Friday, September 26, 2008

A Funny Bath...UPDATED!

For a writing assignment last week I had the students read a story and then write a couple of sentences about it. The story had to do with a kid taking a bath...short and sweet - he was playing in the mud and then had to take a bath to clean off. BUT...this is what one of my students wrote about the story.

"The bath is funny, because there is a pink duck swimming in the bathtub playing with his balls."

Here's the picture =) Clearly, an adult wrote the words down for the student, but the meaning is ALL first grade. ha ha

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Old Man Jenkins

Today was a funny kids have been awesome all week...really, truly awesome. They've been loopy too - clearly ready for their two week break, as am I. Today tho one of my kids put me into a fit of the giggles. He was called up to do part of the calendar and he stands up and begins to walk like an old man, imaginary cane and all. As he walked he said, "I'm just Old Man Jenkins...walking up to the calendar...I'm Old Man Jenkins...." He even said it in this raspy, shaky, old-manish voice. I looked at him in utter amazement wondering to myself, "What???" When I asked him about it, he said that he had a "duck pillow at home that he named 'Old Man Jenkins' and that he was thinking of his pillow today." Again, what??? I couldn't help it...I just started laughing..I put my head down on a desk and lost it right in front of the class. It was priceless. He was cool with it...he just finished his part on the calendar and walked back to his desk as Old Man Jenkins, again old-man walk, voice and all.

Just another reason I LOVE first grade.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Go Ducks!

This past week was spent preparing for parent/teacher conferences coming up this week, and preparing for a quick trip back to Eugene, OR for a Ducks game and to see the many friends that we miss. We are SO blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends. We were humbled by how many of you were able to come out to see us at El Toritos Friday night...thank you SO much for taking the time to visit and eat with us. You have no idea how special that made us feel. We miss you all so very much. To those of you who we didn't get a chance to see, we are very sorry. There were no spare moments in our packed itinerary; we definitely hope to connect with you on our next trip. =)

Our trip was wonderful for many reasons, but one special moment came during our visit with Uncle Kenny. He is my uncle (technically my dad's cousin, but we grew up calling him an uncle) who is suffering from liver and colon cancer. The day we went to visit with him (literally thinking this would be the last time we would see him alive - ugh) he received the news that his cancer has not spread to his bones and that his doctor gave him a life prognosis of 4-5 years!!! It was wonderful news to hear and you could see that he was re-energized! He was able to get up and walk with us from his room to the reception area, aided by a walker, but he was walking!!! I just can't tell you how wonderful it was to know that our visit was not the last time we'd get to see him. I was preparing for the worst and got the best, so yea!!! =)

We got to stay with some really amazing friends this past trip and while I know it was only for a night here and there, we really, truly enjoyed our time with everyone. Again, we are so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

The football game was a complete and total blast! Even tho the Ducks lost, it was still great to be back in Eugene and Autzen Stadium. There really is no better place to watch a football game. We are definitely hoping to make it back for another game this year.

The view from my seats! Never giving these seats up...EVER! I'll sell plasma or something to keep them =) ha ha ha

The new Duckvision screen! Amazing!

In front of Autzen =)

Pretty trees...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The year of the parent...

So last year I had student issues. Students with behavior problems, students not listening/following directions, yadda yadda yadda. This year is once again 180 degrees different in the respect that the most serious of issues revolve around the parents in my classroom. So far this year I have had 1. one of my students removed from her house because her father was abusing her (I can't begin the tell you of the horrors that have gone on in her house, some of which I learned about only today. I am thankful beyond words she is removed from that situation. I still have nightmares about her injuries); 2. one of my student's fathers just beat the snot out of the mother this past weekend so now my student and her mom are staying with relatives (it's not a pretty situation - she's getting a restraining order on him and he's been listed as a "dangerous" parent at our school, so he's not allowed on campus, however today apparently he showed up and tried to "find" my classroom...which means he was walking around campus. I'm to call our onsite police officer immediately if he should somehow show up in my classroom or approach me or his daughter on campus at any time); 3. one of my students' parents hit on me (which is NOT flattering considering he's just slimy and weird and has also made lewd comments to another teacher on campus); 4. another student's parent's friend (got that?) wanted to know if he could be a student in MY classroom, and he promised to be a really good boy. EWWWWW! And today probably the saddest news of of my students from last year lost his Dad a couple of weeks ago as he was trying to cross the border back into the US. He was deported about 7 months ago and served 6 months in prison in Mexico and was trying to make it back to the states to see his family (and brand new baby) when he died. I don't know if he was killed by border patrol or if he died of heat exhaustion or etc. He left behind a wife and three kids, one of which he had never seen yet because he was in prison. It's absolutely heartwrenching!!

