The final week of school always has a palpable excitement in the air as students and teachers get ready for summer. As lessons come to a close it seems right and fitting to get outdoors and and enjoy ourselves as a small reward for a long year of hard work.
Every student has worked hard this year and has made progress. Summer is an important time to be as a family and spend time together and relax. However 'summer slide' is a real thing and children can loose valuable progress made over the summer. Mrs Hitchcock has made an excellent and informative blog post discussing it. Please take some time and read it here: http://pna17-18blogs.weebly.com/2nd-grade/summer-slide.
Aim to give your child the best start they can have at PNA next year! Have a great summer!
At PNA our mission statement is 'We educate students to be exceptional learners and independent thinkers of vision, courage, and integrity.'
While that is a bold statement it is made up of lots of little parts that each student learns that are equally important and are life skills. Such as; self advocacy, responsibility, patience and resilience. The last few weeks before summer are always a test of students and teachers resilience as a long year draws to the end with a flurry of events and tying up of projects and loose ends. To persevere to the end.
This year 1st grade was tested further on their resilience by having to change classrooms multiple times and by having a substitute teacher for 2 weeks. It is a testament to them how each student responded to these challenges. Due to the sharing of spaces with an outside group, some classes were temporarily moved to other rooms. Teachers and students alike were both put to the test and needed to put their resilience and growth mindsets to work. When a challenge popped up, whether it was where to eat lunch, how to send groups of kids to where they needed to go, or how to access things that we were used to having right at our fingertips in our own classrooms, critical thinking, problem solving and a positive attitude rose above the challenge. These solutions came from not only the teachers but the students as well.
Resilience can be defined as "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” While this is an actual definition, it doesn't take into account what else is actually entailed by one who is resilient. People who can bounce back from mistakes and successfully adjust to change have a different mindset. They know that they have the power to do what is needed to not only take what life throws at them but also to use that as an opportunity to grow, learn and to succeed.
As part of persevering to the end and having fun while doing it; 1st Grade spent time this week finishing their Trash Monsters from their work on Earth Day and recycling. We also had some with leftover marshmallows from our camping trip. What else to do with them but build marshmallow catapults and castles to fling them at.
Thank you to those that came to our last parent event of the year and your continued support throughout the year. Our science expo was certainly an exciting and messy event. From making our own lava lamps, walking water, the mysteries of magic milk and the wet wonders of the leak proof bag it certainly seemed that both parent and student alike had a fun and educating experience.
This week we had our overnight camping trip to Birchwood. Our trip started with vitally important research of different playgrounds around town. As we are always looking for ways to improve our playground here at school this was an awesome opportunity to explore and get students perspectives on what makes a playground great.
After a picnic lunch it was time to head to camp. Having an end of year trip like an overnight camp is a fantastic way to finish off a long and hard year of learning. It is a celebration as students prepare to move to the next grade as well as it is a chance for students to develop their own sense of self, responsibility and independence and spread their wings. For some students it is possibly the first time they have been separated from their parents for a night and for all students it takes courage to go to a strange new place and look after yourself.
Everyone had a fantastic time, it was certainly a great trip and thankfully, though it threatened the rain never quite came making it all the better. Make sure to get plenty of rest this weekend!
Ms. Tuomi has over five years experience in ASD, where she taught first and fifth grade classrooms. An avid skier, Ms. Tuomi is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Alaska Pacific University’s Bachelor of Arts in K-8 Education.