Friday, December 21, 2007

Bat Ears

I apologize to you all, my blog readers, for not publishing anything lately. Lots to do right now!

Perhaps this story will make up for it.

Today was our class Christmas party. You know when you were a kid and you used to catch bugs in a jar and then shake them up to get them all frazzled?

I swear, somebody shook my classroom today.



So we were playing a game where I had to whisper clues to a kid that was off to the side of the rest of the class. I whispered so quietly that it was impossible for anyone to hear me. When I came back to join the rest of the class, one of my boys said, "We couldn't hear anything you said!"

I said, "Yeah, I know...that was the point!"

Then another little guys said, "Yeah, but I betcha my mom could hear you even though she's at home. My dad says she has ears like a bat."


I can picture my next phone call home: "Hi, Mrs. M. I hear you have ears like a bat."

Don't you wonder what your students tell their parents about YOU?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tooth Fairy Theories.

I've learned that kids have all kinds of theories about the tooth fairy. Here is what I was informed of yesterday at lunch:

1. The tooth fairy is magical. Dentists are not.
2. When you lose a tooth, the tooth fairy keeps it until your "new" tooth is ready to grow in the spot. When your "new" tooth grows in, it is ACTUALLY your old tooth that the tooth fairy put back in that place--only bigger.
3. Molars are lucky...but we don't know why.
4. The cleaner the tooth, the more money you'll get.
5. Dentists only make fake teeth. The tooth fairy's teeth are REAL.

My kids just could not BELIEVE I didn't know this stuff already. ;o)

Friday, December 7, 2007

In the Jungle

I will open by saying this post won't be my funniest...I'll deliver some funnier ones again, but this is just cute...and a pleasant way to end my day.

Do your best to picture this.

I am the LUCKIEST teacher in the world in that I have the best prep period ever: Friday at 2:20 until the end of the day.


Today during my prep I'm relaxing at my desk after a very active day and I hear a kid across the hall sing:

"In the jungle, the mighty jungle..."

And then a few more:

"...the lion sleeps the jungle..."

And then, MOST of the class joins in:

"...the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...


It just cracks me up that ONE of them can start something and they all do this case, it was cute.

It's not always cute...


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This is just horrible to say, but I really hate loose teeth. I have no idea why, but they really gross me out. And as we all know, first graders just come with loose teeth.



We went on a field trip to a play this morning...quite a fancy play, if you will...a couple of my kiddos were dressed up in little sweaters, etc. Cute.

Apparently during the play one of my kids pulled out one of his loose teeth. Of course, as all kids are when a loose tooth is freed, he was elated. In fact, he was so happy, he gave his lost tooth to his cousin to show off to everyone she could find...including me.


So then my little ones and I got into a discussion about teeth. A couple of comments followed, including, but not limited to:

"I've lost four teeth."

"I haven't lost any, but I have one that wiggles!"

"Mrs. Overman, the tooth fairy turns your teeth into money. You should like loose teeth!"


And my favorite comment from a little guy missing all FOUR front teeth:

"Man, I just really hope my teeth grow in for Christmas."

This kid must have special plans to bite some stuff this holiday season...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How old am I again?

By now you can probably guess who this story's about.

No background info necessary at this time. Here it is:

J's birthday is tomorrow. So during a meeting time this morning he says, "Hey guys, my birthday's tomorrow!"

Of course, as is typical, the kids ask, "How old will you be?"

Here I interject, "Fifty, right, J?"

J: "No, no, I'll be sixteen!"

I'm thinking he is just kidding--until I turn around...he's totally serious.

Me: "J, honey, you're not going to be sixteen."

J: "Oh yeah, that's right, I'll be six!"

Me: "'ll be seven."

Okay...time for a practical life lesson...How To Know How Old You Are.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lookin' for friends.

Someday I'll post a story about one of my kids other than my darling J.

But hey, he's just giving me new material for this blog every day; so I'll write it.

One of the many paraprofessionals that work in my room also does recess duty. She was working with J today at the end of the day and he was pretty much being himself: silly and a little out there...and she said to me, "Oh, that reminds me...I have to tell you what J did at recess the other day."

Uh oh...

She continued: "So he followed his little buddy up to me and the buddy said, 'Mrs. Kuhn, you know I'm J's only friend? So we're out here lookin' for more friends for him.'"

And off they trotted--"lookin' for friends."

Only in first grade.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Ah, my sweet little J.

Always doing something, isn't he? This kid is just fabulous. Seriously. Our class would be boring without him.

Yesterday we were walking in the hall. I always make sure I know EXACTLY where J is because sometimes, he's not always aware of his surroundings and does things like follows another class to THEIR classroom instead.

Oh yeah, that has happened.

So, I have one eye on J, one on the other 20 kiddos.

All of a sudden, J wasn't in line...he'd fallen on the ground.


JUST walking. Nothing else.

Not totally surprising since he often manages to fall out of his chair...this is pretty much a weekly occurrence (how do you fall out of chair THAT much?).

Then...up popped his little head, beet red: "Um, I was TRYING to be a ballerina. I do this at home. Then I fell."

I was laughing so hard I couldn't get my kids to stop laughing at him...which, fortunately, he thought was funny that they thought HE was funny.

I just don't get do you just randomly fall? Love it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Sometimes I catch snippets of conversations from my kids.

I'm not sure what I've missed...I can only speculate.

Today I caught some hilarious snippets. I have this feeling they're kind of all connected:

T: "B, you HAVE no alibi."

(Bear in mind, she's SIX. And "alibi" is NOT a Word Wall word!)

B: "Guys, I eat paper all the time. Look!" [munches on a paperwad]

T: "Hmmm. I might try that." [finds her own paperwad, starts chewing like a bunny on lettuce]


And what did I do, you ask?


Sunday, November 11, 2007

What Teachers Really Do

I grew up in a family of teachers. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents--you name it, in our family they teach (and coach). So I never really thought much about seeing my teachers at the grocery store or what they did in the summer because, well, I KNEW...I lived with two teachers.

Once I ran into one of my first-graders at the grocery store. He promptly turned cherry-red and was temporarily unable to talk.

That experience prompted me to ask my kids the next day, "What do you think I do when I'm not at school?"

One of my kids said, "You go to the store to buy more papers to grade."


On Halloween this year my kids said, "Mrs. Overman, I'm coming to your house tonight during trick-or-treating time! Then instead of candy you can give me more homework!"

For the record, none of my kids came to my house. Guess they didn't really want that homework after all!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Why You Shouldn't Let Your Child Name Your Younger Child.

Yesterday one of my girls said, "You know, when my sister was born, my mom said that my brother and me could pick out a name for her. So we decided we wanted to name her Cinderella."

I laughed...then said, "And did your mom name her that?"

K: "No, but I don't know why!"

Friday, November 2, 2007

Life by the Lakes

I live in an area loaded with lakes. I'm not from the "Lakes" area originally, so there are subtle cultural differences between where I grew up and here...although I remember coming up for weekends periodically...anyway...

Like I said, there are a few subtle cultural differences I've learned since living here, like:

1. The kids live around the lakes. It's not unusual to them that there are "Fireboats" and dry fire hydrants.

2. The use of watersports equipment and the fact that their teacher can drive watercraft isn't cool or foreign to them at all.

