Skip to main content

Smiles , Thank yous, and Dollar Bills

I don't know about you, but other parents often comment on how polite and thoughtful one of my boys is.  Of course, a part of me is thrilled, but the other part of me is skeptical.  Really?  Are you sure you are talking about my child?  The same child who yelled at his brother for eating the last gummy  bear?  The same child who leaves his cereal bowl on the table expecting me to pick it up? The same child who tortures me by forcing to listen to the awful noise he calls music while I drive him home from school? Well, after teaching for twenty-three  years, I get it!  Kids are different at school than they are at home. When I tell people I teach  middle school, a look of terror or pity comes over their faces.  ¨Wow!  You're brave!¨  I always laugh and  tell them that I am the luckiest person in the world; I have a job I love.  My students make me laugh every single day. They make my heart grow every single day.   On the whole the students I see on a daily basis are kind.  They care about others, they want to do well, and they want to please those that are important to them.   They give me faith that this world is not so bad after all.  Are they perfect?  Of course not!  However, I am not either!
Each day when the bell rings, and the students are walking out my door I hear countless thank yous and goodbyes.  It is truly remarkable. I have often thought, ¨I wish their parents hear them.  They would be so proud!¨ Last week a friend gave me a money tree plant.  At the beginning of class, I shared it with  my second period and joked that, ¨Maybe if I touch it enough, it will bring me money.¨ 
 After  class, I walked by the plant and saw that one of my students had strategically placed a dollar bill among the leaves of the plant.  I got a good laugh out of that!
Anyhow, thank you for sharing your child with me each day.  I am looking forward to another year of learning and laughter!Laugh quote #4

Popular posts from this blog

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  

After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definit…

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

Making Comments on Student Writing Meaningful

As any English teacher knows, we spend countless hours grading and commenting on student work.  What I realized after a few years of teaching was that many students did not read my comments at all; they just looked at their grade. Some didn't even look at the rubric!   However, many students valued my feedback and relished every comment.  I felt as though I was wasting my time on more than half of the essays.   As evident from the next essay the students wrote, the majority of the students did not heed the advice I gave in the previous essay.  I came up with a solution!  Using Google Forms, I created a detailed survey for my students to fill out about the comments they received on their writing.  I will include pictures of various questions and answers.  Better yet, I told them that all responses would be read and a graded  for the thoughtfulness.  I had a sub that day, so I created a link to the form in my daily blog post for my class!  SO easy!  Students were forced to go back t…