Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where Are They Now?

If you're curious as to where Miss Señorita Black has been this school year, the answer is working. Working on her Masters in Hoop Jumping I mean EdS degree and her new job as a high school Spanish teacher.
It was a rough summer. I had lost my job teaching Spanish at the elementary school level and found myself applying for everything under the sun. I was one day short of tenure in the district I taught in (and since my lack of tenure was only a technicality I was determined to get it). I had some interviews, but for awhile it was nothing but rejection. I was also pretty depressed about not being with my little kids I'd come to love.
In July, I was leaving an interview at a high school in my district when I checked 2 voicemails from a neighboring district. I'd interviewed for 2 middle school positions there, the first message was calling to let me know that I hadn't gotten the middle school jobs but that my name had been passed along to one of the 2 high schools. The second message was from the high school, wanting to set up an interview.
"I'm already in my interview attire," I thought, "and I don't want to put all this crap on again! Maybe they can see me today." I called them back and said I'd be there in 30-40 minutes. And then Google Maps, who has never steered me wrong, did just that. Google refused to take me to the front of the school, and only wanted to take me to the back entrance of the football field. After a fair amount of crying, cursing, and aimless driving, I arrived at the school. I was a solid 40 minutes late. But I rocked the interview and got the job.
Ever since then I've flipped into preparation mode, wrapping my brain around going for elementary to high school. I'm not joking when I say that I've been going nonstop. Plus I had a classroom to prepare! After 2 years on a cart, I have a home again!
The final exciting teachery note I have is that I opened a store on Teachers Pay Teachers and have been making some money selling the various worksheets, PPTs, etc. that I make for class. It's pretty fun and I think I'm a little addicted.
In closing, I have some quotes for this year so I'll try to start back up again soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

T Minus 1 Week

We're into the final countdown for the school year. It's been a crazy busy time for me. Since my last post I've helped with the big end of the year art project: tie dying t-shirts. That was a really fun (but busy) week! I've also been applying to tons of jobs, updating my resume (and all that fun stuff!) since being pink slipped 2 months ago. Yesterday I actually started telling students that I won't be back next year which has been extremely difficult!

1st Grade Boy: Look Miss Black, I scraped my leg.
Me: Oh no. What happened?
Boy: I feel off my scooter. And the concrete was 100% hurt.
Me: Ouch. 100% hurt? That sounds bad.

Me: This is our last Spanish class together before summer. And then you guys will be first graders!
Kids: First grade means bigger words! And bigger Spanish words! *And then they spontaneously broke into a song from their end of the year concert/performance*
Kindergarten Girl: The next time you see us, we'll be first graders! Unless you're retiring.
Me: Actually that's what I want to talk to you about. I wanted to tell you that I won't be here next year.
Kindergarten Boy: But we can't learn Spanish without you!

1st Grade Boy: Remember that day you told me you won't be here anymore?
Me: Yes (It was yesterday)
Boy: I'll still remember you.
Me: Aww, thank you, sweetie! (tearing up)

Kindergarten Girl: My sister isn't here today.
Me: Is she sick.
Girl: Yea. Her 'tomach hurts. And she pooped 4 times!
Me: Oh, wow. That's...something.

I'm not really sure what this conversation was about, but this is the part I walked in on...

5th Grade Boy A: It's not a synonym or an antonym or...what do you kids say these days?
5th Grade Boy B: Hyperbole?
(That's when I turned around and raised my eyebrow; they both just smiled)

Today, after I told my fourth grade class that I wouldn't be back next year I explained that I had taught at a high school before I came to an elementary school and that having to leave that job led me to discover that elementary school is where I prefer to be. The kids asked why I like elementary better than high school and one suggested that it was because high school kids text too much and I said they do text a lot. Here are the fourth grade solutions to texting students:

  • Bring in a wooden spoon and smack the desks
  • Scratch my nails on a chalkboard and say, "STOP TEXTING!" *Also I should be wearing earplugs
    • Another student said I shouldn't do this because while I was scratching my nails on the chalkboard the kids would cover an ear with 1 hand and use their other hand to update their statuses to say, "A psychotic Spanish teacher is scratching her nails on the chalkboard!!" 
  • Get a box/safe and make students put the cell phones in it before class starts
  • Hack their phones and install a Spanish App that has a picture of my face that pops up and says, "Stop texting! You cannot defeat me!" (My response was, "I'm flattered that you think I'm smart enough to do this.")
  • Bring in a belt and beat them
  • Give them detention
  • Take their phones

Here's some interesting information I just found out...a former high school student of mine has made the news, but not in a good way.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

A new nickname from W, my wedding planner as I walked into her first grade classroom...

W: Hey everybody, it's the marriage girl!

Another first grade girl, M, shares her upbringing...

M: Up where I used to live, we would just walk around 'cuz we was all just cowgirls and we'd say, "Howdy folks!"

Important questions from a first grade boy...

