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Monday, February 28, 2011

C is for Choices

Lately, I've been a little saddened/angered/disgusted by certain governmental choices and have not found much of anything humorous to write about.

Today (like most days) the darlings reminded me that no matter what, we educators do this for a reason.

We usually read the story from our Oral Vocabulary Cards on Mondays. These stories provide higher level vocabulary words and often incorporate a moral of some kind.

I stared today's story by exclaiming that I LOVE it because it is fun to read. My students eagerly waited for the story to begin. I told them that the character in this story had to make some choices.

The title is La Cucarachita Martina Gets Married. It is a tale from Cuba. (If you are surprised that little Cuban cockroaches get married, you're not alone.)

Of course, this title got many giggles and ewws. I am happy to report that the cooties have returned to my class this year. Unlike last year's no-cootie problem.

Anyway, these cards start with a question that is meant to draw out students' background knowledge. This was the point where I saw just how much they already "know" about this topic.

This is what I was told to say: "Imagine you are a character in a story and you want to get married (huh!?). How would you find someone to marry?"

This is a list of what they would look for in a spouse:
Someone who...

is kind and gentle (aww)
has never been to jail
is pleasant
can make dinner for you
very likes you and never wants to divorce (um...)
was your girlfriend first
can stay home with your baby (this came from a girl)
is not your enemy
smells good
likes the same things you do like video games

Believe me. I was doing my very best to not bust out laughing. In fact, being unmarried, I took notes. Just in case.

So now I had to read the story.

I started dramatically. Once upon a time, there was an attractive and clean cockroach known as La Cucarachita Martina.

I showed them the picture.

Now Martina decided she was bored and it was about time she settled down. The problem was, she didn't know which of her many suitors to choose. Her idea was to put on her best dress and sit on her porch to wait. When her suitors arrived, she would ask them to sing for her. Basically, the best singer would win.

Me: Is that a very good way to find a husband?

Mr. Mohawk: Sure. It's like American Idol, but on her porch.

The next cards shows the first victim suitor.

Señor Cat came to call on Martina. I heard, "he's too fat for her". I had to stop and discuss how inappropriate this was.

Señor cat told Martina how beautiful she was and bowed low. I my most terrible voice I sang like Señor Cat: Meow, meow, meeeeoooowww!

The kids covered their ears (my ultimate goal). Martina shot the poor guy down and he departed broken-hearted.

Next was Señor Rooster. He exaggerated Martina's beauty and bowed low. In my most terrible voice I sang: Cock-a doodle-doooooooooo! (ear covering again)

She shot him down, too. He departed with his eyes filled with tears.

Next came Señors Dog and Frog. You can see that this did not go well either.

Señor Dog commented on Martina's beauty and bowed low. In my most terrible voice I sang: Bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wooooooow! (Of course, ears were covered.)

Señor Dog sobbed quietly as he departed. Notice the dejected mutt in the background.

Fashionable Señor Frog was next. He told Martina that she was beautiful and bowed low. (This time, when I read "bowed low" all of the students reflexively covered the ears. Success!) I sang in my worst voice yet: Gribbit, griiiibbbbiiiit!

Of course, she stomped on his ego and sent him away with a heavy heart.

The last card look like this. Sighs of relief echoed around the classroom.

Señor Mouse was the winner. He sang with a melodious voice: Chu-ee, chu-ee, chu-ee! (Is that Cuban mouse-speak for squeak, squeak, squeak?)

Apparently, Martina the Man-Eater found this to be soothing and agreed to marry the mouse the very next day. They lived happily ever after. Blah, blah, blah.

One little cutie said, "Where's the picture of where they kiss?"

And another, "I bet they had cheesecake at the wedding."

I asked them to tell me the moral of the story. It was: That cockroach probably won't be a nice wife.

I choose to continue loving my job and invite those governmental types to come experience our world.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

V is for ValentiMes Day!

No matter how many times you tell kids it's ValentiNe's Day, some of them just can't give up the M.

Now, I've never really LIKED Valentine's day, but I can't say I dislike it. It's just that one time in third grade when my "boyfriend" embarrassed me by showering me with gifts. And then that time in 8th grade when this geeky boy on the bus told me he loved me. And then that time in college...


