Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Decorating Luminaria Bags

I do a really fun holiday craft with my older students where they get to create their own luminarias. Luminary bags are popular holiday decorations in Spanish-speaking countries and the kids enjoy either cutting the shapes out or just drawing them. I had some pretty awesome stuff this year. These are all from fifth grade classes.

Me: Let me see what you're drawing on your bag!
Boy: It's a phoenix.
Me: Whoa. Yea it is. I'm taking a picture of that.

I discovered that I have multiple students who are fans of Doctor Who. Check out the T.A.R.D.I.S bags!

Winter Break Has Begun

Here's the thing about being a special area teacher during the holidays and the end of the year. All the classroom teachers are getting presents from their students, but very few specials teachers are. But we teach the entire school! Oh well, I understand can only afford so many gifts, but I still like messing with kids as I see them bringing in presents.

Me: Is that for me?
3rd Grade Boy: No. You ain't my teacher.
Me: I'm your Spanish teacher. I teach the whole school. I should get 575 presents. He should give me a present. And her. And him. And them. Everybody.
Boy: Specials teachers don't get presents. Y'all get money.
Me: What money?
Boy: You know, the money!
Me: You mean we get paid? Your classroom teacher gets paid the same amount as we do.
Boy: Well that's all you need. $17.
Me: $17? Thankfully it's more than that.
Did I mention that I tried to really bring it on
our Ugly Christmas Sweater Day at work?
My outfit was pretty popular.
Boy: Fine. $81.
Me: Nope, still more than that. What I'm saying is, specials teachers get no love.
Boy: I don't love you.
Me: Well I don't love you either.
Boy: Good.

I talked about the various holidays celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries with all of my classes and here's a question that came up in a third grade class after I explained Three Kings Day and the fact that people believe that the Wise Men bring gifts and leave them in your shoes...

Girl 1: I have a question. Who delivers the gifts if the Wise Men are dead?
Me: If they're dead? Wow. That's kind of dark. I have no idea.
Girl 2: Probably some old people.

AS hands out some solid holiday advice...

AS: Mr. Grinch will steal your Christmas tree, your ornaments, and your presents. So be careful.

While there were many reactions to my ugly Christmas ensemble, my favorite was from a fifth grade boy. He looked me up and down, pondered and then said...

Boy: The question is, why?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013

2nd Grade Boy: My birthday is the same as the world's.

Me: The world's?

Boy: Yea. July 14. July 4, July 14.

Me: Oh, ok. Well July 4th is America's birthday.


2nd Grade Girl: Wanna see my new gloves?

Me: Sure.

Girl: Ta-Da!

Me: Wow! Those look very warm.

Girl: I'm never taking them outside.

Me: Why not?

Girl: So I don't lose them! I've already lost 2 gloves outside.

Me: Why do you keep taking your gloves off outside?

Girl: To play with!

Me: Oh...ok then.


While on my morning hall duty, I heard these kids coming up the stairs talking about kissing or something...

Me: What's this about kissing?

1st Grade Girl: Nothing!

Me: I heard you talking about kissing.

Girl: No, we weren't. We were just talking about what we did on our summer vacations.

Me: Summer vacations? In December? Uh-huh.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

No Rest for the Weary

I'm happy to say that after I print a few more items, all of my work for this semester's principal certification classes will be done. Between that and doing my actual job, there hasn't been time for anything else in the past month. In no particular order, here are the quotes I've been stockpiling since my last post.

M: My mamaw took me to the dump and told me to tell the boss. My papaw let me go because he knows someone there, Larry Hall.

While coloring a Thanksgiving booklet all about being thankful with kindergarten I was reminding them about coloring things the right way...

Me: Do I want to see things like purple and blue faces?
Kids: NO!
Me: That's right. Your books should look like a real book would look like. That means we're going to take our time, color inside the lines and that all the pictures should look like they would in real life.
Boy 1: You shouldn't color their eyes red. Like they got hot sauce poured in their eyes.
Me: Um, no. You shouldn't. That would be unfortunate.
Boy 1: Tabasco sauce.
Boy 2: If you see someone with brown hair, you know they dyed it.
Me: Actually a lot of people have brown hair. Brown is a normal hair color.

First grade received the same instructions when coloring their booklets...

Boy: Look at my skin. Is my skin peach?
Me: Yes.
Boy: I'm going to color her skin peach. I'm going to color her like me.
M: I don't know why his skin isn't brown; he's been to the beach like 5 times.

Believe it or not, I assisted some fourth grade students with their science fair projects.

Girl: Hey Miss Black, do you wanna help with something? It's for me and Isaac's science fair project. We need you to taste something.
Me: Umm, OK...sure.
Girl: We're going to blindfold you and you have to guess which color Kool Aid you're drinking based on the taste. And we can practice our Spanish too because you can tell us the colors in Spanish. After you tell us the Spanish color, tell us the real color.
Me: Yea, I hate those "fake" Spanish colors. This one is amarillo. Aka yellow.
Girl: Alright, you don't have to tell us the human color on this one. I mean English color.
Me & Mrs. Abell: Human color?

Another taste test on another day...

Girl 1: Do you want to be blindfolded?
Me: Yes.
Girl 1: Are you sure? It'll be dark.
Me: Absolutely. I insist. (she puts the blindfold on)
Girl 2: Can you see?
Me: No.
Girl 2: Can you remember where your mouth is?
Me: Yea, I think I can manage that.
Mrs. Abell: I think that might be better than "human colors".

Another group attempted to explain the project that they wanted to do...

Boy 1: We want to mix 2 flavors of pop to taste test.
Mrs. Abell: But why?
Boy 2: We want to see if people can tell the 2 tastes better than dogs.
Me: Because your dog can just say, "Hey man, this tastes like grape soda mixed with Mountain Dew!" If that's the case, forget the science project because you've got a talking dog.

As you can see from the picture, I wore my hair in pigtails one day because I'm long overdue for a haircut but don't have an appointment until December 23. The pigtails were popular though...
  • 1st grade boy: Miss Black! Your hair is beautiful!
  • Kindergarten girl: I like your piggie tails!
Of course, AS and I have had our share of moments...

