Since I'm headed off to Boston for the Learning & Brain conference today was my last day with PJ. Although it had sweet & endearing PJ moments it also included PJ telling me to "shut up", calling me stupid, and hiding from me on the playground while sticking his tongue out at me between screams. Lovely. Somehow none if it phased me though- perhaps at this point it's all par for the course, or perhaps it was knowing it was the last day.
I gave him his very own copy of PJ Funny Bunny. I'm going to miss that kid.
Outside of PJ today seemed to be one of those days filled with children being completely honest with their questions, expressions, and excitement. It was one of those days where you remember why we teach.
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I sat with one of my higher reading groups today prompting them to think about whether or not what they are reading makes sense. All four little girls are extremely high readers for kindergarten, but they mainly just sound-out the words since that's all they'd been taught to do by their parents. Today, however, I prompted them to stop and think "Hey brain, does that make sense?" if they read something that sounded a bit off, or if they struggled with a word.
One little girl didn't need a prompt, but she over heard me discussing this strategy with her friend. As she neared the end of the book she clearly decided to try the strategy out herself. "WOW!" she exclaimed, "THIS makes SENSE!" she read it again just to be sure.
"Hey, this one too!" she read the next sentence. "This makes sense! That's what we'd say if we were talking!"
and that my friends, is why we teach children to read for comprehension in kindergarten. No one should be that shocked to discover the words on the page make sense...
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My magical-stroller friend was having another amazing day today. As we went out for our math group he began running up and down the hallway, twirling in circles with his hands flowing out at either side. He'd turn his body so he was leading with his right leg and then his left. "Magical!" I redirected him, "Go back and walk." so he did, but he continued his dance, just very slowly. For a moment I stopped and pondered whether or not I should ask.
"Ice skating" he explained. "Very dangerous. Very dangerous. But I go so fast. And then they'll throw me up high and I'll twirl, and flip. Then I fell. Very dangerous." He went on, but he was "skating" away from me as he spoke.
Later on the playground he asked me if I could see his robot. When I reminded him his robot is not allowed at school he just pointed. "But he's right there" he said, "He's at school."
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Today we sat down as a class in the cafeteria for the "Thanksgiving luncheon" which entails processed turkey smothered in mass produced gravy, mashed potatoes made from flakes and water, and some truly horrendous green beans I can never bring myself to eat.
As my kindergarten friends dove into the turkey one of them looked at me inquiringly. "How do they cook the turkey?" he asked, "Do they saw it up?"
"Do they saw it up?"
"Ummm... they put the turkey in the oven." was all I could go with.
"Oh. for how long?" he asked as if he was going to go home and cook a turkey.
"Maybe 4 hours." (I have no idea- I've never cooked a turkey.
"Oh." he said, nodding. "So they saw up the turkey and then put it in the oven for 4 hours?"
I could almost see the mental picture he was making in his head of exactly how they'd sliced up the live turkey and then stuck him in the oven for 4 hours only to produce slices of meat.
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PJ was having a difficult time coming inside from music today. Since our music is in trailers by the playground PJ ended up curled up by a brick wall next to our playground. Some of our 4th graders came over to see what was up. To keep them from giving PJ too much attention I tried to chat them up by asking what they were learning in 4th grade.
"Oh, we're learning about James Town." they explained, as though it was the most boring thing in the world. "But," one went on, "did you know that in Jamestown they had slaves?" and she went on to tell me about the slave trade as though she was telling me about the horrid gossip from trashy tv the night before. She was horrified and seemed to really believe she was explaining something brand new to me. "Can you believe it?" was all I could say. How do you nod and accept slavery as though it's a common fact when someone is clearly filled with horror from learning about it for the first time.
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This morning in our language group Pixie burped. Loudly.
"That" he stated, "is disgusting"
"OH, sorry" Pixie said.
When PJ is gone who will keep Pixie in line??