Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pigs are PINK, dammit!

School is not going well. That is an understatement, really. Things have gotten so out of hand between the administrators and the parents that there is now an armed police officer at Alice's school. We have looked at our options for pulling her out. Still on the fence about it. We'll see how next week goes. A lot more on that whole mess later.

Things aren't going particularly well with Alice's teacher either. Alice is trying to like her. I'm trying to like her. Sigh. Per new safety regulations I am not really allowed in the classroom, so I have spent 7 hours this week doing room mother things in the work room. I have run xeroxes, sorted alphabet letter tiles and sight word cards. Not really what I had envisioned doing as room mother...

This came home with Alice today:


It is a story strip of the three little pigs. They had to color it, cut it out and paste it in the correct order.

Note the color of the pigs:

They are pink. Alice wanted to make them a different color - green or purple or something. Her teacher told her that they had to be pink because it had to be "realistic."

I can't tell you how hard that made me laugh. These are pigs who are wearing clothes and building houses, but they have to be pink to be realistic?! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Here is the grade that Alice got on this assignment:
Ouch! The grading scale goes +, Check+, Check, Check-, - . Wow. She got the equivalent of a D. Seems a little harsh to me considering that she got all the pictures in the right places (which, I'm guessing, was the point). The cutting is a little sloppy, but not too shabby for a leftie who is re-learning how to hold scissors. Imagine what her grade would have been if she had colored the pigs purple! Yikes!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1/2 Full or 1/2 Empty?

This morning the jar was full.


She had some for lunch and the first thing she said to me when I picked her up from school was, "Can I have some more of that applesauce for a snack?" We're going to need the recipe, Grandpa!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1st Grade

Yesterday was Alice's birthday. Thanks to all for the cards and gifts. She had a wonderful day. Here is the cake I made. It is a "Super Duper Snicker Fluff Brownie Mom Special Surprise!" cake. I picked the cake out because Alice couldn't decide on a cake. I figured the title would sell her on it.

Tonight we went to her school to find out who her teacher will be this year and to see the new principal. Alice and I missed the principal's speech but Tim was there. His reaction was "Hmmmm." She is a newly branded PhD and is! very! excited! to! be! here!!! He said she spoke in that high simpering tone normally reserved for babies. Hmm. We'll (try to) reserve judgment.

Alice's teacher is pregnant. Just guessing, she's probably due around Christmas. Another hmm. I signed up to be the room mother. My first act as room mother was to strong arm one of the only moms I know from Kindergarten into being a room mother's assistant. We have no idea what we're doing.

The school has adopted a discipline system they are calling the "Panther Pride Behavior Plan." Alas, no more pleasant purple and beautiful blue. This is a scale from 0 (bad!) to 5 (good!) And, sadly, it has nothing to do with the Black Panthers. Along with a sheet introducing us to the plan we received the "Behavior Expectation Matrix."

There are 100 rules on this matrix!!! (I counted) They all fall under the four main categories of be respectful, be responsible, be prepared and be safe and orderly, but geez! 100 rules? Most of these are common sense. My favorites:
- Only one person per stall in the bathroom
- Use toilets and sinks as designed
- Use only 2 squirts of soap and 2 pulls of paper towels
- Walk in Travel Position

I have to sign a form that says that I've reviewed the matrix with my child. I'm tempted not to turn it in until the principal demonstrates Travel Position for me. Tim and I have our own ideas about what Travel Position ought to look like:

I understand the need for rules, really, I do. And I'm sure there are some kids (and parents) who need everything spelled out. Things like this frustrate me because Alice is on the other side of the spectrum. Alice falls apart when she DOESN'T follow the rules. We could read all the rules to her and I guarantee she would memorize them all. But she would be so focused on making sure that she followed all the rules that she wouldn't be able to focus on learning. Which is the whole point of school, isn't it?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

One Down, Nineteen to Go.

Look what Alice lost today!

She wiggled and wiggled but refused to yank it. She wanted it to come out on its own. And it did while we were walking into a store. Actually, she credits her top teeth for knocking it out. She told them "good job" for bumping it out, then she pumped her fists in the air in victory. While we walked through the store she mused, "This morning I had twenty teeth. Now I only have nineteen. And, probably those will fall out soon."