Monday, December 21, 2009

Brain wrinkles and poop...

"Ms. brain just got a new wrinkle!! I learned something, I LOVE IT when my brain gets wrinkles!!!"

"Ms. Eklund, I was stuck in the bathroom...I mean, I had poopy stuck between my legs. I didn't know what to do, it wouldn't come off at all!! So the nurse came to help me. I think I pooped on the floor too. She said she was glad it wasn't diarrhea!" (said by Princess, as she recounted her bathroom trauma to me.)

December 8th...

Benchmarks, 9 days left until winter break and rain do NOT make for a nice, calm, settled and sweetly studying class of 23 first graders.

I love rain, but my kids FREAK out over it. I have to remind myself it's the desert here...and that no one is used to the rain...and that 6 year olds, especially, are not used to it. Unlike Oregon where kids FREAK out over sunshine.


December 15th...Ms.'re the best teacher, EVERRR!

I LOVE this time of year. A little holiday music plays in the background, students quietly working on fun projects and the sound of little voices excitedly saying, "Wow! Ms. Eklund, you're like the best teacher EVERRR!!" Little do they know I've mixed LEARNING within all these fun projects! hee hee

From Dec. 17th

My students think I'm insane...they pretty much told me so as I was looking through a filing cabinet for something I had JUST filed the day before, "I know I put it here, I JUST filed it...where could it be??"

One of my students says, "Um, Ms. Eklund...who are you talking to? Yourself? You know that makes you crazy, right??"

Yes, dear...I KNOW!! =)

I'm going to play catch be ready...

With facebook now being an excellent way to disseminate information, I often times forget to update my blog, so I'm now going to play catch up and fill you in on a few stories from the end of this past quarter.

Another one of my students move within the past couple of weeks. Her dad is in prison, her older brother a total handful in middle school (always in trouble, "cutting" himself, and etc) and the mom has been really struggling with how to deal with everything. She's been absent at every parent / teacher event, including conferences; basically ignores all notes home in "L's" homework packet and clearly has been unable to cope. So, she made the decision to move her family back to the reservation to grandma's house. It was heartbreaking, because we never even got to say goodbye to "L". She'd been absent SO much that all I got was a note from the front office saying it looked like she wasn't coming back, even THEY hadn't gotten an official withdrawl notice from the mom yet. So, that's that...she's gone. My class was devastated that they didn't get to say goodbye. I am hoping to get an address for her so we can write her letters.

I'm not Jewish...

"I'm Hanukkahn!!"

So said one of my Jewish students as I asked him a question about Hanukkah. In the month of December, I always teach about the three main celebrations that take place; Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The students get a kick out of learning about each one and it normally sparks some pretty serious (for 6 year olds) debate about which celebration is the best. With a class normally always full of Christians of some sort, everyone pretty much thinks Christmas ROCKS. However, I remind my students that it's important to take into account everyone's beliefs and not exclude someone just because they might not believe what you believe. So this year, I have a little Jewish boy and he's talked incessantly about Hanukkah and how excited he was for it. But when I asked him about it, he defiantly said, "Ms. Eklund...I'm NOT Jewish, I'm Hanukkan!!" I tried to maintain my composure, but instead went over and gave him a hug and gently told him that he was in fact Jewish and that Hanukkah was what he celebrates during December.

Later I sent his Dad an email telling him about the funny story and asking if he would like to come in and share with the class about Hanukkah. Later that week my student's grandmother came instead and when she arrived told me that the "Hanukkan" story had been added to "S's" memory book.

Oh so cute!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's nice to feel appreciated...

This past week Friday was one of my students' last day. He was a shy little guy who endured a tremendous amount of change while he was here. His Dad is in the Navy and after serving / living in Okinawa, Japan, they were sure he was getting transferred here, to Phoenix, so the family moved ahead of time and have been living with the father's parents. They moved shortly before school started and the little boy started complaining he wasn't feeling well. After several tests, they discovered he had juvenile diabetes. =( So, it's been a constant blood sugar battle since then. He ended up in the hospital before school started and then once it did start, he had to leave to get his blood tested two - three times per day, receive insulin shots and etc...all while at school. Our school nurse is AWESOME, so I'm sure that helped him feel better as well. Needless to say, he and I became very attached. He's painfully shy (he was the one that said "pissed" instead of "missed" in my earlier post), but also made several friends...the entire class was sad he moved. His Dad ended up getting his final transfer California.

I can't say I've treated him any differently than my other students...I love them all, but he definitely has a soft spot in my heart. On Friday, as I walked him out to his parents we both started to cry. I knelt down and gave him a big hug, he put his hand out in the "I love you" sign language sign and pressed his hand against mine....then his parents started crying. I'm sure going to miss that little guy!

Later on that evening, I came home and checked my facebook account...this is what I found written on my wall from the office manager at my school.

"Yes, he was a little sweetie and great parents. You are such an awesome teacher Lara. Your relationship with the students is outstanding. Those kids know you care for them. The environment you create for them is safe and secure. If my girls were 1st graders, I would love for you to be their teacher. Most Sincerely."

