Car conversations: handwriting stress
April 15, 2016

 
“Your day will be full of luck”
D received this message in a fortune cookie he was eating in the car, as we zipped from childminder’s to karate.

D: Well that’s great – not. There’s hardly any day left!

Me: But has your day felt lucky so far?

D: No! I got told off for my handwriting.

Me: Oh. Why did you get told off?

D: We were told to do our best, and I did my best, but my teacher said: “Dylan, you need to do something about your handwriting. We can’t do it – only you can do it.” She said it in the voice that told me she was really annoyed with me and was telling me off.

Me: What are you supposed to do about it and when? Just try harder whenever you write anything?

D: I don’t know – I did my best. You told me my handwriting wasn’t that bad. 

Me: I said your handwriting’s a lot better than a lot of students’ work that I see in secondary school. Your handwriting isn’t GOOD, but it’s certainly a lot tidier than some that I see. I’ll show you some examples and you can see if you like? Shall I tell you WHY teachers get so worked up about handwriting?

D: Why?

Me: Because, rightly or wrongly – people will make a judgement about other people based on presentation. 

D: What’s ‘judgement’?

Me: So, if a new teacher was to look at your work and, even if it used some great words and sentences, if it looks messy, they might take one look and – without even reading it – they might think you’re no good. Sometimes it won’t matter what words you use. I don’t mean YOU specifically – anyone. It’s the same with speaking and giving speeches. You know about percentages? Well, if you write the best speech in the world, using the best words and what’s actually IN the speech is amazing, if you don’t present it well with body language and how you communicate verbally, people won’t listen. I think it’s something crazy like 80% body language and HOW you speak and only 20% based on the actual words and WHAT you are saying that people remember.

D: Well I think that’s wrong. It should be about what words you use. 

Me: I agree, but that’s just how people are.

D: But I can speak well.

Me: I know you can, and don’t you forget it – it’s one of your strengths.

D: So you’re telling me that if I write really bad words, but they look nice that I will get a “Well done, good work.”?

Me: Well, why don’t you test it out? I love testing things like that out – sometimes testing makes me feel better if someone is saying something I don’t agree with.

D: Won’t I get told off?

Me: Don’t write rude words, and promise that you will only do it for this and not give up on your amazing words which are your strength… but it would be an interesting test.

D: I wouldn’t write rude words! I’m going to do that. It makes me feel better when someone says something bad about me and I know it’s not the truth and so I can answer back saying something smarter – that makes me feel really good.

Sing!
July 20, 2013

singBoy: I remembered one of the other songs we sang in the playground today – not Over The Rainbow or Doe a Deer. I don’t know what it’s called though – shall I sing it to you?

Mum: Yes, go on!

Boy: [sings]
Every day, we learn and play,
Finding ways to get along,
Finding out what ┬álife’s about,
Everybody moving on!

That’s all I can remember.

Describing words
March 22, 2013

describingwordsD: Mum, do you like rats?

Me: Well they’re not my FAVOURITE animal, but they’re OK.

D: Do you like cats or do you like dogs?

Me: I like both, but I probably prefer dogs because they can understand us more.

D: I prefer cats. What do cats do when we tell them something?

Me: Generally ignore it. Unless it’s about food.

D: Oh – yes, if it’s food they come RUNNING in…. Well, John has a rat and it BIT his finger!

Me: Ah – rats are not so nice when they bite.

D: That’s what I thought. And I’ve got a cough that’s as nasty as rats that bite!

Simple words
January 23, 2013

notetomandd

Letter – Jan 2013

D: It’s a letter for you and for my dad.

Seven soldiers: #4 – Doc
January 18, 2013

soldierdoc

Doc the Soldier – Jan 2013

D: It’s Doc and he’s reading the book I made.

Freedom table
January 7, 2013

freedomtableMe: What did you get up to at school today?

D: I went to the Three Writing Table…

Me: The FREE Writing Table?

D: Yes – it’s outside our classroom.

Me: Why is it called the ‘Free Writing Table’ – can you write what you like there?

D: Or draw pictures or anything you like really.

Me: And what do YOU do there?

D: I don’t know.

Forbidden words
December 17, 2012

forbiddenwordsD: Eth-word. Eth-word. Eth-word.

Me: What did you just say?

D: Nothing. I said it to myself.

Me: What did you say though?

D: Nothing!…
Mum, what’s a swear word?

Me: They’re naughty words. Who’s been talking about swear words?

D: My teacher at school said we shouldn’t use swear words, but I don’t know what they are.

Me: Good – then you won’t be using them.

D: But how will I know if I’m using them if I don’t know what they are?

Me: Hmmm…

[To be continued]

Appearances can be deceptive
December 7, 2012

appearances[Dream]

D: One day at school there was a monster smashing up all the cars. It was after the fun had happened.
We were all sitting round in a circle, seeing what words were called out and getting them to say what they were. My one was saying what portrait and landscape was, and Jaimie said it before me. I said to Miss Draisy that I was about to say that, and she went to the medal cupboard and I got a medal.

After that there was a HUGE monster outside – it’s got you in this bit – it was smashing up ALL the cars. It wasn’t going to smash OUR car though.

Then it turned into a little animal – a cute little monkey. I went to check our car and it wasn’t smashed up. I went to see the monkey – I thought he was eating our car, so I went to pull him off, but he wasn’t, he was kissing it!

Then he went off with his monkey mum he said “Bye bye!” And I said “Bye bye!” Back.

Seasons putting on a show
October 25, 2012

D: It used to be quite sunny when you put the swimming things away.

Me: Yes, it’s dark now because it’s autumn.

D: Is it winter soon?

Me: In a month or so.

D: Does Halloween come first? And Easter?

Me: Halloween does, Easter’s at the start of spring.

D: Is it the first day of spring?

Me: I don’t know about the first day, but it’s about then – when the bunnies bounce around and the daffodils start to grow.

D: Like a curtain that’s opening for a show…

Homework
October 22, 2012

D: We’ve got some homework to do – there’s a letter in my book bag.

Me: What’s the homework?

D: It’s literacy and maths. I don’t know what we have to do. Can you read the letter to me?

Me: You’re right – for literacy you’ve got to try and “write a simple sentence and join with ‘and’ or ‘but'” and for maths you’ve got to try and “know all the pairs of numbers that make 20 and the matching subtractions.”

D: Yes, like 5 and 5 and 5 and 5.

Me: That’s right – or 10 and…?

D: 10. Yeah – it’s homework. Does that mean I get the day off school?

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