Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Ok, I promise this note is only a little bit about school (I have realized that a lot of my stories involve my kids at work...and I DO have a life outside of work...)

Today in school we were talking about a story that had to do with friends. I asked the kids a question (which I can't remember) and an appropriate response would have had something to do with "Annabelle and Herbie being best friends..." So, after discussing it, the kids were supposed to write it down on a response sheet.

One of my favorite (and yes, teachers have favorites) little girls raises her hand and says, "Well, Ms. Ventura, can I just write 'BFF'....you know...Best Friends...." and then after a short pause and thinking through what the letters stand for, she finishes by saying, "...forever. Best Friends Forever. Would it be ok to just write that instead of writing all the words out..."

Of course I started laughing...and all the kids just look at me in utter confusion. What was so funny about that? They couldn't figure it out. And all I could say was, "You know, I think it would be better practice to write out all the words..."

So, all of that to say, when she referred to BFF, it made me think about the lovely friends that I have in my life...my BFF's! I am one of the luckiest people to have such amazing friends. So here's a little tribute to all my dear friends (and the reality is that I have about a million wonderful people in my life, so I can't include pictures of everyone...but know that I care about you JUST as much:)) CHEERS to my BFF's:)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


So, I'm a good 4 weeks into the school year now and I have finally hit my FAVORITE time of the year....

Teaching the CRAYFISH Science Unit!

I think most of you know me well enough to know that I'm semi-sarcastic and that the above statement was an example of my sarcasm as it's finest!

You know, it's not that I'm scared of the crayfish, or even that I think the little creatures are dumb animals....it's just that they smell SO badly...they die right and left...AND the kids think they like the crayfish, until the crayfish are crawling around their desk, about to fall off the edge...it is at that point that the kids realize that they don't like them at all, and that I have super powers, and can get from one desk to the next to rescue them (or the crayfish) from major disaster.

We've had these little guys in our room since last Tuesday, and they will remain in our room until Thursday...and I must say that there is nothing that I'm looking forward to this week thank Thursday when they are GONE!

I walked into my classroom on Friday and the minute the door opened, and overwhelming stench escaped. I looked in the tubs where the crayfish are living and didn't see any dead ones...and the trash can, with the dead ones from the day before, had been emptied...so I couldn't figure out why it smelled so badly. Then a few minutes later, the teacher next door to me walked in and almost passed out from the smell...and within a 10 minute time frame, about 6 people had walked through my room covering their faces and gagging by the smell. I finally decided to take all the crayfish out (about 2 dozen) to clean out the tubs that they were in...and that temporarily solved the problem. At least they weren't as smelly as before.

The first day we had the crayfish out the kids were just WILD. They were excited, and scared, and silly all rolled into one. So it made for an extremely NOT fun 45 minute time frame. Because it was so wild, and because I am a mean teacher, I told the kids they lost the privilege of having the crayfish out the next day. So, Friday was the day they were going to get to take them out again. I prefaced the time with these statements....

"Remember when you had the crayfish out on Wednesday and a lot of them looked like they were frozen...that was because you were so loud you scared them, and they froze in place. Crayfish don't like noise, which is why they always bury themselves down at the bottom of lakes. If you are loud again, you could make them sick and unhealthy and we will not be able to have them for the rest of this unit. You guys don't want that to happen, right??"

That was enough to get them quiet enough that I could hear a pin drop on the floor. We took the crayfish out, and actually had a decent time with them. We did a lot of observing and learned a lot. About half way through the time, though, one crayfish went sailing across a table...one person nearly got their finger pinched off...and one person thought they lost their crayfish. Oh to be 8 years old....it's rough:)

Anyway...here are a few pictures from our day on Friday...I just looooove these crayfish! AYE:)

Monday, September 01, 2008

You think you know, but you have no idea....

This is the true story of Ms. Ventura....

Does anyone remember the show on MTV that used that as their catch line?? I can't remember what the show was called, but it's quite catchy. Because I like the line so much, I decided to use something alone these lines for my first day back to school.

I decided to do a "How Well Do You Know Your Teacher" quiz to give the kids on the first day back....first, cause there is nothing like scaring those kids silly, with a quiz, on the first day back....but more so, cause I think it's always funny to see what the kids think of their teacher...

So I put together a short little T/F quiz to give them and I figured it would be worth posting on here...and if anyone is brave enough to take the quiz, and post your answers, I'd be more than happy to grade it and give you a nifty pencil as a reward:)

____ 1. Ms. Ventura has size 8 shoes.
____ 2. Ms. Ventura has a pet squirrel named Nutter.
____ 3. Ms. Ventura drives a Hummer to school each day.
____ 4. Ms. Ventura’s favorite season is the summer.
____ 5. Ms. Ventura used to want to be a clothing designer when she was little.
____ 6. Ms. Ventura loves to go shopping at the GAP.
____ 7. Ms. Ventura played mini golf in Canada this summer.
____ 8. As a side job, Ms. Ventura makes window curtains out of candy wrappers.
____ 9. Ms. Ventura really likes dancing.
____ 10. Ms. Ventura grew up in Minnesota.
____ 11. Ms. Ventura was born on August 9, 1983 in Toledo, Ohio.
____ 12. Ms. Ventura went to Honduras this summer and walked under a huge waterfall!
____ 13. This is Ms. Ventura’s 5th year teaching at Cedar Ridge.
____ 14. Ms. Ventura’s favorite color is green.
____ 15. Ms. Ventura beat the world record for blowing the biggest bubbles (from gum).
____ 16. Ms. Ventura caught a fish with her bare hands.
____ 17. Ms. Ventura lives in Minneapolis.
____ 18. Ms. Ventura has one sister, Ede, and two brothers, Jaime and Tony.
____ 19. Ms. Ventura’s favorite book to read is the telephone book.
____ 20. Ms. Ventura loves teaching!

So...the moral of the story...the kids think all teachers are the same and they know them really well....but they have NO idea:)