Happy Birthday, Mrs. Bearden!

Today I was surprised.  Really surprised.  By kids.  And the best part?  It was because they were being amazingly sweet to me.

Let me back up a few days….my actual birthday was last Tuesday.  I was unfortunately sick that day, though, so didn’t get to celebrate with my class at school.  They were a little bummed, but planned to redo the whole happy birthday thing the next day.  But then I was sick on Wednesday, too! Thursday and Friday were crazy days around school for various reasons, and so no birthday talk those days either.

So fast forward to yesterday.  Many kids brought me gifts (thanks a million, guys!) and cards, and so I thought that was the surprise.  I was feeling really blessed and really loved by my students.

And then they did it again. 🙂

After lunch we usually have read-aloud.  But today, because of our Thanksgiving Dinner project, we returned to what we had be doing before we left.  That meant that they were working independently rather than all with me, and so had a little more leeway to be sneaky.  And sneaky they were!  I was hanging up a poster on the wall and my friend E came and started to ask a question.  Then said, “Oh, sorry, I forgot what I was going to ask you.”  I thought nothing of it, but then a second or two later he said, “Oh, I remember what I wanted….” and all of a sudden everyone was singing!  Next thing I knew, there were 24 5th graders smiling and singing, holding more presents and cards and presenting lots of ice cream treats!  Two big tubs of ice cream and 24 ice cream sandwiches later, I felt very loved and celebrated and a little bit sick because of such great goodies.

They got a big kick out of the fact that I really didn’t know what was going on!  Thanks, families, if you had a part in my happy birthday celebration today!



Learning Is Messy


Today was our last day of school before Thanksgiving break.  And so traditionally, that means that we do things that are a little bit nontraditional in our schedule.  For math, that meant that I put the kiddos to work.

Here’s what I mean…

For many years, my husband and I have taught together.  Well not really together, like in the same school or anything, but we’ve always taught the same grade or the one just behind.  So since that’s the case, we’ve been known to do some of the same things in our classrooms.  One such thing is the Thanksgiving Dinner project in math that comes during these last two days of school.

The idea is pretty simple–plan and shop for the Thanksgiving meal for your family.  The directions for my class this year looked like this:

What’s cool is what happens after you give all the directions and answer all the questions and set them all loose to figure it out for themselves.  Check it out.  Like I said, learning can get a little messy.  But it’s a really good kind of messy. 🙂

Z was so focused on his meal, searching diligently through each circular to find just the right foods!



Love how my friend M is so into the paper in this one!  Can you see her behind there?


The other cool thing, besides a messy classroom and lots of kids saying things like “this is really fun!” or my friend D asking me to copy his plan so he could share it with his mom (love that!), was the togetherness that this project brought as they worked with each other.  Truly a family feel in Rm. 201 today!




Happy Thanksgiving, friends!