Boy: Miss Black, how do you say piggy bank in Spanish?
Me: Well, I don't know. Bank is banco, but I'm not certain how to say piggy bank. Let's look it up! I'm curious now.
Boy: How about we just say...piggy bank?
Me: I looked it up. The word I found was hucha.

An overshare while learning some clothing words...

First grade boy: I have blue underwear at home.
Me: Well, this is a picture of shorts. And I didn't need to know that.

Listening in on a reading group lesson as students were working on compound letter sounds...

Teacher: What sound do the letters B-R make?
Boy: Brr. Like brr that you drink.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

First Grade Boy: This is a golden bull. If you kill him, you get gold.
Me: Wow, I didn't even know that was a real animal.
Boy: Do you know where the golden bull lives?
Me: No, where?
Boy: Behind a volcano.
Me: That makes sense.

First Grade Girl: Can I make you a card for Teachers' Week?
Me: Well, sure.

First Grade Boy: My name is Craig.
First Grade Girl: Oh, Quake. Like earthquake.
Me: Nope.

Second grade girl: Did you know that when you turn 40 you become death?
Me: OK, wait what?
Girl: You become death.
Me: Do you mean deaf? As in you can't hear?
Girl: Yea.
Me: That's totally not a thing.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

We've really entered the home stretch in terms of the school year. The only day off we have between now and the end of the year is for Primary Elections at the end of May. And we've got an extra 15 minutes added on to the school day in order to keep us from having a bazillion makeup snow days. The 15 minutes doesn't change my schedule, but somehow it just makes things seem weird.

The big Spanish Art & Culture Night was a huge success! All the kids' art looked great hanging up in the halls and they could all talk about what they had learned. I think we had between 40-50 families, which is a pretty good turnout considering the fact that kids have all sorts of practices and clubs and parents have work, etc.

On to the quotes!

What's love got to do with it? Why don't you tell me, first grade boy?

1st Grade Boy: When she broke up with me, I felt terrible.
Me: What? Who's breaking up with you? You're in the first grade.

Learning about pets in third grade...

Me: Are there any pets that y'all have that aren't on the list?
Girl: I have 2 dogs and I don't know what language they speak.
Me: Well, we already have dog on the list. And also, they're dogs. They don't speak a language...they speak dog.

Speaking of all the art hanging up in the hallways, one of the pieces fell down this morning while I was on morning duty and here's what happened...

1st Grade Boy (T): Miss Black, this fell down.
Me: Thanks, T. I'll come get it. (Meanwhile, his brother--let's call him C, fixed it)
T: C put it back up. He didn't want to ruin your job. Because then who would be our Spanish teacher?
(So I guess in his mind, I get fired when things fall off the walls)

Speaking of losing jobs...

4th Grade Girl: Why was you crying the other day?
Me: Oh, I just got some bad news about something.
Girl: They ain't trying to kick you out, are they? I'll write a complaint letter to that office right now. Gimme some paper. (I just stared at her, I think my jaw was on the floor) Fine, I'll write it on this (Spanish worksheet). No, I can't do that. They'd probably expel me for that.
Me: I don't think they'd expel you for that, sweetie.

Our conversation quickly switched to the actual assignment at hand once she realized I wasn't going to divulge anything about my crying. She was working on an assignment where animals were described in Spanish and the kids had to figure out what animal was being described. So she's readings the phrases, figuring out what they mean in English and then figuring out the answer...

Girl: "Yo soy cafe y me gusta comer bellotas." So it's brown and it likes to eat acorns. Squirrel! You shouldn't have put acorns, Miss Black. That gave it away.
Me: I suppose it did.
Girl: "Yo vivo en la granja y hajo huevos." OK, the farm...and eggs. CHICKEN! Eggs made it too easy. Miss Black, see you shouldn't have put these words like acorns, eggs, and milk. It gives it away.
Me: You know what? I think you're right. That does make the answer pretty obvious, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where Did Spring Break Go?

You'd think I would've had tons of time to catch up on my blogging over spring break, wouldn't you? Normally you'd be right, but this year I've been working round the clock to prepare my Spanish Art & Culture Night this week. I'm inviting parents to come and see what we've been doing in Spanish class and it's required a lot of preparation and work. I'm not joking when I say it's taken my entire break.

One day I was fairly certain I heard a kindergarten boy saying something about pina coladas...

Me: Did you say pina colada to me?
Boy: No, I was asking him about pina coladas.

On our last day of learning about flags of Spanish-speaking countries one of the first grade girls asked a very important question...

Girl: Do any of the flags have pink in them?
Me: No. I'm sorry.
Girl: What about purple?
Me: I don't think so. You'll find that pink and purple are really under-represented when it comes to flags.

A first grade boy shows his gratitude...

L: Miss Black, I'm real glad you teach me Spanish. (He then grabbed my hand and gave me a very serious handshake and ran away. Then he ran back up to me, very excited.) I play this video game, it's a police game and I catched so many bad guys! (And then he ran away again).

This same boy kept it pretty real when the superintendent came to visit our school...

L: Soo, who are you? Dr. Seuss?

Family "field trips"...

1st Grade Boy: I want to go to China on a field trip with my family.

