Saturday, November 1, 2008


The low key vibe that ushered in this school year has continued to permeate all of our classroom functions. This was quite apparent on Friday as Halloween came and went without the overstimulation that usually accompanies it.

Children did, of course, change into their costumes (superheroes, princesses), we shared both scary and funny Halloween stories and I am sure I saw a candy bar or two but it was all done in a vedy, vedy, civilized manner.

As is the tradition in our school, children do not change into costume until after lunch.  At that time we can have celebrations (or not) until the school wide Spirit Day! assembly.  Everyone gathers together to parade their finery, class by class, while others cheer and 'ooh' and 'ahh'.

This year I decided to be an old tyme baseball player (Go Phillies!) and Lauren was a court jester.

I must say that wearing a baseball uniform and swinging a bat is much more comfortable than wearing a big, yellow hat and cradling a monkey like I did last year when I was The Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George.

In the midst of all this I began to do some research for my current doctoral class - Reading and writing as Psycholinguistic Processes.  I am going to compare the reading processes of an emergent reader with a skilled reader in terms of verbal protocol, miscue analysis, comprehension, conceptual signs, phonological awareness and retelling.  Lauren has agreed (Thank you!) to be my skilled reader so I recorded us reading a story together so I can analyze her 'online' reading.

I am including it here for several reasons:

1) It is a Halloween story.

2) There is an ongoing question about how we promote and support bilingualism in English and American Sign Language when one language (ASL) has no written form.  This fact makes our school program different from other bilingual programs where both languages are written and spoken.  The solutions are not always easy or mutually agreed upon.  However, one thing we do is to provide read alouds utilizing both languages as you will see in the video below.  At other times the read aloud is done strictly in American Sign Language without voicing.

3) My mom likes the book The Hallo-Wiener.  It makes her chuckle. And since my last post did not make her chuckle, I thought it was time to redeem myself. So, this is for you mom.


Anonymous said...

WOW! What an enjoyable post! I really liked the story! What's with the beard? You're as handsome as ever! I wish you a wonderful birthday; wish we could be with you! You're the bestest son ever!Love ya,Momxxxooo

WAT said...

Damn. What a hottie baseball player. I will probably add more to this, but for now I gotta take in your handsomeness sir.

WAT said...

Yes, in watching the video clip of storytime, I am now officially enamored.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

I'm here for a shallow reason; to see a cute guy in a baseball costume. Is that wrong? :-)

Reya Mellicker said...

I hoped to be the first to wish you a happy birthday, but it seems fitting that your mom did it first.

Still, I'm so glad you're alive and blessing all of us who love with your beauty, intelligence and compassionate nature. Many, many more.

LOVE the story and LOVE you in the baseball uniform. You're gorgeous! (Never thought of you as the jock type, but wow!!)

Reya Mellicker said...

Blessing all of us who love YOU with ...

lettuce said...

v.cute guy in baseball costume

we never did get to see pics. of your man in the yellow hat costume, did we?

Great vid, it made me chuckle too and i love having the kids responses and comments in it

HAPPY HAPPY birthday lovely gary.

Gary said...

Mom - Glad you liked this one. The quality of the video is not that great. I need to figure out what I did wrong in transferring it to YouTube. Thanks for the birthday wishes; you are the bestest mom ever!

Wat - I didn't realize it until after I posted the baseball player picture but I look exactly like my older brother Wally in that shot. My mom confirmed this, to our amazement. I love that there is a strong family resemblance because I feel part of something wonderful. So thanks for the compliment (from both of us) and thanks for watching the video. I know it is long and didn't really expect anyone but mom to view it all.

J.DZ-S - There is something about a uniform that makes folks more attractive. I wonder what it is? I have lots more costumes so we'll have to play dress up when you visit.

Dearest Reya - Thank you for the birthday wishes. I am anticipating that this birthday will be low key as well but will end with a big celebration upon Obama's win. As for leaving out the YOU in that sentence, I think it is a beautiful sentiment either way. You are right, I never was the jock type and only discovered the power of my body when I was in my late teens. Although I always loved playing baseball I was never on an official team so putting on the uniform was a treat.

