Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Think the Kids are on to Something! :)

So, apparently I have been learning a few choice ways to get things done when no one seems to be listening, from the kids.   We've been short staffed.  We have had various people coming in and out of the classroom and the children HAVE HAD IT!!  I mean, they are in full blown stomping feet, refusing to move, "DON'T TELL ME ANOTHER PERSON IS COMING IN TO HELP"...mode. 

And I don't blame them ONE BIT!  In fact, I am to that point as well.  Due to what I feel are various less than desirable decisions made by various unnamed people, we have seen several people come and go in and out of the classroom within the last few months. 

I get it, people.  Being a teacher associate in a special education classroom is not for everyone.  That's fine!  I certainly don't want someone to be here if they don't want to be.  That just makes MY life and the CHILDREN'S lives miserable!  But, is there a reason WHY you wouldn't just at least come observe the classroom first to see if it would be somewhere you would enjoy working?!

Well, last week I pretty much kidnapped and held our education consultant hostage in my room for an hour and basically threw the fit that I knew the children couldn't throw (at least not to the people that can make things happen) but really wanted to.  If I could have gotten away with it I would have screamed, thrown myself on the floor and kicked and cried. 

No, I didn't do those things.  I basically threw a "grown up" fit...Yup...not proud of it...but apparently it worked!  This was after a week and a half of only one teacher associate in the room.  You may think that should be plenty.  But, just take my word for's not. 

A day after I threw that fit, a teacher associate "sub" showed up at my doorstep.  I'm calm again.  The world is still not right for the kids.  They are still upset that so many people have been coming and going out of the classroom.   But at least there are almost enough hands to meet the needs of the children.

Of course, my poor new teacher associate (who, by the way, DOES want to be here and is doing a wonderful job) has had to go through this with me.  That is certainly NOT the way to start a new job!  But, we'll get there!  We'll find one more good match for the classroom.  We'll find someone who wants to stay for more than a month.  Hopefully soon.  And hopefully with minimal fit throwing in the the children or myself!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Too Busy!

We have been busy, busy, busy in my classroom!  

This begins to explain why I haven't been able to visit my own blog very often!  The other reason being that we are short staffed AGAIN!  Grrrr!  Hopefully we'll just be short staffed for this next week or so (I have a new teacher associate starting soon)!  I'm looking forward to being able to function with a full team in the classroom again! 

I'm pretty sure I don't have to convince any of you; but a classroom team truly can make or break you in early childhood education!  The children in my room are dealing relatively well with the absence of the necessary number of adult hands to help!  (They would prefer short staffed and adults they know and enjoy being around rather than fully staffed with strangers!)

So, even though we are very busy, I hope to be able to post at least a few times this week!  I think we've got the short staffed management down now and I may be able to pull out the camera at least a few times, to take a few photos! 

I was just happy I had time to eat my LUNCH last week!  We can do it!  I've made time to eat my lunch...we can surely take a few photos during the day!  Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Creating a Mouse House!

No...not THAT kind of mouse house (although pet mice do generally make very good classroom pets)!  A house for the computer mouse, of course!  Recently, we've introduced a simple computer program for the children to try during small group time.  Have you ever seen the computer mouse travel across the table top and keep right on going since the children continue to move it in one direction as they are causing things to happen on the screen!? 

In reality, a touch screen would be the best possible idea for my classroom since many of the children in my room have difficulty understanding the relationship between the mouse movement and the action on the screen.  Given that a touch screen is not headed in our direction any time soon; I created a few other adaptations to assist the children with manipulating the mouse a bit.

First, we were provided with a small laptop mouse for the desktop computer.  Of course, an adapted "roller-ball mouse" would be even better...but, you take what you can get!  And this is better for the children to handle than a typical sized computer mouse. 

I attached a small foam sticker to the left click button so the children are able to easily click on the correct side.  Now came the fun part!  I used a $1.00 box from the Dollar section of Target for the actual mouse house.  I removed one of the short sides and used colored duct tape to cover the edges.  (I notice now, I may have to go in and add more tape just so it looks a bit better!)

I slid the cord for the mouse through the other handle and plugged it into the computer.  (Of course, wireless would be better...but, again, you take what you can get!)  I then used several strips of Velcro to attach the box to the table top.

Done.  Done.  And Done!  The mouse is now secure in it's little house and is only able to go so far on the table!  The children will be able to manipulate this within a defined area and view what happens on the screen!  So, while we wait for our touch screen computer... :) .... we will make use of our mouse house!

Grab the "How Long is this Hall" Button!

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