The last month of the year is always exciting, fast, and sad. Here are the highlights.
My little third graders were getting really good at doing their double digit multiplication at the end of the year. Their favorite part of the class was when they got to do one on their own up on the board. Then I would “check” it and give them an “A”.
One afternoon during life science we were studying bivalve mollusks and bilateral symmetry in sea life when an incredible darkness engulfed the sky. When the lightning struck and the thunder rumbled I made a decision. I cannot resist a good thunderstorm. I told them to close their books and meet me on the front porch. The cold breeze blew, the lighting streaked across the sky and the hail fell and bounced off the sidewalk under the porch. We popped it into our mouths and relished the moment. Bivalves could wait. We had a storm to experience that day.
Teacher’s birthdays are always a cause for celebration. The surprise can be pulled off better though, I discovered, if you do not accidentally text the teacher about her own surprise party. It works much better if you text her sister instead :).
For the last field trip we decided to visit the Dallas World Aquarium. It was fascinating and wonderful. It was by far the best aquarium I’ve ever visited.
We had lunch at a park in downtown Dallas before we arrived at the aquarium. I have no idea why they had real pianos at this park, but they did. We begged one of our student pianists to play a tune, and it ended up that the Hamburger Helper film crew was there filming commercials. The guy with the giant hamburger helper hand was NOT a very good pianist, so eventually he just stopped and listened. None of us could figure out why one of the third graders walked up and stood behind them. He later told us that the pianist was his “buddy” and we had told them to always stick together.
Our favorite part was the shark tunnel.
The otters were also playful and fun to watch. We tried to plan our tour through so that we could hear the marine biologist’s talks on the sea turtles, manatees, otters. We learned some extra facts and asked a few questions too. One of the marine biologists brought us a book and calendar because she was so impressed with the behavior of our group. It is always nice to be a good witness wherever we go, for we are not just representing our school, but Christ, and here in Texas we are usually the first contact most people have with Anabaptists.
After the aquarium we headed back onto the bus and took a nap on the way to one of our sister churches to share our program with them. We put all the younger students with an older student. They let us know if their seat partner needed anything and really took responsibility for their younger buddy. It really helped us out and it is good for the older ones to nurture their younger schoolmates.
The last day of school we had a little time for our favorite game with the younger grades this year, four square. Or, six or nine square depending on the day. They got creative as usual playing in groups of two, three or four in one square, calling a smashed muffin on one square “road kill”, drawing pictures with chalk on each square, and getting any visiting adults to play with them.
Finally, the last bell rang. They gathered up all their belongings, piled into cars for the last time this year, and then the school was quiet and empty.
Now it is summer, and we are ordering books in the strange silence, anticipating another wonderful year.