End of the Year Interview

End of the Year Interview stickerThis year, I conducted “interviews” with my second grade class (ages 8-9). I gave them 5 simple questions to respond to. The questions were:

  1. What makes a teacher cool?
  2. What can kids do over the summer to not forget everything they learned that year?
  3. If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?
  4. What advice would you give to kids who will be in second grade next year?
  5. What do you think teachers do during the summer?

Here is the PDF version you can use for your class: End of the Year Interview. (Just change the fourth question to say whatever grade you will teach next year.)

Here are some of my favorite responses:

Question #1: What makes a teacher cool?1 - rock star glasses

 

Question #2: What can kids do over the summer to not forget everything they learned that year?2 - write a book 2 - write and keep 2- swimming makes you think 3 - in my head

 

Question #3: If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?3 - clean playground for teachers

Obviously that’s why teachers don’t play on the playground themselves – it’s not clean enough? 😉 

 

Question #4: What advice would you give to kids who will be in second grade next year?
4 - do your best 4 - give teachers stuff 4 - good and quiet 4 - have fun

True, fun is not optional.

 

Question #5: What do you think teachers do during the summer?
5 - eat food 5 - hang out 5 - hot summer 5 - prep not fun 5 - sleep

Nailed it!

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Using Memes in the Classroom

PutYourNameOnIt memeI absolutely loved this idea! It might work better with upper grades, since I don’t think younger kids have had enough exposure to memes to get as much out of this activity. This post from Mrs. Orman’s classroom talks about five ways to use memes in the classroom. Here are the five ideas:

  1. Teach about class rules, expectations and or procedures using memes
  2. Have kids create memes as ice-breaker activities
  3. Promote and reinforce your curriculum (such as a meme of George Washington)
  4. Creative activity
  5. Open house or new student orientation

Even if you don’t think using memes in your classroom will work well, her examples are HILARIOUS and totally worth the read!

April Fools Day Prank for Teachers: Shrinking Attendance Clips

My *awesomely clever* friend pulled this prank on her class yesterday: Her class has  attendance clothes pins (that each student moves first thing in the morning to show they’re present). Well yesterday, they shrunk! She went to Walmart and bought the tiny clothes pins and then wrote each student’s name on one. Then she clipped them where the regular sized ones always are. The kids “kind of freaked out!” Love it!!!

Rachel April Fools Prank

(No Prep) April Fool’s Day Pranks for Teachers

April FoolsI’m lame. I’ll just admit it. I usually forget to plan something cool for April Fool’s. I’m the one looking for a last-minute joke to play so I don’t expose myself as a lame-wad. So here are some of my favorite last minute April Fool’s Day pranks for teachers to play on their students:

Last Minute Pranks (No prep required)

  • Assign the kids new seats and then re-assign seats again many times throughout the day.
  • Announce that the awesome field trip that was planned for today is cancelled because nobody brought in their permission slips on time.
  • Tell your kids that because it’s a leap year, they have to stay in class an hour longer every day this month.
  • Tell your students that lunch is cancelled because the cafeteria ran out of food but everyone else at the school got to eat.
  • Ask everyone to turn in their homework that was due TODAY and is worth 90% of their grade for this quarter.
  • A funny prank for little kids is to begin your lesson of the day with your mouth moving but no sound coming out. This REALLY freaks kids out.

Some prep required

  • “Accidentally” show a list of silly files on your computer when you’re getting your projector hooked up. For example, name files “Teachers who might be vampires” or “Celebrity Visits at Our School”
  • Send several kids to the principal’s office for no reason. (Be sure the office and your principal are ok with this.)

More prep required

  • Rearrange all the desks or tables in the room. Maybe change them to all face a different side of the room, making a new front of the room.
  • Switch out all the students’ chairs for smaller ones. When your kids comment, deny that there’s a difference.

Click here for more April Fool’s Day ideas.

Hilarious Things Kids Say About Thanksgiving

I recently read this article (source) and thought it was just too funny not to share! It you have anything funny like this to share, we’d love to hear it!

Notes from a Teacher | Students remind us to be thankful all year

BY DEBBIE MARSH
November 24, 2013

In elementary school, it seems that time is measured by the holidays we celebrate each month. The kids spend most of October anxiously anticipating bags stuffed with every candy imaginable, and the days following (much to the horror of teachers) sneaking some of those pieces for breakfast.

We spend December shaking with anticipation of presents under the tree and eight days of gifts that accompany the lighting of the Menorah. February is spent with visions of cupid and hearts dancing in our heads, all the while wondering who will fill our Valentines boxes with cards with affectionate verses.

