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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pine and All That Sap

Today was SO beautiful, we spent a good part of it outdoors!  We read and did some of our math outside--one of the perks of an older school--classroom doors that open to the world!  Even with the glorious weather going for us, we had a few temper flare-ups:
Student:  Mrs. Butler?  So-and-so said I couldn't play with her or her club members!  Now I can't catch any ladybugs!
Me:  What club?  Who? (Always trying to get pertinent info...)  Let's go talk to her.
Me:  Hi So-and so!  Whatcha doin?
So-and-so #1:  Nothing.  (You'd be amazed how common this answer is!)  Just catching ladybugs with my friends.
Me:  So-and-so #2 (stay with me here) would love to join you guys, but said that you told her she couldn't play with you.  Did something happen?
So-and-so #1:  YES.  IT DID.  While we were at lunch, she told me to "shut my PINE HOLE".
Me:  (Turning to So-and-so #2):  Is that true?  Did you say....that?
So-and-so #2:  Yeah, but it was only because she was being SO ANNOYING! (We get that a lot)
Me:  Do you girls think we can move past this and get on with the fun of recess?  All it will probably take is an apology from each of you to the other.
So-and-so #1:  I'm sorry.
So-and-so #2:  Sorry about the PINE HOLE thing.
So-and-so #1:  S'okay.

And they rode off into the sunset with ladybugs on their minds.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Isn't She Lovely?

Oh. My. Goodness! I would like to sincerely thank Spring Break for finally showing up! This week seemed about twice as long as usual. Adding to the impending break was Field Day, temperatures in the mid 90's, and the end of the grading period, and I know I saw about 20 grateful teachers racing ahead of me to the parking lot this afternoon!
My funny for the day was when one of my students grabbed me by the hand and excitedly pulled me over to look at something wonderful framed on the library wall. "Look, Mrs. Butler! Do you know what THAT is? It's the DECORATION of Independence! Isn't it beautiful?!?!"

Indeed it is, little one, indeed it is!
In fact, it's SO beautiful, I think we should dust it off and USE it!!

Happy Friday to all, and to all a great weekend (and Spring Break, if it applies)!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The World We Live In

We read a story last week called My Very Own Room.  This week, the students have been designing their own Dream Rooms--no limitations except their own imaginations--no financial or logistical constraints.  They are having a blast with it, and some shared them with the class today. The following is an excerpt from one of the student's presentations:

Student:  Here's my dream room.  It's actually a total of three rooms up in a tree.  This room (pointing) is mine and my brother's, this room is a kitchen, and this room is my mom and dad's.  Here they are in their room together.
(Snickers from the crowd...boys).
Boy:  Ew, they sleep in the SAME BED?!?!
Student:  (Rolling eyes).  Of COURSE.  When you're married, that's the rule.  You sleep in the same bed.
Another student to a friend:  That's not true, my mom's not married, and she sleeps in the same bed with lots of people.

Needless to say, a song and dance may have occurred then to change the subject...

And another one on the playground this morning:

I notice a group of 3rd/4th grade boys watching a little girl who had just run by them.  The little girl is probably pushing a whopping 45 pounds, and is sporting a pair of denim shorts with leggings underneath.  As she leaves earshot range, one of the boys says, "She's just showing off the junk in her trunk".  Seriously?  More like a glove box than a trunk, boys.

So, it would appear that SPRING is actively least at school!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tricky Susie B.

Student: Mrs. Butler? Look at this picture of Susan B. Anthony. It says it was taken in 1898.
Me: Yes, it does say that...
Student: But I think she died before then.
Me: Well, let's look. Oh, look here. It says she died in 1906.
Student: But I think she may actually be dead in this picture.
Me: I don't think they would do that. Besides, she looks pretty alive to me?!
Student: I think they just propped her up and opened her eyes. You know, trick photography.

It may not have been her most flattering picture, for sure, but I'm pretty sure I've looked worse.  It could've been a Monday morning!

