Monday, May 7, 2012

strange little girl

A few months ago, a new little girl came to our class from another state.
I don't know why, but I still think of her as "the new girl."
It could be because of the fact that she's not quite like any of my other students.

Here are just a couple of instances from today that might prove my point.

Little girl: Mrs. Miller, I want you to know my butt is infected.
Me: What?!
Little Girl: Yeah, I scraped my butt a couple days ago, and now its infected. I have to sit kinda weird now.
Me: I'm sorry to hear about that. I'm sure you'll be as good as new in the next few days.

2 minutes later...

Little Girl: I forgot to tell you something about my infected butt.
Me: (warily) What?
Little Girl: Its causing me to say things in magical voices. Sometimes that happens when you have an infected butt.

A few hours later...

Little girl: I hope it rains later tonight.
Me: You do, huh?
Little girl: Yeah. Because sometimes when it rains, I get superpowers and can see in the dark. But don't worry...its cool, not scary.

She says some of the strangest things! I'm chalking it up to the fact that she's an only child and therefore has to have a very active imagination. But it definitely allows for some laughs throughout the day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

ESP...and the convo that followed it

We had inside recess today...never fails that someone forgets a jacket when its 48 degrees.
The kids started moving the chairs around the room to make a "movie theater." When one location wasn't working out, they started to move the chairs in front of the door instead.
Without really thinking much about it, I said, "Don't put the chairs in front of the door...that's not very safe."
Literally 2 minutes later, the fire alarms went off for a surprise fire drill.
I swear I think I'm psychic sometimes.
After we came back from the drill, I said, "Does anyone know now why it might not be safe to put all of our chairs in front of the door?"

I wasn't planning on having an actual was time for math. But sometimes you just need to go with it, and let them talk about stuff for a few minutes. The following are some of the things that were said:

"Because we couldn't get out and then we'd be all burned up."
"You might burn your arm and die."
"If we all got out, but our teacher was still in the room moving chairs, she might get blowed up with the building."
"I hope the school never catches on fire. I'd really miss my backpack."
"We're like a family...we gotta make sure everybody's safe during the fire. Families has to stay together." (Almost made me cry!)
"Mrs. Miller? Would you be so sad if someone got lost during the fire and got really hurt and maybe died?"

And I actually got a little teary telling them how sad I would be if something ever happened to any of them. Its amazing how in 8 months, I've become so attached to these little kids. I can't believe how much I care about them. And thinking about them being hurt in any way makes me sick to my stomach. This conversation only lasted about 10 minutes, but it consisted of some of the sweetest and genuine, (although not always grammatically correct) things. These little "side conversations" are often highlights of my job. Just hearing what they have to say about stuff is so insightful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

some quotes from the week

"You look like a rock star today, Mrs. Miller!"

"One time, a queen bee was in my bed and stingded my foot while I was sleeping. Then a big monster came and kicked it in the face."

"Could you keep it down Mrs. Miller? I'm trying to read the news."

"I wish I had a thorax like an insect."

"I really miss Fred... (her grandma's dog who died about 6 months ago.) Could you teach us a lesson about him?"

"Can we learn about money again today? I got money from the tooth fairy and I gotta learn how to spend it."

"I think instead of going to first grade, I'll stay here with you in kindergarten again next year."

"My tooth hurts when I smack myself in the face."

These are the little things that brighten my day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

letter from a kinder


Dear Mrs. Miller,
I will not be mean. I will not bite. I will be nice. I will play fair. I will listen. I will have fun. Thank you for being my teacher.

For fun over the weekend, she wrote me this letter. I thought it was so cute!
And just to note, she had not violated any of the behaviors she mentioned in the letter. She apparently just thought she needed to reassure me of her good behavior :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012


It was rainy yesterday, so we had to have inside recess.
One of the little girls' favorite activites for inside recess is playing with my hair while I check folders and watch the kids play.
I had two girls messing up doing my hair. One of them said, "Mrs. Miller, we're gonna make your hair REAL fancy. That way you can go on a date with Mr. Miller tonight and he'll say you're pretty."
Isaiah (my quietest, most shy student who rarely ever speaks) happened to be walking by at that moment.
He said in his tiny voice, "But Mrs. Miller's already pretty just like she is!"
I melted into a big old puddle with that one!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a couple quotes from the day

"My granny has so much money! She has a dollar and four pennies and a nickel!"

