Tuesday, September 8, 2009


School began last week. I began helping Ms. H today. It was hard dragging myself out so early in the morning. You all know I don't do mornings. But I was there at 8:55 as promised. Kaiser School has a really cool thing this year. I've always signed in and out in a notebook. Not any more. They have a computer dedicated to school visitors. You point and click as to why you are there. They had my name in there already as a classroom aid. (I have been there longer than most of the teachers. They just know I will be there.) After I clicked, it printed out a stick on yellow badge with my name , when I entered the building, and why I was there. And when I left, I checked out on the computer. Is that not a cool, safe system? If you don't have a yellow badge, you will be asked why you are there.

Ms. H has 24 students this year, up from last year. This class is "younger" than last year. They are not as advanced. They are just about at the normal first grade entry level. This means a lot of one on one at first. And a lot of hand holding.

I worked with them on their handwriting, and did one on one with sight words. And I got to read a great ABC book to them. It was about large animals and some of the animals I had them act out: elephants trumpeting and spraying water, penguins marching, hippos yawning, baby lion cubs napping. We didn't do kangaroos kicking, I didn't want to damage a child.

Even though I hate being up and out so early, I love my first graders.

One little girl was so cute and so fun. K had to stay in at recess with me in order to finish her handwriting assignment. She got it done in time to go out for a little while. As K left, she said,"You know, I believe everything is magic. I have seen a unicorn and fairies." And I believe her. She looks like a pixie. This will be interesting to watch all year.

First graders pretty much believe that teachers, school staff, and volunteers have no life off the school campus. They are sure we live in the building. Children have been stunned to see me in a grocery store. I don't belong there. As I was leaving today, I let the class cross in front of me to go into lunch. One of the little boys stopped and said, "WHERE are YOU going?" I felt like defending myself for leaving the building.

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