So, today I filled in for John Michael's aide, Sara. Luckily, it was Friday and only a half day! Overall, we had a good morning and positive experience.
First thing every morning, John Michael has a daily job of Messenger with his class buddy, Lucas, to deliver mail to the office. That all went without a hitch and it was great to see him so independent. There were only a couple times throughout the day that he needed some correcting, including the 2nd half of the Mass and during his story reading time. His 6th Grade and 8th Grade buddies, Carson and Casey, are fantastic with him! They take him to Mass where he sits between them, and they do their best to keep him on track for the hour long Mass. I sat behind them and only on a couple occasions during the 2nd half did I need to encourage him to kneel or stand at the appropriate time. He sang the Mass parts he knew, shook hands during the Sign of Peace and sang all the songs he knew. Looking around, I could see many fidgety kids, so in comparison, John Michael did very well.
We went back to the classroom for his spelling test and reading test. I've been so impressed with his spelling and sounding out words this year! We don't even practice at home because he is so tired after a long school day and then picking up Anna from high school, that he rarely does more than a quick page of homework. Today he got 8 or 9 out of 12 spelling words correct! I sat with him at a table at the back of the room and slowed the pace for him to allow him to finish writing before the next word was read. I am also excited with his writing ability this year. His letters are much smoother and more legible and his writing is speeding up. For the reading test, the teacher read a sentence from their story of the week and he would have to circle the appropriate word to complete the sentence. He did that just fine... There was also some reading comprehension related to the story. Since I didn't know the story, I don't know how well he did.
They were excused to mid-morning recess for their snack break and it was nice to see him interact with other kids. They came back to the classroom for story time, which is where his hand started to wander and bother another boy. I pulled him away for a little bit and let him return when he said he was ready after about 10 minutes. After stories, they went to the gym where the priest gave a blessing of the animals for St. Francis' Feast Day. He enjoyed petting the cats and dogs, hamster and rabbit. There was even a pig :-) It was quite chaotic and noisy, but everyone had fun. They headed back to the classroom for a quiet coloring page and he did that unassisted while I sat in the back. I only sat with him briefly to snap a couple photos for this post!
So that was that… I would say he had a very positive morning. He definitely has grown and matured since last year and I'm thrilled that he is part of this wonderful environment. Throughout his day, big kids say hi to him and want high-fives. He doesn't always oblige, but it is wonderful how much he is cared for at this school!
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