Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Planet Are You From?

My class has been amazing so far this week! I'm not sure if they've all been exhausted, or have caught onto the fact that I'm exhausted and been nice, or are just saving up all their energy for Halloween so they can come back SUPER, EXTRA out of control after Halloween, but whatever it is, I'm definitely not complaining! In fact, because they've been so wonderful, I've been laughing and joking around a lot more with them and trying to plan more engaging activities (since they've FINALLY proven they're responsible).

One such activity was "Predators and Prey." We played today with Mrs. Bozung's class. The educational background of this activity is to illustrate how the American Indians got spread all across Virginia based on the different food supplies/hunting. Essentially, it's a giant game of freeze tag. We explained to the kids what a predator and a prey are, the rules to the game, and then assigned my class to be the prey first. One of the rules was that when they heard my whistle they had to freeze their bodies and their mouths. Unfortunately, as soon as I said those words, I realized I had forgotten to bring my whistle outside, so I ran back in to get it. Since we had already assigned the predators and prey, the students decided it was time to start the game. I didn't think much of it because Mrs. Bozung was out there and I figured a little extra running around was good for the kiddos. Well, clearly I thought wrong because as soon as I stepped outside, one of my students runs over to me holding her lip and I look over and see Mrs. Bozung consoling another girl who's crying. Apparently there was a collision where my girl (a foot taller) ended up with her tooth in her lip and the other girls head? Haha. Still not exactly sure of what happened, but I do know we sent them both promptly to the nurse, praying all the while that they would NOT tell her the reason for their injury was a chasing game they were playing with their teachers. Haha. They spent about 20 minutes down there and when they came out, Mrs. Bozung's girl was fine, with just a little headache. My girl ended up with a swollen, bloody lip and a toothache. But, the rest of the kids had an amazing time and definitely learned an invaluable, unforgettable lesson about the Native Americans.

Another example of being able to laugh at (I mean with!) my kids happened today during reading. I had just finished handing out a worksheet and was taking a minute for everyone to write their names. I was standing next to one of my girls' desks and she said, "So, what's it like being a teacher?" (Really, does this seem like the best time to ask me that question?! Haha.) She caught me off guard with her innocence, so I just laughed and said, "It's fun, but a little stressful at times." She smiled and said, "That's what I thought... (paused for 30 seconds)... I have a white cat." Haha. Ok, thank you for sharing. Next time, please just avoid the small talk and get straight to the point of the story.

During reading small groups, I was meeting with my highest readers and that includes my extremely hyperactive, unable to to focus student. He decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to sing Dora theme songs and continually repeat Swiper the Fox's catchphrase "OH MAN!" (I live with a 3-year-old, I am well-versed in Dora the Explorer!). Anyway, the first time he did it, we ignored. The second time, I asked him to get focused on his reading. The third time, I told him to stop. The fourth time, I said "Ok, Swiper, it is reading time. Please stop singing." or something along those lines. Well, that was quite possibly the worst thing I could have ever said because his eyes lit up and he got really excited as he then began repeating, "Can you call me Swiper for the rest of the year?? Can I be Swiper??"..... at least he was done singing.

Finally, on the way to the busses, my kids were acting hilarious/ridiculous/dancing and singing/walking very strangely/etc. I turned around and laughingly said, "Where are you from? What planet were you born on?" I then continued walking expecting them to either get in a line or just keep doing exactly what they were doing... let's be honest, I knew they were not going to change a thing. Haha. Instead, though, all of a sudden they decided to answer my question and all I heard was, "I was born in the dangerous part of the city," and "I was born downtown" and "I was born in the ghetto." Haha. Clearly those are different planets.

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