We've continued the Greeting Line tradition that an earlier teacher started years ago. It's a nice way to welcome guests to the school and gives the kids a chance to practice those tough career skills that they'll need during interviews and such. Good eye contact, firm hand shake, clear voice. So it was only fitting that we end the way we started, with a greeting line. As time ticked away on the last day of school, I asked the kids to line up. As soon as they arranged themselves, Bradley piped up with: "It's not a Greeting Line! It's a Goodbye Line!" Tyler immediately started to cry and Seth wrapped his arms around him consolingly. I began to leak a little out of the eyes before I'd even gotten the chance to talk and Mr. Finn had to turn away to compose himself. I hugged each student and told them how great it had been to be their teacher and how I wish the very best for them in their lives. Mr. Finn shook their hands and a few kids wrapped him in hugs anyway. They grabbed their things and were gone.
So now, here I am on my very last day at Frenchboro School. I've been here cleaning, organizing, leaving information for the new teacher, filing old student work and saying goodbye to this sweet little schoolhouse. I was wiping all the slate chalkboards clean and I saw this little note that I hadn't even noticed before, right under "Good Sport" on our Code of Cooperation. I'll miss you too, kids. This is Ms. Finn, signing off.
After the kids got back from lunch, they were...curious...about what we had in store for them. They knew we had Field Day planned, but they didn't know we had 60 water balloons filled and ready for them.
Since it was raining anyway, we immediately started with a water balloon fight and then went right into the games. We had a new event in store...the Kindergarten Carry. The teams had to carry Tyler in our laundry basket. It was hilarious. Tyler kept calling out "Mush! Mush!" as he was ferried around the relay track. We did lots of great events, but I couldn't get pictures because it was SO WET! It rained the entire time! We were SOAKING! Then we ended with the water balloon toss and a water gun fight, so it took us to a whole new level of drenching. Then Brody had the bright idea to chase Mr. Finn and squirt him with his water bottle. Well, Mr. Finn was not going to go down without a fight and he took the entire GatorAid water cooler and dumped the ENTIRE thing on Brody's head a al Harry Carson to Parsells style! It was epic. Poor Brody squished the entire way back to the school where I captured this group shot:
I mean, what a mess of bedraggled monsters! And what GREAT SPORTS. No one complained the entire time and we had such great fun. We even had two spectators, Mike and Becky...what troopers! Needless to say, it was a VERY memorable Field Day 2012.
Those sneaky kids. On the last day of school they came armed to the teeth with can after can of silly string. They called us outside and unloaded on us. We were covered from head to toe. Katie (Tyler and Cadin's mom) had gotten the cans for all the kids but APPARENTLY we were SUPPOSED to get our own cans to defend ourselves but SOMEBODY that will remain nameless cadin neglected to share ours!
This was how much string was shot at us! It was everywhere. Mr. Finn called this the "clown brain". Tyler took it home, which I was happy to allow so it got back to his mom!! But we had our own plans, which might or might not involve a lot of water balloons.
On the day before school ended, we gave the kids some presents, one of which was a kite. Since it is always windy on Frenchboro, we went right out to fly them. Mr. Finn led the way surrounded by half the kids and I was surrounded by the other half. It's often this way and we enjoy the chance to walk and talk with the kids. It's a little down time in our otherwise busy days to just chat. In the morning, before school, on the way to and from gym, at recess time, in transitions and on our many walks, we have spent many hours just talking with these kids. They are highly interesting and entertaining and we never tire of their stories. Or giggles. We especially love their giggles.
As soon as we got to the ballfield, we quickly set to work getting our kites ready for flight.
The wind was picking up so it was easy to get them into the air.
Saylor was up, up and away.
And Johnny was loving his new Blue Angel.
What joy and fun to fly kites...I hadn't done it for years and it was so much fun.
We all ended up in the road and in the field across the street. There were some crash and burns, some tangled lines, but that's kite flying for you!
The kids had made a list of some science activities that they wanted to experience again. The can crushing was right up there at the top, so Mr. Finn got out the hot plate and we snagged some ice from Jay.
It's such a wondrous thing to watch that can implode. Tyler had never seen it before, so he was especially mystified.
Then Mr. Finn surprised them with something new...the egg in a bottle. Johnny had seen something similar on T. V. and he was asking about it so Mr. Finn hard boiled some eggs and got out the beakers. He lit a small piece of paper, put it in the beaker...
Then he set the egg on top and SFFFTT! It sucked into that bottle lickety split.
The kids were utterly captivated.
But it wasn't over yet. Then Mr. Finn turned it upside down and blew into it and...
PHHHHT! out popped the egg! Soooooooo great!
We had a fantastic afternoon playing with science toys/equipment. Here's Saylor with her hand on the Van de Graff machine. We STILL couldn't get Brody to put his hand on it, but someday! I, for one, have learned so much having Mr. Finn as MY science teacher. He makes it not only fun and interesting, but it sinks in so deeply that you'll never forget it.
There are always screams of laughter coming from outside our window. So this is what greeted us Friday after school. A gaggle of kids were outside riding various non-motorized vehicles. Save of course, Ben, who was giddily riding my scooter, Peanut, up and down the road. At one point there were five kids on this little plastic Jeep. Hilarious.
It was our last visit of the year from Bigelow Labs. Ben Twining was back from his huge scientific voyage. He updated the students on his trip and showed some of the equipment that the scientists used aboard their large lab at sea.
Then it was off to gather some data of our own.
We gathered water samples.
Then we used the phytoplankton nets to gather some phyto and zooplankton samples to look at under the microscopes.
Back to the classroom to check out our samples.
We found all sorts of cool organisms. Microscopes are such marvelous instruments.
Nieces and nephews joined right in.
Some old partnerships...
and some new ones.
At the end of the day, the kids gathered around to do a lesson on PH. Our old pal, Jochen had cooked up a batch of red cabbage to use for the testing. The kids had to smell it of course.
I think Seth might have thought is was going to blow, as he hid behind Cadin during the pouring of the vinegar, perhaps because of Ursula's baking soda/vinegar volcano that she demonstrated earlier this year? A great time was had by all. We are such science buffs out here! Big thanks to Ben and Bigelow for coming all the way out to our tiny island.