Friday, April 22, 2016

SS"s animal project.

SS's class has been working on an animal project since three weeks before Spring break. Each child chose an animal and had to write five paragraphs detailing specifics about their animal.  I understand teachers are overwhelmed which is why we could not understand why the kids could only work on their essays at school. The result was that Mr. H did not correct the essays until the Thursday before Spring break (essays were due the next day).  SS received her edited essay after lunch and was devastated because it was handwritten, meaning SS would have to rewrite the three pages. Understandably SS had a meltdown because it was due the next morning. She is well aware that speed is not her forte and knew with Thursday homework, plus an eight o'clock bedtime she would not have time to rewrite the essay.

SS was truly devastated when she arrived home, and also very stressed out. It gets better, when I read the essay I saw several glaring mistakes the teacher should have noticed. So not only does he leave correcting for the last minute, he does a lousy job. I texted Mr. H and politely explained it was asking a lot of the kids to have the essays redone by the next day. He replied SS could rewrite it during Spring break. Yeah, because that is what every child wants to do during their vacation, especially with the heavy travel schedule we had. But we sucked it up and told SS she would have to work a little every day to get her work done. Surprisingly the girl was OK with working on the road. Then the stupid suicidal deer happened and things slowed down. But SS worked through it and finished her essay.

The first day back from break we received a flyer from Mr. H explaining the next step of the project. The children were to create a diorama or poster about their animal, and it was due the week after. They would also do an oral presentation, and take questions from the teacher and students.  WTF? Are you kidding me? I'm sorry, well not really, but that pissed us off. Mind you we are not teachers, but first you don't have the kids work at home, then they have to get the project out, and their essays were kept at school. OK, deep breaths, we only have one kid, we can help SS do this.

Our saving grace was that SS is really passionate about wildlife, a nice way of saying she likes violent animals. See our daughter could have chosen a cuddly koala, a cute bunny, how about pay homage to her father and choose a penguin. Nah, SS likes what she likes and chose a black panther.  That complicated things a little since panthers are a genetic mutation of leopards and jaguars. SS had to combine two animals that have quite a different range of weight, size, and habitat.  But how could we resist a child who is so passionate about violent creatures just like herself? When I told P about the presentation options he immediately said about dioramas "I hate those things." OK, so a poster it is since I was not about to deal with this thing alone.

And that is why SS was awake past her bedtime last Thursday, putting the finishing touches on her project. She was very nervous about the oral presentation because SS will talk your ear off, but in front of an audience she is very timid. We repeatedly reassured our daughter that she knew that animal better than anyone, that was HER animal. SS did know her facts, but scared me when she faltered on the morning of the presentation when we practiced.

We also ordered a T-shirt for SS to add a little extra to her presentation. She also had a model of a panther on top of the board. P decided to print actual pictures rather than print on paper and it paid off. I know we are biased but we think it looks pretty neat. Why the big letters? It was one of the requirements SS would be graded for the project. We have no idea why big letters are important, but what the heck.

Now P being P wanted the above picture included, just for sh*t and giggles, and to add a history lesson. Sadly for him I had to make an executive decision and nix the picture. When he pouted about my lack of rebellion I reminded him of JJ. Our son once wrote a funny, factual, yet scathing essay about some religious nuts who declared the Teletubbies were a symbol of homosexuality and promoted the gay agenda (and some other nonsense). I reminded P how SS has taken after her brother's ways, and with us as parents pretty soon she'll be doing similar things. Just not now in the third grade.

The evil Teletubbies actively corrupting toddlers and endangering the so called moral fiber of our country. Darn that's an awesome memory, and wish I still had the essay because it was that good. I now remember the tubbie with the triangle was accused of having the gay pride symbol on his head. Another carried a bag, and that was interpreted as a handbag and the character was male, so homosexual. My observation that SS is likely to follow in our footsteps calmed P down for now.

Here is SS's grading for the report and darn she did well after all that anxiety. The only surprising part was the perfect score for audible and clear. We know SS and she is hardly those two when in front of a crowd. Maybe her passion for her animal gave her a confidence boost.  I was relieved when SS told me the classmates' questions were limited to three. One of them was the weight range and I was proud SS spit out 65-220 pounds like she's known it since birth.

 This picture is on the poster depicting the panther's eating habits, for a third grade project that's pretty daring.  But my husband loved it so I said why the heck not, he should get something out of it.

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