Sunday, September 22, 2013

Personal Memoir Project

As last school year was drawing to a close, I was wrapping up not only the school year, but also a chapter of my life. I was moving away, stepping out of my job as a middle school special education teacher at the school I'd worked at for 8 years. I had a special year. My students and I had journeyed together from the fear of failure to the triumph of success. A talented aide and friend walked that journey with us. It was wonderful. So I knew I wanted to conclude that chapter in a special way. 

This was our final project. 

Personal memoir projects are commonplace. Kids write about a memory, tell a story about themselves, or write an autobiography. This project, though, extends beyond that to guide students through exploring their unique identities and sharing themselves with their peers. This project utilizes many learning styles and interests and assesses students' abilities in interesting ways.

This was a profound journey. For all of us. 

Here are some pictures of the Museum of Us conclusion:
This project would fit many standards and can be adapted from late elementary through high school. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Oren is 4 :)

After having Tovi, I experienced some health problems that would require surgery.  Surgery would mean no more kids.  We were grateful to have had Tovi, to have been fortunate enough to carry and deliver a healthy son.  I tried to accept that as enough.  But my wise doctor sat in front of me on that little rolly-stool, looked in my eyes, and said, "If you might want another child, even a little, I encourage you to try.  I'll get you through the pregnancy.  But if you want another child, now is the time."  And we were blessed with our Oren!

Oren has been snuggly, silly, HUNGRY, energetic, temperamental, creative, and wonderful right from the start.  He loves his brother, shares everything, no matter how special to him, and makes us laugh with his silly turn-of-phrase and tendency toward nakey-ness.  We adore him :)

Oren turned 4 last week.  We celebrated by spending the day at the amazing Children's Museum of Indianapolis.  The new playscape is so much fun!

Here are some of my favorite Oren-isms from the last year:

I had Oren take a potty break before supper. He ran back and said, "Mommy, I peed!... the trash can."

September 16, 2012 via mobile
Tovi: "Oren, would you PLEASE stop talking for just ONE MINUTE?!"

Me: We get to go to church tomorrow.
Oren: Allll right! Then I get to go to school and see girls!

While we were stuck in the drive-thru line today, Oren said, "3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF!!...Oh man, it didn't work!"

Tonight Oren came downstairs with a toy carrot and eggplant. He said, "Look Mom, I have a carrot and a hotdog! I made supper. It's for you. Here you go!" And then he chucked them down the stairs.

Oren thinks Siri is his Grammy. He's been talking to Siri all morning. He just said, "Grammy, I want to play tag!" Siri said, "I'm sorry, I can't help you with that."

Oren had a makeup party tonight. He invited the cat.

One bath, carpet cleaning, change of bedding, change of clothes, cat bath, and change of Mom and Dad's comforter later, and Mom still can't quite laugh about it.

Motherhood leads to saying things you never thought you'd say, like:
"Good boys don't put their capes in the potty."
"Get your mouth off the potty!"

In the last 5 minutes, Oren has stripped completely naked. Twice.

Oren just asked for a bicycle from the burridger.

I think he means he wants a Popsicle from the refrigerator (freezer).

Oren got tubes this morning. I've got to say, the whole process was far better than I expected. His right ear is hurting him some, and he's tired from restless sleep last night, but otherwise ok. We are enjoying pizza and Thomas and have junk food stashed away for later 

Oren is pretending to be Optimus Prime. As Optimus he said, "I'll be ok. I just have to find some pants."

Oren: "Mom, you're my best friend."

Oren is wearing 4 capes. And no pants.

Got the boys a Santa train set for around the tree. So far, Oren has caused a number if catastrophic derailments. Elvish casualties are mounting. It's a bleak day at the North Pole.

I went in to check on Oren and couldn't find him. In Tovi's room, I found this:

Tonight, Oren entertained about four rows of people by telling off the Joker. Loudly. With passion. "JOKER! I'm warning you! Back off! Batman will get you!!"

Oren cheering when Robin swoops in to save Batman. He was a very enthusiastic audience member tonight 

Oren definitely added a few new stanzas to Brown Bear, Brown Bear. "Boogie, Boogie, what do you see? I see poopy looking at me! Poopies, poopies, what do you see..."

