Happy English: Day 176, Wednesday June 11 2014

I made an activity for our lesson “What’s in the box?” at the kindergarten. It was just pulling flashcards out of a cardboard box, nothing too exciting, but the kids loved it. Nate borrowed my activity after I was done with it, and showed me up big time by making up a song to go with it, “What is it the box? What is in the box? What is in, what is in, what is in the box?”

I’ve mentioned the “poopoo” in past blog posts, a prank gift of a squishy poop shaped toy I got for Nate’s christmas stocking, that somehow made it to the classroom, and became the best object to throw at the smart board for the poopoo game (formerly known as the target game) for it’s slightly sticky properties. It would cling to the board on impact for just long enough to set off the whiteboard sensors, so that it would leave a mark on the target or wherever it hit. Balls would bounce off too quickly, leaving the teacher to guess as to where exactly the student managed to connect.

Today the “poopoo” found a new purpose. We were on the clothing unit, and one of the features of our smartboard games is a “review page” which is page with all of the vocabulary words from the unit (usually with only a few wrong words thrown in here and there). When the icons (of clothing in this case) are clicked on the image opens up larger, and the computer speaks out the word (usually in the british pronunciation- very helpful for teaching American English). “Helen,” I asked, “What do you wear to the beach?” Tiny five year old Helen walks up to the line I’ve drawn on the ground in whiteboard marker (It comes off when the floors get mopped, which is why this is allowed. It’s great fun because the children are often shocked, though unfortunately it dries out whiteboard markers really quickly.), throws the poopoo at the board which pipes out in a british accent “shoes”. Helen looks at me, like she’s a little concerned about saying that she wears such a ridiculous thing to the beach (because obviously the correct answer should be sandals), but after an encouraging smile she says smartly “I wear shoes to the beach.” Everyone laughs, Helen can’t help but join in as she takes her seat.

Next up was Peter, “Peter what do you wear to school?” And then came the wind up. Around and around and around Peters arm went until ziiing the poopoo flew out behind him, in the completely wrong direction of the board. “Try again Peter,” I say as Jesse hops out of his seat to retrieve the toy. I pass the “poopoo” back to peter, and move Jesse’s “reward system” star one space forwards. Around and around and around Peter’s arm goes, I make eye contact with Shirley and we exchange an look that says here we go again, but this time, after vigorously windmilling his arm for a full minute Peter stops the momentum completely and forward goes the poopoo in a week toss that barely makes the board. “Trousers,” says the computer as I yell “PANTS” over the automated voice. “I wear pants to school.” Peter says and then after a bit of a goofy jiggle, takes his seat.

Leo is practically jumping out of his seat at this point with the excitement of the game. When I call his name he bounces up towards the board, past the line so that I have to remind him to back up (which he does but fidgets so much that he begins inching forward again afterwards). Leo likes to copy Peter, only Leo is much bigger then Peter, and much less in tune with where his limbs are and when. Once, after a big Peter- like wind up, Leo actually threw himself at the board. Anyways “What are you wearing,” I asked as Leo wound up, threw the poopoo, which arced wildly, but somehow still managed to come in contact with the white board, which yelled out “skirt.” Leo turned red, looked down at his clothes, then started to laugh, and managed to get out “I am wearing a skirt,” through his giggles.

Sitting fairly central, but slightly off to the side, was my smallest student, Kevin. He’d been watching the older boys with sharp intensity, and laughing like an insane person at everything he observed. As I called Kevin up the the board and ask “What do you wear to school?” he was already laughing so hard he could barely stand. When Kevin tried to copy Peter’s classic wind up move his whole body turned instead of just his arm! The poopoo flew straight up in the air, hit the sealing, and brushed the word “underwear,” on it’s way back down. Now Kevin’s laughter made him melt completely into a giggling puddle on the floor. I don’t know how but he managed to squeeze the sentence out in between breaths. 

Good class.

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