We've had a helluva winter here in Salt Lake City. Snow storm, after snow storm. I swear, I woke up to find my tulips dusted with snow flakes just two weeks ago. But we've finally landed on the other side of the gigantic winter chasm and spring is really, truly here to stay.
This week we've also landed on the happy (read: FINISHED) side of all of our high-stakes testing. And we did fine. Just fine.
This is a really satisfying time of the year with a class of sixth-grade students. They've worked so hard, all year, and they're still learning each day, but not with the same stress-filled urgency as a month ago. They are a community of friends and peers who know how to be gentle and kind with one another and as long as they don't get completely overwhelmed by their fears of middle school they constantly delight in finishing off both a good year and a whole life season as they say goodbye to elementary school. These days my students are making memoir collages, still reading lots and lots of great books, building toothpick bridges, looking forward to field trips and year-end rituals, and solving interesting math puzzles.
Me? I can't help it. I always start dreaming about next year during May: day-dreaming, imagining forward, growing a vision of how things will be. This summer I can't wait to dive into the Nancie Atwell Writing Workshop materials that I recently received. And, I'm really looking forward to MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge, which is coming up the weekend of June 6 - June 8, 2008. I've started a list of books to read and I'm trying to temper my fierce competitiveness.
I'm also posting lots of book blurbs over at GoodReads.
Happy May, y'all.