"Please don't make me flip my card... my dad will make me write sentences again."

"Subtracting is just like adding...only...not really at all."

"Look! I drew a picture of Nicki Minaj and all her crazy hair...she should marry Justin Beiber."

"Mrs. Miller I'm tired...I think I'll just take a nap now and do math tomorrow."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

advice from a 5 year old.

Last night, the parent committe from our school held the annual skating party.
I'm not a huge fan of skating, and I knew most of my students wouldn't be there, so I opted to stay home instead.
One of my students who did go, asked a fellow teacher where I was.
This fellow teacher (who now proves to be a rotten friend) said "Mrs. Miller's too scared to skate...all she does is fall down. She's a big old chicken!" 

So this morning, my student came bounding up to me and called me a scaredy-cat for being "too afraid" to roller skate. We joked around about it a few minutes, and then went about our morning routines.

Awhile later, as the kiddos were working, this same little girl came up to me and said,
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Miller."
"For what?" I asked.
"For calling you a scaredy-cat. That wasn't very nice and I wasn't being 'spectful."
I gave her a hug, told her I forgave her, and thanked her for apologizing, smiling inside because none of this was even true.
But she wasn't done.
No way- she had some advice for me...the scaredy-cat.
"Now let me tell you what my Dad told me before the party last night. Sometimes when you skate, you fall down. But you don't need to cry when you fall down. Just stand back up, try again, and use your balance, Mrs. Miller. You'll be just fine. And I can hold your hand if you want."

It was a pretty endearing moment.
Thanks for the advice, sweetie :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


We're starting an insect unit in Science.
Today, I wrote the word "insect" on the board, and asked my kiddos to sound it out.
Once they figured out the word, I asked them what it meant.

No response.
Then a moment later, a few hesitant hands went up.
I was thinking, "Oh boy...this could be interesting."
The following are just a few of the responses I got:

-"Insect is when you be real quiet and don't make any noise."
-"Oh! Its that one know..."
-"I think an insect is a power that protects you from bad guys."
"Umm...insect means you can't have no recess all week."
-"Its like when you go to the dentist, and he puts that string between your teeth."

Pretty sure he meant floss.
And on that note, I decided to tell them what an insect really is.
Never a dull moment :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Anytime someone throws up in the lunchroom, its one of my students.
So I wasn't surprised when I walked in to pick my kids up today and saw the janitor sprinkling that magic puke powder on the floor.
My students quickly reassured me that yes, one of our friends had thrown up on the floor.
Surprise surprise.

What did surprise me however, was that the nurse walked this little girl back to class a few minutes later and told me she wasn't going home.
"Do you know why she threw up? Because (student who will not be named) convinced her to swallow her peaches whole."

I saw the peaches the kids were eating at lunch.
These were peach HALVES people.
So, (student who will not be named) talked my poor puker into swallowing it whole, which the puker did because she's 5, she choked, and then proceeded to throw up that peach half (still whole) all over the floor.

I was livid! I pulled (student who will not be named) aside and said,
"Do you realize she could have gotten seriously hurt?"
When that didn't get much of a reaction, I said,
"Do you realize she could have DIED today?"
That got the reaction that I wanted. Instant terror and tears.
This is serious stuff.
I know they're in kindergarten, but still. They know better than to tell their friends to swallow food without chewing!
And its not like I can trust that our "lunch staff" (i.e. the woman who stands around and yells at the kids to quit talking during lunch) would be capable of reviving a choking student, and delivering her back to me in one living piece.

Needless to say, after the LONG talk we had, I have a feeling that (student who will not be named) will be encouraging everyone else to chew their food into mush before swallowing from now on.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

moments from this week

The following are some of the moments I feel blessed to have experienced this week at work:

A student's grandmother came to my room before school just to thank me and tell me what a good job I've done with getting her granddaughter to read so well.

After a bullying incident (which has been frequent in kindergarten lately), a student made an apology card for a friend. "i sory. i wil be nise to you form now on."

After I was gone for a couple hours directing the school play, I was greeted by hugs, and exclamations of, "Yay, Mrs. Miller's back!" and "I missed you so much!"

One of my students drawing me a picture of me, her, and her soon-to-be-born baby brother. "You and my baby brother are my two favoritest people!...You're the one in the dress."

