Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Turkey Time! This past two weeks we have had a definite Thanksgiving/Fall theme going on in the classroom. Last week Friday, the school had its annual Thanksgiving feast. Lots of turkey, ham, dinner rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes - you know the traditional thanksgiving fair - along with some not so traditional foods only eaten on Guam - Chicken Keleguan (chopped chicken, coconut, green onions, lots of lemon juice, hot peppers and salt - mixed together and served with tortillas), barbecued ribs, fried chicken (almost as good as KFC!), red rice and pies galore! We managed to have only one or two near disasters with food plates; otherwise the kids did okay.

The classroom is decorated with the fall artwork. Construction paper leaf people hang from the ceiling, crayon leaf rubbings adorn the wall, seed collages are displayed on another, and our non-traditional egg carton caterpillars (usually a spring project) stare at me in a row from atop the computer monitor. The kids have been coloring turkey pictures, pilgrims and Indians, and cornucopias - but these have all gone home now. In fact we had a big "clean-up" of the class yesterday before dismissing them for our 4 day weekend break (which I am sorely needing!). I sent home all the blankets, miscellaneous clothing items and toys that somehow make it to the class, and threw away all the half-drank juice containers that were accumulating on our lunch shelf.

It has been a trying month as I work on figuring out the classroom dynamics. We had to make some major adjustments so that things could progress smoother. Our first change was to bring Eric back home again. School, or the traditional classroom setting, just didn't work for him. Even though I allowed him a lot of freedom in doing his work, he works better on his own agenda. He is sensitive to noise and distractions and sometimes a classroom is just full of those. Once we let him chose what days he wanted to come to school and when to stay home, my happy creative boy returned. He has learned more in the two weeks we have taken him out of school than he had learned in the past two months of school. Math was a big issue. He was so frustrated and so far behind his fellow 2nd grader (though she is admittedly doing 4th grade work and so we really can't compare). Since coming home he constantly talks about math and does his own problems and actually wants us to give him oral quizzes on math questions! At school all he would do was cry about math.

Let's face it. Some kids are just not cut out for the school setting. Eric is such a kid. It's too bad most parents don't have this freedom to homeschool. Another thing to be thankful for in my life.

Well, coffee is calling me and pumpkin pies need to be baked. Hope all my readers are/will have a wonderful thanksgiving day!

1 comment:

Tea Harris said...

Hello Colleen. I figured since you left such an encouraging comment on my blog I must check yours out and return the favor.

I am glad I did. What an insight from a point of view we don't usually get to see. I definitely need to come back and visit...