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Thursday, October 28, 2010

D is for Door

Red Ribbon Week is always fun. This week, we've gotten to wear sports themed clothes, slippers, and hats.

The students' favorite Red Ribbon Week activity is to decorate our classroom door with an anti-drug message. I find it a little stressful to come up with a new idea.

Last year, my class won the contest. We went with the Sponge-Bob theme:

Easy cheesy lemonade squeezy!

This year's idea was easy, too. The best part was that my "now a northerner" friend, Mrs. Dudley, sent us some leaves from a place where they actually see them change colors! I think she is a mind reader. They were beautiful:

The kids were most impressed with the "Big Daddy" acorns. I was told Florida acorns are puny.

The bag of leaves had a note: I hope there aren't any critters in here.

Well guess what we found!
Look closely!
Anyone who has read THIS knows that we don't need extra critters in my room!

We decided the best thing to do was to release him to the wild. I really, really, really, hope the little buggie doesn't find a mate and make a new annoying type of bug.


We used fake leaves to make ourselves into Leaf People and wrote anti-drug messages. I slapped them on the door and voila! Door done.

The leaves got their own special place of honor.

I am very glad I got a picture of the door because, as of this morning, everything was covered in dew and all the colors were running. The poor bag of leaves was full of condensation (but the leaves are still pretty!).

Gotta love "fall" in Florida.

Public Service Announcement: Don't do drugs. (Unless they are prescribed by a REAL doctor.)
(Unless they help you not be mean.) (Unless they help keep you focused in my classroom.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

I is for Indigestion

You've probably heard about that crazy old lady who swallowed a fly.

But, did you know there is also is an even crazier old lady who has swallowed a chick, a shell, some leaves, and snow?

Did you also know there is a little old lady who was crazy enough to swallow a BAT?! Imagine that!

As soon as I read the title of the book, my students' hands shot up. Now, I do encourage interactive read alouds, but sometimes we have to limit our sharing. For various reasons.

These are two comments the title of the story brought up:

"My sister swallowed a penny once! She pooped it out though."

"My brother once swallowed so much soda that he puked it up later."

I'll stop there. I can't handle reliving any more of them.

In the story, the crazy old lady swallowed a bunch of things to take care of the previous things she ingested. And at the end...SPOILER ALERT!...she burps them all up and says "Happy Halloween"!

One very profound observation:

"I bet she burped it all back up because she had 'any-jestin' (indigestion). She shoulda drank some of that pink stuff."

The kids are always into these stories, but this time we did an extra little activity.

It's hard to see, but there is a plastic baggie behind the little old lady and it holds all the things she swallowed. I heard 18 different versions of the same story that day, but I think all of them remembered the correct order.

I am also posting this picture of a Haunted House that was made lovingly for me. I love it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

B is for Buttered

Princess came up to me this morning. She handed me a red envelope decorated with black ladybug spots (she knows I love ladybugs). It was labeled To: Emily Love: Princess

She said, "Ms. Buckler? I worked on something really, really, really hard at home for you. You can open it now."

I opened it. It was a picture of Princess, myself, and a ladybug. It was pretty. I thanked her and asked her to unpack her things and get to work.

She lingered.

And then said....

"Ms. Buckler you are my most favorite teacher of my whole life. Do you know why? Because you're so nice and sweet and you help me with my work and you like ladybugs and you let us do fun things and you let us borrow your books and we have fun and we get to do fun centers and you're the only one in my family besides me that loves butterflies. I love you so much!" (Big hug. Almost lost my breakfast.)

My reply, "Thanks Princess. You're pretty cool yourself when you remember to talk nicely to your friends and do all of your work. Speaking of...go unpack and get to work!"

I hung her picture on my bookshelf. She came back up to me 10 minutes later.

Her: Ms. Buckler? Can I show everyone the picture I drew you?

Me: They can see it for themselves if they look on my bookshelf.

Her: Can I tell them all to look?

Me: Get to work!

I found myself questioning her sincerity. I think she may know I'm working on report card grades. I feel sufficiently "buttered up" for something.

Monday, October 18, 2010

N is for Nutcracker

Ha! I know what some of you thought when you read that title!

I got a message the other day that kind of went like this:
"This is going to sound crazy, but I'm mailing you a package. I had to mail the card separately. So, don't open the card till you get the box!"