Ahhhh....Wow! It's definitely nice to feel appreciated.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Man, I got sidetracked with posting on Facebook rather than my blog. My apologies to you all! Here are a few gems from the past few weeks. I have some pictures to post as well, of some of their latest projects.

My question to the class..."Where's Steve at?" One student's reply, "I think he's pissing...(the class falls silent) I mean MISSING!! (student buries head in lap completely embarrassed). hahaha! We had a very quick discussion about how sometimes our brains think faster than our mouths and we make verbal mistakes.

"Poop smells...sometimes REALLY bad...did you know that Ms. Eklund?" (said by one of my first graders after he decided that his brown crayon reminded him of poop)

I am laughing myself silly over a brain energizer that ended up with one of my first graders doing an impression of Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" song. HILARIOUS!!! Dance, hip moves and high pitched squeals included!! I love teaching!

Mrs. Eklund...what's a wedgy?" (that spurned a FUN conversation) ha ha. Try explaining THAT one without laughing out loud. Then in the afternoon my classroom just started to smell well, um, like crap...literal crap. Couldn't figure out what it was, I had everyone check their shoes, and discreetly asked if anyone needed to use the bathroom (no takers) so I sprayed some air freshener, hoping someone had only had a bad case of gas. Then it smelled like crap and air freshener MIXED (lovely smell). So we went to recess for a few minutes, leaving the classroom door wiiiiide open...only to find out when recess was over that one of my students had crapped his pants...literally...poop everywhere on his behind. Shorts, down his legs...everywhere. Poor guy. I sent him to the nurse and he ended up going home. He was back today tho, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to learn! ;-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Normally these posts have been about this little girl I've affectionately nicknamed "Princess"...however she was pretty mild this week. Only a few funny moments, like when she announced she had to go to the bathroom, "this one (as she points to her bottom) NOT this one (as she points to her front)." The funniest moment, albeit the most disturbing, came when I went to pick up my students from recess. The recess monitor meets me laughing...not just a little, but full on laughing, but trying to regain her composure. She informs me that I had two boys hiding near a storm drain telling the girls that came near them, that they would have to "take off your clothes and get naked if you want to play with us." WTH?? So, after I laughed and shook my head, I had to decide how to handle THIS incident. This is the stuff they DO NOT teach you about how to handle in college. There are no courses on how to deal with behavior issues of this sort. Similar to the story I had last year about the boy who confessed the graphic sex dream to me...there just isn't a course on how to deal with this. So, you basically seek the advice of others and trust your gut, A LOT. Both of the boys who said this are really amazing kids. They are good both academically and behaviorally, with one of them really never having gotten in trouble at ALL this year. I was quite surprised to see it was these two boys. So, rather than make a massive deal out of it, I spoke to them both individually and asked them about the comment. We discussed how comments like that make girls feel and whether or not they knew what something like that really meant? I decided, after speaking with them, that rather than punish them severely in the classroom, that I would leave their punishment up to their parents. I am glad that I did. I spoke to the one parent immediately after school and the father was very surprised, but admitted there were some older kids in his neighborhood that he had overheard saying things like that, so he wasn't altogether surprised that his son picked up on this. Although the kid is a really good kid, his parents are very strict and he was grounded for the entire weekend. =) The other little boy I spoke with as well and he was given similar consequences.

All I can say is that I love teaching and while there are no textbooks on how to handle situations like this, it is very fun (and interesting) to see how far I've come as a teacher...from a 1st year rookie absolutely clueless on what to expect, to a 3rd year veteran who is still amazed at student behavior, but has a better idea of how to handle it. =)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ahhhh Princess....

So, I realized that since I do a lot of posting on Facebook, I haven't been updating my blog as much with all the funny stuff that has happened lately. So here's a quick update....most of these stories have to do about one especially interesting/funny little girl in my class who I've nicknamed "Princess", because she is alllll about being a princess!

"Ms. Eklund...there's a baby in my belly!" - We were talking about our family members the other day and students had to draw a picture of everyone in their family, then label each person. Princess says, "This is Mom and Dad and me and Mr. Michael." (Who is Mr. Michael? I ask.) "He's my brother, but also my husband...we're married and we're having a baby. There's a baby in my belly." (she points at her stomach, so I clarify more..."So, he's your brother AND your husband??") "Yes, and we're having a's in my belly (she's rubbing her belly now and then turns to the whole class and yells...) YOU HAVE TO BE QUIET OR YOU'LL WAKE UP THE BABY IN MY BELLY!!"

At this point, the class is gone and teaching has come to a screeching halt...they are laughing SO hard and pretty much thinking she's a total looney toon. Princess is walking around "shushing" everyone (with her belly distended, rubbing it) telling them that if they don't stop talking, they'll wake up her baby. "'re WAKING up MY BABY!! I can feel it moving!! Ms. Eklund, tell them to be quiet, I can feel it waking up!"

I called her Mom after school that day just to make sure that Mr. Michael wasn't a sick/twisted uncle/male family member or something. Turns out Mr. Michael IS her little brother and that sometimes they play "house" and act like they're married.

Oh boy...what a little character she is!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Princess news and other updates...

