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Final Blog

This is my last blog for Scholastic. It has been an amazing year! I would like to thank Kathy Walsh for the opportunity. I thank Linda Southworth for all of her advice and hard work.  Linda is an amazing writer! I would like to thank my school, Greenway Middle School in Phoenix, Arizona, for their support throughout the year. I appreciate my principal, Jesse Acosta, for allowing me to take on this extra load this year. I especially want to thank two of my colleagues that have helped me SO much this year with my posted lesson plans and blogs: Ralph Carnesi and Bryan Smith. You have both been so kind, understanding, and professional-I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I appreciate the hard work that the other teacher advisors put forth this year, as well. You are an amazing group of teachers and it's been a pleasure working with you this year. 

On a personal note, I have 2 exciting events coming up: first, I am waiting each day on the birth of my granddaughter in Arkansas. I am hoping my flight will get me there in time to witness her birth.  Secondly, my grandson in California is due August 4th. So I will spend my summer rocking babies! 

I hope all of you have a restful summer and enjoy some quality time with your families. I wish you all the best! 

End of School

I'm finishing up my grades for my six classes. We are taking our final test this week. Each year, I make notes on what I would like to do differently next year, or suggestions on how a lesson could be improved. I either place those notes inside my planner or I tape them inside my cabinet. If it's a suggestion that I need to work on during the summer, I take it home with me. It's also time to clean my office and my classroom. I have to take some personal items home for the summer, since there will be workers in our classrooms. I usually cover my bookshelves, but with the budget issues, I will not use up our butcher paper this year. I have already added new posters to my walls for next year. 

I tried a new strategy this year  for equally calling on my students either to read or to answer questions. I typed a list of my students for each class, down the left side of the paper. When I call on a student, I either write the first letter of the day, or I draw a symbol:triangle, circle, star, etc. That way I can keep up with who I call on in each class. I really don't want to depend on my memory! That way all my students, boys and girls, get called on equally. Since I am a reading teacher, I am assured to hear every student in my class read orally each week. I really like this strategy.

I wanted to find something unusual to do with my students. I remember back in middle school (we called it junior high),  I had a coach for social studies that was always putting trick questions on our tests. One time, he handed us a paper and we started on #1 and had to yell our name, and jump up and down, etc. until we got to #15 that stated all we had to do was put our name on our paper. You were suppose to read all the directions before starting. I thought if I remembered that for 38 years, I would try to find a similar paper. Thanks to the internet, I found 2 interesting papers. I hope you will try at least one of them.

This has been an amazing year. I will be blogging my final time next week. 

Interesting Websites

Now that the end of the year is approaching, I thought you might want to look at some interesting websites.The first one is for those of you that work with ESL or beginner readers. You can get a free list of the 300 instant words everyone needs to know.

2. This is to help you teach life skills and character in middle school:

3. This website has some interesting suggestions for some fun projects for the last weeks of school. Look for the Grades 6-8 tab.

4. The last one is a site where educators can create, edit, and share classroom resources and lesson content. This one is a scholastic site.

I hope these websites will help you. 

Community Night

Thursday, April 30th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., we had Community Night at our school. This is the night we encourage our students to bring their families and neighbors to our school to see what Greenway has to offer. We display our students' work in our rooms and have a schedule of events for the evening. We also auctioned off themed gift baskets to raise money for a new school sign.    

  I am including our schedule for you to view:

Here are a few pictures from the event:

Team SCC: Pic. 1-pick a pop   2. Ms. Bradley and student  3.Mr. Carnesi displaying a student's literary term visual dictionary  4. Ms. Rosales 5. Student's Amusement Parks

Team NAU: 1 and 2- teachers enjoying the FREE Starbuck's coffee


Team ASU: 1-Mr. Saragosa playing soccer   2-Mrs. Saragosa and the cupcake walk  3. Flor painting Ms. Ford's daughter's face-Mia Isabella   4. Students on the cupcake walk
ASU1 ASU2  ASU4 Cupcake

Team PVCC:  Ms. Ricio demonstrating how to hula hoop

Team YCC: 1.-Ms. Fainkujen shows Mr. Skowronski how to race in Wii   2. Ms. Mastropolo beats a student at Wii  3. Ms. Debow's granddaughter, Alejandra, almost makes it to the finish line   4. Sack races were fun!

Team ASU West:1. Ms. Herrera, camera shy, in front of her ELL Wheel of Fortune 2. student's work  3. Ms. Shen ready for visitors

Team U of A: Ms. Retts talking about CPR


Art: Ms. Shultz demonstrating her pottery skills


Culinary Arts: 1. Mr. Apostolides serving hamburgers    2. Students selling snowcones

Tech Lab: Mr. Doyle and students were launching rockets

Choir: Ms. Bustos and her choir performed


Our lovely office secretaries who were in charge of the basket auction: Irma Luna and Alice Jimenez


Students enjoying the evening:

Samples of student's work


Finally: why we have Community Night....A FUTURE GREENWAY STUDENT


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Sandra's Middle School Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.