Vegetables and Classroom Catchphrases

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Two things I’ve been meaning to share:

1) I am required to mention how good Wonder by R.J. Palacio is at least once a month (this requirement has now been modified to include A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman).  Because I loved it so much and I’ve put a quote on the whiteboard every day, I of course bought 365 Days of Wonder, a collection of quotes/precepts. It had this gem of a story about a three-year-old son who was in his chicken nugget phase and the parents had given up trying to make him eat his vegetables.  The pediatrician replies:

Well, you can’t really force him to eat the vegetables, guys, but your job is to make sure they’re on his plate.  He can’t eat them if they’re not even on his plate.

I’ll wait while you let that sink in.

Here are some of my vegetables I’ve been serving:

  • So, yes, not every kid got the “plug-in-any-number” method for the ACT.  But did some say it helped them? Yes. Would they have known about it if I hadn’t taken 10 minutes to talk about it as bellringers?  No.
  • “Hmmm…..I’m not sure if they’ll get this discovery worksheet on concavity, but we can always abandon it for chicken nuggets if there’s a meltdown.”
  • “You are each The Most Magnificent Thing [by Ashley Spires], even if you lean a little to the right. Or maybe you’re still in the process of becoming The Most Magnificent Thing and everything feels all wrong, but know that at least part of you is perfect right now and will go towards making you The Most Magnificent Thing. [Yes, even you who decided it was too silly to listen to a book being read to you and played on your phone instead].”

I also keep this in mind when I’m teaching something that I would LOVE to go more in depth on, but I know it would be too much after just introducing a topic. As in, let’s start with some corn and peas before we jump into [insert sophisticated-taste vegetable here].

What are some of the vegetables in your classroom?

(As a side note, Ron Swanson and I have same opinion about vegetables.)

2) Do you have “classroom catchphrases”?  Like when your students see a tangent graph for the first time, do they yell, “Oh, it’s like a John Travolta?” (Our name for the cubic graph (stolen from the #MTBoS).)  Or do they write on their year-end survey, “I only killed four kittens”?  Or maybe they watched a video and in their write up said, “at one point she talked about 24 times something equals dolphins, but I was used to that because my math teacher talks about ’24 times something equals corgis’.” Or do they talk about radians in terms of quesadillas? I always want to sit in on their next math class when they start bringing these terms out and see what the other teacher does.  🙂

What are some of your classroom catchphrases?

We also talked about two, to, and too the other day and I mentioned that “too” has “too” many letters. One girl was so excited about finally remembering the difference.

Another teacher said to remember the difference between it’s and its, think of a towel rack: HIS HER ITS  (also THEIR and YOUR). No apostrophe!

Also, if a fish is missing a fin, then he’ll sink-y. Capital of Finland? Helsinki.  Feel free to whip that one out at your next faculty luncheon.

Bonus 3) Ok, one more thing and it’s My Thing. I’ve been listening to StoryWonk’s Light Bulb podcast, and at the end of each episode each host talks about their “thing” for the week, i.e. whatever they’d like to recommend.  So I think I’m going to start ending my blog posts with My Thing.

And My Thing this week is….

Do yourself and favor and marathon it this weekend. Or savor it and watch it once a week. I don’t know why it’s has never turned into a cult favorite. Here are two gems to finish this post, and if they don’t get you to watch, well, don’t say I never served you any vegetables.

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