Today I entered Mrs. Shapiro’s room to find that Mrs. Shapiro’s class was not there. Knowing the class schedule, I wondered where the class was. They weren’t supposed to be in Gym, Music, Art, or Computer Lab, so where were they?
I was not “in the dark” for long. I found the class in Mrs. Veerman’s classroom, seated with Mrs. Veerman’s room, listening to a guest speaker. Her name was Mrs. Page, and she was showing the students quilt patterns, and quilts.
The speaker had come to teach the students about quilting and the history of quilting. As a professional quilter herself, she showed them quilts she had made, and samples of quilt patterns.
Once the quilt lesson was over, Mrs. Shapiro and the class returned to the classroom.
Mrs. Shapiro then announced that while free time had begun, she would not be offering students time on the classroom computers. She then asked me if I was allowing the students access to my computer. I promptly said yes, and booted up my computer as quickly as I could (my start button was acting faulty) and loaded up a drawing program to promptly create an outline of a quilt design for the students to draw and animate. Animation has now become a regular activity during Free Time the way each student is allowed to use the class computers to draw a picture every day.
This caught the attention of two students—Erika and Ellie. During all of free time, I instructed the students on how to fill in each part of the quilt outline I had made on the computer. I drew the outline and showed the students how to fill in each part of the quilt with a specific color (with the touchpad on my laptop). Once they had finished drawing the quilt, Free Time was over. I cleaned up the mess I had made with my activity, I animated the pictures with Roxio PhotoRelay, and put my computer away.
Once the students had cleaned up, Mrs. Shapiro seated the students into their rows and then announced that they were going to do a quilt pattern on paper. Each student was given a sheet of paper with an outline of a quilt pattern, and they would take pieces of fabric (cut into various shapes). The students were out of squares, so I was instructed to go to the copy room, take five sheets of paper with printed fabric designs, and cut them into 1x1 inch squares for the students with the paper cutter.
I went into the copy room and went to work creating the squares for Mrs. Shapiro. I got to the point where I had used half of each sheet of paper, and returned to the classroom to distribute the squares to each table, so they could be used for each student’s quilt design.
By the time I had distributed paper to each student, I received word from Mrs. Shapiro that the students were in need of more squares. So I took the paper, and returned to the copy room to cut more squares. I cut until there was half of the half of the pages I had cut, and then returned to deliver those squares to the students.
While I was giving the second series of squares to each table, Brittany had been told by Mrs. Shapiro that she had to sit at her table and finish her work. Apparently she had been out of control and was not focused.
Meanwhile, the second series of squares proved not to be enough either. So I returned to the copy room for a third time, and cut all of the paper fabric into squares. That proved to be more than enough, so Mrs. Shapiro now had squares she could use for the afternoon class. I left the surplus on her desk so she could find them.
While giving the third series of squares to the students, I heard a cry that stopped me from my work. “I’m now going to call the police!” someone cried out. I looked and I saw Brittany over at the telephone. She had made that announcement. Mrs. Shapiro told her that she needed to sit down and that she would miss music if she did not start behaving. That changed her immediately, and she behaved properly for the rest of the day.
There was a strange level of chaos in the classroom that day. Mrs. Shapiro had told me that the class was a little less under control. Perhaps it was because they had spent the previous hour being attentive to Mrs. Page and her quilts. Even though I had originally decided not to show the quilting animation to the class, Mrs. Shapiro requested that I show it. Seeing that she needed a way of keeping the attention of the students who had finished their quilt art projects, I turned my computer back on and showed them the animation. Once the animation was over, I went ahead and also showed the students another video to pass the time—the 2005-06 afternoon preschool graduation video that I had created for Mrs. Nelson. This interested the class since Patrick, a student from the 2005-06 afternoon class, is in Mrs. Shapiro’s class.
Once the video was over, it was time for the students to line up for Music. Mrs. Shapiro lined the students up, and we took them to Music.
After Music was over, Mrs. Shapiro seated the students down to show them the completion of their ladybug project. A story had already been read to the class about two ladybugs who wanted to fight. Mrs. Shapiro had assigned them, however, to create a page involving ladybugs who said nicer words to each other. Now she was showing the class what each students’ ladybugs had said to each other.
Once that story was over, Kindergarten had ended, and the students were dismissed.