This whole conversation started because I was telling a few fourth grade boys that I've been able to travel to a lot of different countries around the world...

Boy 1: Have you ever been to the moon?
Me: What?
Boy 1: Have you ever been to the moon?
Me: No, I can't say as I have.
Boy 1: Oh. My friend has.
Me: Really? Well I have heard that at some point they think regular people will be able to travel to the moon for vacations and stuff. I don't think I'd want to go though.
Boy 1: I wouldn't want to live on the moon because what if something happened and it blew up?
Boy 2: I wouldn't want to live on the moon because gravity would probably mess with you. You know they say Neil Armstrong wasn't the first man to walk on the moon. They say it was fake.
Me: Well, either way, I'm making the decision right now to not travel to the moon.

Unfortunately I was not present for these fantastic messages from Planet Unicorn on Saint Patrick's Day (Oh dear Lord, is that how long it's been since I've had the chance to update?!)...

  • When will the leprechauns and gingerbread men get here?
  • If I found a pot of gold I would buy a cool monster truck.

As long as I'm quoting first grade girls, this one is fantastic!

Girl 1: Your pants have polka dots! I love them! Buy me some! Or let me share those. We wear the same size.
Me: We do? I'm pretty sure we don't.
Girl 1: Really? Buy you're so small!
Me: And you're my new favorite person in the world!
Girl 2: What about me?
Me: Well...sorry.

Fourth grade boys discussing their futures...

Boy 1: Being brilliant can get you in trouble.
Boy 2: How?
Boy 1: Like if you hack into a computer system and get arrested.
Boy 2: Well I'm going to be an archaeologist for the Smithsonian Institute so if they have me hack into something and I get caught, I'll just show them the patch the Smithsonian gives me. And you'd better believe they'll give me a patch.

A third grade boy renames me and tells me to leave...

Me: Next time we'll keep working on our Inca Sun God masks and we should get them finished.
Boy: OK, I think it's time for you to go now. Bye Miss Mysterious.

And before I end this post and go to bed, I'm going to leave you with the lovely note a fifth grade boy gave me on my birthday. 
Yep. I was fired. For real. And on my birthday no less. 

Stay tuned for pictures from the Spanish Art & Culture Night!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Another message from Planet Unicorn...

1st Grade Girl: Miss Black, guess what? I'm a princess!
Me: Tell me something I don't know.
Girl: My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-father, was a King.
Me: Do you know what country he was a king of?
Girl: No. I'll ask my mom.
The next day...
Me: Did you find out what country you're a princess of?
Girl: Umm...this town.
Me: Wow, a Princess of Lexington. Who knew? Maybe he was the one who buried that gold in your front yard.
Girl: Maybe. Guess what else? My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-father, he had a wife.

Drawing outfits for Rana (The Weather Frog) in kindergarten...

Boy: In Spanish, his name is Rana. In English, I call him...Ron.

Reading about animal babies in reading recovery...

1st Grade Girl: Hippos can have babies?!?!

A few fifth grade girls are tired of being annoyed by the boy who sits with them...

Girl 1: Miss Black, do you have any duct tape?
Me: Not on me. But I have some zebra print duct tape out at my desk. Why?
Girl 1: So we can tape his mouth shut.
Me: Oh. Well, I'm pretty sure they don't want me taping kids' mouths shut.
Girl 2: Oh you don't have to tape it. You just have to give us the tape and then look away. We'll do the taping for you.
Me: Oh, touche.

Not only is AS cute, he does impressions...

AS: I can talk Luigi.
Me: You can talk Luigi?
AS: [In an Italian accent] It'sa me Luigi, can you give me some candy?
Me: You'll have to show Mrs. Abell that.
The next day...
Me: Are you ready to show Mrs. Abell how you can talk like Luigi?
AS: I tell her in the hall, but she didn't hear.
Me: She didn't hear you?
AS: She have to listen.

Fifth grade boys know how to put money-related things into perspective...

Boy 1: Which would you rather have: a million dollars or a million waffles?
Boy 2: A million dollars, because the million waffles would go bad before you could eat them all.
Boy 3: I'd pick a million waffles. With a million syrups.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February 28, 2014

Mrs. Abell and I were discussing the now cancelled Hawaiian vacation with AS and his bestie, AP...

Me: So, AS, AP told us yesterday that the trip to Hawaii was a trick.
AS: Yea, they tore it down.
Me: That's what he said. Apparently everyone knew about this but us. But, he said that we could go to McDonald's. He said there's a button we can press that makes a light come on.
AS starts jumping up and down as though he just won the lottery
AS: Ohhhhhh! Yay!
AP: Or we can have a party.
Mrs. Abell: We could have a party.
AS (to AP): Two senoritas...
Me: Now, I have a question. I know Mrs. Abell couldn't bring Hazel the bunny and Puff the Dragon to Hawaii on account of the sign about "no bunnies and no lizards" but can we take them to McDonald's?
AS: Hmm. Chickens.
Mrs. Abell: We can bring chickens? I have chickens.
Me:  Well bring 'em!
AS: OR, I know what we can do! We can make a surprise for you.
Mrs. Abell: What?
Me: He said that we can make a surprise for you.
AS: Oh, wait. We can't now because we just tell you.
Mrs. Abell: But you didn't tell me when you were going to do it.
AS: Oh yea. OK.

