Saturday, May 10, 2014

Incidents from Elementary School

School is winding down -- 17.5 more days with kids {not that I'm counting}  -- and with that comes the silliness of spring {summer?} fever. Here are a few things I've managed to document in the last couple of weeks:

My class refrigerator smells like bugs. Probably because I had to store ladybugs in there for a lesson I taught to kindergarteners right after Earth Day. And there are random ladybugs hiding in my room.

To calm ladybugs down so that you can work with them, you're supposed to stick them in the 'fridge for a bit. I was dumb crazy ambitious enough to decide to send all 80-something of my kinder friends home with a cup full of ladybugs to release at home. I put some soil in cups before I left for the weekend, but I couldn't distribute ladybugs until the day of the lesson. The coolness of the 'fridge helps calm ladybugs down, but let me tell ya: those are some active insects. I went to plan with the kindergarten team around lunch time, and a ladybug flew out of my hair. I still have wayward ladybugs hiding in my room. In fact, I had the students on the tile at the front of the room to watch a Brainpop, Jr. clip. All of a sudden, a hoard of ladybugs starts advancing on my kids from the back of the room. It really looked like they were going to take over the school. And because the kids would've screamed if I'd have just stepped on them all, I had to kindly sweep them up and take them outside to let 'em go. Sigh. 

The kids acted like I'd just given them all free Justin Bieber tickets when I gave them their ladybugs. So... worth it. :)

Click it or ticket.  

I'm sure the Oklahoma police department meant tadpoles, too, when they thought up that slogan, right? See, my friend ordered tadpoles for me for a different kindergarten lesson I was doing. When I went to her class to pick them up, they simultaneously grossed and freaked me out SO MUCH that I couldn't even leave with them in my hands. She graciously offered to bring them over the morning of my lesson, so I accepted before she could retract the offer. :) 

Come Monday morning, I had an aquarium full of slimy, HUGE tadpoles in my room.

{Speaking of "ew," one of my sweet little six-year-olds had an upset tummy that morning, so on top of  avoiding the tadpole aquarium, I was also dodging chunky puke around his table while taking deep, calming breaths, praying the janitor would arrive quickly, and comforting the one who felt yucky. You best believe I bought our custodian a gift card because -- in case you didn't already know -- I'm a social puker. You barf and I join in.}

At the end of the day, I needed to return the tadpoles to my friend. See, the tadpoles she brought to me were actually hers. Mine had died over the weekend in what she described as "tadpole suicide." She said there was an area in the aquarium that didn't have too much water in it, and some rocks were poking up on top of the water. She thinks that after my tadpoles got their legs, they walked up on the rocks, suffocated, and couldn't get back to the water in time. She said she walked in Monday morning to SIX of my tadpoles laid out on the rocks like some sort of tadpole concentration camp, so she had no choice but to bring hers to my room and hope I could keep them alive for the day. hah. So that led to THIS in my car after school:

While making the 5 minute drive to her school, I kept having visions of some freakishly strong tadpole using its two legs to jump out of the aquarium and attack me.

First graders are a hoot. 

Last Friday, we did a lesson about how friction can cause heat. We investigated by rubbing our hands together vigorously to produce heat, and then hypothesizing which other things we could rub our hands on to produce the same kind of heat. So the kids are all spread across the room, waiting for my command so we can start together. I say, "Ready..." intending to finish with "Set... Go!" Before I could say the rest, a little girl looked at me with fire in her eyes and said loudly, "I was BORN READY!"

In another class, we got on the subject of taking to yourself. One girl volunteered, "I talk to myself all the time." I said, "Oh, yeah? Me, too." She replied, "Yeah. But mostly while I'm in the bathroom."

To end my day, a little boy came into my room and headed straight for his table to start working {bless his little heart!}. I greeted him but he didn't hear me. He turned to me and said, "Pardon?" I was surprised that a six-year-old knew that word {and used it correctly!} so I asked, "What did you say?" He answered, "Pardon. It's what you say to someone when you didn't hear them the first time." ...Thanks for the lesson!

Wear black and white polka dots sparingly.

I bought a shirt similar to this one

except it is short-sleeved. I'd planned on wearing it with this skirt:

but because a) I'm too lazy to work out right now, and b) I eat every meal like I've been starving for 3 months, that skirt is a bit too tight. Plus, we got to wear jeans all week for Teacher Appreciation Week, and I wasn't about to pass on that {can I get an amen, science/elementary teachers?}. I was in a hurry and just put the polka dot shirt on with some jeans and flew out the door.

Later that day, a second grade girl kindly informed me, "I was in a play about Dalmatians last weekend, and your shirt looks like my costume!" ...So I'm either trashing that shirt or not wearing it with jeans ever again.

Speaking of Teacher Appreciation Week, I learned I have PWF.

Have I mentioned before that my school is the best? Well, it is. Our parents take care of us and really go out of their way to pamper us during Teacher Appreciation Week. To kick off the week, we had an assembly on Monday afternoon. All the teachers lined up behind the stage. The parents dimmed the lights, gave each kid a glow stick, and announced our names one by one so the kids could scream {literally} for us. Afterwards, they played a super-sweet slideshow that featured all the staff. It was during this show that I realized I have a syndrome I've dubbed "PWF:" Permanent Witch Face. It's a phenomenon I've dealt with for a long time. I remember in high school, walking down the hall, and people would ask if I was okay. This still happens when I'm not making a conscious effort to smile as I walk. I mean, it could be the happiest day of my life, but my "thinking" face apparently = severely ticked off and scary. So it was a fun reminder of my condition as I watched the slideshow and silently chided myself for not making the students invent something to keep the corners of my mouth spread so I look like I'm grinning all the time.

In fact, I think I'll get started writing that lesson plan. There's a craze about STEM and engineering in the elementary classroom, so if we're going to be building stuff, we might as well help Mrs. K. out with her PWF,  right?


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