Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reason I Teach #5

We have a fabulous vocabulary program at our school. Each week we read a story to the kids that has six new words in it. The words are not simple little words like house and bad; but words like shelter and dreadful. The concept is that kids from lower-income families don't get exposed to the kind of vernacular that children from more privileged families experience on a daily basis. The children are not required to learn how to spell the words - this is about exposure to language and the meaning of the words. And it works! I often hear the kids use the words in everyday chit-chat, and I get a huge chuckle out of hearing them.

"Ms. Wose, that homework was a real challenge last night!"

"Wow, that was a delightful story!"

Last week one of the words was complain. The story I read was all about a boy who complains non-stop about his horrible day. As we talked about the story and the word, we all decided that nobody is really interested in listening to a complainer - it's just no fun.

Today one of my students told me that she used the word complain at home.

ME: "Oh really? How did you use it?"

Student: "I tole my grampa he need to knock off all his complainin' - cause nobody's interested."

I wonder when grampa will be calling to complain about his grandchild's teacher.

28 comments:

Flounder said...

I want to complain about something, but I don't know what to complain about.

Is that a compaint?

Flounder said...

or even a complaint?

Miss Browneyedgirlie said...

To be filed under: Kids Say The Darndest Things.

LOL, if/when you get a phone call, you HAVE to post about it.

Bill said...

That's priceless. I wish there was a picture of grandpa's face.

Bostick said...

Thank you xoxo nothing but love..
http://erin-obrien.blogspot.com/

Spinning Girl said...

I love what we do.

Sizzle said...

ha ha! perfect. :)

Tits McGee said...

ARRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

msmachine said...

I guess you gave him (grampa) something to complain about!

matty said...

I hate to complain and yet I find myself constantly doing so...

Am I really a dork?

Wait. Maybe that is a good thing.

I think we are so lucky that there are people like you out there brave enough to teach.

Kisses from GayTown,
matty

Loz said...

i love it when kids use words that are possibly a little old for them. they sound like mini-adults that way!

jiggs said...

I hear that little girl. old people are always complainin about their prostates and the fact that they can't poop... oh no! I have become old!

Brian said...

Man oh man! We need kids like that to set it straight for everyone.

Thérèse said...

Hee hee hee hee.

Sometimes, Ms. Wose, you make me consider teaching as a profession.

Toby said...

I have college level student employees who aren't that articulate.

Egan said...

Dammit, you will get me to teach yet. What a delightful story indeed. It definitely brought a smile to my face.

thephoenixnyc said...

That's really cute. I think you make a great point. Vocabulary is severly limited by what kids hear at home or conversely can be exponentially expanded by what they hear in school or at home.

My mother had me saying antidisestablishmentarianism by the time I was two.

Lo Lo Lova said...

Excellent!
Any word yet from Gramps?

Übermilf said...

I'd like to complain that Nick smells and it's just dreadful.

Think Frustrated said...

Kids spout the craziest shit.
Kids say the darndest things.

Or do they?

You should teach them onomotopoeia. Its as fun to say as it is to spell. Everyone loves a good onomotopoeia.

Bam!

BV said...

Sounds like my little brother. He is like a small version of an old man.

sunshine said...

Ha! I really loved this post. I assume you're talking about the Elements of Vocabulary program? We have it at my school too, although unfortunately not all of the teachers use it. My kids love using grown-up words. They have taken to telling me that I'm not "versatile" because I tend to make mistakes when I start multi-tasking... but I don't mind!

Monkey said...

I applaud that young human for saying out loud what everyone's been wanting to say for years.

Any new Sharkbait Stories? I wait with baited toes.

Deezee said...

way too funny!

Nick said...

You're a dork.

Neil said...

I can't imagine a bigger thrill than hearing these kids say those new words.

Toby said...

My new fridge is complicated and it only has a dial. The whole top half is frozen and the bottom half is in the food zone. When I adjust the temp gauage either way, it makes the entire fridge a freezer or a micro Washington state rain forest complete with intermitten midwestern hail down under. There isn't any happy medium. Am I rushing things, or do these things take time?

Rrramone said...

Heh heh. Nice.