Relfy Update, Genre Parade and Pete!

I know that the whole nation is still reeling in shock, but rather than dwell on the horror, I have chosen to make this week as special and magical as I can for my students. I feel very badly for the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, and their families. However, I feel that we need to let them get on with their grieving process. I cannot imagine having every detail of my child's funeral splashed across every television and newspaper. Personally, I would want the world to go away while I grieved, so, out of respect to the Sandy Hook families, I am getting back on with my life while sending them the warmest thoughts and prayers.

My students, perhaps because we live so far away, were remarkably untouched by the news coverage. I dealt with questions and comments on a one-on-one basis and no one seemed nervous or worried about our safety. Perhaps this is because they don't know that we don't have keys to lock our classroom doors (budget cuts). That issue kept me awake many hours over the weekend, but thankfully we were told today that work orders were being put in for keys, and we'd figure out how to pay for them later.

I read a comment on an online article where a reader said she couldn't stop crying and that Christmas was ruined. I read other reports that said people were taking down Christmas decorations. That shocked me. How can we make a senseless tragedy even worse? By letting it affect us long-term, by becoming so depressed by one horrible incident that it blinds us to the wonderful moments of our every day lives. By letting it ruin a glorious holiday season that is supposed to be about love, forgiveness and blessings.

In light of this, my students and I are going to be singing, dancing, laughing and crafting this week. I feel that the best memorial for those young victims is to make sure that my students are secure and happy in my classroom. That each day they come to school is a day of learning and joy, so that, if something horrible was to happen, I would have no regrets about what I did or didn't say, did or didn't do.

In light of that, I preordered the new Pete the Cat early readers! I know my students will be thrilled with their favorite character, and hopefully it will encourage some of my reluctant readers to see their old friend in easy-to-read new books! They will be out in February and May, so its a little bit of a wait, but it is something to look forward to!


Another thing we are looking forward to is Relfy's continuing antics. Here are a few pictures of what he's been up to:

This week we will also be making salt-dough ornaments, a reindeer craftivity and our gingerbread fact family craftivity. Our section of the hallway should be particularly festive!

We are also going to be having a Genre Parade on Wednesday. I was assigned "science fiction" because I like doing science experiments with my class. Umm, what? What does the science fiction genre have to do with first grade science experiments? After consulting with our librarian and combing through book lists online, I was able to find one science fiction book on our level:

The original idea was to make a class poster about the genre and then maybe one other poster about the specific book. It has evolved, however, into costumes/music/dioramas/posters etc. I will share our genre parade pictures Wednesday night! I hope you all have a joyous week leading into the Winter Break!

1 Rustle Up A Response!:

Mrs Poultney said... Reply to comment

I feel the same way you do Jennifer, to let such a senseless act create a feeling of doom and depression in our schools and communities gives the balance of power to the negative people in the world. What a great way to help students remember that school is a place of learning and fun.
Enjoy your week.
Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

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