When I arrived at school Tuesday, Ms H had almost lost her voice. She was speaking very softly and not speaking unless necessary. I remember trying to teach without much of a voice, it is really hard. Teachers are constantly talking.
She would whisper directions, information, correct a child , and if things needed to be repeated, I tried to help her. By the time I left at noon, even the whisper was gone.
We began the workshop groups. I was working with the children who were doing a worksheet on contractions. It showed a wreath of holly leaves and berries. There was a leaf with a word, a berry that was blank, and another leaf with not. This continued to complete the wreath.
A leaf would have a word such as will, a blank berry, a leaf with not on it. They had to find a berry with the contraction, in this case won’t, cut it out and glue in the blank spot. Sounds easy, maybe for some. Others cut out all the berries at once, then the berries fell in the floor. They just glued any word, because they wanted to finish and do the art project. I spent time pulling glued down berries and helping them find the correct words that went between.
To the art project: the school secretary asked them to help decorate the office. The children were to make snowflakes and snowpersons. (too politically correct for old fashioned me.)
To make the snowflakes they put a bucket on a piece of paper and traced around it. The bucket hit the floor several times. Next they cut out the circles. The circle was then folded in half, then folded twice more into a cone. They could begin to cut. Some just slashed the folds, which didn’t change the look of the circles. I kept showing them to make cuts that left holes. Part of them got it, others didn’t.
We have snowflakes and they are worthy of being in the office. It isn't the look, it is that children made them.
I worked again with the two boys on their handwriting. They wrote in their phonics’ workbooks. I must have erased letters 50 times. They do not hold pencils correctly. I kept telling them, keep your fingers on the paint, not on the bare wood, don’t hold it so tightly.
The biggest problem with their writing is they do not begin letters at the top line, they don’t take letters to the bottom line. The letters float and aren’t uniform in size. They finished the two pages finally and I could see a huge improvement.
I made sure they knew they had done better. We turned back to Monday’s work and compared it to Tuesday’s. They were really excited to see how better their writing is becoming. Now if they will remember what we did when they work on their own.