New Starfish

New school year, new starfish files. 30 new little people, each with their own little personalities and life stories. I thought you might like to see some of their self-portraits. Well, self-portraits if they were a part of the Peanuts Gang. Last year I realized how easy it is to draw Charlie Brown, so I gave my class a little lesson on how to draw themselves with a big, round head and a capital 'C' for a nose, and then I let them loose. They also wrote a few adjectives that describe them. I miss my kiddos from last year's class (a lot, actually!), but this year's group is pretty cute so far. =)

Love the hair on this one, and he's nice, not ice. I accidentally cut off the word.
I don't think he's related to MC Hammer, but I don't know him that well yet, so who knows!
One of my favorite drawings:
Umm, not sure what's going on here. Lots of ear and lots of fingers. Hilarious.
And here's mine. . .

A New Place

Well, I've got marker all over my hands, I'm contentedly tired after a hard day's work, and I made 30 new little friends today. That's right- a new school year has started!

I moved into a new classroom this year, and I'm really loving it. I like making my classroom a place that is functional and enjoyable for my students, but also a place that I like being in everyday. I don't go too crazy with decor themes, but I do like a little something that ties everything together. So this year, I went with polka dots because I just can't get enough of them. Here are some pictures!

Found this wrapping paper to use for my door, and I just think it is so stinkin' cute.


View from when you first walk in the door.


Spidey's got a new gig: class librarian.


Social Studies & Science boards


Nerd alert: I really like my new calendar and the blue/black & white polka dot combo. I mean REALLY like.


Looking back at the door


It's even more fun when it's full of 9 year-olds!

Starfish Files: the beautiful love of a child

My students this year have continued to bless me often. The word darling suits many of them well. Here are two moments from the last couple of weeks that have brought tears to my eyes:

For Mother's Day cards this year, I didn't give my students very specific directions. I just opened up the construction paper drawer and made sure they spelled the word mother correctly. Oh, and if anyone wrote 'Your wonderful' I made them squeeze in the apostrophe and e, since that is my least favorite spelling error.

Mateo came up and asked if he could use some of the extra craft supplies in the back of the room. I was busy with a million other things, so I vaguely remember saying 'sure' and wondered what he was up to. This is what he created:

Something about the simplicity, the slant of the writing, and the ellipsis just kills me.

And then on the inside he wrote. . .

Came up with it all on his own. Used a simile. Attempted to use higher level vocabulary. Told his mom that he loves her. Such sweetness. What a gift to play even a tiny part in his creative process.

A few days later, I was laminating some student work and feeling pretty overwhelmed by the long list of things I needed to do before heading home. The papers I was sending through were just some cursive pages for my kids to color and keep as a reference for when they're practicing cursive- an art that I refuse to let die. It's actually a paper that I got in 3rd grade and you can see my signature in the lower left corner. =)

I happened to look down at Ashlynn's, and I noticed that she'd written a couple of notes on hers:

Jesus used my little 10 year-old friend to speak the beautiful truth of the Gospel to me in a moment when I needed to hear it. I love that on a random cursive assignment, the overflow of her heart was to preach to others ("God says he loves you!") and preach to herself ("God loves me!"). What an example to follow.

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