Archive for April, 2009


April 27, 2009

Another journal prompt:  If you had to choose one, would you rather eat a chocolate-covered worm or a chocolate-covered beetle? I know – I was asking for it. It wasn’t my idea, though.  My grade partner did it with her class last week and they had fun with it, so I wanted to see what I’d get from my kids.

This first piece was written by a very matter-of-fact little girl:


I love that she said she’d be ‘pucking’ at the end of the day. I hate pucking.

Another girl wrote this next piece.  She had quite a way with words.


“. . . slither down my through (throat) like I was throwing up backwards.”  What a thought.

My favorite, though, is this one.  It was written by one of my funny boys (the “going to juvie” kid).  He’s a light printer, so it’s kind of hard to read in this photo.  I’ve written it out for you below the picture.


If I was forced to eat a chocolate covered beetle or a chocolate covered worm, I would choose a chocolate covered worm because it would be just like eating a gummy worm. It would be like having a dirt cup at school, soft, slimy and GULP!  Down the throat it goes.  As for beetles it would be hard, crunchy and get stuck in your teeth. I mean seriously. What kind of journal entry is this? A try to make you explode with grossness test or what?!

That kid made me snort.  Loudly.  In front of the whole class.  I snorted.  Seriously.

Boys are . . .

April 22, 2009

chewing me out – or grossing me out.  Let’s start with the chewing.  We’ll get to the grossing later.

My own boy is more of a grown-up than I am.  He chewed me out for snapping photos of a fellow passenger on our recent train ride to Grand Central Station in NYC.  He said I was obnoxious and rude.  My argument?  I saw something out in public view that I found . . . well . . . intriguing.  I didn’t make a big show of it. I discreetly pulled my camera out of my bag, turned it on, turned the flash off, pointed, and clicked.


I couldn’t help it.  I was intrigued by this woman’s black leather, bow-front half-shirt. I didn’t understand it. I wanted to know more about it. I wanted to remember it. And of course, I wanted to show it to you.

What I didn’t realize until I zoomed in on the photo as I checked it on the playback was that this woman was looking right at the lens when I snapped the picture.  I’ve behaved responsibly and cropped her face out of the shot to protect her identity.  Hopefully, no one will be able to recognize her from the back.


So that’s that. Just wanted to share. Nothing else to say about it.  I won’t do it again.

Before we get to the grossing, I’ll tell you about what we did after the train ride.  My sisters, my niece, my boy, and I went to the city on Saturday to poke around.


It was a beautiful day and we thought it would be a great time to walk around – and check out some yarn stores.  First, we went to School Products on Broadway.  Not so great.  The man who ran the store tried to be helpful and was friendly – until he realized we weren’t going to buy anything.  Then he was done with us.  No photos.

We walked (and walked and walked and walked) and came to Macy’s in Herald Square – the largest store in the world.  (At least that’s what the sign says.)  Their annual flower show was on, so we went inside to look.



My boy and I rode the escalators up and down to quickly check out every floor. Seven? Eight?  I think we lost count.  Floors and floors of stuff.  A serious shopper could get lost in there for days.  The cool thing?  The old, wooden escalators.


Later, we made it to Purl Soho on Sullivan Street.  Tiny, but beautiful store.


I bought this:


Koigo KPPPM. Such pretty colors.  No idea what it’ll be when it grows up, but it will be lovely.

Next, we continued to The Point on Bedford Street, which was only a few blocks from Purl.  At The Point, you can eat, knit, and be happy – just like the sign says.  It’s a knitting cafe and it’s adorable.  I wish they had one in my town.  I think I’d be there every day.



After walking 80 bajillion miles, we all slept until noon the next day – which was a good thing because my vacation had reached its end and it was time to head back to school.  I was a little down-in-the-dumps about going back, but I knew I’d be entertained by the kids.

And entertained I was.  And grossed out, too.

I gave the kids the job of choosing two animals that they could combine to create a new and different animal.  For example, a puppy and a raccoon could become a pupcoon. They would then have to write a description of this animal and tell me where it lives, what it eats, and so on.  Then, they would draw a picture of the animal in its habitat.

