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Friday morning was the 2nd grade parent breakfast, always a fun time. I had a chance to chat with some other parents briefly before the kids came in, and then I sat with Casper, Danilo, Jaquan, Skyler, and Angelo. Everyone but Danilo was anxiously waiting for parents to show up (Danilo did not expect his) and slowly over half an hour they did in fact arrive, and there was joy. Just showing up means so much, even when it's hard and you may have to miss work. I had an interesting chat with Danilo, who has 2 big sisters, one in middle school, and one in high school who is pregnant. He seemed amazed to hear that people who don't speak Spanish want to learn it; he said his parents don't speak much English but he started learning English even before he started school, thanks to his big sisters. (He is perfectly fluent.)

Then I went to Dillo's class and stayed until they went to lunch at 10:45. When I arrived he was on the computer; they wear headphones and there's a significant audio portion. He was finishing up identifying letters and got to spend some time "reading" the books - each word can be clicked on which makes the computer read aloud. He seemed very accomplished. Yvana, next to him, was being asked to pick a letter - she was supposed to choose Y, and did not seem very motivated or interested, and the parapro was not helpfully scolding her, telling her she wasn't even trying.

We went to the library and read two books and sang some songs. The library teacher does a good job of managing the kids and alternating encouraging them to discuss and add things about the book, but not letting the louder ones dominate.

The class has few girls - one tall loud and confident one, and a bunch of very quiet shy ones, mostly Latina, at least a couple of whom I would guess are just starting to absorb English (the don't do language pull-out in PreK, but I am sure the repetition and singing are helpful). The boys are all black and white, and kind of a mix - I could definitely pick out one who has an early Sept. birthday (after the cutoff, so he's 5) and could easily hold his own in K.

Back to the classroom, singing and talk about patterns, this week's topic, and then we went to the tables and did patterns with M&Ms and I helped. The boy with multiple allergies did his patterns with animal crackers, and we had a talk about keeping our M&Ms on our napkins and not touching him with our hands. The grasp of simple alternating patterns among 4 year olds was rather minimal, though they all did great at separating the colors and making lines. Then off to the bathroom, washing hand AND sanitizing for the benefit of the allergic boy. More circle time and fun singing - some very funny songs about Halloween that Dillo loves - and off to lunch.

Dillo was rather clingy and babyish because I was there, but the report was that the rest of the day went very well. He was definitely glad to see me. So maybe some Wednesdays instead of (or in addition to) painting the bathroom I will go spend time with him. I love meeting the really little ones - I do the singing and act all goofy and their eyes are so wide! (Are other parents less silly? Perhaps.)

And then Dillo fell asleep on the couch at 3:15 yesterday and slept all night, woke up feeling poorly and threw up. Two hours later he's demanding Dunkin Donuts.

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