AS: Be careful, I have apples in my  backpack. It's heavy.

AS: After me and Alan go [ice] skating, then me and you go. But I don't know where you house is.
Me: Well I guess I'll have to tell you, won't I?

In fact, news of our ice skating date is spreading throughout kindergarten...

Kindergarten boy: Ain't you and him going skiing?

A fourth grade boy speaks the truth...

Boy: Long day, huh?
Me:'s 10 am.

One morning I was standing in the hallway, drinking a ginger ale and a first grade boy approached me...

Boy: Miss Black, is that new?
Me: What?
Boy: That can.
Me: Oh. Well, I just started drinking it. It does say new on it. Apparently it only has 10 yes, that's new.
Boy: Oh.

And then a kindergarten boy threatened me...

Boy: Gimme $2!
Me: I don't have $2.
Boy: I'm gonna steal you!
Me: You're going to steal me? I don't think you understand how this works.

A fifth grade boy would not stop singing...

Girl: Miss Black, he keeps singing Selena Gomez.
Me: Stop singing! This isn't music class.
Girl: Ahh!
Me: OMG! Selena Gomez!
Girl: No, now he's singing What Does the Fox Say
Me: I've had that stuck in my head all morning.
Boy: What does the fox say...
Me: Nooo! Stop. I'll make you walk your recess.
Boy: Wait. "What does Miss Black say? You will, you will walk your recess!"
Me: That's right.

M delivers an intriguing monologue...

M: My mom, she can cut Spanish stuff. You know those swirly things that hang on the ceiling? My mom cut one out in Spanish. And I saw a Day of the Dead blanket at Goodwill. I said, "Oh I'd better get that for Miss Black!" And my mom said, "Hmm. I don't know Miss Black."

A first grade boy gave me a present...

Boy: Here, this for you. It's an apple [seed]. It's not to eat. It's to bury.

Kindergarten Boy: Miss Black! I've been looking for you!
Me: Why?
Boy: For candy!
Me: What? I've never given you candy.

A surreal moment in fourth grade...

Boy: I think it was in the 80s or something.
Me: You think what was in the 80s?
Boy: 9/11.
Me: What? No. It was in 2001. I was born in the 80s.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Art and Notes and More!

Kids love to draw and doodle on things. I can't blame them because I do the same thing. 

Sometimes it's something as simple as a little stick figure saying "Hola," and other times it's detailed illustrations of your plans of becoming an astronaut and interacting with aliens when you grow up.

Somehow I think I forgot to mention the role that my boyfriend and I played in the Fall Carnival. We manned the face painting booth all night. And since we're super brave, we attempted to paint whatever the kids requested. Naturally, I made kids pose for some photos because I was proud of my quality work. Jerry didn't do that...he did mention having to paint several fox faces, I'm not sure what that was about.

Below we have the kid that started the "I want a mask around my eyes" trend, one of my better flowers, and a dragon (I resisted the urge to paint Trogdor). On the right you'll see Dora (that one threw me for a loop) as well as my best rendition of a zombie.

Casually mention that geese freak you out because you were once chased by one as a child and what happens? A second grade girl draws you a picture of "Queen Goosey".

On Halloween we had a character dress up day so that students and staff could dress up like a character from a book. I decided to come as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter (specifically Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban based on my Time Turner necklace). This did result in me yelling at a few kids who claimed to not like Harry Potter despite never having read it.

On the left are some of my kindergarten kids with their Day of the Dead skull masks that we made.

And on the right, all I have to say is, "Miss Black, wait! I've got a note for you!"

I hung this one up despite the spelling error. I figure she either loves Spanish or spinach and either one is good for her. Besides, how would I be the best teacher in the whole wid world if I didn't hang it up?

November 18, 2013

What do you say we start this post off with another interesting thing I overheard M saying to one of the reading teachers?...

M: We know that dogs like baths and cats don't like baths.
Teacher: What? Why are you talking about baths?
M points to a picture in the book
Teacher: That's a fireplace.

For this 9 weeks my morning duty is not outside (yay!). I stand by the stairs and see all the kids who come up from eating breakfast downstairs in the cafeteria. I've received two invitations to join some boys for breakfast in the morning which I've sadly had to decline. Anyway, there's a lot of traffic that passes by me in the morning. For example, there's a first grade boy who sometimes helps me police the halls...

Boy: My knows the bells gonna ring but I gonna stay here and help you. (Sees an older kid running) Hey! No running! Just walk. (And the kid actually listened). Him's fast walking, it's OK.

I've also developed a little crew I'll call The Breakfast Club. The Breakfast Club is made up of a few 3rd grade boys who can stir up trouble should the mood strike them. For whatever reason they like to stop and talk to me in the morning and I figure, if it helps start their day off on the right foot then I'm cool. The BC and I talk about some interesting things...

BC Boy 1: Hey girl! (Holds out his hand for a high five)
Me: Did you just call me girl?
BC Boy 2: Are you going to have a baby?
Me: Nope.
BC Boy 2: Are you married?
Me: Nope.
BC Boy 1: But she got a boyfriend. I seen your picture at your desk.
Me: Yes, I do have a boyfriend.
BC Boy 1: How come you ain't married?
Me: I didn't say I was never getting married, I'm just not currently married.
BC Boy 2: Aww, can I be your best man?
Me: Well that's usually the groom's choice.
BC Boy 2: What's that mean?
Me: That means it's the boy's choice who gets to be the best man, but I'll put in a good word for you.

And then there are the times that I hear things with absolutely no context...

3rd Grade Boy: We need muscles to get ladies.

Kid: It's like an old show. Was there an old show called Go Go Gadget? (*Had this not been going on in another classroom I would've taken time out of my day to educate this child on Inspector Gadget)

Finally, I think I'll end with some AS. He's been making quite a few plans for us lately...

