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Monday, March 21, 2011

A REALLY Bad Habit

Let's face it.  Adults are boring.

Well, I suppose it's not that we're categorically boring all of the time, but that we have an "efficiency" setting that allows us to complete tasks without throwing in a lot of unnecessary excitement.  Testing out a microphone?  What would you say?  The most direct option probably chosen by most adults is pretty straightforward.  "Testing one two."  Ho.  Hum.

Another kind of boring task for which I, at least, employ a kind of boring approach is reading off spelling words for kids' buddy tests.  Usually the kids test each other by reading off the other person's words within a sentence for context.  If I end up giving a student her buddy test, and the word is "aisle," I'm almost certainly going for a highly mundane airplane-related sentence.

Children, however, LIVE for unnecessary excitement.  Why waste any opportunity to get a little creative? 

Last week, Sebastian was calling out words for Maya from her word list.  I was across the room, testing another student with what were surely exceedingly utilitarian sentences, when I heard him loudly using her word in context. 

Maya's word was "habit."  Take a minute to think of a context you'd use when giving that word on a spelling test.  "Habit."  Did biting fingernails pop in your head?  The habit of saying, "like" ?

Typical adult lack of imagination.

Sebastian, however, not only employed a fair deal of unnecessary excitement in the creation of his sentence, but also in the delivery.  As I contemplated a sufficiently lackluster sentence for the student I was testing, I heard Sebastian say loudly and with much feeling,


"He had a habit of.....


...SHOOTing people RANdomly!"

Yikes!  That is one REALLY bad habit!  I made a quick stop by Sebastian's table to request that the remainder of the spelling test feature significantly less violence.  A bit more boring, please.  

A recent vocabulary test asked students to give an example of an ordeal, one of our words from the week.  Adult-ish ordeals might include that long line at the DMV, the hassle of getting a dishwasher repairman in, or filing particularly complicated taxes.  The kids, though, came up with some pretty excellent ordeals.

Tyler's example of an ordeal was, "Having a hole drilled through your gum."

Xavier's was, "Getting swallowed by a clothes-eating shark and coming out naked."

Because that's what you think of when you're eight.

www.toothpastefordinner.com Cartoon from:
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2 comments:

Sarah said...

Man, I guess we ARE boring!! (And I love the phrase "unnecessary excitement".) I used to give my 5th graders extra points for creative sentences that used a vocab word correctly :)

Pawan said...

A hole drilled through your gum??? HAAA! Can you imagine? That WOULD be an ordeal!