I gave one of my higher readers her very first chapter book this week. The fear that was initially on her face was instantly replaced with immense pride when I told her I knew she could handle it. She not only finished it, but also comprehended everything she read!

Being told, "I love you so much, Mrs. Miller," about 50 times a day. It will never, ever get old.

Being asked if "asthma" is a bad word.

Finalizing 3rd quarter grades, I was taken back by just how much my kinders have grown throughout the year. They're not  the 4 year-old babies they were when they came to me anymore. They're becoming independent individuals who can read, write, and add.

I've realized this week that even though there are countless instances throughout a week that can make me want to pull my hair out, reflecting on all of the positive, endearing moments can really rejuvenate me, and I realize just how awesome these little babies big kids are!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

bad word.

Last week, I taught my Kinders about the -SH sound.
And we took our spelling test on Friday.
I laughed out loud when I was grading this one...check out #7.

I drew a little smiley face next to it for Mom, and wrote that the word was SUPPOSED to be "shot."

At the end of the day, students were packing up to go, and this little girl came up to me, held out her test, and with downcast eyes, said, "I changed my answer."
I said, "We've talked about this before...after I grade your paper, you can't erase your answer and change it."
To which she replied, "I know. But I sounded out what word I wrote down, and it was a bad word!"

This is how I know my students are growing up...they go back and try to sound out the words they missed to see what mistake they made :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fail...times two.

I have a 5 year old student who is a major behavior problem.
Not just disruptive, but violent as well.
Like...jabbing-other-students-in-the-ear-with-scissors violent.
We use a school-wide card chart system, in which students change their colored card based on their behavior.
It was decided that the card chart wasn't working for this student.
It was suggested to me that I try using a sticker chart to reward him for positive behavior, instead of scolding him for negative behavior.
I was skeptical, but said ok.

The moment I knew the sticker chart failed?
When he ripped it up and threw it in the trash.

Ok. Deep breaths. So I went back to my administrators with the evidence that I'd dug out of the trash. It was then suggested that instead of a sticker chart, I use Silly Bandz.
He would get a set amount of Silly Bandz at the beginning of the day. I would take one away when he misbehaved, and I would give him one when he did something good.
I was 99.9% sure this would not work out well.
Something (instinct maybe?) told me that a 5 year old boy and Silly Bandz might not be a good match.
But again...since it was suggested, I said ok.

The moment I knew the Silly Bandz failed?
This morning when I caught him shooting them at other students across the room.
Fail. Again. recap.
I have a violence/behavior problem in my room.
I've tried 2 different behavior plans in the last 5 days.
I'm out $10.00 for the supplies I've have to purchase.
I'm also about out of patience.
And its only Wednesday :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We've been doing a unit on Presidents lately for Social Studies.
We're nearing the end of the unit and I wanted to discuss Obama.
Since this is our current President, I was curious to see what the kids already knew about him.
They pretty much knew nothing, except that his wife's name is Michelle, and she wears pretty clothes.
I asked if the kids knew the reason why Obama is so important.
No one did, so I said, "Barack Obama is the very first African American president the United States has ever had."
Everyone just kind of stared at me.

So then I asked my class (which is about 90% African American) "Does anyone know what African American means?"

Cricket. Cricket.

No one knew. I was trying to figure out how to explain it in Kinder-friendly, but also politically correct lingo when I saw a hand shoot up in the air.
"I remember what African American means..." (says one of my African American students)
..."African American means you can't eat no pork!"

Oh boy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"my lunch box was on the floor..."

My class uses cubbies that are around the corner from our classroom...out of sight.
They are in prime traffic position, because they are right by the staircase.
A lot of times, when we walk by, we see that our coats, hats, boots, etc. have gotten knocked out of our cubbies by all the people who walk by every day.
But that's not a huge deal.

Yesterday, something happened that WAS a big deal.

Before lunch, we line up outside the bathroom to do our business and wash hands before I take them to the lunchroom.
When we are about to leave, I send the students who packed their lunches to grab them.
After I'd sent them, one of my little girls comes back with wide eyes and says in her tiny little voice, "Mrs. Miller, my lunchbox was on the floor. I opened it up, and the only thing that was left in there was my water."

