Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wonderful Day!

I had the most wonderful day today! I had to go into the school today to drop off some snacks for Boy B's Kindergarten class. I had picked up some graham crackers, a couple of jugs of apple juice and some dixie cups for the kids. I wasn't sure what "bringing snack" meant, but figured too much was better than not enough - and if there is extra, they just keep it for later use.

Anyhow, that was the main purpose of my visit. I go in, check in with the monitor, get my visitor badge and head towards Boy B's classroom. Before I get too far, I decide to quickly swing by Boy B's homeroom class to talk to his teacher about our homework dilemma. We are constantly getting homework sent home, Boy A does it, then we send it to school the next day, yet it somehow keeps coming home in his backpack. So, my concern was that the homework was not getting turned in. When I would ask Boy A about it, he would either say he did turn it in or else he forgot to turn it in. Both answers are usually given moments apart, so I felt that I should talk to his teacher about this.

I go in to talk to her and while she is not the teacher that I needed to talk to about this particular situation. This problem kept cropping up involving his math homework, but his homeroom teacher teaches his language arts, not his math or unit studies teacher.

We discuss his language arts progress and overall behaviors in the classroom and she reports to me that he is doing well and is showing improvement over his behavior from the beginning of the year, and we also discussed how the spelling tests are set up. She is getting her system established and she is doing well with it. So, report from Mrs. R went well!

Then I head over to talk to Mrs. Z about Boy A's math homework. I go in and introduce myself and tell her that I would like to talk to her about Boy A's math. She gets excited and says that she is so happy that I am there and then closes the door. We sit down and she says that she is so shocked over Boy A's test score. (inward grown on my part) She goes on to say that she was sure he was going to have problems with his test, since he had been absent last week and missed a lot of the instruction time and then the review and extra practice. She pulls out his test and shows me that he only missed two problems. She said that since he had been gone, she thought she would have to reteach him the material and she didn't. He felt confident that he could do the work and so she let him take the test, against her better judgment and he did extremely well. She said that he has a math mind.

I explained our issue with homework and how it comes back. She explained that her process was to have the kids lay their work out in the top corner, and she walks around the room and spot checks the homework to make sure that its complete and checks a couple of key problems. She doesn't actually sit down and grade each assignment. So, that is why Boy A often brings the homework back home. She said he has never not had his homework when he should have it.

What an encouraging visit I had with her. We talked at great length, actually taking up most of her hour-long plan period. It was wonderful! She said that I was easy to talk to (and I totally felt the same way about her) and that she really enjoyed our talk.

How wonderful to have those conversations with two of his teachers. I have to talk to a third teacher tomorrow yet and I'll let you know how that one goes.

I then went on to Boy B's classroom and dropped off the treats. The teacher, Ms. W, seemed to really appreciate the juice and cups as well. I'm going to try to remember to take treats in once a month at least.

Works For Me Wednesday


Well, I actually had not planned on doing a WFMW post, but there was something today that just worked out so well that I had to share it. I wanted to blog but Boy A also needs someone to keep him on task to finish his homework. We normally do homework at the table, but due to time constraints this evening, I wouldn't be able to sit with him at the table and be able to blog at the same time. So instead, Boy A is sitting here next to me while I type. For the most part, he is staying focused on his homework and I'm able to get some "me" time at the same time. I love to write/type and blog and it has become really important to me that I have the time to do this every day. So, that is my WFMW tip. If you need to have some time on the computer and your kid needs you as well for some intermittent help, then set him or her up next to you. We happen to have a large enough desk that works well for both of us to sit and work comfortably. If we didn't though, I could set him up with a clipboard and a chair next to me as well. Which is something we sometimes do in the van on those evenings where we are running from one sporting activity to another.