Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teachable Moments? The Stupid Ish Kids Say

Remember when a
cartoon child was
Common Core, Danielson, and higher order thinking.  I've been trying it.  The problem with higher level thinking is, you need the basics before you can synthesize information into an opinion.  This week, we created a stem-and-leaf plot from the ages of Presidents' deaths.  One of the questions was to analyze why not all of the presidents were listed.  What this has to do with math, I don't know, but many children could not work out why President Obama was not listed under "Dead Presidents".  Hmmmm...

This led to a ridiculous solicitation about living presidents, since they were all gathered recently for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.  Some students were vaguely aware of the existence of a President Bush (did they know there were two?  No.), none knew about President Clinton, and Carter?  Who's he?  Here's my interaction with my classes on the subject of Jimmy Carter, along with other little gems of wisdom over the years.
  • Who was president in between Ford and Reagan?  The last name starts with a "C", and the first name is Jimmy."  "Jimmy Neutron!"  (Jimi Hendrix was also guessed, but Jimmy Carter was not).  Setting aside the fact that neither name starts with a "C", how many different ways is this incorrect?  At least Jimi Hendrix was an actual person!  Jimmy Neutron?
  • "I be tired", a student tells me.   "I am tired", I say, trying to fix the subject-verb agreement.  Obviously mistaking my rephrasing for a statement of commiseration, he replies, "yeah, but you're old."
  • What day was Wednesday?
  • I had a student talk to his mother about how he does not do his homework.  He put her on hold and said to me "My mother wants to know why I don't do homework".  I swear this true. 
Any off the wall wisdom from your classroom to share?  Let's compile them.


  1. Im so shocked I dont know what to say, I wonder if the parents know how ignorant their children are?

  2. Hi Linda! Well all I can say is that I really was laughing out loud! YOU are such a gifted writer and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everything that you have written in your blog posts! You have some very strong opinions at times (and who doesn't?), but the way you translate what you know into what is readable is extraordinary! I work at times with a teacher's aide and she often tells me of some of what goes on inside the classroom on an average day. Some of her stories are hilarious in the telling but disturbing when you think that this is OUR future generation. These are they that will be the law makers and the law breakers of our brave new world.




The Hard Way Copyright © 2012 Design by Ipietoon Blogger Template

Blogging tips