AS: We going to go ice skating. Me, you, and Alan (AS's kindergarten bestie). I gonna take the wheels off my skateboard and we gonna go ice skting.
Me: Wow. I'm not very good. I usually fall down a lot. Is that OK if I fall down and squish you?
AS: I'ma show you how to do it. We go tomorrow night.
[The next day]
Me: What happened? We didn't go ice skating! You never picked me up.
AS: I forgot to get Alan, too. I gon pick you up in my little car.
Me: Your little car? Will I fit?
AS: I pull the big car behind it.
Me: That's a good idea. Are we going tonight?
AS: No. Christmas.
*His cousin has now told me that he talks about our ice skating date at home*

AS: Why you no go trick or treat with me?!
Me: I didn't know I was invited.
AS: I invite Alan!
Me: I didn't realize that I was automatically invited whenever Alan is invited. 

Mexican Jumping Beans

You say Mexican, I say
I recently did a two-part lesson with the entire school involving Mexican Jumping Beans. I didn't tell them that they'd be getting Mexican Jumping Beans, all I said was that we were going to be studying a "mystery object". The first day was the introduction of the Mystery Object. And for some, that was enough to get them guessing...

Me: Next class we're going to observe a mystery object that's related to Spanish.
Boy 1: It's a stick!
Boy 2: It's a robot!
Me: How are either of those things Spanish?

This question is legit. "If they
were a monster, would they
eat us?" Be prepared.
All we did that first day was work on being Spanish scientists and working on making observations and then coming up with questions about the Mystery Object. Obviously most of the questions centered around why the Mystery Object could move on its own. I decided it would be hilarious to ask the kids to give some ideas as to why the objects could move...

  • They're turtle eggs. Yea! Baby turtles!
  • There's a small animal a dinosaur!
  • It's fighting grasshoppers.
  • I think they're baby squirrel eggs.
  • They're little springs with robots

There was also a story that we read on the second day of the lesson called Lucas and His Loco Beans. The older students had to follow along and try to figure out what the Spanish words in the story meant. One girl hit the nail right on the head with her definition of loco. Those beans were cracra for reals.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 4, 2013

It's certainly been a whirlwind lately! My classes for my principal cohort are winding down whereas the work for the projects in those classes is picking up. My mom was also out of town for about 10 days which [naturally] coincided with a super busy time for me. I've got what feels like a stockpile of quotes here!

Let's start things off with some gems from M. Specifically things I've overheard her say to other teachers...

-I've had a headache all year.
-Oh my gosh, the boss makes you write a lot! (Observing how much documentation our reading teacher has to do)
-I got to run in the road last night because my mamaw let the dog out and I ran around and around and my mamaw threw a bacon bit through my hand [yes, through] and he finally licked me. He had to go to the restroom.

And now a conversation I had with M...

Me: Are you dressing up for character dress up day, M?
M: Well, I have a mermaid costume but I'm pretty sure it's inappropriate. [Note: she did wear the costume and it was not inappropriate]

First grade has been serving up some quality quotes as of late...

-Guess what? I was born on my birthday.

-Do you want to know something really awesome, something awesomer, or both? You know all the stuff they have at Gatti Town? There's goo in a cup and it makes a fart noise. It's called fart goo and it's awesome.

-Guess what? I'm your bestest #1 fan ever because I love Spanish!

Me: Man J, my arms are tired.
J: Good. Me: You're glad my arms are tired?
J: You could work out.
Me: That's disgusting. Why would I want to do that?
J: I don't know, go home and take a nap.
Me: Good plan. Will you teach the rest of my classes?
J: No.
Me: Seriously? Come on. You speak Spanish. It's just second grade.

Whereas third grade typically says or does things that puzzle me...

Girl: My legs hurt.
Me: I'm sorry.
Girl: I went to Indiana.
Me: And that made your legs hurt?
Girl: I played softball there.
Me: Oh, that makes more sense. I thought Indiana just made people's legs hurt.

-I had to stop a third grade boy from serenading his class with Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines".

Girl: Trick-or-Treating is changed to tomorrow night.
Me: Really? I didn't know that. Probably because I'm too old to go.
Girl: Nope. You don't watch the news.
Me: Well, no I don't do that either.

Discussing Day of the Dead in kindergarten...

Girl: I don't celebrate Day of the Dead. It's not on my calendar.

A fifth grade boy makes an excellent point...

Boy: If you're a teacher do you guys get paid a lot of money?
Me: Ha! Noooo.
Boy: How do you not make a lot of money? If you work with kids, I mean?

A fourth grade boy (and son of a teacher) keeps it real in regards to what he'd do for me...

-I love you and I'd do anything to save you.

Boy: I love Miss Black and I'm going to marry her.
His mom: Well she's already got a pretty serious boyfriend.
Boy: I'm going to give him a piece of my mind.

One thing about teaching is that kids love to tell you about their interests. The only problem is, they assume that you know all about them too. Nine times out of ten I have no idea what the hell they're talking about. But I just listen and nod because they're very enthusiastic and most of the time it ends up being perfect blog material. For example, this situation in fourth grade...

Boy 1: So there's these monsters and the girl monster is bigger than the boy monster. The boy monster is like this big and the girl monster is like this big. The boy monster eats pigeons and small owls and the girl monster eats cats.
Boy 2: Household cats. [Note: thank you for clearing up the fact that it's not feral cats, I was worried]
Boy 1: Yea, household cats. And when the girl monster is mad she can breathe fire. And they live--well, they don't live in the toilet but they can come up through the toilet to get you. They live in the sewer. Did I tell you that when the girl monster gets mad she can breathe fire?
Me: Yes, you did.
Boy 1: Well, when the boy monster gets mad he grows walrus tusks--except like, nice. [Note: so not crappy tusks] Me: So, are these in a book or something?
Boy 1: No. Real life.
Me: I had no idea.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

I've been going at stuff nonstop lately. It has felt as though I've been working around the clock. However, I have been keeping track of student quotes (some are mine, some are from other teachers)!

During a fourth grade science test on food chains a student approached the teacher and asked...

