Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Best Week Ever

Kailey is having a great 1st grade year so far.  A lot of that is because her teacher, Ms. Peters, gives the students so many opportunities to shine every week.  And, recently, Kailey seems to have grabbed all the opportunities in one super stellar week. 

On the first day, Monday, we got a note from Ms. Peters at the end of the day.  It said:

"I wanted to let you know that Kailey had an amazing day today!  Not only was she the mystery student and got o pick from the pink basket, so also moved her pin on our behavior chart above Super Student on to me, earning herself two stars!  I am so proud of her."

The behavior chart is a stroke of genius.  Every day the kids start out in the green zone, "ready to learn".  Then, throughout the day they can move their clothes pin up or down the chart, depending on behavior.  Above the green, there are three levels -- ending in "super student".  If you end the day in the super student zone, you get a star on your pin.  After 5 stars, then the student enters the "hall of fame" and gets to choose a prize out of the mystery basket.  All the students remain in the hall of fame, and then get a new clothes pin to start collecting stars again.  In a single day, if the student is  already on super student and does something else worthy of moving your pin, then he/she gets to pin to the teacher and that earns the student two stars at the end of the day.  That's what happened to Kai on Monday.  The result was, after Monday, Kai had 3 stars on her clothes pin.  Two more to go to be in the Hall of Fame.

Also on Monday, Kai was the mystery student.  The mystery student is selected each day, but no one knows who it is.  If the student is good all day and moves up the chart, then at the end of the day the mystery student is revealed and that student gets to pick a prize.  If the student is not so good, then there is no announcement of the mystery student.  The kids love the element of surprise and it encourages them to each stay on track in the hopes of being the day's mystery student. 

Kai came home that Monday on cloud 9.  Two stars PLUS mystery student.  She was primed for an amazing week.  The next two days, Kai was on her very best behavior and shot up to super student both days.  That meant, on Wednesday she had her 5 stars and entered the hall of fame -- she was the first student in her class to make it to the hall of fame and to get to see what was in the elusive basket of prizes that had been tucked away over Ms. Peters' desk.  Kai choose a couple of fake tattoos (what is the fascination with tattoos?)

But, the week was not over.  That Friday was an all school assembly.  Actually, there were two all school assemblies.  At the beginning of the day, the students came together to hear the speeches of the students running for student council.  I stayed for the speeches -- they were adorable.  Then, at the end of the day, they reassembled to hear the winners and also for the monthly Paws Lottery drawing.  Throughout the day, teachers and administrators can hand out "paws tickets" to kids that they see going above and beyond.  For example, paws tickets are handed out for cleaning up a mess they didn't make or helping another student in need.  The paws tickets all go into a bucket and once a month there is a paws lottery drawing.  They draw six names from the lower grades and six from the upper grades.  That Friday, Kai was one of the lotto winners -- earning her yet ANOTHER prize (this time some lip gloss). 

It was quite a week for her.  At the end of the day Friday, I asked Kai who she voted for President of the school.  I had told her that morning to vote for Hyden because he's our neighbor.  Like the good voter she is, Kai ignored me.  Instead, she listened to the speeches and selected the candidate that appealed to her the most.  Kai told me, "I voted for MIchael because he said he would start a club just  for little kids and that he was going to let us pick our own lunch.  I'd pick cake, cupcakes and nachos."  First lesson in politics, win over your constituents with pandering and food. 

It was an amazing week -- and further evidence that we have found a superb school where Kai is really being given the chance to thrive. 

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