Happy Thursday--sliding into the home stretch!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More Than a Number

More Than a Number
by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Oh, this just made me cry!  Grab a tissue and watch.  I try to remember every day, that THIS is why I teach.  It is a calling.  A service.  It is not, should not, be solely about putting kids in terms of something as simplistic and sterile as a test score.  Do I get excited and happy when the students in my class perform well on tests?  Of course!  We celebrate the victories!  But in the end, there is SO much more than that.  At the end of the year, if I've helped a child have self confidence that had little before, if I've helped someone discover the magic of books, or friendships, or if I've played a part in a child's realization that boundaries set by adults are a good and expected thing and that games have rules and we all take turns?  Then I know I've done well.  I know it was a job well done.  I wish that back to basics meant that we could once again say that we teach CHILDREN, not TESTS.  Not CURRICULUM.  That those are simply part of a means to an end.

On a lighter note, I brought a salad in a jar again for lunch today (thank you, Pinterest, for bringing back the salad magic!).  My kids love to look at all of the veggies and stuff through the glass.  One of my students asked me if my lunch was a "seizure" salad again.  I dare you to order one at your next dinner out.  I know I'm going to!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pringle Pox


Today while reading "Henry and the Paper Route" (an oldie but a goodie, by Beverly Cleary), we were doing a lesson on predicting, or inferring, what will happen next in the story.  Here is how the conversation went:
Me:  Why do you think Mrs. McCarthy called Mrs. Huggins to talk about Scooter's paper route?
Turn to your partner and discuss what could have happened.
**Classroom discussion ensues.**
Student:  Well, he might be sick.
Me:  Great inference!  Who agrees?  Who disagrees?
**Classroom discussion ensues...some more.**  After reading more of the text:
Me:  It turns out that you were right!  Scooter has the chicken pox, and his mom called Henry's mom to see if Henry could take over his paper route until he gets better!
Student:  I had the chicken pox when I was three, and it lasted for about 10 weeks!
Me:  It probably seemed like 10 weeks, but usually kids feel better after about 2 weeks.
Student:  Yeah, but I caught my chicken pox in a VERY BIZARRE way!  My dad was eating a lot of Pringles at the time, and no one in my family knew that he had them? And so he passed them on to me!  Only I didn't get Pringles, I got chicken pox instead.
Me:  Check with your mom, I'll bet your dad had SHINGLES, and gave you chicken pox that way.
Student:  What would SHINGLES have to do with potato chips? 
Me:  Right.  Well, talk to her this evening and see what she says...

Sheesh.  Who knew?  Just a lesson for us all--eat clean, you never know what's in that processed stuff!
H A P P Y     M O N D A Y!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In the beginning...

Well, here it goes!  In my incredible abundance of spare time, I have decided to create a teaching blog!  I am doing this because, quite frankly, the funny (and a lot of times sweet) moments of teaching are the reason I keep showing up every day!  Just kidding.  Sort of. 
My Assistant Principal is the one who came up with the blog title (he suggested The Third Degree, but it was already taken), and I loved it!  Also, now?  I can blame the content on him if I get in trouble.  Right?! 
Seriously though, a reoccurring life lesson for me, and something that I do really well now, is to see the FUNNY in everyday situations.  Sometimes, all we can do is laugh at the circumstances, and move on.  That holds true for anybody, in any profession--from stay at home mom to CEO of an equally important company (you know, equally important as the family homestead). A lot of times people ask me how I end up with all of the "funny" kids, and I don't think I do.  I just LISTEN for the funny.  It's all around you, and if you're lucky, you won't hear it when you have a mouthful of soda.  Because that stuff shoots right out your nose, trust me on this.
To all my Facebook friends who enjoy the weekly funnies I share, I hope you will come here too!  One of my life goals is to write a book.  Actually, lots of books.  I'm a little (okay, a lot) ADHD in that I have started about 25 books and have finished none.  I call it completion anxiety, but my closest friends call it crap.  They are probably right.  Maybe, just maybe, this blog will somehow morph into (one of) the book(s) I want to write!  And if not, then hopefully it will at least make you laugh.