Girl: Can a hawk eat a snake? Is that even allowed?

While in a second grade class I had to attempt to untie a girl's shoelaces...

Me: Who tied your shoelaces together?
Girl: I did.
Me: How did your shoes get tied together so tightly?
Girl: I don't know.
Me: How did you get down the hall from computer?
Girl: I sort of waddled.

We were lucky enough to have this guy come and speak to the students about polar bears. He takes trips to the arctic and photographs polar bears. It was pretty cool! During the question and answer part of the fourth grade session, one boy had a suggestion for him...

Boy: If you're driving your car in the Arctic, don't get too close to a polar bear because he'll just rip the doors off.

In another second grade class the students were being very noisy when they came into the room...

Me: That's weird...I thought I was in Mrs. Scott's class, but this doesn't sound like Mrs. Scott's class at all. Do you think Mrs. Scott would like it if I told her that I thought her class had been replaced by a noisy class?
Students: No!
Boy: That would be MUY MAL!

Another over-share in kindergarten...

Girl: I have a doctor's appointment because sometimes I cough things up.
Me: Wow. Thanks for sharing that with me.

A classic non sequitur from M regarding the first grade trip to the pumpkin patch...

Before the field trip:
Me: Hey M, have fun at the pump-
M: My scalp is red!
Me: Oh, well...I'm sorry to hear that.
M: It's from that spray paint [at the Fall Carnival].

During the field trip:
M: Mrs. Ramey, it looks like we are in the country. What country is this?
Mrs. Ramey: I feel sure we are still in the United States.

After the field trip:
Me: Did you have fun at the pumpkin patch, M?
M: It wasn't as fun as I'd thought. We didn't get to do the racin' thing. And we was really hopin' on that.
Me: Oh. Well, um...that's too bad. (Also I have no clue what the "racin' thing" is)

While making our Day of the Dead craft in third grade, one boy let me know his true feelings...

Me: That's looking really nice! Do you think you could fill in those white spots there? I think that would make it look even better.
Boy: You are 'zausting! (exhausting)
Me: I know, right?!

I wish I had been there for this moment during a reading recovery session with a first grade girl...

Girl [reading]: He drunk...
Teacher: Don't say drunk, it's drank. Drunk isn't a word.
Girl: Yes it is. Like if you're drunk!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Let's Hear It For the Guests

None of these quotes were actually said to me, but they're hilarious just the same!

This one is from my friend who teaches sixth grade language arts. She sent it to me way back on October 7 and I finally remembered to add it! This was written from one student to another on a peer editing checklist for personal narratives...

"Your story was fantastic, but you better watch those commas, girl!"

The other day a first grade girl was reading a book about a guinea pig in the portable with one of our reading recovery teachers...

Teacher: Do you know what a guinea pig is?
Girl: Yes, it's a big, fat hamster!
Me: That's the best description of a guinea pig I've ever heard.

The fourth grade went on a field trip yesterday to McConnell Springs as well as the Living Arts and Science Center. While at McConnell Springs, the students saw some animals along the edge of the springs...

Boy: Hey Mrs. Abell, do you think that's a crocodile or an alligator? I can't tell which one it is.
Mrs. Abell: It's a turtle.

First grade was supposed to take a field trip to the pumpkin patch today but it was rescheduled because of the weather. However, they did deliver some fantastic quotes! The first comes from a class reading a book about a cat named Oliver...

Boy: My sister's name is Oliver!
Teacher: Really?
Boy: Yea!
Teacher: I'm not so sure about that.
Boy: Me either. Actually, I don't have a sister.

And the next is just a random TMI...

Kid: My mom is getting pregnant today.

**There should be plenty of quotes tomorrow as my boyfriend and I will be painting faces at the Fall Carnival!**

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Reader So Mysterious, I Need a Mystery Machine

No one has said anything particularly hilarious so far, but I do have some artwork to share! I've compiled all of the artwork from the thank you notes I received from being the Mystery Reader for a first grade class last week.

Please note that in both of these drawings, my purple streaks have been accurately documented. Well played, students. My outfit in the bottom picture is 100% accurate, although I think I do look smashing in that green dress.

These drawings appear to be a bit more open to interpretation. I think the first one is the class sitting on the carpet...but the sun is also in the classroom. Not to mention the fact that the students are oddly shaped and all green. In the second picture, the students are on the carpet and they are a lot bigger than me (plus we're all reddish-orange). And on the bottom, well I'm not sure.

Here we have me seated in the chair with my abnormally large legs in the upper left hand corner. Next is my head awkwardly floating above the chair with what appear to be balloons or perhaps royal scepters (is that how you spell that?). The picture on the bottom left is more accurate than you might think. No, that boy doesn't really have green hair, but I did read a book about turtles. I do like how he chose to portray me though; pretty attractive, am I right? Lastly all of my hair has been dyed purple and my face has turned orange (Jersey Shore style) and I may or may not be wearing a blue cape.

Close ups on me! The first one is pretty good, even if my legs are yellow. The next one is a bit more interesting. Long blue hair, three [blue] fingers on each [blue] hand--and don't even get me started on the three leg situation we've got going on. Again with the blue hair...and now I'm black?

In the first picture I'm not even in the school. I'm in someone's house, which is cool I suppose. And check out how tall I am in that other picture, with my black hair.

Today I received this award for "Best Spanish Teacher"

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Breaking It

I'm on my second day of Fall Break and I've been working non-stop! Between working on things for school and working on homework and other various things for my principal courses I'm one busy little bee. I was more than ready for this break though. And let me tell you, so were the kids! By Wednesday, I swear they had lost their minds!

Leaving a rowdy fourth grade class...

Me: Did y'all take your crazy pills this morning?
Teacher: That's every day in this class.
Girl: I took my medicine today. (I should add that while she said this she was spinning a ruler on a pencil and then she bit the I'm not sure what medicine that was.)

I asked my kindergarten class if there was anyone at home they could share the counting song I'd taught them with...

