Thursday, June 9, 2011

[Random] Oatmeal, Part Deux

On one hand I am sad I didn't reach my goal of twenty posts by the end of the school year.  For that I apologize.  For those of you that know me, you know I have suffered an unreasonable and unnecessary amount of guilt over this.

On the other, much sweeter and exciting hand, TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  For this reason the unreasonable and unnecessary guilt has been shrugged away* and the bittersweet excitement of summer is edging its way in.

I'll bet you're wondering two things.  Truly, you may be wondering more than two things, but let's start with the two things I want you to be wondering.  

What am I doing this Summer?  Taking a class I've been wanting to take forever.  Visiting with  a nephew I've tried to get to come visit me since before he was born. Hanging out and enjoying my favorite people.  Studying for the GRE.  Making some quilts.  Napping.  That's the plan as it stands now.  

And number two?  Why the Oatmeal?  Because I'm cooking oatmeal right now.  Duh.  We're making breakfast for the poodle-heads tomorrow morning and I'm taking slow-cooker oatmeal with peanut butter chips, sprinkles, and cranberries (those are things that jumped in my shopping basket). Oatmeal is a fitting item not only for it's breakfast-ability, but because my sisty-ugler and I use it as away to say nice things to each other.  I'm not actually using oatmeal to say nice things to my poodle-heads, but I do see the parallel.  I see parallels in a great many things.  

Peace out my friends.  

*Note--Again, if you know me, you know I've tried to shrug the guilt away and been only partially successful.  Aw well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

In an attempt to reach my goal of twenty posts by next Friday, I have resorted to sifting through my unpublished drafts.  Here's one from December-ish....

We are studying photography.  For two weeks we reviewed the various elements of design (e.g. line, texture, pattern) and vantage points (e.g. direct view, side view, worm's-eye view).  Their final assessment was to take a series of photographs around an object showing the six vantage points, and using the elements of design.   There are many great projects coming out of it, and I will post this all soon-like*.  Today though, on the Wednesday before the Friday before a Sunday with a Full Moon AND a vacation (read: it's crtazy 'round here), I will post the series that made me laugh.  


*Note--Heh.  Soon-like.  Totally didn't do that.

Goal Progress: 8/20

Thursday, June 2, 2011

[Student Story] Deceiver, Dissembler

Long ago, in the olden days of yore, in January, I posted about a liar-pants issue in my classroom (here and here).  Yesterday the same events started to unfold and ended a little differently.  I thought you might be interested as you dither on and on about if she learned her lesson or not...*

Phone-Borrower Kidlet asked to lay on the couch during break.  She curled into an awkward looking corner.  The other classroom teacher called and let me know that another student saw a Phone-Lender Kidlet (a different one than before) give his phone to Phone-Borrower. Phone-Lender was denying it.  I stood up, walked over to Phone-Borrower, held out my hand, and she put the phone in my hand.  I asked her to write down what happened, she told most of the truth, and went quietly to ISS where she served her time.

So.  Lesson learned?  Possibly.  She didn't lie this time, right?  It didn't take two days of hard-core ISS and detective work to figure it out.  AND, it was a DIFFERENT Phone-Lender this time. I'll give it a 6 out of 10 on the lesson learned scale.

*Note--In my secret super-powered brain you dither on and on about my posts.  Let me have this illusion for now.

* Note #2--BTW and FYI, while deciding on the title to this post I found the possible origin for the liar-liar-pants-on-fire rhyme.  Here 'tis.  It may not be correct, but I like the concept.  The website looks interesting too.

Deceiver, dissembler
Your trousers are alight
From what pole or gallows
Shall they dangle in the night?
When I asked of your career
Why did you have to kick my rear
With that stinking lie of thine
Proclaiming that you owned a mine?
When you asked to borrow my stallion
To visit a nearby moored galleon
How could I ever know that you
Intended to turn him into glue?
What red devil of mendacity
Grips your soul with such tenacity?
Will one you cruelly shower with lies
Put a pistol ball between your eyes?
What internal serpent
Has lent you his forked tongue?
From what pit of foul deceit
Are all these whoppers sprung?
Deceiver, dissembler
Your trousers are alight
From what pole or gallows
Do they dangle in the night?
[William Blake]
Goal Progress: 7/20

[Classroom Management] Campfire

I've mentioned before that I use the television show NCIS for inspiration--especially my name and my classroom rules (current list here). One time I mentioned "calling a campfire," but I didn't really explain it. 

I will 'splain.  There is too much, I will sum up...

There is a character on NCIS named Dinozzo. At one point in the season he was in charge of the team because "Boss" was in trouble for being a kamikazee rogue agent.  When Dinozzo needs to talk to the team, he says "campfire" and they gather up.  This is how I get my Poodle-heads' attention when I need to talk to them about something serious.

Example?  Why sure!
One time, someone from another class came in to tell me that my homeroom was taking part in bullying another student.  I called a campfire, they sat right down, and we talked.  I don't know for sure why it works like it does, but when I say campfire, they just gather right up.  They seem to understand that it is time to be serious even though I haven't exactly said that.

Another example?  Of course!
During one campfire someone tried to make a joke after I had clearly "called campfire," and the other students shushed him and said "don't you know that means she's serious????"

The very best example?  Here it comes!
Something even better happened yesterday.  J. came up to me and said "Boss, we think we need a campfire." He was a quiet, and a little shy about it.  At first I didn't understand.  "You need a campfire?" I asked him. "Ummmm. Yeah. We think we do."

I walked over to the rest of the group and they were already sitting in a campfire (sort of a circle-ish shape formed by sitting in their desks in the right places) and waiting for me.

J: We were wondering why you seemed kind-of-maybe-unhappy-or-angry-or-something today..."
Me: [pause]
Class: [pause--wondering how I will react]
Me: I guess I'm still frustrated from the stuff that happened here on Friday.  It wasn't a very good day and I'm trying to make sure it doesn't happen again, so I guess I'm kind of serious.
Class: Hm.
Me: And, I'm tired.  It was a good weekend.  Did you all have a good weekend?
Class: [showing relief--tells stories about weekend]

What do I think happened here?  I think they showed me a few things.  First, they reminded me that they need me to be on and present and with-it.  Their world needs that. They also showed me that they understand the procedure of "campfire" more clearly than I knew.  I started using it on a whim (like many things I do). I didn't explain the procedure of how it would be used because I didn't know myself.  I didn't over use it, and viola!  It took on a life of it's own.  It became a way to say "we need to talk," and they used it as a way to talk to me yesterday.

It was a good moment.

Goal Progress: 6/20