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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

U is for Unexpected

I guess this whole blog thing could be called U is for Unexpected since I write about the crazy, unexpected things that happen. These are some that happened today.

Unexpected Rate 1
I stepped on the hem of my pants and so I used some paper clips to fix it.
(I took a picture to share, but you couldn't see the black paper clips on the black pants. You just had to see it in person.)

Unexpected Rate 4
I cried over something sweet. If you know me, you know I only cry when I am seriously frustrated...or when something is abused or dies. Or when the Red Sox beat the Rays.

We were talking about making friends and what being a friend means to us. Some kids said that a friend is someone to play video games with or someone to text. But, my cute little darling with the nervous laugh said it the best. She said, "a friend is like a sister if you're a girl (or brother if you're a boy) that belongs to a different family (nervous laugh)." It was a deep moment for us. She got nods of agreement from her classmates and tears from me. I couldn't help it. It was just so profound.

Unexpected Rate 9.5
Our science experiment didn't work. It did last year! We are learning about how scientists work (aka the scientific process) so we did an experiment called "Dancing Raisins". We had to predict if the raisins A) dissolve, B)sink to the bottom and explode, C)dance up and down, or D)float when put into a glass of 7-up. I guess it's because I was being cheap and used seltzer water. But, it's the bubbles that make it work and there were tons of bubbles! Anyway, I digress. Most of us chose D, but some were hoping for the blowing-up one.

I put the cups of seltzer water on the desks, we counted to three, and dropped in the raisins. This is what happened:

Nothing. They just sat there.

Here is what happened after about two minutes:

Nothing. The same picture could be used for what happened after I stirred them up a little.

While I was working with this team. I hear, "READY? 1-2-3" Then a really loud, "REDUCTO!" I turn around to see this:

Apparently, one of my most creative students had arranged for everyone to use their pencils as wands to put a spell on the make them dance (or blow up). I was laughing so hard I almost choked! I think the wrong spell was used though, because I'm pretty sure Harry used REDUCTO! as a reduction spell. I guess we are plain Muggles. (Is plain Muggles redundant?)

Unexpected Rate Infinity
I hear there was a "troll" under my portable today. Hiding from his first grade teacher. But, that's not my story to tell...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

P is for Pseudocolus fusiformis...I think

So we were walking to lunch today and one of my new little darlings (which I will probably refer to as Princess) says, "EWWW!!! What is that smell? It smells like someone p**ped in their pants!" We are right by a drainage grate, so I figured she'll have to get used to it.

Thankfully, she was at the end of the line and I shushed her and we walked on.

During our Specials time today, some of my teammates and our Tech Specialist stopped to talk in the general area of the stinky spot. I was pretty sure it wasn't me, but I checked the bottom of my shoes anyway.

Well, our TS pointed out the culprit. She called it a "Devil's Tongue." I was pretty impressed that one little plant could be so malodorous (that was on my Word of the Day screen saver...). So, on the way back from Specials, I thought it would be a teachable moment to point it out to the class. I showed them the plant (which was growing close to the wall and through the mulch) and they all held their noses and "ewwed". We continued back to class and did a science experiment.

On my way to my car this afternoon, I checked out the plant. Let's just say that someone "took care of it"... It's now smooshed into a stinky pulp.

Now listen...I'm not implicating anyone, but I do know someone of a princessy nature asked me to get a drink of water during our science experiment...

Here is a picture and some info about it. Apparently it's a type of mushroom and is known on the street as a "Stinky Squid". I think. I just hope it's not rare and potentially worth millions of dollars.

Click here if you want to know more than you ever wanted to about this plant.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

B is for Breakfast

One of my former tutees brought me a cupcake because it had a ladybug on it.
One of my new little darlings brought an apple for the teacher.
I only took one bite of the cupcake...because the fruit filled me up (apple, clementine, CHERRY Pepsi).

Okay. I can't lie. The apple is still on my shelf. Because I really had a Pop-Tart.

Don't worry, I'll be healthier after the first week of school is over.