3. Words like wakeboard, kneeboard, waterskis, wake, etc. are a part of their normal vocabulary.

Today we made turkeys. I gave the kids a turkey body and a page of feathers. I explained the general idea of how to put these birds together and left them to their own designs.

You remember my little J? Totally out there...hilarious! We'd been coloring/cutting for awhile and he brought his page of feathers to me, saying:

"Um, Mrs. Overman? Here's my turkey."

Me: "Honey, you're not done yet."

J: "Okay, but what are these things for?" [Holds up feathers]

Me: "Those are your feathers for the turkey."

J: "Oh. I thought those were like the things you slide on the lake water with."

Me: "You're so funny!"

J: "Okay. I'm going to go finish my chicken."

Okay, kiddo, finish the turkey...with the wakeboard feathers.

Man, this kid cracks me up.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I WISH this were my didn't happen to me, but it is TOTALLY worth posting.

One of my colleagues had taken her kids to the computer lab and apparently one of her girls had gotten into a math program that was waaaaay above her head because

she had taken off her shoes to count her toes AND fingers!

What a riot. And I thought my kids were the only funny ones...j/k. ;o)

Monday, October 29, 2007


We were discussing the idea of slavery once during my first year of teaching. I explained that slavery is when you have to do whatever someone tells you whether you like it or not, for free.

One kid made quite a connection:

"Well then, we're all slaves to our moms!"

That's right, darling! ;o)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Diary of a Fly

I love little J in my class. He's the one that's in his own bubble all the time...and he's hilarious--NOT on purpose.

Today I introduced the book Diary of a Fly and J blurted out, "Oh yeah, Diarrhea of a Fly!"

Okay, I can see where this is going.

Usually my kids just kinda let his comments go because they know he says crazy stuff, but not this time. "No! It's Diary of a Fly, not Diarrhea of a Fly!"

This kid seriously did not get it.

He said, "It is Diarrhea of a Fly. And listen, I know what diarrhea is. It's poop. This story is Diarrhea of a Fly."

Oh my.

All right kids, let's hope none of you tell your parents that we read a book about diarrhea today.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Let Me Help You...

I count backward from ten lots during the day to motivate my kids to move on to whatever we're doing next.

Sometimes this is how it goes:

Me: ""

That's on a good day.

Sometimes it goes like this:

Me: "Ten...nine..."

Kid: "Mrs. Overman! I need help."

Me: "Okay, what? put that over there....six..."

You get the point.

And some days, after a long, long, day, it goes like this:

Me: "Ten...nine...eight...G, please put that on my desk...eight...right there...eight..."

G: "Umm, Mrs. Overman, you're on seven now."

Me: "Great, thanks. Seven...six..."

Hey, I'm glad SOMEONE'S listening!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Good One for Today

We walked outside today to see the fire trucks (it's fire prevention week) and as soon as we stepped out, one of my SIX-YEAR-OLDS (bear in mind, he's six!) says:

"Ahhh! I feel so young again!"

Are you kidding me?!



Two things to know that make all the difference in this story:

1. I do this thing where I systematically send my kids to the's a long explanation.

2. Right now we're singing through a book called "Take Me Out of the Bathtub." It's this hilarious book of songs that are to the tune of common songs we all know...for example, the song "Take Me Out of the Bathtub" is to be sung to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Here's how we usually end up singing it:

"Take----me out of the baaaaaath--tub
Take----me out of the suuuuuuuuds!"


Apparently I forgot to send one of my little guys to the restroom this morning. He's kind of a wallflower and doesn't like to talk or bother me very often. Our room was really quiet (I was reading to them) and all of the sudden I heard a tiny voice sing:

"Take----me into the baaaaathroom
"Take----me into there noooooooow"

Me: "Okay, M, please go to the bathroom."


Thursday, October 11, 2007

She Wiped WHAT On Your Desk?!

If I haven't said it before, my kids this year are HILARIOUS.

Have you ever had to have one of those tough conversations with your kids (biological or otherwise)...and it was only tough to do because you thought the incident itself was funny?

That's me today.

So one of my little guys is crying...he kinda cries easily, so I usually just let it go. However, he says to me, "Mrs. Overman, M has been wiping boogers on my desk."

Trying to keep my face REALLY straight--oh no--it's failing--quick, do something--

I say, "Okay, I'll go talk to her."

Ahh, big smile cracks. I'm better. Here I am, ready with my sternest teacher look.

"M, can you come talk to me for a minute? B tells me you've been doing something to his desk."

M: "Yes. I've been picking my nose and wiping the boogers on his desk."

Here are my thoughts: Oh my goodness, I can't laugh! This is so disgusting! Help me, please, because this is REALLY gross and soooo not good for my hatred of germs, but it's ridiculously funny! What do I say?!

I come up with this:

"Well, M, no more wiping your nose on his desk. That's germy."

And then, of no fault of my own, I LAUGHED RIDICULOUSLY.

Sorry kids, your teacher laughs at words like "boogers" as much as you do...even though she scolds you for it.

Ah, what is one to do?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Pledge and our ABCs

Lunch today cracked me up.

We are asked to eat with our kids which is, I must say, one of the most enlightening experiences ever. Everyone should do it.

I was eating my sandwich when one of my little girls stood up, looked at the flag, and started reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. In the middle of her turkey sandwich.


Then another little guy chimed in.

It went something like this, with each of them kinda filling in a word here and there for each other:

"I pledge eeegance to the flag. 'Nited States of 'Merica. And...and..."

All right, that's as far as they could go.

You can see it in their eyes: they need to do something to make themselves feel better since they clearly can't remember The Pledge. You know, The Pledge--this thing we say EVERY day of EVERY year in EVERY school in our country.

All of a sudden I hear a rousing rendition of the Alphabet song, opera style.

Ahh, much better. We know that one.

Monday, October 8, 2007

All In a Day's Work

I just want to give you a little picture of my kids this year.

If you don't teach, you probably won't find this quite as funny as my colleagues...but let's see, shall we?

This is why I love my job: it's never, ever boring.

Picture the end of the day. Our writing coach, Ruth, was in my room for a lesson that we ended up tag-teaming and doing quite nicely with, if we do say so ourselves. It was a lesson on organizing writing folders and was a little messy--asking seven-year-olds to organize ANYTHING is quite a chore.

My kids are shot. It's 2:55 and they're cooked, done, al dente. We had already done our end-of-the-day rituals and they had their little backpacks on, ready for the buses. As Ruth and I stood laughing, we knew just by watching them stand in line how tired they were:

1. One kid was spinning. Literally spinning--like a top. Probably faster.

2. One kid asked, "Where are we going?" Umm, put it together here, kiddo...backpack's on, kids are lined up...

3. My little J who is in his own bubble (love this kid!) is "making farting sounds" to the annoyance of those around him--a favorite pastime of his, most annoying and noticeable when others are tired.

4. And of course, most of our days end with, "I don't remember if my mom's coming!" "I forget where I get picked up!" "I'm supposed to ride the bus with..."

And Abracadabra!

It's the end of the day.

Why would I ever work in an office?

You can't make this stuff up.

Dog Book

I'm going back to my first year of teaching for this one.

I was teaching Reading Recovery during my first year and every day each of my students took a book home to practice reading. I wanted to send a book about Golden Retrievers with one of my kids one night because he had a dog and really enjoyed the book. I showed him his practice book and he refused to take it, saying, "I can't take this book home. My dog gets really mad when other dogs come in our house and I just don't think he'll like this dog at our house."