A second grade girl notices my T.A.R.D.I.S phone case...

Girl: Your phone case is from Doctor Who. I watch it with my Stepdad.
Me: It is. Who's your favorite Doctor?
Girl: The one with the powerful screwdriver.
Me: They all have a sonic screwdriver.
Girl: The one with the time machine.
Me: They all have a T.A.R.D.I.S. Does the Doctor you like wear a bowtie?
Girl: I don't know. Have you seen the rhinos?
Me: Yes. Does the Doctor you like wear glasses?
Girl: Sometimes.
Me: Does he wear a long skinny tie or a tie that looks like a hair bow?
Girl: A long tie.
Me: That means you like the 10th Doctor.
Girl: What?
Me: He's the 10th Doctor. It's not a big deal...but now it's time for computer, so in the words of your Doctor, allonsy.

In other news, I have created an Instagram account to use with my classes. I'll be posting pictures of things we do in class. There's a link over to the right side of this page in case you feel like checking it out.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27, 2014

I don't really have background info for this one, it's just something I overheard...

2nd Grade Boy: I have a baby niece and she needs to get her claws cut.
Then he looked at me (I was sitting at my desk) and said this...
Boy: Oh, now I know why your name is Miss Black--it's because your computer is black.
Me: That is absolutely why my name is Miss Black.
Teacher: And her t-shirt is black.
Boy: That was my second guess.
Teacher: And her hair is black.
Boy: Yea. Wait, no it's not.
Teacher: Do you know what color her hair is called?
Boy: Blonde.
Boy 2: Like my hair. Blonde is kind of see-through.

First grade finances (while we were learning about countries where they speak Spanish)...

Girl: People in countries where they speak Spanish are poor.
Me: Umm, no. Some people are poor and some people are rich, just like in our country.
Girl: Oh. I just thought my friend told me that.
Boy: You know what, Miss Black? If all the countries in the world put all their money together, I bet we new Titanic.
Me: I bet we could.

Update on my Hawaiian vacation with a kindergarten boy...
Boy: You know what? I tricked you. We aren't going to Hawaii.
Me: WHAT?! I don't know what to think anymore! I can't believe this! How could you do this to me?
Boy: Well, but we can go to...McDonald's. They have a button that if you press it, it lights up.
Me: Let me tell you something, mister. You are so lucky that sounds just as amazing as a trip to Hawaii.
Boy: It's because they tore it down.
Me: They tore down Hawaii? How did I not hear about that?!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snow Day #11 + It's a Snake in a Box

That's right, I'm coming to you live from my couch on snow day #11. I was pretty pumped when I got the text this morning. I was tired and I really needed a day to get some extra stuff done. Not to mention the fact that there's been so much madness going on lately in our district about budget cuts ($20 million?!) and a lot of uncertainty about jobs for next year. It's had me pretty rattled to say the least. It's not that kids haven't been saying hilarious things it's just that posting them hasn't really been at the top of my list.

Anyway, big news. A kindergarten boy has invited me to go to Hawaii this summer, so regardless of what happens job-wise, I've got that going for me. AS is going too. They've also invited one of our custodians, but not another boy who is at back door dismissal. Sorry about the tough luck, other boy.

We were talking about our Hawaii trip at dismissal yesterday when Mrs. Abell walked by...

Me: We're going to Hawaii this summer. Can Mrs. Abell come, too?
Boy: OK.
Me: Can she bring her rabbit, Hazel?
Boy: No. There's no rabbits allowed.
Me: What about Puff the Bearded Dragon? He's a lizard.
Mrs. Abell: You're allowed to have them there, I know.
He gives her a skeptical look
Me: She's a science teacher, so she would know.
She walks away.
Boy: There's a sign in Hawaii that says, "No bunnies and no lizards"
Me: A sign? I did not know that. What about my dogs?
Boy: No dogs.
Me: So that's on the sign, too.

Another kindergarten boy approached me at dismissal the other day and he was somewhat upset...

Boy: How come we didn't have Chinese today?
Me: You never have Chinese.
Boy: I mean Spanish.
Me: Because those are the same. And you had Spanish yesterday.

The first grade boy who drew the Disco Ball Man for me to color came to see it yesterday...

Boy: You could draw some walls for him so him be in a living room.
Me: That's true, I could do that.

We're finishing up learning about different artists in the primary grades and I was collecting the Salvador Dalí inspired "dream drawings" one second grade class had been working on...

Me: OK, it's time to pack up. I'm going to come around and collect your Dalí Dream Drawings if I haven't already done so.
Girl: Mine wasn't from my dream.
Me: I'm not surprised. You didn't really work very hard on yours. (She usually does good work and I was a little frustrated with her).
Girl: My dreams are full of darkness.
Me: Well...that's creepy.

