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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Woof woof?

Although I'm a day late, happy Autism Awareness Day! I always loved seeing the main building on my college campus lit up with blue lights in honor of this important day, so I was happy to see the staff and students in my school took it really seriously, too. After a particular meltdown in my class today, I brought my students over to the rug to talk about how wonderful it was that so many of our students are different in our class. After talking about how everyone is different and some students' brains work differently than others, I thought my kiddos were beginning to understand that the tantrums weren't because a student wanted to be bad or get in trouble, but that they were learning how to express their emotions.

And then.

A student raised their hand and asked if it was contagious. After a deep breath and winning smile and a reminder to myself that student was only 6, I began a wonderful speech. No, really, it was moving. If it had been a Hallmark movie of the week, inspirational music would have begun to play while I was speaking. I started to talk about how it was not contagious, how all of us have different colored eyes or some have freckles, or some are really good at math, or reading, or tall or short, and that we are just born unique and special and everyone has wonderful strengths and by working together we can all help each other learn and become better people and a better world. Beautiful, right? Life-changing, right?

Insert 6 year old who asked question. As soon as I began speaking to answer THEIR question, student began barking like a dog. Let me repeat. Regular ed student, in the middle of a serious classroom discussion, started BARKING while I was answering their question. Oh, but don't worry, that wasn't all. Student also began panting and grooming themselves with their "paws."

Woof woof? Two more days until break, woooooooof.

Other canine-free happenings from the past week:

After reading Kristin's post about her Angry Birds carpet behavior management system, I IMMEDIATELY printed, laminated, and cut out these guys for my class. She's right, it is magic. Anytime someone is beginning to impersonate Willow Smith and whip their hair back and forth, or is playing with the bookshelf, or is whispering to their neighbor, I take down a magnet with a flourish. They turn on each other so quickly, it's magic. "GUYS SHE'S GOING TO TAKE DOWN A MAGNET! SIT CRISS CROSS! DON'T TALK TO ME!" Thank you, Kristin!!

So after our first successful knocking down of the pig king, I tricked them into choosing to read outside for the classroom reward. "Oh sure, you could draw for 10 minutes. ORRRR you could read outside for a WHOLE HOUR?!!" It was so calm and peaceful in our school courtyard--and geese dropping free! Here are some shots of them I was able to take:

Teacher time on the bench

 I finally re-purposed my ugly red felt bulletin board from the beginning of the year and made this much easier-on-the-eyes Focus Board. I bought Common Core standards posters from Deanna Jump at the beginning of the year when I actually thought I would have to post my standards being taught. We don't have to do that in our school yet, but I thought it would be a good habit to get into. The sentence strips for other subjects are dry erase strips I bought from Lakeshore at the beginning of the year so I can change them out easily. The whole idea was to limit the number of bulletin boards I had to completely re-vamp. (Since my holiday bulletin board was still up in February.)

And completely not teaching-related:


For the 6th or 7th time! Our seats were behind the stage, but so close! It was amazing, as usual.

He was looking for me, of course.

 Now off to look for a copy of the Easter Bunny's Assistant since I purchased, copied, and planned for Abby's Mini-Unit with this book and CAN'T FIND IT ANYWHERE! Wish me luck! (And if you have an extra copy, send it my way!)

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