Monday, August 16, 2010

P is for Perspective

Okay I just can't give up my kids from last year yet. One of my favorite things about the new school year is seeing my former students and hearing how they feel about 3rd grade. Here are some of the mini conversations:

I saw Mr. Jokester at the hallway bathrooms.

Me: Mr. Jokester! How is third grade going so far? (3 hours into his first day of third grade)
Him: It's easy so far. If I work really hard and get really smart, I can go to Harbor.
Me: Harbor? What's Harbor?
Him: You know...Harbor. The college. Where really smart kids go.
Me: Har-vard, Mr. Jokester. I'm sure you can get in there. I like your goals. Get back to class!

I saw Giggles in the hallway going to lunch.
Me: Hi Giggles! Is your first day of third grade everything you hoped for and more?
Giggles: I NEVER knew how good I had it in second grade. (shaking head)

Guess who else I saw. Actually, I heard him before I saw him. That's right. Mr. TV. How'd you guess?!

Him: MS. BUCKLER! MS. BUCKLER! HI! HI! (waving frantically)
Me: Hi Mr. TV! Get back in line (he was the caboose...I wonder why) How do you like 3rd grade? 
Him: YEAH!
Me: Are you listening and following the rules?

Freckles was at car rider line.
Me: Freckles, I missed you so much today. How's third grade? Do you like it?
Freckles: It's gonna be hard. We have to add numbers with commas in them!

I miss them all so much. But the new ones are going to be fantastic. I'm already impressed. I'm also coming up with some pretty good nicknames.

My new ones did bring me some smiles.

In the hallway on the way to lunch:
Me: Oh we are doing so well in line! I have such great students!
Cutie: We are so great because you are a great teacher.
Me: Or am I a great teacher because you are great students?
Cutie: I think both.
(I think she gets her smooth-talking from her bribing mother.)

Him: Ms. Buckler, do we get to come back here tomorrow?
Me: You sure do!
Him: YES! (fist pump)

And I didn't even remember to give them their bribe Welcome bags I spent so much time on this weekend. (See B is for Beginning)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

B is for Beginning

Don’t be confused. S is for Starting was the beginning of this blog, but B is for Beginning is the start of a new school year. Get it now?

Let me begin by saying this:


Okay. I feel better now. I am ready for the kids. I hope they are ready for me.

The wildlife started yesterday. A roach with mold on him crawled across my floor. I captured him in my bug holder and paraded him around the school. Then I let him go. I’m not telling where. That is why you should always be nice to me. (Reread W is for Wildlife from January).

The beginning of “getting to know the new parents” happened during planning week, too.

I had a 40 minute interrogation interview conference with a parent who is going to be VERY involved. Great way to start a Thursday morning. I’m sure we’ll get along fine, though.

I also had a parent complain about me to the principal. I didn’t even do anything yet! Turns out that was the problem. I didn’t conference with her during registration. Our principal said in a faculty meeting, “Thank you to everyone for doing a great job at registration. We only had one crabby parent and it was…MS. BUCKLER’S!” I did a curtsey. I’m sure we’ll end up okay, too.

Then get this. I’ve already had a parent give me a bribe! It is an Evan Longoria poster. She must know me well. I’m positive this parent and I will be Best Friends Forever. We’ll see about her child…

But my favorite part of planning week is setting up my classroom. I am now going to subject you to a comparison. Scroll on if you are bored easily.

This is what my room looked like two weeks ago. Scary. Very scary. I could be on a show called “Hoarders: Teacher’s Edition”.

Here are some of last year’s pictures compared to this year’s.

Notice there are now bookshelves in the back and an Elmo instead of an overhead.


No more teacher desk.

Yes, there are more books. See that green crate. That's more. I could also be on a show called "Obsessed".

One of the million little projects I do during planning week is making Welcome Back goody bags. I confess that I bribe the kids to come back the next day.

But the strangest thing happened. This one “fell open”.

Okay a few of them did.

I am super excited to meet the kids on Monday. I hope I’ll have some good stories to share with you.

Have a great first day my fellow teachers!