Showing some of my 5th grade Whovians my new T.A.R.D.I.S phone case I got for Valentine's Day...

Boy: Hey, Miss Black. If you met a Dalek, what do you think it would sound like?
Me: What do you mean? I think he would sound know, a Dalek. (in a soft, robotic, Dalek voice) "Exterminate! Exterminate!" I'm not going to be really loud or anything.
Boy: Hmm. I think they would sound like the original Daleks from the 60s (in a slightly loud, slightly high-pitched, robotic Dalek voice) "We are the Daleks!"
Me: Well OK then.

Getting settled on the carpet in kindergarten...

Me: Everyone needs to have a seat, criss-cross applesauce, on the carpet.
Girl: Miss Black, I'm wearing pantyhose!
Me: I'm so glad you told me.

I'm not sure what second grade wants from me...

Girl: Do you have a Mr. Black?
Me: No.
Girl:'re single?
Me: Well, I have a boyfriend.
Girl: A boyfriend? EWWW!

Now this one is sure to take you back because I think we've all been in this situation ourselves...

Remember when you were in fourth grade and you found a snake that you just didn't know what to do with? Oh how you racked your brain for the best possible solution and then it hit you:

I'll put the snake in a pencil box and carry it to school in my backpack because my science teacher probably wants it!

And remember how the snake was in the pencil box on the teacher's desk when the Spanish teacher came in for her lesson and she couldn't believe the snake was alive until she saw it move and it reminded her of her own very odd encounter with a snake during her youth in which a tiny snake managed to come home from Christian Camp in her suitcase and lay in wait for her in her room and she thought it was a toy that her brother had put there to scare her and she almost picked it up but she didn't and then when she went to step around it it moved and she screamed and jumped on her bed and at first her dad didn't come up the stairs because he thought she was just overreacting to seeing a spider but then her brother went and got him and said, "There's a snake in Erin's room!" and he came up and said, "I'll be damned!" and trapped it in an empty peanut butter jar? (Yea, do you remember that?) And subsequently make her think of a creeper who tried to holla at her prior to her meeting her boyfriend?

And who could forget watching the science teacher try to figure out exactly what to do with her surprise snake? It's no wonder this is truly a tale as old as time.

The moral of the story is: Just because your science teacher has a rabbit, a bearded dragon, and some fish does not mean that she wants a snake that you've caught [which as it turns out is apparently a hobby of yours]. As it turns out, your teacher planned to get the other class pets and doesn't appreciate surprise reptiles (no one does, FYI--except the creeper).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Disco Balls...and Sponge Bob is the Sponge

This is the only picture I couldn't post yesterday because it wasn't done. One of my first grade boys (an absolute favorite, to be honest) gave me the drawing as you see it on the left.

Boy: This is for you. You can color it any color you want.
Me: You're sure you don't want to color it?
Boy: No, it's for you. You can color it any color.
Me: Thank you, I will!

That afternoon, coloring seemed like the most sensible thing for me to do. Later on, he was in the portable for math intervention so before he left I made sure he saw that I was working on his picture.

Me: See, I'm coloring the picture you gave me! I'm using lots of different colors.
Boy: Good! That's what I wanted you to do. I made it to look like a disco ball.
Reading teacher: How do you know what a disco ball looks like?
Boy: From Sponge Bob. Patrick has one.
Teacher: Which one is Patrick again?
Me: The starfish.
Boy: And Sponge Bob is the sponge.
Me: Yes, Sponge Bob is the sponge.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Live from Planet Unicorn

An example of Miro people from Deep Space Sparkle.
I've been having so much fun teaching my students about famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro. They're really enjoying it, too! Kindergarten learned about Picasso and made Picasso-style self portraits. First and second grade both learned about Salvador Dali and made melting clocks. Second grade went on to draw their own surrealist dream drawings. First grade learned about Joan Miro and created Miro people.

I got the idea from this website The site is run by an art teacher and she has some really cool ideas related to Spanish artists so I've been trying to use what I can. So for the Miro people we saw a PowerPoint about Miro and saw some of his artwork. I made my own example Miro person for the kids to see and they got started drawing.

You may recall the student who thought that Salvador Dali lived in her house and buried gold in her front yard. She's very artistic and did not disappoint on this assignment. The actual assignment was to just draw a person using lines and shapes; no background or anything else. She sort of went nuts on her paper, but listening to her explain it was worth it. Just know that in the description of the picture, you start in the center, go to the left and work your way around in a clockwise fashion.

Me: Wow. Tell me what you've got here.
Girl: This is the mom and she's making breakfast. It's pancakes. And there's a ghost coming up from the pancake.
Me: A ghost coming out of the pancake?
Girl: From the steam.
Me: Oh, ok.
Girl: And here's a picture of her and her husband when they got married. And then here's a picture of her husband. And this is her arm and her hand. Here's a string she's holding and this is their baby. This is their puppy who's jumping. Wait, I forgot their kitty! (Draws a cat) And here's the kitty. And this, is Salvador Dali.
Me: There's certainly a lot going on there.

