Monday, February 18, 2013

Just cleaning off my desk

I had a stack of school papers on my desk a mile high but sifting through them and getting rid of the worksheets and colouring pages and so forth trimmed the pile down nicely and I found there was only a couple week's worth of school work. I really have to keep on top of these things or we start drowning in paper (think of the trees!).

They've been studying weather at school, which has meant checking the weather forecast daily with Rachel. She's very quick to point out when the weathermen/meteorologists are wrong, so perhaps she needs to read this article about how complicated weather forecasting is before she casts any more stones. Here's a picture she drew of a rainbow.

Rainbows come after storms.

And here she discusses her favourite season: winter. How I got a child who enjoys winter is beyond me. By all accounts it doesn't add up.

Transcription: My favourite season is winter because I get to play in the snow and it is cold and I get to go sledding/skating [not sure]. I get to build a snowman and I get to have a snowball fight.

She's also thinking longingly about summer—or at least for the pool to open again:

Transcription: I am swimming with my mom We are having fun. It is very sunny. We're doing ice cream scoops and kicks. My mom's swimming suit is black and my swimming suit is blue. My sister is not swimming because she is too scared. I like swimming. Do you?

Her novel continues on the back: Miriam is too scared because she does not know how to swim. I am not in swimming lessons but my mom teaches me. My brother is not old enough to swim but he can go in a swimming thing. My sister just likes to watch me and mom. I love to swim. My mom does too. The swimming pool is close to my house. Do you like swimming? I do. My mom used to be a lifeguard.

My favourite part of this whole assignment is the word "yoosto."

Here's another assignment extolling the merits of swimming season:

Transcription: I am swimming with my mom. We are having fun. I like to swim. Do you? We are under the water. I am floating under the water, my mom is, too. My mom's swimming suit is black. My swimming suit is orange.

Rachel's assignments are an interesting mix of fiction and reality. I remember making up quite a few stories about my life when I was her age as well (and I know my aunt did, too—she had a whole pet monkey story that she raved about for years. It lived in their barn). It's not like she's lying she's just fabricating, which is a normal part of childhood, though it does make it hard to know what actually happened. She often mixes her school friends (who we've never had over) with her sister in her stories. Here's one of them:

Translation: I am doing ballet with Khyayrah and Stacy. We are having fun. We're being flower faries. I like flower fairies. Do you? I am in ballet class. Are you? I am with Miriam. Ms. Reeves is my ballet teacher. I like ballet. Miss Reeves does, too. Miss Reeves told me to do ballet.

It's possible that Rachel dances ballet with Khyayrah and Stacy...whenever they get the opportunity to do make believe play at school. She also dances with Miriam. All four girls, however, have never danced together.

This following situation will likely never happen in North Carolina:

Transcription: I am having a snowball fight with Malik and Atziri. We are having fun. Do you like to have a snowball fight? I do. My sister is not there because she is too little.

I wonder if Ms. Reeves thinks we just always have Rachel's school friends over...because we don't...

Oh, here's this one (it's on the back of a relatively lame worksheet but I'm glad everything gets sent home so that I can read into the inner workings of Rachel's brain):

Transcription: I like Christopher G. because he helps me. Where is my library book? Why did my mom forget to put my library book in my book bag? We went to the beach.

We did go to the two months ago. I'm not sure why that's coming out now. But I'm glad she likes Christopher G. And also...personal responsibility. That's why her mom didn't put her library book in her backpack ( bag). She's supposed to remember to do that herself. Of course, if she forgets to do it then it's my fault because I forgot to remind her, but then who do I get to blame?

Here's a story about her favourite toy:

I won't even translate that because the only word she spelled incorrectly (by American standards) is "pretty." That story is probably true. She is rather fond of a bear (that she got from Ms. Reeves, incidentally—I think when she joined The Hundreds Club).

Here's a story that is not so true:

Translation: I am making a snowman with my dad and Stacy. We are having fun a great time. We are not finished yet. Did it ever snow here? Have you made a snowman?

It's difficult to ascertain the veracity of her writings about school, though I do know that she and Stacy ride the same bus and they have been studying the weather so this is likely true:

Translation: I am going to school with Stacy. We are learning new things because we are good learners. We are learning about the weather. I got to be a meteorologist today. I think it will snow tomorrow. Do you?

This is a super old assignment from September or October that they just sent home this week—they'd saved it to show me at parent/teacher conference a couple of months ago and now they're preparing for the next one so I guess they're sending home the work they kept for the first one:

Translation: I like the farm because I like pigs.