In November, we are all thinking about gathering with grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, cousins, other family members and friends, and eating until we can eat no more.

As a teacher, I enjoy reaching into the brains of the children to locate any “prior knowledge” that they might have about each holiday we celebrate. These conversations provide opportunities for the kids to speak in front of others, share their family traditions and basically make the teachers smile. (Which, let’s be honest, is a special part of our job.)

After reading my all-time favorite turkey-day book, “The Night Before Thanksgiving” by Dave Pilkey, tothe class, I asked them what Thanksgiving was really all about. While many shouted, “FOOD!” others enthusiastically raised their hands.

“Well, we are celebrating the day our country came here!”

I looked at Tennison and asked, “What do you mean?”

“There were some people from somewhere who came in a boat over to this land. They saw this big land and said WE WANT THIS COUNTRY! But the native americans said NO! And then some crazies started a great big war! Years later after they won the war they said, ‘Hey we really don’t know each other! Let’s have a meal and get to know each udder.’ And that’s how it started.”

I nodded and smiled as we followed along with his story.

“Now, boys and girls,” I said, “I am making a special Thanksgiving meal this year, but I’m not quite sure how to do it. Can you give me some advice?”

Augustus shot his hand up in the air, and I knew I was in for a treat. “Well, you should get a turkey. But do NOT hack the turkey in your house. The farmer will hack the turkey and then you can get it at the Giant.”

One young lady shouted, “And make sure you shave the fur off the turkey before you cook it!”

Patrick’s eyes lit up, and he added, “And you have to stuff the turkey with potatoes and fruitsies.”

I smiled, “How did you know THAT?”

He smiled, “Well, it just popped out of my brain! I didn’t even know I knew it!”

And while we were having our animated discussion about how to cook a turkey and hot turkey stuffing, I noticed John on the carpet holding his breath. “John, is there a reason you’re holding your breath?”

“Well, I’m just practicing in case I have to battle a great white shark.”

I smiled as the kids started raising their hands to share what they were thankful for this year.

“I am thankful for spending time with my cousins. Oh, and pranking my family.”

Augustus added, “I am thankful that my mom and dad made me.” (Me, too, Augustus, me too!)

I pointed to Izzi, who said, “I am thankful for my aunt Ida.” She then added dramatically, “She’s DEAD, but I’m really, really thankful for her.”

“I am thankful for all the REAL ladies in life. Oh, but not their nail polish. I avoid that completely.”

As I watch the days fly by and we cross the holidays off one by one, I realize how very thankful I am for this particular group of kids. They challenge me, they question me, they exhaust me, they lift me up and make me smile. They remind me that each and every single day is a gift, and that we don’t need to wait until the turkey has been hacked to be thankful.

Debbie Marsh is a first-grade teacher at Easterly Parkway Elementary School. She can be reached at drp11@scasd.org.

Funny Stuff Kids Say & Do

I’m going to start collecting funny things kids say and do at school. If you have a funny experience, let me know and I’ll post it here! Thanks!

This past week, and next week, we have to do lots of testing, so we do lots of busy work.  We have been doing science (the seasons) and social studies (patriotic symbols).  One of my kids came to me and said, “Mrs. W., when are we going to do some real science?”  I asked her what she meant.  She said, “You know, dissecting frogs.”  I told her that is a middle school or high school thing.  She then told me that her sister had done it in second grade!  I think she is misinformed!  Can you imagine – dissecting a frog in second grade?! – Diane, 2nd grade teacher

On my first day of teaching, I ate lunch with my students. One of my students asked me if I had ever tried his mother’s sloppy joes! –  Cultivating Questioners, 2nd grade teacher

So I used to sweat…a lot…during my first year of teaching. I guess it was a combination of nerves and a warm classroom. One day, a student raised his hand after seeing my large sweat rings on my shirt and says, “Mrs. Shook, yo underpits is wet!” I just about died laughing at that one!  – Kayla, 4th grade teacher

I was in an elementary school nurse’s office today. I tiny little girl (must have been a kindergartner) standing against the wall accidentally scooted under the automatic hand sanitizer dispenser… yup. The machine squirted foam on her head! I was trying SO hard not to crack up laughing!!! -Mindy, Squarehead Teachers

Teacher Memes/Cartoons

1 Have Problems VS 2 Hip Hop VS 9 Wik VS 14 Sardines VS 18 Certificate
These cartoons are by Jonny Hawkins. His cartoons have been in Phi Delta Kappan, American Educator, Education Digest, Reader’s Digest and in over 600 other publications. He create the annual bestselling Teachers Cartoon a Day calendar (Andrews McMeel), which can be seen at bn.com and Amazon.

Food for Thought

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