Thursday, April 23, 2009

Adverbs, Short stories, and a giggling girl

So we are winding up our year. This means that short stories are due in just a week, and we have reached the end of our grammar book. In some ways it is my favorite part of the year. I love reading the stories these kids write. First, of course, they have had quite the unusual lives, so they have some neat experiences to draw from, that and the fact their brains haven't been fried by too much tv. I like the part when they hand them in (the rough drafts ) and I get to read them and help develop the plot and clean up the story line. I like writing, but I think I like the editing process better. So that has been what I have been doing lately. One girl's story is really fun, cause I have actually been to the tribe where she grew up, and made the hour trip into the woods with her and her family. I can picture the trip as she describes the biannual journey from the northern part of Brazil to here in central Brazil, it is not an easy one, let me tell you!!
Then we are winding up grammar. Last week and this week we worked on adverbs. I know I have been getting to deep into the subject when it continues all night in my dreams. Things like, Adverbs can be anywhere in a sentence, well, almost anywhere, before or after a verb, or in the middle of a verb phrase, or at the beginning of a sentence. Then we learned that adverb phrases come immediatly after the adjective or adverb it modifies, and that adverbs come immediatly before the adverbs or adjectives they modify, then there are adverb clauses that start with those lovely subordinating conjunctions, and they can come at the beginning of a sentence or after the word they modify. Are you seeing why I am having nightmares. I try to tell the kids that adverbs are simple, then get lost in the explanation. Ahhhhhh but we have held on, and managed to get through that section, now we are on to sentence structures... I won't even try to explain all the different structures there are!!! But we had fun. I realized that I love puzzles, and connecting random things, that is why I love grammar. I encourage the kids that if they don't understand it, they must at least memorize everything then they can just fill in the answers and get on to the next thing ( that was how I passed geometry).
I do love these kids, they are always ready to laugh, and we do lots, especially when we are tired of grammar and enjoy just making fun of the horrible sentences they have in the book to work with. I am going to miss this group, they are unique and normal and always ready to enjoy life.
So on top of grammar and short stories I have a little girl who is growing up. She is full of energy and sometimes I can't believe how big she is getting ( especially when I pick her up to put her on the back of my bike). She will be 5 in July!!!! I didn't notice this silly thing so much with Jonathan and Laney - they kept each other so well entertained. Emma gets bored, and she gets silly and soon you realize she is just bouncing off the walls. If I let her outside she picks every flower off my plants, sits by the fish pond and fills it full of sticks, leaves and grass, or is in the dirt road playing with mud or rocks. If that fails to entertain she finds the cats and torments them. On the brighter side, she doesn't run off to the playground or a friends house as much!!! Whenever you tell her to do ( or not do ) something she says "okay!" but then you go inside, and she is right back at it!!! So we get out her puzzles and she does all 10 of them and then is ready for something else. I have tried to keep her from watching much TV ( I am sick of Wally - after watching it just a few times, she walks around for hours playing Wally) but I think the more she gets up and moves the more she gets up and moves. I have seen her spend a half an hour or more with a piece of paper opening and closing it and laughing. But she is always happy!!!

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