Schoolhouse Rock vol. 21

Wow… they had some HILARIOUS things to say this week. I mean, they had some really good advice and insight to share.

“Mss K.  Never run around wearing a chicken costume.  A cat will chase you.”  “Thank you, young child.  Those are words to live by.”

A synonym for prism is “It’s a rainbow machine!!”

a picture "from the 80s" that got all this conversation started... 🙂

“Hey, I bet they already had [prisms] in the 80s!”

“Miss K, were people old in the 80s?”

Apparently even young children know the lyrics to “We are Young” by Fun.  I’m hoping they chorus is the extent of their knowledge.  Amber – let me know if you see my students at the concert tomorrow night at the strip mall…

My fifth grade helpers saw Catching Fire and Mockingjay on my desk.  “Miss K, are you reading the Hunger Games books?”  “Oh, I already read them.  Another teacher just returned them to me.  Are you reading them?”  “Yeah, I’m about two chapters in to the first book.”  “What do you think?”  (with great surprise in his voice) “It is actually pretty good!”

“But Miss K!  Kindergartners don’t know how to read!”  “Um, sure they do.  That is what we’ve been learning all year!”  “What!?!  We are learning to READ!?  THANK YOU JESUS!!!!”

Contrary to what it looks like, this is actually a picture of me and my dad on the way to the store to buy a puppy.

A child drew this picture of me (see above). This led to the natural progression of questions/comments:

  1. Miss K, do you have a husband?
  2. What happened to your husband?
  3. Do you have kids?
  4. You must be lonely.
  5. *hug*
  6. How old are you?
  7. 29?
  8. What??  My grandma is OLDER than you???


Have we talked about the fact that I’m going on a safari at the end of my trip to Uganda?  My sister is flying out and we are going on a six day safari with a tour business that is associated with Rafiki Africa Ministries.  And bonus!  Half the proceeds go back to benefit the orphanage.  We are super excited.

And then sooner or later we asked the question, “What does one wear on a safari?”

Well, with the internets as our guide, we were told that we should wear a hat to protect us from the sun, and neutral colors so we don’t scare off all the animals.

This seems totally reasonable.

Until you look in my closet.

For example, I’m guessing that they don’t mean this hat 

And do I own any neutral colors?

Because these outfits are more typical of my wardrobe: 

Note that my usual outfit is, “perhaps a moderately bright shirt, layered with a brighter cardigan, and usually adding a still brighter scarf for that extra “needed” pop of color.

Right now I’m breaking that mold – wearing a simple black shirt.  But don’t worry, I paired it with a scarf that is bright pink and turquoise, with a small section of gold sequins (I figure sequins always make up for any lack of color in the rest of my outfit)


Not exactly wardrobe choices that say, “Hey there little lion.  Hi mr. impala.  What’s up, gorilla.  It’s cool that we’re all hanging out here in the wild.  I wore some neutral colors so you wouldn’t immediately see me and bolt before my slow-to-spot-anything-eyes can find you.”

I’m guessing there aren’t hedges to hide my brightly colored clothes behind? Wish me luck, kids.  It seems like I’ll need it.

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 20 {update}

Remember last week when the child explained to me that there are actually tiny little people who live on the sun and who come out each morning to make light for us?

Well, apparently he didn’t just make this up for no reason.  I was fortunate to see these little people for myself.  They brought the light all the way to our classroom (thanks for your dedication, tiny sun people!)  The student excitedly came and got me during rest time to show them to me.  You know how when the sun is streaming in the window at the perfect angle in the early afternoon, it just really highlights all of the dust floating in the air?  Yes?  Meet the sun people.  I asked, “Hmm.  Are you sure they are people, and not dust?”  And he said, “yeah, they are people!”  And he was more excited to point out that they are all white, just like I said that light is white.  So apparently in my attempts to prepare the kids to learn about what happens when you refract light, like for example when it enters a prism, all I really did was solidify some creative misconceptions.

Yes, I am just that awesome of a teacher.

A Movie Comparison

Blogs are great places for confessions of ridiculous nature, so I feel the need to share the following:

Recently I watched two movies.

Movie one: The Vow


Movie two: Being Elmo: a puppeteer’s journey 

Which one of these movies made me cry?  Yep – Being Elmo: a puppeteer’s journey.

Don’t get me wrong: I would recommend both to a friend.

The Vow was deeply sad.  It was good, but hurt my heart to watch.  Maybe I had to emotionally detach to get through it?  Because I have turned into such a weeper of late, I feel there is no good excuse for my lack of tears.

Being Elmo was not sad in any way shape or form.  I was just so happy for this kid from a good but poor upbringing, who found his passion and achieved his dreams.  Maybe I was inspired on behalf of my students?  Maybe I just really like Sesame Street?  There is no way to know why I cried.  But I did.  Multiple times.

I feel good getting that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.

Now go take an hour and sixteen minutes and go watch it.  You can find it on Netflix instant or free on iTunes.  You are welcome.

Good Friday

Sometimes life is hard.  We live in a fallen, imperfect world.

It hasn’t been the easiest week.

