Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Closing Time

As we reflect on our 2016-2017 school year, I am reminded of all the amazing things my 6th graders have accomplished this year…not only academically, but socially and emotionally.

It’s hard to let go of a class you love, especially when they are moving on to a new school. It is a little easier knowing they will move on and do some amazing things with their lives…and they are ready!

As this chapter closes in their lives and a new chapter begins, I wish them success and hope that they will take with them everything learned here at Goodrich...especially their kindness and caring!

As it says in the last line of the song “Closing Time”…”Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”

I hope their new beginning at the junior high will be amazing! 

They will be missed by all of us!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Applause makes everything better!

I have had many wonderful classes over the years. Each class has been different. Last year my class became obsessed with flying paper airplanes. Another class I had loved to make up games during free time.
This year, my class is into applause (and I love it!) For example, we were watching a news story about how the manatee has been removed from the endangered species list. After the story was over, they spontaneously applauded!  We all were happy about the event, but applause makes you feel even better.
My favorite applause moment was when we were in the midst of number talks. Number talks require the students to come up with several solutions to a math problem in their heads. They then supply the answer and I choose students to defend their answers. One of our students that often struggles with this process offered up an answer.  This student had never participated before, and I called on him to defend his answer. He gave his reasoning and the class burst out in applause! It brought tears to my eyes.

When I was a kid (so long ago) I was at a movie with my class and we applauded at the end of the movie. When we returned to school, the teacher told us that you only applaud live performances. That has always stuck with me but now I think she was wrong.
I recently went to see the movie Beauty and the Beast and everyone applauded at the end. Yeah!!! When you applaud you are expressing your approval and happiness for something that has happened. I love that my students are so lighthearted in my class that they often express themselves this way.
Let’s fire up our endorphins and throw conventions to the wind! Come to my class if you want to hear some applause!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fun at the Zoo!

Last week I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Brookfield Zoo with our kindergartners and sixth graders.  Every teacher goes into a field trip with worries, will the kids behave, will the weather be nice, ect.  I myself had the same worries; especially with this being my first time going to the zoo for a field trip.  However, from the moment we stepped off the bus, the 6th graders took over!  They held hands with their buddies, asked them what they wanted to see and even helped them find animals.  It was so good to see how our sixth grade students took over and watched over their buddies. 

I was AMAZED! 

Now I knew we had some pretty awesome 6th graders, but I did not know they were this amazing.  At one point myself and the other parent I was with looked at each other and said at the same time, “this is the easiest field trip I have ever helped at!”  Not once did we have to manage behaviors, or figure out where to go next, that was all up to the 6th graders.  They even gave up seeing some of the animals they wanted to see because the kindergartners wanted to see a different animal.

After this experience, this is definitely a field trip I would attend every year!

Build A Better World at the Woodridge Public Library

As the school year winds down parents often ask, "What do I do with my kids all summer?" The answer for the students at Goodrich could very well be the children's programs at the Woodridge Public Library. We were lucky enough to have two librarians come to visit us to let all the students know about everything that they will be offering this summer. Both Patti Naisbitt and Katie Lehman work at the library with students to provide them with both reading and other summer programs. Build a Better World is the theme this year and many of the activities center around building, whether it is building with Legos, a Mousetrap Machine Show with Dr. Smartypants for all ages or the Coding club for students in grades 4-7.

The reading club sign up begins on June 3rd. New this year is the online registration. woodridgelibrary.readsquared.com You can find all of the program information on this site. Also on June 3rd is the summer reading kick-off. There will be a Lego Engineering display and build workshops. Make sure you register before attending as space is limited for the Lego build workshop on this date! 

The students might enjoy many of their other offerings that include a soccer clinic by the Chicago Fire, the Sky Tonight Planetarium by the Discovery Center and Lego club for grades 1-7. If you live in Woodridge you may have received the Library Leaves flyer in the mail. This flyer outlines all of the activities that are available! The best news is that ALL students who go to Goodrich school can participate! You do not have to live in Woodridge to take advantage of the programs.

If you want to express yourselves creatively you can join one of theater classes that are offered. Be entertained by the Improv Playhouse Theater for Young People as they bring the classic tale, The Emperor's New Clothes to life on July 7th.  And if acting isn't your "thing" then maybe you will want to join the library on Fridays to watch a movie. Bring a lunch to munch on while you watch! 

There are many more programs available from baby to adult. So,the next time your kids ask you for something to do this summer, your answer should be "Let's visit the Woodridge Public Library!" 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Keep Up the Pace!

