents a room inside A pupa, And checks out: Madame Butterfly- How super!