September 13th, 2012

promise tea

Back to Kindergarten

I had my first night of really being in charge of the kindergarten choir, and my lesson plan seemed to work out okay in that I had just enough stuff planned to do and only had to skip the filler item I added in case it took less time than I planned to do the other stuff. There were a lot of attention span issues. The group is almost all girls, and they all know each other, and they get really, really chatty. They're far more interested in telling me and each other about what happened that day or what happened last weekend than they are in doing the class stuff. I dealt with some of that by starting with asking them about their day and letting them get all the most urgent and exciting stuff off their chests before I tried to get started, and that helped some, but they were still extremely hyper. There was one thing that was a surprise hit. The curriculum kit included a game that had an interesting structure. The kids don't pick a game piece and play against each other. Instead, the game pieces are competing, with the kids supposedly neutral. Each kid would pick a card from the stack, and then it would have a picture of a game piece and some instructions on it for how to move that game piece. The object was to see which game piece would finish fastest. These kids started avidly cheering for one particular game piece. I'd thought the game was a little weird and confusing, and it took me a couple of tries to get it when I played a test round at home, but the kids loved it.

I think I'm going to need to find more games, preferably some with musical content, and I may need to come up with an occasional craft project or at least some coloring pages. I need more of a mix of high and low energy activities.

I just have one new kid, and otherwise it's all the same kids I had last year, though I'm missing a few. Lucky for me, among the missing are those who were my biggest problems. Mole Boy did show up, but apparently he refused to go to the new classroom with me and insisted on going back to the old room, and there he only hovered in the doorway, watching instead of participating. I'd get my feelings hurt by him not wanting to be with my group, but I just don't have the energy to focus on dealing with a kid who clearly doesn't want to be there. As it was I'd completely lost my voice by the end of having to talk or sing for 45 minutes. Even the choir director sent me home and told me to get better when he heard me.

So, today I have no excuse not to get back to writing (other than a conference call this afternoon). The weather's even cooperating by turning gray. I re-read the last 60 or so pages the other day, so I'm ready to get going again. I already know this one is going to require a lot of revision because this draft is very terse. It's like I'm just trying to get down the bones of the story. I'll need to add a lot of flesh to it on the next draft. For a moment, I toyed with going back to the beginning and doing that now, but I think I want to get the whole plot done before I start revising.