Mrs.W’s Words of Wisdom

We have a new teacher in the classroom next to ours. She is not “new” new, just new to us! She has been teaching at the middle school for many years and now is working with 4th and 5th graders. In order to encourage them to read more and also as conversation starters she has been peppering the hallway walls with bright little signs sharing random interesting facts. Every few days, another pops up and I find myself looking forward to learning something new.  I don’t know where she gets these tidbits and I can’t swear to her accuracy but I thought I’d share a few just to see what conversations I can start!

Did you know…

  • Bears have 42 teeth
  • Only about 10% of the population is left handed
  • The average person falls asleep in 8 minutes
  • A person cannot taste food until it is mixed with saliva
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn it’s head
  • An ostrich’s eye is bigger than it’s brain
  • For every one person on the planet, there are four insects

Do you have any words of wisdom (AKA Fun Facts) I can pass on to Mrs W? I am sure she would love to hear them. Maybe she will even add them to her collection!



Let the Summer Begin!

Another school year is finished. This is always a bitter sweet time for me.

For the next two months I won’t have to say things like “Focus! Sound it out.” or “If there’s more on the floor, trade next door!” (it’s a math thing). Most importantly, I will not have to say “Keep you hands on your own lunch!” and “Chew with your mouth closed.” I won’t miss that at all!

I will, however, miss the smiles and the hugs. I’ll also miss the stories and the conversations, because you just never know what a child will say! Those things are some of the best parts of my day!

I really won’t miss getting up at 6am. I am not a morning person. Never have been and I hate having to make myself go to bed at a respectable time just so I can function the next day.

I will, however miss the time that goes with having an early morning. In the summer, I end up sleeping till 9:00 or 10:00 and the day is half over before I even get in the shower!

I won’t miss repeating  a concept over and over because sometimes that’s what it takes to truly understand. I could do without having to go back to the beginning when I was hoping we were ready to move on.

I will miss seeing that little spark of excitement when a student realizes he finally  understands something he was beginning to think he never would.  Also, there is that look of pride a child gets when they are able to read an entire book or finish a math page without asking for help even once.  That I will miss.

I won’t miss ironing clothes for work or making lunches or trying to fit all my errands and cleaning into two days. But I’ll miss my coworkers and the routine and the challenges, big and small.

I will enjoy my time off for sure. I know it’s a gift that most people don’t get and I truly appreciate the break but by the time September comes I’ll be ready to go back to work.  I know my enthusiasm meter will be back up to full tilt by then and I’ll be ready for anything…even lunch duty. 😊


Grade School the Second Time Around (part 5).

Stuff that made me go “Hmmmm?!”…

  • Bamboo is an incredibly useful and versatile plant. It can be harvested to build furniture, buildings and even cloth! It is also great for the environment because it can replenish itself in only 3 to 5 years as opposed to trees, which take 50 years to mature.
  • Baby elephants suck on the ends of their trunks for comfort in the same way human babies suck their thumbs.
  • Elephants throw dirt and dust on themselves to ward off insects and to protect their skin from the sun.
  • Horseshoe crabs have been around since prehistoric times.


Q is for the Quick Brown Fox…


The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

How many people recognize that sentence? Probably quite a few hands went up.

According to Wikipedia….

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is an English-language pangram—a phrase that contains all of the letters of the alphabet. It is commonly used for touch-typing practice. It is also used to test typewriters and computer keyboards, show fonts, and other applications involving all of the letters in the English alphabet. Owing to its brevity and coherence, it has become widely known.

Okay, now, how many of you practiced that sentence on a manual typewriter? Hmmm. Lots of hands went down!

Students still learn touch typing only now it’s called “keyboarding”. I tried to explain to my third graders what a typewriter was one day. I was met with a lot of blank stares. I could have confused them further if I’d told them that my older sister learned shorthand when she was in school (Shorthand?) and then used touch type to translate her shorthand.

I can touch type pretty quickly and it’s definitely a very useful skill. Hubby uses a rapid-fire, two-finger, hunt-and-peck typing style. Not sure what class he took. There is no denying that computers and word processing make writing documents easier and more convenient but sometimes I still get nostalgic for the old days….

Remember those little strips of white paper you could put under the keys to correct mistakes? And who could forget good old Liquid Paper! Then there was the neat way the keys would all jam up if you hit them too fast. I can still hear that little bell that rang when you reached the end of the page. Each and every time you reached the end of the page.. Ahh, memories. Of course after so many years typing on a computer keyboard, I’d probably sprain my fingers if I tried to push down regular typewriter keys again!  I guess there’s a lot to be said for progress after all.