First day back and I’m taking attendance and this little girls says, “I’m not here.” Look at the post from March 27th below. They’ve been gone for two weeks and when they come back, they pick right up where they left off. It’s like they weren’t even gone.
In the morning, we are busy, settling back into the routine, we do whole group literacy and then I move them to seat work and get the computers set up and then I’m doing small group instruction. Periodically during small group instruction, I take a break and walk around and check the kids at their seats. I notice that after an hour at her seat, this one girl has NOTHING done. So I start to use my growling voice, but then I stopped and asked her why she had nothing done. Apparently, two weeks ago, before we went on break, I had taken her scissors away from her for some reason. She knew exactly where I had put them. She was “blocked” and didn’t know how to fix the situation so she was just sitting there getting more and more upset/frustrated because she knew sooner or later I would see she wasn’t getting any work done.
When I found her scissors and sat down with her and helped her, she got a lot done in a short time. All I did was cut the words out quickly for her. She read them and found the correct picture and did the gluing. Before, I might have not really thought about the WHY of why she had no work done, the old me would have just berated her and maybe put her in time out for goofing off. She wasn’t goofing off, she just didn’t know a work around for not having the scissors, and they aren’t always able to articulate well when they have a problem.
It’s a developmental thing with them sometimes. Sometimes you have to be very specific in how you give instructions. I remember this one little boy in my first year of teaching, if I didn’t say, “Tommy, you can get your scissors and cut your paper now,” he wouldn’t. And then when he did, he wasn’t sure when to stop, he thought he had to keep cutting. He was a sponge though, he would go home and replay the whole day to his mother. She used to complain that she couldn’t take him to the store because she would have to stand out in the parking lot and say the pledge to the flag, before he would go into the store.