Monday, March 1, 2010

A mistake is simply another way of doing things.

Last week Joel and I met with Ainsleigh's teacher to discuss how we could better serve her at home, ensuring that strategies she is implementing in the classroom are mimicked at home. She is a fountain of information and I am thrilled to be implementing some of her ideas during homework time. For instance, she suggested having Ainsleigh stand at the table to do her homework, rather than sit. She indicated some small exercise balls in the classroom that some kids are allowed (and encouraged) to use, and that any time she has a small reading group around her, they all bounce a little on the balls before settling down to read. I was already thrilled at this acknowledgment of unconventional learning styles when she told me that our new Principal wrote a grant that resulted in 6-7 of these balls in EVERY classroom. I am just so grateful that they recognize that not every child learns by sitting quietly in a chair at a desk. And, of course, the "quietly" part is subjective.

Other things we have been doing is that while I quiz Ainsleigh on her math facts, she has to say the number while making it with her body. She thinks this is hilarious and I've got to say I was quite impressed with how she successfully made a 24 out of her arms and legs. Another way is to have her write the answer on the fogged-over shower door.

While we were talking with Mrs. M, I voiced my amusement with Ainsleigh's biography choice. Mrs. M, also, was surprised at how passionate Ainsleigh had been about this particular name. We had a good laugh about how I attempted to explain Watergate and the world of publishing. In the course of our (my?) research, I wanted to find a good quote by Katharine to help Ainsleigh understand her personality. As soon as I came across this one, I knew it was for us:
A mistake is simply another way of doing things.
Perfect. Ainsleigh and I talked about how sometimes we make mistakes and learn that we don't want to do that again, and sometimes we make mistakes that turn out to be better than we anticipated (insert brief story about Marie Curie and penicillin here). I thought this quote was the perfect footnote to how she learns and how we are going to move forward.

As I related this story to Mrs. M, a grin spread across her face and she turned around to point at a poster on the wall in back of her.

"I totally forgot that was Katharine Graham," she said, as we all looked, "And look, she even has red hair. She's a little Ainsleigh!"

When I got home, I told Ainsleigh about the poster in her classroom and how the girl had red hair and she was wearing a totally mismatched outfit with the quote around her. When she returned from school the following day, I asked if she had seen it.

"Yep! I looked and sure enough, it said Katharine Graham on there and that's our quote," she said. Then paused. Then tilted her head to the side as her face looked a little sheepish as she shrugged, "But mom? I thought...Well I thought she looked cute. I would totally wear that outfit."

I know, babe. I know.


Nataluscious said...

OK, trying to play catch up (as usual with your blog) and I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of Katharine Graham! Always have been. There are many great books about her, but the BEST book to read BY her (for you if you're interested, I can't imagine Ainsleigh will love it just yet) is Katharine Graham's Washington. FASCINATING. I can't help but adore someone who combined my two passions so well - journalism AND politics. What a firecracker. Something tells me Ainsleigh will see a little of herself somewhere in there...

Oh, and yes - we can reschedule. I think Saturday would be fine - do you have a time? We could even do earlier... You let me know! :)

laura said...

I'm still trying to figure out how I would make 24.

I love Ainsleigh.

Katherine said...

I would always stand while doing my homework! It was the only way I'd get anything done, at the time.

Oh, and I totally approve of how Ainsleigh chose Katharine Graham for her project. :)