Smooth as Glass

As I write this, I am knocking on wood.  I don’t want to give myself a kinahora (Yiddish for “jinx”).  Not that I’m superstitious, but why take chances? But this school year, as of mid-October, has been as smooth as glass.  In terms of management, easy as pie.  As far as the level of enthusiasm, high as a kite.  Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth (idiom overload!), I’m simply basking in it.   Here are a few of the many things that make me happy each day:

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Our current unit of study is space – specifically, sun, moon and stars.  But how could I teach about the moon and not talk about Neil Armstrong? And how could I talk about Neil Armstrong without playing “First Man on the Moon” by Jonathan Sprout?  If I’m being truthful, the song IS why I’m teaching about Neil….if you don’t know J. Sprout’s American Heroes collection of musical biographies, you are really missing something.  This phrase gets overused, but I seriously get chills when the kids are singing, at the top of their lungs, “All for Apollo!”  Did it make an impact?  Look at their moon paintings:

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Because the interest level reached outer space, I added another craftivity (that’s what we call crafts that have a purpose)!  These are their retellings of Neil’s story.  Plus, I love a cute bulletin board!

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Here’s another.  Cuteness with a purpose = evidence of learning.

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Last week was the national Week of Respect.  How cool was it to have a former student, now an 8th grader, read to my class and teach them about being a person of good character?  Very, very cool.

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I’m going out on a limb when I make this next statement.  Venturing into the land of “maybe she’s gone off her rocker.”  But I’m choosing to believe that somehow the the magic that was the Summer of Shirley, now the Year of Shirley, has made its way into the classroom.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.

1958:  American actor Shirley Temple wears a fairy godmother costume, which includes a magic wand and a tiara, in a promotional portrait for her television series of dramatized fairy tales, 'Shirley Temple's Storybook'.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1958: American actor Shirley Temple wears a fairy godmother costume, which includes a magic wand and a tiara, in a promotional portrait for her television series of dramatized fairy tales, ‘Shirley Temple’s Storybook’. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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