Pain and Suffering to Those Who Put Off Journaling For Five Days. Pooo.

Sunday, June 15
I haven’t written in quite some time, yes? It feels like time has been flying. Wednesday we got our neat-o blue polo type shirts which we will be wearing to camp everyday, and when we finished up our movie, guess what happened.
We were all infected with this virus type thing called “Spend Mass Amounts of Time Learning Dance Moves From High School Music-itus.” We decided to use “We’re All In This Together” as out closing song for camp. The lyrics are as follows:
Together, together, together everyone
Together, together, come on lets have some fun
Together, were there for each other every time
Together together come on lets do this right
Here and now its time for celebrationI finally figured it out (yeah yeah)
That all our dreams have no limitations
That's what its all about Everyone is special in their own way
We make each other strong (each other strong)
Were not the same Were different in a good way
Together's where we belong We're all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We're all stars
And we see that
We're all in this together
And it shows
When we stand Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true
Together, together, together everyone
Together, together, come on lets have some fun
Together, were there for each other every time
Together together come on lets do this right
So we learned some dance moves, we’re crazy like six crazy things that had overdosed on crazy tablets. We woke up the next day, tired and groggy, to go to a seminar type thing with tow teachers from Moneta Elementary. They talked to us about how loving the kids was far more important than making sure there was complete order in the classroom. One piece of advice we got was to remove the child from his or her peers if there was a discipline situation, talk to the child, and instead of getting angry or yelling, we should express our disappointment. They were two crazy teachers. They each had been teaching 5th grade for over 30 years, and they just loved their job.
We had delicious lasagna delivered for us. Writing now, I can’t remember what else we did with our day. I guess we probably worked out at the Y, which is always a great time.
On Friday, we had a reading workshop with a language specialist at Moneta Elementary. She was so helpful and so great at speaking! She was well prepared for us—she had folders for each of us, a power point, and activities planned. She talked about the importance of encouraging kids, getting them books that are in their grade level, and the differences we will see between first, second, third, and fourth graders. It was really neat:
Preliterate and emergent readers (typically Pre-K and early kindergarten) are just learning directionality (which way to hold the book and reading from left to right), pretent read and write, and have very little speech to print matching abilities (i.e. they don’t undertand that each group of letters equals one word).
Beginning readers (typically late K through 1st graders) are not fluent readers, meaning they concentrate so hard on each word, they are not able to grasp the entire meaning of the passages (i.e. they have pretty weak comprehension due to concentration on decoding each word).
Then you have transitional readers (typically 2nd-3rd graders) who are just beginning to read silently and are approaching fluency and higher levels of comprehension.
She also gave us some statistics on the communities with which we will be working:
About 60% of the students at Moneta Elementary receive free or reduced lunches.
According to the United States Department of Labor, more that 25% of the U.S.’s adult population cannot read or write.
About 40% of 4th graders do not read well enough to perdorm at grade-level.
33% of 4th graders from college educated families nation-wide are poor readers.
Isn’t that just sad?
I am so excited to read with my kids. Hearing this woman talk, I have been thinking about what it would be like to study linguistics, language pathology, or reading. She has her master’s in education with a focus on reading, and she works with adults (educating them on the importance of reading and the most effective way to connect with their kids) and kids (helping to improve their reading abilities. I would really enjoy working with kids and hopefully learning to love reading as much as I do. Also, I really enjoyed leanring about different theories and methods of teaching. I REALLY liked it. Possible career path? Yes.
Lastly, she gave us a few hints on working with kids while reading: flagging words they do not know, repetitive readings, sounding out words, making SURE the child is reading a book that is at her or his grade level (encouragement is the most important part of being a mentor and helping the kids love reading. They will not like something that frustrates them or makes them feel dumb. Even if the book is too easy, the child will feel success and want to read more. Yay!)
Kara and I laughed the entire day and this is why:
Kara woke up and said:
“Sarah, look at my hair.”
At first, it just looked a bit puffy because I was not wearing my glasses. Then as I put on my glasses, I started laughing because this is what Kara had slept with her hair wet and this is what she looked like:
