During our morning saint of the day lessons, my class would often try to think up reasons to raise their hands for questions completely unrelated, as it was the beginning of the day and there was always news to share from the previous day. In an attempt to keep us on task one day, I asked one of my girls who had her hand raised if her question was about our saint of the day. She assures me that it is. “Alright, what is you question then?” She obviously had not quite thought through how she was going to approach this as she paused for a few seconds and stumbled over her words, “How come….uhhhhhh…..why did…. ummmm, why did this saint…..want to be a nun?” And then, quick as lightning, before I could even answer her question, she looked around the room, and exclaimed, “Oh, and everyone, I have a pink Barbie House!”
I had a number of kindergarten math whizzes in my class, so I came up with a task to keep them busy until the rest of the class finished their assessments. These math minds loved creating their own math problems and did a fabulous job with it! As one of my boys raised his hand to tell me he was finished with his assessment, I told him to turn his assessment over and write some of his own problems on the back. I loved circulating the room seeing the kids’ “own problems”– what smart cookies I had in that class! As I approached the desk of one of my kiddos to see how he was doing on his additional made up problems, I glanced down at his page: 15=15, 21=21, 13=13.
At the end of the day, I would put a smiley face stamp on my kids’ homework folder calendars as a way to communicate with the parents about their child’s day. If something had gone wrong on a particular day, I would write a brief message on the calendar. After a very difficult week for one of my boys and not getting many smiley faces, I was so proud of him for his extra hard work and showed him his folder at the end of the day. He looked up at me, eyes huge, toothy grin, puffed out his chest and broke into the Hallelujah chorus.