Friday, July 28, 2006

Open House

We went to Open House this morning. Of course, this meant that first we had to check on the school supplies (way too many to cart to school on the bus Monday morning). So, first I dumped out A's bag and inventoried it. I'd misplaced his pencil box somewhere. I could have sworn it was in the living room. I know I saw it last week. It still had his scissors in it also. Sigh. So, we have to put out a search party for the pencil box before Monday.

Then on to check M's supplies. I couldn't find his list (why wasn't it with A's list??). But, I knew the lists were on the school's website, so I pulled that up and M and I checked off supplies. I had to retrieve a 1" binder from the box of supplies as well as the fine point markers (I brought them up with the pencil box - they must be hiding out somewhere together). Then I realized that he needs a zippered binder this year. Oops, forgot about that one. Guess we'll be going shopping this weekend, or else I have to swipe the binder I'd promised A for Challenge and take him to buy a new one. Either way I need 2 zippered binders and I only have one.

Finally I had everything reasonably assembled (and a list of what is still needed) and we're ready to go. Then as I go into the garage, I notice a drip. Oh %(&^%#. I guess I wasn't catching the drips from the toilet as well as I thought. I probably should have dealt more with it then, but I didn't. I went on to Open House, planning to talk to the teachers (but bring home all the paperwork to fill out).

When we got to the school, A and I went to his class, while M took his supplies and dropped them off in his classroom. A's teacher is very nice. A found the classroom right away. A has 2 classmates from 1st grade in his class this year and several other boys whom he knows and is excited to have in his class. A's teacher, Mrs. B, said lots of nice, pleasing things about him. She was duly impressed with his CRCT scores, which were in his welcome packet. It seems he aced the tests - didn't miss a single question. I knew he would do well - he's bright and he'd done well on his practice tests in the spring (no, I didn't give him practice tests, the school did - to see which areas they needed to help kids with). Mrs. B noticed that A tends to lose himself in a book - she asked him a question and he didn't respond. She seemed to take it in a good manner, "I see he really gets involved in a book".

Then it was on to M's classroom, with a stop along the way to see a former teacher. M actually stopped to see several of his former teachers while I was in A's classroom. This was very nice to hear - in the past, M wanted to see the teachers, but wasn't willing to go by himself - he wanted me to visit them. M's teacher, Mrs. M, is also very nice - she won teacher of the year last year. M was pleased to have another boy from Challenge in his class, though he is sad that he's never had one particular friend in his class. He (and I) were really hoping that they were going to group for math this year - in the past they had for 5th grade - so that he would have more friends in that one class and that the class would be "less boring". Mrs. M says that she will be doing a lot of "differentiation" in math within the classroom and a lot of word problems with more thinking skills and problem solving (and less just rote "do the problem"), so we'll see how things go. M was actually pleased to discover that Mrs. M was going to give out a homework packet at the beginning of the week, all to be done by Friday. He says he is going to do all his homework on Monday. We'll see. If it works like that, I'll be surprised, but pleased.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see the bus schedule. School is starting 15 minutes earlier this year, so I was a bit worried about morning bus times (although the county promised that pickup times should be no more than 5 min earlier than last year). Well, it seems that pick-up is actually 4 minutes LATER than last year! Woo-hoo. I hope that holds! 6:54 is still ridiculously early, but I'm just grateful that it isn't even earlier.

After we finished up with all that, we came home to find the plumber/painter all worried about the drip - it seems they'd tried to break in to the house to deal with it (to no avail). I know these guys so it wouldn't really have bothered me if they had gotten in and dealt with the toilet, but they couldn't. As soon as I got home, they got into the bathroom and tightened up the bolts. They laughed at my Tygon tubing and bucket arrangement, but found it ingenious. They did say that I should have turned off the water and flushed the toilet so that it wouldn't keep dripping. Sensible in hindsight, I know.

Then I had the lovely 45 minutes (at least) of filling out paperwork and making each kid sign his name FIVE times - oh the horror. I had to sign my name countless times and fill out all known phone numbers at least 4 times per kid (and 4 more times per kid for the Challenge program (held at another school)). I'm not used to filling out that much paperwork all at once - I suppose I should be grateful for that.


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