Princess had her "ponies" taken away this past weekend due to her refusal to work last Friday. My immediate reaction was (mouth agape), "Oh NO, not the ponies!!!" (ok, I'm kidding, but I was THINKING it. But, to her parent's credit, it seemed to work...she had a pretty decent week. Today she was singing during morning work and her tablemate looked at her and just rolled his eyes, which in turn made me laugh out loud. When I was asked why I was laughing, I simply responded it was because I love them all soooooo much. ;-) lol

The rest of the week was full of tests and observations. Just today, I administered 5 tests. Unbelievable. I'm afraid the only thing these students will remember is the constant testing.

As for me...totally exhausted tonight. My classroom is FULL of drama with over half my class being girls. I'm pretty sure now that when I get pregnant, I'm going to want a boy. =) So many feelings get hurt each day...poor things. "She looked at me funny. She doesn't want to play with me. She won't stop looking at me. She said she doesn't want to be my friend. She bumped into me...She was touching her eraser....Where is her pencil? She...she...she.." Ahhhhh!!!! Was I ever this sensitive of a little girl? I was too much of a tomboy, I think.

But, here's my favorite quote of the week. We had just started eating our snack, which today was strawberries and blueberries. "Mrs. Eklund...this strawberry is sooooo good; it's like a PARTY in my mouth!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Princess...

I have the epitome of a princess in my class...she is sweet, adorable and very, very "princessy". She has a high, sweet voice, is dainty and well coordinated and even pretty smart. However, she is also incredibly obstinate and contrary when she decides to be. Today, rather than a princess, I got whatever the OPPOSITE of princess is...a pouty, sour-puss whose favorite word was "NO." She got in trouble for bothering other people at about 9:55am this morning and then decided she would do NOTHING for the rest of the day, except throw tiny hissy fits. When she did bother to respond to me, I either got the death glower or an emphatic "NO". "Z (we'll call her) - I need you to make a better choice." "No." was her reply. "Z, you need to quit bothering your friends, you aren't allowing them to get any work done." (insert top of the eyes death glower here). I was even told, "I hate you."

What a day...So little miss snotty pants spent a good chunk of the day both at her desk with her head down (to which she proceeded to then climb under her desk and bang pencils against it) and at a chair in the corner. At one point, as I passed out math tests, she threw hers back at me and said "NO!". So - once again off to the time out corner she went. Where, miraculously, she informs me, as "Fun Friday" is about to start, she's "ready to start paying attention and listening." To which I replied, "NO!" (JUST KIDDING!!!) My actual reply was something along the lines of "thanks, but no thanks...I appreciate your willingness to make good choices now, however you have not shown me through your actions that you deserve Fun Friday, but you can sit down and complete your math test." Her reply? Anyone? Anyone?? "NO!" and a nasty glower to boot.

Needless to say, we had a parent conference when Mom picked her up. Mom said she would take away her dolls for the weekend. My, how parenting times have changed. I would have had my butt TANNED had I said "NO" to my teacher and thrown hissy fits. Let's see if the dolls thing works come Tuesday =).

All this from the little girl who earlier in the week said, when tasting sugar snap peas, "they're a little bit kinda good..."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Desk licker...

Remember crayon eater from last week? Yea - well today she crawled under her desk and began licking the bottom of it. Hmmm...I wonder if she has an iron deficiency? Is there some compound in both crayons and desks that she might be lacking? I am thinking this will be a very interesting year. Oh, and in case you're wondering, YES, I took away her desk!!


a desk licker.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Poopy...and other first grade words (???)

Ahhh...the transition from kinder to first grader takes a while. Not only physically, but mentally and socially as well. It takes MUCH longer than just the summer that separates the school year, as illustrated by the following story.

I have a very young first grader in my class...she is only 5.5 years old and while smart enough to be a first grader, she's not quite at the appropriate social/emotional age yet. On Friday I had two students leave the class to use the restroom, because "it's an emergency." Normally, I only allow one boy and one girl at a time to be in the restroom, but because of the longer school day, the hot weather making students drink more water, and because I generally don't want any accidents to happen, I allowed two girls to go at the same time. After about 15 minutes, I became concerned...they've been gone waaaay too long, so I notified the front office to send someone off to look for them. The office person comes back within a few minutes with news on both girls. They had gone to separate restrooms (no one knows why) and one had indeed had an accident and was embarassed to return to class. The other one was found in the bathroom furthest away from my room with her head against the wall, facing the hand dryer and her hands underneath the dryer. When approached and asked if she was ok, this is what she said. (Insert the tiniest, highest little princess voice you can imagine while you're reading this.) "Yes, I'm's just so harrrrrd and I get soooooo tired! I just had to go poopy, that's all...just poopy, but it's so hard and it's always so long and I just get so tired. Going poopy makes me tired."

So far, each year I've taught first grade, I've always had one "pooper" student who explains, in detail, his or her pooping. One year it was a student who was also in the bathroom for a very long time, when questioned, his reply, "I'm sorry Mrs. was long and it was hard and I just couldn't pinch it off!!" Last year it was a boy who had to go "poopy" ALL THE TIME. This year apparently it's just long, hard and very tiring to go "poopy". Wow.