Boy: I have my brother Timmy with a broken leg!
Me: He broke his leg? Oh no, that's terrible!
Boy: Don't worry, they didn't cut it off.
Me: Well that's good to hear. I'm relieved they're no longer doing amputations for broken legs.

In my first grade classes I've been teaching them a song called Cinco Calabazas from a video I found on YouTube. The song is about five pumpkins and each pumpkin has a different emotion.

In our activity, students have to draw faces on blank pumpkins to show each emotion. On my example paper, my calabaza cansada (tired pumpkin) was dreaming so I told students they could make their calabazas dream about something if they wanted to. Apparently they know what pumpkins dream about...

¿Qué Sueñan Las Calabazas?

Boy: They can dream about Christmas!

M: My pumpkin is dreaming about g's.
Me: Like, the letter g?
M: Yup. And m's.

Boy: My pumpkin is dreaming about exercising!

I also got a lot of thank you notes from a first grade class from when I was the Mystery Reader. Naturally there is some amazing artwork that will need to be uploaded ASAP. I promise to get on that.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 4, 2013

What I look like to one fifth grade girl...

Girl: You look like a Spanish version of Velma [from Scooby Doo] with blonde hair. I'm not saying you're a nerd.

I got to be the "Mystery Reader" for a first grade class today. That means they heard three clues about who would be reading to them and tried to guess who it was, two actually guessed correctly! Here were their clues:

  1. I have a black belt in TaeKwonDo
  2. I've been to 14 countries outside the United States
  3. When I went to school, you only went to kindergarten for half of the day
Anyway, they picked a book about turtles for me to read and there were some interesting comments along the way...
  • I eat turtles
  • I like the smell of skunks
I forgot this conversation a kindergarten girl and I had yesterday about the Spanish word for pink...

Girl: What's the Spanish word for pink again? I forgot.

Me: Rosado.

Girl: That's right. We were at a club last night and we got in a huge fight about how to say pink in Spanish. I was really wrong.

Me: You were at a club?

Girl: It was me, my mom, my dad, my grandma, my aunt, and my boy aunt. That's how many people were at the club.

Second grade has been learning about habitats and yesterday we were talking about the desert. I decided to show them some pictures from my trip to the Sahara Desert...

Me: This is called an oasis, this is where we slept in the desert.

Girl: You stayed at an oasis?! I love oasises!!

Me: That's the most enthusiasm I've ever heard for an oasis.

Naturally the conversation progressed to bugs...

Girl 1: Did you know that in Africa, people eat bugs?

Me: Yes, actually people eat bugs in lots of countries.

Girl 2: Eww! Really?

Girl 1: I've got bugs in my teeth.

Girl 3: My mom has a secret recipe for soup, it's Tabasco sauce and spiders.

A Hispanic student explains her heritage...

Girl: People always think I'm from Mexico, but I'm from Ohio.

Dismissal time with my kindergarteners turned into a shoe tying extravaganza...

Boy: I know how to tie a shoe, you just pull it up and go loop, loop, loop!

Me: Wow, can you show me?

Boy: Well I can't do it.

Poor little AS had a bandaid on his finger...

AS: My skin broke.

Me: Oh no! How did your skin break?

AS: It just broke!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013

A second grade girl was trying to ask about Fall Break next week but I had no clue what she was saying this morning...

Girl: Do we stay home all weekend?

Me: What? I don't know...wait what?

Girl: Is next week the one where we stay home all weekend?

Me: Do you mean Fall Break? Next week we have Thursday and Friday off. We only come to school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

A fourth grade boy mixes up his rhymes...

Boy: Cheater, cheater, pants on fire!

I finally let a kindergarten boy sing a song he knew about all of the colors...

Girl: Can I sing my song for the class now?

Me: Is it in Spanish?

Girl: No...

Me: Then no; you see, his was in Spanish.

A serious discussion about music with a second grade boy...

Boy: Miss Black, did you know there are some people who don't like Michael Jackson?

Me: I do know that...I suppose they aren't obligated to like him.

Boy: [shakes head] That's crazy. My sister wants to kiss Justin Beiber. [shakes head] That's crazy.

Me: I'm with ya on that one.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2, 2013

If you ask me, I think there's a conspiracy against Miss Señorita Black and her harmless blog. I've lost multiple papers with student quotes written on them! I have no idea where they've gone...maybe they'll all show up at the same time.

The good news is, I had my
school picture taken with
a rabbit.
More fashion advice from M...

M: I'm gonna get Jordan's so I can moonwalk.

A first grade boy stops me in the hallway...

Boy: Hey Miss Black, do you remember "Heeeey Macarena?"
Me: Uh yea, do you?

One day I encountered a third grade boy singing a song...

Boy: I knew you were trouble when you walked in...
Me: Taylor Swift? Really?

Apparently A's new thing is being picked up and/or attempting to pick up others...

A: Hey Miss Black, let's see if you can pick me up. [I am forced to pick him up]
Me: I think your back just popped a couple of times there, A.
A: Yea, I think you might be the best cracker.

It's been awhile since L (a first grade boy) delivered a quality quote...

L: Hey Miss Black, guess what? You know how you used to be able to take food out of the cafeteria?
Me: No, but go on.
L: Well, you still can. I have 2 crackers in my pocket.

A first grade girl explains trees and leaves...

Girl: When a tree has leaves it has hair. And when it gots no leaves, it's bald.

One morning, twin first grade boys were getting out of their car and they had this exchange with their mom...

Mom: Have a good day. Don't go kissing no girls!
Boy: We don't have girlfriends for crying out loud!

I was in a kindergarten class the other day and AS finished his work early. He asked me what I thought he should draw. Naturally, I said he should draw me. Here's what happened...

AS: That's [middle person] you.
Me: I see, it looks just like me. Who are all the other people?
AS: [Pointing to the 2 people on the left] That's you and that's you. [Pointing to the person with blue eyes] And that's you, too.
Me: That's an army of Señorita Blacks. I can tell that one is me because of the blue eyes.
AS: You crying because that rock is going to fall on your head. But Superman is come to save you.
Me: Well that's certainly lucky. Could you maybe add a cape to him so he doesn't look just like me?
*The drawing went on to contain another version of me that 2 monsters were going to eat, but once again I was saved by Superman.

