A couple posts ago, I referenced Reading Group and the insanely airtight structure thereof. One thing I left out is that the predictability continues all the way to snacktime. One white napkin, one baggie for leftovers. Monday through Thursday, always one generous handful of goldfish crackers per child: Friday, oh bliss, is always Popcorn Day. The final step of Reading Group is meeting me and my star charts at the door, to self-evaluate your learning on a scale of zero to two.
Last week, I arrived in the office to discover our 64-ounce jug of goldfish on the floor, with cardboard shavings everywhere and an almost cartoon-like rat-shaped hole chewed through the top. It could have been a disaster to have reading group with no snack, but fortunately, I had a backup plan. I cursed, I cleaned, and I dug the extra carton out of my car’s trunk, perching it on the file cabinet instead of on the table.
Alas, I am not the only one who uses my office, and things have a tendency to get moved around. This morning, another CSI whodunnit on the floor, with the added bonus of a dozen droppings twelve inches from the box.
It wasn’t Friday, and I didn’t have time to get another box of Goldfish. Knowing my audience (kids with autism don’t do well with change), I knew a simple “no snack today” wasn’t an option.
Wrangled a back-up box of graham crackers from a teacher in another building and presented my students with a Learning Opportunity in preparation for the upcoming benchmark tests.
“Today, before snack time, we’re going to study ‘Inferences.’ Remember, an ‘Inference’ is what we have to make when we don’t have all the information right there in front of us. Sometimes, the author tells us about one thing that’s going on, and we have to use what you know to figure out the rest.”
Several blank stares, but Reading Group knows that putting up with Teacher Beth’s crap is the ultimate key to Two Stars on the Star Chart. They were skeptical, but willing.
I thunked the carton on the table, gaping hole and all. “Why do you think we can’t eat the goldfish crackers?”