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April 16, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAYS 104 and 105

DAY 104: First grade – they were quite a challenge. I finally took my “laid back” approach and quit getting after people to stay quiet and settled for monitoring that at least most of them were doing their work. Honestly, I couldn’t help two kids learn their subtraction if I kept policing the talking. Overall it wasn’t a bad day, but I was a bit flustered when I left.

There’s a book fair and each child wrote down the names and prices of the books they wanted and took the paper home on Monday. Many believed that their parents would buy these books. I remembered bringing home Scholastic book club sheets in 4th grade and wanting to buy a 50 cent or 75 cent book and being told “No.”  These kids were racking up $50-100 on their lists. Today (Tuesday) those who brought in money got to go down and get their books and the rest stayed back in class. We told them their parents could still come in and purchase books if they wanted to. Also mentioned that there are always items we would like but we don’t all get to go to the mall and buy them every week. The kids were told NOT to look at their book fair purchases during the school day, but most pulled them out during the last half hour when they were waiting for their rides. I noticed that C. had a Minecraft book and that other kids were interested in it – she let some look at it. A while later her ride came and she couldn’t find her new book. About 20 minutes later I saw J. reading that same book and I asked him if it was his and his classmate said that it belonged to C. J looked me right in the eye and said, “C GAVE it to me.” Riiiiight. I told him that I knew that she didn’t just buy an expensive ($6) book and give it away on the very first day she owned it. He tried to back pedal and say that he’d meant that she gave it to him to look at. Further questions led to a look of “being caught” and I retrieved the book and called C’s home to leave a message that her book had been found, then left a note for the teacher. Oh, J, I hope this isn’t an indication of your direction in life.

I found out that the teacher’s aide in that class is a minister’s wife and we “dropped names” together for a few minutes. 🙂 Hope to get to know her a little better – their church is quite close to the school.

DAY 105: Kindergarten – today went very well. Lots of redirecting, of course, but for the most part it wasn’t bad – they stayed on task better than the older kids did this week. One thing I like about Kindergarten (and usually first grade) is that they haven’t developed as many tricks for getting out of work yet, and they are still responsive to discipline. I will be in this class on Friday and would have been there Thursday too but I have to take off tomorrow to take Mom and Dad to three appointments. The school secretary and teacher’s aide each mentioned twice that they wished I was coming in tomorrow. Nice to feel needed, but being needed in too many directions is difficult.

I noticed a lot of pine cones on the ground so I picked them up from recess and took them on a walk holding hands and whistling like a train around to the front of the school where I directed them to each pick up one nice pine cone. Inside the room I put each child’s initials on his/her pine cone and allowed them to hold them and play with them for quite awhile, and later they took them home. We analyzed them, also, and they were surprised to learn that the shelves in the room came from a pine tree. SO many details you can teach little kids.

I read “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples’ Ears” and the teacher’s manual said to discuss cause and effect so I thought of ways of showing how one thing causes another (my 5-car accident, for instance). Then I talked about how their actions and words have an effect. We talked about super powers and they loudly discussed which ones they wished they possessed. I told them that they each possess a super power: the power to make someone else happy. Examples were cited. 🙂 Food for thought, anyway.

These kids are just – beautiful. While writing on one girl’s pine cone, I noticed her really beautiful slender hands. Most kids are at their cutest at age 5, I think, before they lose their baby teeth. I try hard to remember what it feels like at that age to have a big person yell at you or belittle you, and try to remember to be gentle, not sarcastic, even when they need re-direction or discipline. And we have some fun together too.

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