Monday, October 4, 2010

Didn't we discuss the meaning of emergency?

Today was our first official day of guided reading.  Our school is starting late this year, way too late in my opinion, due to a change in how we are supposed to implement our lesson plans.  So last week was the first time I met with some of the students.  We drilled procedures and routines.  What we look and sound like at silent reading, and computers, and guided reading groups.  What we look and sound like during the green light, the yellow light, and the red light.  When we may ask the teacher a question.  Yada yada...

I also led this group in an in depth discussion of "emergency".  This discussion must take place because only a true emergency may interrupt my time with a guided reading group.  So we discuss that there are 2 types of emergencies:  bathroom and medical.  In my classroom a bathroom emergency is defined as "If I don't go to the bathroom right now there will be a puddle on the floor" and "Oops, I didn't make it and there is a puddle on the floor."  The kids laugh at this definition but they can connect with it.  Medical emergencies are defined as "I crying from intense pain." or "This blood is making a mess of my materials and me."  Again some laughter, but message received. 

Or so I thought...

Today one student sat at her desk with her hand raised for her entire silent reading station.  She had to go to the restroom.  Clearly not an emergency because sitting at your desk with your hand raised for 20 minutes means there was no puddle or the threat of one.

Another student came to me with a terrified look on his face and a particular odor.  "I wasn't trying to wait.  It just sort of came out."  So a real emergency and he waited until the red light to come and tell me he had soiled himself. 

Tomorrow, a review of emergencies may be in order.

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