Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seventeen 7-Year-Olds Think I’m a “Famous Blogger”

I like volunteering in my kids’ classes and I have the time, so whenever they have a teacher that likes to have parents in the classroom, I offer to come in and help out once a week. This year, Quinn’s teacher is the same teacher that taught Sam and for whom I volunteered weekly.

I’m pretty sure that since I gave my talk on autism to the entire staff of Quinn’s school (shoot—I keep forgetting to tell you about that), I think my blog is pretty much common knowledge over there.

*waves to teachers and staff*

Early in the year, Quinn’s teacher suggested that I help her class with writing since I am a writer and all. I panicked on the inside, because I don’t teach, but nodded and said that I would love to do it. Then I ran out and bought notebooks for the whole class to bribe them into loving me and my writing ideas.

It’s been really fun. The kids are way into writing and they are all excited about me because the teacher told them that I’m a “famous blogger.” I put that in quotes because…well, you know why.
Anyway, the kids started out the first week wanting their own websites and then wanting to know what my website was and then the teacher and I exchanged nervous glances and I started imagining the phone calls to the school that would be forthcoming once they showed their parents exactly who is teaching them.

I’ve managed to either write fresh, appropriate material each week just for the kids or to share posts from my past that I thought they would like. For example, I showed them the post about Alex and the squirrel that tried to kill him the week that we talked about illustrations inspiring stories. I did have to change the last sentence in that post though, for reasons that will be obvious if you reread it.

Last week was my favorite. We were writing about informative captions, so I took in the photo I put in my post about AutCom and wrote a caption explaining it. The kids were totally into hearing about facilitated communication and my experience at the conference. It was really cool.

Then the teacher actually, you know, taught them about captions and writing them and then gave them pictures for them to write captions for. Some of the kid wrote informational captions, but most of them went the caption as joke route, which I approve of, as it is one of my favorite schticks.
It may not surprise you that Quinn took this route.

The close up of his caption is coming up next.
He even added labels and made some additions to the drawing.

“dog goes to birthday party and poops on the cake and presents”

I’m so proud.

Although most of the kids at his table had a caption with this theme, so I think it was a group effort. Also, I really did try to be informational and sincere and informative that week and this is what the result was. It’s almost like Quinn is my kid. At least he has an excuse for being immature.

Here’s something though. In the class, the teacher gives the kids a certain amount of time to write and when she tells them it is time to stop, they want to keep going. They are all really excited to share with the class what they wrote. Quinn brought home his notebook home from school so he could keep working on a story he is writing in his free time. They are loving to write.

I love to write. I am helping these kids learn to really enjoy writing too. I think that’s pretty cool.
I can’t wait to find out what is on the curriculum for next week so I can start looking for a mostly unobjectionable post to share with the class.

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