Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ode To My Third Grade Class - 2013

My very first year teaching, I wanted to come up with a end of year tradition, of sorts, to do with each of my future classes.   As my first year came to a hectic end, I racked my brain to think of something I could give to my students that would encapsulate our year together. Always an admirer of Dr. Seuss and his funny, quirky poetic style, I figured that was it!  

My first year, I somehow managed to complete all the reports and checklists I had to do and even managed to pen a personal ode to my class.  I gathered them together that final day, fighting back a few tears, and nervously read my poem to them.  I wanted them to like it - no love it - but I wasn't sure of what their reaction would be.  As I read the final lines to the still group of little kids, I looked over the paper and saw my own tears mirrored in their eyes.  We were realizing that our time together was over.  

One year, on the last day of school, one of my little fifth grade boys arrived and presented me with a very special gift.  He had stayed up late and penned "Ode To My Fifth Grade Teacher".  It's still the best gift I have ever received. 

Every year since that very first one, I have written a poem, which I always call an ode, to my class of students.  It is unique to each group of students and includes special moments from each year that we shared together.

My first ode was three pages long.  This year it is ten pages.  

Ode To My Third Grade Class - 2013

I can’t believe it’s June,
This year has flown by,
Seems I just said hello,
And now it’s time for good-bye.

I remember your faces,
As you walked in the door,
To begin your 3rd grade
In Jeppson, room 24.

Each day you arrived,
And sat in your places,
Learned the routine,
And met some new faces.

You got down to work,
And you learned some new things,
Now on to fourth grade,
And all that it brings.

You all were so eager,
When I tried something new,
You asked lots of questions,
And smarter you grew.

Every day I looked forward,
To seeing your faces,
Hearing your stories,
Sometimes tying your laces.

We organized math workshop,
You all did your best,
You practiced and studied,
And did well on your tests.

You inspired me to blog,
About my fun days at school,
Staying positive every day,
Became our new rule.

Weekly CEO’s led us,
To music, Spanish, and art,
Although you sometimes got talkative,
And had to restart.

You learned to write in cursive,
And received smelly stickers,
And now when you write,
You know cursive is quicker.

Remember our class spider,
Who propelled down his web,
Suspended over a desk,
Almost landed on a head.

Remember reading on the back carpet,
And listening to others share,
Reading new literature,
Becoming more aware.

You learned about Michigan,
Our fascinating state,
Remember “HOMES”
To help you name all the lakes.

Remember our class coins,
And filling the jar all the way,
It earned you some free time,
To head outside to play.

Remember to indent,
The paragraphs you write,
You don’t want to give your next teacher,
A terrible fright.

Remember our buddies,
Little kindergarten friends,
You read to them & helped them,
On you they could depend.

Remember on Friday,
Perfect planner you could earn,
I was always so picky,
And sometimes even stern.

Remember the announcements,
And our speaker being broken,
Was difficult to hear,
The words being spoken.

Remember I (heart) math,
It’s really not so bad,
Use your problem-solving skills,
No reason to get mad.

Remember punctuation,
Is a very important thing,
So let’s not eat Grandma,
(that’s a whole ‘nother thing!)

Remember introductions & conclusions,
Edit your work when done,
You’re all better writers,
Each and every one.

Remember iPads, and Netbooks,
In the classroom to use,
For math practice, writing,
And sometimes whatever you choose.

Remember chess on Fridays,
With a partner you’d play,
The Chess Lady taught you,
Playing chess in new ways.

Remember pancakes freshly made,
And syrup that we tapped,
Ate so many for breakfast,
That we all needed a nap.

Remember this summer,
To read and review your facts,
So you don’t arrive next year,
Already off the tracks.

Remember looking at maps,
On the back carpet floor,
Filled with interesting places,
You’d like to explore.

Remember Newton’s cradle,
Force & motion in action,
Remember inertia and gravity,
Friction and traction.

In science you learned,
About geology and sound,
Animals and light,
What goes up must come down.

There were many math problems,
Fractions, measurement, and more,
Don’t forget to practice your math facts,
What is 7 times 4?

Remember the Beatles,
And the Happy Birthday song?
remember some of the tattling?
Can’t we all just get along?

Remember “No markers!”
They just look a mess,
They don’t make your artwork,
Look its very best.

Remember making “Cootie Bugs”, 
For working together,
Remember before recess,
We’d often check the weather.

Making your thinking visible,
With routines like CSI,
Making connections and wondering,
Always asking why.

Remember our field trips, 
The nature center and farm site,
To Lansing for one whole day,
You all were so polite.

Remember “Take 7”,
A break and a snack,
Sometimes missing the buzzer,
too much yakity-yak.

Remember Making Meaning,
Hearing books being read,
Talking to your partner,
Sharing what they said.

Remember cleaning your desks,
How’d you fit all that in there?
Remember me reminding you,
Don’t lean back in your chair.

Remember “7-up”,
At the end of the day,
You all had such fun,
When you were able to play.

Good behavior could earn you,
A ticket or two,
For treasure box Thursday,
Oh, what will you choose?

Thank you for laughing,
At my jokes that were lame,
You always played along,
And we made it a game.

Every day you arrived,
And got right down to business,
Some days we had fun,
Others seemed rather endless.

You picked me flowers at recess,
Drew me pictures at lunch,
And as the year continued,
I liked you a bunch.

You laughed at my jokes,
And clapped at my art,
You’re such a great class,
You’ll always be in my heart.

Always trying so hard,
Always giving your best,
Be it writing or spelling,
Or yet one more test.

You called out, “More recess!”
I demanded, “More work!”
But every once in a while,
I threw in a perk.

Some candy, extra recess,
Reading, or such,
I knew that you needed,
And deserved it so much.

You learned so much this year,
But I learned from you too,
I’ll take each of you with me,
And whenever I feel blue.

I’ll think of you humor,
Your smiles, your great questions,
Your silliness and stories,
Your helpful suggestions.

Each of you taught me,
In your own special way,
How important we each are,
And now, I must say.

Believe in yourself,
Work hard but have fun,
Your life is just starting,
You have just begun.

Each one of you is special,
Unique and so smart,
Be it math, writing, science,
Social studies or art.

I wish you the best,
Follow your dreams, you’ll go far,
No matter what you do,
Stay whoever you are.

I hope you’ll think back,
On 3rd grade some day,
And remember the good times,
We had here at Way.


  1. You are so clever and amazing! How did you find time to do this? Your admiring friend, Madeline

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