Veterans’ Day 2017

If you have been at Robinson for the last few years, you know that we do Veterans’ Day in a big way! This year was no different!

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Every year we have more special Veterans that come to celebrate with us–our gym is always bursting at the seams! (Thanks @docpainter for sharing this picture, and thanks for coming!)

There was a procession of all of our special guests (while we all sang a medley of the armed forces songs), the Roadrunner Choir sang the national anthem and kindergarten led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

After that, each grade shared their specially prepared song, and everyone knocked our socks off!

Many smiles were smiled, laughs were laughed and tears were shed as we remembered the important sacrifices many, many people have done to enable us to live and learn in freedom. 🙂

And…because it’s my blog, I have to share a couple of pictures of my own first grader, and a special Veteran who came to celebrate with her!

Thank you, Dad (and Mom, too, who was taking the picture!) for your service!  We appreciate and love you so much!! 🙂

Happy Veterans’ Day, everyone!

 

Veterans’ Day 2016

Our school knows how to do things right. 🙂   And Veterans’ Day is one of those things that we do that has quickly become a day we look forward to celebrating together with our friends, family and honored guests.

Let me share our day with you. 🙂

First of all, here’s the first grade portion of the program.

Aren’t we a handsome bunch of kiddos?

We’re talented, too. 🙂  Here’s our Veterans’ Day song:

Before we sang, there were some tributes to our honored first grade guests.  It was pretty special. 🙂

Lastly in the program, some Robinson friends (including our RM. 202 friend Kaiden!) read the official Veterans’ Day proclamation:

Now…in case you wanted to see the entire program, it was live-streamed on Periscope and can be viewed in its entirety at these links: Part 1 and Part 2.  Also, Mrs. Sisul has updated Robinson’s Facebook page with pics from the day.  Check it out here.

Another amazing and thoughtful day spent celebrating some really important people and appreciating the freedoms and opportunities we have in America!  Great job, Rm. 202!

Veterans’ Day 2015

Until just a few years ago, Veterans’ Day came and went at Robinson without much fanfare.  I mean, yeah, we’d mention it to our classes, perhaps watch a video or read a book about why the day was special, but that was pretty much it.  There was not a whole-school focus, an assembly or any other type of celebration.  Then ( I believe the year Mrs. Kesler became our FABULOUS music teacher), that all changed and Veterans’ Day became one of the most special days on the calendar. 🙂 Remember last year?

Even before the day came we were hard at work: writing letters of thank you to veterans, as well as creating the centerpiece place mats for the tables in the cafeteria for the reception.

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And pretty much since school started, too, kiddos have been working on the music for the assembly we hold yearly now to celebrate those who give/gave their very best to keep us safe and sound.  While I would love to invite each and every one of you to experience what is now Veterans’ Day at our school, I only have a couple of short videos to share.  It’s a taste at least, right? 🙂  Oh, and I HATE to admit this, but it always seems that my phone runs out of memory right in the middle of someone’s video I’m trying to record–yep, at just the WRONG moment–and this time it was during the girls’ song. 😦  (Since we split boys and girls for specials, our grade level had two songs).  Hopefully you’ll get the idea.  Again–super sorry I didn’t catch it all. 😦

Before 2nd grade started, Khalani got to represent our grade and read a special thank you poem for the veterans.  Our theme was HEROES.

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Then the boys sang their tribute:

Girls took their turn next:

I found two more pictures of how handsome and beautiful we look all dressed up:

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Happy Veterans’ Day!  How did you celebrate the special day? 🙂

Veterans’ Day 2014

If there’s one thing we do well at Robinson, it’s make memories!  (Wait, who am I kidding–we do so many things well!)  From the Halloween parade to the Holiday Sing-Along and the end-of-year staff vs. 5th grade kickball game–fun is part of our culture!   Besides fun, though, we know how to make meaningful memories, too.

Today was one such day.  🙂

It’s Veterans’ Day, and as we have for the last few years, we had a fabulous assembly planned—well Mrs. Kesler and her very talented cohort had a fabulous assembly planned–and our kiddos were a big part of it.  They have been working since August and this year it did not disappoint!

