Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The babies cracked me up all day today. It was just a silly day all the way around. At 11:30, smack in the middle of art, we were treated to a play put on by some local high school students. Naturally, things were running a bit behind, so when Dori and I came back from prep and met our classes in the auditorium, they hadn't started yet. Good for us! We didn't miss any of the show. I have to say, the high school kids did a wonderful job. They did their own versions of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Ridinghood, and another play based on an African folktale. They were great. I hope they'll come back again.

I had planned to rant again about our reading interventionist, but I just don't have the strength. She infuriates me to the point of wanting to rip her hair out! Let me just tell you how the morning with her started. She showed up at 10:00, again 10 minutes AFTER she was supposed to already be in Dori's room, and says, "I figured I'd wait til you were done with your stuff before I came." Yeah, right!! It's more like you were busy doing jack shit like you always are!! OK, I'm stopping now cuz I could write volumes about this!

After all the DIBELS testing I've done these past couple of weeks, I needed to adjust my reading groups a bit. Today, I called each new group over so we could come up with group names. Before the switch, I had 6 small groups going. There were two groups each for benchmark, strategic and intensive students. The groups were all named after Chicago sports teams. We had the Cubs and Sox (benchmark) Bears and Bulls (strategic) and Blackhawks and Fire (intensive).

Now we only have 5 groups. I tried to steer the kids toward picking names that connected to the color of their level. (That's mostly because their senile old teacher has trouble remembering what groups they're in!) The first group to come over were the 6 highest in the benchmark (green) group. I tell them that we're going to pick new names for our groups and asked for suggestions. C.B. says, "The Good Kids!" so matter-of-factly, I couldn't help but giggle. I asked them to brainstorm about things that are green that they could be called. They came up with trees, frogs, turtles and grass at first. My buddy D.J. is in this group, and he immediately suggested money. We tried to vote, but they each kept voting for their own suggestion. They're so funny. D.J. kept insisting they should be called The Moneys, and he did his best to persuade the rest of the group. I gotta give the kid an A for effort, that's for sure! Then I think I may have suggested green M&Ms, and they went nuts. So, their new name is now the Green M&Ms. Yum! My favorite! The other 6 children in benchmark came over, and after going over the list the last group suggested, they voted on being the lizards. Great! Two down, three groups to go!

The first of the strategic (yellow) groups came over and did their brainstorming. After much deliberation, we still couldn't get a consensus. Each of them kept voting for their own suggestion. One of my boys, C.B., almost made me cry. He, like the others, kept voting for his own suggestion up til this point. It was The Sunflowers. I explained to the group that we couldn't pick a name until we had a majority vote. So, he gets this pensive little look on his face, then he sweetly concedes to I.W.'s suggestion, Lemonheads. I swear, I got teary eyed. I guess you had to actually see his face. I then launched into this whole thing about what compromising means, and how very proud I was of him for doing that, and so on. Well, then the third member of the group gave in, too. Yay, we had a name! I then said to I.W., "What do you say to your group?" She immediately said, "Thank you!" and then proceeded to hug them both at the same time. It was so damn adorable, I almost cried again. God, I love these babies!!!!

The second strategic group came over and listened to the unused suggestions of the first yellow group. Since M&Ms and Lemonheads are both candy and edible, I suggested they might want to think of something edible for their name. The first suggestion was Bananas, which is actually one of the names I had been thinking of myself. Another one of them suggested cheese, and still another suggested macaroni and cheese. Cuz, afterall, it's yellow!! Then, one of them decided since the other yellow group was The Lemonheads, they should be The Cheeseheads. Awesome! The rest of the group immediately gave the name a thumbs up, and so they were named.

The last group to be named was my intensive (red) group. Out of the four of them, two were absent today, and the other two were at the back table with the RI. So, I took it upon myself to name them The Cherries. After realizing that four out of the five groups had edible names, I called the Lizards over and explained the situation to them. I asked them if maybe they wanted to change their name, so they started to brainstorm again. After a few minutes and several suggestions, they came up with....wait for it....The Salads!! I kid you not! Hey, it's green and you can eat it! Enough said!

One of the babies in the red group came up to me after I read off the names of the groups and who was in each group. He was visibly upset that I read his name off with the red group. He was in the red group last time, but when I tested him this time, he really did move up to yellow. However, he made it by the skin of his teeth, so I intended to keep working with him in the red group. Actually, he scored yellow in the one assessment that was weighed the heaviest, but red in the other four. I feel he should keep working with the other reds. But, as he gently reminded me, "When I took my test, I moved from the red to the yellow." He was so upset, that I think I may just have to move him to the Cheesehead group. We'll see how it goes next week.

I hope the day goes well for the sub tomorrow. Although, really, I could care less, cuz I won't be there!!! I'm so excited. I'm actually going to be stealing from CPS again. My friend and I plan to sign in and leave the meeting, as usual, but this time, we're actually going to be doing something fun. My friend's friend is the producer of the show "In the Loop," an IVillage show, that's live from downtown Chicago every morning. So, we're going to the show. Yay! The hosts of the show are Bill Rancic, Ereka Vetrini and Kim Coles. I'm really most excited about the possibility of meeting Kim Coles. She cracks me up! I suppose I shouldn't wear the warm-up suit I had planned to wear on my "day off." It wouldn't look so hot on TV, huh? My sister is worried that I'm actually going to be on TV, and I'm gonna get busted. I reminded her, however, that anyone from school that might see me on TV would obviously not be working like THEY'RE supposed to, so I'm not worried.

I suppose I'd better hit the sack so I'm fresh-faced and well-rested for tomorrow. I'll be filling you in on what, if anything, happens that's worth telling.

I very often hear, "You are a saint!" when people hear stories about my job. I loved this quote that I found tonight:
Most saints live to regret their career choice. ---Bob Stokes

You ain't kiddin' Bob!!


miss r said...

Chicago kids named The Cheeseheads? So wrong! lol

Smileygirl said...

I love how you ditch work only to be broadcast via the airwaves throughout Chicagoland!! That is classic.