By Katie Muller
“I read the news today oh, boy
About a lucky man who made the grade.”
The day begins at 7:50, when our corps of seven circles as part of the Wal-Mart Foundation Horace Cureton Elementary School Team. We complete the readiness check to ensure we are all ready for the day with our proper uniforms on, our heads are screwed on tight, and our energy gauges are on high. “You got your closed-toed boots?” our team leader shouts. “La tarea!” the team replies. In an effort to learn more Spanish, each day we learn a new word for our callback. Next, the team strolls to the front to high five students as they arrive. “Good morning, have a terrific Tuesday!” Getting the kids excited to come learn never gets old. One of the 2nd graders from my Planetary Observers Enrichment makes my day by handing me a picture he drew of the solar system. The planets are in order, approximately to scale, labeled 1 through 9 and there is a note that says #9 (Pluto) is not a planet. Two weeks after our Pluto Planet Debate and he still remembers!
At 8:25 it’s time for morning rally. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Peace Builder’s Pledge, a corps member comes to the front to lead a song and dance number. Today it is Miss Molly’s turn and she does not disappoint with her rendition of “Boom Chicka Boom.”
By 9:00 I’ve already started to prep for next week. Like every week, it’s a busy one! My list for things due Sunday morning is extensive, but if all this forethought helps raise my students closer to grade level, I’m more than happy.
At 11:00 it’s time to tutor my intensive group of third graders who have yet to master the first grade reading level. Most students at Cureton speak Spanish at home, so reading in English without supported practice from family members is challenging. Today we learned about rhythm and its importance in reading. At the end of our 25-minute session, I test them to monitor whether they are closer to their mid-year fluency and comprehension mid-year goals. Good news! All of my students have made considerable progress.
At 2:30 it’s time for after school. During literacy’s read aloud, my co-leader Mr. Ruben and I read Clifford’s first Halloween. Following the read aloud, the students complete activities encouraging phonics, grammar, and comprehension.
Around 6, a student tells me what she learned today. “In literacy, I learned that even if you have a disagreement with a friend, you can still fix things up and be great friends afterwards.” All in a day’s work.
Once the last student is picked up, closing circle begins at 6:30 where we all debrief the day. Time for some rest…tomorrow is going to be another busy one!