I've also got 2 fifth grade stories from another teacher...

Teacher: Where are your hearing aids?
Boy: In my backpack.
Teacher: Why are they not in your ears?
Boy: Because when I take them out it gets quiet.
(Wouldn't we all like to have that option from time to time?)

A fifth grade student teacher saw A playing on the trellis at the back of the playground...

Teacher: A, you know you can't climb that. It's not part of the playground.
A: I know! It's not to play on. But I just can't control myself when I see it. It drives me crazy!
Teacher: Well try to stay off of it.
A: Sorry!

A note from Miss Señorita Black: I've added a new page to the site, it's called "Repite, Por Favor" and you can access it at the top of the page. It's devoted to the things I have to say over and over as a teacher (and never get tired of saying lol).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 26, 2013

It's been a few days and I've finally got a spare minute to update the old blog. I've got a hodgepodge of quotes for you!

Kindergarten Girl: I'm going to be Ariel when I grow up.

Two of my students' parents own a pizza restaurant called Brick Oven Pizza. It's really good and it's one of only 2 places that has a gluten and egg free crust which means that I can actually eat it! I ordered one the other night while writing a lengthy paper for class, the next day I had the younger son in my kindergarten class...

Me: I had some pizza from your parents' restaurant last night. And I brought the leftovers for lunch today.
Kids: Yay!
Me: No, I brought them for me. I didn't bring pizza for everyone.
Boy: It's my pizza restaurant, you should give it to me.
Me: What? I actually have to pay for it. You can probably eat it for free.
Boy: No. I have to pay for it. I have a wallet.
Boy 2: You can drive, so give me some money.
Me: I can drive so I should give you money? I fail to see your logic. I have less money because I can drive. I have to pay for a car, gas, and insurance.

Apparently one of my fourth grade girls has a crush on a fifth grade boy and he was literally ALL she talked about for the entire hour the other day. It drove me nuts.

Girl: Miss Señorita Black, do you know so-and-so? He's a fifth grader?
Me: I teach the entire school, yes I know him. Why?
Entire Class: She likes him.
Me: You need to finish your work so you get all your points for today!
Girl: If I finish my Spanish work will you tell so-and-so?
Me: I'll walk down there and tell him right now. And just the other day he was saying to me, "You know what I love, Miss Señorita Black? Girls who finish their Spanish work."

Apparently I missed a quality M moment while I was in the building the other day!

M: I have a butterfly I trained to come when I whistle.

There must have been some sort of group at lunch the other day talking about how important it is to drink milk or something. They gave stickers to the kids and stuff. There were also stickers that looked like milk mustaches, which it took me ALL day to figure out what they were. By dismissal time, AS showed up with his milk mustache sticker...

AS: I have a mustache!
Me: I see that.
AS: I'm Mexican!
Me: Well I know that. [This is the moment I realized it was a milk mustache]

More fashion advice from M...

M: I like shorty-shorts because they're short...OMG! That classroom is amazing!

Ailments in kindergarten...

Boy: My arm hurts.
Me: I'm sorry, sweetie. I'm not an arm doctor.
Boy: I'm going to pass out now.
Me: Pass out due to your arm pain? Well, we'll miss you.
He then put his head on the table and continue to do the arm motions to the goodbye song with us.

AS was cute as always at dismissal time! Not only did he serenade me with a song about the color green, he invited me to play car with him. We were "driving" all over the place. He drove on an incredibly windy road while I sat in the backseat. Finally he asked me where I wanted to go...

AS: Where you wanna go? You wanna go Gatti Town or...Payless?
Me: Gatti Town or Payless? It's always between those 2 isn't it...well, where do you want to go?
AS: Gatti Town. 
Me: Let's go to Gatti Town.
He begins to "turn the wheel" about a zillion times
AS: It's farfarfarfarfarfarfarfarfarfarfarfar away.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Not too many quote to report. Although, I have started a...shall we say, collection that I feel the need to share with you. I'm calling it, "Interesting Things That Fall Out of Parents' Cars". It started on Wednesday during morning car duty. One of the first car doors that I opened (a Porsche, BTdubs) revealed a rather messy car. That is nothing new. When the student got out of the car something fell out, which is also nothing new. It looked like paper so I didn't pick it up immediately.

Well, fast forward a few car doors to when I actually had a second to look down and see what had fallen from said Porsche. That would be a Trojan condom (in its wrapper--I'm not picking up a used condom, people) that expired in January 2012. Stay classy.

My two main quotes today come from a first grade girl during her session with one of the reading teachers who I share a portable with. This girl, let's call her M, is a trip and a half! She always has the craziest stories. Perhaps you remember her granddaddy dying in the big earthquake at the beginning of time?

On Friday, she got out of the car in the morning holding a cup...

M: Miss Señorita Black, look! I got coffee!
Me: Well M, I've always said you needed to be more caffeinated.
*Sidenote: Apparently this is related to studies that suggest that giving children with ADD/ADHD a stimulant in the morning actually helps them concentrate. If it works, more power to 'em!

Apparently on the way to her reading session this morning she was explains her philosophy on skinny jeans to a teacher...

M: If it doesn't hurt your belly, it's not tight enough.

If M had her druthers, I'm certain she'd sit and tell stories all day long. During reading she has to wait to tell a story until it's time to write and then whatever tale she has just bursts out of her. It's my favorite part of her session because I just get to listen from a cross the room...

M: My dog got snake bit. It's not my dog, it's my Papaw's dog. And it bit him on the ear first and then he got it in his mouth and slung it and it hit a car. I'm not sure if he's ok because the first dog that got bit, he died.

A first grade boy approaches the delicate topic of weight as he gives me a hug...

