And as far as I can see, the next three weeks will be great. Not too taxing. no new concepts to teach in literacy. which is great.
The funny thing is that, because the last theme we did (poetry) was two weeks long, I just assumed that the next theme (procedures: recipes, instructions for a game, steps to get ready for bed etc) would be two weeks long too!
Never assume anything, right?
So I crammed a whole heck of a lot of things into the last two weeks.
I should explain that I get an hour and 15 minutes with these kids. In that time they do 25 minutes of spelling activities, 25 minutes of reading activities, and 25 minutes of storywriting.
So the teaching time I have is only about 15 minutes before they write a very short 'story' (or in their case a sentence) in their story writing book.
In this time, in the past two weeks we have:
1) learnt a new game by following a set of instructions,
2) learnt to draw a cartoon figure using a set of simple instructions,
3) done a procedure for doing a leaf rubbing,
4)written out our own procedures for getting ready for school, and
5) for getting ready for bed.
6) Done a funny exercise to learn that clear simple instructions are the best.
7) Looked at how disastrous giving vague, wrongly sequenced instructions can be.
8) I read a story accompanied by a set of wrongly sequenced illustrations. Then the kids cut them out on a smaller worksheet, and resequenced them correctly.
9)They also set out a procedure of their own making, listing the materials they would need, and then the set of simple steps.
And then today, with the promise of 5 parents coming in to help, I set up the grand finale for the procedure fortnight; a morning of fun procedures that required all 5 parent helpers on board: first we would follow a set of instructions to make and decorate paper helicopters. And then we would be making and eating funny face biscuits.
So my excited cherubs filed in and looked around expectantly for the parent help. Um, only one granny showed up! Go the grannies!
After the spelling test, we got stuck into the paper helicopters.
The kids were perfect; the paper helicopters behaved themselves and did exactly what they were supposed to.
After the helicopters were finished, we sat back down to hear the procedure for decorating out faunny face biscuits. Due to food allergies, I had had to send out a letter of warning to parents saying that we would be eating plain biscuits, frosting, jellybeans, lifesavers, and 100s and 1000s.
We went outside to make the funny faces, to be kind to the cleaners.
The kids all had a paper plate with their name on it that had a biscuit with a blob of frosting and a plastic spoon.
After spreading the frosting, they used the lifesavers for eyes, the jellybeans for nose and mouth, and the 100s and 1000s for hair.
When everyone had completed their funny face biscuits, they came back inside, and I read a story for the last 8 minutes, while they ate the biscuits, and finished decorating their helicopters.
A resounding success.
The only hiccup was the amount of kids torn between eating their biscuit themselves, and wanting to save it for Mum.
I told them that on the last day of school we will do it again, and bring sealer bags so they can make biscuits to take home and share.
And guess what? After all that, when I enquired what theme I would be teaching next week, because my program does not elaborate; the teachers said "The procedure theme goes for another 3 weeks, 'cause it is so intense!"
Uhhh, you're telling me!!!!
In other news, both my older boys came back from their separate adventure excursions (aeach on different ones, Spindle's first one!) today in great spirits. They had a ball. A totally positive experience with lots of great male role models leading the bonding and adventure activites.
Tonight we had a clelbrations feast because the kids reports came in, and each of their techers said that they had done their very best all term. What more can we ask for *chest puffed up in pride* And Roly, my brilliant child whose concentrations span used to be so bad that he once wandered out of his classroom altogther, and was found sitting on a bench daydreaming, has improved out of sight in the area of concentration and organization. His true potential can finally be tapped as he is able to focus and work. Yay!!! Thanks Lord! Thanks fish oil! Thanks Mozart and alternative therapies! Thanks patient, consistent teachers, and thanks Roly for persisting!
Now, here is a pick of what Topsy did when I said 'touch your eyes!':
Ah yes...... 'nuff said! And this is what he looks like when he says 'bath', or in Topsy speak: 'Ba, Ba, BA!'
And every night during his bath, he hops out and runs stark naked around the house in search of Diva in the hopes she will play his favorite game 'tea with the Queen" with him. Tonight she did!