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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sports Day and Fourth of July

This was a pretty exciting week at Stocks Green Primary School.  On Tuesday we had "Sports Day," which meant the entire afternoon was spent outdoors with the children competing in various races.  Lots of parents came to watch the events.  

Some of my Speedy Year 1 Kids!

Look at that Concentration!!

They are almost flying!!
And We have a Winner!!

All classes participated in running races, then each class had a specialty race.  Ours was a sack race.

High Hoppers!

  In England, the children are divided into "houses," just like in the Harry Potter books.  The houses at my school are King, Jenner, Nightingale and Frank, all named for famous people we should emulate.  Children earn house points for good behaviour and each week the points are tallied and announced on Friday at our celebration assembly.  The house that earns the most points each term is given the right to wear their own clothes to school one at the end of term.  It's a big deal, and you can get kids to do almost anything if they think they might earn a point for it.   On sports day, the children wore shirts in the color of their house and ran and hopped for the glory of their team.

See the house  posters at the end of the lanes?

Nightingale House had the most wins overall, so here they are taking a victory lap  led by their house captain.

 The next fun event this week was American Independence Day.  For obvious reasons, this holiday isn't normally celebrated here in Britain, but it was the first time I have ever taught in July, so I thought I'd take advantage of it and share a bit of American culture.  On the morning of the Fourth, I brought American candies wrapped in flag wrappers and American flag earrings to leave for all the staff in the staff room, surrounded by a display of American flags.  I was feeling pretty satisfied when I left my offerings on the staff room table and headed to my classroom.  When I got there, I was shocked and pleased when I saw....

...my classroom door...
...and inside my classroom!!

In this very American environment, we spent the morning brainstorming and writing everything we knew about America, which included facts like they have a Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland is there, they have lots of states including New York and California, they have wooden houses, Pete the Cat lives there, cactus grows there, lots of comments about the heat (I guess I've said that a lot recently when the kids tell me they are "boiling" when it's about 62 degrees out), they have geysers,  they have tornados (I have one student who LOVES tornados and tells me frequently that one is heading our way--he can outrun it but I should find a steel room with an iron door to hide in), they have really big mountains,  Ms. Tuisku comes from there and Scooby Doo was created in America.  Obviously, I have hit the high points this year.

Not only was my classroom all decked out for the holiday, but one of the wonderful mums in my class made each class member a cupcake decorated with the American flag.  Not only were they beautiful, but delicious as well!

Here we are with our flag cupcakes!!

With all these flags everywhere, we had to learn the song, "You're a Grand Old Flag" and we went to each class in the school to serenade them and give each pupil a little American flag.  After that, we returned to our classroom for some fireworks.  I learned this little trick at Holden Village, where I have celebrated the past 2 Fourth of Julys. We watched a fireworks slideshow and popped bubble wrap as sound effects every time a new burst came on the screen, as we all went "ooohhhh....... aaahhhhhh" in admiration.  It was almost like home.
Year 1 Fireworks

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