Boy: Why is it so hard to get...[my arms around you]?
He didn't say the last part, he just trailed off. It's like he knew that would be calling me fat. First of all: well played, young sir. Second of all: I am 28 and you are 6, I do not expect your arms to fit around me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Art Gallery

I have a lot of student artwork to post!

First of all, another kindergarten girl has drawn herself with me. She's the big one on the left and I'm the small one on the right. To me, she's saying, "Gee Miss Señorita Black, you look thin!"

 Another kindergarten girl presented me with this drawing and said, "This is you with the world's largest pumpkin."

She quickly returned and said, "Now you're with your husband. And you're roller skating." I'm not certain what has happened to my husband's knees, but I'm concerned. I think [and hope] they might be knee pads.

 The fourth grade students got to illustrate our solar system in class. Once they'd completed all the required aspects of the assignment, they were allowed to add anything they wanted related to our vocabulary (aliens, rockets, etc.). Here are a few of the most creative ones:

September 11-17, 2013 (aka Miss Señorita Slacker)

It's been a busy week and sadly blog posts have taken a backseat to, well, everything else. And when things get hectic that's the way it has to be until someone offers to pay me large sums of money to blog (anyone?). Sadly, I know that there are some quotes I've forgotten because I've even been too busy to jot them down! The good news is that I tend to remember them (usually at really random times). So I'm just going to throw down what I've got from this past week and the rest will come whenever.

A first grade girl entering the portable to work with a reading teacher...

Girl: Wanna feel my pants? They feel really good.
Teacher: That would be a no.

While working on a coloring page for the word naranja (orange) with a kindergarten class...

Girl: Did you know pumpkins come alive? I saw it on a commercial.
Me: I did not know that.
Boy: And right here on pumpkins [the stem] can be green.
Me: Now that I did know.

More kindergarten interactions...

Boy: I hate preschool. You know why?
Me: No. Why?
Boy: Because there's no treasure box.
Me: That seems like a really good reason.

Me: Did you poke her with a pencil?
Boy: It was sharp yesterday.
Me: OK, but did you poke her with it? It doesn't matter when it was sharpened. You don't poke people with pencils because it can always hurt them.

When I arrived to one class, a boy (the one who said "hey buddy" to me) still had his gogurt snack out on the table. I told him to finish eating it, but he didn't. Naturally, class ended with yogurt all over the table. His solution was to put his whole hand into it and then lick his hand. We were helping him clean it up and he kept assuring us...

Boy: It's ok, it's ok. I'm not in trouble.
Me: Well, I'm really glad you're not in trouble. We need to clean this up.
Boy: It's ok.

Animal wheel from Spanish Playground
I discovered a cool website for Spanish resources called Spanish Playground and this week I started an activity with my first and second graders based on the book Oso café, oso café, ¿qué ves ahí? (Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?) We're making an animal wheel for them to practice their animal words and colors. It's been quite a hit with my students.

Here's how a second grade girl encouraged a classmate who was struggling to finish his animal wheel...

Girl: I know it's hard to speak Spanish, but maybe when you travel you could take this [the animal wheel] with you and it will help.

In addition to learning about space, I've been teaching the fourth grade about ordenal numbers. I was very nervous about getting to sixth because the word is "sexto." Awwwww, it has sex in it! But one fourth grade boy set everyone straight...

Boy: It's not bad, it's Spanish!

I don't write the names of students on this blog, but one of our fourth graders has a name that is very similar to one of the Native Indian tribes of Mexico (although it's spelled differently)...

Boy: The Mayan Calendar; it's not a calendar I made up. It's a real thing.

Today, a fourth grade girl kept asking me the same question over and over...

Girl: Isn't the real Rose from Titanic still alive?
Me: No, it was a movie. There's no real Rose.
Girl: No, but it was real. She's still alive!
The portables are coming!

I was listening to a first grade girl working with one of our reading teachers today. This girl is prone to tangents, and reading her ABC book was no exception...

Girl: Ss, snake. I petted a snake on the head once. I was at a family reunion and my old granddaddy had it. He died in the big earthquake at the beginning of time.

Another first grade boy brought up a very important question while working on his animal wheel...

Boy: What if there was a guy, and he was walking down the street...and then he shot a missile? And then...there was wood in it and it exploded?
Me: Well, then I guess that would be a bad day.

Before my third grade class started I watched a student cutting out some drawing he had made. I thought it looked sort of computery and assumed it had to do with that Minecraft thing all the kids are so obsessed with so I tried to talk to him about it (mistake)...

Me: Is that a Minecraft thing?
Boy: How can it be a Minecraft thing if it's a circle? Circles are invalid in Minecraft.
Me: Why would I know that? All I know is that all of y'all are obsessed with Minecraft.

Fifth grade has been working on vocabulary about sports and free time activities as well as talking about people's likes and dislikes. After asking classmates about things they like to do, students had to write sentences about what other people like to do. One student decided to draw pictures to go with his sentences.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013

This morning on car duty, an excited kindergarten boy was walking up to school with his mom and he looked at me with a smile. I waved at him because I could tell he wanted to say hi. I guess he forgot how to say hola...

Boy: Hey buddy!
Me: Hi there!

The first class of the day was fifth grade. One thing I've learned from A is that he can always surprise me with his questions...

A: When will we be doing a PowerPoint in here?
Me: I don't do many PowerPoints in my classes. I can try to put some together. I wasn't aware you were so fond of them. Do you like PowerPoints?
A: Yes. We're connected.

I ran into a second grade girl in the hall. We waved at each other and after we walked past each other she turned back because she forgot to ask me something...

Girl: Oh, how's Spanish going?
Me: Spanish is going well...thanks for asking. [As though she isn't in my Spanish class?]

While walking with some first graders on their way towards the gym...

Girl: There's a staple in my shoe.
Me: A staple? Well, let's look and get it out of there.
Girl: It feels like a stapler.
Me: A stapler?
[In order to provide you with closure, it was a piece of mulch--not a staple or stapler.]