Whoa...I'm not really sure he understood this was a PICTURE of a dog...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I Wondered When This Would Happen.

My maiden name is in Warren, but with only one T. When my mom got married she went from Keller to Beaty, and her students always messed up her name (especially when she was pregnant) and called her Mrs. Baby.

I've had all that; Miss Baby, etc.

So when I got married and my name changed to Overman, I kinda always wondered if kids would ever run with the fact that my name has "man" in it.

Until this week, no one has.

Remember my little kid we call J on here? Awesome kid, lives in his own bubble, lots of theories? He has a twin in the room across the hall and they are the best of friends. The other day he said to me, "Mrs. Overman, my brother and I have been talking about you and we just CANNOT understand why your name has "man" in it since you're a girl."

I said, "J, that's just my name. Just like your name has words in it too."

J: "Yeah, but you're a girl!"

All right, at least you didn't add any comment about how my arms are hairy too. It's not so bad.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Braces and Containers

The kids in my classes for the last two years have had a lot of dental issues, so last year I did a unit on healthy habits. I included a kind of how-to session on doing what your dentist says and following his directions. In the past I've showed them how to brush their teeth, floss, etc. Once I even did a part about how to take care of braces and retainers because I had several kids with orthodontic issues too. Yeah, I even talked about how I'm 26 and still wear my retainers...didn't say how supercool they are when you're married, though...coming to bed every night in retainers!

But I digress.

This year I've had several girls from my past classes tell me how their orthodontic appointments have gone and they have of course shown me their awesome (and from my experience, painful) mouth metal.

Today one of my past students found me and said, "Mrs. Overman! I went to the dentist and he said I have to get braces and CONTAINERS!"

I guess that's kinda what retainers are...plastic stuff to hold your teeth in your mouth...

King Tattletale

I had an anonymous commenter last night mention that I was mean for calling kids quirky.

If you read my blog regularly, you know I love my kids. Love them.

When I use the word quirky, this means they have some funny things they do. In my world, it's all good clean fun.

I am rewriting the last post to say the same thing, so now if there was a question in your mind about me using the word "quirky," you'll know I don't mean it in a negative way as some people in your life might.

I have lots of kids in my class this year who are quirky. They're so funny...they all have these little idiosyncrasies about them and silly things they do that make them tick...and almost ALL of them are that way. It's so funny...but makes for a hard day sometimes if all their little idiosyncrasies mix too much in one day.

I have nicknames for some of my kids so when I tell their stories at night my husband knows who they are without me having to say things like, "Remember the kid who...?".

This little guy's nickname is King Tattletale.

He is so adorable; bright blue eyes, blonde hair, darling personality...but he feels the need to tattle on anything and anyone.

Unfortunately, lately most of my conversations with him have started, "Honey, are you here to tattle? Because I just can't hear anymore tattling today. My ears are broken." And he goes away.

But it's getting better.

Lots of times he'll report things/kids that are bothering him: "Mrs. Overman, B is poking me!"

Or sometimes, he'll report things just for the heck of it, whether he's involved or not: "Mrs. Overman, M and B are arguing!"

Okay, thank you.

The other day he said, "Mrs. Overman, B is READING THE WORD WALL!"

He was crazy-upset.

I just wanted to say,

"Oh my dear heavens, what are we going to do?!?!"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cities and Snacks

I have two good ones to share with you today.

Story One: Cities in a Line

One of my little girls almost always comes in to our room in the morning and says, "There is a boy on my bus who loves me."

I always say, "Well, you're not old enough for that, so please go move your lunch tag so I can tell the office what you'll be having for lunch today."

Friday morning she came in and said, "There is a boy on my bus who is in fifth grade who knows all his cities...IN A LINE!"

I immediately thought, okay, quick--connect fifth grade + cities + line..."Oh, he can say all his capital cities in order!"

"Yes," she said. "I really wish I could say my cities in a line."


Story Two: Snack

I had a sub Friday afternoon. We were talking about how silly kids are whether or not they're trying to be and she said that she subbed Thursday for another first grade room and this is what happened:

"One of the kids in this class said to me, 'I'm hungry! We need our snack.'"

She told him he'd have to write one sentence first and then he could have his snack. She walked around the room and finally make it back to him and he had written his sentence that read:



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Separating Lunch Tags

I have two little girls in my room who are such great friends that during learning time they aren't allowed to sit together. Each day they beg, "Please, please can we sit together?" And each time, after no more than 30 seconds, it's over. "C and T, please separate."

Also as a general management procedure in my room, I have lunch tags. When the kids come in in the morning, the very first thing they do is move their lunch tag to either "School lunch" or "Packed lunch." At the end of each day I have my helper of the day move the tags back up to be ready for the next morning.

At the end of the day today I asked my helper to move the tags back up to their starting positions.

A couple of minutes later he came to me and said, "Just so you know, I separated C and T because their tags can't be together up there. They're such good friends."

Oh my goodness...I cracked up! He didn't really know why it was so funny.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"If you were the president..."

My day, in a nutshell, has been more than interesting. I don't have the time or energy right now to type all of it, but I'll give you this lunch story.

Before that, however, I'd like to say just for the record that my famous kid we often refer to as J here on this blog spent MOST of his day sticking out his tongue and spitting--at nothing.

Kids said, "J is making noise." My standard reply: "Honey, you know he makes lots of noises."


At our school, our precious first graders each have to learn their own individual lunch number. It's like a PIN number for kiddos. Only they don't get to pick the number to make it easier like grownups (you all know your PIN number is your birth year! Just kidding). Let me tell you, in our school, the beginning of the year is CRAZY with trying to teach these kids their lunch numbers. It's a big, hairy deal. We spend weeks writing lunch numbers on cards, hands, tags. We spend much time practicing typing on a pretend copy of a keyboard. It's still hard hard hard.

We'll call the star of this story D.

She looks over at me today at lunch as says, "Mrs. Overman, what would you do if you were the president?"

I think for a minute...then, "Well, I guess I'd get more money for schools so kids could learn better."

D thinks. Sits. Spins the cogs in her brain. Says, "If I were the president, I'd make sure kids didn't have to learn lunch numbers to eat at school every day. I'd get up there and tell them how hard it was to learn my lunch number when I was a kid just to get food at lunch and I'd tell them they'd never have to do that again!"

Ever think about what stresses kids out? Here it is!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I have a few boys who are wild about football. They play it every recess and really work like a team. There's one little guy in particular who is kind of the self-proclaimed coach and all the kids listen to his orders. Often I hear things coming from him like, "You go there, you--over there, and the rest of you--get him!"

It's quite interesting.

So yesterday a few of my girls decided they'd like to play football for the first time (I think EVER). After a down a couple of them gave up to watch, but three stayed to play. Two of the remaining girls were basically asking "How high?" when told to jump, if you know what I mean. The other little girl--T, we'll call her--not such a fan of having a "coach".

Within five minutes she came crying to me:


Me: "Well, they're playing football. That's what happens."

T: "I don't like it at all!!!!"

Me: "Then maybe you should play elsewhere."

T: "I want to play, but I don't like that J is bossing everybody around."

Me: "Honey, the other kids don't seem to mind. He's helping them. If you don't like it, play something else."

T: "BUT I WANT TO PLAY FOOTBALL! J is my friend and when I go to his house and he's too bossy, I get to smack him! I can't do that at school anymore!"

