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What Smarty Liked This Week?
She liked all her teachers and liked the idea of switching from one classroom to another. She is in awe of their brand new Maker's Lab (pictured above) and the fact that they will be using real tools there. She is super excited about a real science lab where some chemicals are so potent they can actually explode. She is happy with her schedule that has PE as the last subject of the day for her class and math/science as the first subject. Since PE is last, she does not need to change back until she comes home. She said that her classmates are nice, and there are no troublemakers. Well, the jury is still out on that one, since I cannot imagine anyone getting in trouble on the first two days of middle school. She loved the idea of a Design Hub. Basically, it's a library room, but it is arranged more like a lounge and also has several computers for research or playing games during recess.
What Smarty Did Not Like This Week?
The only thing that Smarty did not like this week was that they did not do any actual learning. She is roaring to go, and she does not have patience for "breaking the ice" activities. She is also a little disappointed that she does not have anyone she knows in her class. I wonder if this was done "by design" to help her develop her "people skills". If so, she has quite a road in front of her, since so far she just does not have "bandwidth" among all other new sensory and mental stimuli to think of making friends.
What I Liked This Week?
The best part was the enthusiasm that Smarty had after the first day of school. She said, I did not feel that way about school since Kindergarten. I certainly hope that her teachers will rise to the challenge of keeping her enthusiasm going. I also liked the fact that every teacher has a website with expectations, current homework, and, eventually, grades. As a program manager, I like things to be documented and clear :) Parents will also be able to track students' progress in one place through PowerSchool, but this has not been set up yet.
What I Did Not Like This Week?
Speaking of set up,.. people managing construction of this brand new school really pushed it too close to the opening day to complete some of the work. The drop off drive lane is not marked, making it somewhat dangerous for walkers and drivers during crazy rush hour in the morning. There are no books in the library. There are no tablets in the classroom, and they are "must have", since kids will be using computers for majority of their school day. One thing that I found particularly problematic so far is that there are no lockers or other place to leave things in school. It means that every day Smarty needs to carry a bunch of notebooks, a 3 ring binder, a pencil case, and some folders to school, plus her lunch, her water bottle, and her PE kit. Her backpack weighs more than 8 pounds, almost 20% of her weight, and that's without any textbooks. It might not be the problem for those who drive to school, but we walk about 15 minutes one way, and she is struggling with the weight of her backpack. Since it does not look like this problem will be solved any time soon, we had to do emergency shopping and bought this rolling bag for her.
Did your school start back yet? How did the first days go?
More Back to School Ideas
From my blog:
- An interview before the start of a new school year
- Writing a letter to your child's teacher
- Back to school for gifted learners
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