Friday, October 29, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When words don't cut it....

There are videos replaying in my head today....

- Miguel didn't want to come to school and cried...while I was comforting him, T (my special friend) arrived , saw my back to the door, crept around me and tilted his handsome face around my shoulder so that I could see that he had arrived - full faced grin and a little laugh - then waltzed away to hang up his backpack and coat. I melted. I play it over and over in my head and it makes me smile not smile, beam. My friend who wanted nothing to do with anyone now loves school and loves me and my working on academics, and is barely taking breaks.

- 10 minutes later T - touches the side of his upper eye - 'What's this here Miss?" "On Me?" 'Yah, that stuff..." "Oh makeup - do you like it?" "No." Very abrupt but said with a bashful grin. Heart = stolen.

- Just after indoor recess I was setting the kids up to take a class picture - was 1/2 way through and they announced the start of Community Meeting so I lined them up - Katrina ran up and wrapped her arms around me "I'm sorry Miss Stowe." : ) There was no need but she felt I must have been disappointed.

- 5 friends at puzzles during recess - one is particularly selfish with pieces - Princess Friend (the tantrum prone child) begins to scream "SHARE SHARE I SAID SHARE" and then proceeds to try and grab the piece from the other student. My course of action? "SIT IN YOUR SEAT AND PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN YOU CANNOT SCREAM SHARE AT FRIENDS!" Turned to my para and said - "If I were four and someone were screaming SHARE at me, I know exactly what I would do." Was not the first time she had screamed that today.

- 2 friends Rodney & Carlos very excited "MissStowe!! We have gym today!!" "Yes we do, how do you know?""Because g - y -m " spells gym!" "WOW!! You Read!!" : )

Friday, October 22, 2010

Haircut Writing Victories Workshop in Action and " 'poons that are Naty "

So today I got a haircut - and the only comments I can't wait to hear are not from family and my other half (who loves it by the way) but from my 21 kids who no doubt will have some sheer honesty to share. I really can't wait - so much that I told my hair dresser I couldn't wait. : )

Today was a HUGE step towards success - day 4 or 5 (I've lost track and I need to be better about this - for myself so that next year when I'm losing my mind I can look back) of Writer's Workshop, which means "everyone's writing" (so they yell back when I ask) "and it's quiet!" I asked them to draw themselves "angry, really really angry" (like Sophie in the book we've been rereading for comprehension) and to then try - actually I said PERSEVERE and they know that word (!) to write some words on  the top line, you know what? ALL but 1 child wrote random letters with some spaces on the top line, they get it, letters make words - WOW what a milestone!!! Were there any real words? Well no, some wrote the alphabet, some wrote their names, my spanish speaker wrote book, shine, look, cat - oh well - but they are recognizing text = huge and I was so excited I video taped them working quietly with jazz in the background.

Reader's workshop? getting there - 10 mins is pushing their ability to be independent but they are truly trying and seem to enjoy it. Phonics....centers are hard - hard for me to manage behavior AND teach a small group effectively -need to spend some time thinking about that this weekend.

Math? We are counting by tens each morning - as we count the days in school and yesterday marked a milestone, 30 days!! (another red number) and now our 3rd tens number : ). And that's a whole month of kindergarten! My expectations are higher - I don't give much slack....oh by the way My princess friend? She threw a fit - wore someone else's coat outside because it looked like hers - the other girl discovered it and was upset, then both girls screamed bloody murder that the coat was theirs - when I saw it I was able to say whose it was and princess friend still believed it was hers and went BALISTIC and I mean DANGEROUS - blood curdling screams, body rolling on the ground - kicking, flailing and attacking me - ridiculous behavior. I marched her inside and called grandma, informed her that she could not stay in kindergarten if that continued. Yeah done with that.

'poons? Yes my friend T - the one I love so much? He doesn't say S in the beginning of words- not all words, but a lot. Yesterday he wanted cereal, but it was muffins for breakfast so the spork packets were well, sporkless - included only a straw and napkin. So I said he wouldn't be able to have a cereal without a spoon - and wouldn't you know, the Village sent him with a spoon and his proud little voice appears beside me - "I have a 'poon in my pack pack." He brings it out grinning, eats his cereal and I take it to wash it. When it is snack time, he goes to get it to eat his yogurt and there were some fruit flies - whole school has them....and he says that my poon and that naty (nasty) he was thoroughly disturbed by the presence of flies near his poon. I just love to hear him talk. Or sing....he sings SkinnaMarinky Dinky Dink and it's cute - barely decipherable but cute.

I am not coherent - it's late, it's Thursday but I miss writing down my day and I'm sad I've missed so much already - I want to remember the moments where I literally jump up and down and say "look! look!" Today was one of those days - 3 mins of quiet writing...I was ECSTATIC!! Did I still lose my patience? Yeah - a little - clapped my hands about 10 times in the face of a child who was putting her head down during small group instruction - kept clapping then the class joined in - oops. Made tantrum friend apologize to the whole class. Made one kid stand on the carpet because he couldn't sit still.....but then also danced the Hokey Pokey, danced to ABC 123 - and watched a little friend show me "his moves." Gave out treasures from the treasure box like crazy.....and got a bad report from the PE teacher.

My new favorite word is "Pack Pack" I hope they never stop saying it. And now I will stop randomly word vomiting and sleep - a thorough, thought out reflection is due this weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Skinna Marink....

