Today was my volunteer day at J’s school. I learn so much at these once a week visits. I schedule my time so that I can help in the class during centers and then hang on the playground with the para pro while J plays. Today he was on the swings and several kids where taking turns giving him helpful pushes. One boy was so cute. He was pushing J and guarding the swing next to him. If any kids came in their direction he would hop on the empty swing and when they walked away, he’d jump off and give J some more pushes. His Para pro mentioned that in the entire school year, this is the 1st day he has shown interest in the swings. He tolerated the pushes for a while and then got up and just walked away to play by himself.
I asked Mrs. O (para pro) about how the other kids were now feeling towards J. In the beginning of the year many of them were scared or bewildered by him. He wasn’t staying in class everyday. Sometimes they would remove him due to disruptions and sometimes he would go to a separate room to do extra work. This week the stars have aligned and he has been a perfect student in class. He has been on green all week and not even ventured into yellow. Mrs. O has been keeping him in class to do his extra work. So when he is done with what the kids at his table are doing, Mrs. O gets out the enrichment worksheets. She said that at the beginning of the week one of the smartest girls in the class asked if he was reading. Mrs. O said that J could read lots of words. The girl said, “Wow, I can’t even read.” Since then Mrs. O said that the other kids in the class have realized that he is very smart and they can have conversations with them. She thinks they are trying to get smart by association. He tolerates them for a little while (just like the swings) and then either shuts them out or asks to do something else.
Library is now a daily event and the librarian has made exceptions to the number of books he can check out at a time. He is allowed to pick any book he wants when he goes with Mrs. O. They are given a limited selection when they go as a class. Mrs. O is trying to help him pick some books out of his narrowed interest and then using them during reading time in class. While the other kids are reading their sight words, J is picking out 3rd-5th grade books and sounding them out.
But then he falls through a “swiss cheese hole.” You know where not all of his learning is on an even level. He is still struggling with managing his emotions. He still struggles with math. counting by 2s, check. counting by 10s, check. Counting by 5s, not so much. Reading check. Reading comprehension, what’s that?
stay tuned, new post in a minute. splitting topics like a good blogger.