Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
3. We have a penchant for knock-knock jokes. Made up knock-knocks. Miss P still hasn't gotten the hang of it and will say random things, and laugh hysterically, asking 'was that a punch line??' Actually, any style hokey joke will do. Here's one of my 'homemade favorites.' "What did one cat say to the other while on vacation? I'm having a purrr-fect time!" (Bum dum dah!)
2. How else did we entertain ourselves, between aquarium going, eating at Bubba Gumps, and shopping? Charades. Our second night there we camped out in front of the fireplace in the 'reading room,' with some glasses of wine, P and her coloring books. We happened upon some older folks from NY who were also on Spring Break and were teachers. We just all seem to find each other. Anyway, after a great chat with them, E and I did a few fun rounds of charades with P. How often do you see a family, out in public, acting out Snow White eating the poison apple, Giselle falling into the well, or Mulan defending her country?
And 1. Possibly the oddest...our adventures with 'Sage.' Miss P loved the aquarium and loved the trip. But she had a few moments of homesickness. You see, we drove down just for the afternoon initially, without clothes for us (we did have a spare set for P), or P's beloved 'Doggy.' On a lark, as the earlier post tells, we decided to spend the night, and one night turned into two. We ran to Longs and The Gap for necessities and enjoyed winging it, for the most part.
However, Miss P missed her home, special things, and routine a bit. That's where Sage came in. To distract her from homesickness, we invented a character - Sage - who was 'after us.' We were a bit fuzzy on her purpose. I think she was a bit like Dora's Swiper. She wanted to infiltrate and take P's doll (now, as I write this, it sounds terrible! I thinkn that was P's idea.) Anyway, we devised several missions to protect ourselves and belongings from Sage, and Miss P loved the action and excitement. (It also helped move her quickly.) The hotel wasn't busy, and had this one really wide curving staircase that had a glowing jellyfish type chandelier over a vast landing. We did a fair amount of hang out time there, getting out wiggles and completing training for future Sage missions.
Paige training above.
Friday, April 17, 2009
More to come later. We are out the door again!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Not pictured - yummy Easter dinner with mom!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
If you're Miss P, your mom makes a fantasy list of clothes you could use - tops a certain color, t-shirt dresses with leggings (because you abhor jeans). This is followed by a shopping trip to many stores, to compare and contrast, because your mom says 'we only buy what we love!' In the end, the budget gets blown a bit, - (oops, you needed shoes too) - but you'll be super cute all Spring!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
One thing my teaching partner and I are really good at is conflict resolution. We were just talking about this today. I think its kind of our 'signature' as a classroom. A lot of times when children are having issues with each other, the response is: "stay away from him then,' or 'tell her you don't like that.' We go deeper.
We use something called 'Tools of the Heart,' that we learned from a group called Soul Shoppe.
It goes like this:
Student A (accidentally) knocks Student B's crayon basket to the floor. Student B doesn't realize it is an accident, and is very angry. Instead of saying, 'YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE!' or socking him, they say this:
Student A: "I feel (insert feeling word) 'angry' when people (important not to say 'you.' research shows that as soon as you say 'you' the other party goes on the defensive and stops listening) knock over my things. (Now ask for what you want) "Will you please help me pick up my crayons?" (or) "Will you please be more careful next time?"
It is surprising how empowered students feel and how much better they feel after saying this. They go from angry to pacified immediately. Student B almost always looks sheepish and calmly agrees to do whatever Student A asks in a kind voice. Problem over.
Just about every time an issue arises in the classroom (a lot), we go through these steps. It seems like it would take longer to do this, but it really saves time. (We aren't having to contend with lingering arguments.)
Miss P doesn't have a sibling, but at home this translates basically to us just really hearing her out. I can't think of a great example, but when she doesn't want to do something - like brush her teeth, instead of saying,'just do it now,' (which I only say when I'm rushed and at the end of my rope - rare occasions), I will say something like, 'It looks like you're feeling unhappy about brushing your teeth. Tell me more.' Then, I will usually just empathasize. "I can see how it's hard to stop drawing -- which you love to do -- to go brush your teeth. I hate stopping things I love to do a chore too." If you haven't tried this before - simply empathizing and relating works wonders. Your child relaxes. Then I offer a choice, or something that sounds like an incentive, but really isn't anything, like, 'why don't you color for 10 more seconds, and then go?' or "do you want to use your red toothbrush or the pink one?" or "let's go brush your teeth and then read a book after."
Again, seems like it would take longer to do this. But it goes fast, and if you weigh the 30 second conversation that ends in smiles against a fit, the conversation is worth it. It is all about relationship building and giving kids respect.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
So the party pretty much went off without a hitch. There were only two casualties....two little boys who ralphed near the end from too much tire swing. Happily, they each recovered after a hosing off and short rest and were back in action soon!