Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Mother's Day. That's 'Mother...' with a B.

My 4th graders were busy creating acrostic poems for their mothers for Mother's Day.  They were given the choice of writing

O                     M
T         or         O
H                     M

down the left side of their papers, and then filling in a descriptive word for each letter, to describe their mothers.  "Marvelous" and "Outstanding" were getting their moments in the sun, as were "Terrific," "Hugs," "Excellent," "Really good cook," and one edgy "Ruler of the House."

A boy looked up from his poem, mildly disheartened.  "Hmmm," he said, mildly frustrated.  "I really wish "Mother" had a 'B' in it."  

I paused, distracted by what seemed like an obvious, but completely inappropriate "B-word."

"Why's that?" I asked, reluctant.

"Ahhh..." he said, shaking his head as if to show his disappointment.  "Never mind."

Reason #17 to be glad "Mother" doesn't have a 'B' in it.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back-to-School 'Sweet'ness

Another school year is off and running! I quickly realize how much I miss the daily interactions with my students when precious moments like this one take place.

Today's "morning work" focused on the long 'e' sound. Students were given clues for words containing this sound. For "denim pants," for example, students would answer, "JEANS."

Another of the clues was "containing a lot of sugar." When a student approached me for help, I happened to have a mug of coffee in my hand, and so I said to her, "If I put a whole lot of sugar in this coffee, it would be _____." She considered it for a moment, and then answered, clearly emphasizing the long 'e' sound:


Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Day! May Day! Or on Second Thought... No Comment.

May 1st began with a morning worksheet entitled "Rhyme Time." I introduced it, reading aloud from the directions at the top of the page. I made it only so far, before I was enthusiastically interrupted by a student. It went something like this:

ME: "May Day is a spring festival celebrated on May 1. Often children dance around a maypole, and--"


[pause... and... thank goodness(!), the children seem unfazed by this declaration of a mom's choices in home decorating and recreation]

ME: "and hang baskets filled with candy and flowers on doorknobs!"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deep in the Heart of Prefixes and Homophones...

Me: What is the opposite of "increase?"

Student: [long pause] "Non-crease?"

And later...

Me: What are the Great Plains?

Student: The Blue Angels?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sounds like...

My class was discussing words with multiple meanings. Our illustrious teacher's guide offered a classic: 'hot.' We delicately made our way through its various applications, unscathed but for a few nervous giggles, and continued with several other exemplars--fire, lie, and one representative of the current vernacular: sick. I then asked the students if anyone could think of another example.

A girl raised her hand.

"Yes, Elsa?"


I'm sure I looked a bit puzzled as I considered her answer, so Elsa began to elaborate. "Like I can 'squat' down, or like a "Squat Team!"

None of Elsa's classmates seemed to find this at all funny, and I managed to conceal my own amusement as I suggested that Elsa had likely meant "SWAT Team."

Friday, October 22, 2010

So close, but yet, so far

Me [addressing the class]: Do any of you know who Richard Simmons is? (Yes, I did have a good reason to be asking this question!)

Most faces are blank, but one boy raises his hand. I call on him.

"Yes, he's the lead singer for KISS."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Figuratively Speaking

My students and I had just concluded a great discussion about idioms. We explored many examples, giggled over what a literal interpretations might look like--"getting someone's goat," "stuck between a rock and a hard place," "being 'in hot water,'" something costing "an arm and a leg," "raining cats and dogs," etc. The students had just settled into their assignment--to draw a picture to illustrate an idiom of their choice--when a boy exclaimed from his seat, "Oh, I thought of another one!"

"Oh, what is it?" I asked.

"Some guy is "light in his shoes!" the boy announced, innocently.

Uh, oh. "Oh! You mean someone is "light on his feet!" I replied, thinking as quickly as I could.

I could tell by the boy's expression that this did not quite fit what he had in mind, but he opted not to pursue it, for which I am grateful. I had no particular desire to touch that one... not even with a ten-foot pole.