Olivia (and Rebecca) Go to Venice

When I was debriefing about what we'd done the week before last with Rebecca's mom, she told me she wasn't sure if Rebecca would be able to have her lesson the following week because they had plans to go to Venice.  "Ooooooooh," I cooed, "I have the perfect book."  I spent the following days lightly searching around my house and The English Schoolhouse for this:

When our eldest son was around two, it was his very favorite book.  We'd read it together every night--and it's usually always in the same place.  I must admit, with all the schoolhouse preparations underway, my normal book organization system that rivals the Dewey decimal system has faltered.  I can't put my hands on things the way I used to be able to.  I was certain the book was somewhere, though, and was completely excited about the connections Rebecca would make to it once we read it together.

On Tuesday she came over to hang out.  About two hours before she arrived it hit me that I still hadn't found the book, so I began searching frantically.  I looked through everything at the schoolhouse, in our home, old bags, places I knew it couldn't possibly be, etc.--nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing--I did find the book jacket (and every teacher knows when you can't find the book you want but you find the book jacket, well it feels like one of life's dirtiest little tricks.)

Just as I sighed heavily, cursed my disorganization, and was about to pick another book instead, it hit me that it's 2013--"I can just buy it on iTunes!" I shrieked.  So that's exactly what I did.
and technology saves the day!
I mean, take a look at some of the illustrations--there was no other book for me to read to her right after her trip:
She's checked for weapons at the airport

Olivia and her family eating gelato in Piazza San Marco

and floating down the Grand Canal

 When Rebecca finally showed up I was all prepared.  We did our usual:
She returned the book she'd borrowed the last time we met up

We went over her communication journal

and noted some corrections

Then I wrote her back.  After that, she wrote one of the sweetest poems I've ever read for her mom for Mother's Day.  

"Oh! I almost forgot!" I shrieked, "I've got something for you!" I pulled out a surprise I'd gotten for her in Umbria this past weekend: a pair of hand-made earrings my incredibly crafty mother-in-law made.  When I saw them, they had Rebecca's name all over them.

"Oh.....my.....gosh," she gushed, as she looped them through the tiny and age-approrpriate hoops she was already wearing.  "How do I look?"  "Absolutely stunning, dahhhhling," I replied.

We moved on to the book.  When I took out my iPad she asked, "How am I going to to take the book home?"  "You've got a great point," I told her, "I guess your mom's going to have to make a purchase this week!" We both laughed and read it together.  When the story was finished, I excitedly turned to her and waited for a reaction--applause...delight...something.  She shrugged, "I didn't really like Venice."

In teaching, that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.  You can put your heart and soul into the preparation, but that doesn't guarantee a "Boom! Pow! Bang! Wham!" experience for the student.  "What are we making for the craft?" she asked while thumbing her new earrings." 

We settled on a plaque for her mom for Mother's Day--
We used a piece of discarded wood and she painted it in rainbow colors

then she added the text
 When it was time to go, Rebecca had a great suggestion.  "I was thinking we can start an Olivia theme now, like we did with Cinderella.  I have three Olivia books at home."  "Absolutely!" I replied and thought to myself, "Guess I didn't do all that for nothing, after all."

No comments:

Post a Comment