Monday, April 21, 2008

ECMOA for the week of April 14-18, 2008

We had Math and Science WASL testing all week, so that in itself is awesome because I get to proctor in my own room. This means that I get to work on stuff while the students are testing. The down side is that I’m the one who has to read pages and pages of instructions each morning. Speaking of reading instructions, the instructions are really corny, and you have to read example questions and answers without any background information about the question. One of the reading example extended response—or maybe it was short answer—was about goats, and it made me laugh because it was really, really random. Apparently, according to my first period class, I walk strangely when I’m reading aloud and walking backwards. They said I was skipping backwards. After I went out in the hall to walk backwards to see what they were talking about, I admit that I bounce a tad when I walk backwards. It is not skipping, however.

Anyway, on with the moments…

Moment 1:
The students have been assigned a research project on an author. The students drew author names out of a hat.

Student: “Can we switch authors?”
Lee: “Why would you do that? That’s lame.”
Student: “What if you have a lame author?”
Lee: “Maybe you’re lame, so you need a lame author.”

Moment 2:
English I read A Separate Peace and here are a few student responses to a question about whether or not girls would appreciate the novel as much as boys since there aren’t any female characters.

“I think boys appreciate (the novel) more because girls don’t jump off trees and try to kill each other.”

“I think girls can appreciate this story because they can see how stupid boys can be.”

Moment 3:
I don’t remember the situation, but one student was complaining that something was difficult, I believe.

Student 1: “Man up, Student 2. Man up.”
Student 2: “Maybe I want to be a sissy.”

Moment 4:
With the WASL testing, there was some flexibility regarding when we could let the students go to lunch.

Havig: “The sooner you are quiet, the sooner you can go to lunch.”
Student: “Everyone be quiet!”
Havig: “Wow, no one get between Student and her food.”

Moment 5:
The student from moment 4 was sitting in the front corner of the room during testing, so she was near me when I was reading the instructions. She was asking the student sitting behind her (Student 2) to get something off of the back of her shirt.

Student 2: “Hold still.”
Student 1: “Get it off!”
Havig to Student 1: “What are you doing?”
Student 1: “Student 2 is getting the hair off my back.”

Now she kind of announced this to the whole class, and I couldn’t help but laugh. To top it off, later that day, she drew a picture of the back hair removal process on her vocabulary quiz.

Moment 6:
The tragic news of the week is that I only have Student Teacher Lee for two more weeks. She mentioned something to the kids in 4th period about leaving soon. A student asked if Lee would give out her phone number. Before the student could even complete the request, Lee replied with “absolutely not.” Lee did say that she would give them her email that she never uses. Lee explained that her university supervisor recommended that the student teachers use a professional email address for their resume and correspondence with school districts while they engage in the great job hunt. They shouldn’t use a cutesy email. Lee said that she would give them the professional email address, though her regular email isn’t cutesy.

Havig: “Yes, it is cutesy.”
Lee:: “It’s lyrics from a song.”
Havig: “Still cutesy.”
Student: “What is it?”
Havig (trying to think of something cutesy): “Dancing bear…”
Lee (laughing): “That’s a strip club in Portland.”

Here are some random moments from when I was slacking on the whole posting aspect of this thing.

Moment 7:
“It’s all fun and games until someone gets pregnant.”
Student commenting on the part of the Cry, the Beloved Country movie when the main character meets his son’s pregnant girlfriend.

Moment 8:
“Pirates…the Irish…They’re the same.”
Student talking about the movie the history class next door was watching when I told him if was about Irish immigrants. He thought it sounded like a pirate movie.

Moment 9:
I don’t really remember the context, but it was not food.
Lee: “What were you going to bring?”
Student 1: “Oh, I was going to bring in…”
Student 2: “Pop Corn!”
Havig: “How’s left field, Student 2?”
Student 2 (confused): “Huh? I don’t play sports.”
Student 3: “That just made my day.”

I hope you enjoyed this week's installment.

Have a fantastic week!

Monday, April 14, 2008

ECMOA for the week of April 7-11, 2008

It’s always difficult to come back to work after Spring Break. What the students don’t realize is that Spring Break is really for the teachers. They give us a week off to help us maintain our sanity. Spring Break also helps keep the student mortality rate down. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their break. Of course if you have a “real” job, you don’t get a Spring Break. And I laugh at you.

Speaking of break, over the break I went to the coast, and I got the coolest bumper sticker. I has a Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones) background with the following quote: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” It now adorns my white board in the area dedicated to student drawings.

This week’s ECMOA is mostly quotes, and I hope you enjoy them. The initial ROY G BIV color order is in honor of my super cool magnet letters that are currently spelling out the month on my whiteboard. It just so happened that the letters that spelled out APRIL were in rainbow order. After that, the moments are just in colors that I like.

Moment 1:
“You’ve ruined reading for me. You made me an active reader.”
Student announcing that she no longer could read for fun without writing in her book and annotating passages.

Moment 2:
“M&Ms are the hotdogs of chocolate.”
Student Teacher Lee declining an offer of M&Ms.

Moment 3:
This one is actually from awhile ago, but I found the post it note with the quote on my desk blotter when I changed to the new month. It hails back from the King Arthur Unit.

“Yes, getting killed by Lancelot is like fighting Chuck Norris.”
Student responding to how all of the other knights want to die by Lancelot’s sword.

