. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: September 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Put It in Reverse

Poor little 4th grade Michelle. 

She's always a bit out of the loop. 

It's not her fault. School is hard for her. Most of it is way over her head. 

She tries, but everything is tough for her. 

Today, she accidentally got into the wrong app on her iPad, and couldn't figure out why hers looked so different than what my teaching partner was showing on his. 

When he came over to help, he explained that, whoops, she's in the wrong app. 

"Go ahead and back out of that app and open this one," he said. 

"Ok," she said. 

And she slid her chair back from her desk. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oh, Bloody Hell

I cut my hand. 

Not a big cut. Hardly noticeable, in fact. It was right on the back of my hand. 

I did it several days ago, and the scab started coming off today. It was getting caught on everything. Who knew one little scabby edge could be so annoying?!?

So, during Language Arts, I ripped off the scab and went back to discussing the ethical issues found in The Giving Tree

I'm teaching and talking and pointing and questioning and being all animated to keep their attention after lunch, which we all know is a battle, but to no avail. 

Well, they were just staring at me. 

In horror.  

Turns out, little cuts on the back of your hand bleed a lot. The whole back of my hand, fingers and part of my pants were all bloody. 

I've seen WWII footage with less blood. 

In my head, I simply couldn't understand why they were not into this awesome lesson I'd developed. Meanwhile, in their heads, they were wondering why I hadn't died from blood-loss yet. 

A little pressure from a tissue, and a lot of offers to get me (and for some reason themselves) a bandaide, and soon I was all fixed up. 

And I certainly have learned not to take scabs for granted. 

Friday, September 12, 2014


Here are all the ways my students spelled the word "punctuation" today:


My personal favorite:


And finally...

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, just about sums up my teaching. I better get crackin'. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Seems About Right

As we do every year, we are using Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree to introduce the Depth and Complexity Icons we will use throughout the year. One icon is Unanswered Questions. For example:

Why did the tree call him "boy" when he was actually a man? 
Did the boy still love the tree when he got older? 
If I were the tree, would I have given so much to the boy? 

Students discuss their thoughts on each. It makes for interesting discussions, as students have to justify their positions on each question. 

And here is my favorite. I received it via email from a student. 

Question: Why was the boy so rude to the tree?
Answer: The boy was rude because he was older and his brain was older too so it can't think too much. 

Well, that explains a lot about me. Now I know it's all my old brain's fault.