It's true... we are two short days from the finish line. Marks have been submitted to the office. Many teachers have moved into the packing and movie showing phase of the school year. But a few weeks ago, I had promised my Grade 7s we'd have a science fair to share what they were learning about Heat in the Environment, and the overwhelming majority of them were still going strong on their research and preparations for said fair!
So yesterday afternoon, we set up shop in the classroom, and invited other students and their teachers to come check out our wares. There was an environment "Jeopardy" game, as well as a short lecture and "wheel of fortune" to assess understanding (the group had lollipops to be won if you got the answers right!!) Prezis, explain everything presentations and ppts dominated some corners of the room, while another table featured a sort-of working volcano and an experiment on heat-caused suction!
As in previous years, I find the best learning mindset often arrives once the pressure of marks has passed. With the stress of marks removed from teachers' and students' plates alike, learners can focus on learning... and receive descriptive feedback with a more open mind. With very few exceptions, no one seemed deterred by the fact that this project didn't "count" for their Term 2 Science mark, and most engaged with vigour in their learning and science fair prep over the last week or so.
Why are we still learning? Because I am not a glorified babysitter, I am a teacher. I get paid to facilitate learning until Friday. That said, I did go out and spend nearly $40 at Kernels last night so we could have a popcorn party on the last day and watch Ruby Bridges or the Temple Grandin story, lol!
Oh, and I should mention... my boxes are packed, labeled and stacked in a corner of my classroom. ;-P