I'm pretty sure "poopy" isn't a first grade word...We'll spend some time on making sure it's not a second grade word too. ;-)

Just to clear it up...what ARE first grade words? Umm...bathroom, restroom; I would even accept toilet or "loo" need to specify poop or pee =)...that's way too much info.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Picture day...and crayons as a dietary supplement...

Picture a small girl with pigtails, black crayon on the sides of her mouth, down the front of her shirt, pieces of crayon wrapper all over her desk, swearing defiantly "I did NOT eat my black crayon!!!" Really?? Hmmmm.... ;-) Are you sure??

Picture a different girl leaning over, spitting on the carpet...and then stepping in it...on purpose.

Picture another little girl head bobbing as she slips into sleep at the end of a painfully long school day. The additional 70 minutes are absolutely killing my kids.

Picture a boy chewing on his shirt.

Picture a girl throwing sand at a boy on the playground after she threw food in the cafeteria (for the 2nd day in a row).

Picture a boy in a tie, button-up shirt, more concerned with tying his shoes than smiling in his picture. (He eventually gave up and his picture was priceless!)

Picture several toothless grins. ;-)

Picture several beautiful dresses...and necklaces, and tiaras, and earrings.

Picture smiling faces.

Welcome to Mrs. Eklund's first grade class. ;-)

Can you picture it? Not picture perfect...but we'll get there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Funny stories so far this week...

As I mentioned earlier, my class this year is drastically different than last year. Last year's class was pretty amazing...all around wonderful students who were easily corrected and back on track when they made mistakes. They had loving hearts and open minds. This year, while still having loving hearts and open minds, they are not the easily corrected type. They are obstinant and contrary and talkative beyond all measure. However, they are still adorable and sweet and have some redeeming qualities. Here are a couple of funny stories from this week.

On Monday...."You're pretty" says the girl who just got caught poking another student in the neck with a pencil. "Thanks! You're still in trouble sweet pea." I reply. Like her compliment is going to erase the fact she's in trouble.

Today (Tuesday)...I'm seriously going to tell my 1st graders that if they keep talking all the time, they will actually run out of words to say; I wonder if it will work? Today was an especially difficult day, but made a little better when (after a "serious" talk with the class) one of the girls comes up and says, "Mrs. mom gives me soup when I feel bad...maybe you just need some soup!" Can't fight that logic now, can I?

I can only imagine what tomorrow brings...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week One in the Books...

It's hard to believe, but week one is already over and what a week it was! I am learning, as I foray into my third year of teaching, that class behaviors are cyclical. My class this year is reminiscent of my first years' class. To say they are "talkative" and "chatty" is an understatement. Thankfully, I seem to have no behaviorally challenged students, aka dangerous behaviors; they are just happy and talkative and once again I am thoroughly convinced that I am being paid back for every time I talked out in class. I am thinking of telling them that they only have a certain number of words they get to use in their lifetime and if they're not careful, they'll use them all up in first grade!!! While I know that's a lie and I'm not fond of lying, it's beginning to look like a viable option. In all seriousness, I am encouraging parents to converse with their students each night at home as a part of their homework. Due to Arizona's English Only Law, "listening and speaking" are parts of our state standards. So...if I can get parents to actually have conversations with their students at home, it will kill two birds with one stone! They will get to talk at home (hopefully lessening their need to talk in class) plus build their conversation skills. I'll keep you updated on its progress. I am absolutely sure that this year will provide me with several funny moments. I look forward to what this year may bring academically and comedically!

My students from last year are doing wonderfully in 2nd grade and I'm thrilled that I get to see them every day. I really had an amazing class of sweet and wonderful students. I've had some sweet and funny moments with them this year already as well. As I walked through the cafeteria giving them hugs, one of the new students in their class says, "Mrs. Eklund...I know that if I was in your class last year, I would love you too!" Awwww...too cute! I truly am blessed to be a teacher and to be able to touch the lives of these amazing young people. =)

"Monkey Madness" is my theme once again and here are some pics of my room. Due to the traditional school format of my school this year, my room layout has had to change to accommodate rows of students versus groups. I actually enjoy this layout more than my layout last year. It moves my students around alot more (hopefully lessening any boredom) and it just looks better too!

Math Focus Wall

My class looking towards the back.

Reading focus wall.

Front of the class.

Writing focus wall.

Texbook area.

Calendar area.


Listening center and computer station.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Welcome to First Grade 2009-2010

Summer ends officially (for me anyway) today =( but I can not complain, because I've had an amazing summer! Our district convocation is tomorrow afternoon and the rest of the day (and week) is littered with orientations and meetings and teacher prep time. Come Monday morning I'll have a new set of wee ones sitting in rows of desks. Our school is transitioning to a traditional format and I think that everyone is still learning what that means! For now, I am excited to have my room pretty much set up and am feeling good about the year to come. I will post pics of my room layout (as it's completely different than last year) soon. Keep checking back for new updates, because with this new class of kiddos, I'm sure there will be a plethora of funny stories to share!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Time got away from me...