And this is why I love this girl. It has been said that she is from Planet Unicorn because she is so imaginative and happy. It's almost intoxicating. It doesn't matter what's going on, she'll just start singing or laughing and she'll draw or say the most hilarious things because that's what life is like on Planet Unicorn. I'm planning to retire there.

February 17, 2014 [That's right, school on Presidents' Day]

This is me and a first grade girl named Lillie. Aren't our
matching dresses adorable?
Well folks, we just might be looking at our first five day week in quite some time. The last time the District went to school for a five day week was January 27-31, but I stayed home sick on that Friday. Technically my last five day week was January 13-17! It's been pretty crazy to tell you the truth. Nobody ever knows what day it is, the kids show up and it's like they've forgotten everything they've ever learned in their entire lives (both academic and behavioral). I still don't hate snow days, but I prefer them spread out a bit more. I'm going to try to put the quotes I remember, but I can't make any promises with as wacky as it's been.

Last week the fourth grade sold Valentine Grams for $1. If you bought one, you got a heart note and a sucker to send to anyone in the school (or take it home and give it to a parent or something). The first morning they were for sale, I was coming in from morning duty when I ran into M. She had quite a look on her face! I was going to tell her that I liked her outfit, but she cut me off.

M: Them's a piece of junk!
Me: What?
How did one first grade girl remember Salvador
Dali drawing flowers hatching from eggs?
M: I bought a Valentine Gram and they didn't give me nothing.
Me: Did you put your name on a paper or something? (She is in first grade after all, how do I know she didn't just hand $1 to a random kid and walk away?)
M: Yea. I bought one to take home and give to my aunt. I gave 'em $1 and they didn't give me no candy or nothing.
Me: Well, maybe it's something they bring to you later in the week. I think that's probably how it works.
M: (hesitant pause)...Oh...ok.

We've been learning about famous artists in my primary classes...

1st Grade Girl: How many melting clocks did Salvador Dali make?
1st Grade Boy: Probably 1,000.
Me: That seems like a good estimate.

Sometimes you hear something so strange, you have to cross the room to investigate...

1st Grade Girl: That's what I want to name my daughter.
Me: Did you just say "that's what I want to name my daughter"?
Girl: I didn't mean daughter. I meant dog.
Me: Good.

2nd Grade Boy: Miss Black, this guy is getting zapped into a rhinoceros. No, one of those animals where they say, "Ole" and they run.
Me: A bull?
Boy: Yea. A bull.

Small talk while waiting for the class to join us...

2nd Grade Boy: Hey Miss Black, guess what? So we were in Mrs. Schlarb's class and people were talking about Brayden having to leave and they said it was my fault and then I just started singing, "I came in like a wrecking ball..."
Me: Wait, what?
Boy: We were in Mrs. Schlarb's class and people were talking about Brayden having to leave and they said it was my fault and then I just started singing, "I came in like a wrecking ball..."
Me: I'm still not 100% sure what you're talking about but it's funny.

We illustrated legends from the Inca, Maya, and Aztec in the intermediate grades last week. I got some really good stuff, too!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 29, 2014

We (the ladies of the trailer park aka portable) decided to impart some wisdom upon 2 third graders who were out there for math intervention...

Teacher: When you have kids, you make sure they wear coats in the winter.
Me: And gloves and hats!
Boy: We have a long time ahead in front of us.
Me: I think we just seriously freaked him out.

Speaking of third grade boys and math intervention, check out this non sequitir...

Boy: Do you sleep in clothes when you go to sleep?
Teacher: Do I sleep in clothes? No.
Boy: I sleep in long-johns.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28, 2014

First of all, I'm ashamed to say that I forgot a quote from M yesterday!

M: Do you want to hear about this thing I saw from York Country?
Me: [inner monologue: York Country?] No, not really.
M: You know them papers that they have? The tissue paper that's all cut up for decoration?
Me: Papel picado?
M: Yea, that I saw that in Richmond at an eating place.
Me: A restaurant? [Inner monologue: What is York Country? Wait, does she mean "your" country? That makes more sense. Except, this is my country. So she thinks I'm Mexican.]

Talking about Mesoamerican Indians with third graders...

Girl: Who built the pyramids for them?
Me: What do you mean? The Aztec pyramids?
Girl: Yea, who built them?
Me: Well, the Aztecs.

Boy: Did they ever sacrifice anyone by throwing them off of the pyramid?
Me: I don't think so. I'd have to check to be sure.
Boy: Like they threw them off the pyramid into a ring of fire?
Me: Well I'm fairly certain no one was ever thrown into a ring of fire. [Inner monologue: I fell into a burning ring of fire...]

While reading a book about Pablo Picasso in kindergarten, we learned that his blue period started when his best friend died...

Boy: Sometimes when you grow up, your friends die before you.
Me: I suppose that does happen.

First grade, tick tok tick tok...

