Saturday, October 18, 2008

It Must Be...

the weather. Here it is a 'sleep in Saturday' and I can't sleep past 6:00, an intense headache grips me right between the eyes. Now after cup 'o coffee number three the pain has subsided. I suspect congested sinus passages to be the culprit. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't turn into a genuine cold.

What a week! October is so busy for teachers; curriculum night was last Thursday. Kindergarten had a more sparse turnout than usual with only 17 families represented. It's not a point to worry but a 'wonder why' situation. Since we have parents sign up for conferences during curriculum night it does mean more work for me to get everyone scheduled. My favorite comment from a parent at the end of our curriculum presentation: "So, will they be learning multiplication and division this year?" Thank goodness it was delivered tongue in cheek! I actually left the classroom Thursday night feeling very relieved. I have a goodly bunch of precocious learners this year and I am quite anxious about delivering a quality kindergarten experience to them as well as to the struggling students. After conversations with parents last week I realized that the situation was not as impossible as I had thought. The kids are all 'happy campers' at this point in time and as I watch them work I am starting to see ways that they can be challenged/directed in their learning. So many of the 'middle' of the group is ready to use phonetic writing. They have 'the ear' for the sounds, they just need the encouragement to take risks and put down the letters to write words. The few that have skills above that are working on the mechanics of writing; how to rest letters on a line, how to keep spaces between words and how to drop down and sweep left when they get to the end of the paper, where to put commas and periods. The amazing thing about the really high kids is that they only need to be introduced to a skill and they have it, they put it into practice right away and I am relieved to say they are still kids. Yesterday we had a rare 'spare minute' and since lessons had been interrupted twice by spiders on the floor (Did they know it was S week?), and we had read nonfiction about spiders, I asked if they knew the Itsy Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme and of course 99% of their little hands flew into the air. I looked at my 'precocious ones' and their faces glowed with as much, if not more enthusiasm than the others. It is so nice to know they are not jaded; that they share the sweet, unpretentious enthusiasm of other five year olds.

The work week ended at 8:30 last night for me after a home visit to the family of one last student. What I had thought would be a half hour turned into a delicious dinner of grilled oysters and comfortable conversation around a dining room table. These home visits never cease to surprise me.

The week ahead promises to be just as busy. On Thursday we have our Student Intervention Team meeting which is the time for us to discuss each and every student in our class with the principal and the school specialists. It is about an hour and a half of time to talk about 55 kids so being concise is important. I have my data organized, it is mulling over the words that best describe the personalities and learning styles that is hard.

Now the sky has lightened and my weekend run and time in the yard are on my mind. It rained and rained last night but they say it will be a perfect weather weekend which would be appreciated as I have so much trimming and dividing to do in just about every corner of my gardens.


Barbara said...

So doing home visits have a wonderful silver lining...."dinner of grilled oysters".
I guess you are half day???
(55 interventions)
Why did I think you were all day?
My hat is off to you for that, I tried it for only one year and I was a mess...:0
I can't wait for Halloween this year ..we are allowed to do a parade this year for the first time...I love our new Principal:)
Have a great weekend!

Teresa said...

Well, I AM an all-day Kindergarten teacher! I left school at 6:30. Went on the home visit and got home at 8:30. No, this is NOT the norm. I would no way on earth be able to visit all 27 families for an hour and a half; this was an exception.

Lynn said...

Oh, I must say you need to 'come back home' in Autumn so you can capture the beauty of Wisconsin in your photos. Sorry, but I think we have better scenery in Autumn.
Your school week sounds like it ended well. What a nice reward for all your work!
We have had the same as far as busy-ness in the classroom; both of my students and my own kids!

Anonymous said...

Loved the images, you do have some great color due to your photograpy.
Lynn is right though!! We still have lots of color but lots of raking to do and of course we don't have the nice green already in January.