Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!


Wow! Do you like the Nutcracker as much as I do? Getting on the bus and traveling to Montclair State University with my class of third graders was such fun. It was pretty far away. And yes there were groans of “Are we there yet?” That seems to be an age-old mantra of kids. I remember asking that same question to my dad when I was eight years old. We went on a lot of long trips, too. My third graders acted so grown up, mature, and responsible on the bus. I was proud of them.

I loved watching them all work together with their partners to play the Bus Game that I made for them. They found so many police cars and traffic lights and silver SUVs and red cars. One group even found more than two hundred red cars. Can you imagine that? It was good to see them use the tally scoring technique that I taught them. I bet that made their counting so much easier. It would have been hard to count to over two hundred. That game was fun.

We got to the play just in time. We climbed the stairs to the balcony. There were so many kids at the play. They came from all over the county. They all seemed excited too – just like my kiddles. The music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was beautiful and the dancing was magical. I know the kiddles recognized a lot of the musical pieces from the CD we listened to for the past two weeks in our classroom while they worked on their Spelling, English, Math or their Writing Workshop. (I could see their smiling faces in the theater darkness.) I love listening to music while we work. I think my favorite piece was the March. It made me want to get out of my seat and start prancing around with one knee higher than the other. I liked Marzipan too, and Sugarplum Fairy. The tinkling of the bells was so pretty.

When we got back to school, it was fun to relive the Nutcracker as the children wrote paragraphs about it. Some of them wrote about Clara and Fritz fighting over the nutcracker. Others wrote about the Mouse King and the Nutcracker dueling it out. Some wrote about the Land of the Sweets, while others wondered if the whole musical was just Clara’s dream.

The Nutcracker will always hold a special place in my heart and I know my third graders will keep it as one of their third grade treasures, too.

(Clip Art compliments of


December 26, 2010 - Posted by | Anything Writing, On School | , , ,

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