Keep up the Pace!

Summer is almost here!  It’s a great time to get outside, enjoy the weather, enjoy all of the fun activities in the summer,bike riding , swimming, baseball, soccer,fireworks, barbecues, and vacations.  Another fun activity for the summer is reading!  During the school year students have worked hard at reading and improving their reading skills.  Parents, you are your child’s first teacher.  You need to make sure that all of the hard work and growth that your child has made during the school year is not erased over the summer.  Most children need and want structure.  During the school year they are on a schedule.  That helps for them to know what is coming and what is expected of them.  Keeping track of what your child has read and for how long they have read is great incentive for them to see their progress.  Ask your children questions about what they are reading.  Questions like making predictions.  “What do you think the book will be about?”  “What do you think will happen to that character?”.  Talk about big unknown words and their meaning.  Make connections to the story.  “I remember how my dog acted when I was  a kid.”  Visualize the story. “Close your eyes and picture it in your head.”  “Can you feel the cool wind on your face?”  “ Can you hear the dog barking?”    After reading discuss if the child enjoyed the book. Would they recommend this book to friends?  Would they want to read another book by the same author?  Remember parents,  you are your child’s first teacher and it is up to you to continue their learning throughout the summer.  Keep up the pace and continue reading in your busy summer schedule!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Building Lasting Relationships

A while back, the student council sponsored twin day at our school. The students came in, some dressed in the exact same outfit, while others just went with the same scheme, or color. It was so great to see how many students were participating in a fun, themed school day.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the day was how many students decided that they weren't just going to be twins, they were going to be triplets and quadruplets and small groups of "twins." This is a wonderful and truthful testament to the work we have done at this school to build relationships with and between students. They didn't want anyone to be left out and often found unlikely similarities in their classmates so that they would all feel included.

Even the staff was taking part in the days festivities. My great friend and colleague Mrs. Weber and I always dress as twins on this day and, without planning, we often do on other days as well. She has been the greatest teaching partner I could have ever asked for and the community of this school is what brought us together. We support each other through the good times and the more challenging.

This school is full of great relationships and works hard to keep them growing stronger every day.

Baseball Twins 

Denim group of "twins"

Best bro's 

Denim dress triplets

My work BFF!

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Journey "Under the Sea"

Today the first and second graders were bubbling with excitement, it was our field trip day!  We went to Downers Grove South High School to see the Drama Club’s performance of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid Jr’. The high school students did an AMAZING performance. Everyone was MESMERIZED by the STUNNING costumes, the singing, the acting, the stage props, and the special effects.

Students were so excited and engaged throughout the entire play. The high school students did a FABULOUS job, they are indeed a group of talented performers. After the performance was over, the actors greeted us in the hallway. We got to see the ENCHANTING costumes and performers up close. They even greeted us with 'high fives'.

The performance was indeed a first class pass to a Journey 'Under the Sea'.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Tour Around the World

For eight weeks, three times a year, several of our Goodrich students participate in the various after school programs we offer.  For the past two months, 12 of our first and second grade students were able to go on a tour around the world.  On this tour we aimed to learn about 5 different languages, the countries they come from, and the cultures we would find there.  With so many languages to choose from, we selected five of the most spoken on our planet; Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindi.

Our first step in our world tour process was to get our passports.  These books would hold our stamps, vocabulary, and all of the things we learned along the way.  We visited each country for 3-4 days.  Our first goal with each language was to learn some basic vocabulary: our numbers, colors, and some basic phrases to help us get by.  

Making Play-Doh pretzels
Ojo de Dios
Once we had some new words we were able to learn about the cultures. In India we learned about the many styles of clothing and the artwork of henna. In China we saw acrobats and traveled the Great Wall.  We even had the opportunity to make pretzels in Germany!  Part of our journeys always included a craft of some sort, such as the Ojos de Dios we made while in Mexico.  We also made sure to take a postcard photo at some of the big landmarks--the Eiffel Tower in Paris was a class favorite!
A postcard from Paris!
Doing a dab at the Taj Mahal
Writing in our best Chinese calligraphy
Today was our last day together as a tour group. While we were sad to say farewell, we enjoyed a celebration of our learning. We took some final postcard photos, revisited some our favorite activities, and used as many of the new words we learned as possible.  What a whirlwind tour we had, but we are so much more knowledgeable now because of it!

A big THANK YOU to the World Cultures Club!  Gracias!  Merci!  Danke! ! धन्यवाद!

