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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Star of the Week

I've been meaning to blog about this for awhile because I find it absolutely hilarious. I am worried, however, that it will be far less funny in written form. I guess you'll have to let me know.
So, every week a different child in my class has his/her turn to be the star. This includes several highly-anticipated events. First, the child gets to bring in family photos which get hung on the bulletin board. Then he gets to dictate 3 sentences that teach us about things he likes to eat, places he likes to go, etc. He also gets to bring in 3 Show and Tell items from home. Finally, at the end of the week, we interview our Star so that we can make a special book for him. At this time, each student has to think of a question to ask the Star. I write the answer on a post-it and they take it back to their desk. After the interview each child gets a page for the book that says '(Star's Name) likes _________' and they have to fill in their answer and draw a picture. Most of the kids ask questions like "What's your favorite sport?" or "What's your favorite movie?" or "What's your favorite color?" or something along those lines. BUT if you have a little boy like "Billy" in the group, things always get a little more interesting. Billy would certainly be considered a creative mind. I've told the kids numerous times that they don't need to keep their hand raised through the ENTIRE round of interview questions. They can raise their hand if they want to be called on, but can put it down if someone else gets chosen. Two weeks ago, however, Billy's question was just so brilliant, so ingenious, that he couldn't even sit still with anticipation. He sat through 15 other kids' questions bobbing his hand up and down and waving it in the air going "Ooh, Ooh!" I could tell that it was making my Star of the Week choose everyone BUT him. Finally, she had no choice and called his name. He was actually breathless as he spit out, "What's your favorite hobo?" Yep, I nearly lost it. And the Star was dumbfounded. I'm the teacher, but how do I even redirect that into something that makes sense? I can't. I say, "Ummmm, Billy that doesn't really make sense. Could you think of something else?" Now, it never fails that when I child is asked to "think of something else" during the interview, they always resort to asking a very narrow question based on something they already know how to draw. Sure enough, he settles for "What's your favorite snake?" (Okay, kid, who knows 'kinds of snakes'??) She thinks for awhile and then says, "...the baby kind." Phew!
The following Friday the same scenario rolls around. Billy's got a question he can barely hold in but the Star of the Week isn't taking the bait. After 15 questions (which seemed like an eternity) it's unavoidably Billy's turn. And, yes, I've been looking forward to it. Breathless Billy says/shouts, "What's your favorite pumpkin?" My Star says, "The orange one." And then Billy follows it up with, "Awww, I was hoping you'd say the heart one." WHAT?!?!
So I send the kids to their seats to start working on their page. But Billy's creativity will not allow him to draw a simple orange pumpkin and leave it at that. The next 15 minutes proceed as follows:
Billy: "Mrs. Place, Can I draw that string on the pumpkin, too?"
Me: "You mean like a Jack-O-Lantern?"
Billy: "Nooooo. That string."
Me: "Um, sure." (yes, sometimes I choose my battles.)
---3 minutes pass by---
Billy: "Mrs. Place, it's that string thing that ties the cow to the pumpkin. That's what I want to draw."
Me: "You mean like a rope?" (i know...i'm answering him as if this makes sense to me?!?)
Billy: "No"
--3 more minutes pass and Billy's really getting frustrated trying to formulate his thoughts---
Billy: "Oh, yeah! Hay!!"
And he proceeds to draw an orange pumpkin sitting on a hay bale.
I'm looking forward to this week's interview session. I'm sure "Billy" is too.

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