This week we are continuing to work on Spiders and Bats. I have to share with you about a little guy in my class. He's ELL and struggles with reading/speaking/writing. I won't get into the fact that I think it's shameful that he has not gotten help sooner than this, but I will say that interventions for him have been dismally lacking in the 2 years he has been at my school. He's very sharp in math and has no trouble responding to questions during Math time or completing math assignments. However, he bashfully refuses to answer questions during reading or even make an attempt to read or identify sounds or anything really. He just shrugs his shoulders and ducks his head and wills himself to be invisible (that seems to have worked in previous years).
However....I've got him! Yep, my Colorful Spiders unit has pulled him in! Tricked him into thinking we are doing Sciencey stuff when really it's Language Arts. When I read aloud our non-fiction spiders texts he is all ears. He volunteered information about what we had learned for our KWL chart. He even played the Beginning Sounds game happily without realizing he was matching letter sounds! I am going to have to bust my butt off to get him to anything even approaching grade level, but I now have a strategy to get him interested in L.Arts time!
Next up we'll be doing my 5 Little Bats poem and learning about Bats. I think he'll have a great time and hopefully I can trick him into achieving! I am thinking he needs a series of small successes to grow his self-confidence - and he needs to know that he is never invisible in my class and I will reach him! It is so sad when the quiet, well behaved ones get ignored - I was that shy, quiet child when I was growing up too and I remember how that feels - not good at all!
I am a little bit worried about this week - we are having lots of weather changes, there's a full moon AND it's Halloween on Wednesday! I'm not sure I can survive the week! Of course, I plan on
Speaking of doozies...on Friday I realized I had a major flaw in one of my classroom management procedures. When students want to go to the bathroom I have them write their name on the dry erase board by the door. I thought about using a hall pass, but personally I don't want to have to touch anything that a 6 year old has brought to and from the bathroom! Unfortunately, I easily lose track of who's in the bathroom, and since we are often out of our seats, either at carpet or doing workstations or small group work etc I can't keep up with students leaving something at their desk to indicate that they're in the bathroom either.
Instead, they write their name on the board and erase it when they come back. In an emergency I would just have to glance at the board to see who's not in the room. It's a great system that has worked well to this point.
Until Friday, when a very sweet, earnest young rule-follower told me "I think I'm going to throw up!" And I said "Go to the bathroom!" meaning "Go now! ASAP! Do not Pass Go! Do Not collect $200 and most definitely do NOT stop to sign your name on the board!" Unfortunately he did not infer all those nuances from my original statement, so he did indeed stop to write his name on the board. Which meant that he ended up vomiting right there, on the carpet, and also on the baggie of magnets for our Syllable Sort magnetic game that hangs right above where the student's sign their name for the bathroom. Somehow that baggie has fallen to the floor and this young darling vomited all over it and the carpeting before I was able to shove a trash can under his face.
Which meant of course that the sweet boy went to the office to go home and my class and I got to spend 30 minutes watching Scholastic videos in the cafeteria while our room was cleaned. Our custodian used the shop vac, but there's still a grody yellow stain - my beautiful new room has its first blemish!
So of course, our new procedure is "Sign your name on the board before you go to the bathroom UNLESS you are about to throw up, in which case you can just yell at Mrs. Knopf that you're going to be sick and then vacate the room immediately." I may even have added that this was also an appropriate time to break the "no running in school" rule, but I will vehemently deny it if anyone higher up asks!
Alright, I am off to finish Lesson Plans and then watch The Walking Dead. If any of you follow The Walking Dead you might find this story funny:
My husband and I watched last week's episode of The Walking Dead together right before bed time on Sunday. On Monday he was up in his building's attic, preparing for a Haunted House he's making for his unit. In the corner he spotted an old pair of crutches and he though "Someone I know was talking about needing crutches." So he grabbed them and put them in his office until he could think of who it was that was looking for crutches. Well it took him about an hour but then he realized that he had grabbed the crutches for Hershel off The Walking Dead! I laughed so hard when he told me that story!
Alright, I promise that this week I'll share more learning activities and less vomiting stories. In fact, I'll share my newest creation right now! It's my new Thanksgiving Question Vs Statment pack! It's for all those times when you say "Does anyone have a question?" and all your little nuggets raise a hand to tell a story! It's Thanksgiving themed, so it'll be perfect for November lessons!
I'll give a copy to the first 3 people who leave a comment about The Walking Dead or share a classroom vomit story!