There is a kindergarten girl who loves to pretend she is a dog - so much so that she spends all her time at recess with me, telling me stories of the dog (today she was a German Shepherd named Hans) and asking me to throw balls for her to fetch. I was a little concerned about her lack of social interaction and connection with her peers - until today when I saw a class mate "walking" her. Really. It was a good thing :)
There seems to be a direct correlation between a child's annoyance with another child and the number of syllables they add to "Hey!" (often, but not always followed by "that's not fair") Today I heard an impressive 4 syllable "heyeyeyeye".
Talking about Halloween tomorrow, a 4th grade girl told me "I'm going to be a pink rabbit, but I'm telling people I'm really a blue rabbit that fell into pink paint" Guessing the store was out of blue rabbit costumes :)
Our school houses one of the district's Elementary Advanced Programs - for "gifted" kids. They are on the playground at the same time as all other classes in their grade level. Mostly, they are doing what all the kids are doing and I don't always know what class any particular student is in. I DID figure one out today though, when he gave me a laundry list of complaints about a certain game and ended the list with "and so forth and so on".
Perhaps I should have said "a well spoken laundry list of complaints".
So sweet! I thought as I watched a 3rd grader stop and hug her 6th grade brother. Then I heard her say to her friend as they walked away: "haha - he hates when I do that" OK maybe not sweet, but oh so normal!
Sometimes 6th graders' thinking and insight impresses me and takes me by surprise. Then they keep talking. 6th grade boy: "I think I know how the world will end. We are going to run out of natural resources - like gasoline" Me: "Tell me more..." Boy: "When we run out of gas, people won't be able to get to Walmart. Then they'll get angry and kill everyone." Maybe that was my fault for "tell me more".
I'm not bragging or anything but I'm pretty sure I've perfected one"look" that says several things: *Stop running in the hall *Yep - I saw that *That's a warning *Don't even think about it *Put the stick/rock/sand down *Did you really just say that? *You DO know I know your mother, right?
I spent a good 15 minutes (that's 1/2 of recess) helping to problem solve an issue with a group of 3rd graders. I led them as they accused, denied, bargained, negotiated, gave in, cried, apologized, acquiesced, and came up with new options. In the end, they all left satisfied. I don't know about them, but I was exhausted. As I walked away I knew it was worth the effort when I heard one boy say to another "that was a lot easier than I thought". It did make me wonder though - what in the world was he expecting?
I noticed a group of kids going down our big, green, plastic slide this afternoon - yelling "ow -ow-ow" the whole way. When they finished, they'd giggle and climb the stairs to do it again. Finally I had to ask what they were doing. "Getting shocked!" I was told. And they went to do it yet again. I struggled to make sense of this seemingly odd behavior but felt better when I rationalized they were just excited to learn about static electricity. Guess who's bringing in balloons for them to rub on their hair tomorrow :)
Yep - got some points today when I told a kindergartner his batman water bottle was awesome. "You know who batman is??!" Even more points when I told him I saw the movie. If only every day was so easy :)
At the beginning of recess I had a 6th grade girl complaining about the (too modest) school dress code and at the end of recess I had a first grader tell me he found a skirt at the far end of the playground. Not saying the two are connected, but...
A first grade boy and girl came to me complaining that others were saying that the two of them were "at war" and they wanted to assure me they were not (any longer). A crowd had gathered as we were talking and I took the opportunity to talk about the value of peace vs war. The kids left chanting "peace not war - peace not war". I sometimes wonder what the classroom teachers think happens out on the playground.
Some 4th grade girls wanted to put on a "circus" on the playground today and invited me to watch. After they proceeded to give me a pretend ticket, one of them (quite sternly, I might add) told me "don't lose it". For one second, I worried that I might.
Because of the rain, I told the kids on the playground they needed to stay in a covered area if they didn't have a coat on. After telling me he wouldn't get wet - and me still saying he couldn't be out on the field without a coat, one 1st grader clearly thought he had a deal for me when he asked "what if I promise to run really fast?"
Yesterday, a girl fell and cut her head - requiring stitches, Today, another girl came to me and asked for a band aid. When I asked her what happened I had to smile as she informed me "I broke a nail playing tether ball".
A first grade boy, who has never complained at recess before came up to me quite upset: "Alex keeps changing the time machine in our game". Thinking I had a perfectly reasonable question, I asked "what would happen if you just refused to go to the new time?" The look on his face when he responded " I could NEVER do that!" told me I crossed some sort of 7 year old boy line.
Two first grade girls came up to me on their hippity hops announcing their plan to bounce around the entire play field every day because they want to be fashion models. "That's fantastic" I told them "you will be really healthy!" Their reply took be aback: "We don't want to be healthy. We want to be skinny". I took a deep breath (more like several) before I went on. "Well you will have great muscles and endurance. Good for you!" They hopped off, I'm sure thinking I totally missed the point. That's OK though. I didn't miss the point at all - just tried to change the direction of it.
"Mrs Y I think Jessica's hurt. She's crying really hard." I found Jessica and she was indeed crying really hard - that kind of crying that makes it hard to speak. Trying to assess what was wrong, I asked her why she was crying and had to strain to understand her as she sputtered out "My friend said something I hate". Assuming she had heard something like " You're not my friend" or "I don't like you" I said "Oh my goodness it looks like she really hurt your feelings. What did she say?" I'm certain I didn't hide my surprise (or probably my smirk) when her answer was "smoked salmon" because she went on to explain, between sobs, "I hate sea food".
One of our 4th grade girls walked into class holding an ice pack to her eye. When I asked what happened she explained she has allergies. I asked what she was allergic to and she responded "pollen .... and (giggling and not missing a beat) BOYS!"
Pretty sure antihistamine can help with the first. The second, however, will just take time!
We were going over the 4th graders' homework which had to do with finding the area of a triangle. One boy got all the problems wrong and realized though he had multiplied base times height, he forgot to divide by 2 - not an uncommon mistake. We moved on, had the rest of the class and I thought all was well until I heard him say to his friend as they were leaving : "triangles are stupid".
I just hope years from now he remembers the origin of his strong aversion to all things 3 sided!