Me: "You got that right, sister."


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Our Presidents

Today was Constitution Day at school. We did a lot of talking about the Constitution and some presidents, as well as basic political knowledge such as The White House, money, etc. This stuff is hard for adults to keep track of, and even HARDER for little ones to keep track of, particularly when your brain is always thinking RECESSRECESSRECESS.

But, as you know, I tend to digress sometimes.

Today we talked about our current president as well as the only one the kids could really recognize: George Washington; which, may I add, is pretty impressive when you're six.

Shortly after talking about both George Bush and George Washington, I showed a picture on our PowerPoint presentation from the internet of George Bush.

"Who is this?" I asked.

"George Bushington!"

Upon reflection of my lesson, I have determined these names haven't quite sunk in just yet.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


In case you haven't been reading my blog a lot lately, I'll fill you in on my student J.

Top three things to know about J:

1. He's a little...uhhh...out there. Not really with the group most of the time, although very intelligent.
2. He has lots--LOTS--of theories, most of which are from his dad.
3. Those theories often are not only inaccurate, out there, and somewhat based in a very mixed-up truth, they are HILARIOUS.

In sum, J lives in his own bubble. Don't try to pop in, and please, please don't try to pop him out of it.

This kid is just a riot.

Today he didn't say ANYTHING to me the entire day until lunch. He looks right at me and says,

"Did you know that worms are pepperoni? That's what my dad said. But the pepperoni is a little bigger when the worms get more stuff in them."

I think my exact words again were, "What?!?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cupcake Wrappers

I'm going to do my best to get this story right.

One of my colleagues has a student who's a bit quirky. Today the teacher he had last year told his current teacher:

"By the way, if you're having cupcakes today, just know he'll probably eat the wrapper too."

Oh my goodness...we were CRACKING UP.

My colleague said it was just so funny because this other teacher came in and said it like it was a normal, everyday occurrence.

What a racket.

Only in first grade.

And probably kindergarten.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two Voices

Today at lunch one teacher was speaking Spanish to her students because there are lots of new English language learners in her class. One of my kids overheard her and said,

"Wow! She has two voices. Spanish and English!"

Friday, September 7, 2007

Power Line Trees

Got some more info today about J's world (I posted about this kid and all his theories on life awhile back).

J: "I know how they get power lines."

Me: "How's that?"

J: "They find trees that are already in the telephone pole shape and they cut them down and then they add the wires later."

Awesome. That would make the power companies' jobs so much easier if that were really true.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Job

I was asked a question today that none of my students have ever asked before.

To give you some background, this kid's dad works third shift and his mom works second, so basically, someone is always working at his parent is ever really home at the same time.

Back to the question he asked. We'll call him B.

B: "What's your job, Mrs. Overman?"

Me: "Honey, this is my job. I teach you. Just like this."

B: "No, I mean what do you do at night?"

Me: "Well, I grade papers, do dishes, walk my dogs, work out, eat dinner...normal stuff."


Seriously, I couldn't get this kid to understand that teaching is my only job.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

During our Math Meeting time Friday we changed the calendar from August to September. I don't usually do this, but I wanted to kinda get a jump-start for the week and I wanted to talk about Labor Day since it would be the first day we wouldn't be at school since we started.

So we talked about Labor Day.

"We don't come to school on Monday because it's a holiday. What holiday is it?" I asked.

I get a couple of answers:


"Halloween!" steered them a bit:

"Monday is Labor Day. Does anyone know what Labor Day is for?"

One little girl knew for sure:

"You can't wear white on Labor Day."


Friday, August 31, 2007

Pie and Vegetarians

I have two stories to share today...both happened this morning.

This morning was our first spelling test and I reminded the kids to take a last look at the Word Wall words before we started the test. One kid yells across the room,


So I'm of course thinking, What in the world...???

He explains,

"You know, this stuff is pie. Like it's easy."

Ah, you mean "easy as pie."


I have to admit that often I ask selfish questions during my morning community circle time just to see what they'll say. Okay, selfish is harsh...I just want to know more about my kids as individuals.

Today's question open to all: What do you want to be when you grow up?

"A teacher."

"A cop."

"A handyman."

There were more, but I'll skip to the winner:

"A vegetarian because I really like to help sick animals."

The kids didn't blink, either because they'd tuned out by this point or they were thinking, "Oh yeah, I take my dog to the vegetarian a lot!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Picture Day

So it's picture day.

One of my boys came in this morning and said,

"Mrs. Overman, I need to have two pictures taken of me today because my grandma wants me to smile like this [cheesy smile], but I want to smile like this [way-cool smile]."

My reply:


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Writing Workshop

Today was my first "real" Writing Workshop lesson.

I taught it and then...

I asked two of my students to share their work.

Can you hear the wheels spinning out of control yet?

One little girl shared this wonderful story about watching the sunset at the beach with her mom. Very nice.

Then came D's story:

"This is my cousin sitting on the toilet that is next to the dryer. She didn't notice anything while she was using the potty. Then my mom came in and used the potty and saw something weird and saw our cat was in the dryer. OUR CAT WAS DEAD! And his ears were melted in there."

Not kidding, this is the quietest and most attentive my kids have been in the ten days we've been in school.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hard Board

This is not my favorite story, but it's worth posting...somebody might get a kick out of it.

Kick...ahh, the -ck words...

Anyway, I have a little girl in my class this year who is very verbal but her vocabulary isn't very large so she tends to either be very wordy or make up words. Today she came back from the office and told me this:

"There is an ambulance up there to take a kid to the hospital. He's going to the hospital because he hurt his back and every time he stands up it really hurts. They are going to get him some x-rays and right now they are putting him on the hard board."

She meant stretcher.

I love when kids just blow by words they don't know, make them up, and never look back.

(Hmmm...another -ck word)

Can you tell what I'm reviewing tomorrow?

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Dare

One of my kids had a strap off of his backpack out at recess today and was playing with it like it was a fishing pole.

"You know why I have this?" he asked.

"No, why?"

"Someone dared me to chew it off one time. But I actually wanted to."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Austin, Texas

One of my first graders was busy working on a floor puzzle of the United States this afternoon. At first he came up to me holding the state of Indiana and initially I was pretty impressed that he recognized our state. Then he said,

"My grandma lives here."

To which I reply,

"That's wonderful! You live here in Indiana too!"

*Blank stare.*


"I live here too?"

I say, "Yes, we all live here. Our school is here too."

*Another blank stare.*

Then he says, "You live here too?"

Okay, I give up on this one. There's no explaining and it's just too early in the year to be doing something as abstract as maps when you're six.

A few minutes later this same kid comes up to me holding the state of Texas, which in this particular puzzle has its capital, Austin, marked with a star. He says,

"I SEE! THIS STAR IS WHERE AUSTIN LIVES! You know, our friend Austin!"

So apparently I need to teach map skills sooner than I planned.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Some good friends of ours have a preschooler who started school for the first time this week. I'll quote his mom:

"Scott and I were talking to him about what to expect, and he just looked up and said, "I believe in myself.""

Too cute!

Let's all start thinking like that, shall we? ;o)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bugs, Mulch, and Kids in the World

To make up for the last couple of days with no posts, I will give you three stories.

Actually, they all happened today and they were all from the same kid.

Let me give you some background on this particular kid. If you teach, you all have a kid like him in your class: very bright, but not quite all there with the common sense.

To me, this combination is just the best. I love it. Mostly because kids like this are just too funny and have no idea.

So we'll call this little guy 'J'.

Story 1: J's Philosophy on bare feet

We're outside at recess and I have my shoes off as I watch the kids so my feet are in the mulch. This kid's comment:

"I won't take my shoes off in mulch because it's just too pointy on my feet."

Okay, well said.

Story 2: J's theory on dead insects

"Did you know there are lots of bugs in heaven? Because we're all squishing them all the time."

Didn't know that.

Story 3: J's world

At the end of the day my kids are in a rather lengthy debate about how many boys and how many girls are in our class.

Now please bear in mind, this sweet child that we're calling J is one who's not always right where the rest of us are, both physically and mentally, although he is very bright. He's not been paying attention to the other kids and their petty arguing because frankly, he just doesn't care.

I finally halt the debate of the number of kids in our class and say,

"We actually have 10 girls and 11 boys in our class. Please stop."

J immediately yells,


Holy cow, thank goodness it's the end of the day.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I hammer procedures into my students' heads from day one each year. This year is no different...we're plugging along still and doing well, I might add!

Being in first grade, we work really hard to be quiet in lots of places. I coach the kids often:

"Remember, no voices. No talking. Whispering only. Quiet voices only."

Apparently this really bothers one of my kids, because each time we are all quiet and I say something aloud, he says, "SHHHHH!"

At first I thought, is he really shushing me?

I didn't say anything yesterday about it because I figured by today he'd get over it.


Today in the hall everyone is quiet. We're really showing our knowledge of hallway procedures, working can hear a pin drop. Trying to be encouraging, I say, "Nice job being quiet. I really appreciate it."

This student who is so bothered by my talking is apparently pushed over the edge at this point and says,


Alright already, I give in.

Geez. ;o)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I try to dodge all conversations with children about where babies come from at all costs.

This conversation couldn't be stopped.

Actually, it wasn't really a conversation; more of a kid just talking with himself and I happened to be within earshot.

The child says in my general direction:

"Mrs. Overman, have you ever had a baby? Because I don't really know how they get in your stomach. My mom has a big cut or scar or something from having to get my sister out, but no one really remembers because we didn't really have any pictures of it. And you know what? I know I'll have to find a woman to get a baby. But I still don't really know how they get in there. But if I get a woman and I see ya someday, I'll tell ya how she got it in there."

I LITERALLY said nothing. I mean, seriously, what do you say to that?!?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Sweat

Ah, it feels so great to be back in the blogging world.

Tonight was open house/back-to-school night at our school. It's always a great time; you get the little sweet first graders with all their brand-spanking-new crayons, tissues, paints...good times.

You all know by now that I digress.

There were a couple of highlights to my night. Several of my previous students came in and hugged me (one even said she wanted me to blog again soon...thanks, Alexis!); I got to meet some cutie kids in my class; I also finally got to speak to their parents, which is always great.

Now you know this is going somewhere.

My favorite highlight of the night came from one of my new students. I was talking to his mom and he had wandered over to the hundred chart and was pointing to each number as he counted (Woo hoo! That's always a good sign!). It was a fairly tedious activity and took him a little while. When he finished, he informed us of the following:

"I just counted to 100 by myself. No sweat!"

So I could probably make a list of 10 things I can already tell about this kid (good stuff, of course!)...just from this event.

More to come! I've got some really cool kids this year.

Friday, June 8, 2007

It's that time of year

I think I will be taking the summer off from posting on my blog, but I hope you'll revisit me in August and we'll start up again. Thanks for reading! I'll end this school year with one of my kids' favorite poems by Shel Silverstein:

Shel Silverstein - Bear In There

There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I have a little guy in my room who burps a lot. I don't know if it's a medical thing or what, but he always says "excuse me" and never really thinks it's funny so I don't say much about it.

However, the truth came out today. We'll call him "O" in this conversation:

O: "Mrs. Overman, you know that my brother will probably be in your class next year."

Me: "Yep, that's what your mom told me. That will be fun!"

O: "Yeah, but you should know he doesn't EVER use his manners. I use my eating manners ALWAYS at school. But I don't use my burping manners."

Me: "I know."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last Breath

Oh, blog readers, I'm sorry...I've done a yucky job of posting every day. School is busier at the end (as we all know) and that makes it more difficult.

However, here's a story for you today. I have this little girl in my room who has theories on EVERYTHING. We'll call her "Kid 1" and the other student "Kid 2." Here's the conversation that happened yesterday that (I think) kind of took her by surprise:

Kid 1: My mom is gone until tomorrow because my grandpa took his last breath today.

Kid 2: Oh no! Did he die?

Kid 1: I don't really know.

This was just funny to me because I don't think she was expecting anyone to ask her what that meant therefore she didn't bother to find out and when Kid 2 asked, it threw her! So cute.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


One of my students (we'll call him F) lived in Nebraska before coming to Indiana. Today we were working on a map project about parts of the United States and were talking about the Midwest. This particular student was working with another little guy who came up to me and thus began the discussion:

K: "F says since he used to live in Nebraska he can speak their language really good."

Me: "You know they speak English there, right, K?"

K and I both look at F at the same time to witness the biggest smile on F's face...what a stinker!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


One of my students may be moving to Nevada. Here's our conversation about that from earlier today:

O: "You know, my dad may get a job in Nevada. I would like to live there because I would like to wake up with mountains, play in the mountains, look outside and see mountains, and eat lunch in the mountains. But I was wondering...what language do you have to speak in Nevada?"

Me: "Honey, don't worry, they speak English just like us."

O: "Oh, good."

Monday, May 21, 2007


We're doing a project right now in my first-grade class for the kids to learn about some places in Indiana that are significant to them. They're transferring things from a regular map like Indianapolis (one boy called it "Indiana-napolis," which is pretty good for reading it independently!), some local lakes, some cities, and a few rivers to their own maps.

One of my boys noticed the town of Jamestown, Indiana, and said,

"There is a town called Jamestown on this map. I think that must be where James from the other class lives because it is called JAMEStown. Do you get that? JAMES-town, like a town with James."

Got it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Silly Gas

This is me at age seven. I just think it's funny to look at myself when I was the age of my students.

If I haven't said it before, I have a favorite student...I can't help it...I'm human! Lots of my posts are from him. This particular post is about a time he was filling me in on his upcoming dental visit:

"My tooth has been hurting so the dentist is going to have to put me to sleep. If that doesn't work, he's going to spray silly gas on my nose to make me laugh."

I asked him if he was sure it was "silly" gas and not laughing gas, but no, no, no, it was "silly" gas. There was no convincing him.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Kids are more work

I've been married for two and a half years now, and I've had to have the "having-a-kid conversation" with many people (right, Mom?). However, I didn't think this would be a conversation I would have with a seven-year-old this morning...or ever. Mind you, I had been awake for about an hour and managed to be at school for an early meeting when this conversation occurred:

M: "Is this a picture of your kids?"

Me: "No, I don't have kids. Just dogs."

M: "You're married, right?"

Me: "Yep."

M: "And you don't have kids? Is that because they're a lot of work?"

Me: "Yep."

She must hear that at home...


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


One of my first graders last year pondered the following:

"Did you know that God can count to infinity? I don't really know how he learned, though, because I don't think he went to college. And you know what I don't understand? How God had a baby without a wife!"