Oren: It's Swiper the Fox! To the Batmobile!

I'm finding that Grayson the kitten and Oren the toddler are pretty much the same creature. They both play with their food, play when they should be sleeping, poop where they're not supposed to, trip me, make messes, are probably in trouble when they're too quiet, and break things. At least they both love snuggles!

Grayson is chasing an ornament. Oren is chasing Grayson. Not sure who's having more fun 

Daddy: "Who's this?"
Oren: "That's Two-Face."
Daddy: "What's his real name?"
Oren: "His name's Harvey."

The super hero knowledge starts young in our house.

Me: Oren, I love you!
Oren: I already know that, Mom!

Oren told me a story:
"Mom, I saw a human Sally. He was a bad guy. And he was with Tails. And Sonic had to get the Power Rangers back. And there was a plate. The plate was on the Larry table. It had cake on it. And he ate the cake! So we had to get another plate, and another one."

Tovi was complimenting his daddy. He said that he liked his shirt and his hair.

Then Oren followed with, "Hey Dad! I like your legs."

Oren: "the Hulk is breaking down the door! Mom! You should go spank his bum-bum!"

Oren may have things a little backwards:
"Mom, if Spider-Man gets bit by a spider, he becomes Peter Parker."

March 4 near Garrett, IN via mobile
Oren and I were reading his bible and looking at a picture of shepherds and their sheep. But Oren insisted the sheep looked like cows, so he said the shepherds were cowboys 

March 26 near Garrett, IN via mobile
Me: you're kind of driving me nuts.
Oren: What?! I don't have any nuts!

Oren likes to be with me. All the time. He brought a chair...

April 6 near Garrett, IN via mobile
Tovi pretends the controls of our electric blanket is a bomb. I tried to teach him the word "defuse" this morning. He liked the word, and announced, "Oren, I confused the bomb!"

I thought I heard a man talking to Oren in the playroom. Turns out it was just Cookie Monster.

Oren climbs in bed with Tovi almost every night. I put him back in his own bed, only to find him back in Tovi's in the morning. He ADORES his big brother.

May 5 near Garrett, IN via mobile
Me to Oren: "Say 'excuse me.'"
Oren to strangers: "Move it!"
Me to strangers:"...I'm so sorry..."

May 5 near Garrett, IN via mobile
Oren: "Ah! Dot com! I don't like that."

His mind is a strange place.

June 14 near Ladoga via mobile
Oren hit me with a (padded) baseball bat today. When I protested, he said, "...there was a bug..."

July 13 near Ladoga via mobile
For those who were on the edge of their seats waiting for an update, Oren still has his ketchup packet.

July 17 near Ladoga via mobile
Oren: I was talking to God, and he said I need a new Superman. We can get one at the store.

July 20 near Ladoga via mobile
Oren told our bedtime stories. "Once upon a time there was a boy named me. He had a car, and he wiped it with paper towels. Once upon a time there was a girl named Mommy. She sang in a tree."

July 22 near Ladoga
Oren played with chalk. He said me made "glubs" (gloves) so he can help me do yard work.

June 24 near Ladoga
Oren: Mom, take a picture!
Me: Of what?
Oren: Of me eating my bacon!
Tovi: Can we hang it on the wall?

June 25 via mobile
Me: Oren, you can't be naked outside. Where are your clothes?
Oren:...I lost them.

August 6 near Ladoga
So this is what Oren did during small group at the Chadwicks' house tonight...

August 7 near Ladoga via mobile
After Oren's shoe-filled-bathtub incident yesterday, I've kept him within my sight today...with 2 exceptions.
First, when I got the rolls ready to rise. Oren washed the cat in the bathtub.
Second, when I sat with Nate on his lunch break. Oren painted the kitchen sink with yogurt.

August 20 near Ladoga via mobile
After cooking enough bacon today to feed our whole small group, the aroma of bacon is seeping through my pores. I leaned over Oren, and he said, "*Sniff* *Sniff* I smell...BACON!" Yep, that's me.

Happy 4th birthday, Oren!!  We love you!