It was from my middle sister, Christen, on October 14. I couldn't believe she would torture me like that. I do not like waiting! And to tell me I had to wait for both things to be together?! As if!

I was the kid who would lay under the Christmas tree and shake all the boxes. I got really good at un-taping the ends of presents without getting caught.

Okay, I still do that.

Anyway, the BOX came Saturday. No card in the mail. My youngest sister, Hilary, put the box right on the couch where I would see it.

I stared at it, shook it, and tried to get the dogs to "accidentally" open it. About 20 minutes after getting home, I had to leave this message:

(The rule follower part was sarcasm...)

Believe it or not, I went to sleep WITHOUT opening the box.

I am trying to improve my self-control.

I wanted to wait for the card to come and open them both at the same time. And I wanted Christen to tell me I could open it anyway. Yes, I was prepared to whine if she didn't give me permission... I get my way like that a lot.

To be fair, she DID tell me not to open the CARD until the BOX got here. The box got here first!

FINALLY, on Sunday, I got this response:

Yay!!!!!! Permission!

I pushed the cat off the box, wiped off the dog drool, and grabbed the corner of the tape.

It came of VEEEEEERY easily. So easily that if any postal workers had tipped it sideways everything would have fallen out.

I thought nothing more of that and started digging through the packing material.

It was THIS:

An awesome, cool, hand-crafted TEACHER NUTCRACKER! It even says 2010 so I can always remember what year I was the T.O.Y!

Her glasses can even move to her head! Exactly like I like to wear my sunglasses!
And when you lift the lever on the back, her bow comes down! Exactly like I...nevermind.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I think it was very thoughtful and sweet of my middle sister.

Here is my response:

I don't think the cat could open it. And the dogs wouldn't be that sneaky. Or neat.

Hello! Remember this? I got really good at un-taping the ends of presents without getting caught.

You can NOT fool the MASTER, Hilary!

By the way, it's Monday and I am still waiting on that card. Maybe I'll be the one that gets to open it first.

Thank you for the awesome gift, Christen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

P is for Poultry

We had a visitor last week. His name is Chicky Chick E. Chickey Chiky.

He was shown to me by my newest student before school started.

Newbie: Ms. Buckler! I brought a chicken to school!
Me: Please tell me it isn't a real chicken in your backpack!
Newbie: He's real! His name is Chicky (spelled Chiky)!
Me: Can I see this chicken please?
Newbie: Sure! (shows me a small, FAKE chick of the Easter decoration variety) He came to school today so he can learn with me.

Now I don't know Newbie that well yet.  (Newbie will be called Newbie just because he came to me after the first day of school.) I do know that there is still a "warming up to" period for all of us. So, I decided to let Chicky hang around with this rule:

Me: If you are playing with Chicky instead of learning and listening, Chicky will have to learn from the comfort of inside your backpack. That goes for your classmates, too. Not a PEEP from Chicky (I make corny jokes because second-graders find them hilarious).
Newbie: Yes ma'am!
Me: Oh and maybe you should read about Junie B. Jones and the peep in her pocket...
Newbie: Er...sure... (I can dream!)

So Newbie got his morning work done faster than normal. During my walking around and checking of work, Newbie calls me over. This is what I saw:

Chicky got his very own desk with his very own eraser seat!
(a la Twiddlebugs you Sesame Street fans!)

If you look veeeerrrry closely, you will see that Chicky got his very own name tag complete with a number line, shapes, and his name C-H-I-K-Y. 

During Reading, a few kids do a little switcheroo between me and Mrs. Barrentine's class. Before Newbie left, he gave his teammates strict instructions to "WATCH CHICKY'S EVERY MOVE".

Princess took this very seriously. During reading centers she was "shh-ed" for saying "STEP AWAY FROM THE CHICKEN!" too loudly.

Later that day, we finished our math lesson and did centers. I asked my darlings to take out their math practice books so we could pull out a page for homework. Page 57 to be exact. Here is what I saw when I got to Newbie/Chiky's desks:

I have NO IDEA where the hat came from! Notice the math book is titled properly. Also, there is a tiny Page 57 inside that we taped to Newbie's homework folder.

At dismissal, I heard conversations about what Chicky will need for tomorrow in order to be "cooler". Little did I know...

