Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Race to the fence (sometimes they just want to run)
Extra Choice Time
I was struggling to come up with two more, so I wrote:
Lunch with me
Song and Dance (no one will ever pick this but I ran out of ideas)
WELL, the ladybug made it to the top and they picked lunch with me. Newman. I was banking on recess.
Ew, ew, ew.
If you have ever eaten with 21 5 and 6 year olds you know why I said, "ew." My co-teacher who takes a small group to lunch everyday knows exactly what I am talking about. Food flies out of mouths, lunch is on the face more than in the mouth, and kids mix up the NASTIEST combinations of food. Today a kiddo was dipping their carrots into ketchup.
We all ate out lunches and they thought it was incredibly neat (like they've never seen me eat before?!). I sent them on their way outside for recess.
Then I bagged the trash, scrubbed the classroom and opened the windows to get rid of this smelly experience. Let's hope that next time they choose something else. A new flower will be made for next year.
Monday, April 28, 2008
1. I found myself differentiating my presentation for the parents about differentiating. There were some parents who were unsure that we would meet the needs of their very bright little ones -- to those we assured them that we teach to the level of each child. We used terms like, "one-to-one match," "literacy skills," and "further develop each child's ability." We want them to know that we know what we're doing. Then I had to speak to the parents who don't speak English, and who are nervous that their child doesn't either. "We full expect some children to enter Kindergarten without knowledge of the English alphabet, you know, their ABCs." Everything was said, hopefully, with a relaxed and assuring smile. "Bring us your little ones my friends and let us do our magic." Oy. Just like I am reaching all the kiddos in my room, I hope we reached all those parents.
2. A few of us witnessed parents griping at each other in the registration line. "Hey! You can't cut the line!" The apples do not fall far from the trees.
I can't wait to see who ends up in my room in July!
Granted, when I was fresh out of college I was not a teacher, but I also did not have a website that was inappropriate. What bothered me the most are the comments from the teachers that didn't think it was a big deal and that it's separate from their job. Good grief.
It doesn't help that one of my kiddos is out this week because he's on vacation in Aruba with his family. Aruba. Warm, sunny Aruba. I'm jealous of a 6 year old.
It's days like these that I know I'm really looking forward to that month off this summer!
Friday, April 25, 2008
This link however, reminded me that it's always bigger than me. It's about them. Always.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I walked out on to the playground at the beginning of recess and had to hide my smile at the pathetic display. 21 kiddos sitting side by side on the railroad tie looking very glum while their peers were having a grand ol' time on the playground. After 10 minutes, we released the better-behaved children and moved the posse of substitute-abusers to the wall. 3 feet between each of them, standing up, no talking, no moving. They hated it.
I will be out of the room for two days next week so that will be the test.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
One boy (why is it always the boys?) who, despite his adorableness, constantly is doing something he shouldn't be doing, lays his entire body on top of a table while he should have been building patterns. It looked like he was imitating Superman with the table as support. Before I could get his name out of my mouth, my Chinese-only-speaker sees him do this, obviously thinks it's fun, and hops up on the table, on all fours. In my head I screamed "WTF!"
Aloud, from across the room, I scream the Chinese-only-speaker's American name (which he still doesn't really respond to). My entire class, including my wonderful IA and wonderful mom who was in volunteering froze. My eyes were blazing. Both table climbers looked at me with fear -- a look that you honestly don't want to have a child look at you with. I lowered my voice and with clenched teeth I told both boys to go change their cards.
Then I pulled the instigator aside and explained to him that his Chinese friend simply copied what he was doing and that he needs to set a good example. I got a blank stare. Then I tried connecting it to his little brother at home. "If you do something bad, does your baby brother do it too?" He responded that yes that happens and it's funny. "But do you think it's funny here?" I know he only shook his head no because that's what I was looking for. I gave up.
Maybe I should have asked why he was laying on top of the table. Hot lava? His feet hurt? He was tired? Patterning is really really boring? He really was being Superman? Coulda, woulda, shoulda...
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
For seven minutes (yes, SEVEN), both boys sat at the table with their finger on the piece, tugging it back and forth. Seven minutes for a kindergarten boy is like a full day for an adult. I couldn't believe it. What stubbornness! After about 5 minutes I had to hide my "men are so ridiculous" smile.
Finally, one boy lifted up his hand and allowed the other boy to put the piece together. I showered the hand-lifter with lots of praise about being a good friend and making a great choice. My praise didn't seem to do much good because he didn't seem happy with his decision at all. He was quite grumpy, but at least his hand was free to do other things.
Friday, April 11, 2008
When picture time came, we cleaned our faces, lined up from tallest to shortest, and proceeded to the gym.
This is where the fun ended (and ironically when we wanted the children to smile).
The photographer gave us unclear directions and then yelled at us when they weren't followed (yes, "us." I was yelled at too). If a child moved an inch from where they were placed they were barked at. The photographer obviously doesn't know that if you want a Kindergartner to stay in one place you need to give them a visual - x marks the spot. Finally all 21 students and 2 teachers were frozen where they should be, terrified of moving a muscle, and he says, "Now smile! 1-2-3 cheeeeeeeese!"
I'm not optimistic on how this picture will come out.
I think I might take another group picture when we're having fun and send one home with all the kids. At least it will be a positive memory for them.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I write about it because while it was very important to remain serious and have the boy apologize for his actions, I was peeing myself laughing (on the inside of course) because I've never seen an adult be laid-out like that. I'm actually still smiling about it.
I'm sorry for being entertained by my co-teacher being on her butt - but if you saw it happen, you would have laughed too.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Matt and Lisa sitting in a tree,
First come love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes Abby in a baby carriage.
WELL. This is what transpired at lunch today:
"Bobby" and "Julia" sitting in a tree,
Ummmm.... great.... that was a fun whole class discussion. "We don't talk about what moms and dads do here in Kindergarten. If your friend is talking about IT, don't tell another friend, just come and tell me."
I also spoke to the accused ring leader of the sex talk. By the way, this child is one of my sweetest, most adorable little kiddos who work very hard. He was terrified and after I assured him he wasn't in trouble I tried to find out if he was watching it live, watching it on TV, or talking about it with bigger kids. He gave me nothing. "I came up with it in my brain." Ah yes, of course. I reiterated that we don't talk about sex (I used the word with him because it's his new favorite) in school unless he is worried about something and needs to talk. Then he comes to me. Not to his pals.
Monday, April 7, 2008
It's made me think of the end of the year. Since this is my first year I have no idea what to expect but considering how much I adore my kids now, seeing them leave is going to break my heart. I suppose this is something you learn to deal with as the years go on.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I just had to explain to the boys in my class that dunking your head under the faucet in the bathroom and then sticking your dripping head directly under the hand blower was not a good choice.
I'm such a fun sponge.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
For the official description, go here.
This is my 4th Intersession and I'm still going strong. I did however, discover something today that I dislike about Intersession. It's very hard to gauge the ability of your 40 kiddos (20 in the morning, 20 in the afternoon). This wasn't a problem during the 1st and 2nd Intersessions because you are still in the early learning stages (especially in Kindergarten). By the 3rd Intersession though you expect your kids to be at a certain level.
I'm not describing the normal wide range of abilities that all teachers expect and differentiate for... these kids you spend all day with and have a natural rhythm of working with all the levels. My problem was with the wide range and not knowing exactly where the kids were, what kind of assistance they needed, and what kind of support they expected. These aren't my kids and today was hard.
Admittedly, the activity could have been done in my own room with my own kids but it could have been a reach with a classroom of unknowns. Lesson learned.
I still heart Intersession. Always will.