Wow!  I was horrible at updating my blog these past couple of months...yikes!  Sorry!  The end of the year snuck up on me like a cat ready to pounce on a bird.  It's now the end of the in school's out for summer...ALREADY!  Our last day was on Wednesday, May 20th.  Probably the most exciting thing, outside of the last day of school, was getting proposed to by one of my students.   He proposed on Monday, saying he "loves me...reaaaaaalllly loves me".  It was pretty adorable. =)  When I told him I couldn't marry him, he said, "but I love you....I realllllly, really love you...I'll bring you a ring tomorrow, I promise!"  Ahhhh...poor guy!  Alas, no Mary Kay Letorneau's here  He's on his own on this one.  

So - that's it.  My second year of teaching is over...I'm very ready for summer and am looking forward to not thinking about teaching for at least 30 days!  ha ha  I have loved this year...all my students and I will miss them horribly, but am glad it's over.  

Look for more updates over the summer as my hubby and I will be road-tripping around the West.  Ciao for now!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Angel-May Nemo-Bob Peter!!!

Our class pet has arrived! You may be wondering how he got such a wonderful name (hee hee) and I owe it all to my funny, cute students. I had them write their "favorite" name on a piece of paper (they were not allowed to write their own name) and then we put them all in a fish bowl and I drew out three...then they decided they wanted five names, so I drew out two more...and there you have it....Angel-May Nemo-Bob Peter (the hyphens were their idea too!) We had to adjust the first drawing of his name, because it was inappropriate (not horribly, but I'm not taking any chances at either having peeved parents or a peeved principal), so we drew another "first" name. The students already love him and can't wait to see him every day. So far he's done swimmingly well in first grade. =) The tank is easy and portable, so at the end of the year whoever wins him, will have an easy time taking him home.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Am I really going to do this again???

Class fish time...yep - here we go again.  However, things will be different this year, because #1) there are only 6-7 weeks left of school - hardly enough time for the fish to die, right?? (who am I kidding?) #2)  I am using the fish as a classroom incentive...turn in your homework, get your classwork done and you're entered into a raffle...I will pull a name out of a fish bowl the last week of school and voila - that student is the proud owner of our class fish.  (Don't worry - I got parental consent already!)  

The reality of the situation is that I'm a sucker.  My kids are cute...I'd do anything for them...and they've been SO good they deserve something totally fun to look forward to, besides summer. =)  If I do goldfish, maybe I could get two...we'll see.  They realllllly want a betta tho.  So, stay tuned for the introduction of our class fish...I'm sure he'll make his appearance later this week.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

laughter...pure joy

Yesterday was one of those days that I both love and hate teaching...but mostly love :o)  My kids were SOOO special reason...just because....and they could NOT stop everything.  So much so that I finally gave up on trying to teach math and took them out and made them run two laps around the field.  They were gasping by the time we got done...and it was good. =)  We finally got some math done...

Some days you just have to laugh...

(ok, maybe there was a little tickling involved...but they started it!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

13 stitches...and the persistent movie date request

That was the final count for my little guy from last week.  He was back in school today with 13 stitches and a wonderful attitude.  What a little trooper!! =)  I'm happy to have him back and so is the rest of my class.  We made him the CUTEST get well cards on Friday...I hope he keeps them forever.  My husband keeps commenting that when he was younger, probably a first grader himself, that he got really sick and his whole class made him cards.  He swears his mom still has them tucked away in a box somewhere!  It's pretty amazing the love that exudes from these little ones.  I'm sure glad he (my student) wasn't hurt worse...I don't know how the rest of the kiddos would have taken it.

"Ms. Eklund?  Will you come to my house after school to watch a movie?"  
(I'm sorry honey, I can't, I have an appointment tonight.)  
"Well, what about tomorrow night?"  
(Sorry sweety, I have an appointment tomorrow night too.)  
"Then what about Wednesday night...or Thursday night...or Friday night?"  
(I'm sorry honey, I just can't come over to your house and watch a movie.)  
"Well, I'm going to keep asking, because I know some day you'll say YES!"  
(Look honey, here's your Mom!)  Phew!   

Persistent little feller, isn't he?

Friday, April 3, 2009

By far the worst injury of the year...

Imagine a 7 year old running in imagine someone opening a classroom hear the impact of a head and a door...blood everywhere.  Welcome to my world this morning!  One of my students (who knows better, by the way, than to RUN in the hallway) was running in the hallway and someone opened a classroom door.  He has a pretty decent sized gash above his left eye, about 3/4 to 1" long.  His mom came and we directed her to take him to the ER immediately as he was starting to get drowsy already, which is a good indicator of head trauma. they went.  I am hoping to get an update later today from his mom.  Poor little guy.  I did, however, use him as an example for the rest of the class about the perils of running in the hallways.  

What a day!

too funny not to share...

Yesterday, I got out my big role of tape so that I could tape a student's nametag down on her desk.  As I was getting out the tape and ripping off a piece, one of my students comes up to me, puts his hands behind his back (like he's being arrested) and says, "It was me...I did it...take me to jail."   Hilarious!   I just looked at him in disbelief trying really hard not to laugh out loud, because the first thought in my mind is about his Dad...was he arrested?  Has he seen someone arrested?  All of that.  So I asked him and he said he watches a lot of tv...and that's what they do on tv.  I didn't bother asking how using tape as handcuffs factored in.... =)  And let's not even get into what a horrible crook this kid would be (that's a good thing) seeing how he automatically gave himself up!  lol

Thursday, March 26, 2009

training...and students who miss me...

