Saturday, March 3, 2012

This Week

I try not to post just a festival of gloom and doom, but sometimes that means that it's hard to find something to post. For example, this week saw the suicide of a crossing guard, which we had to tell the children about (just his death, although all the neighborhood kids know because he lived in their trailer park), a couple of students (SFA, not homeroom) getting CPS or police involvement and being put in foster care, having to be on the look-out for a relative (in one of those cases) who might show up to contact the students, etc. I did start tutoring again. My student loans are not pretty, and I totally downgraded my phone to the lowest cell phone; it doesn't even take pictures. But in the end, it does what I need it to do, which is make and receive calls and texts. Anyway, the lady at the tutoring company will see if she can get me more kids. I have one boy in Kindergarten. I had his sister in my last tutoring bunch, and know his older brother. He cracks me up. He wasn't there Thursday, but they had me do another kid as an emergency, which was fine. He's in K or 1, and doesn't speak English. Some letters he recognized by name and some by sound. After doing various things, I finally got out this book. We looked at the pictures to see what they were made of (my favorite is a sofa in a hotel lobby that's made of gloves). This got him excited and talking! As he recognized things, we could go over their names in Spanish and English. In the meantime, in my reading class, I've started bringing in things. For example, one vocabulary word was skillet. I told them what it was, showed a picture, but finally brought in a cast-iron fry pan, which is what was used in the story. Then it made more sense. I brought in sea shells for the next story. It also involved chopping cocoa from a tree, and a vocabulary word was bitter. You can't really explain bitter, and they really couldn't fathom the difference between cocoa and chocolaty goodness, so I brought in powdered baking cocoa. I gave them each a 1/4 teaspoon of it. They looked so disappointed at the measly amount until they tasted it! Now they get both cocoa and bitter!

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