Saturday, December 5, 2009

I have ridiculously cute students

In the past when I have told people that I teach first grade, their first response is usually "How cute," to which I smile and secretly think "It's totally not cute" and a montage of disturbing behaviors such as cursing, spitting, peeing on books, biting, and coloring all over your face with a red marker runs through my head. Yesterday I was on the phone with this manager from Fedex (long story, but apparently it is impossible for Fedex to deliver a package to my school between the hours of 7 AM and 6 PM when the building is open without an hour phone conversation and a demand to speak to a manager) who ended up actually helping me with my delivery problem. Anyway, after he helped me, he asked me if the address was a classroom and I said "Yes." Then he said "What do you teach," to which I responded "First grade." "How cute!" he remarked, and I said, "I know, it is really cute" and I actually meant it this time.

Here are a few of the most recent "cute" stories from my classroom (and they won't break your heart).

1. The Iron Chef- I had just finished the mini lesson for our writing workshop on how to use a storyboard to tell your "how-to" with a lot of details and to illustrate those details using pictures and labels (can you tell I'm huge on oral language?). The children are at various stages in their writing and had either started their storyboard or were finishing their web of ideas. I had three students who had finished the web of ideas and were ready for the storyboard, Etai (a Jewish immigrant student from Eastern Europe), Josue (a Mexican immigrant student), and Daniel (a Dominican student). I kept the three boys on the rug while everyone else worked independently and I had them read their web of ideas and choose their favorite idea. Etai chose "How to tie your shoe," Josue chose "How to get a glass of water," and Daniel chose "How to make a sandwich." When I prompted Daniel to add more detail and tell us what kind of a sandwich, a sneaky grin appeared on his face as he said, "Ham...cheese...salami...and KETCHUP!" The two other boys giggled. Josue remarked "Wow Daniel, I think you should be a chef because that is a really good sandwich and you could call it the 'Daniel Special.'" The boys laughed again. Daniel was beaming with pride. I said, "What a great idea Josue, he could call it 'How to make a Daniel special.'" The boys giggled again. "Yeah" interjected Etai, "and he could be on 'Iron Chef America.'" I started laughing and so did the other boys although I don't really think they knew what Etai was talking about. It was just such a delightful conversation.

2. Good Thing I Didn't Use My Karate- I sent Etai and Martin to the bathroom and when they came back, they needed to urgently talk to me about something that happened in the bathroom. Etai began "Ms. Peace, there was this boy in the bathroom from the other class his name is Jordany and he was hitting everyone and punching everyone and he punched me here (points to stomach)." Martin corroborates also pointing to his stomach. I looked at them a little surprised, "Jordany?" I asked, picturing this chubby Dominican boy from the other first grade class who is always impeccably dressed and such a little gentleman. "Yeah," said Etai "and he's really lucky you know, because I know Karate and everything, but I didn't want to use it you know, because I could really hurt him." His tone of voice was dead serious (Keep in mind, these are little ones). "Wow," I exclaimed. I walked the two boys over to the other classroom and asked to see Jordany. He had a very guilty look on his face when he came out. I asked him if he needed to make an apology and he immediately said "Sorry" to the other boys, his eyes welling up with tears. "Sorry for what?" I prompted. "For punching you in the stomach" he said. "Unbelievable Jordany," I said, "You are so lucky that Etai controlled himself. Did you know that Etai knows Karate?" I asked, "No," gulped Jordany. "If he had used his Karate on you, you would have a split lip." Jordany was trembling. "You are lucky this time, but I don't ever want to year that you have punched anyone ever again. Is that clear?" "Yes Ms. Peace," he replied. I sent all three boys back to class. I had to laugh to myself later picturing teeny little Etai using his "Karate moves" on the much larger Jordany.

3. I Love Ms. Peace- After recess yesterday, two of my students enthusiastically announced that they had written a song during recess and wanted to sing it to the class. Aley (a girl from Africa) and Etai (I know, he's in all the stories), got up in front of the class and began singing in unison "I love Ms. Peace, I wish she was my mom, but I already have a mom." Then they took turns singing the lyrics again and gave me a choreographed hug at the part that says "I wish she was my mom." Then they sang it in unison again. Usually the whole "I wish you were my mom thing" makes me sad, but this time it was hilarious. These two children come from very loving homes and have a close relationship with their moms. They had just made a silly little song for me and enjoyed performing it for the class. We all clapped and I gave them each a hug.


tchr33 said...

Aw! That is wonderful! I love when you can laugh with the kids in the classroom. I also hate it when people say, "Aw, how cute." In response to "I teach 1st grade". It happens so much that I gave up long time ago to argue. Yeah, sometimes they're cute- but usually not in the way that people think. It seems like your kids this year are more enjoyable :). I'm glad to read about it!

Launa Hall said...

Great stories. I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing.