On this Wednesday, I am home on yet another snow day--#10! The hounds and I are just in from a neighborhood trek through knee-deep drifts and falling flakes! Brutus was the "lead dog," blazing the trail and bounding along. I traipsed along behind bundled up in my parka. Rosie was the anchor dog, trotting delicately across the patches of ice and bringing up the rear. I am sure that we were quite a sight, two short-legged canines and one brave Basset Hound Mama!
As I settle in on this snowy evening to link up with Em from Curious Firsties, I'd like to first share my personal reflection....
I am feeling fortunate today to still have the pleasure of enjoying long-distance phone visits with my 89-year-old father! He had another scary heart episode on Sunday afternoon, but luckily his pacemaker did it's job with a "jump start." Good neighbors got him to the doctor promptly, meds were adjusted, and he is feeling fine now. Friends are bringing groceries until he is allowed to drive in two weeks, and according to his physician, he is still allowed to have his one cocktail at 5 o'clock in the evening!
He said that life in 83-degree Florida is good, and that he "sure doesn't miss shoveling snow!" We chuckled together as I described the wild weather we've been having here, and commiserated about how if it doesn't let up soon that I will still in school in July! My Dad is a true character--kind, gentle, quietly supportive, and funny. I am lucky to still have him in my life, and our conversation this afternoon was most certainly my "sunshine" on this wintery Wednesday!
My current professional reflection stems from the experience of welcoming yet another new student to my classroom this week. She arrived ten minutes before the bell, glad to be back at our school, which she had previously attended last year. As I helped her unpack and settle in at her new desk, raving over her matching cheetah print binder and spiral notebook, she smiled quietly and glanced around our colorful room and commented, "Wow, you have a LOT of books!" I smiled brightly and said, "Books are my favorite things!"
As the group arrived and I introduced her to her "special assistant" and seat neighbor, she said "Hello!" quietly and got right to work. As I was busy taking lunch count, checking attendance, and collecting transportation change notes, I overheard one of her other table mates lean over and say, "You are going to like it here! Mrs. Reynolds is REALLY funny, and........she SINGS and PLAYS THE GUITAR with us every day!"
Needless to say, I immediately burst into a boisterous rendition of "Calamine Lotion"--a silly call-and-response song I learned at Girl Scout camp many moons ago! It makes absolutely no sense, but is a mouthful of wonderfully made-up words/sounds and is always a big hit!
The lyrics follow (which I have tried to type phonetically), and while I cannot share the tune here because I do not have video capabilities, it can be done in a chanted, "rap" or jazz "scat" style! Sometimes I add goofy hand gestures or dance moves, especially if the group has "ants in their pants" and needs to "wiggle their waggles" out!
Yesterday's silly song made my new student grin and giggle with delight, and it reminded me yet again that music is a universal, welcoming, and warm language that makes children happy. So I encourage you to.....
Sing a song.
Sing out loud!
Sing out strong!
Don't worry that it's not good enough,
for anyone else to hear.
Sing a song!
*Should be done in a call and response manner with teacher
singing/chanting each line first and then students echoing back
Calamine, calamine, calamine lotion!
Oh no! Not the calamine lotion!
Eeeny meeny deci-meeny!
Ooo walla walla meeny!
Ex-a-meeny solla meeny!
Ooo walla wah!
Beet billy oat-in doat-in!
Bow-bow ba-deet-in dot-in!
Wah wash a-bam!