Turkeys in Disguise November 29, 2009Posted by alwaysjan in Art.
Tags: Disguising a Turkey, First Grade, Humor, Second Grade, Thanksgiving Art for First Grade, Third Grade, Turkey in disguise template, Turkeys in disguise
Did someone say, “Insufferably Cute?” After my last conference (yes, I went to school in my zombified state), I was on my way out the door and saw these. Those First Grade teachers are ruthlessly cutesy.
Students had to “disguise” their turkey, so it could escape the carving knife. There were lots of ballerinas and princesses. That one on the end said, “I’m a black hairy monster. My father is Big Foot. If you try to eat me, I’ll eat you first!” Be on the lookout for these turkeys in disguise!
Here is the Turkey Template:
Last Zombie Standing November 14, 2009Posted by alwaysjan in Life, Teaching.
Tags: Education, Flu, H1N1, Health, Humor, School Nurse, Shaun of the Dead, Swine Flu, Teaching, Zombie Pub Crawls, Zombie Walks, Zombies
I’m pumping that hand sanitizer like a lab rat desperate for a reward. So far, so good. I feel like I’m the only person who hasn’t come down with IT. Whatever IT might be. So far I don’t think anyone’s been diagnosed with H1N1 at my school. Just the usual prelude to Thanksgiving flu and chronic bronchitis that dogs you when you’re a teacher and never get to rest your voice. (It’s true – There is no rest for the wicked.)
My husband and son went to see Zombieland the other night. I passed, since I work in Zombieland. Just when one kid comes back to school, another goes down. Pump, pump – More hand sanitizer. I’ve taken to slathering it on my neck and arms. One boy came back after a week out and promptly announced he felt like throwing up. I tossed him a plastic bag along with a pass to the nurse. I have my students trained. I told that straight out, “If you think you’re going to get sick, don’t come to me, cause I’ll run from you.” They laughed, but I was dead serious. I just don’t want to be undead. Seriously.
The school nurse donned her face mask on Friday when she had a roomful of germ factories sick children all complaining of being “hot.” The school librarian told me she’s glad she’s already had IT. ”I got it over with early, ” she said, though she said she’d paid dearly for her immunity. I mumbled something about how quickly viruses mutate, to take that smile off of her face.
November is always a tough month for teachers, what with report cards and all those parent teacher conferences. I’ve just got to make it to Thanksgiving.
When I wrote my post Time Zone Zombie – Asleep at 30,000 Feet, about the world’s longest trip over the Atlantic Ocean, I was looking for a picture of a zombie. Who knew there were thousands of them on Flickr from Zombie Walks around the world? Here’s an activity the whole family can do together. The cool thing is that I wouldn’t even need make-up to play a zombie. I can just crawl out of bed. As a big fan of Shaun of the Dead, I’d be up for the zombie pub crawl myself. That is, if I make it to Thanksgiving.
POST MORTEM: Officially zombified on Nov. 18th. Tried to pass as human for two days, but finally succumbed.
Photo Credit: Zombified Children from Wikipedia’s Zombie Walks
How Did You Get Your Name? November 8, 2009Posted by alwaysjan in Teaching.
Tags: American Names, Angel Child Dragon Child, Art Lesson Using Name, Baby Names, Family Names, First names, Humor, Parenting, Teaching, Third Grade, Unusual Names
I could have been named Susan or Barbara, but the relatives in California nabbed those first. So, I was named Janet. When I got married my husband started calling me Jan. I was fine with that. Because I was such a happy child, my nickname was “Jan-ny Gay.” But that was back before…oh, you know.
When I was in LAUSD’s District Intern Program, (but that was back when there was one), one Saturday morning, our class was asked to stand in a circle and tell how we got our name. It was fascinating exercise, as it was a diverse group.
There were two people whose parents had taken their names from rock ‘n roll songs. Several others had been named after a character in a book or movie. There were the usual biblical names, the juniors, and family names. One man had been named after his father’s best friend who had died.
Several Asians had decided their names were too hard to pronounce, so they chose an “American” name. I’m afraid my Susan, Barbara, Janet story seemed pretty lame in comparison. Why couldn’t my parents have been more creative? Years later when I was a sub in San Gabriel, I smiled whenever I met Elvis Wong (and there were FOUR of them). It reminded me of the book The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. The main character’s American name is Shirley Temple Wong.
Any teacher can recite an exotic list of names of the students they’ve taught over the years. There were twin boys, D’wayne and D’won, and twin girls, Eunique and Especial. Klinsmann. Toshiba. Cinnamon Jade. I could go on and on. Maybe it’s an urban legend, but teachers always swear they’ve heard of a girl named Chlamydia.
Several teacher friends are hoping to get pregnant. They want to do so before every name carries with it the image of a child they’ve already taught.
Recently, I did an art lesson on lines for my third graders using their names. This must be something that third graders have done since the dawn of time, because I remember doing it when I was in third grade. The pharmacist had typed my name as “Janette” on a prescription label. (That was back when the pharmacist typed.) I thought “Janette” was was way cooler than “Janet,” so that’s how I wrote my name. My teacher was surprised. My mother was not happy. And me? I reminded that I was just Janet.
For the “Names” art lesson, students first draw a border the width of their ruler on 8×10 paper. Next, they write their names and color them in with black marker. They use a variety of lines to fill in the background. Diagonal. Wavy. Zigzag. Organic. Have them fill in the lines with colored pencils, as using markers is overkill and you don’t get all of those cool details and colors.
This year, I decided to take the project a step further. We’d just finished reading Angel Child, Dragon Child about a little girl who comes to the U.S. from Vietnam. It was hard, at first, for the students to pronounce the Vietnamese names in the story, but they got better. I always tell children that it’s a sign of respect when you call someone by their given name.
My students’ homework was to find out how they got their name. I wasn’t concerned about the origin of their name. I just wanted students to talk to their parent/s about why they chose that name for their child. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, ” Your parents spent a lot of time choosing your name, so you can at least write it on your paper!”)
The form I sent home is below. I was surprised that every child actually talked to a parent (this year every child is living with a parent) and returned the form the next day. Okay, one girl told me her name meant “African princess with chocolate colored skin.” She was so busted! But by the time I called home the next day, she was in the midst of a conversation with her mother about how she really did get her name. It’s a fun project. If only I had that girl Chlamydia in my class this year!
How I Got My Name
Last week we read “Angel Child, Dragon Child.” The main character was a girl named Ut, who was from Vietnam. We learned that “Ut” was her “at home name,” or nickname. We also learned that in Vietnam, people say their surname, or last name, first.
How did you get your first name? You need to talk to a parent and find out why they chose this special name for you. They had thousands of names to choose from!
1. Were you named after someone in your family?
2. Were you named after someone famous?
3. Does your name mean something special?
4. Or, did your parents just like the sound of your name?
Find out how you got your name and write about it below. Do you an “American” name or a nickname? Use the back if you need to.
Photo Credit: Mark Shaver for The Times