Posts tagged ‘education’

May 1, 2012

Gobble Gobble

by stryson

When talking about ethnicity in one of my classes, one student tried to tell me about his heritage…

Hey, I’m part Turkey!

… an honest mistake, and a good teachable moment for the suffix -ish. Still, hilarious.

Advertisements
April 30, 2012

Amusing Responses

by stryson

As I’ve mentioned before, I teach kids with specific communication difficulties, so I probably shouldn’t find some of their wordings as amusing as I do, but I also suppose it’s good to keep a light heart…

With that in mind, here are some amusing answers:

1. Who is Joe? How did he get to California?

Joe is an African American man who was a slave. He got to California by escaping the slavery place.

From vocabulary sentences:

appraising – measuring the worth of something

In math I am appraising with a watch.

forsake – to give up on or betray

The Ipod will never forsake his friend, the Ipad.

bounty – numerous good things

After homework, I get a bounty of TV.

 

 

February 8, 2012

Synonym Scavenger Hunt

by stryson

My classroom does not really make a good case for proving my sanity right now. If you were to walk in through my door, one of the first things you’d see is this:

Yes, at first glance, it appears that I’ve labeled my printer “automobile.” No, I haven’t completely lost my vocabulary skills.

I actually set up an ongoing game/activity for my reading classes, in which I have a stack of index cards with “simple” words on them, like “funny,” “sad,” etc.

Around my room, I’ve taped fancier synonyms for these words. Examples for the ones in this picture include “hilarious,” “considerate,” “stroll,” “canine,” “automobile,” and “luminous.”

 

 

At the beginning of class, as they walk through the doorway, each child receives a card. He or she has to find the matching synonym and return both cards to me before he or she is allowed to sit down to begin class.

Today, it went well. Moving forward? We’ll see how it goes. I’m reaching for any fun entertaining way to expand these kids’ vocabularies and to make them really think about their word choices.

February 7, 2012

Like, OMG.

by stryson

Well, folks, the day has finally come. This is what the answers in my sixth grade have come to:

4. How does Miss Harris react to Gilly?

Miss Harris is like OMG when she caught Gilly in the hallway.

 

February 6, 2012

Main Idea Activities

by stryson

I’ve been doing a review in a few of my classes recently, so I’ve been back to touching on Main Idea. In my search for resources, I found that BrainPop has this excellent video. Under “Activities,” they have a few excellent worksheets. I particularly liked the Inverted Pyramid graphic organizer.

This game over at Harcourt Publishers was good, but I was disappointed at how quickly it goes by. I’d love to find a similar game that could allow for more turns at the smart board.

I haven’t used it with my classes yet, but this Main Idea Song is cute. One of my classes is still struggling with details as opposed to main ideas, so I may break it out for them later this week.

If you have any fun suggestions for Main Idea, I’d love to hear them – feel free to share in the comments below.

February 2, 2012

Overheard in the classroom

by stryson

This morning, as I look at the steadily growing pile of quotes from children on my desk, I can’t help but think of the website Overheard in New York. (Warning: if you’re unfamiliar with that site, it may not be appropriate to open at work because of language.) Many of my classroom quotes of late have very little context – and I feel that way even though I was there! They remain funny in an absurdist way, even if they are not an explainable kind of funny.

For example, a snippet of overheard conversation in my Take Aim class produced, “Moby Dick eats aliens.”

Another student in that class was trying to defend his illustration of the word “reside.” He’d drawn a woman and a box. To justify it, he said, “She lives in a box! She loves the box! She’s going to marry the box!”

… no amount of coffee allows me to make sense of that.

I have had some funny moments this week that do make sense, though. My two clever fourth-grade boys that often get quoted in here have been at it again. One is notoriously pessimistic, and the other is quite a wisecracker. The other day, when it was FDR’s birthday, I asked if anyone knew what the Great Depression was. The wisecracker said (and I’m replacing the other child’s name with “Pessimist” here), “Pessimist is, because he’s always depressed!”

We start the day with Brain Gym exercises, one of which is “hot air balloon.” When I announced that move yesterday, Wisecracker announced, “Pessimist, this should be easy for you! You’re full of hot air.”

These guys are best friends, and Pessimist sees the humor each time, so I let the ribbing continue. I’m hoping that Wisecracker can loosen him up. In the meantime, it’s hilarious.

 

January 25, 2012

All in the timing

by stryson

“There are no pencils left in my cup? I’m starting to think kids eat pencils for breakfast.”

“I ate a pencil for breakfast. It was a mechanical one.”

“That’s… interesting.”

“Naw, I’m just kidding.”

Pause.

“I had a Pop-Tart.”

I love the way that they feel that they need to follow up with clarification when you’re joking around. In the moment, the timing makes it particularly hilarious. Enjoy your day, and please don’t eat any pencils.

January 24, 2012

Jelly Bean Brain

by stryson

One of my sixth graders is a bright but very easily distracted young man. As a result of this, he often says things that seem to make absolutely no sense at the time. Often, he’ll say something he intends to be funny, and it’ll seem completely nonsensical to the rest of us.  I’ll probe further only to find out that he started speaking in the middle of the story or joke, and somehow thought we’d all gotten the first half. This tendency has earned him several different nicknames over time, all of which have the word “random” somewhere in them.

Today, in class, we were reading a story in our Making Connections books, and this young man starts volunteering a plethora of small words when I ask for any words the students had difficulty understanding. I looked at him in disbelief and told him I was going to email his mom, since I was concerned that he’d forgotten the meanings to words such as “in.” At this point, he declares to me:

“My brain has been filled with a bunch for jelly beans for the past three years. That’s why I’m random.”

One of the other students asked, “What flavor?”

His answer was, “Blue.”

January 19, 2012

Check your spelling… and then check your corrections!

by stryson

I can always tell when my students have used spell-check, but have not gone back to reread their work (preferably with a text-to-speech program), when I end up with assignments that say something like the following:

 

Tracy expanded that this is Dad’s first Christmas without Mom.

Julie is still disported about going to her Dad’s.

This story makes me wonder how Julie and Tracy’s Mom and Dad got defocused.

 

In case you’re not proficient in spellcheckese, the words should have been explained, disappointed, and divorced.

January 18, 2012

Earning Points

by stryson

We have a great behavior management system at my school, in which the students need to earn points for each class. Most hour-long classes are worth 10 points, though some non-core classes (such as computers or gym) might be worth 6 or 8. One earns one’s points by completing & handing in homework, participating appropriately in class, and exhibiting good behavior.

As you can imagine, though, particularly in a setting where the students have language challenges, the kids can sometimes lose their grip on why they are or are not earning their points.

Just before the holiday break, I had a sixth grader that was really struggling in my class. She was not consistently completing her homework, and she was often having meltdowns in my class. To boot, she was taking 20-25 minute long bathroom breaks almost daily. Thus, she was not earning her points in my class on most days. One day, she completely lost it on me. She stood up, stomped her foot, looked me squarely in the eye, and bellowed, “I really want to succeed in your class, but I can’t if you keep taking my points!”

I have to laugh, because the other option is to descend into a rumination on entitlement.

In that same class, I had a day in which a young man did not earn his points because he did not hand in his homework. He looked at me with complete astonishment when I signed his points at the end of that period.

“Why do I lose points??? My birthday was two weeks ago!”

At this, I simply stared. Of course, it didn’t help when, from across the room, his classmate chimes in, instructing me:

“Go on, just laugh about it. You know you want to!”

It’s a precarious line, trying to maintain respect and order while taking into consideration the fragility of some of my students. It’s a good thing I can keep a sense of humor about it.