Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Best Parts of My Week - 5/30/17--6/2/17

Hi everyone,
    Ok, so I have started to countdown the days that are left until the end of the school year and the end of my career at North Park.  However, I am ONLY doing this so that I can enjoy every single day!  I am still being asked by my students:  “So why do you have to retire?”  It’s hard to explain that I don’t have to retire but that it is time to move on and begin my “Chapter 2”.......

…..On Monday morning one of my fourth grade students came to my office with a retirement craft.  It is the most adorable creation that is a construction paper version of me holding a box of french fries with the message:  ”don’t eat too many of these!”  That act of kindness started my week off on the right foot!

…..Our Varsity Cheerleading team worked out their schedule to hold a stunt clinic on the last day of gymnastics so that they could then roll up the carpet flooring for me.  They were so helpful and some even offered to help me with the mats!  Some of the cheerleaders were younger and one came up to me and said:  “Do you remember me?”  I answered that yes, of course I did and said her first and last name.  She pumped her fist and said:  “YESSSSS!”  She was so happy that I remembered!  At the end of the clinic some of the cheerleaders were waiting to be picked up and one went over to our hands contracts and pointed out what she thought was her hand on the wall.  I explained that each year I have the next class make new ones and she was very surprised!  She thought her hand stayed up there forever!  I wish it could!  

…..Our school is celebrating its 50th year and there were a few events this week to continue the festivities!  We had a time capsule assembly on Wednesday and the students and adults were so excited to see what was in the time capsule that was set in the corner stone of our building during the 1966-1967 school year.  It was a wonderful assembly as the son of our original principal participated in helping us view the contents of the time capsule.  Some of the items in the capsule included a newsletter, teachers’ contract, pictures of the original PTA, a literary magazine written by sixth grade students, and a school handbook.  While everyone agreed that it was pretty cool, most of it was paper and one of the students said to me later:  “I thought there would be more stuff!”  There have only been three principals of our school and I am proud and honored to say that I have worked for all three of them.  I had so much fun sharing my favorite story of the original principal with his son after this assembly.  Our original principal loved to work with our preschoolers when they came to visit once a month.  He would often ask me if he could borrow the parachute so that he could play with them on our stage.  Back then our parachute was an actual parachute!  It had a date on it and it had clearly been used to jump out of a plane!  I loved it and so did the students!  He was extremely tall but he would get down on the floor with these little ones and smile right along with them as they shook the parachute and made some “popcorn”!

…..The 50th celebration continued the next day with an evening assembly.  It was a wonderful gathering of the past, present, and future as our original principal’s wife and family, our second principal, retired teachers, original PTA President, and our new principal (who will begin in September) were in attendance!  Our Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassadors served as tour guides for the building and their pride in our building was evident.  The next day one of the third grade students said:  “That was so much fun last night!”

…..We finished up gymnastics in the middle of this week and so later in the week we had a new warm-up which involved some jogging and rope jumping.  During the warm-up a fifth grade student walked over to the large clock on the wall and took his carotid pulse.  He was very intent on getting it right!

…..I know that school is almost over but I have been wanting to try a new warm-up based on a Math activity that one of our kindergarten teachers does with her students.  Basically there is a two-piece puzzle which includes a dog head and a dog tail.  The head and tail each have a number and the idea is to find the number that connects the two.  For example, if the head says 7 and the tail says 10, the number that connects them is 3.  I copied and laminated many of these pieces and placed them in the center circle.  Students worked in pairs and each one had to pick a head or a tail, put the puzzle together, and then use the connecting number to complete an exercise.  It went really well!  Students seemed to enjoy it and had no trouble counting out the numbers!  I really believe that one of the many reasons that I still love my job is because I constantly try new ideas and always want to improve…..even when there are only 14 days left of school!  

…..I took all of my classes outside on Friday to play grade level appropriate versions of a game I call Triangle ball.  It is a game that uses a tee, cones, and a ball to hit off of the tee.  Students play in groups of three so there is a lot of activity for everyone during the game.  One of my fourth grade students was so excited during the game and said out loud to no one in particular:   “this is so much fun!”

…..One of our secretaries is leaving to move to another job in a different building in our district.  We had such a nice farewell get together for her during a Friday morning breakfast gathering.   North Park is such a special place.   One of our teachers said it best when she said that no matter where you go when you leave North Park you are always a part of the North Park family……...That thought comforts me as I get ready to leave.......

.....My second grade students are completing their year-long portfolios and worked on their cover picture this week. One of my students drew a picture of himself on the balance beam. He said: "that's me and that's you helping me!"

…..On Friday afternoon I spent time counting Coop Cars to find out the total for our Operation Healthy North Park project during National Physical Fitness Month.  We broke last year’s record!  We collected 3,756 Coop Cars, which equals at least 75,120 minutes of exercise!  

I hope you enjoyed the "Best Parts of My Week!"
Visit my website: North Park Physical Education to find out more about our Physical Education program.