it was her turn to be the weather helper, or as she said it, the weathergirl -
yup, that's the word she used, and as luck would have
it, she was wearing a short little skirt and fitted t-shirt that day -
and she didn't know which weather system to pick - hot, cold, cloudy, sunny. She
was all confused.
Today was like that again. Cold, cloudy, sunny, hot. I call it Mr. Roger's
weather. You start the day in a sweater and maybe even a coat, and most likely,
if you are just driving through the drop-off line in the morning, with your
pajama pants still on. Then the day goes on and you exchange your sweater for
something lighter, a cardigan perhaps. And by the time you've run all your
errands and made dinner and you're back in the pick-up line at school, you're so
hot that you've totally unzipped the cotton hoodie that you exchanged for the
cardigan hours ago and pushed the sleeves up as far as they can go and cranked
up the air conditioner. Except that it takes a while for the a/c to kick in
because you've forgotten that knobs are all turned to the heat setting, courtesy
of the winter weather that blew through town in the morning. You see? Just like
Mr. Roger's, with the constantly changing clothes and shoes every time you come
in or leave the house.
I don't like this weather. But the weather isn't the thing that I liked
least about today. It's spelling tests, of the first grade variety. I didn't use
spelling tests as my "thumbs down" during bedtime because that would not have
been constructive parenting, and I would never tell any of my kids this, but I
don't like spelling tests, and more than not liking spelling tests, I don't like
studying for them. And yet, this afternoon, I learned that spelling tests will
now be a part of our Friday lives for the foreseeable future.
It's not that I don't like words. I love words. I love manipulating them,
using a weird phrase, getting paid to write them (hint. anyone out
there looking for me?). But something about writing them over and over
every night of the week, just to get ready for a test on Friday, never appealed
So when the spelling list came home today, I was less than enthused. But
then, while I was rocking the baby to sleep (yes, I know she's not a newborn, so
sue me), I had time to think about the spelling words and what to do about them,
and more importantly, what to do with them so that a very tired first
grader will be open to practicing them nightly, as part of his homework,
preferably without too much complaining.
This was the first thing I did:
teacher handwriting, and hung them on the back of the front door. Surely seeing
something over and over will help with retention. Right?
And then I had a few other thoughts that might help. I feel like some of
these might appeal to some kids, while other might be liked by other kids.
In no particular order:
1. Use Scrabble tiles to spell out the words
2. Type the words on the computer
3. Use a cookie sheet and some ABC magnets and spell away. Or even sit in
front of a radiator or fridge and do the same.
4. Play hangman with the spelling words
5. Make a word search for your child
Will any of these ideas work? I have no idea. Have I implemented any of
them? Nope. They're just thoughts at this point, but these have to be better
than the memories I have of folding my sheet of looseleaf paper in thirds and
writing each word over and over until I couldn't straight.
Let me know if you use any of these and if they worked. I'll do the same.