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Posts Tagged ‘parent’

Parents at School

Today, I had an assignment as the librarian.  Easy peasy for me, well at least I wouldn’t be there wondering what in the world to do.  I spent several years working in my town library in high school and college.  A big bonus was I spent a large amount of that time in the children’s section.   Therefore, the day wasn’t too bad.  I had no classes in the morning so I helped out in a kindergarten class.  It was interesting because the school has parents come in to volunteer.  One parent came into the library to see if any books needed to be put away and there was another parent that spent a few hours making copies and doing errands for the kindergarten teacher.    I have to do more research to see if there is a mandatory requirement or if these people just do it out of the kindness of their heart.   My cousin attends a private school where parents are required to do a certain amount of hours and have a rotating schedule.  I can see how if it were mandatory, how working parents may find it harder to contribute but I am sure there are things that can be worked out and night events they can handle.   Either way, I think it is a great way to get parents more involved in the school.

Have you seen this before?  What do you think?

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Many times when I am in a classroom, kids say something or reference a show and I think, “Well, back when I was young…” I don’t have that many years under my belt but these events occur and I feel old.  Well, today a kind of eerie and moving event occurred.  I was in for a support teacher and one of the student’s mothers came in to read a story: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. It tells the story of Philippe Petit, who on August 7, 1974, walked a wire strung between the Twin Towers.    Before she began, the mother discussed the Twin Towers and how most of the children in the class were born the year of 9/11 so they would have no recollection of the towers  ever being up or their fall.  When she got to the end and read, “Now the towers are gone,” I  was a bit moved.

It is always surreal for me to discuss this event with students because I can remember exactly where I was when the planes crashed but these students can’t imagine.  It’s like when people talk about the assassination of JFK or Pearl Harbor.  The thing is these students just keep getting younger and farther from the event.  I know I shouldn’t be surprised because the school I student taught at didn’t even have a moment of silence…and they were in school on the day.  The school I am in now at least had a moment of silence but it’s still so far from them.   I wonder what it will be like to talk about in another twenty years?

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

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It seems like in school we are always testing our children.  It begins before they  even officially begin school.  Youngsters in our area are given the  Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA) to test their skills in various areas such as colors, letters, numbers/counting, sizes, comparisons, and shapes.  This test is supposed to be administered when the children are being registered and parents are supposed to be present so they can fill out relevant information that we use as test questions later.

My job today was to help administer the test to all the kids who had not taken the test…about a third of the grade -_-;   This wasn’t too bad after I was told what answers counted.  I had no clue whether a squishy oval counted as copying a circle or when you say, “hands above your head,” if it counted if the hands were touching the child’s head.  That wording can be so tricky!  I tried to make it like a game.  I told them we were playing Simon Says when I asked them to perform tasks such as putting their hands in their pockets and showing me their left foot.   I also got to test motor skills such as catching, hopping, skipping, stair climbing, writing, cutting, and copying.  So I had them do the “work” part first which wasn’t too bad because they had been dieing to use the scissors all week.  We then got to run around playing catch, jumping, and skipping.  If only all tests were so easy!

There were a few complications.   First, there were several sections involving the identification of  shapes, colors, and numbers in a book that took a fair amount of time.  I was ready to help by taking students to another section to complete their test but we only had one book.  Guess I couldn’t work on that.  I then decided to work on the section where students told me about themselves.  To do this I needed the child’s full name,  address, birthday, etc to verify they were giving the correct answers.  As I stated, this is usually filled in by the parents who are present when the test is normally administered.  However, when the test is delayed we don’t have the parents around to help and we have to go on a hunt.  If the child brought back his or her emergency information packet we can look on that.  Unfortunately, some students do not and then I have to turn to the office to get the information.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to get it because the secretary in the office looked at me like I was crazy for asking for the information.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day to try; it still is the first week of school with craziness to be straightened out. Anyway, testing continues tomorrow.

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Each day, the kindergartners get snack time about an hour before lunch.  This is a time to take a break.  The funny thing is, the parents have been  really good about giving their kids lunch with a snack.  However, the kids are not so good at taking their snack out of their lunch.    We quickly realized this when we walked around the first day to check what they were eating and saw them consuming their sandwiches and several of the snacks in their bag.  I had one student whine how he wanted to eat his sandwich now and wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain he wouldn’t have lunch later.   Even after walking around each day, it seems the trend has continued.

Well, what is a “snack”?  How big or small can it be?I have one girl who brings in a sandwich.  The first time I thought she was eating her lunch but it turns out she brings two.  Another student brings in a tiny bag of fruitchews.   Some students ate through half the lunch they brought on the first day before we caught them.  Others, do not eat anything from their lunch but have a drink.

To try to remedy the confusion we have sent a note home to parents asking them to put the item in a separate bag or write “snack” on it.    We’ll see how this works in the coming weeks.

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