. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: May 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Come Again?

Handball is big at my school.

Epic would be a better description.

Kids take it very seriously and have all sorts of rules.

They also have all sorts of names for different moves, any of which can be allowed or banned from a court by whomever got there first.

There's Hardies, Super Hardies, Cross Countries, Babies, Bubblegum (not a move, but a way to keep your place in line), Under-doggies, etc.

So today, one of my students, Steve, was on a tear beating the pants off of kid after kid. Finally, after something like 10 wins in a row, he finally got out when a savvy player lightly tapped the ball against the wall when Steve was at the back of the court.

Exhausted and a sweaty mess, he came over to me.

Steve: Phew! That was tough! I'm so tired. Making babies is hard!

Me: uummmm, I'm not sure you should be doing that at school.

Steve: No, the girl on that court said it's ok. I just can't make babies very well, especially when I'm tired after all the cross countries.

Me: Well, I suppose long-distance relationships pose their own unique challenges.

Steve: Huh?

Me: Never mind.

I'm not sure, but I think we may have been having two different conversations.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Perspective is Everything

If you've been on my Facebook page, you know all about the newborn kittens found under my teaching partner's classroom.

Well, as the animal control lady and our custodian pulled the little, black, slightly hairless bundles out from under the room, all of our students were outside for dismissal. Of course, they gathered around with curiosity.

A boy: Wow! Are those RATS??

Class: eeeeEEEEeeeWWWWWWW!!!!!!! That's sooOOOO gross! They are disgusting! Ahhhhhgghh!!!!!

Mr. Custodian: No, they're kittens.

The Same Class: aaAAaawwWWW!!!!! How CUTE!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On Your Mark!

I gotta say, I’m super proud of my students’ efforts on state testing. They really are giving it their all with the Big Game is on the line.

Since testing started, the kids have been using those almighty test-taking strategies we’ve mercilessly pounded into their heads since the first day of school. Their outright refusal to use them on any test before this had me believing they might never put them to use. Obviously, they are absorbing than I suspected. (phheeew!)

Additionally, all of the students who generally treat every test like a foot race with a million dollar prize for finishing in first place are taking their time and being thoughtful about their answers.

 I never thought this day would come!

And to top it off, their level of cuteness is at DEFCON 10. On little cut-outs of our school mascot, I wrote each of them a short personalized note about how I believe in them and how proud I am of them. Once they seemed to be getting tired or losing motivation, I dropped their note on their desk and gave them a little pat on the back.

Each of their little faces lit right up!

Many of them clutched that little piece of paper in their hands for the rest of the test. Most of them saved their notes in their binders, placing them next to pictures of their families and friends in the cover.


 And where did they put the generic motivational sticker that every kid in the school got?

 Your guess is as good as mine. (Probably stuck on to someone else's back!)

 It’s good to know my kids treasure me as much as I treasure them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ego Blow, Part Duex

So I've been telling you all year about George. He's the kid who said this....

 and this...

 and this...

 and this...

 and finally this.

Well, he has struck again.

Me: Alrighty kids, let's get inside and get started on some science! Let's see if we can make our lines quieter than Mr. Smith's lines as we walk to our room! (Mr. Smith teaches Social Studies next door.)

The Class: Yeah! We can do that!

George: Mr. Smith is smarter than you.

The Class: gasp!

Me: Well, George, that was not very nice of you to say. You've just hurt my feelings.

George: No offense. He just really is.

The Class: Gasp!

Me: Well, George, saying that is offensive and hurtful. Unkind opinions should be kept to yourself. If someone said something like that about you, I would tell them the same thing.

George: But he just really is smarter than you.

Me: Listen to my words, George. Saying that to me makes me sad. It makes my heart hurt. I don't think you're the kind of person who would want to make someone feel that way.

George: I'm just say that Mr. Smith is...

Me: George, stop talking.

Later in the afternoon, the students were helping me pass out two weeks worth of graded papers. I gave every student a job except George. Every student understood why...

...except George.