This was a particularly popular song in the third grade class I had yesterday. They were studying multiplying by two and five, the commutative property and "repetitive addition". Counting up by 5's was too easy, but counting down...even my two's...that was harder and I had to pause in the song longer for them to think ahead of what number came next. Otherwise, Math, as a school subject, has just degenerated in to duplicated fill-in sheets that most need help on. (my observations so far) And then, of course, that prepares them for the paper and pencil tests that the State/District mandates.
This particular school was a "Title I Award Winner" last year and is going for it again. Key to that is test-savy kids not only in Math but in Reading and Writing. So I'm seeing an awful lot of fill-in-the-blanks, stem questions, proper answers etc. These were third graders and some of their work was already on the fourth grade level from my recent experience. This is an "ideal school" if you look at the leadership and attitudes promoted. You would be amazed and awed by the "positive talk", mottos and expressions on the public walls and even in the teacher's lounge. The principal is very personable and is out meeting and greeting more than any other I've met recently. This particular day she was leading the Friday A.M. before class patriotic celebrations and announcements. She got the kids to cheer because there was 97% attendance the day before. She only came on the intercom, apologetically, to announce some major room/teacher switches, which is bound to happen almost every year from a lack of fore knowledge about how many, at what level would actually be attending after a week. Yes, kids were disappointed to lose a favorite, looked-forward-to, teacher or a group of friends they had been with from K. These kids all just love their school, their teachers and their principal. She has brought in a Vice Principal, new this year and he probably is her opposite, although he is tall too.
Instead of the "lesson planned" quiet reading I decided to teach them a new song. They loved it:
You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy,
When skies are blue.
You'll never know kids,
How much I'm learning
'Til I share my sunshine with you.