JP wakes up when his older brother hits him. He looks for clean clothes, not finding any, he puts on the ones he wore yesterday which are in a pile on the floor. He is late and his grandma who is taking him to school yells for him to hurry. He grabs a Poptart and heads out the door, forgetting his backpack. Once at school, he stops in the nurse's office to take his meds, he was refusing to take them at home so now he has to take them at school. He doesn't like how they make him feel but he knows if he doesn't take them he will get in trouble.
In reading, he knows that he is in the lowest group and he has to meet with the special reading teacher. He knows that she only works with "dumb" kids who can't read, all the other kids say so, so he must be dumb at reading. He is working on fluency and knows that he has to read faster but then he can't understand the story and who wants to read about a stupid planet anyway? If it was about computers, then he could read faster and understand it better.
JP thought he was supposed to get a break after reading but his teacher didn't say anything so maybe not. He heads right into math. He likes numbers and he can do the adding and subtracting but don't even think about giving him a story problem about a class with pencils and how many more do you need? Doesn't everyone have their own pencil? You shouldn't need any more, what kind of class is this?
Lunch and recess, finally. JP sits with his friend Q and they talk about a you tube show that they like.
After lunch is PE, JP knows that he will not be chosen for a team and that he is pretty clumsy and not athletic, which seems to be important to the other boys and girls in his class.
Social studies next, they are studying the Southwest states and JP has to research Arizona. He has never left Iowa but he has seen pictures on-line and he has an on-line friend that he plays MineCraft with who lives in Arizona. Finally time to go home. JP is exhausted and has work to take home because he couldn't get it done at school. But he knows that he won't get it done at home, his brother will bother him and besides they don't have a pencil sharpener and all of his pencils are broken. Oh well, his teacher will be mad tomorrow.
JP has been thinking about school and wishing he could change some things. If there was another way to organize reading, so that he could read about topics he was interested in, he knows that he could do better. What if no one else had to know what he was reading except the teacher? Then he wouldn't be in the "dumb" group and he would feel better about his own reading. That would be cool.
JP knows that he is pretty good at math but those darn story problems are killers. Maybe if he saw the problem instead of reading the numbers? JP figures out complex math situations in MineCraft and other games every night but no one appreciates that or thinks of it as "hard" math. Maybe someday he will get a teacher who likes games as much as he does and see some value in them.
And what about PE? JP knows that he will never be a great athlete and that people in his family don't tend to make the best choices about food and exercise. What is good for me, he wonders? Who could I ask? Mom is too busy and she says to stop talking and eat my burger and fries then go to my room to play a game. Too bad there isn't a game that teaches me about eating healthy and exercising.
Social studies homework tonight, JP is going to look up Arizona on Wikipedia. He knows it has lots of information and it says "pedia" on the end, like encyclopedia, so it must be good info. He will try to look it up and remember some facts. That is what is really important in Social studies, dates and numbers. He will put it into a report form and probably never remember any of it, but at least it will be done. Better go to bed, another boring day of school tomorrow.
JP runs in to the house and yells, "Mom, Grandma! Best day ever at school!" He is excited, his teacher talked with him today and they decided that he could share his social studies report on the class FaceBook page instead of writing a stupid report, well the teacher didn't say stupid report, that was his word. He talks about it all through dinner and rushes to his room to get started on his plan. He works for an hour and has a good start on his presentation. He will upload it tomorrow at school.
Tomorrow at school, they are getting ready for the state assessment tests, he will take his in a small group but it will still be a terrible week. The teachers want him to do his best and he tries, but he knows that he just isn't good at taking timed tests. Well, he will just have to get through the week.
His friend told him that next year in fifth grade, they have different reading groups. You can do some of your work on the computer. He loves computers, they let you read at your own speed and they have a thing on their computers at school that will read to you. It is so cool.
His brother told him that in high school you get to do a senior project, too. It is something that you choose and you can make a video or report or whatever to show something that you have learned. That sounds like something he would like to do.
In speech, Mrs. Petersen asked about his goal. She is going to let him decide some steps and tell how he is doing, he has never done that before. It has been a pretty good week, and besides the state tests, he thinks that things are getting better and he expects that it will get even better in the future if what his friend and brother said are true. He is good at technology, it makes him feel less stupid and he thinks that it will become more available and help him make his learning more real to him.
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