Pin It

Friday, April 26, 2013

Foreign Affairs on Friday--Now That's Alliteration

Happy Friday! I had a rather accomplished day,  if I do say so myself.  Before lunch at noon, I had answered approximately 500 questions,  dispelled the rumor that spiders lay eggs with their butts, read individually with 8 or 9 kids, taught two fighting friends what a myth was, heard about someone's throw-up experience,  sent 2 off to see the nurse, wrangled a water bottle into an ice pack, read 2 chapters out loud from a very cool book about a mouse named Fredle, solved an issue about which marker was a redder red, unjammed the stapler, reorganized someone's reading binder that had fallen apart, told my OPINION about mermaids being fantasy (back to the myth discussion), heard every possible detail about a little league baseball game in which someone's team lost 14 to 2, identified a hang nail AND a rash both as non life-threatening, put to rest the rumor that so-n-so was saving so-n-so a beanbag chair because they are dating, found a word definition on, collected reading and writing work for the week, guilted several friends for not having their reading and writing work for the week finished, explained what a charlie horse was, counted the remaining fish swimming in the turtle tank (it was a request, as she couldn't BELIEVE they were still alive), and taught a room full of third graders how to write in a foreign language. Or at least I guess I did. One of them quite loudly protested our cursive writing practice, insisting he'd rather write in English.

Enjoy the weekend, and revel in your accomplishments,  big and small!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Shapely Discussion

Our math lesson today was on translations, reflections, and rotations. For those of you who aren't already asleep after that first sentence, what that means in English is how a shape is manipulated to change its direction or the space it occupies.  I asked the kids what they thought the "real life" applications of this math concept about shapes might be. I got some pretty well thought out answers--everything from architect to landscaper. One little boy's answer got the grand prize, though. He said, "I think if you are going to be a kindergarten teacher you should know this, because if you are going to teach those little kids about shapes,  you'd better know what you're talking about ahead of time! "

Friday, April 19, 2013

Free at Last!

Twas the eve of the AIMS test,
All testing complete
Save for a few make-ups,
This round's obsolete
Collective sighs could be heard
From every classroom
From both teachers and students
As they rose from its gloom
Then the questions began,
Kids were called on by name
Can we read now? Do science?
Can we please play a game?
And suddenly, they realized
These things for which they were yearning
Each shared the same name--
These kids had missed learning!!

So glad to get back to "normal" on Monday!
Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Leapin' Lizards! (or not)

After watching a Magic School Bus episode about reptiles this afternoon:

Student: Mrs. Butler? I have a joke for you. What do you call it if your lizard has a broken tail?
Me: I don't know...tell me.
Student: A reptile dysfunction.
Me: (sweating) Um, I don't get it...what makes that funny?
Student: I don't know. My mom's boyfriend knows a lot of lizard jokes. He loves lizards!
Me: Well super! (was checking for the sheepish grin, but happily there wasn't one!)

Maybe he'll come back in a few years and explain it to me!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Open Letter to a Standardized Test

Dear standardized test:

I am not usually the kind of person to go around pointing out faults in others;  God knows I have more than a few of my own.  I feel that there are a few discrepancies though, that I'd be remiss in not pointing out. I will list them next to letters of the alphabet,  since you seem to be familiar with the format.

A) You have failed to include a measure to showcase Jimmy and Johnny's recent ability to get along at recess. They both come from broken and abusive  homes, you know, and the gains they've made in sustaining a friendship built on trust is remarkable. It will serve them always.

B) I may have missed it, but was there a question asking about who is a student's favorite author?  Because little Susie now has three! Remember in August,  it was Susie who cried every time she tried to read because she only knew a handful of words? By your numbers, she's still not good enough, but I have to respectfully disagree. She now reads at a beginning 2nd grade level, and her smile extends from ear to ear on library day!

C)  I haven't been able to locate the section with the question about our special needs population, and some of the strides they have made toward life skills they have worked on all year!  Surely that was an oversight, because I know that you would be as proud as our school family is that little Ernie no longer bites his classmates when he wants their attention! In fact, you should see him working side by side with a classmate in a mainstream class on a science project! It's AMAZING!

D) I hope that next year's test will take into account that Jane has been at 4 schools this year, because her parents have to keep moving to find better jobs to support their family. She may not have exceeded your standards, but she's made a few friends and has joined the Girl Scout Troop here at school, so things are looking up for her.

I hope to see these changes made on upcoming copies of your tests. You know how we lazy educators can be sometimes, leaving children behind and whatnot, so we would be appreciative of any help you are able to give.  It will more than make up for the "dryspell" we seem to be experiencing in the salary department over the past 7-10 years. Thank you in advance for all you do!

Mrs. B.

P.S. Could you kindly send a box of tissues with next year's tests? The students and teachers seem to need a lot of them while testing, and there's no money in the budget for any paper products after October.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Common Sense is on an Extended Spring Break

I stopped one of my students just seconds before watering the plant.  His reason?  Plants need water to survive.  So much for applied science,  people.  Back to the drawing board.  And good news!  AIMS tests are this week!! (Insert sarcasm font here)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tender Loin

No matter what, when pitted against each other, Wolf trumps Loin. Everytime. Always. It's the law of nature.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Gusty and Dusty

Wind does strange things to children. It makes them absolutely crazy.  I have long felt that we in the hotter climates have been slighted because we don't get those snow days that some people get. I mean, why no heat days?  What's not fun? are classrooms full of hot, sweaty,  whiny people.  But enough about the teachers. The students are a mess here until Halloween, when we can no longer smell burning flesh on the playground slide and the students don't need to drink their body weight in water daily. After today with gale-force winds, I'm also in favor of "wind days". During our math class after lunch, we had what I like to call a C.B.P.-- Contagious Bathroom Party. It turns out, they were taking turns seeing if anyone would blow away in the wind. Luckily, no one did.

In other news, one little girl is suffering from "pimples" on her feet. ..she got new shoes this weekend. And upon trying (for the four-hundreth time) to manage some semblance of a line with little success, one of my students asked me if I was at my "twits end".

Wind = 1, Teacher = 0.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

Here are some things I learned on Wednesday. Sure, they may seem trivial now, but I know you'll be glad you took the time to read them, you know, just in case.

Student: Mrs. Butler? NEVER push a red button! EVER! Nothing good ever happens when somebody pushes the red button! (You mean like the "on" button on the t.v. remote?)
It is almost ALWAYS going to lead  to DISASTER! (The capitalized words are for the very excited way in which he shared...there may have even been a tiny bit of spittle)
I mean, you never hear somebody say, "Oh look! I just pushed a red button, and now there's a BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW in the sky!"
Me: You know? You are right. I'm fairly certain I've never heard anyone say that.

Student: In some countries, they do math different than we do. Like, over there? 3 + 3 might equal seven instead of six.
Me: Hmmm. What countries were you thinking of?
Student: Like far away places where they speak Chinese, and probably Florida.

So, the obvious take away messages on Wednesday were:
1.  Red button pushing does not result in rainbows.
2.  Make sure your Floridian currency is exchanged properly, they don't know their addition facts.