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!!
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 ok...it'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"...one 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. Eklund...it 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"....no need to specify poop or pee =)...that's way too much info.
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!
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. Eklund...my mom gives me soup when I feel bad...maybe you just need some soup!" Can't fight that logic now, can I?
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!
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!