Working on these projects felt like a hassle at the time because it was such a challenge for the kids, and I had never really done an activity like this with my current group of students. However, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! When we got on the bus, my kids were superstars. When they saw landmarks, they shouted out the names of them in the most excited voices. When we started this unit on our city, my kids couldn't name one thing besides "taxis," "trains," and "buildings," so this was HUGE!. I was so proud of them, and felt like it was a great skill for the kids to show off to their parents. When we saw the SEARS Tower, one of my students squealed eagerly, "Look mom...it's the SERIOUS Tower." So cute! The only downside of the trip, was that it rained the ENTIRE time we were on the bus. And, of course, as soon as we got off the bus (3 hours later), the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful day!
Once we were back at school, we had a pizza party lunch. We were lucky enough to have lots of volunteers from my coworker's family come to help out....and it was so great. They helped serve food to the families and her aunt even brought her guitar and sang some great songs. She makes songs up as she goes and uses the kid's names. I was so choked up watching my kids' faces light up when their name was mentioned. They were up and dancing like no one's business. Seriously, one of the best moments of my year!
We also handed out scrapbooks and awards. Our awards consist of "Class clown," "Most improved," "Best Dressed," "Most Social," etc. The parents (as well as the kids) love this part of the day. I even saw one mom taking pictures of her son's scrapbook to send to her own mom. Moments like these make the hours put into the scrapbooks 100% worth it. I seriously had the best day...I am so lucky to such a rewarding job that I love!