Thursday, June 04, 2015

School's Out!

PB's elementary years are now officially over. It has been very special and important for me to be involved in his classrooms. Here is a long post/trip down elementary memory lane! As I mentioned at the beginning of the year I was going to be a major contender.  It's time to dish. I started this year by taking on doing room parenting for two class rooms which wound up being 42 kids (PB had 2 teachers... let's call them Ms. Cabana and Mr. Surf).  Back story on this is that I was planning on just co-room parenting with another parent for just Ms. C since she was PB's primary teacher.  Ms. C was the only fifth grade teacher that even had anyone sign up to be room parent.  This other parent suggested that we do the room parenting for Mr. S because the kids switch classes between the two.  I was extremely hesitant.  But I was trusting he would follow through...this did not quite happen.   
 I pushed through, setting up and maintaining two email accounts, setting up and maintaining online sign-ups for parties and activities, coming up with the ideas for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Teacher Appreciation, teacher's birthdays, and End of the year parties for both classes. I made items and decorated for both of the parties, along with cleaning them up.  I spent hours coming up with art activities for holidays to be used in several collaborative hallway displays which I set up. I also volunteered at least one day a week to make copies, staple together tests, etc for both teachers.  And believe it or not, I wouldn't have traded any of it for anything.  I had several excellent parents/family members that always signed up to send stuff in and help at the parties so I wasn't completely solo.
This was the first time I was the official room parent for any of PB's classes.  I have however been a volunteer for all of his classes best I could around my work schedule. Because this experience has been so important to me I am going to highlight some of my favorite stuffs over the years:

In kindergarten I volunteered an entire day a week to help the kids at the art table (loved it!).  I also helped with parties and plays.  I made a set of worldly outfits for a stuffed penguin that 'travels the world' through a story book with a new destination each day.   PB's kindergarten teacher was so much fun.  She just recently showed me her little penguin and told me how much she looks forward to showing him and his outfits to her classes every year.  I also arranged a grant for her classroom to have pets (fish).

In first grade I wasn't needed as much in the classroom, so I came up with activities on my own to do with the kids that worked with lessons they were learning .  Once I read the kids a book about earthworms, I also brought them real live earthworms to experience, then Terrarium Cupcakes to eat.  I also did something similar with the book The Twits by Roald Dahl that may be my most favorite of all time activity.  This school year was the first time I read and did an activity with the kid's for Halloween with the book, "Bone Soup".

In Second grade I was the assistant to the room parent.  She and I did so many fun things for the kid's class parties.  On Halloween, we set up 4 stations where they rotated through decorating their own monster cupcakes, using a scale and measuring cups to make monster munch trail mix, mixing up oobleck, and making blow paint monsters with googly eyes.  At Christmas, she and I made 3D mat-board houses for the kids to decorate with icing and candy similar to ginger bread houses. For the last day of school we had a waffle bar with an array of toppings.  We also made mother's day clay pendant fingerprint necklaces. Here is Teacher Appreciation Week 2012 for that year.

Third grade...let's not talk about that year.  The teacher did not like Halloween (you see the problem?!) and I had to beg her to please let me read Bone Soup to the kids.  Other than that, I made copies, helped a bit with a basket for a fundraiser.  I also did alot of sewing for the drama productions. My work schedule started to become overwhelming this year so time was an issue for me. 

Fourth grade.  I loved PB's teacher but my work schedule was beyond overwhelming.  I never made one copy for his teacher the entire year because of this.  I did help by volunteering at all the class parties. 
And I did get to do an excellent rendition of  Bone Soup (2013) with the kids.

Fifth grade...As I wrote about above.  It was on.  My wonderful husband knows how much all of this means to me and how I hated missing out on it the two previous years. He and I worked toward getting our ducks in a row so I could leave my job and spend more time with him, PB, and the school.
I have collected a few posts about some of the activities from this year:

Teacher Appreciation Week Cake 2014
Bone Soup 2014
School of fish cupcakes
Big Dills!
Pickle Jello
Smart Cookies
Viva Los Teachers!
Fan-Stache-tic Teachers

I didn't blog about everything that I was involved with this year including but not limited to: Thanksgiving activities,  huge hullabaloos of Tacky Christmas parties and activities, Valentine parties with games/contests/awards, impromptu ice cream socials, fundraiser baskets, costume sewing,  a pet for the classroom (snake), hours spent coming up with teacher appreciation ideas and working with the kids on these ideas and several other miscellaneous things that I am sure I am forgetting ..,all for 2 classes.  I think I baked almost 200 cupcakes this past school year.  But it was worth it, PB loved everything I did.  PB and I have known most of these kids since kindergarten and won't see them in middle school.  It was a bit emotional on the last day having to say goodbye to them and to the school. But life goes on, we all have to move forward. Let's see what the future holds.

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