So, we've just gotten back from a two week Spring Break and on my second day back I had to go attend two full days of training. By the time I returned this morning, my students were missing me pretty are some of the things they said. Just total reinforcement as to why I have the BEST job in the world!!!

"Ms. Eklund...I missed you so much, I thought I was going to die."
"Ms. Eklund, can I stay in 1st grade forever? I miss you so much when you're gone!"
"Ms. Eklund, can I live with you so I can see you every day??"
"You are more beautiful today, than I remember."
"Will you come to my house tonight and watch a movie? I missed you so much."
"Ahhh...Ms. Eklund, you're the best teacher EVER! Mr. B (the sub) is funny, but you're better than he is."

Seriously...they may be stinkers sometimes, but man...I love these little ones. =) I'm so proud of how they're doing and how much they've grown. It's weird to think I only have 8 weeks left with them!

Kissing and "killing"...a first grade love story...

So I had one of my students C. come in this morning and tell me that he wants to “kill” another student, J., in our class. Long story short, he wants to “kill” the boy who pushed him out on the playground. The reason the boy pushed him is because C. was trying to kiss a girl and J. pushed him to make him stop!! =) After a long talk with C. (in front of his Dad) about all the things wrong with the word “kill” (the whole "threat" thing and how it's a very serious word and all that) it looks like now I’ll have to have another chat (as in we've had this conversation twice already this year) with him about NOT KISSING GIRLS! I talked to J. about how you can't push kids and we worked on some other methods of stopping the kissing, should it happen again. But he said he "just really wanted to play with C. and C. wanted to kiss a girl rather than play with me!" (poor thing) So, I just went and found the Kinder girl C. was trying to kiss and had a chat with her about kissing and how she’s not allowed to kiss anyone until she’s 30 years old. I made her repeat it over and over and then asked her again how old? She says, “50!!!”. I told her that would work too =)

I don't ever remember kissing ANYONE in first grade...and not even 2nd grade...but I did get "married" in 2nd grade to Erik Knutsvig...I still have the ring! We would hold hands across the aisle between our desks. But ewww...we never kissed! How times have changed!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Funny first grade drawings...

Ok - these are too funny not to post. The first ones are drawings the students made after we read an informational story about "Ants". The drawings are of the ants laying eggs. You can draw your own conclusions about what YOU think they're doing =)

This next one is from a science activity I had the students complete. They had to draw four pictures (two "living" things and two "non-living" things), then they had to write "living" or "non-living", and then write a sentence describing their picture. This little girl doesn't have her subject/verb agreement quite down yet. =) Enjoy...hee hee

Being a teacher...

Definitely has its perks...but it also has its drawbacks, such as having to make sure that every word is spelled correctly, that grammar is used correctly and basically that everything I say, do, or write is absolutely perfect.  If not, I have people LIKE MY DAD AND SISTER who find things wrong and correct me. =)  So the credit goes to my Dad, Larry, and my sister, Elaine, for catching a spelling error on my profile.  "Throws" is now corrected to be "throes"...=)

I'm so glad I came from such a SMART family!!!

Plus, I'm not too proud to admit when I'm, when I'm incorrect. =)

Love you both Lainie and Dad!!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Dead rat...

Ha last year at this time, I think, we came to school and found a dead rat impaled on someone's door.  Never did find out who did it or was just weird.  Thankfully, nothing like that has happened this year....YET! =)

Nothing new today...I just had perfect attendance for the first time in about 6 weeks...all the students were was wonderful! =)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Middle Schoolers

As some of you know I often take in middle school students who need some place to go for ISS (in school suspension).  Most of them, actually ALL of the time, until today, I have never had a problem with any of them.  These students range from 6 - 8th grade and have normally committed enough small infractions that have led to their three day suspension.  Today I had a kid who has a notorious reputation for being a punk.  With that said, I always spend time with these kids to try to get to know them, to find out what their internal issues may be, so that I can help to point them in a different direction.  This normally starts with a few questions such as, "Who do you admire?", "What do you want to be when you grow up?", "What motivates you?"  I also always ask them what they did to get ISS.  If a students "doesn't know" what they did for ISS, then they're flat out lying and you know it will be difficult, but if the kid admits what he did they are generally willing to answer the rest of the questions I listed above and they are, generally, remorseful about what they've done.  My kid today was not like this.  Today was actually his second day in my classroom and I had no problems with him at all until this afternoon.  

Our school has a closed campus, which means (among other things) you may not bring certain foods on campus...things like candy, gum, and junk food.  We have several students who bring these items on campus and they are confiscated (when found).  Today this student was feeding my first graders "hot" Cheetos while we were walking to art class.  When questioned, he lied about it and it spiraled downhill from there.

