The End….Now What?

This year has been super great, from Day 1 to Day 176 (or whatever the number is in Missouri….).  And just like any normal year, I got sad when I started thinking about passing my class on to middle school and not seeing them again.  But then, there was an added sense of “finalness” (yep, I just made up a new word) because they would be my LAST 5th grade class.  Maybe not forever, but at least for a while.

Along with my last day of 5th grade also came my son’s last day of 1st grade AND my baby girl’s last day at her babysitter–the babysitter she’s been with since I first left her at 10 wks old.  She’s going to preschool, Riley’s moving to 2nd grade and I’m moving to 1st.  And while these are all welcomed changes that we knew were coming, still there’s a feeling of loss that comes before the new arrives and we celebrate it, you know?

And so packing up my room, which is something I have done at least 13 other times since I started teaching, took on a different meaning than it usually does.  Instead of just packing up all my stuff to use again in a different way with different kids, I ended up packing up and then giving away most of that stuff to someone else.   Some of it was no big deal (I mean come on, every grade has math manipulatives and whiteboards and board games), but surprisingly, the thing in my room that had the biggest impact on me was my classroom library.  Something about that felt different in a more definite way.  Final. Over.  Caput. Done. Moving on.

Out of no where came tears.  I guess there was something about seeing all of my “friends” being packed up to be sent away to someone else (even if that person is my loving husband who is in his own right a FABULOUS 5th grade teacher and will for sure take good care of them), and seeing the remnants of my once-amazing library strewn all over the floor that was just too much for me.  It was just too much.


Boxing up old friends…



6 boxes to begin with, ended up being 14. :(

6 boxes to begin with, ended up being 14. 😦


But the part that was the hardest was this image in my nearby trashcan:

Labels off of my now-empty library boxes

Labels off of my now-empty library boxes

It’s so sad, right?  Somehow this represented so many things to me: hours of time spent organizing and labeling my library to keep it in order for so many readers to use each year; hundreds and hundreds of books read over the years both by me and my 4th-5th grade readers; books that I would no longer be reading to my students, since they’ll be so much younger–that means old friends I don’t get to spend time with anymore.

Ok, I know.  Really it’s just books.  It’s just words on a page packed in cardboard boxes.  And someone else will take their turn reading them now.  And yeah, I’ll have new books to be able to enjoy and share with my new first grade friends, and perhaps some of those will become my new favorites.   But still, this chapter of my life is (for now) over.  Finito. Done.  Bye-bye.  Sayonara.

And so….so long Ralph, Jerry and Sharon (don’t tell anyone you’re my favorites 🙂 ).  I’ll see you later Joan, Beverly and Ann.  Will, Peg, Judy and Margaret, don’t forget me.  We’ll meet again at some time and place in our future lives.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be a published author then, too. 🙂

Finishing Strong

Every year the last weeks of school come and life starts going CRAZY FAST!!  It seems that I have time to take pictures of things, but not to write about the things I take pictures of (wait, do I say that at the end of every year?  I should go back and look….)!

So…since I hate to leave things all messy and untied, I’ll end the year the way I began it–with a highlights reel.  Here’s to the last few BUSY weeks of 5th grade with some of the BEST kids around.  Have a great summer, friends of Rm. 202!

Check it out. 🙂


In April we had a whole school Outdoor Learning Day, with the focus being on how to get kids outside more often.  I had to take Ms. Turken’s lead and  try math outside.  On this particular day, we were working on division problems with a little bit of a “scavenger hunt” around the playground.  Funny how just a change of environment can make for so much less whining about long division!!



Ok, so granted, this picture TOTALLY doesn’t do this day justice, but imagine our whole school with All Children Exercising Simultaneously to some really great music, with really cool routines created by our 5th graders, and that’s ACES Day.  Always a fun one!


This year, as with the previous few years, our class (along with the other 5th grades) adopted a pilot through a program with Southwest Airlines.  He is our own First Commander Marcus Smith, whose kiddos go to Robinson and who is a beloved Kirkwood resident.  Here are some pics from our culminating activity–a paper airplane flying contest!!

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Ok, so I admit it, these are not The 20somethingkids that you were expecting to see, but they are pics of my kids nonetheless!  This was a great night of fun at the Cards game, where our Honor Choir–along with the choir from Tillman–got to sing the National Anthem!  SO fun to see Cardinal and Kirkwood red everywhere you look!  Go Cards!


This year Mrs. Kesler helped every grade level get something ready for our first ever Robinson Spring Sing!  While I expected greatness because of what I know about both Mrs. Kesler and our Robinson kiddos, I was BLOWN AWAY by how amazing it was!  (And like the ACES Day section, I feel REALLY bad about not posting a video, but I couldn’t get a good quality one!!  I know, bummer….don’t be mad, ok? 🙂 )  Can’t wait for Spring Sing Take 2 next year!


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Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the parents who made this night of food, friends and fun possible for us!  What a touching way to say Goodbye to 5th Grade!  Those shirts are perhaps the best part–we can take our memories with us!  And they looked really great when we all wore them on our last-day field trip!


One thing I hadn’t yet tried, but was SO EXCITED to do this year was 20% time.  Some schools call it Genius Hour, and it’s not really equated to 20% of our time, but you hopefully get the idea that it’s a project that kiddos could do that was completely of their interest.  Some friends had some extra time in the last few weeks to investigate something of their choosing, and MAN WERE THEY EXCITED!!  We had so many fabulous projects, and spent our afternoon after Field Day presenting our new learning.  It is so cool how interested they all were in the new expertise their friends had to share!

Ok, so apparently the theme of this post is “I don’t have pictures or videos of everything I want to tell you about”–and somehow that happened here, too.  I wish I could show you the smoothies that Owen made for us, the posters that Max made about radio waves and how they transmit music, the dance that Cate and Mia choreographed and then taught the class, the Keynote the Grace created to show how she learned to do makeup (including a before and after picture of how she tried it out on her sister!) or the demonstration Tom did about the most effective jump shot in basketball, but I don’t have them.  Just know that THIS IS ONE TALENTED GROUP OF KIDDOS WHO DIDN’T DISAPPOINT WITH WHAT THEY SHARED WITH US!!

Well, as they say in the movies (or at least Looney Tunes, right?)–that’s all folks!  It’s been a wild ride since our first Fifth Grade and Fearless post, and I wouldn’t have changed a minute!  Here’s to a great year in middle school and MANY more years of changing the world after that!  Remember your GRIT and all that you learned about respecting yourself and others at Robinson and GO GET ‘EM!  I MISS YOU ALREADY!!