Thursday, April 29, 2010

fun moments 04/28/10

A Kindergartener proudly reading about a dozen consonant-vowel-consonant words to me - sounding them out and reading very carefully, then giggling when he read "but".

Three second-graders talking amongst themselves as they work on projects to give to school volunteers for Volunteer Apprecication Week:  "Who are these flowers for?"  "The help."  "I'm giving mine to Ms. X."  "No, she gets paid."  "She gets paid too much!"

Walking out into the hallway after my 1st-graders leave and seeing that one had given his carefully-made flowers, not to a volunteer, but to a cute little girl in his class.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

pool saga - an oldie but a goodie

06/10/03:  It all started a week ago Sunday when I saw a store ad in the newspaper for a 3'x8' pool for $40.  I thought, hey, what an inexpensive, simple way to enjoy some leisure time this summer.  I bought the pool, but of course while I was at the store I also needed a hose, air pump to inflate the upper ring of the pool, inflatable floating mat, and swimsuit.  To save money, I went cheap on the swimsuit and got a bicycle pump instead of an electric or battery-powered pump.

I went home, excited to get started, and set up everything in the backyard.  Then I discovered the bicycle pump didn't fit the pool.  I played around with different attachments and things but couldn't get it to work, so I decided I'd better watch the instructional video that came with the pool.  (No Tools Needed!  Quick Set-Up!)  But I didn't have a VCR to watch the tape, and I didn't want to borrow the neighbors' VCR because I didn't want them to know I had a pool and then have to invite their young daughter, M., over to swim - I bought the thing so I could RELAX.  So I called the public library, got transferred to 3 people, and found out I could watch my tape on their VCR if I reserved a room.  Fortunately, the room was available, so I headed to the library to figure out how to inflate the pool rim.

Of course, the video said nothing about how to inflate the rim, it just said "inflate", then went on and on about how their own handy pump, available at many retailers near me, worked well for this job.  So I went back to the store to see how much the handy pool pump cost, but they didn't have it.  I went to a 2nd store, and they didn't have it.  However, while I was driving, I remembered the movie "Apollo 13" and how they had to solve the carbon monoxide problem by attaching a square part to a round hole.  With that inspiration, I went home to try again.

When I got home, I realized I had no duct tape (sorry, Dad, you tried your best), so I took out some clear packaging tape and tried that.  About half a roll later, I had the pump attached to the pool and all airways blocked (on the pool).  In the process, however, I'd sliced the side of my thumb twice on the metal teeth of the tape roller and split open the seam at the back of my shorts.  I went inside (we're a few hours into this process now), got bandaids, checked my shorts, saw that an inner seam was still holding together, decided that was good enough, and went back outside.

Finally, I was ready to pump up the pool with my trusty, cheap bicycle pump.  At first I thought I was getting nowhere, I took a lot of breaks, my bandaids kept coming off, and my shorts split some more.  During this whole time, my dog Chester and his doggie friend Tessa were in the house barking their heads off  because they were missing all the fun outside.  I grabbed the handy packaging tape and taped my bandaids onto my thumb and kept on going, trooper that I am.  (Some would say stubborn.)  After a while I made some good progress, but then seemed to be getting nowhere again, and I couldn't find a leak.  By this time I'd been working with the pump for about an hour, so I went inside, called my friend S., and offered to buy him dinner if he'd come finish the job.

S. good-naturedly came to the rescue, and after I added some more tape and sliced my thumb a 3rd time, I held the seal and S. used the pump and we finished pretty quickly.  At last, I thought, I'm going to enjoy my pool.  I hooked my new hose up to the house and began filling the pool.  While this was happening my young neighbor M. came over and caught me in the act.  She began asking lots of questions, including when could she get in.  I tried to explain that it was my pool for relaxing, not for other people to play in, and she offered to relax in it with me.  Then she said, "I'll be right back," and left.  A couple of minutes later she returned and said her mom said it was okay for her to play in my pool.  I told her, nicely, that I hadn't invited her to play in my pool yet, so she shouldn't ask her mom yet.  S. started laughing at me, because he knew I'd eventually give in, and went into the house.  A few seconds later he came back outside and said, "Kerri, we have a problem."  (Just like Apollo 13!)  But I was still bickering with M. about whether or not I was going to share my pool with her, so I ignored S. until he yelled, "Kerri, your house is flooded!"

