Thursday, March 26, 2015

Student Quotes IV

Happy Thursday! Phew, we've (almost) made it. I was talking with another teacher today about how both this week and the week before spring break have been the L-O-N-G-E-S-T weeks of this entire school year. The week before spring break speaks for itself, but this week is due to the fact that the STAAR test is now ONE school day away. One. I was feeling relaxed this week until the middle of 7th period, when I was explaining something about the test to my students and I felt my chest tighten. It suddenly occurred to me that my students are going to be taking this test all by themselves, with no hints or tips from me. They won't even have my presence. I feel like they're my little chickadees, and I'm sending them out into the world on their own, to fend for themselves. Of course, they are more than capable, but shoot, who's motivation and energy wouldn't decrease during the course of a five-hour exam? I realize that we, as adults, often sit through exams of that length, or exams that are even longer. However, these are 14- and 15-year-olds. Enough said. Anyway, I thought today would be the perfect time for another rendition of student quotes. I've got some good ones, so please enjoy!

Group Short Answer Response practice
10. The students have become accustomed to completing a grammar warm-up each week. Each day we focus on a different grammar rule, and the students do a mini check for understanding. One of my students was standing just outside the door, long after the bell had rung.
Me: "Student, please get inside the room and get started on your warm-up."
Student: "I'm too cute to do the warm-up."
Oh, okay. If that's the case, I shouldn't have had to do any of my work, huh? I'm kidding, of course!
9. I was asking my students what they did over spring break, and a lot of them told me they went to the carnival. They were referring to the rodeo carnival, so I asked them if they had attended any of the concerts. A couple said that they had, and at one point Luke Bryan came up. A student so kindly reminded me that, "Everyone basic went to Luke Bryan." I didn't see him perform, so I guess I escaped that title. For now, anyway.
8. One of my students, whom I have the pleasure of having in class twice a day, and who sleeps much of both classes, walked tall and proud into seventh period, announcing that "[he was] going to do his work today because education is important." I was a bit taken aback, and a lot proud, but then 25 minutes later that same student was playing a game on his cell phone. Hey, at least I had him for half the class!
7. One of my students was absent one day, and the next day I asked him where he had been. He told me, "If it's cold and rainy, I don't go to school." I see your reasoning, kid, and I wish I could follow suit.
6. I gave my students an assignment with about 15 minutes left in class, and when I gave this student a look for having nothing written on her paper when the bell rang, she said, "Oh, I was about to start writing, but then my pencil ran out of lead." And you just now noticed. Right.
5. It was the beginning of March when a student walked into my class and said, "Miss, it's my first time to see my textbooks." Well, that explains a lot.
4. Going off of that, another student walks into the room and said, "You know what's funny, Miss? I carry more make-up than books in my backpack." Again, that explains a lot.
3. Monday is the English department exam day at Bellaire. One of my students had her phone on her desk and I could tell that she wasn't looking up any of the answers or anything of that nature (besides, it was an open-book test), but I still wanted her to put the phone away and focus on her test. When I asked her to put the phone away she said, "Sorry, I was looking at pictures of food." Well when you put it that way ....
2. I was forced to write two students up one day when they were yelling profanities at one another and "hitting" one another and just acting very childish despite my repeated attempts to get them to sit down. Here's how a conversation with one of my students went the next day:
Student: "I know you wrote me up, and that was very childish."
Me (feeling proud that she was owning up to what she did): "What you did?"
Student: "No, writing me up."
Pride revoked.
1. In the expository essay, students are required to provide an example or two to support their thesis statement. We advise them to use examples from history, (personal) experience, literature, or pop culture - HELP (and trust me, they need it). However, in reading through their mock STAAR essays, I saw that many students were confusing some of their facts. Today I advised them not to use an example if they don't know the facts, because that won't prove to the readers that they're educated and deserving of a passing score. The example I gave was, "Barack Obama is NOT our 51st president. We have not had 51 presidents." One student said, "Yeah, he's our 54th!" I wasn't even sure how to respond.

And one more for good measure. Because I had some good ones to choose from this round. Going off of what student quote number one, I was also giving them some other pitfalls to avoid in their essays. A lot of students tend to use slang, or text language - gonna, wanna, cuz, tho, YOLO (seriously), and so on. I told them that "ain't" isn't a word, and it's one they should absolutely avoid using in their essays. I received quite a bit of pushback on that one, and one student even tried to argue that maybe the STAAR graders would be okay with them using ain't in their essays because we live in Texas. Try it, and let me know how it goes, y'all.

Just please do good. (Source)
And have a great rest of your Thursday! I know I'm going to get my belongings together for Lost Pines, and then settle in on the couch and watch March Madness. Sounds like a good night to me!

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