The day began in the gym, and once we were all settled, some 5th graders led in a procession of our guests of honor: veterans from every branch of the armed services.  I’d love to say I had a video of this, but I just couldn’t take one–partly because of logistics, partly because of respect, but mainly because I wouldn’t have been able to see the buttons on my iPad through the tears in my eyes.  Our kids gave a standing ovation while they came in, and sang a medley of all of the branches’ songs.  Very powerful.

Then, in turn, each grade level shared a special patriotic song they’d been preparing with Mrs. Kesler in music.  I know I’m a little biased, but first grade may have been the best (don’t tell my 2nd grader!).  Here’s their performance (get ready–it’s pretty great!):

The rest of the program was very special and included many other songs, as well as videos with words of wisdom from some of our visiting veterans.   🙂

We had some conversations in our classroom as well, and wrote letters to some important veterans in our lives.   Mr. Raeber, Nate’s dad, and Mr. Wehrle, Amelia’s grandpa, were both in attendance for our special day and so we wanted to make sure we said our thank yous in a special way.  Check out our kiddos’ kind words:

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I didn’t get to catch Amelia and Mr. Wehrle because they were at the reception following the ceremony, but I did get to snap a sweet picture of Nate and his dad outside our classroom.  Mr. Raeber was in the Navy for 24 years!  Thank you for your service, sir!  We appreciate you!

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A couple of other sweet things happened during our day that I just had to capture and share, too. 🙂  Kylie came in this morning telling me about a special locket she had that held pictures of her grandfather who was a veteran, but who had passed away recently.  Her mom had pinned that locket to her sleeve, and so he was here with us, today, too.  Wow.

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Later on, after our assembly during Writer’s Workshop, kiddos were brainstorming how they could include Veterans’ Day topics in their work.  Millie was inspired to write a song. 🙂  Darn it–I should have gotten her to sing it.  Instead, I just have the lyrics–written on a flag!

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What a great day of celebration and remembrance!  🙂

How did you celebrate Veterans’ Day?

First Semester in Review

I take pictures of EVERYTHING, with the intent of blogging about it once we’re finished.  But then life happens and I end up with a computer full of pictures, lots of stories to be told, but feeling a tug to move on because it’s been so long since the activities happened.

So when that happens (like it did for most of what we did in our classroom in December), I usually just move on and blog about the next big thing, sad that you missed out on the awesomeness that is Rm. 202.  But not this time!  I figure I am going to give you at least a quick glance at the fabulous things my kiddos did during 2nd quarter.  So let’s commence with the show-and-tell. 🙂

Halloween (Man–see, I told you I’m behind!)

We had a great time in our costumes, but it rained and so our school-wide parade went around our building instead of through our neighborhood.  Our class parties were done with the whole grade level together, and probably the hit of the day was the photo booth.

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Veterans’ Day

We wrote letters to veterans at Aberdeen Heights.   Our whole-school Veterans’ Day celebration was pretty fabulous, too, and we were able to share a great song we’d learned called “The Heart of America” with the rest of the school.  Some boys from our class, who are a part of a group called iLead, got to be ambassadors and lead our guests to their seats.  Honor choir, which also had many members from our class, started off the whole thing with the national anthem.  What a great day!

Honor choir

Honor choir

Mia, Haleigh and Hanna sang the solo at the beginning of our song.

Mia, Haleigh and Hanna sang the solo at the beginning of our song.

5th grade shared "The Heart of America" with the audience and it was FABULOUS!

5th grade shared “The Heart of America” with the audience and it was FABULOUS!

Informational Text Writing Celebration

I shared the work that we did with our informational text writing unit, but I didn’t share with you the way we celebrated our hard work!  After each kiddo had spent time on their poster, we were ready to share our hard work with each other.  Differently than in past units, we decided to have a whole-5th-Grade celebration, so we could see everyone’s amazing writing.  As we visited each classroom’s writing samples, kiddos (and teachers!) gave compliments to each writer on a sheet that each kiddo then got to keep.   Great job, 5th grade!

