Final Letter to my 3rd graders

Today I celebrate my last day of the 2015-16 school year!

My last day of school was filled with dancing and celebrating. We started in my classroom by moving to my 3rd graders’ 3 favorite song videos:

  1. Sarah Bareillis Be Brave music video
  2. Glee Singing in the Rain/Umbrella music video
  3. Old Movie Mashup set to Uptown Funk

Then we headed to the gym for the ALL school assembly where another video was shown. My talented colleague created with her 3rd graders their own version of Be Brave based on some of Sara Bareillis’ dance moves and camera angles. But instead of filming it all around town, the 3rd graders filmed it ALL AROUND DISCOVERY ES!!! Take 4 minutes and watch!! It is very fun and a great message!!

Discovery ES Be Brave Music Video!

The last day went way too fast and I barely had time to pass out the Report Cards and my final letter of thanks to my students. It read like this:

June 24, 2016

Dear Room 212 Grade Three Friends,

As we end our year together, I just want to take a moment to reflect on a few things I have learned with you. My favorite part of being your classroom teacher is the many read-alouds we enjoyed together. Lucy Calkins, says “Books can inspire us to reach toward becoming the kind of person we want to become.” I do think the characters in the books we read together give us inspiration. I will never forget what the following books taught me this year and I encourage you to always:

Remember Vashti, who taught us to leave our mark with confidence.

Remember Max, a boy with a fabulous imagination who taught us that books (and teachers) that are 50+ years old are still OK.

 Remember Maria Isabel, that very shy girl who blossomed by reading Charlotte’s Web and by putting her big ideas into writing. I hope we will also jot down our big ideas in order to change our world when needed.

Remember ALL books by Jarrett and how he on his visit to our school, stressed the importance of spending time being bored in order to create things like comic strip stories. I hope we always take time to be bored!

Remember Friedrich the boy whose birthmark made him look outwardly different. Yet he had so much to offer as a conductor and loyal family member. Remember Mike who lacked parents and financial security but had much to offer as a piano player and loyal brother. Remember Ivy who learned that people aren’t treated fairly at times just because of what they look like and who had so much to offer through playing music and supporting her family during the war. Remember harmonicas and music. I hope that either we play like Friedrich, Mike and Ivy or just listen, but always find comfort in remembering that we “are all bound together by an invisible thread of destiny.”

Remember Precious a beginning detective who listened and observed so well to prove with evidence the solution to the crime. I hope we will be observant and kind like she was, finding the evidence before jumping to conclusions.

Know that I will never forget how you helped me feel comfortable using technology to show my thinking. I admire you because you constantly took risks and tried new apps and discovered new ways to show your thinking clearly. Always do this!

Know I will also never forget how much fun we had playing together! I will fondly remember all our GoGoogle breaks and our fun fieldtrip to the Outdoor Lab and the National Gallery of Art. Keep taking time to play!

Know that you have the best families ever. Moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, and even a big brother volunteered to read, share a talent, recite a poem, and tag along on a fieldtrip with us this year. Keep sharing all you are learning with these great people and include them as much as possible. Together we learn so much stronger.

As this 3rd grade school year ends, know that I am so proud of you. You have grown as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians and as kind friends. Now enjoy your summer, being sure to take some time to also compute, read, and write!

I can confidently state that you are ready to move into the 4th grade Solar System after flying smoothly through the 3rd grade Atmosphere as Discovery’s first 3rd grade class!  As Pooh Bear understands, I too feel lucky and may therefore have wet eyes today as we part as teacher/students but know we will always remain good friends! Please stay in touch.


Mrs. Donnelly



It truly was an amazing school year. I got to be part of opening a brand new school. I got to learn and grow with an amazing group of 3rd graders and their families. AND I am NOT really saying good-bye because I will happily return to Discovery ES in 10 weeks, feeling refreshed and ready to greet another group of 3rd graders and get to see my former 3rd graders just down the hall. As Pooh says, I do feel LUCKY and today I celebrate this last day of school feeling.

Happy Summer of 2016!