. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: February 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birth of a Salesman

Me: Alrighty boys and girls, we are beginning our school-wide fundraiser today. We're selling cupcakes.

Them: HooRAY!!!!

Me: We're selling them, not eating them.

Them: awwwww...

Me: Anyhoo, we're raising money to buy more computers for our school. Who would like more computers?

Them: ME!!!!!!

Me: Then we need to practice our sales pitch. After all, we're in competition with those wily Girl Scouts and their cookies right now.

Step One: Appearance. Look sad. Look sad, hungry, and needy. Show me what that looks like.

Them: (Insert faces looking up hungrily at me with sad little frowns and pleading little eyes.)

Me: Perfect. Step Two: talk about the few computers we have now and how little you know about them because you hardly ever get to use them.

Them: But we use them all the time!

Me: I know that, but we can't let other people know that or they'll never buy the cupcakes. Other grade levels aren't as lucky as we are, and they don't have laptops to share. We're doing this for all the other grade levels.

Them: Why don't they do their own fundraising?

Me: Oh! I see. You think because you're in 4th grade and we have a class set of laptops to share that you're all set. Very clear to me now. Tell me, what grade will you be in next year?

Them: Fifth grade.

Me: Does fifth have laptops?

Them: (insert 3 beats of silence) ooOOOHhhhh. We get it now. We NEED to sell cupcakes!

Me: Yup, the only one staying behind in fourth grade with the class set of laptops is ME! Now that we're back on the same page (of serving your future self-interests), on to Step Three: tell them all about how you need to "develop" your computer skills. It will be important for your "future." You'll need these skills for "college." blah blah blah. Use all the buzz words grown ups like to hear.

It IS the 21st Century, after all.

Them: It IS?!?!

Me: (sigh...)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Is That What I Think It Is? Part 2

Warning: The following post, just like this one,  contains adult language and content. If you don't want to be exposed to that, please cover your eyes before you read.

Wanna know what I learned yesterday?

I learned that even our kiddos who really struggle to write a sentence can write a pretty durn good narrative with the right supports in place.

(I actually already knew that.)

Wanna know what I really learned yesterday?

I learned that kids like to write stories about magic wands. Their imaginations explode with ideas. Anything is possible with a magic wand!

Wanna know what else I learned?

Publishing stories online is HIGHLY motivating to students.

(Again, not new learning for me. I'm just using that repetitive line for effect.)

In case you're wondering, we're using www.LittleBirdTales.com .

Kids can write their stories, illustrate them or use digital images, record their voices reading their stories and then safely share their stories via the Web using a hyperlink.

Oh, and it's free!

Back to what I'm learning. Wanna know what else?

When kids draw magic wands, many look just like sparkly penises.

And the rest look like sparkly vibrators.

And it's really fun to send the kids who drew the most phallic-looking ones over to your teaching partner to proudly show off their "magic wands" (that's what she said).

... and watch him struggle to find appropriate ways to compliment their work.

I don't care what other teachers say, THAT is what makes teaching fun!