Monday, September 12, 2011

Why You Teach Speech

Welcome back to school! It's September: I hope you brought your supplies with you and do NOT ever ask me if you need a pencil for class today. I will bite you and, as Mrs. Skapinsken proved last year in her science classroom, the mouth of a teacher has more germs in it than a school toilet (no really, I'm serious: she proved this by growing bacterial cultures from swabs). Don't make me do something you'll regret.

The beginning of the school year usually involves a barrage of basic skills tests for the students. Math teachers test for basic skills such as multi-digit multiplication and long division, language arts teachers test for parts of speech and paragraph organization, that sort of thing. Things look promising this year from my point of view: most of my kids only took a couple of days to finish a 25 question basic math skills test and did fairly well. In comparison, many of my kids last year had problems calculating 14 - 8 and took 5 days to finish the same 25 question test. I wanted to stab myself in the eye repeatedly with a white board marker.

My team teacher, Dina came into my classroom giggling at break today. She'd given our kids a parts of speech test to see what they knew. Some of the parts of speech were pretty easy (noun, verb) and some were a little more difficult (like participle). To be fair, I don't even know what a participle is, and I wouldn't recognize a dangling participle if it fell off the sentence, or whatever it is they do.....

Here are some of the responses she shared with me:

Infinitive- "The number of nouns and verbs a sentence can have."
Verb- "A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y."
Preposition- "Another word for a bargain or deal."

I'm glad she's amused: it will help her next week when she feels like crying after reading their first essay.