I don't remember saying anything to that but "Uh huh..."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


One of my kids said to me one day:

"I need to go to the nurse because I think I have a disease called leprosy. See, look at my foot! It's very red and itchy, and that is DEFINITELY leprosy."

Despite her convincing argument that she had this commonly Biblical disease, I didn't send her to the nurse, and somehow, she survived!

Monday, May 14, 2007

This Is Not the One I REALLY Wanted To Post Today

The story I really want to post today I told to one of my colleagues and she wisely said (as she always does), "That might not be a good one for your blog, although it is REALLY funny!"

So if you teach with me and you need a good laugh, come to room 103 and I'll tell you a story.

Here's my second-place story; definitely worth posting, but not the one I REALLY wanted to post.

At our school, our kids work through individual math programs that are supported through software that allows them to work on their own levels. The things you need to pull from this are twofold:

1) The software is PACKED with cartoons and sketches, not real pictures.

2) Once my kids complete all of their first grade software, they move into second grade software, which is also cartoon drawings as opposed to photographs.

I checked in with one of my kids today while he worked in the second grade software program and said, "How are you doing?"

He said, "Well, I just don't understand why the pictures in this second grade part are fake."

I was seriously stumped, so I had to say, "What???"

He elaborated: "You know, these pictures are FAKE. They're cartoons, not real stuff. I thought everything in second grade would be real because second graders don't like cartoons."

I continue in this deep conversation, "Why do you think that?"

His answer: "They just don't! They're older, so they only like to look at REAL pictures."

Wow, this kid's going to be in for a real shock next year when he finds out he won't be getting his driver's license or anything either! Hmmm, maybe second graders aren't so grown up after all!


My friends Scott and Deanna told this story tonight at our small group for church. It's short, sweet, and pretty funny!

So apparently their four-year-old son Aaron asked Scott if he could poop outside like their dog, Ollie.

Scott said the best thing he could think of was to say, "No, Aaron, people don't poop outside."

I just love a good poop story...mainly because poop is such a funny word! Maybe that's why I teach first grade...


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Rectangular Prisons

I wanted to get a feel for whether or not my first graders had good perception and problem-solving skills, so today I handed them a box of three-dimensional shapes, some toothpicks, a few marshmallows, and said, "Make some shapes with what you have."

Amazingly, some of them even made spheres!

We were reviewing the names of the shapes and I realized we'd never really talked about rectangular prisms. So I said, "Say that with me: rectangular prism."

I held up the rectangular prism and asked, "What's this called again?"


Okay, don't go home and tell your parents we made prisons at school today.

Oh boy...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Egg Drop

We do lots of hands-on science projects in first-grade. Today we finished up our Egg Drop project: the kids had to design a parachute to keep their raw egg from breaking when dropped from 10 or 15 feet. They're so good; they've learned not to ask, "But how do I do that?" or pout when something's just not working. I'm very proud of them!

So anyway, today was the big Drop. We went out in the sunshine, got our eggs all ready (you would have thought they were babies or something!), and began dropping them. When someone's egg "survived" the drop, we cheered and clapped because, well, it's so exciting!

The funny part came when one of my little guys noticed some eggs were breaking. He covered his heart, bowed his head, and said, "He was a good egg."

That was funny enough, but then another kid saw him doing this and saluted the eggs that cracked! It was like a military funeral.

How hilarious!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Tag...I'm it!

My friend Deanna (you can check out her's on the side of my blog) virtually "tagged" me today. Here are the rules:

Someone "tags" you by posting a quick note on your blog that you've been tagged, then you have to post seven things/habits about yourself and then tag seven more people...I don't know if I know seven bloggers to tag, but I'll try! Most of my fellow 'net friends are on MySpace or Facebook, but we'll see!

Okay, seven habits/things lots of people don't really know...

oh boy...

1. I grew up in Muncie, Indiana, and my family lives within a five-mile radius, so you can imagine how far away I feel here in Warsaw (aaauuuggghhh, two hours!).

2. I am still best friends with some very interesting sisters: Lacee, who's hearing impaired (known for 12 years...she keeps me fluent in sign language); Dawn, fellow exercise nut (known for 16 years); and Tasha, the best graphic designer ever (known for 19 years...right, Tash?).

3. I'm a clean freak.

4. I eat something chocolate every day, even if it's the fat-free kind...BOO!

5. I'm a dog lover! I have two golden/lab retrievers, Sophie and Riley. They're our very hairy kids.

6. Someone told my husband I wanted to marry him just two weeks after we met (how humiliating!) and that's how we got together. Guess he wasn't too scared, huh?

7. I love going to the dentist! On the opposite side of the coin, I hate going to the doctor SO MUCH that I can't even stand to be around my own brother-in-law (a doctor) when I'm kind of sick.

Okay, that's seven! I think I only know two people to tag and I'm sorry, but I'm not yet a good enough blogger to figure out how to attach their blog addresses to their names:


Friday, May 4, 2007

Cavity Worms

I haven't written anything in a little while...not good! School has been a bit busy and has kept me from blogging, but here's a good one for you all today.

One of my sweet little first graders has had a cavity in a tooth for quite awhile now...they're working on it, but you know how hard that can be sometimes.

Anyway, today she said, "You know, I finally figured out where my cavity is from."

Of course I wanted to hear her theory because this particular little girl has lots of funny theories for things she can't really explain.

So I replied, "And where was that?"

"Well," she wisely stated, "There are cavity worms in Fruit Loops. The last time I ate them my tooth hurt a LOT and it's because of the cavity worms getting in my tooth and eating it away."

I admire her confidence. :o)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Built To Last

About once a month I teach a large group session for 2nd-4th graders at my church. The theme of the day yesterday was "Built To Last," so everything was taught around this idea of people in the church being built to last.

My lesson opening question was, "What do you think of when you hear the words 'built to last'?"

I got a few answers:

"Something that stays."

"Something strong."

And the first-class answer of the day:

"Ford Trucks!"

Have the Ford commercials ministered to your kids today?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Home Alone

Today we talked about how to be safe if you're home alone. Of course we couldn't move on without hearing every story known to man about how "my brother called 9-1-1 once" and "one time a guy came to the door so I..." kind of things.

It was comforting to me that these parents have done a fantastic job of teaching their kids what to do.

One of my students is so funny because he's very quiet and compliant but has this kind of hidden streak of "stinker" in him he's a lot of fun. He told us this important fact about being home alone:

"You should always know your neighbors because once when I was home alone I was jumping on the couch and I choked on a cracker and I had to go tell my neighbor."

For the rest of the afternoon, every time I even looked at this kid I laughed. So funny!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Birthdays are a big deal when you're turning seven. In first grade world, we always have to sing, wear a birthday hat, eat some treats, etc. Not to mention if the birthday cake isn't on the calendar, we throw a fit.

But I digress again.

So on this particular day, a mother brought dirt pudding in for a birthday treat for her daughter's school party. If you're not familiar with dirt pudding, it's chocolate pudding with Oreo cookies crumbled on top to look like topsoil. This particular mom knew her audience and also included a gummy worm in the dirt and a little flower on top.

A couple of my kids were new to dirt pudding and were a little concerned:

"Is this really dirt?"

"Are we supposed to really eat this?"

