Almost every day, I have been sitting in the block corner at centers time with my little blocks-challenged friend. (On the days when I haven’t been there with him, my special ed teacher has been.) And each day, he has learned a little bit more. Let’s call him Crow, because yesterday, crow is what he did.
“Teacher, let’s make a train!”
“Okay, that’s a good idea. What are you going to do with those blocks in your hands?”
“Make a train! Yeah, make a train!”
“Okay, honey. Put the blocks down on the floor, yes, just like that.”
“This one goes here!”
“And I’ll put this one here. Do you want to go get some more blocks?” And so on.
Pretty soon we had a train. Crow could not stop grinning. “My train! It’s a train!” And jumping for joy. “I made a train! I love my train! I love Mrs. X.!”
After a while, it became clear that he didn’t know what to do, having built the train. (Knocking it down and starting over would have been stressful.) So we carefully took it apart, block by block, and Crow managed to put them all away in the right places. Then he went off to the dramatic play area, his second most favorite thing to do.
Today he came in uncharacteristically quiet. My assistant, who goes to get him off his bus each morning, was worried. Usually he chatters all the way to class, but today he was silent. I asked him if he wanted to sit on my lap, and he nodded. So we had a little snuggle, and a conversation about what we had each eaten for breakfast. After that, he was his usual self, except for the fact that he wanted to sit on my lap at least two more times, and before today, he had never been affectionate toward me.
At centers time, I rigged it so that he got to go to blocks again, and once again, he built a train. It was joyful, all over again. He was so proud of himself, and so happy that his teacher was proud, too.