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!