Here's another throwback—although the work is recent the topic is dated (from Rachel's birthday last summer):

Transcription: I am playing Harry Potter with my sister. We are having fun. My sister is Luna. I am Hermione. It is a beautiful day. THe sun is very yellow and very bright, too. When I got the robes I put them on: When I got the robes it was my birthday. When my mom gave them to me I gave her a hug.

This one's a little more recent:

Transcription: I am making Valentine's Day cards with my mom. We are having fun making Valentine's Day cards. My sister is in bed and she did not brush her teeth [that happened one time people—Rachel will never forget]. Do you brush your teeth, too? I do. My toothbrush is turquoise. Miriam's toothbrush is blue. The first Valentine's Day card was [for] Malik because I did not want to forget.

She likes Malik a lot. Also, she has a hard time staying on topic but considering how tangential I can get this is completely understandable. 

Here's an assignment of Malik's that found its way to our home instead of his:

Translation: I am with Rachel. We are go[ing] to school. We be nice.

Malik is a sweet little boy—he's seriously so tiny. Rachel has mentioned before that she has to be careful when she plays with him so that she doesn't knock him over or hurt him. I only wish she'd show the same respect to her younger siblings.

Here are some things she wrote on the back of an assignment:

Transcription: At school: I like ballet because I am in a show. We are doing Peter Pan. I am a flower fairy in the movie. Dylan is a flower fairy, too. I have to do good practice. I am good at ballet. Are you? I like the ballet show. Do you? I am going to ballet tomorrow, are you, Ms Reeves? I am not learning arabesques yet but I am learning them at home. My tutu is white. On Saturdays I go to ballet. Ms. Reeves climbs ropes and does cool things.

Ms. Reeves also does aerial dancing. True story.

Here's another less than true story involving Rachel, Stacy, and Miriam. I love how Rachel labels her pictures, including the clouds and sky:

Translation: I am playing princesses with Stacy and my sister. The Princess that is my favourite [ clue...sorry] and she has a horse. Do you like Rapunzel? I do.

A lot of their math worksheets are just plain boring to look at so I don't keep many, but here's one that I enjoyed—look how Rachel coloured her glue stick:

Sometimes she comes home with fun little pictures, this one involving bingo markers and stencils:

They had another award ceremony a couple of weeks ago. Rachel got two awards this time: one for honesty and also a purple eagle award (for consisten good behavior).

Here's the last piece of school work for this post:

She chose to draw some characters in the Little House series. Laura, of course, is in the center as the main character. The others are Mary Power, Carrie, Ma, and Pa.

This morning I found a teacher's certificate on the table that Rachel had made for herself. I didn't get a picture of it but it says (in fancy, scrawling letters):

Rachel Heiss

in everything

teychr for eyzley.

teychr's sortificit.

She wants to be a school teacher for Easley. In everything.

Here are some more papers (not from school) that I found floating around the house.

First some nativity scenes that the girls made...

Miriam's—with a post-it note angel:

Rachel's—which copies a needlepoint that Grandma gave to us:

It says: It all began with a family.

This was written on the back of a picture of the creation that Rachel coloured during sacrament meeting:

Translation: For Jesus. I love the earth. And I know the church is true. I am thankful.

This is a picture Rachel drew by tracing some origami swans we'd made. It has a whole Sneetches-type backstory that she invented after we had yet another slavery/civil rights discussion at the dinner table:

The yellow-beaked and orange-beaked swans are in love but they can't get married because there's a law prohibiting yellow-beaked swans from marrying orange-beaked swans. That's why the orange-beaked swan has the pictures in its thought bubble exed out.

And here are a few more papers of Miriam's. I'll dig up more of her work eventually. She mostly draws princesses and turkeys and hearts. She also is very interested in writing lately and "spells" things all the time—usually involving variations of Rachel, Mommy, and Miriam, though she sometimes throws other words in there:


  1. "The princess that is my favorite shoots arrows."

    1. Oh, good call! You're right!

      I was thrown by the "favourite" part because Rachel's traditional favourite princess is Aurora/Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty. Then there was that bit about Rapunzel... BUT she also likes the princess from Brave—Merida. I've never seen that movie so an arrow-shooting princess wasn't the first thing I thought of. :)

    2. She even drew herself in a green dress, holding a bow and arrow. So, duh to me!

  2. I could never be a kindergarten teacher because I could not decipher all those words! Ms. Reeves is very skilled, and you too Nancy!

  3. These were really wonderful to read! I enjoyed the pictures, too.:)