Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good things

No, it isn't all darkness. There are things to be happy for. Hannah is talking up a storm. Her latest is "Uh ohhhhhh" as she drops her blueberries one by one on the floor. We're also working on "I love you," which right now sounds something like "Ah ya deee!" She has mastered the art of puckered little kisses when asked . . . only thing is, if one person gets a kiss, so does everyone else in the room . . . sometimes two or three, if she really likes you. She's also taken to lifting up people's shirts and tickling them, screaming with delight if she gets even the slightest reaction.

Courtney showed me this beautiful thing a couple weeks ago, and I've been meaning to post it here. By the time I can afford to go to London these pianos will probably be small ecosystems of mushrooms, moss and centipedes. Even better . . .

Looking for a creative outlet for your writing? Try writing a story about one of these significant objects. I especially enjoyed the story about this duck tray.

Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th anniversary on the air. This interactive graphic on the National Post has made me recall all of those endearing obscure or retired characters from my childhood. Remember the Yip Yips?!

Where the Wild Things Are trailer, you completely outshined the Harry Potter film you preceded. It was totally worth the 12 bucks just to see you on the big screen. (Yes, it's that expensive in Japan.)

This trailer of Wes Andersen's Fantastic Mr. Fox has me smiling pretty big, too. Seriously, what's not to love about an animated film with voice talents from the casts of Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums and Darjeeling Limited?

These 10 best book websites could keep me occupied through an entire Hannah naptime. And have. On several occasions.

As for work, I've been teaching summer phonics courses in Ota three times a week: a beginning class from 10:00-11:30 and an advanced class from 12:30-2:00. The beginners are learning all of the short vowel sounds while the advanced kids are getting into the long vowels. It's been a frustration and delight working with these kids - three of them are attending BOTH classes, neither of which they really need. With phonics classes, Homestay club and their regular "Let's Go" classes, Willis, Lane and Briah are now getting almost 20 hours of English a week! It isn't easy for the other kids to keep up in the shadow of these English-learning giants, but today I had amazing experience with Buzz, who used to be in "Hans' Hellions" American School. Samantha, I think this is the class William used to teach. We were learning the long "o" sound with all of it's quirky spellings: hole boat, toe, row, gold. We worked through some pages in their workbooks before picking up their readers for the day: "My Old Gold Boat." At the end of the class I usually have all of the kids read the book individually, and Buzz usually backs out. Today was a different story. The other kids sang our song of cheerful encouragement (a song perfect for phonics classes, by the way) as Buzz walked slowly to the front:

Buzz, Buzz, bo-Buzz
Banana-fana fo-fuzz!
Me, my mo-muzz

He sat down and proceded to read the entire book to the class, stumbling along as all beginning readers must, but never giving up, and trying at least once to sound out a difficult word before asking for my help. I shed tears of fierce pride as this little boy faced his fear. Children are such a gift . . . such a miracle.


Tenessa said...

Children are amazing. Especially when they achieve a milestone in their lives and you had something to do it.

courtney*adele said...

i started teaching hannah 'open' yesterday at kanonji because we were writing on the whiteboard with marker :) it sounded kinda "oooohhhh-den" too cute. love her!