Teaching Someone How To Read!

Teaching someone to read. Ah, what a challenge! That has been one of my most pressing problems this year. Most of my class (7/11 students), either could not read or was reading 2-3 levels below grade level. Hence, the behavior problems.

Note: Students who act up because they have reading problems would rather be thought of as “bad” than “stupid”.

I knew what to do right away, but my energies were so scattered that I didn’t put them into practice right away. After I got it together, I started it. The “it” that I refer to is a solid phonics foundation. (Here is a link to an article that explains it all: http://www.succeedtoread.com/phonics.html)

However, I knew that I had to get the class in order or no learning would be going on. Once that task was accomplished, I got on with the task of teaching those students how to read. I will write all about it when school is out for the summer and I have more time.

A Fancy Nancy Party!

Just in case you don’t know about Fancy Nancy (2005), it’s a children’s book, written by Jane O’Connor & illustrated by Robin Preiss.

The first book in the series is Fancy Nancy. The second is Fancy Nancy & The Posh Puppy, and the last one is Fancy Nancy- Bonjour Butterfly.

The little girl in the book, Nancy, has to have everything fancy. She loves all kinds of fancy stuff like feather boas, glitter, crowns, bright & bold colors. She’s so unlike her family who are extra plain.

Hence, the fancy dress up parties to promote the book. I had planned to take Phillise to one of the parties when the book debuted, but I worked Saturday school and ended up missing all of them. So we have decided to throw our own.

Since I missed the parties, I am in the midst of planning our very own Fancy Nancy party for Phillise & a couple of her cousins in July. I was just at Michael’s Saturday night buying some items to complement the theme of growns and everything fancy.

I am going to make memory books for all six five girls with this oh so girly paper.

It is so cute. It’s pink with burgundy & black dresses and purses on them.

As an added bonus, I bought some stuff for Phillise & her cousins to decorate (magic wands & foam crowns). I am also going to buy them some fancy feather boas and play necklaces for dress-up fun.

It is going to be so great. I am so excited. I will write more about it and actually upload pictures of the event. Phillise and I wrote a post about it on her blog. Click here to check it out: www.phillise.wordpress.com

A Tribute!

This post is dedicated to one of my professors-my favorite professor @ Azusa Pacific University- Kathleen Berk. She fought a brave battle to the end, but in the end, the cancer won. It was a very aggressive cancer. She worked until the end, relying on oxygen to sustain her as she fulfilled her obligation to the end.

I am really going to miss her. I am mostly mad at myself because I was asked to organize a group of my old classmates to see her to pep her up. I hemmed and hawed and did nothing. I communicated with her by e-mail, but I never saw her again because of my procrastination. That is something that I will think about for a long time.

There’s nothing I can do about it now. I will just have to deal with it and do better with this nasty procrastination habit that I’ve developed.

I just want to say a belated I love you to my favorite professor/teacher/encourager Kathleen Berk. A praying, virtuous woman to the end.

I am unable to make it to her memorial service tomorrow @ 11 a.m., but I will be there in spirit.

Goodbye Kathleen. You will be missed.

She Turned Around!…

Let me start by saying that Memorial Day was a phenomenal day. I barely have the words to describe how I’m feeling. I released over 30 years of pent-up hate and anger I had for my maternal grandmother. I knew that all the drama surrounding the relationship that my brothers & sisters and I had for her was not good, I did not know that it affected me to the extent that it did.

Let me explain. You know how little children or even an adult will look at someone with the side eye of death. (Boy, if looks could kill.) Well, if the person being given the side eye of death, doesn’t turn around and acknowledge the person giving the side eye of death, then all of their power is taken away. Well, it’s the same situation here.

That’s how it’s always been with my grandmother. My sisters & brothers and I would be giving my grandmother the side eye of death (figuratively), but she would never turn around. We harbored such resentment because she always played favoritism with a particular aunt’s children. We only wanted her to acknowledge that she wronged us. Even though it wouldn’t have been much, it would have been a start.

She finally did on Memorial Day. She gave me and each of my brothers & sisters a hug and told us that she loved us no matter what we think.

I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t know what to do or say. Everything that I’d been feeling for the past 25 + years came to the forefront and I didn’t know what to do. Where does 25 + years of anger go?

Now I have a dilemna. The problem: I never stopped to consider how I would feel if she ever did acknowledge that she wronged us. Nor did I stop to consider what I would do if she ever acknowledged it. What would I then have to do to continue the healing process? How would I explain to my six year old that my maternal grandmother lives about 2 miles from us and she has never seen her? How would I now try to begin a relationship with someone who is a virtual stranger to me, my children, and my sisters & brothers?

I guess that I am going to have to deal with this and approach the situation like I always do and just deal with it. What a situation. I am happy, sad, scared, and excited all at the same time.

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