Friday, October 30, 2009

New Kid in My Class

I got a new student while I was gone on Tuesday.  He has begun in my class with this crazy schedule: Tuesday - substitute, Wednesday - International Day - a crazy day for all, Thursday - sub in the morning while I worked with a consultant, Grade 1 Performance in a huge theater for all the parents in the afternoon, Friday - sub in the morning while I was with consultant again, Monday - Field trip!

He has a severe peanut allergy and on his second day, one of my other kids nearly killed him.

He is also just learning English!  What a way for this little guy to start with us!

On Thursday, I took some time to see which letter names and sounds he knew and to briefly assess how much English he had and just to take some time to talk to the little fella!

We went through the letter names - both capital and lowercase - and he did really well.  We started on the sounds and after several he got to 'j'.  He thought for a moment, said the correct sound and then, "like jam".  I said, "Yes!  Great!  And the next one?"  But he had other plans.  He decided to go back to the beginning to give foods for each letter.  We were kind of pressed for time (performance in the afternoon), so I got him to give me all the sounds first and then go back to give me the foods.  Here is some of the conversation:

Kid: A, like apple
Me: Mm-Hmm
Kid: F, hmmm, have food with f?
Me: Yes
Kid: What is food with f?
Me: How about you think of an animal with F?
Kid: No.  F. /fffff/. Fox meat.  That is the meat of the fox.
Me: Okay.
Kid: P. (Cocking head) Have food with p?
Me: Yes.
Kid: What?
Me: What food do we give to the mealworms?
Kid: (Grinning) Potato.
Me: (Grinning) Yes!
Kid: W.  Have food with w?
Me: Yes.
Kid: What?
Me: Try to think of one.
Kid: You do like potato.  Tell me.
Me: Hmmm.  Xi gua? (Watermelon in Chinese)
Kid: (Grinning again) Watermelon.

We did this for a few more letters.  Sometimes he thought of the food on his own, sometimes I gave a hint in Chinese or another way.

Kid: Z. Have food?
Me: Yes.
Kid: Hmmm.
Me: Can you think of an animal with Z?
Kid: Foods now, animals later.  (His plan was to go through all the letters with foods and then go back and do animals.)
Me: Do you know zucchini?
Kid: Oh. Yes.  What country eat zucchini?
Me: America does.  Does your family eat zucchini?
Kid: Yes.  Sometimes.

Finally, my favorite part of this whole conversation:

Kid: We are very smart.
Me: Who is smart?
Kid: (gesturing to the two of us) We are smart.  (Grin)

I love this kid!