Friday, June 8, 2018

Classroom Notes


Well…we have arrived. It is the last day of school. We, of course, had a very busy and productive week. We dismantled and cleaned our room. We shared our poetry collection. We met with our first grade buddies and enjoyed a Popsicle snack. We welcomed Alex Addy back to Lewis for a Ghanaian drumming and dancing performance. We had a wonderful Spring Music Concert for band and Boomin’ Beats. We put on two fantastic performances of our play, Team 20 News and the News Story Shenanigans. A very busy week indeed!

Our play performance is perhaps emblematic of our year together. We started by brainstorming plot ideas. Kids worked with their table buddies to justify and narrow the choices. We voted. We planned together by creating a story map to sequence scenes, incorporate details, and develop characters. We wrote the script by using the metaphor that ideas are like chains—we can link our ideas together. We practiced. We prepared. We shared with seven other Lewis classes! This is the way the kids have worked for much of the second semester. They brainstorm together, feeding off of each other’s ideas. They communicate and listen. They accept their roles. They follow directions. This was true when we organized the food drive. This was true when meeting with our first grade buddies. It was true during our poetry project. It was true when we were at science camp. It was true as we coordinated our school’s little free library. The kids have much of which to be proud!
And, once again, thank you for all the support you have provided over the year. We couldn’t have done all that we have done without that support.

I wish everyone a very enjoyable summer! As for me, the first part of our summer has our family in the mountains of North Carolina while Evie is teaching a drawing class. Then we will begin our family’s next chapter, moving to Tennessee for my wife’s new professor position. I look forward to being home with my twin three-year-old daughters and then returning to elementary teaching in a couple of years.


Friday, June 1, 2018

My Next Chapter

I am writing to share with you the news that I will not be returning to Lewis for the upcoming school year. My wife has accepted a professor position with the Department of Art and Design at Middle Tennessee State University, and we will be moving to Murfreesboro.

This is a difficult decision, but one that our family has made after lengthy consideration. Lewis is a special place. I am sad to leave the school’s exceptional staff and wonderful students and families. Thank you all for providing me with an amazing place to work and learn.

My next chapter will have me home with my twin three-year-old daughters. I look forward to the time I will have with these two curious, silly, imaginative, and cheerful little humans.

Thank you again to the entire Lewis community. It was an honor working with you.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lewis's Little Free Library -- Summer Stewards

We are looking for a few summer stewards who will help keep Lewis's Little Free Library stocked with books for kids all summer long. If you would like to volunteer, please stop by room 20 for a box of books and some more details.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Classroom Notes


We have arrived. We are officially heading into the last week of the school year. And what a year it has been! A few days ago, we made a list of all the projects, activities, and trips that have taken place this year. It was an impressive list! We listed first grade buddies, poetry in the garden, the Little Free Library, field trips around the city, our salmon study, art night, and more! We had another busy and productive week that included next steps with our poetry project, field day, the Spring Book Drive, and the play we wrote as a class and are practicing together. My final (farewell) letter of the year will be posted next week on Friday, but for now, I want to pass along some “last week of school” information.

Team 20 Theater:  We wrote a play together as a team. It is the story of a news report and features a return of some favorite characters from prior plays, including FedExians (FedEx aliens), and a plot featuring more than a few surprising twists and turns. I won’t give away the ending. 

There will be two performances of “Team 20 News and the News Story Shenanigans” for other Lewis classes, including our first grade buddies. Performance one will be on Wednesday, June 6th, at 9:40 and performance two will be Thursday, June 7th, at 9:40. If you find yourself with some free time and want to take in a good show, please stop by! A splendid time is guaranteed for all! 

If you can’t make it in, please know that our play will be live-streamed through our Twitter feed, and video can be later found on our classroom blog.

In the afternoon on Thursday, June 7th, we will dismantle most of the decorations in the room. A grocery sack would be very useful on Thursday since room 20 is filled with a variety of kid-generated items. (Extra sacks are welcomed!) 

A reminder about the Fourth Grade Family Breakfast on Friday, June 8th, from 8:15 to 9:00 in room 22. Please come by when you can. You can stay for the whole event or just come by for a bit. A list of breakfast items to bring and share for this buffet style breakfast was included with last week’s Classroom Notes. I am looking forward to this celebration and hope to see you there!

And as we head into the last week, I want to thank all of you for the support you have given to the kids of Team 20 and to me. Education is a cooperative venture between home and school. I am fortunate to work with such an outstanding group of families! 


Monday, May 28, 2018

Team 20 News and the News Story Shenanigans

You and your class are cordially invited to an original theater production by Team 20.  Two productions of the play Team 20 News and the News Story Shenanigans will be presented.  There will be shows at 9:40 on Wednesday, June 6th, and Thursday, June 7th, in room 20.  This show is a seasonal favorite and sells out early.  So don’t delay!  Reserve your seats today!  Please RSVP to Mark in person, by email, or via mailbox.