Moment 4:
The staff bathroom in my building is also the staffroom where the printer is located, and I took the stapler to the bathroom to staple some papers together. However, when I left the room, I just told Lee that I was going to the bathroom. Plus I returned without any papers because they had failed to print.

Lee: “Why did you take the stapler to the bathroom?”
Havig: “Why don’t you take the stapler to the bathroom?”
Lee: “I take the tape.”

Moment 5:
“I hate the first few days of school. All you do is walk down to the library and write essays about yourself.”

Moment 6:
While the majority of 5th period went down to the library to pick up copies of Julius Caesar, two students remained in the classroom with me. One student put on some lotion which started a conversation about the smell of the lotion.
Student 1 stated that she thought the lotion smelled like Christmas.
Student 2 said that the lotion smelled like her grandma.
Student 1’s reply: "It doesn’t smell like my grandma. She smells like wine…and cats.”

Moment 7:
“Well, I’m not going to college.”
English I student upon looking at his returned essay 2nd draft which I had corrected. He later decided that he still could go to college after he read the comments on the paper.

Moment 8:
“That’s really nice. He was very thoughtful.”
Student observation on Caesar having the throats slit of the pirates who kidnapped him in order to hasten their deaths. He did this because he admired them, and didn’t want them to suffer too much as they were crucified at his request.

Moment 9:
Lee: “Here is how Julius Caesar is broken down: Acts...”
Student (interrupting): “I thought he was knifed.”

Moment 10:
“I could hold my pee for extra credit.”
Student on why he doesn’t use his bathroom passes. Students get 6 passes and each unused pass is worth a few points at the end of the semester.

Moment 11:
Student 1: “I could do that.”
Student 2: “That’s my special homework, so back off!”
Student 2 was assigned the special homework of figuring out the exact middle of March (to the second) for the whole Ides of March thing.

That’s it for this week. Next week we have math and science WASL testing. Good times!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

ECMOA Spring Break 2008 Part 2

Special All Jell-O Edition

So, my students put my stapler in Jell-O. If you’re a die-hard fan of “The Office” like me—and like Student Teacher Lee and several of my students are—then you know about the ol’ stapler in the Jell-O ploy.

Two of my students in 4th period stealthily swiped the good stapler on Thursday. It mysteriously reappeared encased in red Jell-O the next day. Apparently, they got the idea because we talk about “The Office” a lot and Lee puts a daily quote from the show every day on the white board. They’ve been plotting for quite some time, and I have to say, I’m impressed.

Here's the Jell-O still in the bowl.

The consistency was not very good even though it had been in the fridge for days.

It kind of oozed all over the plater in a matter of minutes.
It was actually pretty gross.

A close-up of the poor stapler.

The two students who performed this task were kind enough to wrap the stapler in saran wrap, but it didn't protect the stapler from a coating of Jell-O.
For future reference, if anyone plans on stealing any staplers, remember that you don't need as much water for Jell-O molds. Otherwise they ooze all over the counter and make a big mess.

Also, I'm adding "scooping cold, non-solidified Jell-O into the trash with my bare hand" to my list of Some of the Grossest Things that I've Ever Done. It's right up there with sorting boxes of moldy pears.
In a Jell-O related story...
One of my students in 4th period is deathly afraid of Jell-O. She freaks out when it is anywhere near her. Sometimes I bring a little snack-sized cup of Jell-O with my lunch, and if I don’t eat it I put it on my desk or in the fridge in my room. When her desk was kind of near mine, she would wait until I put the Jell-O away before she could sit down at her desk. Needless to say, when there was a giant bowl of not-quite-solidified Jell-O sitting on the stable at the front of the room, she had a little moment of hysteria. I asked her why she was so deeply terrified of Jell-O. She has a pretty legitimate reason for not being a Jell-O fan. The next part is not for the squeamish.

When she was in 3rd grade, she was at a friend’s birthday party, and they had a Jell-O eating contest. Approximately 15-20 girls each had their own large bowl of Jell-O to scarf down in a minimal amount of time. There were all sorts of different flavors/colors. Now each girl finished the Jell-O. And each girl eventually threw up her respective flavor/color of Jell-O. It’s a good thing that they were outside. However, the vision of multicolored piles of Jell-O puke haunts my student to this day. And, honestly, who can blame her. Me being my twisted self thinks that’s an awesome story, but I have to wonder, who on earth thought that serving puke prone (as all kids seem to be) 3rd graders copious amounts of Jell-O was a good idea?
Do you have a Jell-O story? Please share in the comments.

ECMOA Spring Break 2008

If all goes well, there should be two special Spring Break Editions of ECMOA. Here’s the first.

As noted in last week’s ECMOA, my student teacher, Ms. Lee, gathered 11 “words” from various student homework assignments. The sophomores were to come up with their own definitions for the words, and overall, the students were very creative. Here is your chance to come up with some definitions and post them in the comments. This has a very Washington Post-y feel to it with a touch of student mockery. Next week, Lee and I will judge the student responses, and I will post the best ones from each class.

Here are the words:

1. desitions
2. eggageratting
3. discripimantion
4. merimior
5. influneal
6. aborigrncules
7. emboys
8. dillusans
9. rasse
10. juliaus
11. widdling

Post your own definitions in the comments section.