I am grading spelling tests, and students wrote sentences for each word. I always explain that their sentences must show that they clearly understand what the word means (i.e. If the spelling word is spoon, they can’t write ”What is a spoon?” They have to write something like ”I eat my cereal with a spoon” to explain the meaning.) So the spelling word was ”believe” and my student writes for his sentence, ”I believe I can fly.” I instantly heard background music (okay, so it was just in my head) from R. Kelly belting out on the Space Jam soundtrack (I confess, that was my childhood favorite soundtrack : )) ”I believe I can fly… I believe I can touch the sky…” LOL
I teach 5th grade math, so my 6th graders go to other math classes, and another teacher’s 5th graders change to my classroom for our daily 60 minutes of math. I have enjoyed math class this year, especially since it’s been one big experiment while I adjust to the Everyday Math curriculum. The other day, as students are entering and settling into their seats, one of the girls says, ”Miss, I like your shirt!” (It’s a bright purple shirt with ”wing” sleeves. Not sure what else to call them.) I make chicken wings and say, ”Thanks, this shirt helps me to fly!” Another student says in a mock serious voice with his eyebrows at just the right furrow, ”I don’t suggest you jump off a building with that shirt.” I LOLed right then and there! I wish I had a photo of his facial expression to share with you!
We are working on synonyms for ”feeling” words to help students express themselves confidently (and to grow our vocabularies : )). So the word of the day was ”tired” and I introduced two synonyms during our Morning Meeting — lethargic and exhausted. Tomas and Luis were immediately hooked by the word lethargic and began repeating it over and over. I described how sloths are lethargic because they move so slowly that it takes them 24 hours to climb up and down just one tree. Just then over the loudspeaker, the daily Pledge of Allegiance began, and all students stood, except Marcelo. About three phrases into the Pledge, Marcelo was still in his chair but his arms were slowly lifting up to the ceiling. In my best quiet teacher voice, I command Marcelo to join us in standing, and he whispers back, ”Miss, but I’m practicing being a lethargic sloth.” Right, so it’s going to take you 24 hours to stand up. LOL.
I was hosting a study hall of sorts with my 6th graders and another teacher’s 4th graders while our 5th graders were in D.A.R.E. class. The secretaria called over the loudspeaker, and we had a short conversation in Spanish about daily school details. The buzz of busy students stopped, and when I turned to face the class, the latino 4th graders’ jaws were dropped (I humbly confess I love these moments of surprising kids : )). All in that same moment, two latinas literally got out of their desks, hugged me with a huge tackle, and exclaimed, ”Eres puertorriqueña?” (Are you Puerto Rican?) LOL. Apparently my Spanish accent of the moment made them think I share their heritage. ”No, chicas,” I told them, ”I am gringa.” I glanced over at my beaming 6th graders. Oh yes, they are still proud that their gringa maestra speaks the español. : )