Wednesday, June 1, 2011

School is winding down

Usually when I work with the children, they come to me.  I sit in an adult chair and we work one on one.  Last week I worked with the children at their desks.  Each section of desks had a different task.  Some were doing creative writing, others were doing independent reading and writing about what they read. 

Then the killer group:  0 to 9 number tiles with a worksheet to fill in the blank numbers.  One problem was a number line with a blank spot, fill in the number.  Then another was  1__   comes right before 18.  Answer is 7.  1__ is between ___  and 19. Only use a tile once.  This group takes a lot of hand holding. I even had to ask Ms H about one question. 
The biggest part of the morning was at an assembly.  This was the dress rehearsal for last night's concert and Open House. There were songs, a play, drummers, and a MC who was telling terrible jokes that made even the children groan. Every class K through 5 performed.  That is 12 classes  They were darling, they were good, they were bad,  it went on forever.  The program lasted an hour and a half.  That was about 45 minutes too long for most of the children to sit still.  Last night the children waited in their classrooms until time to go on.

Yesterday we had our groups again and I worked with the children at their desks.  Let me just tell you I am getting too old to bend over a first grade desk for very long.  I can bend over, I can sit in the little chairs, I just have trouble getting back up.  One more week, and then no school until Fall. 

I do love volunteering with the first graders.  The change in looks and skills between September and June is amazing.  Yesterday I was handing out name tags that were made in August.  Some of the children I wasn't sure who they were.  They had matured, changed hair styles, they no longer looked like babies.  As for skills, they are using words like appreciate in their writing. Most can tell time on an analog clock.  Most know how to use money correctly.   Most importantly all can read.  Some very slowly and will be back with us next Fall.  Some can read several grade levels up. 

Every year I hope to help children love books as much as I do.  I also want them to be able to have the key to understanding all those symbols on the page. 

Reading, the key to everything.

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