• Attendance

    November 2011
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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

  • Subjects

  • Portfolio

VH, Chinese, Throwing Bread Down the Stairs.

Math Playground:

This week we explored symmetry and shapes by:

– Reading “Reflections” by Ann Jonas (a truly beautiful, unique book)
– Identifying shapes by touch in the touch-box
– Matching items to their silhouette
– Finding lines of symmetry in pictures using mirrors
– Creating symmetrical designs using attribute tiles
– Looking at and measuring optical illusions
– Making swallows tail designs
– Matching bigger and smaller similar items

Book Worms

Looks like they read “Make Way for Ducklings” or something duck related. Aaron wrote in “cursive”. Which means he scribbled. Also made a picture with duck parts labeled and a circular thing showing life cycle of a duck.

Chinese

OK, I think I’m giving up on Chinese. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the class. I think the teacher is good and they’ve done good stuff with it, but it is just not happening for Naim. Part of the problem may be that I JUST CAN’T HEAR the words. There are songs and videos and I cannot distinguish a single syllable. So I can’t help him. The handouts he gets (that I’ve seen, I’m sure I’ve missed some) have pictures of things like animals, food, etc. and then the labels are in Chinese! I mean, I cannot begin to comprehend that. You’d think there would be some phonetically spelled hints. For Naim, I guess he complains that it is too loud. All they do is music, videos and singing. Since it is not in a language he can understand, I think it is just gibberish to him that is overstimulating. He finds it boring, he gets no reinforcement at home and it stresses him out there because she is hard core serious about it. I guess some of the kids are going to continue on at 8:30 in the morning. Naim doesn’t want to continue, so I’m going to move him to Bookworms with Hillary, I’ve already asked her.

Anyway, this all came to a head because Naim had a meltdown in Chinese. It is very weird, that place. Nik and I are one of the families that have to stay there because to come all the way back would just make us have to turn around again. So we are ALWAYS THERE when the kids have class. We usually are up in the lounge, doing community duty, or even hanging out with the kids in class. (Many times they don’t want us in their classes, it is their thing. Fine by me.) But I do try to make the time constructive. Sometimes we go and get coffee at a place about 3 blocks away. And I usually try to go to the library every couple of weeks about 3 blocks away. Sometimes, when we have Avery, we take him for a walk to the park which is only a block away. The point is, we are never gone for long or for very far. But since we don’t have a cell phone, when something like a meltdown happens, which is rare (I’ve gotten called twice in four years), they act like we are abandoning our kids and why aren’t we there every second?

So, I walked Naim to Chinese and sat with him. I sat with him till almost 10:45 when class starts. Then I told him I was going to go get coffee and go to the library. He was fine when I left. My answering machine has a call from them at 10:50. In that five minutes, supposedly, Naim got frustrated because he didn’t have materials for a project (my fault, I forgot to bring them) spilled water on a paper, knocked down a chair, threw a water bottle, went out in the hall, started screaming, they supposedly looked all over the building for me and not finding me, went down to the office to get the secretary to look up my number and then call me. All this happened in around 5 minutes? When I came back, Naim was in the hallway and he said he came out so it would be quieter. He seemed fine and then we walked together to Science and I got Aaron to take to Legos.

There was a mix-up with Legos and there was no one there to bring the legos in, so Aaron and I sat in the hall and talked to crazy dog lady and her dog. (She was actually nice today, she is just one of those crazy puppy raisers that seems to have a lot of animosity and ambivalence towards actual blind people who use actual guide dogs. She is nice to me and the kids, but she is weird around Nik and Sully). ANYWAY! In trying to figure out the Lego mix up, the secretary saw me and asked me if my number (you only listed one) was the best one to call. And then she told me a bit about Naim’s meltdown. So after the Lego thing got straightened out, I decided to go check on Naim in science. He was in line to wash his hands, so I took him out to the main bathroom and had him wash them there while I talked to him. It was here that I heard his side of things, that he did knock over a chair and throw his water bottle. There was something about 50 cents and I still don’t totally get that. I took him back to science and stayed with him the whole rest of the time there, which was fun. On the way home, we talked more about how to deal with frustration and anger and how knocking over and throwing things was not acceptable and what other things you can do. We talked about maybe taking a five minute break out in the hall and then coming back in and talking to the teacher about concerns, or waiting till after class and dealing with it then and just sucking it up in class. It all seemed to go well. But later the Chinese teacher told me that he complains a lot about the noise and she just learned that she is not allowed to let them go out in the hall without a parent out there with him.

[Throw hands up in the air] The world for these kids is just way too over regulated. A kid can’t stand six feet away unsupervised when there are like a million adults there? Ridiculous.

I like the Chinese teacher and she has been very nice about Naim and complimented him on a drawing he did where he incorporated his name into a picture of an animal. Naim very much wants to do an evaluation of her at the end of the term because he doesn’t think she is a good teacher, I  think I will let him but we will talk about how to give her compliments as well as constructive criticism.

Anyway, I think the best thing to do is just get him out of there and try book worms which will be a better class for him anyway. I wanted him to take book worms, but he wanted to try Chinese probably more because Aaron was in bookworms and he wanted to be different rather than any real interest.

Science.

But anyway, science was fun, they had to frost a piece of bread and then predict which side would fall down on if dropped. Naim predicted frosting side down. So then all the kids went out to the hall and upstairs to drop the bread over the balcony to below (with a garbage bag to protect the floor.) They then charted to results and made guesses as to way the frosting side down is more likely to be the result. They filled out their lab reports and that was that. I wished I had taken a picture of all the kids throwing bread over the balcony.

I missed the earlier experiment which had something to do with how germs travel using glitter to represent germs. (Thus the hand washing.)

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