Tuesday, May 25, 2010

School is winding down, the students are wound up

There is less than a month of the school year left.  Teachers are working harder than ever trying to keep the children focused.  The children are trying to do anything except work.  It makes volunteering interesting.

Today Ms. H was preparing for tonight's end of the year open house.  In the Fall they have an open house to tell what they will do this year.  At the end of the year they have an open house to show what they have done.  She had piles of papers everywhere.  Some were of work from the first of school and some were of recent work.  Showing progress or lack of is very important in a school room.

I helped place work in folders and grocery bags for going home tonight and into folders to use for grading. She had examples of the first story they wrote in September glued next to a story written this week.  The comparison would blow you away.  Hand writing, spelling, neatness, complexity all had improved a hundred fold.

I read a story to the children.  They then wrote a character analysis of the lead character in the book.  I know, who knew first graders could do that.  They had four boxes, in each box they wrote a word describing the boy.  Then they wrote a sentence telling why they used that word.  They used words such as : lonely, bookworm, builder, creative, intelligent, smart, popular (things changed in the book), gardener, inventor.  I was very impressed.

For lunch we did something special.  Through hard work and good behavior, the children had earned a pizza party.  And were they ever wound up over it.  At one point the party almost was cancelled.  They were so excited and could not be still or quiet, we had to use the heavy threat.  (notice I used the word could, not would)  All rules were forgotten at one point.  But they regrouped and the party was on.  We sat at picnic tables outside the lunch room.  The choices were pepperoni and/or cheese pizza.  And in order to have another slice they had to eat three little carrots.  Some wouldn't eat the carrots and were surprised we refused them seconds.  Those carrots were soon gone! There was lots of yelling, laughing, just general childish things going on. 

I told the principal I think working is easier than the pizza party.

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