In comparison, I think I would rather take students with behavior problems than deal with parents who abuse their kids, abuse their wives, hit on me, or die trying to make a better life for themselves. All of which lead to a broken family. For me, I take solace in the fact that when they are in my classroom, they are loved, protected, and respected. =)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Arizona English Only Education Law...

if you want a good laugh and/or want to be infuriated...research it. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever been subject to and it effects me on a daily basis. Teachers in my district are poised to retire early due to the additional steps we have to take in planning and implementation. It is making a ton more work for teachers, but ultimately won't change how we already teach. Unbelievable.

Officially an Arizonan...

Yep...had to do it...I went and got my AZ driver's license this morning. Gone are the days of the easiest DL number in HISTORY (can't post it, that would be creepy).'s done...I'm an Arizonan now...only in name, not in political affiliation. However, the MAIN reason I got my new license is so that I could register to vote. After all, it is probably the most important election of my lifetime. Also, the updated picture is nice too =) (and it doesn't expire until 2038).

In 1st grade news, nothing much this week. No sex dreams, no leg rubbing, nothing weird, just a really good week of learning. I have one student who knew 45 of the 100 first grade sight words (high frequency words) on August 21st. As of Thursday, she knew 105 MORE...she nows ALL 100 first grade words, plus 50 of the second grade words! I'm SOOOO proud of her. My kiddos are really doing well this year, so far, on their reading skills. Over 1/2 my class knows over 50 HF words, with most of them in the 80's. So, I would say most of my class will know all 100 by Christmas. I have two kiddos well into their 2nd grade words, then it will be onto 3rd grade words and common phrases. It's awesome!!

We have parent/teacher conferences in two weeks and then I'm off for two weeks...I'm so excited and am definitely looking forward to a much needed break.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One More thing...GO DUCKS!

I am slowly, but surely (once again) turning my classroom into a bunch of future Ducks!  I look forward to the Duck/ASU game so that we can sport our green and yellow and antagonize all the adults on campus with chants of "GO DUCKS!"  They already know the game is coming up and about my plans to show the football video.  If only one of them grows up and goes to the U of O, my job will be done =)  

If it acts like a monkey...walks like a monkey...

...then it must be a monkey?  I have a rather creative student in my class who has recently decided he no longer wants to walk on his feet, yet wants to sluff along like a monkey.  I'm actually quite impressed, as he's fairly good at it!  Both hands on the ground and he runs, literally, like a monkey, bringing his feet all the way up to his hands before moving his hands to take another step.  It's strange to see him walk/run this way, as it reminds of some young boy who grew up in the jungle or own little Pheonix version of the Jungle Boy, except my little guy can talk and write (kind of, but he's improving), and interact on a normal level with students.  It's just a little bewildering to see him walk around like a monkey.  I have to actually remind him he's a "boy" and have him walk upright.  However, the minute we get outside to the playground he's a monkey.  OR when we go outside for science experiments, he turns into a monkey.  Hmmm...I don't think my class is so boring anymore.  Between sex dreams and monkeys, nope - NOT boring.  I am, however, impressed that he no longer refers to the bathroom as the "potty".  It only took him a couple of days to quit asking to go "potty", but instead use a complete sentence and ask "Could I please go to the bathroom?"  

I love first grade!