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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Accessories

When you are in elementary school, there are various new items you get to wear for the first time. There's a learning curve for the different rules and procedures that go along with each. Shoes with laces, for example. Mario told me today that he just learned how to tie his shoes and was very proud of this. Several kids in my class this year have gotten eyeglasses for the first time this year, and have been dabbling in the field of "the proper way to use and care for glasses."
One step that is very important but not always followed is, Put the glasses on. A key rule to remember. Another component of caring for glasses involves the use of a hard-shelled case. Second graders are immensely excited by glasses cases and never fail to show me both the inside and outside of their cases when they first get them.
 
Keep your glasses in the case when you go to PE.  Another must.
Glasses need to be cleaned with a special cloth when they get dirty. And if that happens to be in the middle of the reading lesson, well, the special cloth is coming out.

Glasses can be slid extremely far down on your nose to the very tip if you need to see something far away.
This is an optional step in eyeglass use, but a very appealing one.
Today Anya, the newest inductee into the legion of glasses-wearers, came up with a new innovation. 
Designate a spot for the glasses on your desk and label the spot.
I wonder if this had been a major problem for her. "Hmmm. Time to take off my glasses. But how will I ever remember where to set them down?" Fortunately, though, this problem has now been solved.
There's a lot to learn and remember when you first get glasses, but at least you can create a safe space in the classroom to park them when you take them off. Not so with another item new to some elementary school girls: bras. The basics of any rulebook on the topic would surely include, 
 
Take care to prevent the undergarment from ending up on the rug in the middle of the classroom.  
  One year, though, it became apparent that Deandra hadn't yet read this owner's manual for her new underclothes.
   I don’t know at what point, exactly, Deandra tuned out of the math lesson happening on the rug that day and turned her attention towards other endeavors, but by the time she got up from the carpet, her bra was no longer in its original location. It was located on the corner of the rug. I was mid-way through a set of clean-up directions to the rest of the class when I spotted it lying there.
Fortunately, though, the misplaced unmentionables were out of view of most of the class, and nobody noticed. I figured I could deal with the situation once the kids were safely distracted by all of the bustling that usually goes along with putting their papers away. As I was wrapping up my directions, however, I noticed Imani noticing the bra. Now, bras being still rather new to third grade girls, Imani must not have been completely certain how it all worked, either. “Could that be mine?” she must have been wondering. “Did my bra just spring out from under my shirt and land over there on the rug? That would be weird and rather embarrassing. I sure hope not, but who knows how these things work?”

    To be sure that all clothing items she had put on that morning were still in the right place, and that the bra lying out in plain view was not hers, Imani placed two hands on the neck of her sweatshirt, stretched it out in front of her, and popped her face down inside for a quick peek.
    As the children began a flurry of paper-putting-away and were fortunately preoccupied, Imani marched over to the rug, picked up the bra, pinching it between her fingers as if it might bite her, and carried it to me at arm’s length.
   
I whisked her hastily behind my desk and motioned to her to drop the bra under some papers while the last of the groups were returning to their seats.
    Perhaps if this happens again I should employ Anya's labeling strategy...

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