Boy: Look at my watch. If you press this button it counts. It can count all the way to 59.
Me: That's right, it's counting seconds. There are 60 seconds in a minute.
Boy: See, watch. And if you forget any numbers it tells you because they're on there.

First grade native speakers got some splaining to do...

Boy: Me and her and Miss Black know more Spanish than all of you.
Me: Of course we do, sweetie. You 2 are native speakers, that means you speak Spanish at home.
Boy: No. My mom doesn't know no Spanish. She's learning. I go to Louisville to church to learn Spanish.
Girl: Louisville is for some people who speak Spanish but more for people who speak English.
Boy: 101 people speak Spanish there!
Girl 2: I think church is more important than just having fun.
Girl: Church is for talking to God, you know?

A kindergarten girl walks into the empty room before dismissal...

Girl: I guess we're the first ones here.
Me: That's a good guess.
Girl: It's because sometimes I think. Wait, I need to zip up my coat.
Me: Sometimes you think.
Girl: How did my coat do that?
Me: And sometimes you don't.

The funniest thing happened and I wish I could share it with my kindergarteners...

Ever since Dexter came back to Netflix I've been running some hardcore marathons when I'm on my own. I'm up to season 8 (the final season) and in the first episode I hear this guy say what sounded like "sapo". I figured that I misheard it because I was in the kitchen making my very adult meal of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese at the time. But then I heard him say "Mr. Toad" so I knew that he must have said sapo because sapo means toad. I got so excited because I just taught kindergarten "The Sapo Song" and I thought, "Wow, what a funny example of running across Spanish in real life. I should tell my students." But then I realized that very few 5 year-olds probably watch Dexter.  At least I hope that's the case. Even if it is a case of poor parenting and kids just watch whatever is on TV, Dexter isn't on the air anymore so the kids are probably watching a current show that is equally damaging.

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

If you thought that all the Polar Vortex brought was wind and snow, you were wrong. I learned today that it also brought a blizzard of funny quotes. Today was our first day back after an unexpected 9 day weekend and I guess these kids have been holding their hilarity in while they've been at home or something.

I was back at my car duty this morning, opening doors for our students...

4th Grade Girl: It's actually not that cold out.
Me: Well I've been standing out here for quite some time so I'm going to go ahead and disagree with you.

Overheard during reading recovery, an excuse for why a third grade boy didn't read over the break...

Boy: I had basketball for 7 hours a day, every day.
Teacher: Well you still should have read.
Me: But his arms were probably tired from all the dribbling.

I'm beginning to teach my students about Spanish artists, first and second grade has started learning about Salvador Dalí. Our first activity was to read a book from a series called Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists. It created some interesting conversations in my first grade classes...

Girl: My mom has that picture in her bedroom.
Me: That's cool!
[A few minutes later, she puts her hand over her mouth and throws her other hand in the air and starts waving it around like crazy]
Me: Yes?
Girl: I think that guy, what's his name?
Me: Salvador Dalí
Girl: Yea, him. I think he lived in my house. My friend said that a famous person lived there and that he buried gold in the front yard. [She grew increasingly more excited as she was speaking]
Me: Well, I'm pretty sure he was never in Kentucky but I'll look into it. I'll do some research to see if Salvador Dalí ever lived in Lexington, Kentucky and buried gold in someone's front yard.
Girl: I have to tell my mom and dad!

My next first grade class was more focused on Dalí being from Spain and the fact that I lived in Spain for awhile, so we began chatting about Spain. There were a lot of contributors, so I'm listing them all as "kid"...

Kid: How did you get to Spain?
Me: I flew there, on a plane.
Kid: You can also take a train.
Me: No, not really. There's kind of an ocean.
Kid: Or a subway.
Me: Um, nooo. Again, the Atlantic Ocean.
Kid: You could take a boat.
Me: You could but a plane is a lot faster.
Kid: You could swim, like this. [And then he did the arm motions of swimming, in case I was unfamiliar]
Me: Swimming across the Atlantic Ocean...Good luck with that.
Kid: This one guy did it.
Me: I wish I could stay here all day because this is getting hilariously intriguing.

Boy: Miss Black, can I see that one picture?
Me: Which one?
Boy: The one that looks like a T-Rex?
Me: I have no idea which one that is. [And that's the trouble with surrealism, right?]

I've been teaching my kindergarten classes "The Sapo Song". It's a song about a toad, I learned it on a mission trip to Honduras in 2012. 

Me: This song is about a toad. Who can raise their hand and tell me what a toad is?
Girl 1: Something gross!
Me: Well, ok. More specific.
Boy: A giant!
Me: No.
Girl 2: It's like a frog.
Me: Yes, a toad is very similar to a frog.
Girl 3: But slimier.
Me: I'm not sure about that.

I also told my kindergarten classes that next class we would start learning about a famous Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso...

Girl: I know him. I saw him on TV.
Me: Well that's impressive because he's dead.

Here's one another teacher heard the other day and I forgot to put on here...

Third Grade Boy: I bring home diseases to my family all the time but I never get them. That is pretty amazing because you would think someone who looked like me would get the diseases.