Letty - I have hidden all of those Man in the Yellow Hat pictures - LOL - it is simply not a flattering look. When I saw this video I was impressed with the children and their focus for almost 8 mintues. Taping interactions is such a good way to reflect on the things that I miss in the moment. Thanks for the birthday card which came via snail mail the other day! What a surprise. You can officially color me impressed and grateful. Thanks.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

What a convincing baseball player you make. Okay, now it's time to put away the Skoll until next Halloween. When are you going to post the photo of you in the yellow suit from last year?

Gary said...

JT - Never!

PS MOM - I shaved.

Joy Keaton said...

I didn't know you were a baseball player this year! We never talk any more. *sniff* I feel like the weiner dog. ;)

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading & listening to the Halloween Post.
I loved the Weiner Dog Story. Very cute. I just smiled & giggled
every time a child would shout out a comment. Don't know how you are able to keep a straight face when you read to them. My favorite was when student was speaking to you and called you Gary - I just wanted
to hug that little one.

Loved the Baseball Costume-you like Kevin Costner in Bull Durham!
Would love to see last years costume as well.

Wishing you a very "Happy Birthday!" May all your wishes for the day and coming year come true!

Mikey T said...

Gary - wish we had spent Halloween together like in the old days - costume looks great!!

Anonymous said...

When I was in college for my undergrad we had to learn ASL and Sign Exact English.

Oh and great book suggestions on the right! I work in Early Childhood and agree with you on many of your picks.

Barbara said...

It was so useful for me to WATCH you read to the kids. I learned some things I will put to use with week with my young charges at the homeless shelter. I'm so anxious to read them them the letter from Barack Obama thanking them for their letters to him and his family!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Gary!
Love your blog. It's so inspiring.
You are the best. I owe you cupcakes ;)

Steve Reed said...

You do make a cute baseball player!

Funny video. One of those kids is a talker.

Pod said...

yeah you do look a bit of a wally in that costume
sorry i missed your birthday!
i hope you made some nice memories
i challenge you to find anything suggestive in my recent post...or perhaps i don't

Mona said...

O dear, it was your Birthday!

Belated Happy Birthday to you!

You look good in the basketball gear! & I love the ear buds skeleton! :D

Salty Miss Jill said...

Weiner dog, weiner dog!
What a great story...and how cute are you and Lauren-and the kids!

I wish i had you around all the time to teel me to practice paying attention. ;)

Gary said...

Joy - The baseball player was a last minute inspiration (well as last minute as ordering a costume online and then waiting a week for delivery allows) so no worries you are still a hero sandwich

Lynda - Yeah, you like that?

Mikey - It is no Sarah Palin (like yours) but it was comfortable. Hey, I had the strangest dream last night about you and your mom at your dad's house. Remind me to tell you about it.

Biblomom - Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I would gladly welcome any suggestions on other fantastic books. Lettuce has turned me on to so many great titles.

Barbara - Wow! A letter from Obama sure beats Wiener Dog.

Maria - Finally you comment on ye ol blog. Yippee. Don't sweat the cupcakes, I'm fat enough these days.

Steve - That is Christopher. I don't know what compelled him to repeat everything I was saying - I was not amused at the time but it makes me laugh when I watch it now.

Pod - Is that an Australian slang term meaning something vaguely sexual? LOL. You are right, your last post finally allows me to get my mind out of the gutter. :)

Mona - Thanks. They keep coming (left, right and inbetween) but I plan to continue to celebrate.

Salty - Sorry I missed you this weekend. I could have given you some pointers on the fine art of paying attention, or not. Next time...

Anonymous said...

Hi G,
Just checking your Blog to see additional comments from the cyber world. Scrolled down to your comments - you just make me laugh!

Joy - The baseball player was a last minute inspiration (well as last minute as ordering a costume online and then waiting a week for delivery allows) so no worries you are still a hero sandwich.

Lynda - Yeah, you like that?

Every time you say that phrase, it cracks me up!


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