Let's just say that I prefer Valentine's Day from the role of a teacher. Despite the fact that I posted this yesterday.

It's especially fun when I come home with chocolate.

These kids are getting good grade the rest of the year!

I was really excited to give my darlings the hand-made valentines I made them. On Friday, they were discussing what kind of valentines they were giving out and I told them I was making super secret ones.

It was inspired by this book that we had read last week:

Now don't let the title fool you. The Pout-Pout fish turns into a Kiss-Kiss fish by the end.

Before that happens, he likes to spread his dreary-wearies around.

We had a LOT of fun reading this book.

I did have to explain that there will be NO SMOOCHING in our class. Just in case.

All morning long, I got surprise visits from other teachers' students. At least I think they meant to give the valentines to me.

Slightly inappropriate? No?

Then there was this one:

I hope her teacher doesn't mind.

And Miss Drama from last year brought me one.

She remembered how to spell my name, that I am NOT a Mrs. and that my favorite color is red. What a sweetie.

 She must have also know that I've been working out...

Our school's Safety Patrol sold a lot of these candy grams:

This one was from a first grader. I think she's trying to butter me up.

The rest of those said names such as: Butler, Bushler, Bucker, and Bukler.

We got a visit from our lovely Women's Club ladies. They brought us all a Beanie Baby.

We also had a visitor in our tree. We noticed it on the way in for our party. We decided it was a Valentine Bird.

During our party, I asked Sassy to be the photographer.

Her: What do I take pictures of?
Me: Important things!

This is a collage of what all 12 of her pictures were like.

Important things, indeed.

The HIGHLIGHT of the day came during after school tutoring. One of my special guys handed me something. I was soooooooooo excited because he's not the kind of dude to share his feelings.

Me: You made me a valentine?!?! Awwwwwwwwww!
Him: Just read it.

It was a reminder for me to bring his favorite snack.

I hope that your ValentiMes' day was as fun as (or hopefully more fun than) mine.

(P.S. Valentine's Day is on a {Terrible} Tuesday next year!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

M is for Mixed-Up Monday

A lot of teachers have a "Terrible Tuesday" theory. And almost ALL of us have a "Manic Monday" theory. But after today, I'm thinking there may be a new theory called "Mixed-Up Monday".

It's all because of my Green Stars reading group. They must have been having an "off" day, because these kids are right on second grade level.

Their first center was the Science Center. The directions were to make a chart of animals with the headings: Animal, Habitat, Food.

Green Star #1's answer was: sharks, shipwrecks, Nemos

And Green Star #2's: beavers, ________, wood

Me: Why is the beaver's home blank?

Them: I didn't want to write a bad word.


Their second center was Reading Group with me.

Me: These are our vocabulary words this week. You will see these words in the story Nutik, the Wolf Pup.

Green Star #3: What's a wood puff? (dead serious)


Me: You will also see our vocabulary words in this story (I showed them this cover.)

Green Star #3: Who is Carol? (dead serious)


Flash forward to their third center, Computers. I remind them every Monday that they should only do Reading games during this time.

Green Star #4: Ms. Buckler? May I go to

Me: NO! But you MAY go to


Their last center was Word Work Center. They were working with new spelling words.

Green Star #1: Ms. Buckler? Is this a good sentence for r-a-w? The lion can raw loud.


Dear Third Grade Teachers,

I try! I really do! I'm hoping this is just a phase.

Ms. Buckler
Lunchtime (I ate with a few kids who earned it)

Green Star #2: Ms. Buckler! I'm eating orange chicken and I got real oranges!

They were peaches.


Much later, during Math, I was mentally making a list of all the things I had to get done on my planning break.

I heard this: Ms. Buckler...Ms. Buckler!

Me: Huh? What Green Star #2?

Green Star #2: You were zoaming.

Me: Zoaming?

Green Star #2: Yeah, not paying attention.


I am hoping that next Monday disproves my new theory of "Mixed-Up Monday". I'm sure it will. It will be "Valentime's Day" after all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011