Yes, It Is Personal!

I remember about 10 years the apartment that I was living in was burglarized. It was right before I had David. I was very pregnant and very tired, so I sent Sam to check the mail. Unbeknownst to me, he left the keys in the mailbox.

Obviously someone found them. They knew exactly whose keys they were since they were found in #9’s mailbox. However, being the dishonest jackasses they were, they did not return the keys. Instead they used my own keys to come into my house and rob me blind while I was at the doctor with David for his one week Well Baby appointment.

Who did it turn out to be? One of my neighbors who I spoke to everyday. In fact, one day I came home to her playing a CD- that she’d stolen from my house. She was steps from my apartment playing it. Can you believe her nerve?
I was P.O., but what could I do about it? Someone told me that they did not consider it personal. It was just business to them. It was, however, personal to me. I was the one who didn’t feel safe anymore. I was the one who felt violated. You damn straight it was personal to me.

I do not understand how someone who steals could not think that the person who they stole from would take it personally. I am experiencing this situation for the second time. I didn’t write about it because I just forgot about it.

Here’s the story. I bought 30 Hot Wheel cars for prizes for my students. I gave away 5. I know about how many there were because I checked on them during the first week of January when I returned early from vacation for staff meetings. I know that there were at least 20 in there. Fast forward==- 1.5 months and I have 6 cars left.

Yes I said 6. One of my students stole almost 20 of the cars. The killer part is that I keep them right in back of my desk in a plastic box. She is almost never at my desk. I don’t know when she could have possibly stolen them. I just don’t.

Everyone kept telling me that this particular student, who I’ll call Stickyfingers, did it. Though I did believe that she did it, I did not have proof. I said that I wouldn’t say anything until I had proof. Well, I got my proof today. She was showing off one of the cars to another students when I saw it.

“What do you have?” I asked.

“Mine,” she said. It’s mine.

“Well, let me see it if there’s nothing to hide,” I said.

She reluctantly gave it to me. I didn’t make a big deal out of then because I didn’t want to embarrass her, but I did discuss it with her later. At which point she agreed to bring back the rest of the 18 cars she stole.

I have heard stories around campus that most of her family steals too. They are all very good at what they do because no one ever sees them do anything, but they always do it.
I know that she’s just a kid, but she understands perfectly well what she’s doing. I am so mad at her, but I know she doesn’t see what all the fuss is about because it isn’t personal to her. Well, it’s personal to me. I need a way for her to suffer some kind of consequences.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Fun with Picasso!

Even though I dislike OCR because it’s not suitable for special ed, I have to admit that I had so much fun a couple of weeks ago with the Picasso story in Open Court (3rd grade). I am happy to announce that I will be switching to Voyager when I have training next week, and provided I can get the manual for it.

I planned on switching to Voyager, however, that 3 hour training turned into 1 1/2, which turned into 1 hour. I have yet to receive the manual. That’s a whole different story which I will save for another time. So, needless to say, I will not be starting Voyager.
N-e way, back to the lecture at hand, to pique the children’s interest, I printed some pictures of Picasso, along with some other famous artist to compare & contrast.

For another activity, we discussed the different styles of the various artists. Their assignment: Draw their version of the Picasso pictures. These were their choices:


“Figures on a Beach”

“The Dream”

“The Guitar Player”

Don’t know the name of this one.

We had so much fun. The other 3rd grade teacher next door wanted to do it.

This is what they came up with: (I will post the pictures later).

So until next time people!

When Teaching Long Vowels…

  • In one lesson, teach that vowels say their name at the beginning of a syllable (as in a-pron).

  • In another lesson, teach that magic e makes vowels say their name (as in lake).

  • Teach the vowel pairs ai and ay, and the rule that ai is used within a word and ay is generally used at the end of a word.

  • After these spelling patterns are firm in the student’s mind, move on to teach the other spellings for long a, one at a time.

I’m So Proud Of You For Fighting!

“I’m so proud of you for fighting,” I told my students as they related the story of what happened during lunch.

I know this may sound crazy, but that is exactly what I told my students yesterday.
I started off fussing at them for not being in line when I came to pick them up after lunch. However, when I found out the reason they weren’t in line, I gave them all a hug.

They were sort of fighting. Well, they were actually defending one of their fellow classmates, Man-Man. What’s so funny is that Man-Man and one of my other students,  were in a little kicking match right before lunch.

They were like a real family. They may fight amongst themselves, but they’re not going to let anyone else mess with their family. I feel like everything that I am teaching them about sticking together is finally sinking in. They actually think of themselves as a family. They named themselves after that movie “Four Brothers”(the one with Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese, Andre 3000 and some other guy).

I am proud of them and their little group. I am especially proud as this group contains two Hispanic and two black. What makes me the proudest is the fact that this group contains the one who called another one of my black students the N**** word just a little over a month ago.

I guess saying the same thing over and over and over and over day after day actually does make a difference. Here’s to continued success and more fighting :).

Until next time people!

The Many Jobs Of Silent “E”

I also got this from the website . If you would like to read it for yourself, here it is:

Taken directly from the site.

Here are the six jobs that Silent E performs:

Job #1: Silent e can make the vowel before it long (note).

Job #2: Silent e can make c and g soft (race, page).

Job #3: Silent e keeps u and v from being the last letter in a word (clue, give).

Job #4: Every syllable must have a vowel. Silent e adds a vowel to words with the “consonant+le” pattern, such as handle.

Job #5: Adding a silent e can keep a singular word from ending in s, as in the word goose. Without the e, this would look like a plural word: goos.

Job #6: Other miscellaneous reasons for silent e include:

  • The e used to be pronounced (come).

  • To distinguish between two words (or and ore).

How To Teach Spelling

While doing some research on teaching spelling, I came across this article: It was quite humbling as I have been doing some of those things that the article says not to do.

I am happy that I came across this information. Now I know what to do as well as what not to do. That’s what research is for.

If you are also looking for information about how to teach spelling, check out this site @