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Door Decorating Contest

To celebrate the last week before Winter Break, our school had a door decorating contest.  There were some rules that we had to follow, but other than those, the theme was fair game.  IMG_1983

While we had a week to work on our door, there really wasn’t alot of time to create during school hours (we did still have things to learn, after all!).  We worked at recesses and after school one day to get our ideas together.  The plan looked like this:

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  In case you can’t tell, there was a theme of a night sky, where I would be featured in the moon and kiddos would be showcased on stars.  Lots of glitter was to be included, too.  Sounded like a great idea, and so we got to work.

Now…I wish I could tell you that we ended up with a great door decoration, and that we won first prize–but actually what happened is we ran out of time and didn’t even end up getting all the stars on the door, or the letters, or the Milky Way…instead they ended up with a sign and a bowl of M&Ms to entice the judges to give our door high marks.  Bribery?  Maybe.  Creative either way.

Beginning Another Informational Writing Unit (this time with research!)

If you haven’t had a chance to read about the AMAZING work that we did with our last on-demand writing sample, you must check it out!  It was the beginning of this second informational unit, and after it we were ready to get to work with the next steps.  Those steps involved starting an essay about a common topic, one that all of us had some background knowledge about–Westward Expansion.  But even before we could start talking about what we’d do with that topic, we had a conversation about what we already know as writers of nonfiction.  We used an analogy floating around our school (I’m sure many people use it, but I most remember my friend Mrs. Harris talking about it with her 4th graders last year) about a suitcase that you fill with learning every year.  The idea is to get kids to understand that they are expected to be learning things “always and forever” (not just for that moment), packing it in their suitcase, and then carrying that knowledge or skill with them wherever they go in the future.  So with this image in our heads, we created one on our chart:

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We then began by jotting down as many ideas as we could think of related to Westward Expansion, putting one idea on a different post-it.  We organized our post-its by topic (i.e. some were related to Lewis and Clark, some to the Gold Rush, some to the Pony Express, etc.), and put each topic on a different sheet in a booklet we had made together.

Since we were all working on the same topic, and since this is just the beginning of the unit where we’re learning how this whole thing works, we made sure to steal share ideas to make sure we all had enough subtopics for each category (the idea was to have 5 topics, each with at least 3 subtopics underneath).  We talked together, got ideas from other writers and added to our own work.

Then, when it was time to draft, we again went to our laptops and iPads.  At first when I mentioned that they would flash-draft all 7 paragraphs in one class setting (the 5 topics in their booklet plus an introduction and conclusion), some kiddos were a little freaked out.  Once we talked about the benefits of doing the draft this way, and how easy it would become to add, revise and edit their piece along the way, they were ok.  This is as far as we got before we left for Winter Break, and we’ll pick up at this point when we return in a few days.  What great thinking we started here!

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Winter Sing-a-Long

For one of the last hurrahs before we left for Winter Break, we gathered in the gym as a school for a sing-a-long.  The kiddos knew that we would sing Winter Wonderland and a few other favorites (because they’d been practicing them in Music with Mrs. Kesler), but they didn’t know that we had prepared a surprise song to perform for THEM!  It was The Twelve Days of Winter Break, and each grade level group had prepared a line of the song.  The verses were like this:

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 3.52.32 PMCan you guess which one we were responsible for writing?  One hint: it’s technology related…

Here are some pics of the fun, including Mrs. Sisul as a Roadrunner, and 4 teachers playing 2 pianos simultaneously.  That’s talent, people!!

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Gotta love a principal who will do crazy things like this for her kiddos! WE LOVE YOU, MRS. SISUL!

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Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Kesler, Mrs. Dix and Mrs. Hong tickled the ivories together to accompany our sing-a-long.

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Probably the best part was on the last verse–12 inches of snow–when “snow” was tossed on the crowd. Messy, but fun!

So that’s that.  I was way behind, but I was able to fill you in on a teeny, weeny bit of the fun we had in 2nd quarter.  I will do better in the upcoming months.  Maybe.  I’ll just promise to do my best, ok?  Trust that even if it’s not on the blog, it’s happening in our room anyway!

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a super new year!

(And thanks for staying for such a LONG POST!  Just noticed that as I finished it…)