. Regurgitated Alpha Bits

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sweet Life

At the end of each day, I choose one student to receive a red licorice. The name is kept secret and only revealed if the child packs up silently and gets in line without a peep. Since it could be anyone, they all line up quietly in the hopes they are the one. 

After handing out the licorice today, a kid said: 

"Why is it called licorice? You don't lick them. They should be cheworice. Ice cream cones should be called licorice."

Good point, young man. Good point. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Admit Nothing

Today I was going over the Accelerated Reader progress of my class; calling individuals to my desk to discuss concerns and rewarding ones who are making progress. 

Of all 30 students, two have gotten 100% on every quiz they've taken. I called them both to my desk at the same time to give out some high praise and, more importantly, a couple pieces of red licorice. 

Now, kid # 1 is pretty savvy. She's always coming up with interesting questions and thinks pretty deeply about what we learn about in class. 

Kid #2 on the other hand, is usually not aware I'm even speaking in class. He needs a lot of support to keep even a tenuous grasp on what is going on in class. I tell him to imagine a bullseye on my forehead, and to try not to take his eyes off it. My next step may be to put an actual bullseye on my forehead. 

We work very hard to help him stay focused...

Here's our conversation:

Me: I am so proud of you both for all this hard work. You both have earned 100% on every single quiz this year. Good for you! Have some licorice. 
Kid #1: Wow! Really? I did that? Thanks, Mrs. Lee!

Kid #2: Wow! Really? I have no idea how I did that! I never read the books. I just guess every time! (And he was so proud of himself!)

Kid #1: (insert a dropped jaw, a "why did you just admit that" glare and a palm to her own face)

Despite his innocent admission of, well not guilt, but laziness, I gave him his licorice anyway. He rarely has anything good happen for him.  

But he's on my radar now. 

Not that he'll notice...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One is Frozen. One is not.

Are Navy baseball players singing Disney show tunes related to teaching? 


But it's adorable, so if you haven't seen it, watch it. 

(Thanks for sharing it, Teammie!)

Are 5th grade boys performing a synchronized swimming routine on dry land related to teaching?

Sort of. (It DOES happen at a school.)

But it's adorable, so if you haven't seen it, watch it. 

I have Indignation. Who has Regret?

Teachers have our little go-to time-filler activities, and one of my math class' favorite is "Who has...?"

It's a whole class game where each student gets a card with an answer and a question on it. The first student reads his card, such as "I have 16. Who has 5 x 4?" The student with the card that reads "I have 20" reads their card next. We bounce our way around the room until we get back to the first kid. It's fun! I time them, and they're always trying to beat their last score.

Well, there are 30 cards in the deck, however today I only had 26 kids in class. Several kids had to take two cards. As we worked our way through the game, Tanya (who had two cards) had the answer on one card to the question on her other card. All the kids thought it was so funny that she answered her own question! (This becomes relevant in a moment.)

After our first round, we had about 2 minutes left to fill. The kids wanted to beat their score of 1 minute and 54 seconds, so I told them to swap cards with their neighbor. I picked someone to start us off and started the timer.

We were flying through the cards. Everyone was focused and we were going to beat our time for sure!

Until we got to Oliver.

Oliver had swapped cards with Tonya.

He read his card and waited for the answer.

And waited.

And waited.

And then began looking around with this exasperated look on his face and began mumbling under his breath about how people need to be paying attention. "Hellooooo, people," he hissed.

Now, my little troopers didn't let on to what they ALL knew (check the other card in your hand, knucklehead) because we are each responsible for our own card.

Or cards.

So Oliver grumbled and mumbled and looked around accusingly.  "C'mon, everybody! Figure it out," he spat.

Until finally Tanya nodded her head in the direction of his other card.

Whoops! (Insert face palm)

Sheepishly, he read his answer and the entire class roared with laughter.

Lesson learned, I hope.

And we STILL beat our time!