Ahhh! Resisting temptation is so hard! Nate was eating some Five Guys fries the other day, which are cooked in peanut oil. I am allergic to nuts and have been to the emergency room my fair share of times for some rather unfortunate accidental walnut and pecan situations. I actually ate Five Guys fries a few times before finding out they cook everything there in death oil, as I like to call it. The fact that I survived those death oil fries means one of two things: either peanuts just aren't that bad on my nut-allergy spectrum, or I'm faking! Still, I avoid eating at Five Guys.

But those fries! The smell was irresistible and I admit that I did eat a few. My defense sounded a lot like that given by third grade Thomas a couple of years ago, who was lactose intolerant. One afternoon, he was doubled over with a stomach ache after having eaten cheese at lunch. "Thomas," I asked, "why did you eat cheese if you knew it would make your stomach hurt?" In light of my inability to resist those amazing but potentially deadly French fries, I can't really blame him for his reply, delivered in a rather pathetic-sounding moan. "Because it's du-LI-CIOUS!"

No Need to Bring Soap and Water Into This

As Samuel exits the bathroom on the hiking trip:

Ms. Sarah: “Did you wash your hands?”

Samuel: “No. I had my gloves on!”

Two Hours of Summer

Dear Ms. Sarah
Wow! I cant believe I’me already writing to you. It’s been a great two hours of summer so far. Right now I am painting flower pots to sell tomorrow.
Have a great summer,

The Deal

One day Nina asked what she needed to do to earn some free reading time. Curling up and reading in the classroom library was Nina's favorite thing to do and we were using this reward as a way to help her improve her behavior in class. We explained that she had to meet her goals—things she had been working on getting better at all year. The key to free reading in the library would come in the form of: following directions, asking permission, putting in a good effort, and being kind to others. Nina replied, “I just don’t do those things.”

Meat with Plants IN IT

Deonte: "You don't eat meat?"
Ms. Sarah: "No, I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat meat."
Deonte: "Why?"
Ms. Sarah: "I think it would be better for the planet if people ate only plants."
Deonte: "Well. I eat meat. With plants IN IT. And broccoli and cheese."

Find a Shiny Nickel

Kindergarten studied economics at our school this semester. You may be wondering if a five-year-old's investigation into economic principles covers such hot topics as AIG. Well--this is at least what my third grade student Devon wondered when he heard about their subject matter. So, Devon is clearly up on the current economic crisis, but nobody else in the third grade seemed to have any idea what he was talking about.

A couple of weeks ago, the kindergarten classes shared at our all-school meeting about what they've learned. Sub-prime mortgages did not make it into their song lyrics--very hard to find a rhyme. No, the kindergarteners stuck with singing about finding a shiny nickel and putting in a pocket. The other kindergarten class then launched into a lovely ballad about the economy--"Some things cost money and some things are free." The rhyme there writes itself.

During the song, Devon leaned over with a disbelieving smile on his face, half-laughing as he said, "I thought the economy was serious!" As anyone who's even so much as glanced at the evening news in the last year knows, the economy these days is no laughing matter. "Certainly not an appropriate topic for a CHILDREN'S song!" I imagine Devon thinking to himself. "What are they thinking??"

Fresh as a Daisy

Earlier this week, the principal came into our classroom during lunch. Rodney and Angelo were talking to him, when Rodney exclaimed, “You smell clean!” Angelo, clearly wanting to be able to fully appreciate the principal's cleanliness as well, asked, "Can I smell you?"


Well, it's getting to be that time. Our final performance is over, we're doing the end of year tests, recess is getting very sweaty.

At this magical time we call the end of the year, I ask students to share what they value about each other. Many children believe that one’s net worth as a friend is determined by some combination of how tall you are and how fast you can snap your fingers. They write compliments about their classmates, which I then compile and type up for each person to keep.

Knowledge of math facts is universally acknowledged among third graders to be quite admirable. Bravery with regard to ferocious animals, while less common, also appears to be a trait worth having. Some of the compliments are extremely specific and remarkably accurate. You know, Da’Von is quite skilled at unjamming the stapler, now that you mention it.

He is brave. He is not scared of dangerous animals.

What’s great about Melvin is that when you ask him to scoot his desk over, he does it nicely.

She is gentle. She never push when she is trying to go somewhere.

He is very smart and cool because he helped me with riddles.

She is a very good dancer. I seen her dance at recess

He can snap really fast.

He has great information about Dragon Ball Z.

Some compliments are a bit of a stretch.

She is very athletic for a girl.

She is the tallest girl of girls and boys in the class.

He is short but still smart.

We are NOT Joking Around, Here

This summer I have been getting lots of advice on the impending baby situation that will be happening this fall.   Highlights of this advi...