Packing up the books we loved is physical and emotional exercise. Those beautiful books that ended the year are tucked away for the time when the new crop of kiddos will be ready for them. Books stacked in carefully marked boxes will be presents to opened next school year. Slowly, the classroom library disappears inside and on top of cabinets.
Picture books, potential read alouds, and professional texts I can’t part with I put on the things-to-take-home table.
Pulling out the work we did over the year, I’m pleased and surprised with all we did. I stack up genius hour projects, paper blogs, comic strips about Westward Expansion, reading reflections, annotations on poetry as possible mentor texts.
A handful of student work (high, medium and not so medium) I add to the take home pile.
Charts are piled high on one table. I repost each one on the whiteboard, snap a picture, and put it in the recycling bin.
iPads need to be stored and cleaned out. Going through the customized screen savers and camera rolls, I see remnants of the students they were. Silly videos, Canva designs they made, word clouds, the histories of their digital lives in 5th grade. It’s better than a yearbook!
Four boxes sit on the carpet. They contain the reading and writing histories of my incoming students. Running records and writing notebooks are my summer homework. They allow me a very privileged peek at the future. I see what they love, how they doodle, their “one sunny day” stories, their firsts and lasts, their heart maps, and the sentences they crafted over the year.
These treasures are loaded on a cart outside my classroom.
I close the door, hand over the keys, and roll the cart to my car.
As I leave the parking lot, my classroom village is dismantled, and my car is filled. I celebrate the seasonal shift of a teaching life. The pace and the purpose changes. It’s time to look backward and plan forward.
Thank you, Ruth, for your link up and the joyful, reflective practice of weekly celebration. Read more here.