Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to make a how to

This is the third and final installment in the "How To" series. Having asked each 5th grader to write a 12-step "how to" on whatever they wanted, most were stoked, but there was one boy who refused. After I threatened a loss of recess if he did not complete the task, he got to writing. He needed every last second of class time to squeeze out enough information on his topic:
A poignant narration on exactly what he did in class. What should have taken him 15 minutes, ended up in an hour long writing marathon (crawling to the finish line). Apparently you cannot rush sarcastic genius.

Step 7: So honest.

Note: I apologize for abandoning this blog. I'm not teaching this year, so have very little kid related news to report. The blog wasn't initially supposed to be about my teaching, but that's what it morphed into, and it felt weird to change the subject matter mid-blog. As a result, I will be starting a new blog soon, but will continue to update this one as I encounter more strange children. Thanks so much for reading.

Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Walk Outside

This "How to" is the second installment in a three part series. This clever boy took what we do daily and put his own spin on it:
While the spelling, punctuation, and grammar are pretty appalling in this piece, he really captures the essence of what it is to take a walk. Saying "hi" to your neighbor, squishing snails, and eating a cookie whilst making your sister miserable are things everyone can agree are essential to any neighborhood stroll.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How to Play Vidio games.

Last year I substitute taught in a 5th grade class and the teacher left no lesson plans (thanks). In the first couple minutes I asked the kids what they had been working on, half of them said nothing and the other half said they had completed EVERYTHING. Moments like these are critical in teaching, think quick and come up with something, or risk losing the class to anarchy. I decided to have each 5th grader write a "12 step" series of instructions on how to do anything "school appropriate" (tagging the bathroom walls and shooting squirrels with you bb gun were not acceptable topics).  Much to my surprise, the kids loved the activity and it turned out to be a smooth day. I kept the three papers that enjoyed the most, here is the first:

Step 4: GOLD.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Break

The kids went on summer vacation last week, therefore ending the stream of material I was working with. As a result, the posts here will be slowing down for the next couple months, but I still have some pieces that I am working on from this school year. To tide you over, I had a friend send me an email a couple weeks back regarding one of the 3rd graders I worked with:

This morning on yard duty:
 6 year old: Ms. E, [3rd grade boy] called me a bad word name.
 Ms. E (thinking it's the word "stupid"): Oh, what did he say?
 6 year old: He said get off the swing you fucking asshole!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pizza v Cereal

In response to the strange question I got from a student a few days ago, my mind was sparked to have a philosophical discussion of another kind.

Would you rather eat pizza or cereal for every meal for the rest of your life?

It's these kind of deep questions that really force my students to use their critical thinking skills. Subsequently, is also the reason why I get paid a shit ton of money.

The sugar fiends responded positively towards cereal:
"I would eat cereal because pizza makes you fat."
"I would eat cereal because I like chocolate. Coco Crisps, Coco Puffs, Coco Pebbles..."

While the carnivorous rallied behind pizza:
"I would eat pizza because cereal makes you fat."
"I would eat pizza because if your teeth fall out you can still eat pizza."

The most surprising response (to me, apparently not to the class) came from a petite and pretty girl:

Girl: I would eat pizza because I want to get fat.
Me: Really? Did you understand the question?
Girl: Yeah, I would eat pizza because I WANT to get fat.
Boy (interrupting): It's true, she wants to have a baby. (She nods and grins in response)
Me: You're still a baby...lay off the pizza.

 Chex meets Lucky Charms? Should've been pizza flavored...what hardcore TMNT fans have always cried for.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bathroom Rules

I happened upon this ruler in the male faculty bathroom. Why are you bringing a ruler into a school bathroom stall?  I assumed it was for a dick or shit measurement. But everyone knows how long their wang is by now, so it was probably for a shit.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


A bizarre question from a third grader today.

Girl: Mr. Mac, would you rather touch the sun or kiss a boy on the mouth?
Me: Wha?!
Girl (excited): Please say you'd rather kiss a boy on the mouth!