I instantly saw red.
Someone had come to our cubbies in the middle of the morning, taken her lunchbox out, opened it up, and took her food.
I explained to her what had happened, told her how sorry I was, and that I'd have to give her a lunch card to buy a hot lunch instead today so she'd have something to eat.
Again, the tiny voice: "But Mrs. Miller, I don't know how to get a lunch with my lunch card. I don't know what to do."
Her mom packs her lunch every day, and she's never gotten a hot lunch before. She was clearly worried about doing something new. I assigned her a buddy that would help her, and she seemed fine the rest of the day.

But I wasn't.
It made me absolutely sick to my stomach that someone would think to steal from a 5 year old.
They're babies. How can you steal from a baby?
I have the sweetest kids in the world, and to think that someone would purposely take something from them makes me so mad.

I wrote a note to her mom to explain the situation, and told her that from now on, I'm going to let my students bring their lunches into the classroom, to prevent things like this from happening in the future.
If I have anything to do about it, this will NOT happen again.
Not on my watch.

Friday, January 13, 2012

abraham lincoln.

We're doing a unit about presidents in Social Studies right now.
Today we learned a little bit about Abraham Lincoln.
At dismissal today, one of our second grade teachers was talking to one of my girls about what she learned in kindergarten today.
The little girl told her she learned that Abraham Lincoln died.
Then, to see how much she remembered, I said, "How did he die?"
 This was her response:
"Well he went to the movie theater, and he was watching tv. Then there was this guy who really hated him, so he sneekedted up behind Abraham Lincoln and shooted him in the head!"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of Lincoln's assassination, told in the words of a 5 year old. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


every morning, we have an assembly in our gym before school starts.
it has been beyond cold in there lately.
while my little line of kinders was walking in there earlier this morning, one of my girls walks up to me and says,
"Mrs. Miller, its so cold! my armpit hairs are frozen because i didn't wear an undershirt today!"
she's 5.
if she has armpit hair already, she has bigger issues than being cold.

Monday, January 9, 2012

apparently i appear to be cheap

During recess today, one of my girls comes bouncing up to me excitedly.
"Guess what Mrs. Miller?"
"What?" I replied.
"I came from inside my mommy's belly! Did you know that?"
"Wow! You did?!" I said.
"Yep!" she replied.

Then came the kicker.

"Where did you come from, Mrs. Miller? Dollar General?"


She then informed me that Dollar General was her favorite store.
Whatever. The damage was already done. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

oh no.

As I was lining my kinders up for a quick bathroom break before lunch today, the nurse popped into my room and announced: "Yeah...I'm gonna have to do a quick head check on all you guys..."

To which I instantly replied, "Oh no...seriously?" guessed it.

One of my lovelies (absent today, obviously) has been infested with lice. Ugh.

After a minor freakout on my part, I found out that luckily, the rest of us are all good. But I was still itchy the rest of the day, since yesterday at dismissal, I let this student play "barber shop" with my hair. Smart move...not.

I have a student who is quite a bit of a worrier. She came up to me and asked, "Why did the nurse have to check our hair?" Clearly I didn't want to tell her why, because she'd freak out. So I simply replied, "She just wanted to look at all of your pretty hair!" That seemed to satisfy her, and she walked away. She came back a minute later and said, "Was she checking to make sure we don't have any tangles?"

Hee hee!

"Yep." I replied. "That's exactly what she was doing. Do you have any tangles?"
"Nope. Mommy brushed my hair this morning!"

Phew! At least now I can rest assured this weekend knowing that none of us have lice...or tangles :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

snack time.

Well its been awhile. So long that I haven't even posted that I switched from 4th grade to kindergarten. Long story for another time...or maybe never at all.

Anyway, today was our first day back after Xmas break. Today at snack time, one of my tables asked me if they could pray before snack. Being in a public school, I was unsure how to answer that question, but I figured that if I wasn't leading them in the prayer, then they could do whatever they wanted. So I said yes, and continued making my rounds, passing out Goldfish.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that everyone at this table grabbed hands with each other. Then one of my girls took it upon herself to lead the table in this prayer:

"Jesus, thank you for this awesome snack. We love goldfish, especially the pizza ones. Please let these fishies make us healthy, and bring us another yummy snack tomorrow. Amen."

It was so adorable, I couldn't help but smile/giggle. I definitely wish I would've had my camera handy :)