#1- We had just had a school-wide spelling bee one morning. Shortly after the spelling bee we returned to our classroom and one of my boys feeling defeated commented "Can they do it in Spanish next time, I'am very sure I would win it." Another boy answered," No, you gotta go to Mexico for that."
#2-We went on a field trip yesterday where we visited the Houston Health Museum. One of the highlights was a 4D movie in which we were going to go through a tour of the body from the inside. The museum employee welcomed us in the theater and proceeded to tell us that we were in the 1st 4D theatre in Texas! The kids were wowed by that. The employee then explained the difference between 3D and 4D. We were going to experience special effects during the film like real smoke, wind and mist during the film! The kids were double wowed! They couldn't wait. The employee then asked if there were any questions and one little boy in the front row raised his hand and asked, "Do I need to hold on to my 3D glasses when the wind blows?"
#3-After my class completed a writing assignment I then had them circle over-rated words on their writing samples. For instance, Happy, Sad, Mad, Run, Like. I was trying to get them to use a Thesaurus to make a word bank of better words to use instead of the overrated ones they tend to use over and over. During this activity of looking for better words I can't tell you how many times I had to answer the question, "Does gay mean happy?" My response to each brave kid to ask was always followed by giggles from the onlookers. I knew that all of their writing compositions going foward were going to have this new word for happy. hmm. I may need to go back to the drawing board on this one.
#4-I always try to incorporate character building with my kids. I understand that manners are not always taught at home so I do my best in the classroom to pour into them and teach and implement the same values that I have at home. I made sure to let them know where I stood in the beginning of the year regarding what my expectations were in the classroom. One of those is bad language. I don't allow ugly words to be used in the class. Even, if they are not considered bad I told them that if I don't allow my daughter to speak that way, I will not allow them to do so either.for example, dumb,stupid,hate, etc. I will treat them as if they are my own children and will have the same high expectations for them as I do my own family. NEways, during read aloud time the other day we met a character in the story who was not a very good boy. He had a very colorful language. Although the book did not have these words written out they were implied with symbols like these @##%$$#. When I read aloud to the kids I just said beeeep, like they do on T.V. so that they would know that he was saying something that was not pretty. I took this as an opportunity to talk them about the peer pressures of friends who may speak this way. We discussed how this can by contagious. In the book they called it cussitis. We talked in class how that can happen and we need to be very careful not to fall for it. I then proceeded to tell them to defend themselves by telling those who speak like that that they need to be better educated so they can think of better words to use instead of stooping low enough to talk ugly. That they needed a better education to be able to expand their vocabulary. I love to think that I'am making little fighters out of my little 4th graders. One's that won't be afraid to stand up to the influences of peer pressure. I remember thinking, whoww, this feels good. I'am giving them something they won't forget. To not be afraid to stand up for themselves. Anyways, after my brave speech and expecting my applause. One of my little girls, who is very mild mannered and one of my best students raised her hand. I point at her expecting her to praise my great advice and maybe even give me an example of when she stood up to someone like I just described. She then says, " I don't think I can tell my mom that, cause I'll probably get grounded." Oooops. So much for great speeches. I remember thinking 'I should sit down now.'
Here are a few pics from our field trip to the Health Museum!