Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kaiser School continues for now

Even though parents, staff, volunteers and teachers are upset over a possible closing, Kaiser is running like a well oiled machine.  Education goes on.

Tuesday, my class was doing group work.  There were to cut out four pages (printed on one sheet of paper) and put them in order. An adult would then staple the pages together. Cutting is a hard learned skill.  Either you have the muscle development to use scissors, or you don't.  I trimmed up a lot of pages.  Even though the pages were numbered, not all students could put them in order.  Other directions were given, and were not followed.  They were to find page 1 and put their name under the word name.  That went so so.  Some put their names on the line, some put it at the bottom of the page, some didn't put their name anywhere until shown where.  They were not to draw anything, or write anything else, until told to go to the next page.  That part did not go well.  Several children finished the 4 pages, even though they couldn't read the directions. 

This was to be a group project.  They were to follow directions, not lag behind, all were to finish together.  No where close to that happened.  This project was all about directions.  Children have to learn to listen and follow directions.  The directions may be to help them to take a test together, or to be safe during an earthquake.  Groups have to be able to follow directions.  We work on this all the time.

Other times we let them work on being an individual.  But always they have to follow directions.  That is a life skill we all have to learn.

I did some one on one work in math.  They had taken an addition test and many didn't finish in the time given.  Some finished but many of the numerals were backwards. For example 9 looked like P.    10 would have an open zero and look like 16.  Math is exact, if we can't read it, it is wrong.  They must learn that at an early age.  While I worked with the students who had lots of mistakes, I made notes for Ms. H.  She wanted to know how they solved problems:  in their heads, using counters, using fingers, or knew the math facts.  Most could do the problems with counters, but were very careless.  They wrote answers under the wrong problem, started with one problem and then took part of the next one so neither was correct. 

This is a very chatty group.  I think most of them will be successful this year.  But in many ways they are "younger" than last year's class.  They have a harder time sitting in a chair, they stand, perch, lean.  We will work with them, fuss at them, expand their horizons, let them be creative.  We will educate.

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