For example, yesterday included 

  • kicking
  • screaming
  • scratching
  • pushing
  • throwing
  • learning I’m getting a new (probably difficult) student
  • surprise meetings
  • forgetting my lunch
  • nearly running out of gas on the side of the road
  • and more.

Yet at the end of the day I didn’t feel defeated.  I wasn’t without hope.

Today is Good Friday.  Good Friday is the day that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin.  So yeah, this world is much less than perfect.  But this world is temporary.  We have a God who is with us our bad days.  And the good days.  And all the days in between. We have a God who is holy and can’t be around sin, but who loves us enough to not let that be the end of the story.  We have a God who died for us.  We have a God who saves us.

Good Friday - Antigua, Guatemala - 2008

Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, Who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

Good Friday is a day to remember that Jesus died for us on the cross.

But the story doesn’t end on Friday.

Sunday is coming.

On Sunday we get to celebrate Easter.

And we can say,

He is risen.  He is risen indeed!

A Skeleton in My Closet.

Actually, this should probably be entitled, “A Skeleton in My Classroom”.

Imagine with me for a moment, that you teach kindergarten.  One morning, you are innocently entering your classroom.  Mentally you are preparing for the day: the lessons you will teach and the student behaviors that you will be ready to address.

You unlock the door and step inside.  You reach out to turn on the lights, but then suddenly you see that something is out of the ordinary.  You see the silhouette of a person. A person standing behind your desk, holding the back of your chair.  You jump back, gasp, and freeze. 

Your mind is racing, but as you process through the situation a little more, you see that it is not in fact a person, but rather, a wigged skeleton dressed up to go for a little run.  You circle the skeleton, perhaps from a safe distance, and find a note taped to his stylish t-shirt: “April Fool’s!  From Justin Bieber.”

People, I scare more easily than most.  My roommate has to verbally warn me when she is entering a room.  We are lucky that I did not pee my pants.  This was a terrifying (and I suppose hilarious) way to start my day. 

Naturally I wanted to share the love, and not knowing where Mr. Bones actually lives, I moved him over to the children’s folder basket to greet the kids when they arrived.  Their reactions were pretty great.

  • A couple jumped
  • One screamed
  • One creeped in close, kissed his bony hand, giggled, and slowly backed away
  • A couple wouldn’t go near him and circled the other side of the classroom to get their breakfast
  • Several pretended that nothing was out of the ordinary
  • And several mis-read the sign and declared that it was Justin Bieber (I’m not sure why they weren’t more upset that it was just his bones)
  • After I read the sign to them, they excitedly chattered about how Justin Beiber came to our classroom to play an April Fool’s Day joke on us.
  • Oh, and then there is the kid who exclaims, “Oh no!  He doesn’t have a heart!!!!!”  (because that’s all he’s missing….?)

So, Happy April Fool’s Day (a few days late, pranksters).  Now that I have recovered from my alarming entrance to school and my heart has started beating again, I’d better go pick up my kids from recess!

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 20

Today we learned that light travels in a straight path.  It was important to learn this so that we can next learn what happens when you block, bend, or reflect the light.

Task One (to get us starting to think about this concept before moving on to some other activities): We started with some sun puzzles.  There were three.  One had straight rays of light and the other two had ridiculous twirly, loopy, zig-zag rays.  After they put them together, I asked which one was true and which two were not the way light shines.

Well, apparently today was a good day to clear up some misconceptions:

“I think that this [twirly] one is the way light shines.  Because you see, people live in little houses on the sun and each morning they come out of their house and go out on the sun and make all the light and it looks just like this!  And then they go back in their house at night and then the little people on the moon come out to shine the moonlight.”

Huh.  And this is from my brightest student… learning, here we come!


Schoolhouse Rock vol. 19

Last week, one of my students (who has a lot to say in life) was out sick on Thursday and Friday.  Today he was back.  I think he missed us.  He talked like a mile a minute all day long and was full of ridiculous things to say.

Here are some examples:

  • Did you watch the Kids’ Choice Awards?  Will Smith was on it.  And Justin Bieber.  He got slimed. (I heard this approximately 17 times.  He was disappointed for me that I missed it)
  • I was gone sick last week.
  • Did you know I was sick last week?
  • I wasn’t in school Thursday and Friday because I was sick last week.
  • On Thursday I stopped drinking anything so I didn’t throw up.
  • I’m pretty funny, aren’t I.
  • You are pretty funny too.  But I’m a funny kid too.
  • Last week I dreamed that me and my friend got autographs from Super Heros.  And Batman’s autograph was shaped like a boomerang.
  • I bet you guys missed me while I was gone.
  • after teaching them, “April Showers bring May Flowers”, he says, “You know what else is in May?  The new Avenger’s movie!”  My response: “so yeah, April showers really will be bringing a lot of exciting things in May.  Movies and flowers!”

P.S. This week I’m putting addition problems inside of Easter eggs and hiding them around the classroom each day.  I told them the Math Chicken came by while they were at lunch and laid some eggs.  They were impressed at the quantity of eggs that one chicken laid.  And one child gently pretended to crack his egg on the edge of the desk to open it.  “This is how my dad opens eggs!”  I think we have a future chef on our hands.