Tuesday, as usual, I was at Kaiser School with the first graders. Mostly I was grading papers and making up packets of graded work to go home. But I also was keeping tabs on who wasn't working up to speed.
They were doing a cut and paste math sheet that was the 12 Days of Christmas. There were boxes that had each verse symbol: a partridge in a pear tree with the word first, a turtle dove and the word second, and so on. They cut them out, put them in order, and glued the boxes to a long sheet of paper. Before the work could go on the drying rack they had to read the words to an adult. Then they wrote 3 sentences using the ordinal numbers. They could all sing the song, and some were upset that I pointed to random boxes and they had to really read. Mean Ms. Appel.
They later had to fill in blanks of three sentences. They had to write it exactly as Ms. H had it on the board. First blanks for names, second blanks use any number and then a noun. They could put anyone and anything in the blanks. Spelling counts, handwriting counts, and again it had to be as she had written it. Really an easy exercise.
On the first day of Break my friend Betty gave to me,
3 dolls .
On the second day of Break my _______ ______ gave to me,
On the third day of Break my _______ _______ gave to me,
One lovely "I will do it my way" child wrote it out about 8 times. I would erase it, show him the words he left out, explain again how to fill in the blanks, and he would just make up a whole new form. Mostly he left out one of the sentences. This is not a slow child, he reads well and does math well, but refuses to follow directions. A major part of life is following directions. He lost recess, and was also going to lose lunch recess. He is pigheaded and always has to do work over and over. When he finally accepts we won't allow his half ass work, he will do the work perfectly. Ms. H calls him her passive aggressive child.
Now for the it is close to Christmas. Several things set off a classroom: substitute teachers, rainy or snowy weather, a change in routine, and holidays. Christmas and Halloween are the big one to make children go nutso. The silent children were talking, the talkers were yelling across the room, some were just wandering from table to table chairs fell over and books were dropped. A normal week before Christmas break.