On the other hand, one of my little ones came back to school today after an extended absence. He has severe allergies and had scratched his scalp raw. His poor little head was covered with oozy, crusty skin and his hair had scabs stuck in it everywhere. He was very embarrassed so I raided our coat closet for a knit hat he could wear. Everyone greeted him enthusiastically, glad to have him back, and no one commented on the hat even though school rules forbid it. Eventually the hat started to irritate him, maybe it was too warm. So he asked if he could take it off and I told him I didn't care - he could wear it or not, whatever he was comfortable with. Well, he took it off, and not one single kiddo reacted in a bad way. One little friend asked him if it hurt, and when he said it didn't, the class got back to work. They were just happy to see their friend and totally accepting of him. After that he only put the hat on if we were leaving the classroom. He knew he was safe from teasing in our room. I was really proud of my little ones for that :)
In other exciting news, my new little ELL friend who is normally very quiet, withdrawn and shy, came darting back into the room after being picked up this afternoon. He smiled and handed me a folded note and then took off again. I unfolded it and saw, in his very best handwriting "I like my teacher." surrounded by hearts! Soooo sweet! He is one of those little darlings who was overlooked by previous teachers because he is never a problem - sits there and wills himself to be invisible so that no one notices that he is not a reader yet. Since he came to me I have tried to foster his self-esteem and provide him with small opportunities to be successful and its working!
I was once that quiet, shy kid myself, so I try to make sure to pay particular attention to them. It is very hard to remember them when you have 20 other attention seeking darlings, but I have found that focusing on the quiet ones for some one on one attention each day really helps them to come out of their shells - and that leads to bigger achievement gains!
In still other news, we have not yet begun decorating for the holidays - i am hoping to get to that tomorrow and Friday! I did find the prettiest paper in a donated box in the work room - it was at the bottom of the box and its cut into about 3 inch wide strips, but its the prettiest blue you can imagine. It made me think of snowflakes the second I saw it. Not sure how to make snow out of 3 inch strips, but you can bet I grabbed a whole pile of strips and took them back to my room. At the very least they'll be good for writing sight words or spelling words on!
I did make a new Tagxedo for the month:
The kids are always so excited to find their names :)
I can't wait for my Snowman unit - they have a snowflake shape and a snowman shape! I am already planning my bulletin board - I am sending home a letter asking families to describe their child in one-word adjectives. Then I'll make each one into a separate snowflake Tagxedo, cut it out and put it on the board! Here's an example I made up to see how it would work:
Alright, I am off to a hot bath while visions of snowy bulletin boards dance in my head - don't worry, I'll take plenty of pictures once its up!