Thursday, September 6, 2012

I have really neglected this...

I heard the following gems this past week however, and how could I be so selfish to keep them to myself?

To start the year out I have my kids do a "Me Bag" assignment as their first homework. It's pretty simple-they fill a brown lunch sack with 4-6 items about themselves.They get to share a little about what they like with the class, the kids in the class find similarities with each other and gives them things to talk to each other about (not that finding things to talk about is a problem in my class..they talk to each other PLENTY), gives them practice talking to a win.

I have told my students (and parents in the note attached to the bag) that they should bring things that tell something about them, not simply a toy that they think is cool. I usually get pretty typical photos of family, swim goggles, etc. The following two items were definitely new ones.
BV- "This is a cow, because my last name means cow in Spanish" (it literally does)
BA-"This is sand. My mom said to bring it because I have a good imagination...but it's just from Moab"

The final comment that made me laugh was one I wasn't even supposed to hear. As I was at recess duty today I heard the following conversation
AP (in my class)- "My teacher is single! She's not even married!"
Other girl in first grade- "She's not?"
AP- "No...she's the only one that isn't a Mrs." (I am the only single teacher on my team)

I didn't realize being single was so exciting to a 6 year old, but I will take it and run with it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deep thoughts from small minds

This afternoon we were reading a "Scholastic News" (remember those ? Ah the joy of little magazines in elementary school. Life was so much simpler back then...) about Martin Luther King Jr. I figured since I had brought up the fact that we have no school on Monday @ least twice today (can we sense any excitement for that event on my part ?) we should do some of our activities for that holiday before the fact. That way they would go home and tell their parents "I know why we don't have school on Monday" and I would look like the oh so wonderful teacher I am. Ok I am not but I can @ least try to fool someone. I digress though...

So I was talking about him and we were reading our little reader and EC's hand shoots up the instant we start talking. She then poses a good question. "If the whites were the ones that were not letting the blacks do things, why would white people celebrate him ?" I didn't know whether to let my jaw drop in surprise of such an astute comment from a 6 year old, or to just laugh b/c how in the world did she come up with that ? I think I chose to smile and say "you are right, but the whites didn't do it to be mean, they just didn't know that it was wrong". Then I decided that was an intense conversation and most of my class had no idea what we were talking about, so we moved on in our little reader.

IK, my "challenge" of a child, blurts out.... "hey, this guy... he got shot. Someone shot him, and he died". Now that is a true statement but you should have seen the little looks the rest of the class gave me. They all stared up @ me wanting me to tell them that IK was lying, but alas I had to inform them that he did indeed get shot. The next question "why !?" was answered with "because someone didn't like what he was doing". Little KM pipes in "that's a sad story"

The best part was at the end when we were getting ready to go back to our desks. EC then raises her hand and says " Do you think that if MLK had not lived, we would let the Haitians into our country today ?" Oh EC... you are the reason I love teaching. Fabulous, easy going and so kind to all.  Even to IK, who I make you help and he repays you by yelling at you and pulling you off the slide...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Little do you know how much you really are (in a non negative way)

other first grade teacher " I, pick up the cracker pieces"

I- "I don't want to be your teachers servant"

The best part of that statement.... I make my kids do pointless jobs for me ALL day long. Pick that trash up, put the stapler away for me, I am quite demanding of them. By demanding I mean, I am lazy and make them do things. They are still in that stage of "I will do anything to please my teacher", so I figure I will just enable that feeling all I can.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cent Confusion..

Here is a fact about school.. I get SO SO tired of doing calendar with my class. I have them fill in their own calendar folders, we change and add to it as the year goes on, yet it still is so repetitive that by the end of the year I choose a student to lead it and I sit as far away as I can to still maintain the appearance that I am listening. I have even been known to be on my laptop writing emails while calendar is going on.

Since I don't enjoy it most days, sometimes I point out things to make it more entertaining. So today when we were putting up a nickel (we put up a penny for each day @ school, then trade up) I asked if anyone knew who was on the nickel. I think one person said Jefferson so we talked about that. I then showed the back of the coin and said "does anyone know where this is ?". No one responds other than to give me a blank stare. I then say "This is where Thomas Jefferson lived". K pipes up "oh... the temple ?"
Nope K, but it is quite spacious and grand....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Brutal Honesty

This past week I have been on outside duty before and after school. So I stand in the front of the school while people drop off. I make sure cars stay in the pick up and drive through lanes, and watch out for those crazy children who think it is a good idea to dart through two lanes of traffic to the parking lot on the other side (including one of my students, but that's another story). As I stand there @ the end of the day waiting for the last few students to get picked up I was talking to a first grader who is in another class.

1st grader "Miss Van Tassell do you have any kids ?"
Me- "Nope, I am not married"
1st grader- "Do you have any kids ?"
Me- "No, I am not married"
1st Grader- "Well do you want kids ? I know one for sale"
Me- "Really ? Who is it ?"
1st Grader- "My sister. My mom says she is driving her crazy. You can have her"

I wonder what she would have charged me for a only child existence ?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bilingual Lessons

 KM "How do you know spanish ?" (mouth gaping in surprise that I actually know something)
 Me- "I just do"
 IK "I know spanish...ohglgahg gula... Hola Amigo, Hola Amigo, Hola Amigo "(WILL NOT STOP CHANTING)
Me- "Please stop and finish your math"

Side note- when I took ESL two years ago they told me to never speak the  child's native language b/c then they will not be motivated to learn English. So way to listen to instructional advice...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We might just make it after all...

This isn't something that someone said but as I sit here with ten minutes to recess, it's the thought that came to my head. After 6 days we are actually listening to directions. I feel like doing the Mary Tyler Moore jump for joy, while singing the above song. If you don't know what I am talking about, please google "Mary Tyler Moore opening credits" and you will then know...