My favourite teacher-blogger, Jen Runde, said in her most recent post that she is feeling over-whelmed these days. So I think it is okay for me to confess- I feel so very OVER-WHELMED! There is so much I want to do with these children and so little time! My friend Helena, also a Grade Six teacher, said to me once that she feels she needs two years to teach Grade Six. That is so very true! She also wisely said to me once that teaching is like being in a really good restaurant. There are so many great selections on the menu, but unfortunately, you can't choose them all.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I loved Rafe Esquith's book, "Teach Like Your Hair is On Fire". It feels exactly like that is what I am doing. I'm trying so hard to meet the needs of everyone, and they each need something so different! I'm trying to close gaps and ensure that each child is reaching their potential. It's not easy, and time is my enemy.
But we have been having lots of fun along the way. In Science we have been building series and parallel circuits. Every time a light bulb burns brighter or starts to dim, I hear those wonderful "oohs" and "aahs" that suggest learning is taking place. In our Board, we have a wonderful software program called "Edison" on our student desktops. Using the software, students can "build" circuits. I put the students into groups and then I create different work stations; some work with the Edison software, some work with our Desire 2 Learn learning management platform from the Ministry's Blended Learning program (which is really awesome), some use the Electronic Brain Box kit that I booked out of our Board's Resource Centre, while others are working with a kit I put together with mini-light bulbs, battery holders, switches, and wires with alligator clips. I think teaching Science is my favourite thing to do. (If you work in the same Board as I do, and you want to know more about these resources for your Electricty Unit, please don't hesitate to contact me!)
Although they are loving Science, my students are still adamant that their favourite subject is Art. It is when we are doing Art that they shine most of all- they are such a creative group of children. My student-teacher found an activity on Pinterest that she wanted to do with them. It went well with our Geometry Unit at the time because the students used their name to create symmetrical designs. Here are some samples: