Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Cough, cough, snooze, snooze

Whatever this is that I have in my head and chest is progressing nicely. Extended periods of time in bed are good sometimes. Well, if it weren't for the phone ringing and whispers of, "Mooooommm, I'm hungry." We have played Kerplunk many times, as well as a Thomas The Tank Engine Magic Railroad game - we've had that game over 4 years and it is the best. Ice cream is still helping a little.

As it turned out, J was out of school for 2 days, b/c we haven't had enough snow days to use up the pre-programmed buffer days. My son is very good company.

Once I woke up and he was gently kissing my hand as it stuck over the side of the bed. That boy, always a romantic.

They say a boy's first girlfriend is his mom. If that is the case, I sure will be missing this bit down the road.

He came up to me this evening, laid his hand on my forehead and told me I have a fever. This wasn't from a toddler playing, this was from a 7 yo quite serious about his findings and diagnosis.
He has a slight cough himself, probably from the same thing as me, but his isn't kicking his butt or giving a fever, so I'll send him to school. He has been taking it seriously, tho, consuming vitamins as I have asked.

I'm going to miss him when he goes back tomorrow.


Julianna said...

Ohhhh, I hate being sick. I hope you feel better soon.

Take care.

Cricket said...

Here is a link. It is part of the Great Books Foundation:

They provide training for the program; it cost us $95 each for the training. The underlying principle is shared inquiry - questions out loud that lead to to other questions. It is student-guided as much as possible; the leader is just supposed to ask questions - and read the stories aloud, that is another important part according to JGB. My job is also to get them to cite their sources, to know the stories so well that they can demonstrate how they arrived at their opinion.

What I find is that the brighter kids are chosen by their teachers to do this; they are the ones who read well, read quickly. I have to slow them down (they're accustomed to quantity over quality, I think) and get them to reflect on the elements of the story and ask why something might have changed, how would they have done something, what things influenced the character's decision-making process, how would you have reacted...

I often get them to relate things to their own lives - issues like friends, loyalty, listening, privacy, right and wrong, greed, ... All the stories are tricky in that things can be construed more than one way; sometimes there is no right answer or more than one option seems right.

(Example: Jack and the Beanstalk - disobeying his mom, stealing from the ogre 3x, climbed once and got gold, gold ran out, went back and got golden goose, would never run out of gold again, but still went back up for the harp and killed the ogre in the process. When, if ever, did it go from impoverished need to youthful pranks to greed?)

The program is pretty much for all school ages, but our school (being a new school) only does Grades 2 & 3, the two grades preceeding the offical gifted program, so it serves as 'enrichment' for the bright and brain-energized kids probably bound for that in the 4h grade. Each grade gets progressively harder in the materials.

(One thing I want to stress is that it isn't just for the talented reader and that's one thing I think this school does incompletely - the deal is much less about the reading, b/c reading is done aloud to the kids anyway; it is much more about analysis and thinking.)

I do 2nd graders and we spend 2 weeks per story. There is usually a short writing assignment/worksheet as homework, one per story. The stories are largely by well known authors or are fables from different cultures. Some of the authors are Rudyard Kipling, A.A. Milne, and Beatrix Potter. I enjoy getting the kids to make connections between these stories they don't know with stories by these authors that they do know.

Overall, I think they get a lot out of it. They learn to slow down enough to really get into a story. I can see them progress to ask higher order questions. The main thing that I have trouble getting them to do is show me where in the story they get their opinion/answer. Even so, they are exposed to the idea of needing to back up their opinion with something. (Creative ideas are fine and definitely have their place - I'm talking about facts from the story or a gathering of facts to support a creative answer.)

Probably more than you wanted, but I do like this stuff.