I've been planning to blog about Addie all day today. The funny thing is Addie, who usually reminds everyone two days out that Addie Day is coming, completely spaced it today AND I forgot to mention anything, until just now (8:00pm). No worries, we have rectified this situation. She has found a somewhat misshapen ice cream sandwich in the freezer and I just Ok'ed watching the musical film, Annie until bedtime—which we have extended by 30 minutes. And seriously, yesterday WAS Halloween and Monday, Addie enjoyed a spontaneous triple play date after school. In other words, we've been celebrating for two days now, so I'm not feeling terribly neglectful!
Have you ever been to one of those Brazilian restaurants (like this one) where you can eat as much meat as you want? The waiters keep circling with a variety of meats still on the roasting bars, until you signal them that you've had enough. Sometimes you signal your waiter with a card, green on one side, red on the other and in one such restaurant we used a short, wooden dowel that was half red and green. Anyway, this concept sparked an idea for me at a recent meeting at Addie's school. The fourth grade has been a BIG jump for my girlie with her learning challenges. She is feeling totally LOST a good deal of the time and so we are working on helping her advocate for herself in the classroom. She needs to be able to communicate when she needs an extra dose of instruction or clarification, but that's not always easy or comfortable—especially when your teacher is a big, tall, very personable man with a lot of wonderful enthusiasm. We like Mr. Olson, but his presence is definitely intimidating for Addie.
Enter the School Spool, my Brazilian restaurant inspired idea.
Here's how it works ... If Mr. Olson teaches a concept, or explains an assignment and Addie still feels lost, she can simply turn this spool, which now sits on her desk, blue side up! This signifies that she needs some one-on-one attention. If all is well and Addie knows exactly what to do next, the white side stays in the up position. She has a way to quietly advocate for herself and get the help she needs.
We are only two days in with this experiment and one of those days was Halloween, so the effectiveness of this signaling system remains to be seen, but Addie was so excited when I explained it to her (last Tuesday) that she has badgered me to make it with her every day until Sunday afternoon when we stumbled upon the spool (vs. some other format) and finally got out the paints.
Anyone ever seen something like this done in the classroom? Any other ideas for helping my beautiful, introverted daughter get the help that she needs?