Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deep Freeze

Tuesday marked the beginning of my second semester in grad school. While classes haven't started yet, I began my practicum placement again. It was nice to have a break for about a month, but I did enjoy being back. I started my day by forgetting my lunch at home. This set in a panic of what I was going to eat for the day that was not fast food (a.k.a the McDonald's that is nearby). Once at school I began by seeing two students for Primary Project (a play prevention program). I then observed an administration of the Woodcock Johnson III (yes, that's the name and I am NOT making it up), which is an academic achievement test.

After this observation I ran over to find something at the grocery store to have for lunch. I noticed that the grocery store is not a friendly place when you need to buy something on the run. In my mind, it's almost better to go to the fast food place. I say this because it's easy to get caught up in the microwave meals that are by no means good for you. A week ago, I would have bought one of those meals. Today, I am trying my hardest to cut my cholesterol after finding out it was very high. I'm cutting things where it counts so I can still enjoy the foods I love (re: cheese). I opted for a healthy lunch of a vegetable soup, organic yogurt, and apple all for $2.95! I was quite proud of this lunch and was surprised at how filling it was.

Anyway, back to a day in the life. After getting my lunch situated I headed out to a meeting regarding the next round of DIBELS tests for the Kinder School. DIBELS stands for the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. This time around we'll be assessing the students using the following subtests:
  1. First Sound Fluency (e.g. "Tell me the first sound you hear in the word 'man' ")
  2. Letter Naming Fluency (When shown variety of letters the student must identify the letter name correctly)
  3. Phonemic Segmentation Flunecy (When provided a word, such as "mop" the student must segment the word into phonemes, e.g. /m/ /o/ /p/)
  4. Nonsense Word Fluency (When presented with a non-real word the student is able to read it as a whole word or correct letter sounds, e.g. "mip" as /m/ /i/ /p/ or /mip/)
After this meeting I spoke to one of the school psychologists about helping her with her observation lists she has. This is a very busy time of year for testing, initial evaluations, re-evaluations, IEP writing, etc. Thankfully, I can help with the observations. I now have a list of students to keep my eyes on and make time for.

Just as the day was ending, over the loud speaker school announced that they were canceling school for the next day. We had fears of an impending snowstorm and as the words were spoken you heard cheers of all the students (and teachers) that the next day would be a snowday.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I realized why the school had decided to cancel out of fear. It was 9 am and my dad had already been outside shoveling for an hour. I quickly put on my snowsuit and headed out. While there was a lot of snow, much of it was fluffy. We shoveled for about an hour and headed in to take a break and eat some breakfast. Around 12:30 we headed back out again to continue shoveling, and deal with the snow that had continued to fall on our clean sidewalks and driveway. This time it was a lot heavier as the snow became compacted and wet. We ended up going outside 3 times before we had cleaned off the porch, stairs, sidewalk, car, and driveway. The snow finally stopped falling sometime early evening. However, the wind wasn't helping and a lot of it was blowing. Today (Thurday) it is a bright and sunny day, even more so with the sun shining off the white snow. I haven't ventured outside yet, but will be doing so with my snowboots on!

Until next thyme,

Note to self: Keep ingredients for a recipe or two in the cupboards/refrigerator so I have something to do on a snow day/as a way to get out of shoveling ;)

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