I turned off the hose, sent M. back home, and went inside to find my living room carpet soaked and about 1/2 inch of water on the linoleum in the kitchen/dining room.  The pipe that runs from the house to the spigot outside had split.  I started moving stuff up, around, and outside.  In the process, I tried to push the dining table along the floor and one of the legs broke off.  Since this was my lucky day, I caught the table before all my papers, teaching materials, etc. fell off into the water.  At this point, Chester and Tessa are now in the backyard barking up a storm because they're missing all the fun in the house.

S. left to get a wet vac and I called the management co. I rented from.  The ditzy girl working the answering service didn't know what a spigot was; I explained it and told her I needed someone ASAP.  Neighbors came over to see what was going on and to offer help, S. returned with the wet vac, and I decided I'd better call the mgmt. co. again.  A different woman answered and put me through to a maintenance guy right away.  The carpet dryer-outer arrived, and he turned out to be just as chatty as S, so while he and S. carried on a great conversation and did a little work, I did some cleaning then went outside to quiet the dogs and talk to M., who had come back a couple of times to watch the fun.  Twenty-four hours and a jumbo margarita later, I enjoyed my pool - alone.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

labyrinth 04/22/10

walked the labyrinth at the mother-house this a.m. - I am still amazed and delighted by the simplicty and effectiveness of it - a wonderful way to center down, remove distractions, and be with God.  Then tonight I pulled out Barbara Brown Taylor's book An Altar in the World to read a new chapter and the next one happened to be "The Practice of Walking on the Earth:  Groundedness."  She discusses the benefits of labyrinths and of paying attention wherever you are, to see God.  Reminds me of the poem I like by EBB:
"Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush
     afire with God.
But only he who sees
     takes off his shoes -
The rest sit around it
     and pluck blackberries."

Taylor says, "To detach the walking from the destination is in fact one of the best ways to recognize the altars you are passing right by all the time....Just do it, and the doing will teach you what you need to live."

One recent day on my way to work I missed a turn, so I planned to take an alternate route, but there was so much road construction everywhere that I ended up taking the most convoluted way to work I could have imagined.  Later, I remembered the labyrinth, and it reminded me of that.  To my delight, BBT's next chapter is "The Practice of Getting Lost:  Wilderness."  On the same day I began that chapter, a little boy wandered into my yard and asked me to help him find his way home because he'd gotten disoriented.  Another concrete way to process what I'm learning from the book.  The latest issue of the journal "Conversations", which arrived recently, has a similar theme.  I love the marvelous synchronicity of the life with God.

Happy Pet "Owners" Day! 04/18/10

Oliver is playing mixed martial arts with my blanket (wrestling, growling, chewing), and Chester is regurgitating some unknown substance he ate in the back yard.

I'm on the market 04/15/10

S, one of my 2nd-graders, has been asking me the past 2-3 weeks to give her a picture of me.  I kept putting her off, hoping she'd forget, but she didn't, so the other day I gave her one of me at J&A's house, B. on my lap, he and I are looking at my dominoes and Z. is next to us with his dominoes.  I assumed she was going to make me a card or something.  She never said what she was going to do.  Today, her classroom teacher told me she had put my pic on paper and drew a circle around it with lines coming from the center, like spokes on a wheel, and each line had a word or phrase:

"Miss Kerri"
blah blah - I can't remember the others except:
"41 years old"
"needs a husband"

Now I'm waiting to see copies of the flyer posted all over school.

the joke's on me 03/30/10

There's got to be something to this beyond random circumstance....I'm reading (and loving) An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.  She relates an anecdote of when she commented on the pictures in a church's stained-glass windows and the fact that Jesus had no body hair in them and shocked a very well-dressed, well-put-together woman.  I re-read that passage this a.m., then went to work.  I wore a long-sleeved eyelet shirt over a tank top.  One of my 2nd-graders asked me if the tank top was my pajamas.  I said no, it's a tank top, see, and pulled my outer shirt away from my shoulder so she could see the tank top strap (which was plenty wide enough and within school guidelines - really!).  She immediately yells, "Eww, you have hair on your underarms!"  I checked later to see how much of a sex/puberty education I had given them, and I had just shaved yesterday!!!  There was hardly anything there!  Dear Lord, please don't let these kids tell their parents what they do in my class....