On Friday I was working with a third grade class on some sentences about school. Students had to fill in the blank with the appropriate vocabulary word. One sentence said "The principal of my school is _______." and students were supposed to fill in the name of our principal. One boy decided to go with a different option:
The principal of Squires is awesome. Hmm. That's not Spanish.

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

This broccoli is obviously silly.
There weren't too many intriguing quotes today, which works out well because I had class tonight so there isn't much time to be blogging anyway! Several of my quotes came from the same kindergarten class and have accompanying pictures.

In kindergarten we were working on the color verde.

Me: I like how you made your broccoli striped with different shades of green.
Girl: I like to make broccoli silly.
AS: My broccoli is late for school.
Me: He's late for school?
This broccoli is late for school.
AS: Yea! So his mom made him stay home alone because that's what happens.
Boy: My broccoli is a super-hero.

I am wonderful or "wordl" as it is
sometimes spelled.
Another student decided to show me a note she had written on the back of her paper...
Me: What does this say? I see my name there...
Girl: It says Miss Black is wonderful.
Me: Oh, thank you! That's so nice!

I was less than excited about teaching third grade today. The third grade class can be rather...trying. And for whatever reason, Friday's third grade class almost had me in tears. It's not that they did anything particularly terrible, it's just as though everything lined up perfectly and my brain decided that I should almost lose it. But I held it together. Today's class wasn't too bad--even a student who can be particularly, umm, exercising on one's patience...

Boy 1: What's this part mean right here?
Me: Well, it says, "La directora de Squires es _________." What's directora mean?"
Boy 1: Principal.
Me: So, who's the principal of Squires?
Boy 1: Mrs. Adkins!
Boy 2: Do you realize he just shouted out the answer?
Me: All he was doing was answering my question. I was helping him figure it out.
Boy 2: At least when I shout things out I don't shout out answers. I just shout out random words.
Me: I actually don't like when you just shout out random words. That's not particularly helpful.
Boy 2: But I don't shout out answers.
Me: Well, I'm typically against all types of shouting.

The shirt I was wearing today has lace on the top part of it, and I guess it's hard to know how to compliment that when you're a first grade boy...

Boy: I like how your...back.
Me: Thank you.
Boy: And you're pretty!

The final thing I'm going to include is a link to this video I found on Facebook. Apparently Matt Damon's mom is a teacher and he recently spoke at a rally against teachers' job security being based solely on standardized test scores. Afterwards, these people came to interview him and he basically ripped them a new one. And it was awesome, because he is Matt Damon.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 6, 2013

I ran into Jay-Z this morning while waiting to walk into a fifth grade classroom. There was another teacher standing in the hallway with us and we had quite an interesting conversation...

Me: Hey, Jay-Z. What's up?
Jay-Z: Well, I'm thinking of making a movie. It's sort of an animated thing that's like half Minecraft and I'm thinking of using his [the other teacher's] voice for one of the guys. He's like a zombie and his brain is half dead.
Teacher: Well, I'm pretty sure my brain is half dead sometimes anyway.
Me: That sounds like a pretty sweet plan, Jay-Z.
Jay-Z: I'm thinking of using you as the voice of the Blaze Queen.
Me: Is she also half dead?
Jay-Z: No. She's really big. Like, tall. And she has a crown.
Me: I like the sounds of that. Lucky for you, I'm free.

My first graders were working on some number/counting activities and I overheard one of them counting at her table...

Girl: Uno, dos, tres, cwaco...
Everyone at table: Cwaco? It's cuatro.

On my way to third grade, I passed some second graders in the hallway and one of the girls started singing when she saw me...

Girl: Spaaaaanish teacher...puuuuuuurple hair.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5, 2013

A kindergarten girl drew a picture of us
yesterday. She didn't say which one is me
and which is her.
Here's one I forgot from yesterday during car duty. A kindergarten girl started talking to the PE student teacher...

Girl: I saw you at the gym yesterday.
Teacher: You saw me at the gym?
Girl: Yea. Yesterday.
Teacher: What gym?
Me: Honey, do you mean you saw him in gym class?
Girl: Yea!

I couldn't help but overhear a first grade girl rambling while she was working with another teacher in the portable today...

Girl: ...They don't have good jars at Kroger. I hate plastic jars. We gotta get to reading!

Some interesting news from a kindergarten boy...

Boy: I have the strongest eyes in the world.
Me: Really? Well, I did not know that.

I actually spoke with the teacher of this kindergarten class for a bit. We discussed the cuteness of AS and how teachers should be able to take him home every night like most classes usually have a class "pet" (stuffed animal) that kids can take home every night. She told me about a girl in her class forgetting the word "agenda"...
I received another picture from another kindergarten girl
today. This is a drawing of the two of us. Apparently, I am
the one on the left. It's a striking resemblance.

Girl: Do I have to get my "Virginia" out every day?

Another teacher told me about this interaction she had with a fourth grade boy...

Teacher: How do you like fourth grade?
Boy: It's a lot like third grade, it's just a step up.

Discussing space vocabulary in the fourth grade...

Me: The next question says, "Neil Armstrong fue un ______." Who was Neil Armstrong?
Kids: The first man on the moon.
Boy: It was a fake! I saw it! See, what they did was...
Me: OK, we don't have time for that.
Boy: But can I tell you a story?
Me: Not right now.
Boy: Later?
Me: Sure.

Boy: Miss Señorita Black, what time was the moon landing?
Me: It was in 1969.
Boy: No, but what time?
Me: I don't know! All I know is that it was July 20, 1969. Is that not enough?

Dealing with a first grade girl who cries at the drop of a hat...

Me: Sweetie, you've got to stop crying over everything. It's OK.
Friend of Crying Girl: Yea. My mama says if you cry every morning you're gonna get a shot at the doctor.

Answering questions about colors in third grade...

Me: This sentence says, "Some jewelry is made out of ______." Which of our color words could you make jewelry out of? Something expensive that jewelry could be made out of...
Boy: Purple!
Me: Purple? You make jewelry out of purple?
Boy: Yea!
Me: Nooo...let's keep looking at the words.