More Classroom Characters, Class of 2011

So far this year you've met Baby Face, The Scowler, Woodstock, Ernest, El Molestador and Don Juan. Since I'm in the middle of midwinter recess, I figured I'd take this opportunity to introduce you to a few more of my classroom characters.

Little Miss Bossy - When I was a kid my sister and I read a lot of different Little Miss and and Mister books on different character traits. They had good morals, even if they were mostly silly. I don't find much silly about the Little Miss Bossy in my classroom though. She's incredibly
smart, but she rarely applies herself to schoolwork. More often she uses her brain to bully other girls into submission. On an almost daily basis, someone is complaining that this girl has their
pencil, pencil case, eraser or some other item. She has the intellect to be a real teacher's pet if her behavior matched. Instead she
causes more frustration than pride. She's a reminder that bullying isn't just a boy problem. I hope I can help her interact more respectfully with her classmates by the end of the year.

The Cheerful Chipmunk - If there's ever been a moment when this girl wasn't smiling, I must have missed it. She came to our school from the Dominican Republic, but unlike the other two students new to the country, she's acclimated like a fish to water. Her attitude is just incredible, and the progress she's making from a non-speaker to a fluent reader and writer is so exciting to watch.

Perdido - Unfortunately, Perdido, the third newcomer to the States in my classroom, hasn't had as easy a transition. Sometimes I wondered if beyond the stress induced by the move if he may have some other sort of developmental delay. He came into my class knowing zero English and showed no literacy skills in Spanish either. In math he handles basic addition alright, but struggles with basic subtraction. Until recently, he's spent most of his days fooling around and chatting with El Molestador. When I pushed him to participate, he looked totally lost, even if directions were given in Spanish.

Thankfully, he's beginning to open up and connect to the classroom goings on. Upon choosing to drop Spanish in the classroom and insist that he use English, he's beginning to use basic sentences. I'm also forcing him to sit up front on the rug so he has to choice to get an up close and personal view of every lesson. Then the other day, before my read aloud of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I asked for a retell and I was shocked when his hand jumped up.

"Charlie, he open the candy and chocolate fell out." It was the first sign since September that he was listening AND he understood what was going on around him. It may not sound like much, but it was one of my proudest and most exciting moments of the year.

It's been a crazy March, and I apologize for the dearth of posts, but I hope to share more stories and more characters sometime soon.


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