Finding a Just Right Book the Week Before Spring Break

“How about this book?”  she says more to herself than me.  She doesn’t really care what I think.

“That book is in Spanish,”  I tell her, for some reason thinking it will be enough for her to put it back and pick a new one.  Some of the students know how to speak Spanish, a few more how to read it.  She is not in either of those categories.

She continued looking at it, getting ready to put it in her book bag.

“You don’t know how to read Spanish, so that book isn’t just right for you.”

“Yes I do.”

“You don’t know how to read Spanish. Put the book back and pick a new one,” I repeat.

She looks up at me and smiles, “Gracias!”

I can’t. Through laughter I repeat, “Put the book back and pick a new one.”

The Papaya

“Did I tell you about the papaya?”  my son asked on the way home Sunday night.

I had only seen him for a little bit on Friday, so I hadn’t heard anything about school on Friday yet.  “No, I don’t think so.”

He took a bite of his granola bar and chewed.

I waited.

And waited.

“Are you going to tell me about it?”

He nodded as he chewed another bite of the granola bar.

I waited.

“The Papaya,”  he said and then paused.

I waited.

“Ok.  So, Friday during Lanugage Arts -”

“Wait!” I interrupted.  “Did you just say the title of your story?”

He nods and then continues telling me the story of “The Papaya.”  Yes, my son, the writer, apparently titles even his verbal stories.  It wasn’t actually titled “Papaya,”  it was another “p” word that is more of what you would expect from middle school boys.   He went on to tell me a story about middle school boys, a “papaya” drawing, and an unsuspecting teacher on the last day before spring break.  The more he tells me about middle school, the happier I am to be here in elementary school,  far away from “papayas” and middle school boys…

And so it started …

“Can you make me one?” Another student asks C, holding a piece of blank paper.

I could only see her back, but I could tell C just wanted to use her sacred ten minutes of quiet time to read her book. She had spent countless quiet times making them for the other students in the class and I could see in her body language that she was torn. She didn’t want to tell him no, but she also just wanted to read.

I took pity on her and did what I had been avoiding for weeks.

“Let C read. Come here and I will make it for you,” I told the student.

I saw disbelief in his eyes as he walked toward me. However, I also saw C’s body relax and slide back into her book.  And that made what I knew was coming (lots and lots of folding) completely worth it.

“You can make fortune tellers?!?” he and several other students nearby said in disbelief.

“Yes, I can make fortune tellers. This isn’t a new thing. I used to make them when I was your age,” I told them and they watched as I started folding.

And so it started – my week of making fortune tellers, teaching second graders to make fortune tellers, and then fixing the fortune tellers that the students didn’t fold carefully enough….


Now to find something to distract them for their obsession with fortune tellers…

This slice brought to you by the Comic Sans writer’s block trick.  How did that just work?!?!


The Alien Moves…


Another throwback to about a year ago when I was pregnant with my daughter.

I was sitting on the couch and Troy (my son) was talking about random things.  I noticed that every time he said something, the baby in my tummy moved.  Sometimes it was a punch, other times it was a roll.  But, every time he spoke, she moved.

“Troy come over here,”  I said.

“Why?”  he asked, but headed over anyway.

“Just come here and sit down.”

He dropped onto the couch next to me.

“Now say something,”  I demanded.


“Just look at my tummy and say something.”

He looked at my tummy, “Why?  What do you want me to….AHHHH what the…”

He saw Lorelai move – one of her huge kicks.  It’s like an alien pushing from inside, trying to get out.


He continued screaming, “Oh, my God!  Oh, my God!”

I couldn’t help but crack up.  I guess he just wasn’t ready for it….

Poison Dart Frog and SOL

“If you’ve been poisoned, you shouldn’t be talking.” It’s a reminder the fallen “flies” always need.  And they needed it once again during our morning game of “Poison Dart Frog.”

All of a sudden several of the “flies” on the opposite side of the circle erupted in laughter, my co-teacher included.  “Oh, G,” she said through her laughter.  “I need to write this down!” Then, she turned and started scribbling onto a post-it.

I’m not sure what G said, but I do know that I will get to read about it later on her blog.  Gotta love March and SOL!