Graduation Time!

Graduation Time!

It’s that time of year again!  Time for all the momma’s and daddy’s out there to try to make it through the graduation ceremony of their baby without crying buckets in front of hundreds of people.  Sniff, sniff.  I am that momma this week.  My oldest baby is graduating high school!  Getting things in order for her graduation party has me looking through precious pictures of her as she has grown into a wonderful young lady…sniff!  How does time pass by so quickly?!  

I Know it’s off topic…

Of course, her father and I have been preparing her for this next step for a few years now.  She has a job and understands how to handle money, she is a good driver and is the trusted one to drive her friends around.  Awesome grades that have earned her a wonderful college scholarship.  She’s dependable, trustworthy…an all around good girl.  

So, are we worried about her?  Of course we are!  You worry about the ones you love–not just their safety and health, but if they are going to make the right decisions once we have less and less control over their lives.  (That change seems to be the hardest part of all of this graduation stuff for me!)

How prepared is she really?

As much as I would love to think that we have done all the right things to help prepare our daughter, we know that we are not perfect and have surely left things out.  A prime example of this is happened about 2 years ago when I realized that my straight A student did not know how to address an envelope!  What?!  How does this happen?

Not only did she not know where to put her address versus the receiver’s address on the envelope, she wasn’t exactly sure how to even write her address correctly!  (She has known her address since first grade, but had NEVER written it herself!)  In today’s age of technology, children know their friends email addresses and not their home addresses.  It is not their fault, it is just the times we live in.  

The times we live in…can we counteract them?

After I had gotten over my shock, I made a vow to myself to make sure that I would teach my other two children to do this, as well as how to write a check–which is another skill that is sort of outmoded–but necessary I believe.  And that got me to thinking about my classroom….could I incorporate mini-lessons in my own project-based learning lessons to teach those skills that seem old-school to students now?  

Of course I can!  One such lesson I had this year centered around our fifth grade economics unit.  I had a friend (who happens to be the President of a local bank) come in and bring blank checks and deposit slips for all of the students.  Mr. Bank President went through a whole lesson of how to fill out these checks and deposit tickets and the kids loved it! His lesson played into my lesson of how banks are the center of our local community’s economy…and even our world’s economy.  

Another lesson had the students writing to their own parents an invitation to come to our school “Museum Night.”  The class had recently interviewed a grandparent/grandfriend and written a small book about their lives.  The books were going to be on display at Museum Night and the students wanted to invite the people they had written about to come and read the book.  In doing so, they learned how to place their address and the receiver’s address on an envelope.  

Simple ideas, big impact

As simple as these activities were, they played into a larger concept that I was teaching.  I made sure I did my part to teach some of these outmoded skills at a younger age than my own children learned.   That is the part of project based learning that I love.  An authentic, real-world application of a skill taught as a part of a larger concept.  

 

Happy graduation to all you grads out there, whatever you are graduating from!  I pray that you get the opportunity to work hard for your dreams and that you have a blessed life.  Time goes faster than you think it ever can, so don’t wish it away!  Enjoy every phase you are in, even if it seems you are stuck there!

 

–Angela

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