Thursday, February 12, 2009

Overheard II

There is nothing quite like a child's perspective of the world. Sometimes their logic is so basic and genius that I wonder why we adults make life more complicated than it needs to be. And sometimes they make no sense at all - at least not to anyone but themselves. It is up to their audience to try to ascertain the meaning behind their utterances and actions.

I often tell myself to document the clever, odd little tidbits my students say but rarely remember to jot them down when they happen. And once it is said, it is gone.

However I have managed to collect a few;

Scene One:

This is an example of disconnected discourse in education. A situation in which the teacher is putting forth a message that is not getting through because the student has other things on his or her mind.

Teacher (during a reading conference about story elements): Take a look at the posters the class made showing the different places a story can happen. What is the setting in the book you are reading?

Student (perplexed): My eyebrows are moving by themselves.

She started moving her eyebrows up and down but it turns out that she was experiencing a bit of a twitch. Who knew?

Scene Two:

Every morning we write a message on the whiteboard to share information or ask a question. Lately when we write our messages we purposefully make errors in capitalization, punctuation and spelling and ask the children to "Edit this Message".

One morning we wrote the sentence 'if i had three bundles of sticks with ten sticks in each bundle how many sticks would there be all together' In editing this message a little boy came up to the board. We pointed to the 'i' and asked him if he could fix it.

Student: You mean it needs to be a big 'i'?

Teacher: Yes.

This is how he wrote it - 'if i had three bundles...'

We should have been more specific.

Scene Three:

This one is not school related but I got a kick out of it. I am with my friend's six-year-old daughter talking about music.

Gary: Which Jonas brother do you like the best?

She turns to me with wisdom beyond her years, a bit condescending and with perfect delivery.

Child: I'm not a fan.

(I love it!)

Scene Four:

Lauren and I took our class trip to Town Hall on 43rd Street to see a theater production based on the children's book series Nate the Great. As we are getting off the subway I am holding on tight to one particular little boy who is 'high strung' in an effort to keep him close.

When we are going through the subway turnstiles I go first and he follows closely behind. Maybe a little too close. As push my way through the turnstile he misjudges and gets hit with one of the metal spokes. Behind me I hear "oh, my nuts!"

I chuckle but keep walking. He'll learn.


Joy Keaton said...

OOH, OOH, Joy the non-student raises her hand. Can I edit one too?

One morning we wrote the sentence

Oh my. Nuts.

tee-hee... sorry, Cabernet over here. ;)

Sara said...

hey Gary -

my email:
first name dot last name at


(I can't find yours presently either)


Barbara said...

I love it when children have opinions and are not afraid to share them. That's a sign of being well-adjusted. I can see you encourage such behavior every day!

marxsny said...

It's amazing how resposibility to school and Dr. Uhry manifests itself. BTW it's either Joe or Kevin.

lettuce said...

haha, thanks for the laugh. I kind of wish I had your job.

(no, I really wish I had your job)

Happy Valentines gorgeous gary.

Gary said...

Oh, I get it! Thanks. I made the correction (edit). I guess I do need a piano to fall on my head. Anyway, I also enjoy having fun with punctuation - would you care to stop in to do a lesson?

Sara - Got it!

Barbara - I agree. It is healthy to feel like you can express you opinion wihtout fear. Unfortunately adults are often afraid to share what is on their minds because people can forget to be accepting and, at the very least, civil and polite. Respect for one another is so important, especially in disagreements. BTW - Sorry I have been behind in reading your blog. I'll catch up during the vacation.

Mark - LOL. You know how productive I can get when I am under pressure and working with a deadline. The good news is that I make the Feb.17 deadline and it all looks good.

Letty - Happy Valentine's Day to you too. Come for a visit and I'll put you to work with the little ones. You are always welcome!

Cayne said...

sort of on topic. here is a funny website along the same blog line. i think i used it in sociolinguistics once.

Salty Miss Jill said...

Love this!
The kids do keep one on top of one's game, don't they?

MarmiteToasty said...

I love listening to nippers, some of the things they come out with, is just so simple and funny get so in tune with how life should be...

LOL@oh my nuts :) maybe he dropped his packet of peanuts lol


Aileen said...

Love this post! Kids just crack me up with their honesty, their observations, their unfiltered point of view!

This reminded me of a very old post of mine- you might get a kick out of it:

Reya Mellicker said...

This is so precious. Please try (with all the "extra" time you have) to jot these little gems down!

Mona said...

Okay I have a scene too!

A woman was showing the family album to her child, & they came across a picture of a handsome man with long hair.
The boy asked, "Mummy, who is this man?"
The woman said, " That is your father."

Boy: " Well if HE is my father, then who is the bald man who lives with us?"

& Your other Colleague is HOT!

Gary said...

Cayne - Glad to see that you are no longer just lurkin'. These were funny; short and to the point. I tried to do the same with mine but ended up bloviating (my father's new favorite word).

Jill - They do. And after a week without them I am anxious to get back to work. Can you imagine?

Toasty - I didn't think of that, perhaps he did. I love the term 'nippers'. I think I shall start calling them that myself.

Aileen - LOL. Those kids have a point don't they. Wouldn't want to be embarassed when it came time for the important stuff.

Reya - Will do. It is not so difficult to jot these down it is just being aware of wanting to and doing it. Isn't focus a wonderful thing? We can filter out so much and hone in on such specific elements of life when we want. I need to remember to keep my focus on the right stuff.

Mona - I read this one to my mom when I was down in Florida for my vacation and she actually laughed out loud. Kids are so amazing because they say things like this with total sincerity.

And I totally agree with you about Cayne. All that and smart too.

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Gotta love the kids!

(Sorry, I know I'm late, but I've been away from the computer for a bit!)


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