Thursdays, or class trip days, start off like any other day of the week. I arrive at school at eight-thirty to supervise the apprentices until they go to breakfast at nine. That half hour consists of chatting, practicing drills and playtime in the gym or playground. Around nine, we go to breakfast, provided by Revolution Foods, a school lunch program that is conscious of nutrition and the origins of its food. Breakfast lasts until ten, and I supervise my class while they eat and the rest of my students roll in as the van picks them up or their parents drop them off. Next is the walk up four flights of stairs to our room. We walk in "LPTM" order everywhere, in which the students line up from shortest to tallest. They must be silent and walk like "gentlemen" whenever we are in LPTM. When we arrive in our classroom, all the students get the "ants in their pants" out with dancing and singing time. One of my favorite parts of the day is dancing to their favorite song, a Latin Rumba. My students have some hilarious dance moves! Also at this time, students are starting to be pulled individually for tutoring with our DC Reads volunteers. After that, I lead the class in a lesson and review of concepts about our class country, Brazil. Each class during the summer learns about a different country as part of our theme, "Connecting Communities across the Globe." My four, five, and six year olds already know many words in Portuguese and can list different facts about Brazil. Between eleven and twelve, the students can play in the different learning centers.
Lunch is from twelve to one, their food provided by Revolution Foods again. This part of the day is the rowdiest. The kids are fully awake, stimulated from playing in learning centers, and now full of energy from lunch. Adding fuel to the fire, some students are very grumpy from not sleeping well the previous night for various reasons, and after about four hours at school, that grumpiness is at its peak. Since it is a Thursday, we leave for our class field trip after lunch. Who goes on the trip is determined by each student's behavior during the week and the morning of. The field trips are privileges, so if they did not earn the trip by their behavior, they will stay behind with another staff member. The class trips usually have something to do with our country we are studying, including going to the National Zoo to look at Brazilian animals and eating at a Brazilian restaurant. The class trips last around one to two hours. These trips are so fun because the students' are so excited to see something outside of their neighborhood. Their personalities shine on the field trips and I love seeing what makes them unique. After we arrive back at school around three, we go over behavior cards for each student which are measured in smiley faces for tutoring and classroom behavior. Good behavior is rewarded with the treat box. Aftercare begins at three for students whose parents are at work. This consists of watching movies and playing in learning centers until six with a snack at four-thirty.
I reluctantly leave at four-thirty everyday, counting the minutes until I can come back the next morning to see my beautiful boys!