Popular Posts

Saturday, February 19, 2011


And now we come to part three of what kids have said to me in my classroom: You know that this could be neverending but there will be a final destination--or will there be? As for now, enjoy!

*I had read the book, "The Boxcar Children," every year to my students. It was my favorite book when I was in grade school. And year after year, the kids hung onto every single word and loved that book.
One specific time after reading a chapter, I told the kids that when I was little, I could sleep out on my front porch all night with friends and no one bothered us. Told them I had seen hobos [they had no idea what they were,] and that I could actually drink water out of a creek. The kids were sitting there mesmorized until a little girl asked, "Was Ben Franklin alive when you were little?"
Oh my no

*It was February and if there is one month out of  the school year when kids get more excited than ever, it would have to be December. But February ruled--always.
Reason? Valentine's Day. And the ritual of passing out valentines always brought out the "love part" on behalf of the kids. I had this one boy who had a huge crush on me and it was evident!  And it was about a week before Valentine's Day that he came up to me during recess and said the following: "You know, my parents took me to the mall and we got you something you are really going to love! We got it at a place called "THE BRUSSELL SPROUT!"  "Brussel Sprout?" I asked. He said, That's the name of the place!" I knew the mall well [THIS WAS MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO] and there was no store in there named that. All of a sudden it hit me! "Do you mean Russell Stover?" "That's it!," he said. I laughed the rest of the day to myself.
And called his parents to tell them this. They laughed till they cried. And sure enough, come Valentine's Day, I got a huge red heart-shaped box of chocolate candy from Russell Stover--and him.
And to this day he hasn't lived that down
Too cute!

*One day during reading class, I opted to read the week's story aloud to my class. They sat there really listening with intent. The story was about a mother who worked and she got transferred to another state.
And she had a little daughter about eight. When they got moved to the other state, the little girl was enrolled in a new school and the mother started her new job [there was no mention of the husband/father in this story]: The little girl came home after school, told her mother that she didn't like the school or kids and wanted to move back home. The mother told her that she didn't really like her job either but that both of them would eventually adjust. After a couple of weeks went by, the little girl adjusted but the mother just hated her new job. I stopped at this point and asked, "What could the mother do?" A girl in my class said,"Well, I can tell you what she can do! She can quit her job and go on WELFARE!" The rest of the class just sat there saying nothing. "What's welfare?" asked a boy. None of them knew what it was but I did!
So she proceeded to tell them.  I knew how she knew that word: Her dad was a lawyer! 
She became the owner of a very successful business
NoWELFARE for her!

*I had this brainstorm to show the kids during science class to bring in packets of yeast and some sugar: We  would do an experiment the nexd day that would wow them. "How many of you can bring in some yeast?" I asked. Everyone raised their hands till one boy asked, "What's yeast?" I went on to explain that yeast is really tiny little  live organisms that come in a packet at any grocery store in the dairy section.  And I told them that when these little organisms are added to a mixture that has sugar in it, the yeast will eat the sugar. And that yeast was used to make bread and told them that when they smelled freshly baked bread, it was the yeast that they were smelling. It was making that statement that a lot of hands went down really fast! That evening I got packets of yeast and a box of sugar at the store; next morning, here came several kids bringing in packets of yeast with the exception of one little girl who had been so determined to bring yeast. I looked at her and said, "What happened to the yeast you were going to bring?" I had my mom get my lunch out of the refrigerator and that YEAST was in there right beside it. I think it ate my lunch!" And she bought her lunch that day!
Things scare kids

*Kids love to sing! But when they are looking out of a book and singing as well, some had a hard time.
During music class, I told the kids to get out their music books and that someone could choose a song for us to sing. One little boy raised his hand and said, "Can I pick a song?" "Sure," I told him. They were all singing and so was I--until one boy said, "You sing like BOXCAR WILLIE!" I was mortified [although I know I have a low voice and lower when I sing] and quit singing. All of them knew who Boxcar Willie was!
Google his name and howl!
Silence can be a good thing

*Back to the above semi-blotched yeast/sugar science experiment: I got warm water and put it in a glass.
And I let some kids pour yeast into it [some kids went overboard and threw in the entire packet--not bad but more than one kid threw in packet!] and then I had another kid pour in sugar. And I stirred up this concoction to show them that the yeast would eat the sugar and it would foam up all over the glass and run down over it.  Experiment failed! Too much yeast! So we did this over and over till it finally worked: Big foam appeared and spilled out over the glass! SUCCESS! The kids were loving that. And the yeast smell was really strong. One boy said, "I know that smell! It's BEER. My dad drinks it day and night!"

*Every year, I had my students learn how to use a dictionary for not only was it important but it was a second grade skill that had to be taught. I started out by writing five words on the board and the page number for each; Each child had to look up the word, write the entire entry and put the page number down on paper. As the year progressed, the kids were up to the maximum of twenty words. And they hated doing Dictionary Skills! I well remember one boy asking, "Who made this book?" I answered, "PUBLISHERS."
And went on to say that the publishers had to look up every single word before putting them in this book.
That boy replied, "Well, I know what I am not going to be when I grow up! Not a publisher!!"
He didn't become one. He became a lawyer
Oh my

*I loved letting kids do PLAYS in my room when we were studying something that was relevant.
We were doing a unit on fairy tales and I asked them if they would like to do a play about "Rumplestilskin?"
They were wowed! And so I dragged in tons of hats, gloves, old coats, capes and on and on from my house. I asked the girls who would be in the play to bring in their own makeup. And I brought a brand new eyebrow pencil for making moustaches for the boys. We rehearsed and rehearsed and this was done without any props--such as the above-mentioned clothing and the makeup.
Came the day for the first presentation and the kids were beside themselves with excitement! The girls got their specific clothes and hats and went into the girls bathroom [supervised by a willing volunteer parent!] and the boys stayed with me along with the rest of the kids. Every single boy who was in the play wanted a moustache drawn on his face! And so I did. The play was hilarious! And it was almost lunch time. I told the girls to go in and change their clothes and the volunteer parent went with them.
And I  told the boys to go into the boys bathroom and wash off those eyebrown-drawn moustaches!
The girls and the boys came back and had minded what I said with the exception of the boys: Every single one of them were still sporting those moustaches! "Why didn't you wash those off?" I asked.
Each boy looked at each other and the bravest one said, "We want to look SEXY at lunch."
So, I let them wear those moustaches into the cafeteria and the minute the other kids saw them, they were howling with laughter. Lesson learned. Or was it?
What to do

Sherry Hill
Part Three

1 comment:

  1. Too Funny!!! I remember the time you brought the little Arrington boy into Annette's room because you had told him he might be related to me. I'll never forget him looking up at you and saying, "But Mrs. Hill...she's WHITE!" Cracked me up!