On another note, a co-worker mentioned to me that she and another co-worker were discussing the idea of me being the moderator for our district Facebook page because it would be hilarious. I laughed because I can't imagine that would be my job very long! I may have mentioned before that one of my favorite activities (especially when it becomes Snow Day Season) is to see the things that people post on the page. You can never make everyone happy (why are we in school today?!/why did we call off today?!/everyone is stupid!) I don't think I could tactfully moderate the page. Mostly it would be me responding with smart ass comments and memes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Days

Last year we had zero snow days and this year, tomorrow will be our fifth! It's all that Polar Vortex thing--some of our snow days are actually just cold days. So I've been hanging out around the house doing a variety of random things. Many shows have been watched.

A lot of people are angrily posting on Facebook about how they don't want any more snow days, but I remain ambivalent. I am ready to just get back in the swing of things and get adjusted to my routine, but I'm not to the point of complaining yet. Our last day of school is now June 4. That's not terrible in my book.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21, 2014

So far we've had one full week of school. Thanks to the Polar Vortex we've had a few snow days (like today and tomorrow) which is making it more difficult to get back into the swing of things. I have been writing down some student quotes though.

1st Grade Boy: I need to take a hip hop class.

4th Grade Boy: There's no such thing as robots.

5th Grade Boy: What color is Washington state?
Me: Color? It doesn't have a specific color. It's colored like all the other states.

New 5th Grade Girl: I don't have the Beiber Fever.
Me: I like her already.

Me: Who's ever heard anything about the Aztec, Inca, or Maya?
4th Grade Boy: Why is everything made in China?
Me: Because it's cheap labor. That's not what we're talking about.
4th Grade Girl: Is it really made in China?
Me: Yes. It doesn't just say that on there for fun.

Me: Some people make new year's resolutions...
3rd Grade Boy: Yea, but they're all a throne of lies.

Teacher: If you're tired, then maybe you should go to bed earlier.
1st Grade Girl: I can't I gotta watch my shows.
Me: Well, at least she didn't say "my stories".

2nd Grade Boy: That hat we made [the what I want from Santa crown] was wrong. I wrote that I wanted a kazillion dollars and Santa didn't bring it to me.

3rd Grade Boy: You know there are some dinosaurs that are still alive? Birds are dinosaurs.
Teacher: That's right. Birds are descendants of dinosaurs.
Boy: What are bats? Bats?
Teacher: Yes, bats are bats.

Me: Let's not argue about the date. We can do that later.
1st Grade Boy: Yea, let's argue at home guys. We can text each other.

I'm still not sure if this first grade boy was talking to me or not...

Boy: If they do have the legos in the blue packs, I definitely need more scarecrows.

3rd Grade Boy 1: It was God's birthday on Christmas. He's 1,000 years old.
Boy 2: I forget, if you swallow the Baby Jesus [in the King's Cake], is it bad luck?
Me: I don't know about bad luck but you're certainly going to have a bad time.
Boy 3: Is Jesus married? He's 10 billion thousand years old.
Me: I'm not aware of him being married, but you should talk to that kid over there because he said he's 1,000 years old.

Me: So, the shoe [drawings] on this paper are kind of silly looking but I wanted to make ones that had enough room for you to draw lots of presents from the Wise Men. You can make yours any color, mine are just brown...they're kind of boring and ugly.
3rd Grade Boy: They look like shoes you'd wear.
Me: Well thanks.

Teacher: You're from Louisiana, did you eat typical Louisiana food?
3rd Grade Girl: Yea. (she starts listing off food) crawdads, chicken, Burger King.
Me: Ah yes, Burger King, the most traditional Louisiana food.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

And We're Back

We returned to school today after a glorious two week break. For me that also means returning to my outdoor morning duty which is not my favorite, but it wasn't bad today. Speaking of not bad, I expected the kids to be somewhat insane today but most of the ones I encountered were pretty well behaved.

We're still talking about Three Kings' Day and kids were drawing what they'd like the Wise Men to leave them in their shoes that day...

4th Grade Boy: I drew a $100 bill.
Me: I see that.
Boy: I drew a gangsta face on it!
Me: A gangsta face...excellent.

Time was almost up in a second grade class...

Me: We have about cinco minutos until clean up.
Boy: Five minutes.
Me: That's right.
Boy: Cinco minutos. You say that in Spanish. That's because it's Spanish class, right?
Me: Yep. (You can't get anything by some people)

A first grade boy has some sort of time-saving plan for his mornings...

Boy: Maybe tomorrow morning, do we have school tomorrow?
Me: We're supposed to.
Boy: Maybe tomorrow what I can do is bring my clothes to school and go to the bathroom and change in the bathroom so then I won't have to get dressed at home.
Me: Ummm...I guess you could do that. (And then I walked away)

AS updated me on our ice skating plans...

AS: Miss Senorita Black, if we go ice skating the ice could crack and you might drown in the water.
Me: I might drown in the water? That's pretty dark...but a much more likely scenario if I were to go ice skating.