This a.m. I was getting food at a Dillon's salad bar and the guy working there said I was his neatest customer.  I was confused for a second because we'd never met, then I realized he meant tidy, not cool.  :)  I laughed and said my parents would be so proud, then I called and left a message on Mom & Dad's phone, laughingly telling them what a good, well-trained girl I was.  Then I showed my underarm hair to 2nd-graders and later committed 2 traffic violations.  I must really crack God up.

unless you become like a little child... misc. dates

Yesterday when I was tutoring R. she was writing some letters in cursive, but since she's had a month off since summer school we're having to relearn some of them. She wrote a "p" that was a real mess. She backed up (she was writing on the sliding glass door) and said, "Ugh, that looks more like a dinosaur." So then she gave the dino some arms, legs, and claws, and as she was drawing she said to herself, "Who knew you could have so much fun writing p's?"

Today one of my 2nd-graders opened our lesson time by asking me why my fingers were so long.  "They're so long and skinny! It's creepy!"  One of the things I love about being 40+ is being able to enjoy my students' curiosity about my body without feeling bad.  She asked me if somebody stretched them when I was little.  "Yes," I replied deadpan, "when I was born my mom didn't like my fingers so she asked the doctor to stretch them out."  Looks of confusion, disgust, and fear on all 4 faces.  Then I grinned real big - they didn't get it.  "Really?! How?" etc. etc.  Then I winked real big - they still didn't get it.  So I told them I was KIDDING, I was just born this way, and the 2nd-grader joked, "Are you an alien?"  "Yes!" I replied.  "And now that you've guessed my secret I must get you!"  I got out of my chair and walked toward her with my long, creepy fingers held out.  She squealed and laughed, and when I got close enough I gave her a wet willie (licked my finger and stuck it in her ear - it seemed appropriate for the context - I'm taking a gamble that "wet willies" are not mentioned in the teacher handbook).

Later I introduced a new letter combination and passed around the bag with the object in it that had that combination.  The kids are supposed to reach into the bag without looking and guess the object.  Last week I started teasing the 2nd-graders with the bag, telling them things like, "Be careful when you reach in, it bites."  The next time we used the bag, a student asked, "Does it bite?"  "No." I said, then after the student put his hand in, I said, "It licks."  "Ewww! Aaagh!" etc. etc.  Today's object was a turtle, and I have one with a hard plastic shell and squishy, rubbery body parts.  One kid decided he wasn't even going to chance it, touched the outside of the bag quickly with his index finger, and passed it on.  I assured him that it was okay, and he knew the other times were jokes, so he took the bag back and cautiously reached his hand in.  I was on the other side of the table, leaning back against the white board all casual-like, and when his hand was in the bag I jumped at him and said, "AAAHHH!!!"  His eyes got huge and he screamed and jumped back and laughed.  I did this to N. once, too - just can't get enough.

As I entered my classroom at the end of my lunch hour, one of my 1st-graders jumped out from behind the table and yelled "AAAHHHH!!!"  I screamed and jumped - he really got me.  Kids these days.

This evening, N. and I were playing a game that involved asking each other questions.  I asked him questions related to what we've covered so far and told him he could ask me anything.  After asking me to spell onomonopeia, or whatever, his 2nd question was, "What is my mom's favorite kind of wine?"  I cracked up, Mom said "What?!", I guessed rose, the answer (which N. didn't know) was chardonnay (sp?).  So for my next question I made N. spell chardonnay, which he worked through, then I told him I wasn't really sure how to spell it.  His next question was (teasing me), "Why are you so mean?"  "Because it's fun!" I said, and pushed him off his stool.  Except that he caught his balance before he completely fell, so I had to pull the stool out from under him, sit on him, and give him a wet willie in each ear.  Mother approved.  I love this family.  :)

pictionary 07/22/09

My 9:30 class played pictionary today, drawing pics of words I wrote on index cards.  One girl got the word "fin" and I was expecting a shark or a fish, but she drew a mermaid, complete with coconut bra, and the boys were immediately off task.

. ? ! 03/09/10

Conversation with R. this a.m., who is more artistically gifted than I - I asked her to draw/write a cartoon that used the 3 punctuation marks . ? and !  I hastily sketched her an example to show her what I meant; turns out, I could have just recorded our conversation:

R:  "Is that a chicken?"
me:  "It's a person."
"Why does he have a beak?"
"That's his nose."
"What's wrong with him?"
"Where's the dog's nose?  Do you want me to help you?"

spelling turkeys 03/02/10

Actually, they're "spelling tricks," but one of the 2nd-graders came up with the alternate pronunciation, and I like it.