It was vair vair vair amusant.
Friday night we held a meeting at Burnt Chimney Elementary (the first elementary school at which we will be working) and met some of the parents and children. Whilst observing the families of mainly boys (i.e. two families that had 4 boys only), I notices that they were all pretty ill behaved. I am most nervous for the behavioral part of this camp. I know that curriculum-wise, we have it all figured out; at the cabin, we are all getting along REALLY well; in the community, they love us. Just, at the camp…I worry about keeping the kids occupied and having them respect us, you know? For dinner, we went to a couple’s house. They are “The Tennies.” Their house was really nice, the food was delicious (I HAD MY VERY FIRST SWEET POTATO CASEROLE! DO DELICIOUS! Plus some pork loin,. Salad (WITH DELICIOUS GRAPEFRUIT AND ALMONDS AND ORANGES IN IT!) and some broccoli and some bread. For dessert I had mint chocolate chip ice cream. Yum.) and they took us out on a boat. I feel that as six young ladies, we are not ALWAYS so good at the “interacting with older people” type thing. It is usually quite funny, but this dinner lasted until 10:30 in the P to the M so we had a lot of time for weird silences.
Yesterday was awesome. We woke up late (our morning session was moved to later in the day), ate breakfast, and went to the church around noon. We had a session with a young lady named Monique, who previously worked in the writing dept. at Virginia Tech. She talked to us about effective ways to get the kids excited about reading, different ways to bind a book (because they will be “writers” for a half hour each day, creating their own stories and books) and about ways that we can write reflectively. She said to breathe, observe, analyze, and try again. ALSO, so goodski, she talked about the importance of basically ignoring grammatical mistakes during our camp. We are here to connect the students to one another and to their writing through compliments and encouragement. We want them to express themselves. She had asked us some question at the beginning of our session which required us to tell her some stories about our time here so far. Then she said, “What would you have done if I listening to your story, then said ‘good story, but your use of ‘you’re’ was really incorrect and I found myself bored toward the end and blah blah blah?’ That would have been just rude.” And she’s right. We want the kids to enjoy expressing themselves, not feel discouraged because we correct them. It’s their story to tell, not ours to critique. Additionally, she told us that so many times, professors get it wrong. They should not be saying “good paper, but this was wrong and this was wrong and this you didn’t do right AT ALL!” They should be saying “I really enjoyed THIS! Give me more of this!” I completely agree. She was really encouraging and wonderful and I like Monique. She also invited us to go to her workplace, which is at this nonprofit craft school for adults and she said we could come take classes and be teacher’s aides for a day during the weekend. We all are really excited. On the way home, I freaked out, made Kara turn around, and rescued a turtle from the middle of the road soit wouldn’t be squashed. We put in in the Lunsford’s pond whenst we returned. We also named it “Penelope. IT WAS SO CUTE. It just kept peeping out of its shell with its cute little eyes. I think it wanted to wave its cute little foothandtypething at me, but it was a bit shy.
THEN WE GOT BACK AND FINALLY COOKED DINNER FOR CHARLES AND LINDA! That has been my most favorite thing of all. It was delicious: Pan seared pork chops, home made mac and cheese, biscuits, a delicious salad with mushrooms and strawberries, and brownies, ice cream, and homemade chocolate syrup for desert.
Then, we drove to Roanoke and saw Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers in concert at a bar called 202 Market Street bar. It was really awesome, he was really good, and we had a ton of fun. The bad thing was, in the room Stephen was playing, people were seated and eating and stuff. So everyone else had to watch from the back of the room. Then, for the last two songs, I went to the front (followed by the rest of the girls!!!) and we danced and danced and it was so fun.
Afterward we went to the Roanoke star which is this huuuuge star in the mountains that is all illuminated. It was really cool.
This is such a long post! Serves me right for not journaling for a while. Lame-o I am.
This morning we went to Josh’s church (Epworth Methodist) and it was really awesome. They recognized us and said we were doing God’s work. Which was scary. But cool.
I like Josh. His wife is so beautiful and HIS KIDS ARE SO CUTE OMG. Three girls.
I think that’s it. Now, we are using the ‘net at Russ’ house and are about to go swimming. Also, TOMORROW IS THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP OMGOMGOMGOHMGOTTENHIMMEL!
Love you all. Happy Father’s Day. I got one tear at the thought of everyone being together at home for el dia de los padres ‘cept me. It’s okay. I texted him, yo.


1 comment:

Jenna Garber said...

Phew, I made it to the bottom. I like catching up on your life.