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Assorted Sillies

The Eyes Have It

We stood at assembly, waiting for the pledge to begin. Somebody mentioned the Sunday time change. The class discussed the repercussions of losing an hours sleep. I said, “You’ll have a cranky teacher Monday morning.”

Joe smirked at me and rolled his eyes.

“Excuse me,” I said, feigning shock. “Are you implying that I am always cranky?”

He crossed his arms, turned slightly away, looked at his buddy, and started to whistle.

“Now I think I am cranky, ” I said. “Remind me to beat you when we get it into classroom.”

“Yes, Miss,” he said. Then he rolled his eyes again.

Gender Density

Jose, who is the board eraser this month, couldn’t seem to get the white board clean. There is too much residue on it. I saw him struggling and said, “Jose, wash the white board.”

Jake joined him. They both rubbed at it with towels.

I repeated, “Jose, wash the white board.”

“I’m scrubbing it, Miss!”

“Yes, and it’s not coming clean. Wash the white board.”

“I am!” He responded, clearly frustrated.

“Jose,” I said with exaggerated patience, “Wash means, use water.”

Two horrified boys swung to look at me and wailed, “Water!”

Problem Math Problem

The lesson directions called for the kids to use calculators to do a dozen or so math problems. Over half of the class, one at a time, waved a hand in the air for help with problem #4. The easiest one of the lot.

5 1/2 x 60 = _____

Their query, every one of them? “Where do I find 1/2 on the calculator?”

My response? “I don’t know, Hon. Why don’t you just try .5?”

Each kid in turn looked startled and exclaimed, “Oh, yeah,” sheepishly.

Dave and I shared the same exchange, but his reaction was somewhat different. He stared at me dead pan for a moment and then said, “Excuse me, I have to get my brain from the freezer.”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. LOL…I adore your children…kids…they are sooo funny. It has to be a joy most days to work with them.
    Been catching up on your blog. Congrats on the Diet thing. The best diet IS to eat sensibly, and use correct portions. Good luck!

  2. Quilly, good story… but CALCULATORS?!?! Don’t you teach an elementary school class? Isn’t that the age when people are supposed to learn how to do multiplication, rather than learn how to have it done for them?

    Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not a parent. If I were, my kids would be permitted wine at dinner but forbidden to use calculators until they were studying logarithms and trig.

  3. Bill — no, sometimes the obvious answer is the last one found — or considered.

    OC — look at your watch. What are all those litytle buttons for?

    DaBich — thanks for the diet encouragment. My students are a blast.

    Morgan — elementary school may have changed since you were there. We have T-115 calculators, and I am teaching algebra. The kids need the calculatos to do exponents and such, or it would take them all period to do one problem. The purpose of this lesson, was to review all the function keys they had just learned — and how to input fractions into a calculator.

    They only get to use the calculators on specific lessons, and most calculator practice comes after plenty of pen and paper work.

  4. You were cranky with me once Quilly (I probably deserved it) but I just rolled my eyes and got on with it, and hey, I’m still coming back!

  5. I thought I’d save you time replying to my post, you can cut and paste this.

    What do you mean “probably”.

  6. I think that I’m the only one not upset about the loss of an hour Saturday night…cuz I work that night and instead of 8 hours, I’ll only work 7…and still get paid for 8!

  7. Polona — time change, Sunday night. I give away and hour of precious sleep.

    Bazza — what do you mean “cranky”?

    Silver — I used to like that when I was in college — but it balanced in the Spring when I worked 9 hours for 8 hours pay.

  8. LOL! I like that kid, Dave! Man…. I would have been re-teaching decimals before it got to the 5th hand! *hands up* Just me!

  9. Hi Quilly, well if in your professional opinion it’s being done well, then I guess it’s okay. I can’t imagine what part of algebra you’d want a calculator to do for you. It gets so complex (university level) that you really want to be able to do the basics in your head or else it becomes meaningless.

    When I was a senior in highschool I tutored freshmen in math. What I saw scared me! Some of the kids had always used calculators to do their match (from primary school) and they couldn’t multiply or divide the simplest numbers in their heads. It left me against calculators in math class ever since.

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