The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Thursday, November 4, 2010]

Kids These Days

Yesterday my kiddos were having a stimulating discussion on pets during their hour-long group pull out. I had read a silly story about a boy wanting a polar bear and a shark and a bison for a pet, and we talked about what real pets people have. The TOD has asked their parents about their pets and heard back from all but one (our highest kid--he can answer for himself), so we knew what pets they have. This is important whenever we talk to our kids, because some people will say "Yes" no matter what you ask them.

I'm going to call myself S (for speech or for "Saysee" as one child calls me, since my name is Hasting). T = teacher of deaf.

Child Circle has a cat.
S: Circle, do you have a pet?
C: Cat.
T: What is your cat's name?
C: (Fingerspells) C-A-T.
T: No, your cat's name is Tara. [We did think the name was Cat all last year... sigh..]

Child Triangle has two cats and two rats.
S: Triangle, do you have a pet?
Tr: [Holds up four fingers--great ASL listing!] Cat cat rat rat. [Signs this while pointing to fingers in the opposite direction used for ASL listing, starting with the pinky. Alrighty.]

That's okay, because she answered the question, and she was CORRECT.

Child Square does not have a pet, but I remember that he told me before that he had a fish over the summer that died. Big brother flushed it down the toilet.
T: Square, do you have a pet?
Sq: (signs) No, me none.
T: You had a pet before, though. You had a fish.
Sq: Fish me none.
S: Past. Remember? Fish died?
Sq: [Comprehension dawns on his face] Yes, fish died.
S: Fish color what? Fish black?
Sq: Fish orange. One (shakes head) six!
S: You had six fish!
T: Do you want a pet?
Sq: No. Pet me don't-like.
S: Same.
T: OK, write about your six fish.

So Square drew and wrote about his six dearly departed goldfish.

Oval has never had a pet. We were going to let him write about a pet he wants.
S: Oval, do you have a pet?
O: Yes.
T: No, you don't.
O: Yes, I do.
T: What kind of pet do you have?
O: A dog. [He says this every time they bring up pets in the classroom]
T: You do not have a dog.
O: Yes I do!
S: Where is it?
O: At home.
S: Where at home? In the living room?
O: In my bedroom.
S: Does it stay in your bedroom?
O: Yes. It's on my bed.
S: That is a toy. You have a toy dog. It's not real. Do you have a real pet?
[Sqare is looking disdainfully at Oval, and Circle is thinking this is great fun.]
O: Yes. I have a dog.
C: No!!
[TOD shows him a picture of her dogs and explains that they are "real dogs." She gets a stuffed zebra and asks..]
T: Is this a real zebra?
O: Yes.
C: No!!
[Triangle is really annoyed, so she blocks her eyes so that she cannot see Oval.]
T: This is not a real zebra. This is a toy zebra.
S: Oval, you have a toy dog. You do not have a real dog.
O: Yes, I do. I have a real dog.
[Square rolls his eyes]
Sq: No. Wrong you.
S: A real dog? A real dog eats. Does your dog eat dog food? Does your dog drink water? Does your dog bark? Does your dog go outside and go pee and poop?
C: Poop in butt! [points to her behind]
S: Yes, poop does come from your butt. Good thinking, Circle.

Yes, I actually said that! I guess I'm so used to responding to everything the kids say. The conversation pretty much unraveled at that point. TOD and I were laughing, and the paraeducator was so proud of Circle for knowing something. She spoke truly!

Oval can pretend a lot with his toy dog, but surely he does not bring it outside and pretend it is relieving itself! I thought my rhetorical skills would win out, but he continued to insist that he has a real dog.

The writing prompt on the board was "My pet is..."

Square wrote, "My pet is fish. water in fish six orange fish." He was writing ASL, setting the scene with a rhetorical question: "What's in the water? Fish. Six orange fish."

Triangle, who had apparently been inspired by Square to draw her own deceased fish, wrote, "My pet is cat rat. fish. cat scare run." I am not at all surprised that her cats get scared and run away from her. That was mostly independent, although I helped her find the pages in the ASL dictionary for scare and run, because she didn't know the beginning letters.

Circle wrote, "My pet is cat taRa." Cat is Brown and BLack."

Oval wrote, "My pet is a yellow and blacK dog."

And we said, "This is a nice sentence. Fix your K. Lowercase."


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