N, tired from a full day of school and just after reviewing other spelling turkeys, when asked when you use "ck" for the (k) sound at the end of a word: "(tired pause)...After a bunch of other letters."

A 3rd-grader, practicing doubling the last consonant in some words before adding a suffix that begins with a vowel - I gave them the base word "rap." "Miss Kerri, is this right?" He had written "raped". I said, "No, that's..." and fortunately that's when my brain kicked in - "Erase the ed and start again; what do you do before adding the suffix?" "Oh yeah."

Teaching the letter x:  after saying and having my 1st-graders echo several words that end in x, including "six", it was time to discover what letter was making that final sound - I asked the students to repeat the words we'd said earlier so I could write them on the board.  One boy said, "Sex?"  Silence, as I work on keeping a straight face and wait to see if he/they knew what the word meant.  Soon the room was full of giggles - somebody's gotta' bottle that sound and give it away.

more fun & realizations 02/19/10

Yesterday my lessons focused on the 1985 "We are the World" video to aid famine relief in Africa and the 2010 remake to benefit Haiti.  I wrote "1985" on the board under "Africa" and mentioned that I was in high school at the time.  A 2nd grader said, "You were in preschool?"  "No, high school."  "How old ARE you?!"  Another kid: "Was that when Ms. S. was a little girl?" Ms. S. is a 60-year-old black woman who talked to the kids last month about growing up in the '60's - segregation, etc.  "No, it was after that.  Can we please focus on the video?!"  :)  The remake added a rap section and I was excited to show the kids that musicians they like were working along with other, different types of people to help people in need.  They enjoyed seeing the rappers, but I didn't bother telling them about the 15-year-old white kid that sings the opening line because he didn't fit my stereotype of what young black kids like. But when the video started, my 3rd-grade boys said, "Hey! That's Justin Bieber!"  And when I showed the video to N. (white 4th-grade boy) tonight and Justin came on, he said, "Oh, I hate that kid!"  I swear I'm learning at least as much as my students are.

dyslexia fun 02/04/10

Today R's lesson involved reading and following a recipe (moon cakes for Chinese New Year). She did fine reading the recipe before we made it, but during the action I asked her to read the last step before our time was up.  Instead of "refrigerate," she said, "Ree...regurgitate for half an hour."  And no, in spite of my cooking history, it's not because I made them!  She did almost all the work, and what little part I helped with I messed up of course, but hopefully no one will notice...what's an extra egg?  They're supposed to be that sticky. 

At some point during the mixing R. asked me why I wasn't helping her, and I said, "It's like Driver's Ed. - I have a brake pedal, but I don't have a steering wheel."  (Her mom told her what I meant.)  I was pretty proud of myself for that one, although the truth is I probably heard or read that somewhere but don't remember doing so, so I'm taking the credit.  One of the many benefits of memory loss.  I can't remember the others.  But until last night with N. and today with R. I hadn't seen so clearly the benefits of my previous training and experience. When you have students with severe/multiple disabilities, you learn to wait a llllllooooooooooooooonnnggg time for them to do something.  But if you've taught the material, and the kid gets it, getting out of the way and letting the kids figure things out for themselves (unless they're about to burn the house down or something) is amazing.  Last night N. took a long time to sound out a word, and when he got it the moment was indescribable.

reunited and it feels so good... 02/02/10

Enjoyed a good day yesterday seeing my kids again - especially my 2nd-graders. We've been having a rough time lately and I wasn't enjoying them as the individuals they are, and the feeling was most likely mutual. But yesterday they greeted me with smiles and hugs, and one girl put her arms around me and refused to let go until I offered everyone Kansas Day cupcakes.  Like Chester, who greets me enthusiastically at the door but then stays with the groceries when I walk away, when food enters the picture, priorities change fast.

