I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Monday, December 21, 2009

goods and services...

This past week our class has been learning about Goods & Services in economics. Every year this concept proves to be a little hard for my six year olds to grasp.

note: the language they use for the children is this:
Goods: Things people make or use to satisfy needs and wants.
Services: Activities that satisfy people’s needs and wants.

Every year when we first start talking about this, my gorgeous students get these looks of rather a lot of intense concentration, and then confusion on their face and essentially give me the old: "Um, awesome, Miz F, this is so great and yay learning and all, but, um... what in the ever loving world does all that mean?"

So, we act some things out. We tell little stories. We circle some of the words that make our brains go fuzz-buckets and define them. We do little projects. Eventually we get to this very basic distillation: things you can touch? Goods. Things you can do? Services.

Yes. So, that's not completely accurate. But a lot of the kids need a way of classifying consistently before they can start discussing or thinking more deeply and delving into the grey areas (Can something be both a good AND a service? whoa...)

Anyway, so my class is on their way to this place of classification right now. On Thursday when we were waiting for our reading buddies to arrive, we had a couple of minutes, so I said: "Alright, let's play Goods & Services!" I called out something (books! pencils! putting out a fire!) and the kids called back what it exemplified (goods! services!).

We do have a raucous good time in first grade, I tell you.

Later, in the library, our librarian was reading the children a story in which the two main characters had just done something and were "...carrying the tree inside..."

Immediately, Adin bursts out, "That's a service!"

Yeppers, ladies and gentlemen. Those are my students. Taking their learning beyond the four walls of our classroom. I do believe they might be completely awesome.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Every morning I play music as the kids are coming in. It's a mix of 60's and 70's music that is just awesome (Dancing Queen, Rockin' Robin, Love Will Keep Us Together, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, and etc...). We all love it. It's fun to bebop as we greet each other and do all of the numerous morning jobs.

I wait for the children in the hallway and greet them as they come in, but I can hear the music from inside. Often, I dance.

Okay, fine. All the time I dance.

This morning I overheard:

student 1: Look, Miz F is dancing.
student 2: She always dances.
student 1: Oh yeah. Look, Miz F is dancing again.

Guess they've got my number now. ♥

Monday, December 7, 2009

hermit crabs!

We have hermit crabs! So much excitement! I brought them in on Friday and set up the tank.

Things they notice: "The shells are different." and "They have legs and claws and like to hide in their shell."

Things they want to know: "Can we please name them, Miz F?" and "Will they have babies?"

Things they want to do: watch them all day long and skip everything else.

My compromise: add a station to Reading time where they can observe and write questions.

So, I stayed after work today to rearrange a bit on one counter and make a more kid-friendly observational space. Here it is:

The empty tank on the far right is a gift from my work boyfriend, Angela. It will eventually hold fish, but probably not until January. I'm not sure the excitement level could take another notch right now.

Which is kind of awesome, if you ask me.

an open letter...

Dear Social Studies Department Office,

I adore you. Over my tenure here in this school system, I have continually been impressed with your depth of knowledge, your professionalism, the resources you develop and provide, and the professional development you offer. In short, you're absolute Rock Stars. Capital R. Capital S.

Keep that in mind.

So, why then, when there is a new element to the First Grade curriculum this year and you've developed a great Make and Take workshop for teachers to create a good resource to bring to their classroom, why would you hold only one session? And limit it to 30 teachers? Aren't there are approximately six squillion first grade teachers in our school system?

Why, Social Studies Department, why?

I even went to register immediately after my SS lead teacher informed me of the workshop and it was already up to number 24 on the wait list.


Don't worry. Our relationship will recover. I know it will.

I think I might need some Ben & Jerry's, though.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a long hallway walk...

Our classroom is at the end of a long hallway.

Basically, our classroom is as far away from any other place in the entire school as you can possibly get (with the exception of a small area that abuts the street in front of us). Any time we need to go somewhere we always budget extra time. It's a long walk.

Today, my class had a vision screening. Some lady came to take half my class for vision screening and sent back three children at a time. Then she came and got the rest of the class and sent them back three at a time. For the long walk back from the vision screening.

So, when each group of three arrives back in the classroom, they're each out of breath and guilty looking and rather shifty. Do you know where I might be going with this?

Let me restate: our classroom is at the end of a long hallway.

Yeah, so I have to do the teacher thing and look at them and ask if they know what being out of breath shows? ("That we were running, Miz F.") I'm solemn and serious and they're each totally contrite and sweet and awesome, really.

To be honest, though? That's about as far as I'm going to take it. If I were six I would be all over a hundred and twenty foot dash down a long hallway when no teachers are looking. I totally get it. Plus, it's supposed to rain in about an hour and the sky is already looking menacing.

Good for them for getting some exercise while they can. ♥