Things My Students Say

Elementary kids in Brooklyn say the dangedest things

Friday, January 7, 2011


I'm a bit less postive (new word!) these days as my teaching partner is out for a month due to health issues (I miss her already) and I thus have a bit less time to jot down what these little things are saying. Today had a couple of good ones, though.

I was trying to teach our Writer's Workshop and the kids kept getting me off track by asking strange personal questions. We're working on historical fiction (yeah, great) and so they kept asking me if there was electricity when I was born . . .and then if Kentucky has electricity . . .and then when I came to this country . . .so it was all off-topic, but things I felt like I had to clear up. But I went on a tangent for a bit when I felt a tapping on my shoulder. Emily had gotten up, gone to our daily schedule chart, taken the "Writer's Workshop" card and walked it to me, pointing.

I got back on track.

Later, one kid was asking for hints on a name for his main character. After a few of my suggestions didn't work, sweet little Danelcy said a word I never expected to be so adorable: "Scumbag."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And in conclusion

Roland, today, showed me the conclusion for his book about MLK, Jr.

"But sadly Martin was shot. Well I hope you learned everything about Martin because I'm out of paper. Go outside and play, you need the fresh air. Trust me."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Race humor?

The class is working on writing non-fiction books with topics of their own choosing. Roland chose to write about Martin Luther King, Jr. Today they were writing introductions to the books. Most went pretty smoothly, if a bit bland.

That was not enough for Roland. "In this book you will learn facts about Martin Luther King, Jr. Where he lived, where he was born, what he did. All the facts are there in black and white. And Chinese and Mexican! Sorry, a little Martin Luther King humor!"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Got to hand it to him

Isaiah asked if I ever dream about him. "Only in my nightmares," I replied. He paused for a moment.

"While I was in your dreams, I saw your ex-girlfriend. She's not that hot."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Those Poor Dutchmen

We're discussing New Netherlands and I was explaining that the Dutch are from there. Moussa got concerned. "Mr. Rice, when I heard about the countries in Europe, they all sound fancy. Like, France . . .Paris . . .it's fancy. 'Netherlands' doesn't sound fancy, though."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quick Hits

Two things I heard kids say today in my class.

"My umbrella smells like ham." --Doug

"Mathew, stop eating your clothes!" --Roland

Friday, November 19, 2010

Good Excuse

So my class has a minor obsession with my softball team. Recently, they've been asking if they can come see a game. They can't, because the season is over. "Well how about in May?" they asked.

"Well, the games are at night."

"You could make a special trip!"

"But I can't take you guys out at night."

"Have a game during the day!"

"Well, everyone has jobs they can't leave."

That stumped them for a while. Then Glenis thought of the obvious solution. "Pretend someone on the team died, so everyone can take a day off."