Glued Sounds are Sooooo STICKY!

Some of Mrs. Frontera’s students have been working very hard for the past month learning all about glued sounds and how to read and spell them in words. Glued sounds are made up of specific letter combinations and are in many of the words that we read and spell every day. They include sounds like /ank/ in bank, /ing/ in ring, /all/ in ball and /ong/ in long. Students have been working and practicing to learn all of these different sounds and how to read and spell them in words.

When we first started learning about glued sounds, the number 1 question that students asked was, “Why are they called glued sounds?” It was a valid question, and we had a good laugh when one student suggested that maybe it is because they are sticky. We soon learned that this wasn’t far from the truth. Even though glued sounds aren’t actually sticky to the touch, the letter sounds are glued together to make one sound instead of three separate sounds. Hence, the name....GLUED sounds!
In order to better understand this concept, students spent their group time today creating a glued sounds poster. However, this wasn’t just any poster. Rather, it's a poster that contained a collage of words that all included glued sounds. And to make it extra special and unique, we used glitter glue to write out the glued sounds in each word.

Students had a great time coming up with different words and especially loved that they were being clever by using acutal glue to write the glued sounds. And although it created quite a sticky mess, the posters are a great representation of our learning and were fun to make.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ABC Countdown

ABC Countdown

     The end of the year is always a bittersweet time for me. As I see how much progress my students have made, I am excited for them to move on to the next grade as they continue to make growth as young people both emotionally and academically. However, I am always sad to say goodbye and cannot help but think - we still had more to do! This year, this is more significant than most. I had a long absence this year due to an extensive injury and I feel that just as I made my way back into the classroom, the end of the year quickly appeared.  To help make the end of this school year exciting, rewarding, and still academic, we decided to celebrate the last 26 days with an ABC countdown.
     Starting with the letter A back on April 28th, we’ve celebrated each day with the next letter of the alphabet. On that first Friday, we simply introduced our plan by gathering all third graders together and inviting them to be “All In”  for the 3rd grade countdown. We continued with Buddy Reading Day, Comfy Day, Dress Up Day…
     The students have become excited about the end of the year and this is the first time in many years that I have been able to keep my students on task with little effort this close to the end of school. Most years, students are “checked out” and ready for summer once the warm weather hits. This year, however, they have been asking to do our work outside when we’ve had a sunny day or complete their work on the floor in a comfy spot in their PJs! This concept of counting down has helped eliminate the end-of-year burnout both students and teachers often feel this time of year. It also has kept the students engaged in their lessons and eager to complete work, especially when we’ve had the opportunity to work with both third grade classes together.

Game Day
     As always, I will be proud of my students as they move on to fourth grade; more mature, more knowledgeable than when I started with them in the fall. I think I will also be filled with sadness that I didn't get more time with them! But we are enjoying our last days together and making the most of our time in third grade!


Game Day

All in
All third graders will learn about the ABC Countdown.
Buddy Reading Day
Bring in your favorite book to share with a buddy.
Comfy Day
Wear comfy clothes and we will pick comfy spots to work.
Dress up Day
Wear fancy clothes today.
Extra Recess Day
Students will have an extra recess.
Field Day
Students will participate in the all-school field day in the afternoon.
Game Day
Students can bring a board game to school.
Happiness Day
Make someone else happy today.
I Can Sit By A Friend Day
Sit next to a friend today.
Jersey Day
Students can wear their favorite jersey to school.
Kick Off Your Shoes Day
Be sure to wear socks! You will be able to take your shoes off in class!
Letter Writing Day
Students will write a letter to the students coming into third grade.
Mismatched Day
Be sure your clothes DO NOT match today!
No Number Day
Students line up in any order.
Outside Day
Students will do work outside today.
Pajama Day
Wear comfy PJs to school.
Quiet Day
Bring a pillow so you can do work in a quiet spot in the room.
Reading Day
Be sure to have lots of books today – we will be getting some AR points!!
Stuffed Animal Day
Bring your favorite stuffed animal to school – be sure it FITS in your backpack!
Team Day
Students will pick their teammates for the day!
Wear red, white and blue today.
Video Day
Students will watch a fun video.
Walking Day
Students will take a walk outside today (weather permitting).
X-change Autographs Day
Exchange signatures with all third graders.
Year-End Clearance Day
Bring a bag so you can clean out your desk and locker.
Zoom Out of School Day
Last day of school! Have a great summer and don’t forget to read 20 minutes every day!