so today . . . i had a speechless moment at school.
i am not usually speechless. i can almost always think of something to say. but today, for just a moment, my mouth opened, but no words came out.
i missed school on friday, and through a set of unfortunate circumstances, the sub for my class didn't make it. so friday's lessons didn't get taught--the result being, i had a lot to teach today.
we started off with some handwriting, just to sort of put some structure into our morning. then i went to the board and taught the "two vowel rule"--you know, "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking . . . " we have spent the last several months working with short vowel sounds, but today we added the long vowel sounds to our repertoire--well, sort of added. i introduced it, and they seemed to understand it, but i have every confidence that tomorrow at least half of them will be going "huh?" when we review . . .
that was friday's phonics lesson. but i had to teach it today, because tomorrow it will be incorporated into their seat work. and i also had to squeeze in today's phonics lesson--the sight word "I." and i had to do it fast, because it was almost time for recess. their eyes were already beginning to glaze over, but usually this is a fairly easy lesson--usually they have already figured this out on their own by looking at books. so i wrote the word on the board, explained how sometimes "I" is a word and not just a part of a word, and how you can tell the difference, and that it is a rule-breaker, and so on.
and they just looked at me blankly. so i used it in some sentences, and they started to catch on a bit. then i got the brilliant idea to stand straight and tall with my arms stiffly at my sides so that i looked like the letter "I" and use that as a visual. and that is where the trouble began . . .
. . . because you see, they immediately noticed that while i was straight and tall, i did not have anything across the top or the bottom of my straight, tall body like the letter did. so i tried to use one arm to go across the top of my head and sort of crossed one leg at the knee like the bottom of the upper case I. but that wasn't good enough, because the bottom of my other leg was sticking out past the crossed leg like a flamingo . . .
and then one little boy excitedly raised his hand and said, "if you cut off your head," (making chopping motions with his hand,) "then you would look like a lower case i."
"yeah," another little boy said, "and your floating head could be the dot."
"AND," said a little girl, "you would have to be like this," (and she knelt down on the floor) "so that you would be shorter than the upper case I."
what do you say to that? who even thinks of stuff like that?!? i just stood there, straight and tall, with my head firmly attached, my brain thinking of and eliminating several responses.
"time for recess!" is what finally came out of my mouth.
sigh. tomorrow is another day . . .