Wednesday, November 26th 2014
We had the great blessing of relatives in town for Thanksgiving, including joining us at the kids’ school to cheer them on for the Tobin Turkey Trot Extravaganza. Here we are alongside Uncle Chris, Grandma Z, and Grandpa Jack with the pie Gavin won by lucky draw in the post-run raffle:
Here is my nephew MILES in HIS winning circle of Top Three Fastest First Grade Boys in the whole school!
Here is the story as retold by my Mom to my Brother in California:
“Miles is third-fastest-running first-grade boy, as determined in this morning’s Tobin Turkey Trot and he proudly brought home the triumphal half-gallon of cider he won and manfully sips it from over his shoulder like moonshine. Gavin’s body parts don’t all go in the same direction at the same time, as you’ve no doubt noticed, but both he and ClaraJane finished their run, which makes them winners. Gavin won the Pumpkin Pie raffle, which made him very happy. Jenny got great pics and the O clan were out in force praising all 3 children.”
It was a pretty epoch Tobin Day, from; 1) The Turkey Trot, 2) ClaraJane’s Classroom Tour, 3) Cafeteria Lunch with my kids to 4) Gavin’s Math Materials. (And now you know the outline for the rest of this blog post, and are officially forwarned.) (o:
1) TURKEY TROT. Here is the anatomical breakdown of The First Grade Boys’ Race:
Notice Gavin (4th from Left above) waving, while cousin Miles (all the way on Right) is focusing.
Positions take shape right out of the gate:
By the time we thought to go greet them at the other side of the building, Miles had already blown by. We were there in plenty of time to see Gavin though:
After passing us though, Gavin’s motivation again eluded him, and he fell back to a walk and got a teacher convinced he needed to be excused from the rest of the race due to extenuating hardship or something. So I jogged over and offered to run with him, which we did, nice and steady, mostly hand in hand, to the end. I say “mostly” because he suddenly had lots of extra energy to practice his nascent parkour skills by jumping off benches and tapping water fountains and fences etc… anything but a strait line. A little sprint to the finish and voila! *A* “finish.”
We then gathered for the Awards Ceremony of turkey, pie or cider in the gym.
GREAT JOB MILES!!! Congratulations. (o:
Then although we did not get to see her run, here is ClaraJane and her support crew:
I hope the kids started to get the message that DOING YOUR BEST and FINISHING WHAT YOU START makes you a winner, whether or not you are the fastest (although that is great too). Or as Ms. *S* Says: “If you had FUN, you WON!”
2) CLARAJANE’S CLASSROOM TOUR:
Such a rare treat for family to be and see in the classroom, and on the child’s terms. Followed by:
3) CAFETERIA LUNCH WITH MY KIDS:
After failing to get out of the school in a timely way (per usual), I found my son at lunch already. (Don’t look now Daddy, but Gavin’s salad bar bowl is full of… [gulp]… black olives!)
4) GAVIN’S MATH MATERIALS
Here is an example of Montessori works which are so counter-intuitive to those of us who didn’t have the blessing of this style of education. Here is a typical work area on a mat for an individual student, or team of students, to work on a subject. In this case the subject is “Dynamic Addition,” which I think means, yes, some of the columns will add up to more than nine, in which case you will need to “exchange” say, ten *ones* in the “One” column for a “One” in the TENS column. (What we old-farts know as “carry the one” in adding.)
The problem he has copied down here is 4572 + 2549 (the second problem listed on the assigment). On his mat you can see:
– a cup of “ONES BEADS,” (that is, each bead represents a single unit, or “1”).
– a pile of “TENS BEADS” (i.e.; a line of ten beads strung together, representing “ten” (units)… or a “1” in the Tens column if you are writing the number on paper),
– some “HUNDREDS SQUARES” (i.e.; a square of 10 “Tens Beads” stuck together to represent “100”… aka, a “1” in the hundreds column of a number), and
– some “THOUSANDS CUBES” (i.e.; you guessed it, 10 Hundreds Squares… representing a thousand units… or a “one” in the thousands column of a number).
Using these materials, theoretically he can solve the equation, as explained to his grandparents:
Grandma Z, being a former elementary school student, was amazed at what she considers 3rd or 4th grade level math happening in 1st grade. On the other hand Grandpa Jack had no idea what Gavin was talking about. (o;
All this being said, you can also see on the paper above exactly how far he had gotten in the problem (not very). The Executive Functioning required in getting all these materials out and the problem written down seems about as far as Gavin could tarry on this day. Our Dear Boy. [*sigh*] I’m hoping to learn how to cultivate focus, follow through and Executive Functioning skills in both myself AND in him. Not easy for creative dreamers with hyperactive minds. Please wish us luck. [!]
It’s so wonderful we have all this wonderful family and that they visit us!
Now, on to this year’s Thanksgiving Day…