Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Growing Plants! Wacky Adventures in Lower El!

It's been a wacky random week in Lower El! And it's only Wednesday! I have had so much going on in the last couple days that I don't really know where to begin since none of them are really related to one another. Take trip into two days of Lower El randomness...

We officially have growing plants! We planted radish seeds last week and the kids did a great job. I secretly have this terrible fear the plants are never going to grow! There is a reason for this... I have a black thumb! I literally kept exactly one plant alive in my entire life!

There is a story behind this plant:

In my 2nd year of teaching, my principal gave the staff each a spiral bamboo plant for teacher appreciation week. I happily kept it alive for 2 years before moving back to CA from Arizona. As I drive through the California border patrol I get stopped for this little bamboo plant in my cup holder. I forgot that you are not allowed to bring plants into California because they could have bugs that destroy the amazing crops and agriculture in our state. I almost cried when the border patrol lady reminded me of this. She must have seen it on my face. She made me hand it to her and show her it's just a tiny house plant. I told her it was the only plant in the universe I hadn't killed in a week or less. I had to promise that was the only one I had and that I would keep it inside when I moved here. Then she very nicely (and possibly illegally) gave it back to me. It is still alive today 4 years since I drove through that border patrol station...and 6 years since I got that plant! Although, it misses the Arizona sun everyday and isn't quite as bright as it used to be.

Anyway... the radishes started to grow!! Yay!! I was pretty nervous because a heat wave hit this past weekend and it was over 80 degrees Saturday and Sunday. I was worried the seeds would stop growing from the heat and not getting watered all weekend. To my surprise, multiple have sprouted! Whoo hoo!! According to the package, our radishes should be ready to harvest in about 15 more days!

This was our Earth Day book of the day: The Earth and I by Frank Asch. The pictures are the best part!! So vibrant! It also requires some inference skills because there are a couple wordless pages.

Yesterday it was one student's birthday and I discovered that autism and birthdays are not the best mix! It's a whole bunch of excitement and routine changes! The boy was a couple minutes later than usual and couldn't play on the playground so he sat outside and screamed that he wanted his birthday. I later discovered he thought his birthday was a like a holiday and he didn't think he had to come to school.

After a bit of bribery I got him inside. Then he kept yelling "I want my birthday!!" This is one of my less verbal kiddos, so it took some brainstorming on my part to figure out what he meant. I kept explaining it's still his birthday all day and coming inside the classroom didn't take that away. He kept insisting he wanted his birthday, then I figured it out! To him "my birthday" really meant "my birthday cupcakes!" I'm pretty proud of my inference skills on that one! We talked about how cupcakes are not for breakfast and we can have them after lunch. Problem solved! A wonderfully delicious set of homemade gluten-free cupcakes were eaten. His mom has AWESOME decorating skills. Aren't these beautiful?!

Next random story:
I am at a private school for special ed, and this means we don't have to take every kid who walks through the door. We have a bit of a range of what type of kids we were with because there are ZERO aides on campus. All kids have to be functional without a classroom aide, so they have to "shadow" a class for a day to see if this is the best place for them.

Today I had a "shadow" who had a VERY rough morning. I did my fair share of running, carrying him, and general "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job!!" chanting to keep myself going. Then he had these random bursts of the perfect example of how our typical (SPED) students act. Ya know, the totally not perfect, but a totally manageable amount of wacky for a K-2 teacher without an aide. Which had me a little stuck because I didn't want to say and instant "yes" or "no" on this kid. I reviewed his file and talked to mom and this seemed to be an extra bad day and pretty out of character for him. So we'll try again tomorrow. Take a peek at the destruction of the toilet paper roll in my bathroom... Anytime you hear the sink running while the toilet paper roll is moving, you know they are up to no good! This is what I found! Who knows how far he'd have gone if I didn't walk in and stop him!

Another student got a giant sticker stuck in his hair. It was thankfully removed rather painlessly, but it was a VERY sticky sticker!

Did you have any random adventures in your class today? I'd love to hear them! I like knowing I'm not the only teacher with a day full of wackiness!

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