Then we had to have a little meeting about how it's not really dirt, it's chocolate pudding, etc.

As someone who finds kids really funny, it was enough for me that they thought we'd actually feed them dirt and call it a treat...happy birthday, here's some dirt...okey dokey...but the story got better. I walked around the room as they ate and asked one kid, "So...does it really taste like dirt?"

His reply still cracks me up:

"No way, this does NOT taste like dirt at all. Dirt is crunchy and gets stuck in your teeth."

Somehow I wasn't surprised that this kid had eaten dirt before...and probably some other questionable stuff.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Tooth Fairy

I've had students of several different backgrounds and religions in the short time I've taught. One day we got into the (dangerous!) discussion about the tooth fairy. A couple of my students didn't celebrate holidays or childhood characters, and one of these kids said,

"I don't believe in the tooth fairy because it goes against my gods. But I really want to test it out just to see."

I don't know if she did or not! I should have checked. ;o)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


One day out of sheer curiosity I asked, "How old do you think you have to be to be the President?"

One first-grader said, "Old enough to drink beer!"


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Color "People"

We do a lot of coloring in first grade.

So one day I asked my kids to get out their favorite color crayon. One student held up a peach one and said, "Mrs. Overman, this is my favorite color: it's the color people."

I know Crayola has funny names for colors like "Robin's Egg Blue" and "Macaroni and Cheese," but can you imagine the hits they'd take for naming peach "People"? Wow!

Cute from the mouth of a child, though!

Monday, April 16, 2007


During our calendar time today, I told my first-graders that grown-ups have to pay their taxes today.

"What are taxes?" they all wanted to know.

"Taxes are money we pay to the President and his business so we can have things like nice roads, schools, and other stuff, " I said.

Then the question of the hour from one very curious little girl:

"Okay, so do I need to send my money right to the President or can I just take it to the bank?"

Oh, darling, if only it were that easy!

Friday, April 13, 2007


This one's just too funny to not post.

Our school participated in a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy this week. To make a long story short, the top four classrooms got some exciting prizes like extra recess with our principal. My first-graders love Mrs. Woodard and were so excited they were saying things like:

"I'm going to sell all my toys to get lots of money to bring!"

"I'm going to bring my report card money!"


At the end of the day the winning classrooms were announced over the loudspeaker. Our class didn't win, to which one of my students replied,


I don't think he really got the point of the fundraiser....

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Last year it had been really yucky weather-wise during the time surrounding Hurricane Katrina. My first-graders and I were talking about how fortunate we were to just have the outside of that big storm because we only got "sprinkles" of rain from the storm. They were expressing their worry about whether or not we could ever have a really bad storm like that in Indiana, so we proceeded to discuss how hurricanes form over the ocean and we have nothing to worry about. Just sprinkles.

Still, some of my students are natural worriers like me and were not convinced.

I did my best with my minimal meteorological knowledge to assure them that we would NEVER have a hurricane. Only sprinkles.

I was pretty proud of myself; good for me that I was able to put their constantly-churning minds at ease with my sprinkles explanation.

Then came outside recess.

The playground is a tough place. There are times where anything goes just because the kids are letting out their boundless energy that they've desperately tried to restrain all day. I was thinking this lovely hurricane discussion was over; what happened at recess proved me wrong...again. Ah, the education I receive from being an educator....

My kids came running in the recess doors to find me waiting for them at our door as usual. They were so worked up I was a little concerned.

"Mrs. Overman! Mrs. Overman! Help! A hurricane is coming! It's sprinkling like you said!"

This is all I can figure: they did a good job attaching "sprinkles" in their memory...DEFINITELY didn't do so hot remembering why sprinkles are a good thing.

Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bubble Gum

My first year teaching was one dramatic event after another. I learned more that year about life than any other time other than when I worked in detention. But I digress.

So early in my first year teaching, my first-graders and I returned to our room from music class and immediately the phone rang. It was the music teacher, a 35-ish year veteran and wonderful model educator:

"Hi Mrs. Overman. I just wanted to let you know that today in music we sang a funny song about a little boy who choked on his bubble gum and died. All the kids thought it was just hilarious except for J. He cried for the rest of the class after that song ended. I just wanted to let you know."

My response:

"Okay, thanks, he's still crying. That makes more sense now."

If you've ever taught first grade, you know all traumatic events of any caliber must be addressed with a debriefing session, otherwise you may have some little ones who are traumatized for life and then parents call and it's messy. So we proceeded to organize ourselves into a community circle to discuss the situation. I opened the discussion:

"Well, I heard you sang a song in music class today..."

and was interrupted by another kid:


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


One of my students came up to me one day and randomly said,

"My grandma died because her heart was very sick and she stopped eating her vitamins."

I love the simplicity. Why can't they tell us this stuff in the hospital?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Great Kids

My kids are so great.

I'm at the tail-end of the flu today and still pretty much feel awful. I told my kids they would have to listen very carefully and do their best because I just feel terrible (which they've never seen or heard me say).

Here are some of their comments to me:

"Oh, Mrs. Overman, we're going to have to keep an eye on you!"

"Mrs. Overman, you can sleep in the beanbag chair while we're gone to music."

How cute. If only I were so good to them when they're sick...except then they'd be "sick" all the time!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


So I talked more in depth with the student whose grandmother is Amish and apparently, according to her, there are Amish words, but not really an Amish language. If you know more about this than I do, feel free to post a comment and I'll add more. This still makes my last story accurate, however, because F. thought there was a complete Amish language like Spanish. I learn something new every day.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I love my job.

So today a couple of my first graders were deep in conversation. We'll call them F and S since I can't use their whole names.

F: "You know, I know all my languages."

S: "What do you mean?"

F: "Like German; I can speak German, French, Spanish, and Amish like how your grandma is Amish."

By this point I was thinking, S is way too smart to continue in this conversation because her family descends from the Amish, so she knows there's no official Amish language.


S: "Okay, so speak something in Amish."

F: "Okay. Buggies, horses, barns."

But this isn't the end of this great story!

S comes to me to tattle that "F says he knows how to speak Amish, but really doesn't. I know how to speak it because of my grandma."

It was all I could do to not crack eyes were practically brimming with tears from the pressure.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Text Connections

My neighboring teacher told me today that her class has been learning about a few kinds of connections during reading, which can include text-to-text, text-to-world, and text-to-self connections. There are probably more, but I can't remember right now.

One of her kids came up to her and it went something like this:

Student: "I made a connection during reading today."

Cheryl: "Great! What kind of connection?"

Student: "Text-to-cousin."

ROCK ON! I love when kids make up words and phrases. They make much more sense.


One day last year in first grade we were talking about migrant tribes in Saudi Arabia and how they have to move every time their animals need water.

I threw out the question, "Can you imagine having to move every time your pets needed water? Where do your dogs get water?"

I got a few answers:

"From the store."

"From the sink."

My personal favorite:

"From the toilet."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Because I'm human, I have an all-time favorite student. He's not in my current class, but he has helped me compile probably half of my journal entries thus far. What a great kid! I used to ask him questions just to see what he'd say because he was so sure of himself, whether right or wrong. Here was our conversation one day:

He said, "My grandpa has to get surgery, but he doesn't have insurance."

Just to see what he thought, I said, "What's insurance for?"

His reply: "It covers up expensive stuff."

