I am exhausted today after the meeting-the-parents marathon. Yesterday I saw most of my parents in the afternoon and evening during back-to-back sessions. We discussed their child’s progress, their child’s learning in the classroom, and a few ways in which they could improve their child’s French. The sessions without a break were tiring but they did have a positive side: because there was someone waiting, I was able to halt the conversations after fifteen minutes.
I could see that for some parents viewed the limited time with regret. I could see their desire to ask more questions and spend more time with me. They do know, however, that they may come and see me again before school and after school to chat or to have a look at their child’s portfolio.
Now that the business of the report cards and parent interviews is done, I can go back to spending my time on planning interesting and engaging activities for the children.
Do you at times limit the time you spend with people?
Report cards have been handed out and it is now time to meet with the parents to discuss their child’s progress. My interview schedule is full and it is important to stay as close as I can within the allotted fifteen minutes. At times I need to use a timer (it alerts the parents to the fact that their time has passed); and I keep an eye on the clock (I have positioned myself so that I can see the one on the wall).
This afternoon and evening I shall be talking until late. Afterwards meeting with all parents will be over until the next round.
Do you find meeting with your child’s teacher is useful?
Saturday morning was a mild one and, as I walked to the supermarket, I breathed in the warmer air with pleasure. I noticed that I was not the only living thing enjoying the higher temperatures. As I strolled along, I heard the sound of birds calling out to one another. This is a sound I do not hear during the cold months of winter. I don’t notice the lack of birdsong but, when the birds return, I enjoy their sounds. This year we have had a very mild winter and it is a little early for the birds to be here – I normally hear them a little later on in the year. Yesterday I woke up to snow on the ground and it was a little strange to hear the birds chirping while I walked on the white sidewalks.
This week I am grateful for the birdsong as it means that Spring is a little nearer.
Currently I am reading Seumas Gallacher’s first novel: The Violin Man’s Legacy. I am a little frustrated that I do not have the time to focus on my current read and am i Instead I am forced to place the novel on the side table and complete other tasks. This is a fast-paced story and I am curious to know the end.
What follows is a taste of the tale: “Kluvin led the raid, with Jules on his heels as they stormed a fortified hideout in a condemned building on the outskirts of the city. The cell of seven men and two women never saw what hit them.” (p 48)
Hopefully I will have a chance to get stuck into the book this weekend and complete the story.
What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments.
The water crept up overland during the night. Unseen. Acres of crops were submerged; animals and humans drowned. The tranquil water caused panic among the villagers – especially when those on the higher ground refused them entry into the barricaded compounds. The wealthy did not consider the lives of the menial hands. What they saw was the rising water and the limited space on the hillside. A few days later the water crept back to sea, leaving behind muddy devastation. Carrion fed and the survivors were left with the task to begin again with nothing except their soft hands and intellect.
Do you think the wealthy have any regrets about helping the workers gain acess into the compound?
Today is the start of the lunar New Year and the year of the monkey. While people all over the world prepared their homes to celebrate, the children in my class shared their traditions with those who do not follow the lunar calendar traditions. Not only did we discuss the Chinese traditions, but the children also did some writing and craft activities centred on this theme. The lanterns and dragons are up on the board in our classroom and the children’s work looks very decorative.
Last night my family and I celebrated with a home-cooked meal. My husband, the cook, outdid himself. The meal was absolutely delicious!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those who are celebrating the New Year today.
I am sitting in front of my laptop thinking of a song to share this Monday morning and the only tune that runs through my head is Co-Pilot by Kristina Maria and Corneille. My daughter introduced me to this song over a year ago and I loved it on the first hearing. I like that it is a combination of two languages – and that I am able to understand both :)
I am sure this catchy tune is going to be in my head for the rest of the day! And I am sure to play it this evening when I cook dinner.
This morning I washed a couple of the pillows that adorn my daughters’ beds. As I lay them out to dry, I smiled. I recalled their excitement when they received these cushions as a gift – I can see their wide smiles in my mind’s eye.
They were huge fans of the Dora the Explorer programme. They would sit/stand in front of the TV, answer her questions, and vamonos! with her to various places.
I bought my girls a few of the DVDs and they watched them over, and over …. and over again. I did not mind as I knew they were learning from the repetition – and I believe the show to be an educational one.
As the cushions reflect the past and stir memories of my children’s childhood, I thought the picture deserved to be presented in black & white. Even though the colours have been taken away, the cushions still evoke pleasant memories.
Have you watched the children’s show Dora the Explorer? What do you think of it?
If we were having coffee, I would welcome you into my home. We would sit comfortably on the sofa and settle in for a chat. You may ask me how I am doing as last week I spoke of my exhaustion. I would tell you I feel much better, especially as I stayed home on Wednesday and slept in the afternoon.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have begun a new inquiry with my class on structures. Do you remember that I created this inquiry last year when I did the course: French as a Second Language part2? The inquiry worked really well in kindergarten and this year I am adding other activities to suit the grade 1 & 2 curriculum. The children are enjoying the experience so far and keep asking me what they are going to build next. In this inquiry, the children get to build and draw structures – and later on design and create something. The classroom is abuzz with activity. I love to see the children enjoying themselves this way.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it snowed yesterday. For a moment we all thought we would have snow on the ground again. But alas, the snow did not stick. During the week we had a day that felt like Spring – and even today the temperature does not have the feel of long winter days. Our Winter this year has been mild and it looks like it will be short as well.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week is going to be busy with parent interviews. My schedule is full and I know that it is going to be a busy week. I hope your week is not too crammed. If it is, look after yourself – and I will try to do the same.
Each day I deal with some children’s inability to focus. There are children who cannot sit still on the carpet and listen to what is being said. There are those who sit quietly but their mind is in another place. There are those who cannot help but chatter to the person next to them. There are those who disturb those around them continually throughout the day. I try to make as many activities in my classroom as interesting as possible, but there are those who cannot focus on completing even the fun tasks.
Often I try to figure out what it is about so many children in our modern world who cannot focus on anything for even 5 minutes. Is it over-exposure to television / the computer screen / the iPad or phone? Or may it be the environment they live in, or the food that they eat? I think back to my own childhood and think of all the things I used to do: play outside for hours; play imaginative games with my sisters and our friends; read for hours under a tree or on my bed; sit at my desk and draw for pleasure. I think back to my classroom experience and I cannot think of one person who had been labelled ADD or had had trouble focusing.
I often wish we could pinpoint the causes for the lack of focus so many children experience in our society so that we could help them. For I fear that children who are unable to focus, will turn into adults who are unable to focus. And as the number of children who have difficulty focusing increase in the classrooms each year, I fear what may occur in the working world in the years to come.
Do you experience the inabiltity to focus on a task?