To make a very long and angering story short, as he walked by a trash can he threw something from his pocket into the trash can (I was in front of him, so I couldn't see him do this, but I heard it and there was another teacher behind him who saw him do it.)  When I asked him what he threw away, he said, "Nothing."  Knowing he was lying, I went back to the trash and picked out his full bag of 'hot' which he replies TO MY FACE, "trash digger."  When I asked him again what he said (because I was in TOTAL disbelief), he gives me this cocky sideways smirk and says, "I said, trash digger."  

OH MAN!  All I can say is I had to remind myself that I do have teacher's liability insurance...but even with that insurance, I would still go to jail for spanking this kid. ;-)

Clearly the kid has some other issues besides calling me a "trash digger" and unfortunately for him now, he as MUCH bigger issues for the 5 or so infractions he committed during this whole little tirade.  He's officially out of my class for OUT of school suspension, which for him could mean retention and/or summer school.

I did take 45 minutes after this incident to try to find out what is going on at home or in his life to figure out why he's this way.  He started crying, but wouldn't really open up.  Before I had to go things were pretty much calmed down and I asked him what he would do differently if he was given another chance?  He said, "Nuthin'".  So I asked him if he wanted another chance?  His reply?  "Nope."  So there we are.  I tried!!

So - praise God for teachers...but praise God especially for middle school teachers who put up with this on a daily basis, because it just re-affirms the fact that I couldn't do it.  I will take my little 6, 7 and 8 year olds and their peed pants, snotty noses, drooling faces, germy hands, (not to mention a plethora of WONDERFUL things too) ANY day.  I know that middle-school teachers say the same about elementary age teachers, but friggin' way.  I'll coach them, I'll mentor them, but it would take ALOT for me to ever be put in a position to have to teach them every single day.  

That was MY day! =)  and it's Friday...thank God. =)

Cinquain poems...

We did them today for our district poetry contest...hopefully one of my kiddos will win something.  I'll scan a couple tonight and post them, because they were SO cute (especially the pictures).  If you're not sure what a cinquain is, it follows this format.

two describing words
three verbs
four feeling words (or a four word 'feeling' phrase)

Here are some that my students wrote today.

Orange and yellow
Scare, run, eat
It makes me happy.

Grila (Gorilla)
Fury and gray
Climbs, swings, hangs
It makes me excited!

Yellow and brown
Jump, eat, chase
It makes me silly.


What kid or person says "barnacles"?  Is it off of Spongebob or something that I don't know of?  I have a kid in my class (three guesses who, first two don't count) who says this whenever he makes a mistake.  It's hilarious!  This young man is an interesting kiddo...wooo boy, interesting.  

"Hey buddy, you forgot to put an end mark on your sentence."

"Oops...don't forget to tuck in your shirt (more often than not, it's "zip your zipper")."

At least he doesn't say, "Dammit!  DAMMITT!"  Like one of my students last year.  Or..."That's f*&@ing ridiculous!" (same student from last year).  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This is a gem from my kindergarten teacher.  Kinders here range from 4-6 years old, so keep that in mind...oh - and most of them don't really know what a cow looks like.  (have you figured out what "mittens" could be yet?)

The kinder teacher was reading them a story that involved a cow and apparently the cow had a really big udder and teats.  As she was reading the story, she showed them a picture of the which one of her students replies, "Oooo...look Ms. G...that cow has really big mittens!!!" (the young student points to the cow's udder)...

That's my future first grader!


So when dealing with first graders there are some things you just get used to...things like little noses full of snot, kids who pee their pants, farting noises (real or imaginary), shoes that need tying, lots of hugs and "I love you's", messy handwriting, sweet handmade pictures, and etc.  But the one thing that I haven't been able to get used yet is a certain level of disgustingness (my own new word) that comes with some students.  Normally, and no stereo-typing involved, boys are the ones that seem to be the little gross ones...picking their noses and eating it, dirt, germs and the whole 9 yards.  Well, last Friday I was surprised to have the following incident occur between two girls.  We were waiting outside the Phoenix Children's Theater and all the students were leaning up against a window ledge outside.  Two of the girls scream "EEEEK!" and point to a really big, green, sticky booger on the ledge.  I tell them to take a deep breath and just step away from need to get all freaked out, just don't stand near it.  I walk away thinking to myself, " worries."  I was horribly wrong.  Seconds later I hear one of the girls scream, "MS. EKLUND SHE PUT IT ON ME!!!!!!!!"  Ummm..yep...not joking...I walk back over there and sure enough one of the girls had wiped the booger off of the window ledge and onto the other girls' hand.  

It was one of those moments where you just stand there and stare at them in utter disbelief, thinking, "Really??  Did she REALLY just wipe a FOREIGN-UNKNOWN booger onto another student??"  (As if she would have gotten in less trouble for wiping one of her own boogers on the other girl...but when you don't know where it came from - it's much more gross!)  You're kind of left speechless.  I stood there thinking all of those things and then promptly reprimanded the booger wiper for #1 touching the booger (which has it's own set of GERMS) and #2 WIPING IT ON SOMEONE!  Ultimately both girls were sent to wash their hands for a FULL 30 seconds with soap and they still got hand sanitizer.  Ugh.  Boogers.  Gross.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Because I'm peeing right now..."

