I don't know who is sadder at the end of a school vacation, the kids or the teachers. We all know the parents are ready. As I started putting my school bag together for this morning I tried to think of a way to make the return to school less painful, and maybe even...fun.
As we returned from February vacation I threw a bag of balloons into my school bag. The class was reviewing the "oo" sound. They were delighted to record "oo" words on balloons instead of paper. Each day after that return from vacation I tried to find something memorable for the class to do. I wanted to find a "hook" for the kids so when the conversation at dinner turned to the school day my students would respond with enthusiasm.
Then I became sick. I haven't seen my class for over two weeks. They've had a host of guest teachers, including a retired principal who was very good with my merry band of men and women. My ducks need to be in a row as I re-enter the classroom. I need a big hook.
When we start morning meeting today and it's my turn to share I'm going to show the kids a selection of sea glass and rocks that I have drilled holes through. We will turn these pieces into necklaces as I tell the class how I used the internet to find instructions on how to drill through sea glass. Then the kids will be instructed to write their own "how-to" piece detailing the procedures of the classroom.
Tomorrow's hook will involve the kids poring over "artifacts" I gathered from all over my house. As they explore the assortment of odds and ends they will be asked to draw conclusions about the person who owns all these clues. This will lead into a discussion of making inferences while reading. Every day, a new hook.