At the end of the period we had some free time and I let the kids play and we chatted. I said something like, "We're having a nice time now just..." not sure how to put into words what I meant, and S. said, "Yeah, just enjoying being together."  So I think we progressed miles yesterday.  As the boys and S. played with Playdoh, my other girl, A, gave me a hair makeover. She said I had old lady hair. The others chimed in, "Yeah, old lady.  Like, almost dead old lady."  (We've discussed the distinction before about how I'm "old" but not ready to die yet.)  So my first new hairstyle was an extremely tousled one that ended up being more fun to make as crazy-looking as possible.  "You look like a cat is coming out of your face," S. said.  I asked the girls if they meant I had old lady hair because of the color (mostly gray - I mean, silver) or the style, and they said both. I told them I wasn't going to change the color; what style did they recommend for a 41-year-old-not-dead-yet woman?  "Pigtails."  And I just might do it.

Curses! 01/20/10

Today I walked into the teacher work room and one of my 1st-graders was working one-on-one with a para in there.  He said hi to me, then said to the para, "That's Miss Kerri.  She teaches me curses.  Watch!" Fortunately, after he demonstrated his new knowledge, the para realized he meant "cursive".  Later when I saw all my 1st-graders for class I asked them to say "cursive".  It turns out that they all say curses, curfice, or some variation thereof.  They often mix up f's, v's, and th's.  It was interesting to see that even when I wrote the word down and broke it into syllables and then letter sounds, they still couldn't say it.  Finally I said the h*** with it and moved on.  Ha!

great day 01/12/10

Today was an AMAZING day - the first-graders were on-target and paid great attention and did extra helpful things, the 2nd-graders were so quiet and focused that I asked them who they were and what had they done with my students, and the 3rd-graders did great work coding and reading 2 paragraphs from a book about MLK.  AND the dogs pooped outside!  I'm going to go buy a lottery ticket.

my birthday suit 12/16/09

I was actually proud of how I dressed myself today - nice black pants, black boots, blue vest, nice gray turtleneck, and I even ACCESSORIZED the vest with a PIN! But then my 3rd-grade fashion consultant (we've had other conversations about my attire) saw me and said, "Happy birthday, Miss Kerri! You should have dressed up!"  "I DID dress up!" I said, not a little indignantly.  "No you didn't, those are pajamas!" he said, pointing to my pants.  "You need a birthday suit!"  Fortunately, I have learned to change the topic of conversation very quickly.

what to expect next... 12/09/09

Today I told my first-graders about my birthday next week (I'm (almost) as childish as they are about birthdays). Somebody said something about getting older, and I said, "But I'm already old. (I turned 41.) What happens then?"  "You die."  "Oh.  Well.  I'm not THAT old.  I'd hate to die on my birthday."  "You'll just pass out."

The driver's side door lock froze today, so this a.m. I had to crawl in from the passenger side. Naturally, I was wearing my nice, long trenchcoat and my car was full of teaching stuff, so I have no idea what I looked like trying to get in position without crushing anything. When I got to school I was able to exit the normal way, but during the day the lock froze up again. As I was climbing in this time, I got stuck between the steering wheel, gear shift, seat, and who knows what else. Then I was laughing too hard to get any leverage so I just sat there all twisted up and awkward for several seconds. Finally I was able to put 'er in reverse and try again.  Sigh.  Do you ever get the feeling that God's just up there pushing buttons and saying, "Let's see what this one does. Heh heh heh....."

lessons learned 12/03/09

When R. (one of my private, 4th-grade students) wants to give you "joy dots," marker dotted on your hand so that you have a good day, and she wants to give you LOTS of dots, don't choose red. Otherwise people will think you have a disease.

What not to say to a roomful of African-American students, even if you're just talking about markers: "The black ones smell, the white ones don't."

What not to say to your teacher:
"Those red dots match the ones on your face."

After she's ended a horrific class with the previous group, in terms of behavior (theirs, not mine) (I think), even when she admitted she'd been acting like the bad witch: "You're acting like the good witch now." "But I'm still a witch?" "Yeah."

How not to conduct a timed assessment: Start the timer and say "go" without giving the student the directions. "WAIT! WHAT ARE WE DOING?!"

we dinn't do nuttin' 12/01/09

Today, the day after a beautifully-crafted lesson centered on a tasty recipe and touching upon every aspect of literacy, one 3rd-grader said (in my supervisor's hearing, of course), "Yesterday was fun! We dinn't do nuttin'!"