Wow!! I could just cheer spontaneously - but it would scare my kitten & I have no voice so I won't.

My buddy T who lives at Boys Village and has been a huge behavior/academic and social issue since day 1 - you know, the one we are hoping to outplace to a school for boys who throw chairs and scissors? Not only has medication changed his reaction to not wanting to do things, but he hasn't left for behavior issues in 3 weeks. I can't say he is making great academic progress - because he works in about 30 minute intervals for gum or computer time (even those intervals are becoming less frequent). But I can say I am head over heels and will cry when he gets outplaced. This little angry boy with a seriously depressing background (substance and physical abuse - 1 of 6 - awful awful awful) has the hugest most adorable smile and when he says across the room "Mith Toweee I need you" or "Mith Towwe here!" I light up - he comes in and hangs his backpack independently, he can move his name to check in and grab a breakfast and NEWSFLASH - this week he started doing the "do now" activities - tracing letters etc. He sits through Morning Meeting and even allows us to greet him each morning  - which is HUGE HUGE HUGE compared to the boy who came in threw his backpack and proceeded to destroy my room. He gets a lot of special treatment - trips to the treasure box, personal play time while friends do work - but he is maintaining appropriate behavior and TODAY - he earned a "Good Job" award at our whole school meeting - and though he said the whole way to the meeting that he didn't want an award - when they called his name he LIT up and ran up there and came back grinning like a Chesire Cat. WHAT a face he has.

I know I'm rambling but if you could see him .... go back and read the posts from the days he flipped chairs and tables - stood on an easel and said "I'm gonna jump" or climbed on counters, refusing to get down - now see the little boy who hugs me on the way out the door and LOVES to be told he had a super day.

Waiting to go to Community Meeting today, I was teaching the kids SkinnaMarinky Dinky Dink SkinnaMarinky Doo - I love know the song I'm sure. Well as I'm doing 1 line - repeat after me - etc - My buddy T jumps in with the whole song - slightly garbled since his language abilities are low, but the WHOLE song and it was an "aawww moment" I just had to watch and smile like an idiot while he behaved like a CHILD who sings and plays and loves to hear his own voice - I couldn't even teach the kids any more of the song, I was all mush inside. : )

Doesn't mean today was perfect - never is. My voice is gone, my head pounding, my body sore - and though it was a half day, it never feels like it. But T is making my day everyday - who woulda thought?!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A week of no posts

I suppose a week of no posts is good - it means I left school earlier than I have since School started - it means I had a little bit of a life last week, and it means it was *relatively* uneventful. Now I'm about to pass out - sinus infection and long day complete with district & foreign visitors who inspected every inch of my room and all of my children as I gave the DRA to a child who was on another planet.....I was about ready to walk out of school in a break down when the British woman asked for my "plaaanns" - lady I've got a zombie in front of me who I'm asking to read - even though she doesn't know the letter A from the number 1 and the scores are due in the system by Friday. Meanwhile the other 21 children are having a hay day around my room - throwing center activities, screaming, rolling on the carpet, and tracing letters in shaving cream (to which the British lady asked what they were doing in the white mess...).....Ok so my plans? To SURVIVE the testing window and to MAKE it through the end of the day without coughing out my esophagus and oh by the way to show LOVE to 22 monkeys who forgot how to go to school as we celebrated the man who abused natives. Yup. Happy Tuesday - oh and here are my plans.....

Saturday, October 02, 2010

18 Days

Friday we sang "The More We Get Together" - starting in a squatting position and standing or squatting everytime we said the word "together.' The kids loved it and my knees are killing me because we did it A LOT! I also taught them "Shake my Sillies Out" and then because it was day 3 of indoor recess we skipped laps around the classroom to the Cotton Eyed Joe, did the Cha Cha Slide, and the Hokey Pokey - all in a row! They were whiney and fidgety yesterday. Cute but wiggly.

During breakfast I moved my little friend M's seat - he is a chatty little guy with pudgy cheeks and expressive eyes, and incredible dance moves. He is friends with everyone and no matter where he sits, he never gets his work done. Moved him and promptly heard "Miss Stowe stinks" about 3 times loud enough that he was intentional about it. So we had the "don't be mad at me for your bad choice" conversation...funny how much a 4 year old can understand. We have spent every day reviewing what it "looks like" and "sounds like" to be a learner....they're getting good at it! Not sure it's sinking in but they can talk a good talk.

I really need to write down quotes better - been some good ones lately.

Read the very hungry caterpillar yesterday : ) love it.

My para read the kissing hand a couple days ago - love that one too!

Lost my biggest behavior issue to a magnet .... don't expect he'll stay there long.

T - my buddy from Boy's Village fell in love with the 1968 fisher price parking garage Matt got for my class - very cute. He had a  good day yesterday but Thursday was so bad. Yesterday he worked for silly bands in my treasure box - and gum which he promptly swallowed - 2x. And Go Diego Go.

New favorite show? Olivia - my kids worked to watch it during dismissal - SO cute. It's the pig from the book - check out : ).

More later .... favorite day of the week to clean my apartment - which I LOVE to do! Love my kitten, love my space, love weekends in my space and then I'm going to the Big E - perfect fall weekend. But they are WAY to short.