Last day of school (finally!)....
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|Wed, 06-11-2003 - 12:15pm|
Anyway, I just wanted to share about our "Fifth Grade Celebration" on Monday night. It's like a graduation ceremony, but because it is only 5th grade, they don't call it that. The only "awards" they gave were for perfect attendance. (Don't get me started--the kid that was puking the whole day on their field trip to the capitol got an award.) They did have other students just stand up and be recognized if they helped with flag raising, Bulldog Buddies, recycling, Friday afternoon TV show, etc.
What was so great about it was that they had each child write their favorite memory from their years at our school. The teachers had them, and as each child was called to the stage, they stood at center stage facing the audience while their teacher read their favorite memory. Then they shook hands with the principal and got their certificate. Some of the memories were about academic achievements like reaching a certain goal in A.R., winning the district Battle of the Books competition or accomplishments in Academic Team. Other kids' memories were about cheerleading or basketball. Many talked about the trip to the capitol and many shared touching and funny moments. One little girl talked about her favorite memory being when she met her 4th grade teacher. She couldn't speak English, but her teacher smiled at her, and she said sometimes you don't need to speak the same language to communicate feelings! One girl talked about how she wanted to make at least one basketball goal during the season, and she did--just one! This is a girl that I happen to know is classified as "gifted," but she shared what was special to *her.* I'm guessing maybe it was about basketball because that is much harder for her than studies, I don't know. One girl talked about how her teacher gave everyone the same thing, no matter if they whined or complained or whatever--an education. It was so neat to see all of them and to know that they were able to share whatever it was that was important/memorable to them. They all did such a great job with writing their memories--colorful words and details, etc. It lasted an hour, which seemed just right. Any longer and it can seem to be going overboard, especially for younger audience members.
I hope middle school is as wonderful a place for Stephen as his elementary school was. (Sigh!)
Oh yeah, then tonight the parents of the 5th graders rented out the local pool to have a party for all of them. At first I wondered if we were making too much of the whole thing, but then I got to thinking of how much fun it would be for them, and the fact that they will be going to different middle schools next year. Plus, last year one 5th grader had a party, but of course he couldn't invite everyone, and feelings were hurt. And then a parent I know ended up realizing they probably weren't very closely supervised. (I'm sure the parents having the party tried, but you can't be everywhere at once, especially with a large group of kids. If the other kids' parents stay, they tend to just socialize together and not supervise too much.) So, in the end, I'm pretty happy about this party because everyone is included, all the parents will be there, and it's in a nice big open space!