Friday, 25 March 2011

5th Grade Fun

So, for my practicum I have been teaching in a 5th grade classroom. Mr. Mitchell has been incredibly supportive and full of wonderful ideas to help me keep this as low-stress as possible. I love telling him all of my experiences from the day and even if he thinks they are boring or stupid, he never lets on. Far as I can tell, it's his favorite thing in the world to hear about my day with 5th graders. Anyways, I just wanted to share some of the good things with you.

These kids say hilarious things. I wrote down a few of my favorites that I thought people might find funny even if they weren't there. Here are a few of those gems:
"Why don't we just take the animals and put them in Canada? It's a big country." - Brett's solution to make drilling for oil in Alaska possible. I love his adults-over-complicate-things-thank-goodness-I'm-a-kid approach to the issue.
"I don't have acne. My face is as fresh as a baby's!" - Dillon's response to some of the things that would be discussed at the maturation assembly. Haha, let's see how long that lasts, buddy.
"Ha! I've been to WAY more countries than you!" - A.J.'s response when he asked me where I've been in the world. He is one of the smartest kids I know: he has had exposure to many, many different cultures, religions and traditions and is always aware of current events.
"It's because he's a, um, an oat, uh, an oatmeal,, a quaker! He's a quaker!" - Tyler trying to remember the religion of a character in a book he's reading and getting it confused with the Quaker Oatmeal man.
"He needs to eat a Twinkie next to balance his diet." - some random student I passed in the hallway.
"Ha! I killed the student teacher!" - Tyler after he pegged me square in the forehead with a marshmallow from his marshmallow gun. (We were reenacting battles of the Civil War.)
"Haha! I beat you to school today." "Actually, A.J., I totally beat you, but I was in a meeting." ... ... ... ... "Haha! I didn't have to go to a meeting today!" - A.J. trying to one-up me again.

There are many, many things I really dislike about being in Utah, but something I have learned I do like since being in the schools is that you can still mention God and nobody gets offended or tries to sue you, and most people are proud to be American and not ashamed of being patriotic. An example of this is what we've been doing in my class this week. We reenacted a few Civil War battles with marshmallow guns and nobody pitched a fit or called us war-mongers. We held a patriotic program (where the words 'God,' 'Creator,' and 'Lord,' were used without people pitching a fit) for the parents about the history of America and how song and dance have always been included, regardless of the era, and everybody loved it. I would actually like to share a little bit about that, too, in a bit. I love that most of these kids know who they are and where they are coming from. Too many kids, and adults, in the world do not know who they are or how their history has brought them to that point.

So, first I have to tell everybody how I'm a huge camera tard. The kids did this square dance that looked awesome and they were having so much fun it made it a blast to watch. I swear I was recording the whole thing and then when they ended I hit the button to stop recording, and that's when it began recording. Boo. I totally missed the awesome square dance. Then there's this great number they do where they sing Civil War songs where the kids are split into Union and Confederate troops. I was in the middle of recording that one when the battery died. Basically, I botched the recording job. Anyway, the point of the program is to show how song and/or dance has fit into or reflects American history since the nation's birth.

I included this video not only because these 5th graders have the preamble to the Constitution memorized (how many of you can say that?), but also because they know what it means (I repeat, how many of you can say that?). It's not meaningless words they spit out, they fully understand what they are saying, and if you ask them, they'll proudly tell you.

I included this one because I think it's great that these kids are getting dance basics that a lot of adults do not have. I am so sick of the bear-hug shuffle. You call that dancing?

I suppose all I'm really trying to say is that although my 5th grade class is a challenge I really enjoy them and the wonderful things they are doing. I also really appreciate Mr. Mitchell's support in what I am doing and the patience he has with me.

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