My response: "You guys are lucky I like you so much."

my baby, my bra, and other apparent topics of general interest 11/05/09

My 1st-grader told me again today to go ahead and have the baby already.  I explained that it wasn't a baby, it was fat from eating too much candy, and he said, "But I want you to have a baby."  My 1st- and 2nd-graders have asked me several times why I'm not married and don't have children.  The shock was hilarious when they first asked me in Sept. and I told them I was single and kid-less.  I'm messing up their worldview, and they just can't comprehend it! One student said, looking confused, "But you're supposed to...."

I was interested to see how my 3rd-graders would be today after a rough day yesterday, and I was very pleased to have them come in eagerly and pleasantly.  All of my students are writing/drawing something they're thankful for to put on posterboard in the hallway this month, and I had the 3rd-graders begin with that.  Two of them said they're thankful for me (ha! I knew I could manipulate them!)  :)  and one said when he was done, "Miss Kerri, I drew a bra on your head."  Shocked silence for a moment from me and the other 3 boys.  "You drew a what on my head?" I asked.  "A bra."  "A bra?!" (Giggles now from the other boys.)  "Yes, a bra."  "A bra? Why did you draw a bra on my head?"  "A bra! I drew you a bra."  "A braaaaa?" (enunciating the phonetics, always teaching...)  "Yes, a bra!  That thing girls put in their hair and tie up!  What is going on?!!!" (boys laughing now)  I said, "Do you mean a b-o-w?" and held up a picture of one we happened to have on the wall.  "Yes, that thing. What's a bra?"  "Ask your mother," I said.  One boy said, "I'll tell him," and went and whispered into the 1st boy's ear.  1st boy's response: "OOOOHHH! WHOA!!! YUCK!!! No no no no no no no....!"

fun with kids 10/29/09

Today my 1st-graders and I passed out Halloween stickers to staff around the school, and one student wanted to give me a sticker. He chose a sticker that said "BOO!" and (inadvertently, I think) put it right on my, er, boo. Later, a couple of my first-graders were getting WAY too frustrated with themselves when they were unable to write their cursive letters as perfectly as they wanted to. I wanted to show them that I don't always write mine perfectly, that everybody makes mistakes, it's not that big of a deal, etc. So I had them dictate sentences to me and I wrote them in cursive on the board. Then I started pointing out all my mistakes/sloppy strokes. They quickly got the hang of it and took over and showed me the rest of my mistakes - had a lot of fun with it, actually!  When the ultimate teachable moment arrived, I said, "Do you know why I made those mistakes?" One student said, "Because you're old?"

Yesterday I dressed a little nicer than usual (i.e., it's time to do laundry and all I have left is my uncomfortable dressy stuff).  As soon as one of my 3rd-graders saw me, he said with enthusiasm, "Now that's the way to dress, Miss Kerri!"  He went on, basically saying in his own way that I should dress more professionally.  Today I wore my usual garb (navy blue pants, long-sleeved tee - it's not that bad!) and he said, "Miss Kerri, tomorrow you should dress nicely again."  My comfort argument did no good.

Yesterday we played an alphabet-version of Twister with some big-ish letters on the floor and I had fun twisting my students into pretzels.  It was neat to see them having fun with it and not fighting with each other when they fell on each other.  The rush of power went to my head and at one point when every hand and foot was on a letter, I said, "Now everyone put your nose on the letter W."  They actually tried, and it was hilarious.  One 3rd-grader got close to pulling a groin muscle, I think.  When I said at the end of the game, "That was fun," he said, "It was not!" with wide eyes and a half-smile.

fun with kids 10/16/09

Today, I received outside confirmation that my trouble understanding Grandpa's speech is not entirely due to him.  After my lesson with N. ended, he and his younger brother L. told me they were taking out a tree.  What?  Why? I wondered.  And why do I care?  But instead I used my great linguistic ability and said a more concise, "What?"  "We're taking out a tree!" both boys said.  "We're shooting!" L. added.  I'm thinking, WHY are you cutting down a's too early for Christmas, isn't it?.....yes.....and HOW on earth are you going to get it down by shooting it?  With an Uzi?  What is wrong with you people?!  Rather than confuse them with all my questions I modeled excellent verbal expression and scrunched up my face and said, "Huh?"  Then L. lifted up his bow and N. said slowly, as if speaking to a....well, to me, "We're taking AR-CHER-Y!"

lessons learned 9/29/09

By my students:  shaving cream is not the same thing as whipped cream (guess how they figured that out).

By me:  give kids shaving cream to write in, and they WILL put it on their faces.