Riff’s teacher uses a star system to help students in her class learn accountability for their behavior at school. He is five (5) and is in a special education preschool classroom due to global development delays. Since January, his teacher and I have been collaborating on how to minimize some of Riff’s problem behaviors. This collaboration was prompted from work Riff and I have been doing with a behavior therapist at Beaumont’s Center for Human Development in Berkley, Mich.
Last night, Riff’s older sister, Issa, stepped in with her own helpful idea: playing school. She took it upon herself to take a look at Riff’s daily behavior chart, which tracks his progress through the five segments of his day: table time, circle time, snack time, book time and free choice.
Don’t get me wrong. I assess his daily behavior charts as well; and keep in touch with Riff’s teacher on an almost daily basis. But, sometimes, I believe Riff relates better to his big sister. Instead of being the drill sergeant I can be, she pretended to be Riff’s teacher for the evening. I believed Riff viewed this after-school lesson as fun; not work. Hopefully, fun with sister translates into a five-star day today.
Last night I attended Open House at Issa’s school. She began second grade, Tuesday. My second-grade year began 32 years ago at North Hill Elementary, which is in the Rochester Community Schools District and to the west of where I currently reside.
What has me recalling those days when I was nearly eight? Issa’s teacher asked parents to recall and share two different memories — favorite subject and favorite memory– from second grade. We didn’t have to speak in front of a classroom full of peer parents. Whew! But, we did write these memories — in marker — on big, yellow sheets of paper plastered to dry-erase boards at the front of the classroom. So, the teacher has us all on record.
Fave Subject in 2nd Grade
Remember that shopping mall scene in A Christmas Story? Ralphie waits in Santa’s lap line for hours. He wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas; and Santa is his go-to-man for making his dream reality. When it’s his turn, his mind goes blank. This happened to me as I approached one of the big, yellow sheet on the dry-erase board. I settled on a subject and and stepped forward to write. Then, I froze. What was my favorite subject in 2nd grade? That was ions ago. It certainly wasn’t math. Yuck! Science bored me. The pressure was on to remember. I had to write something. So, like Ralphie, I went with the first subject that came to mind; spelling. I was and am a strong speller. But, my fave subject was and is writing.
This one was easier to recall and share. In fact, I was delighted to admit my fave memory is one Issa will appreciate and relate to. My favorite memory was taking an afternoon field trip in the spring to a pond at a church that neighbored my school. I attended this church growing up. Our mission that day was to catch toads, frogs, salamanders or any other creature that resided in the pond. So, there we were with nets, buckets and other items necessary for making successful captures. We were going to take our finds back to the classroom for further study and examination. Science is Issa’s favorite subject; and she very much enjoys learning all she can about amphibians, reptiles and insects. We are regulars at several local nature centers and at our neighborhood pond.
Check this out. Two years ago, a former second-grade classmate shared our class composite on Facebook. Now, I am sharing it with you. Can you guess which one is me?