Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Redundant for anyone who sees my status updates but I need to record it here for myself...

Today we were building background knowledge on sharks Bobby says, "Sharks eat people" I dutifully wrote it down, convinced we would find otherwise in our nonfiction read aloud...nope page 4 - Sharks eat SIX people a year. They had to demonstrate how many people that would be and then they made me add it to the BBK (of course). Oops....guess this is what it means to study living&nonliving things. 
Hilarious things we encounter - my para and I look at each other and just LAUGH. 
But I should add that this occurred after a TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD afternoon - with mean, whiny, obnoxious, loud, out of control behavior. My literacy coach was supposed to join us for writing after music and I had to ask her to leave because we were not ready to write. Instead we had a "crew" meeting and discussed the 5 things I heard .... they didn't realize I was talking about them - they said they didn't want to know those boys and girls and that it made them sad .... then Terence said, "I think that's us Miss Stowe." Oh buddy you got that right! I had the whole conversation in a forced almost whisper - keeping myself calm and it instantly calmed them. they relaxed, fixed their bodies, controlled their hands and reflected for a minute - more like 30 seconds but still. And we shared 1 thing we would do to make it a good afternoon. And it was! We learned about sharks ... that's our first ever expedition right now - learning about sharks! We voted to choose the animal from the ocean yesterday and we are learning about nonfiction, research, note taking, and sharing information as we go through our adventure together. We are also learning about living things. It's GREAT fun to watch them dive into a pile of nonfiction books and jump up and down at diagrams of sharks, pictures of great whites tearing through seals, and baby sharks being "born." (did you know not all sharks are born from eggs? Some are born live ... which is funny because sharks are fish!) It's a blast and I realize just how far they've come. Amazingly independent and capable learners....And we start our final round of assessments this week .... demonstrating whether I have adequately prepared them for first grade. YIKES!! 
 As always there are those moments where I have to laugh and say ... "really?" 
Today - NG arrives full sprint helter skelters - spread eagle in the doorway and cries out "GOOD MORNING MISS STOWE HIIIIIII HAVE A GOOD MORNING!!" And I knew then that it would not be. I had her retry. 
Terence told me yesterday my shirt, skirt, and shoes were nice and "matched" - which he seemed surprised about. He also told me he wished he could come to my wedding....and he may. 
Today TP was grumpy ... and began out of control crying and getting angry - partially a chemistry clash between him and my para.....but I asked him to wipe off his face, go out of the room and pretend he just got to school - we "restarted his day" and it worked WONDERS for a little bit. Later on (around 3pm) when a friend was crying TP suggested that RB "restart his day" and I had to explain that it was too late to do that and that RB just needed to pull it together. TP said, "Well it worked for me!" : ) LOVE it. 
 Tomorrow we will wear a "fin" on our back and tummy and hip to remind us that sharks have dorsal fins, pectoral fins, and pelvic fins. Should be cute. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

panic .....

Yesterday my kids - my "babies" who are almost not babies any more - visited first grade and they behaved TERRIBLY. And they essentially told the teacher they didn't know how to sit still. Yes. I was there. OH MY GOODNESS.

It has been a LONG week - I am not patient and they are NOT being learners - they are not my children. I want them back. It's supposed to be the time when I am motivated to push and inspire and grow them with 5 solid weeks of instruction before testing .... but NO interruptions prevail and I find myself not wanting to teach. I want to play chutes and ladders, sing, dance, go outside....not teach. UGH what a dilemma. They are more independent so it's tempting to put them in centers and watch .... but they won't learn as much on their own and I'm still responsible for them!