Grammar Geek, Reporting for Duty - UPDATE

I was at conference about teaching writing when I spied the following:



Grammar Geek, Reporting for Duty


I want to write about something that drives me krazy. And let me tell you, that is a short trip, if you know what I mean.

Now, just in case you are wondering, this post is not about you. (Unless you do this. Then it's you.) But don't take it personal. (Ironic that I use my country voice in a grammar post, isn't it?) I'm sure it's just because you don't know any better.

I see this on Facebook all the time. Even from teachers. And it makes those itty bitty hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. And makes me want to say, "No, she didn't!" (Check out the intentional use of the fragments there. Stylin'!)

I'm talking about your and you're.

Y'all, they are two different words! That mean two different things! Really!

Your shows possession. This is your purse. Keep your grubby hands off my chocolate.

You're is a contraction of the two words you are. You're going to be tired of grammar when I get finished. But you're not going to make this mistake again, right?

I saw a sign hanging from some apartments that read, "Welcome to you're new home."

I almost drove off the road. If I'd had time, I would have stopped at the office and informed the management of the mistake. Shame on the sign-maker's shop for not asking if that's what they really wanted to say!

Your = possession.
You're = you are.

For your information and you're welcome.

Doncha Wish . . .

Doncha wish you were friends with Farley like me!

No, really.

I am besties with her mom and have known Farley since she was in high school. I went to her wedding! But I don't call her Farley. I call her by the name her momma uses. (I won't say it here on the blog cuz I know she likes it just about as much as I like my daddy's nickname for me. No, I'm not telling you that, either!)

And she is so much fun in real life. Y'all just don't know. She makes me laugh on a daily basis. She is fantabulous!

One of the hardest things to teach our kiddos is writing with voice. If I could, I'd send them to read Farley's blog and cuz I WORK AT THE SAME SCHOOL FARLEY DOES (well 2 days a week this year, but I was there fulltime last year), they'd all know exactly who it was!

Are you jealous yet?

If you don't know who Farley is, go to her site. Click on the link below. You'll be glad you did.


First Grade Fiasco

As all teachers know, things don't always go as planned.

My first graders constructed terrariums last week. They were so excited to measure out soil, add a plant, sprinkle in some grass seeds, and spritz it all with water. We added a flap of black paper to one end of the boxes so that the terrariums would have a dark place for the critters I planned for them to add. They wrote all about making the terrariums in their journals and eagerly drew a picture of the finished project, all the while speculating on what the first critter was going to be.

Some of the guesses included a frog, lizard, fish (is this kid really gifted?!), lots of different insects, bat ("You said they like the dark," the firstie told me), bird, and snake. No one guessed earthworm. Yay, they were going to be surprised! Little did I know . . .

I ordered some earthworms from our local education service center (free, baby!) and they were delivered on the Friday before I needed them on Tuesday. The directions said you could keep them in the refrigerator if you weren't going to use them for a few days. So I popped them in the fridge in the faculty lounge that afternoon, planning to take them out Monday so they'd be ready for the firsties Tuesday morning. My plan was to read Diary of a Worm and then give each kid a worm and a magnifying glass and let them observe. Then we'd add them to the terrariums.

I went to get the worms Monday, during my conference time. They were still there, thank goodness, so I took them back to my room to open the container and take a peek.

The worms were dead.

I needed them the next day.


I decided to use this as a teachable moment. We went through our usual routine - creating our new card for An Alphabet You Never Met and discussing our new Fancy Nancy word. Then I broke the news of the tragedy.

My smartest little firstie says, "It's that Fancy Nancy word - a fiasco!"

Love those kids!

P.S. We read the book and made notes about what we learned. We are on Spring Break next week, but we'll try again with the worms the next time we have class. Anyone know if the death of a worm requires you to have a funeral?

Adventures With Kinder

In my district, we don't assess Kinder students for TAG (Talented and Gifted) until the spring. We are required by state law to identify gifted Kinder kids by March 1, so I recently finished testing those nominated by our kinder teachers (and a few nominated by their parents).

Kinder kids are so much fun. Can I just say what saints kinder teachers are? Whoever compared working with 5 year olds to herding cats got it just right.

We use the CogAT to assess our primary students. It consists of 3 areas, each containing 3 sub-tests. It can be administered in groups. Now, I am no dummy, so I kept my groups small - 3 or 4 kids at a time. Each kid gets a test booklet and a piece of an index card to use as a marker to help keep them in the proper place.

After getting the kiddos from their rooms to mine (a feat in itself), I get them settled in their spots, pass out the pencils, and talk about what we are going to do. It went a little like this.

Me: Here is a marker for you to use.
Kinder Kid: How do you color with this?
Me: Not that kind of marker. It is a place marker. Kind of like a bookmark.
KK: I like to read.
Other KK: Me, too! I have a new book in my book box. I'll go get it!
Me: No! Sit back down. The book can wait!

Me: Look at the first page in your book. Do you see the picture of the table on the side of the page? (I am pointing to the picture in my copy of the test booklet.)
KKs (multiple): Where? Here? I want to look out the window! My book has lots of pages!

Me: Put your marker under the table.
KKs: Actually put the marker under the table where they are sitting

Me: Move the marker down below the pants.
KKs: Hee hee heee hee

Me: Move the marker down below the apple.
KKs: I love apples. You are making me hungry. Is it lunch time yet? I have an apple in my lunch. I am going to eat an apple after school. I will bring you an apple tomorrow.

Me: OK, we are through for today.
KKs: That was fun. Can we come back tomorrow? I want to come back today. Can you stay in our room with us? I like being in your class. Are we doing the book again tomorrow?

Lessons learned from KKs:
Pants (and underwear) are never not funny
KKs are always hungry
KKs think everything is fun

Bless you, kinder teachers everywhere!

Who Am I?

I guess I should post an introduction of sorts, tell you a little about myself and what you can expect from my blog.

I'm a teacher. I currently provide enrichment to Gifted and Talented elementary students, grades K-5. I work at 2 different schools and have a total of about 110 students. I love what I do and because my kiddos are so bright, I'll have lots to tell you about them.

I don't have any skin kids of my own, but do have 3 dogs. Lucy and Desi are golden retrievers. Hannah is a miniature schnauzer who belonged to my mother. I got custody when Mom died. I have lots of stories about these guys, too.

I like to read, so I might be sharing some book recommendations occasionally.

I'm a huge fan of women's basketball. I have season tickets to the San Antonio Silver Stars and to the UTSA Lady Roadrunners teams. You might hear me rant and rave about these (and other) teams.

I am fiercely opinionated and, as my daddy used to say, "Not always right, but never in doubt." (Except I am always right!) Sarcasm is my second language. I am a grammar geek. I don't suffer fools gladly.

If I haven't scared you off, I hope you'll stick around!

Here I Am . . . Currently

Lots of my teacher friends have been bitten by the blogging bug, so I have decided to throw my hat in the ring.

For my first post, I want to link up to Farley's Currently party. I think she made it green just for me - green's my fave!

Want to join the party? Go here!

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