How true!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Family Stories

Two of my favorite family stories from some of my students:

"One time my sister got hit in the eye with a tennis ball and then she got a blue eye. No, wait, I think it was a black eye."


This bright little first-grader spoke Dutch at home and was very perceptive:

"We are moving soon to North Carolina. That is a state in Indiana, by the way. My dad bought a new job there. We are teaching the new people about our house for 90 days."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Hampshire

One of my little girls today was putting together a puzzle of the United States and was looking for "New Hamster."

So cute...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I was working one morning in SonLight (our church's children's ministry) and a little girl was telling me her memory verse from John 3:16:

"God so loved the world that he gave his only forgotten son..."

Another little girl finished the verse:

"...that we would not paris..."


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First Day Teaching

If I ever write a book about the first years of teaching, this will be my opener:

I had dreamed of teaching my ENTIRE life, from the time I was five and lined up all my stuffed animals, my brother, and my neighbor (she always wanted to play "Hospital;" today she's a nurse!). You can imagine how excited I was the first day of my first job in first grade! Oh man, I had everything planned, backup assignments, extra activities, etc. I hit the kids hard with management and procedures from day one, telling them what to do when they finished their work.

"When you finish," I said, "you may either do a math center or read a book."

One of my students refused to do either and continued to frustrate me that day, so I finally said to him, "Just go get a book and RELAX!"

He agreed, sat down, spread the big book open in the middle of the floor and yelled across the room,


Oops...I think I learned more from him that day than he learned from me that year.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fish and a Shark

I coached swimming for awhile when I first moved to this area. One of my second-grade swimmers speculated aloud one day:

"You know what this pool really needs? Some fish! And maybe a shark."

I was thinking, maybe a shark would cut some seconds off your time! ;o)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Long Sleeves

My mother-in-law told me this great story of her friend's preschool granddaughter. Apparently, she was in a lot of trouble at school this week for dragging another little boy by the arm in anger. She left quite a scratch on him, and her teachers let her parents know about the incident. Her mom talked with her at home and the conversation went like this:

"Okay honey, so what should you do the next time a kid is upsetting you INSTEAD of scratching his arm?"

"Next time I'll make sure he's wearing long sleeves!"

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I coached swimming for awhile and one day in the summer, one of my kids was telling me why another swimmer wouldn't be at practice:

"He's sick; he's got sunbubbles."

To which I replied, "You mean sun poisoning?"


There was no convincing him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


This one is priceless...just happened this afternoon.

One of my students randomly came up to me and said,

"Guess what? I figured out that boogers are actually old parts of your brain."

All I could say was, "Really? I didn't know that!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


If you didn't know me that well, you will now.

Most kids at some point usually notice how hairy my arms are (yeah, I know, next time you see me it's all you'll think about). Anyway, at recess a student commented,

"Wow, your arms are very hairy!"

I've learned to laugh at this stuff, so I said, "Yeah, I know, I'm going to have to start brushing them soon."

Her eyebrows wrinkled in confusion and she said, "Why? Do they get tangled a lot?"

Not a good day for self-esteem...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Amanda the Goldfish

This will be a shortie.

As a toddler, my cousin's favorite drink was Kool-Aid.

She thought her fish, Amanda, would enjoy it too.

In the words of Paul Harvey, "This is the rest of the story":

Fish can't live in Kool-Aid.

Who knew?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wax Museum

There's a teacher in my school that does a "Wax Museum" every year with his students. This entails portraits of famous historical people and their dates of birth and death. The students then stand in front of the portraits and do presentations...I won't give any more away. Anyhow, picture this layout in your brain before I continue this story:

Painting of the person


Dates of life, for example 1888-1925

I was walking a second-grade student back to his classroom. He tried to stretch out some names of the historical figures and even read some of the date numbers, but couldn't seem to put the concepts together. Finally, he asked what the numbers meant. I told him, and he said,

"Oh, really? I thought those were their phone numbers!"

My reply: "Those people are dead. How would you call them?"

Ah, the mind of a kid: "I don't know how, but I'm just sure you can."


Friday, March 9, 2007

Swimming Pool

In college I worked at a detention/rehab facility for kids and teens. We served the kids dinner each night, which on this particular night included mashed potatoes with very questionably runny gravy. One of my kids was such a finicky eater and always complained about his food. I served him mashed potatoes with the gravy that flooded his plate, to which his response was:

"My plate looks like a swimming pool!"

Cute...almost. Eat it anyway.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


My earliest stories are from my special ed days when I worked one-on-one with kids. This particular day I was working with a kid in developmental first grade (in our school, that's the grade between K and 1), quizzing him on the letter O.

The card for the letter O had a picture of overalls on it so he could learn the long sound better. This poor guy had NO CLUE what overalls were (kinda surprising in Indiana, huh?), so I would say,

"What letter is this?"


"What word helps us remember long O?"

The correct answer would have been "overalls," you know, to go with the picture.

This kid's answer: "OVERBALLS!"

Okay, so we didn't stick with "overalls" after that...lost cause.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Once when I was teaching, my leg was itching so badly that I pulled up my pant leg to scratch the itch (I know, TMI!). One of my first-grade students with Autism said,

"What are you doing?"

"Scratching my leg," I said. "It really itches."

"You know, you should get one of those cone-things you can wear around your neck. It works really good for my dog!"

Gee, thanks...I won't take it personally.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Before I was teaching in a general ed classroom, I was a paraprofessional for kids with special needs. On this particular day, one of my favorite kids was working on something where he had to look things up in an index. He was also learning to define "index," so I was kind of quickly quizzing him in between problems:

"Good job. Now, what's an index?"

"That stuff you clean windows with."

"Um, I think you're thinking of Windex."

"Oh yeah."

One step at a time...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Thanksgiving Turkey

My mom teaches with a first-grade teacher who every year assigns a short writing task to her students: How to Cook a Turkey. She gets the typical responses:

"Put it in the oven until the timer goes off."

"Clean it out and bake it."

You know, the normal responses of seven-year-olds.

The winner, however, penciled:

"Put it in the oven and drink a beer!"

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Just a brief reminder...I won't be able to post pics or names of my students for privacy reasons.

When my cousin Grant was very little (probably about 4 or 5 years old), he went to Disney World with his mom and dad. Mind you, he was (and still is) a very bright little guy. He came back and gave my grandma a bar of soap from their hotel had Mickey on it or something...his words to Grandma:

"Grandma, I brought you a pimento from Disney World!"

Hey, he picked up on a big word (memento) for such a little guy!

Why I didn't want to blog

When blogging first was popular, my husband was all about it. "Why don't you blog? I love it!"


My argument: "Nobody wants to read anything I'd have to write."

Then I found myself reading some important blogs of wonderful friends/colleagues. One night I asked myself, Why do I read blogs every night?

I finally figured it out: each blogger has a perspective that I need every day. Deanna's blog is great; she has awesome perspectives on being a wife and mom (things to think about). Katie's blog is hilarious; I read her blog just to get a kick out of her writing. Cathy's blog is special because I am able to connect with a fellow teacher.

So I was thinking, what do I have to offer that someone might need? And it hit me: I've journaled for years the funny things kids have said to me. On my roughest teaching days, I go back and reread my entries, get a good chuckle, and go to school the next day happy. Maybe somebody else could use that.

So here's to you, whether you're a fellow educator or not: enjoy the sweet humor you might be missing. It's all good, clean fun. Thanks for reading...more to come!