Flash forward to the next morning. This is the new and improved Chicky:

Chicky was all bling-ed out with his Mr. T style necklace. He also was prepared for the cooler fall weather with a sock vest. That black jewelry bag? Yeah, that's his drawstring backpack that held Page 57.

Needless to say, I lost my composure. I think I laughed so hard I snorted. If I were drinking my breakfast Pepsi it would have been out of my nose!

At the end of the day, I told Newbie that I am thankful for Chicky's visit, but I think his last day should be Friday. He was okay with that after I promised to read "The Perfect Nest".

Maybe Chicky can come back again in the spring when we read "I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick."

Friday, October 8, 2010

W is for Wow (Results)

I really can't believe it. I work with some fabulously wonderful people. We should all be Teachers of the Year every year. I really would like to share my teacher of the year-dom with all of those people who help me become better every day. Those of you who remind me that we teach because there's nothing else we'd rather do. Thank you from all the parts of my heart.

You should all get one of my flowers, but this picture will last longer.

These flowers were from my mom...She says she's proud of me.

Walking to my classroom this morning, I got a bunch of cheers and applause from my students. It made me a little teary and one of my teammates a lot teary.

One of my bestest friends and coworkers made a hat for her daughter to wear.

My little darlings asked me, "So what do you get for being Teacher of the Year?"

My reply, "Well, probably the best part is...A DAY AWAY FROM MY STUDENTS! YAY!"

I got a lot of pretty pictures today like this one: 

Front: You are teacher of the year! (With TWO suns) Plaese...Plesae...don't

Back: don't take a day off.

Monday, October 4, 2010

D is for December

As a reward for good behavior, my students may choose a trip to the treasure box, a free homework pass, or lunch with me. Usually, they pick lunch with me. Little do they know I get a kick out of their conversations and material for my blog. And I always wonder what 7 and 8 year olds talk about at lunch. Well, the innocent ones anyway.

Yes, today is October 4 and we just put up a few Halloween decorations, but December is on my little darlings' minds.

This is a snippet of our lunch conversation:

Mohawk: Ms. Buckler, I know why December is called December.
Me: Oh yeah? Tell me!
Mohawk: Because Santa needs December to get ready to deliver all the toys. All the other months he sleeps up for THE BIG DAY!
Me: Okay, but that doesn't really tell me where the name December came from.
Mohawk: Yeah, that's not really important.
Me: (sighing) (shaking my head in speechless confusion) (eating another carrot)

(awkward silence)
Blondie: I think Santa goes shopping at Wal-mart at night when kids are sleeping because there's no way he can make all the stuff.
Snaggle:  I think his little men do it.
Doll Baby: They're called midgets!
Mohawk: No they're ELFS! Ms. Buckler, how much do you think Santa pays his elfs? And where does he get all his money?
Me: Aww man! It's time to go!

This conversation is 100% real. I swear I'm going to start bringing a tape recorder on Lunch Bunch days.

I'm linking this to Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

W is for Wow

Wow! Huh?! Really!? Hmm...

These were things going through my head when I was told I was nominated for Teacher of the Year.

I am totally flattered and honored. I know there are teachers at school who deserve my spot and I can only hope to grow up to be like them.

But, just so I don't feel guilty, I would like to remind you of a few of my shortcomings:
(click to reread and refresh your memory)

1. I obviously don't teach enough Social Studies.

2. I fail at science experiments.

3. I sometimes spell things inappropriately.

4. I harbor plant killers.

5. I accept bribes and give them.

6. I play tricks on my students and coworkers.

And let's not forget my many misadventures with Mr. TV!

7. Like this one.

8. I squash love connections like this one I read on a Bucket slip:
   I would like to fill Princess' bucket by saying: I love yur hare a lot I love you. From: History Buff

9. I have "unappropriate" books on my shelves about princesses who toot and farmers in Bremen that murder their animals.

10. I don't encourage students to love all kinds of music...
Prudence: Ms. Buckler, have you ever heard of Bon Jovi?
Me: I think I've heard their songs once or twice (in person).
Cutie: Have you ever heard of Justin Beiber?
Me: That's not real music! I don't listen to that junk!

Wow. Maybe I should have reminded you of these things BEFORE the nominations.

Thank you to all my readers and supporters. I love you and your hare.