I woke up at 8:06 am in a panic! We were supposed to start work at 8:00 am! Flew out of bed, Nate at my side, adrenaline pumping. Don’t remember getting dressed or anything, but somehow made it to work for 8:35, just 5 minutes late for class. My class was for hours long, and I coasted through the whole thing on an adrenaline high! The hours flew by for once.
We’d planned to invite the parents into class early, seeing as we were on the family lesson. 30 minutes before the end of class, when Kat went to grab the parents, only three of them were there! It worked out in the end though. Our plan was to have a three legged race- parents and their children, and once we’d demonstrated the game and had the first two parent- child pairs race, a forth parent had arrived. By the time that race was over a fifth parent had come in, so I paired up with Allen in place of his mom.
“I am Allen’s mom,” I announced to much laughter. The activity was supposed to involve the student introducing their parent to the class (“This is my mom/ dad”). Poor Allen was stumped when it came time for him to introduce me. By the time the race was done Allen’s actual mom arrived, and so he raced again against Kat and Paddie (who’s mom didn’t get there until I was handing out Juice and cookies unfortunately).
My new teaching strategy is “Monkey Zone”. Currently we use rewards systems where the student has a character that either moves forward, when they participate, or backwards when they misbehave. I have some students that “loose it” when they get moved backwards. Instead of working harder to gain the points back, they just misbehave for the rest of class, end up with zero points, and start off the next class very unhappy. Instead of moving the children back when they are bad, I told them that they would go in “Monkey Zone” until they behaved. Children in Monkey Zone could not move forward, and if they were in Monkey Zone at the end of class they could not get the daily prize, even if they had a lot of points. Monkey Zone was just cute enough not to cause melt downs, but enough of a threat to keep them from wanting to be in there for long.
In Starfruit class we were on the colour unit. I suggested we do a painting day, and what I thought we could do is let each child choose two primary colours to mix on their picture. Shirley showed up with palets and let the children pick their own colours, so everything quickly turned to a muddy grey. She was horrified and said the pictures were so ugly! I wasn’t concerned, the children still got to learn the lesson!