Color Your World: Piggy Pink
Having students read to piggies or teddies or Pikachu can be a valuable way to provide an audience for hesitant readers. Make sure they whisper read, so just their own critter can hear (and the room is not full of booming voices). Many struggling readers find this a powerful way to read books at their level without a sense of shame (“I should be reading chapter books!”). It also starts a habit which they can use at home, if no adults or sibs are available or willing. Hearing themselves read out loud is a confidence booster, perhaps jump-starting opportunities to read to younger kids. For some of my groups, I had their books placed inside folders so only their special listener knew what book was being read. This helped ease them through those early days of reading well below grade level. Some kids need that boost, others don’t.
I noticed that for many of my kids on the autism spectrum, this activity provided a chilling out experience. They usually read silently, clutching a dinosaur or Pokemon character. After the stress of the larger classroom, these kids needed comfort in a socially acceptable form. Before bean bags were banned due to fire regulations, they could also get a lot of form-fitting sensory input while reading to Kirby.
Personally, I read to Teddy. Piggy pink.
I have been working my patooties off, in case you’re wondering where Teachezwell has been. What a great time, though!
My sweetest teaching widower gave me such a precious Valentine card today, despite being traditionally averse to a holiday created to sell cards! And he was nearly showing off his patooties! He had an x-ray of his knee and while talking to the radiologist in the hallway, realized his special x-ray pants had fallen to the floor!
I’m taking three online classes simultaneously and loving them, even as I lag two weeks behind the group. I mostly only panic in the early hours of the morning.
Today was special because a certain kiddo I teach had a PLAYDATE! His first ever! Eleven years old, confined to an ICU-type environment. A dear friend introduced us to a dear family and he has friends! He laughed and played for hours.
Do I care that I am also YEARS behind with Facebook? Would this notification entice you or scare your patooties off?
I am too happy to worry about FB. They cannot scare me OR my patooties.
Color your World: Purple Heart
Pansies have long been one of my favorite flowers. Of course, we can’t have any within deer snacking range, which includes our porch. But I love their little purple heart-shaped faces and usually take the time to chat when we meet. They are excellent listeners and once they’re comfortable with you, pansies will tell you amazing secrets. I’m not going to violate their confidence about that; suffice to say they have a keen eye on the world around them.
Color Your World: Razzle Dazzle Rose
These razzle-dazzle “roses” caught my eye as they shone amidst the weeds and debris. I have no idea what kind of flower they are, but these fallen petals brightened an otherwise drab patch. I hope to do the same.
I loved Cee’s own entries for her Fun Foto Challenge (using the letter Y) and immediately searched for something I could use. I found him on our mantel.
Young boy with his dog.
Color Your World: Bittersweet
Birthdays can be bittersweet experiences for kids at school unless there are clear guidelines to keep celebrations equitable. And even with those guidelines, some populations (wealthy, privileged) have a clear advantage. I have seen improvements over the years. It used to be that the “entitled” families provided a sugar feast for the class, along with balloons and performers. Many classes still celebrate monthly, but I’m not sure that school is the place for birthday events. Those poor souls born during summer months never quite make the birthday cut.
There are many other appropriate reasons to recognize students at school, such as effort, perseverance, initiative, and kindness.
Looking for the perfect gift for kiddos who enjoy science and gadgets that spin and whir? Want to jumpstart your young inventor? Penny Norman’s Science Wiz kit, Inventions, is sure to please. This kit is a highly acclaimed book-manual-kit for kids 8 and up, although young hands will need a bit of support from adults.
What makes this kit so special? It has fabulous illustrations to support the creation of devices from simple to complex, helps kids understand why and how these inventions work, and is loaded with everything you need to complete the projects (except for one D battery).
I used this kit with a budding, special needs inventor and we completed all the inventions, including a working radio. OK, the radio only picked up static, but that was pretty impressive for a paper towel tube and a myriad of wires.
As I’ve mentioned before, providing opportunities to excel in science can add social credit to kids who are on the fringes of a classroom. Taking a radio like this to school would likely be fascinating to peers (and teachers!).
Color Your World: Outer Space
This was a cool exhibit on thermal imaging at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. I am holding a camera at the left of the screen, my outer space image being mirrored. Or is that an alien??
Color Your World: Screamin’ green
Rolling stones gather no moss, so this one was obviously glued in place! I do love finding hidden treasures on a hike.
Color Your World: Blue Violet
Seriously? I cannot find anything blue violet, so these will have to do. Purple flowers, blah blah blah. I did teach a colorblind student once and maybe it’s contagious. With a germination period of about 15 years. Neither that kiddo nor his parents said a word about it. Only when we were color-coding parts of speech did I realize that he could not distinguish between red, green, and blue. Many more years ago, we also had a colorblind friend whose job on a train was to spot the green or red light in time to tell the engineer whether the track was clear! If he didn’t see the lights actually change, he had no idea. I told him he should quit. Fortunately, he lost his job for some other reason. Yikes.