Yep...those were the words from last week's trip to the computer lab. One of my little girls was sitting in her chair in the lab, she quietly raises her hand and says, "Ms. Eklund, can I go to the bathroom?" I gently ask if she can wait just one minute, as we're getting ready to leave and will be going to the bathroom on our way back to class. She puts her hand down, and I ask the class to stand up and line up at the door. She looks at me and says, "I can't." I walk over to her and and ask, "Why honey?" She replies, "Because I'm peeing right now and I can't stop." Sure enough, the dark spot on the padded chair grows bigger and bigger. I kneel down next to her and tell her it's ok and that I didn't know her bathroom request was an emergency, and that we all have accidents. She finishes peeing and we quietly head to the nurses office so she can change clothes.

At least it didn't pool in the chair, run down her legs and fill up her shoes like my student last year!!

A Teacher's Immunity...

There are a few things in life, that I've recently discovered, a teacher does NOT have immunity from...the giggles (if you teach - I can guarantee you've caught the giggles before), referring to anyone (including adults) as "sweety", "friends" (as in, "Friends, remember to walk in the hallway!"), "lovebug" and the like. A teacher is not immune to making statements like, "Use your words!!!", "Make a better choice.", "Yes, you can!", "But if you DID know, what would the answer be?" (used most often after a student's response of "I don't know...") and more of the same. Most recently, however, I've discovered that I have NO immunity to the plethora of childhood diseases that these little minnions carry! Just for fun...let's the past 6 weeks I've had a horrible cold, strep throat and just recently...the FLU! Now this past one was probably the worst case of the flu I've had in decades. I lost 9 pounds in 2 days, a total of 11 all told...throwing up for 24 hours tends to do that to someone. I had muscles hurt in my mouth, stomach and legs that I didn't know were involved in throwing up. I've memorized the serial numbers on BOTH toilets, and been comforted by the cool feel of the bathroom tile on my face as I lay there in wonder at how one can actually puke back up their own saliva??? All in all, not a fun experience. Needless to say, I'm happy to be on the mend and eating real food again...not chicken broth and bread. I didn't know that your stomach would actualy rebel against food once it was reintroduced...that made for some fun stomach cramps.

So now I'm hoping, praying actually, that I don't get some other childhoold malady...that I can get healthy, stay healthy and get back to some assemblance of normal life. I would like to work out again...I would like to sleep through the night...I would like to be able to concentrate on something other than how crappy I've been feeling for what feels like an eternity! =) Thank goodness I have 23 little smiling faces that love me on matter how bad I'm feeling...or they've "made" me feel (you know...cuz of their GERMS!!) ha ha

I hope to be back to regular blogging soon...I've had some FUNNY things happen, but because they've blocked access to from my work computer, it's been hard to document them all. Valentine's Day is this coming week, as is our field trip to the Phoenix Theater...both should provide for some interesting moments!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


One of my male students (A) was in the bathroom for a really long time (at least 10 minutes), so I sent another student (J) to go check on him.  J comes back from the bathroom and says, "Man, Ms. Eklund, it was REALLY stinky in there...but he says he's almost done."  So, another couple of minutes goes by and A comes back to class and says, "I was in there for a long time, because I had to go poopy and it wasn't coming out very fast."

As hard as I tried to keep my composure, I couldn't take it and I just put my head down on my desk and laughed.  Then J comes back up to me and says, "Mrs. Eklund, he shouldn't have said 'poopy', everyone knows you should just use numbers, you know - like #1 and #2...pee and poop."  While he was saying this he put up his fingers, but put up the wrong number of fingers for each one.  (he really is smarter than that...)

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday =)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And today's priceless word is....

Here is a wonderful story written by one of my first graders.  He's writing about a time when he learned something.

"My story is about cunting.  I learn to cunt so wen I gro up I no how to cunt and so I cunt evry day.  I can cunt by ones and fivfs.  I cant cunt by thres.  It makes me feel happy, becuse I like cunting."

(and for those of you who can't read his first grade is the translated version)

"My story is about counting.  I learn to count so when I grow up I know how to count and so I count every day.  I can count by one's and five's.  I can't count by three's.  It makes me feel happy, because I like counting."

Seriously...fabulously hilarious. =)

Monday, January 5, 2009


"Mrs. Eklund??"
"Yes, sweety?"
"Did you know my boss, James J., eats ladybugs?"
(stifled laughter) "Umm, no honey, I didn't know that. Why does he eat ladybugs?"
"He just likes them...they're crunchy."
(again, stifled laughter) "Oh, well I can see that...but don't they make him sick?"
"Yea - he was up ALL night throwing up, but he's better now."
"That's are you going to eat ladybugs??"
"No...everyone knows you aren't supposed to eat ladybugs."
(everyone except his "boss" apparently....)

Welcome back to me! =) Today was a great first day back, full of hugs, "I love you's", "I reeeeeeaaaallly missed you Mrs. Eklund", "Can you come to my house for a movie??" (not tonight honey) - "Well, are you EVERRRRR going to??", and smiles for miles. My kids were wonderful and eager to learn, which is probably due in part to their extreme lethargy today...they were tired little wee ones this morning...bags under their eyes and everything!! ;-) But, I'm excited for what this term will bring. I'm sure it will be full of more funny stories!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!