By Delia Mathews. 4th Grade Math. Published at Monday, November 16th, 2020 - 07:05:57 AM.
The day proceeded normally. It was a rainy day, with an indoor recess, and an educational assistant came to my room to monitor the class while I took my 15-minute break. When I came back at the end of my break, the educational assistant was nowhere to be seen. The boys were all clustered near my desk, sitting on the floor, actively engaged with something. I quickly realized they had torn open the bag from the toy store, opened each of the puzzles, and had the pieces scattered all over the floor. I was upset... at the assistant who was supposed to be monitoring my class, and at the students, for getting into my personal items and opening puzzles intended for my as-yet-unborn child. I sternly demanded that the boys put the puzzles back together! And then I watched in utter amazement, as I realized that not one of these 4th grade boys was able to put the pieces of a simple inset puzzle back in place!
An example of remediation in reading is when the child is chronologically in the 4th grade but reads at the 2nd grade level. Remedial instruction presents the student with materials written at the 2nd grade level and has the child read them. The problem is that the child may not have the decoding skills for vocabulary or the language skills to understand the complex sentences of anything written above 2nd grade level. Both of these problems are typical of special education children and have the root of the problem in skills that most children master at 4 and 5 years of age. Unfortunately, the assumptions made by most people in education are that everyone is equally ready for school by the time they enroll in kindergarten.
Now, coincidentally, during this same time period, I was pregnant with my first child. As many first-time mothers-to-be, I bought an over-abundance of things in anticipation of the arrival of my first child. One evening, I had purchased some simple inset puzzles... the ones that dont have interlocking pieces. There was a puzzle with vehicles, each cut to fit in its own separate cut-out space, each with a little red knob for small hands to manipulate. Another puzzle had animals, while a third had people. I realized when I arrived at work the next morning, that I had forgotten to take the bag containing the puzzles out of my car. Because my school was located in a part of the city were car break-ins were common, the administrator had directed staff to leave nothing of value in our cars during the day. I carried the bag of puzzles into the classroom and put it on the floor beside my desk.
I have just three things to teach: Acceptance, Letting Go, and Holding On. These three are your most esteemed teachers, and to reclaim your life, you must do three things: stop fighting what you cannot change, stop trying so hard to be in control, and optimize your natural talents. This is your recipe for more immediate happiness and fulfillment. When we are in the flow of life, whats unnecessary ceases to demand our attention, and who we were meant to be will begin to take center stage. Im talking in larger concepts here, so let me break it down: fear stands in the way of you getting what you want in life. Your circumstances dont control your destiny (however bleak they may seem), and neither do other people. Only your thoughts control your destiny (I know, scary, right?). If you can learn to Accept, Let Go, and Hold On to the right thoughts, you can build your own utopia. These arent just platitudes I read in some self-help book, or said in an effort to manipulate you into buying something. Im speaking from hard-won life experience when I say these are the three truths youve got to put to work for you to make your life your own.
Today I dont pretend as much as I used to. I try really hard to be honest with myself and other people. When I find myself slipping back into that weaker part of me (and I do), the "pleaser" part of me, I have to remind myself Im not here to please others, to look good, or to impress people. When Im overly worried about being judged or losing someones love or admiration, it makes it difficult to be real. I also have to keep reminding myself that the purpose of life is not to insulate myself. Im not here to build a cushiony life so I can escape from reality. The point of being given a life is so I can live in it! And that means getting really messy in relationships if need be, in order to work through problems. So we can keep growing, well have to get used to heaping doses of reality.
My daughters went to two different elementary schools due to a move. One of the schools was 1st-3rd grade on one side of the property and 4th and 5th grade on the other side of the property with two completely different playgrounds. Prior to 4th grade beginning we made a point of visiting the school and exploring the "other side." Junior high school and senior high school both offer larger campuses with the changing of classrooms every hour throughout the day. Thankfully, here in my town, both schools offer the kids their schedules at least a week before school starts. We can then walk their schedule many times to make sure they are comfortable and they can remember the order of their classes. Often, the kids who had not pre-visited were late to classes the first week, couldnt find classrooms, and were generally much more stressed than the kids who made those pre-visits and were comfortable with where they were going.
Any content, trademark’s, or other material that might be found on the 74state website that is not 74state’s property remains the copyright of its respective owner/s. In no way does 74state claim ownership or responsibility for such items, and you should seek legal consent for any use of such materials from its owner.