One of my little . . . angels decided to combine a snake and a cow.  A snow (rhymes with how).  Hmmm.  Okay.  A snow.

Here’s the illustration:


You might notice that over on the left side of the paper there’s another snow that was drawn first and then erased.  The artist thought it should be bigger.


Finally Finished!

April 12, 2009

Tonight I finally finished the baby blanket I’ve been knitting for a soon-to-arrive baby boy.  I don’t know why, but this beautiful piece of handknit goodness was an honest to goodness thorn in my side.  It seemed to take forever and every time I measured it to see if it was a true square yet, I swear it was getting smaller.  It played tricks on me.  At least it’s finally done, although it continues to taunt me by refusing to allow its actual color to be photographed.  It’s not as bright a blue as in this first photo . . .


. . . but it’s not as dull as in this next one.  Whatever.  The yarn is a very pretty blue – Little Boy Blue and knit double-stranded, it created a very thick, cushy blanket that’ll be great to set down on the floor for baby to lay on.


Now I can get on with my life and decide what I’m going to knit next.  My April vacation has begun and beyond some appointments, get-togethers with friends, and garage cleaning (ha!), I should have lots of knitting time.  I also might work on third marking period report cards, but maybe not.  Reading kids work as I decide their grades can be . . . um . . . alarming.

Take a peek at a response written by one of my 3rd grade girls to a question about a book she’d been reading independently.  Since I may not read each and every word of each and every book read by my 21 students, I count on them to write lots of details to explain their thoughts.  If you’re like me, you’ll quickly find that one word in her writing JUMPS OUT at you.


See it?


Wrapped.  He wrapped himself up in toilet paper.  She thinks that’s funny.

After getting past my initial slam-the-notebook-closed-and-sit-on-it reaction, I think it’s funny, too.  Gulp.

Oh – wrap was a spelling word a few weeks ago.

The Late, the Sweet, and the Yucky

April 6, 2009

Didn’t make the deadline.  The baby shower was on Saturday and instead of presenting the mommy-to-be with a beautifully wrapped handknit blanket, I sat and knit it as she opened her gifts.  I had other gifts for her, so I didn’t feel terrible.


It’s almost 2/3 of the way there.  I feel better now that the pressure is off.  My knitting is supposed to relax me and bring me joy, and now it can.  It’ll be on its way to its new home soon enough.

During some of the time I could have been working on the blanket, I went to a Girls’ Night In with three friends.  One of the girls is a foodie and her only-recently-revealed-to-us blog shows that she’s got some mad skilz in the kitchen.  She brought her ingredients to our get-together and wowed us with her flaming bananas.  Bananas Foster!  From what I caught as she whipped up this delight, she sauteed the bananas in butter and brown sugar, poured rum on top, and lit a match.


Shazamm!  Very cool – and kind of scary.  Amazingly delicious.  She served the hot bananas and sauce over frozen yogurt and topped it with whipped cream.  Oh. My.  A bowl of heavenly goodness.  I could eat it every day.


And now that I’ve tantalized you with fine-looking food, I’ll quickly knock down any urge you might have to go check out your fridge. Last week, I gave my class one of those off-the-cuff journal questions.   Would you rather be a hot dog or a hamburger? I don’t know what I was thinking.  Last minute thing.  I didn’t know what kind of responses I was going to get, but I wasn’t expecting much.  Right away, a girl asked me if she could write about another food because she didn’t want to be either of them.  I figured that most of the kids would write about the food they liked to eat the best and why it was good.   There wouldn’t be any entertaining reading for me to pass around to the other teachers.  Sigh.

I was wrong.

This masterpiece, written by a boy who usually rushes through his work and is happiest when he can do the bare minimum, started off in a surprisingly creative way, .

I would rather be a hamburger because the bottom of the bread is for the bed.  The top is my cover.  The lettuce is my stuffed animals.  The meat is me.  The tomatoes are my blankets.  The mustard is my pillow.  And the catchup is my clothes.  That’s how comfortable being a hamburger is . . .


And then it got a little more creative:

until a big fat dude eats you.  Then his fat stomach is your home.


PS. Until he takes a dump.

I love my job.