October 30, 2009

"I'm pretty sure tasmanian devils just 'do it'"

Here is the eagerly anticipated (by Mrs. J at least!) blog post about the tasmanian devils incident of Thursday...  intrigued?  Just wait for it. :)

So as part of my school's insanity over ISATs, we start preparing our kids in September (bound and determined to make AYP...).  Anyways, my team gave a reading extended response common assessment this week.  The passage that the kids read was about tasmanian devils.  It was a pretty interesting article--did you know tasmanian devils can eat even rotten food?  It turns out they are nature's garbage collectors!  Who knew?  I swear I learn something every day in 5th grade.  Well, my wonderful lit coach Mrs. J and I have been teaching my class about taking notes on a text as you read.  We've practiced highlighting and writing comments and reactions in the margins, even if they are just "WOW!" or "That's sad :("  and my kids have been doing a fabulous job!  They're like little college note takers with their highlighting and comments.

So yesterday after school Mrs. J and I were grading these wonderful tasmanian devil extended responses (I use the term wonderful somewhat loosely--although they have come a LONG way!), and we were having a great time looking at the comments each kid wrote on the article.  Then, Mrs. J came to one with yellow and pink highlighter writing all over it.  I noticed her looking very closely at one part of it, and she pointed a word out, asking me what I thought it said.  There was a question written in the margin of the paragraph describing how when two tasmanian devils first meet, they usually bite each other and fight.  After peering closely at the scrawled highlighter that was partially obscured by text, we realized, "Wait, that DOES NOT say...does that really say?  Can that say...'Then how do they make love???' ?!?!?!?!?!"  Yes, no joke, this fifth grade boy read about that tasmanian devils fight upon first meeting, and became very concerned that they would never be able to "make love."  And if there was any doubt in our imaginations, on the next page, he very largely and clearly wrote, "It says they big each other then how do they get babies?!?"  He was still pondering this question paragraphs later!!!

Let me tell you, nothing spices up an afternoon of extended response grading like a 5th grade boy's concerns about the "love making" habits of tasmanian devils.  Aside from the randomness of this thought even coming to his mind, we just could not get over the hilarity of his word choice!!!!  As Mrs. J said, "I don't think tasmanian devils really make love...I'm pretty sure they just do it."  :D  I almost couldn't recover from my laughing fit and grade the rest.  And I'm not going to lie, I had to stiffle giggles reading other kids' papers later just because I remembered this kid's comments...amazing.

Let me just say, when I have to teach Family Living later this year, it will be INTERESTING...and I hope this student never asks me how tasmanian devils make love!

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