Thursday, April 28, 2011

Open House: Upstairs with Ander (Sort Of)

It was utter chaos.  The air conditioning was off.  There were at least 900 parents in attendance, plus their nearly 500 kids.  I kept losing one or both children in the crowds -- they were thrilled to be able to roam (and run!) freely at school, and to do so with their friends from other classes, and of course it is their school and a space they know so well and about which they have such a sense of ownership, but jeez it freaks me out to turn around and find them gone.
  • Buildings designed, drawn, painted, cut out of foam core, and filmed for art class
  • Group art project: background art for the building/city project
  • Ander's Stripy Man poem
  • His writing journal
  • Pamphlet for the Mission in Carmel by Ander and Ava, with monks by Ander

Open House: Downstairs with Aliza and Her Checklist

Despite the fact that I helped set up the first grade 'pod' and despite the fact that I work in the school every week, she insisted on a thorough tour, and made a tick mark in every box on her checklist...
  • Her hook
  • Her reading spot
  • Her writing folder
  • Her 'all about' book (Turtle!!!)
  • Group project: 'puzzle collage'
  • Group math project: Favorite Zoo Animals poll/chart/graph, attached to the 'wall' with magnets (many of the downstairs classroom spaces utilize these)
  • Science area: growing new plants from cuttings
  • Art studio: first grade group art projects

Before Open House: Walking (and Running) Only Half Way Around the Reservoir, Followed by a Fast Picnic and a Quick Change of Clothes in the Meadow Parking Lot

4th Grade 'Poetry Cafe'

When the teacher called him up, there was an excited little buzz in the audience and somebody stage-whispered "This is going to be good."

(He didn't hear it, but I did.)

He read two funny original poems from the 'inspired by' portion of their poetry unit: "Orange Orbs" inspired by Calef Brown's "Sleeping Fruit," and "The Story of the Stripy Man," inspired by "There Was a Crooked Man." 

And oh everybody everybody everybody read -- show-offs and shy-offs and all in between -- and everybody clapped and snapped and cheered.

M. read a page of mostly unrelated words that he had thought up or solicited from his classmates, and Ander turned and high-fived me when the words "Doctor" and "Dalek" were rattled off.

Dan-Dan read a poem that she had written with Han-Han about a marching band, and the whole room stomped and clapped along with the marching rhythm. 

K. read a poem about Ander's pre-haircut 'do (and several other much more poignant haikus).

When everyone had finished reading, the wonderful Ms. H. asked if anybody had a favorite poem, and Ander waved his hand and shouted "Jabberwocky"!!!  and his friend Tiger shouted out "He knows it by heart!" and Ms. H. asked if he would like to recite it and he said "ummmm" and I said "I'll help you if you get stuck" and he waved me off and I was certain he was not going to but he jumped up and walked up there and recited (and acted out) the whole poem in front of all his classmates and their parents.


There was applause.

And I had to not make a fuss and not act too proud and not get too weepy but oh my goodness it killlllled me.

And on my way down the stairs and out of school, Actor Dad caught up with me and said, "You know, I have to say, I'm a fan of that Alexander."  And I nodded weepily, and we both imagined Ander and his daughter going off to college together, and building sets for a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and falling in love, and teaching theater to village kids in Costa Rica, and...  (Okay, so maybe only I was imagining that.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Sugar-Fueled Aftermath

The Easter Bunny was in a retro mood this year, bringing button candy and string games and marbles and jacks and sugar 'view' eggs (as well as the more-traditional sketchbooks and Japanese stickers and erasers).

The make-your-own music boxes provided Poppy with a nice post-brunch, pre-sofa-nap diversion.

If I can get the Easter egg dye out of that dress (fret, fret -- but then again, it's made it through two Springs), it's headed your way, Alissa.

The Hunt