Thursday, November 14, 2013

Square One

It feels like going back to square one, but it's not really. Josiah reached the end of his second unit (6 units in the curriculum) and I knew for sure that he was not keeping up. Josiah is really great at sitting at his desk and letting his lesson play while he is busy playing with Legos. Now this works for Aliza, she can play with something while she is listening to her lesson and still get the information she needs. That's why I let Josiah try it. Now i know that he needs to focus on one thing. We are taking some time to go back and review the letters he has learned so far. He needs to identify the letter, know the sound and be able to read it in words. Letters, sounds and reading are introduced simultaneously. If you keep up it works great...if you get behind you're in trouble.

I'm kicking myself for not stopping sooner. I kept hoping that it would click and he would naturally catch up.

So last night I found myself in the position, for the first time, of needing to come up with my own lesson plans for the day. I love the structure of having lesson plans laid out for me cause I'm really great at following directions. =) That's the reason I pay for an expensive curriculum! Anyway, I had some butterflies in my stomach trying to think about what I was going to do. I came up with some ideas, printed some worksheets and generally had a plan.

Josiah was not happy with me this morning until I told him that he was going to create a new world on Minecraft called My ABC World. His job is to build every letter as we relearn them. And with that I had his buy-in and, really, after he built his n and i, he knew them.

His next job was to build the letters with Lego's. He had to throw in a little drama, but he did it. I had a learning website ready for him, but he wanted nothing to do with that. I didn't think it was too babyish, but something about it did not sit with well with him. So we did the worksheets, said the letter names and sounds over and over, talked about how i and n together make the word "in" and then he desperately wanted to paint the letters. So that's what he did. At the end of the day he could still tell me the letters and the sounds they make. Whew.

When it was time for math, I told Josiah he could not have any legos on this desk. Drama. I negotiated that he could have legos on his desk if there was no talking. He decided that there would be no legos on his desk. (Win for Mom!) I gave him blank paper and crayons. He drew some pictures. I heard him answer questions and he did his assignment with no problem at all.

Yes, I realize that this whole issue is as much a Mommy as teacher problem that could have been avoided in the first week of school. But, alas, here we are now. A friend and I were texting today about how school is so much trial and error. We likened it to a very narrow balance beam--with zig-zags. Maybe Josiah needed lego's to transition to the idea of more formal learning and now he's ready for the next stage. I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Josiah is learning. He is going to read and be just fine. I'm learning too. So much more than I ever imagined.

1 comment:

Christy said...

I have been teaching for 12 years and I have to re-learn this lesson about different learning styles every year. =) Nice job!!