Friday, July 23, 2010


One of the 3rd graders I have in my math class this summer cracks me up!
He is always moving around, always getting in to something, and always saying something hilarious.  Here are my two favorite moments from yesterday and today:

As the opening activity for a lesson on solving math problems by drawing picture representations, I wrote this problem on the board:

If Cala has 3 pretzels, find out how many pretzels each of her friends has:
Courtney has 6 more pretzels than Rashaun
Rashaun has 2 fewer cookies than Taisha
Taisha has twice as many cookies as Cala has.

I drew four stick figures up on the board and wrote a name under each to make it easier for the kids to solve.  As we figured out how many pretzels each friend had, we wrote the number under the stick figure.  Once we had solved the entire problem, I told the kids that they could throw away the scratch paper they had used, and get out their math books.

"Mrs. Brubaker, I can't throw this scratch paper away!  There's a war on it," Riley cried.
Completely puzzled, I told him that there was no war.
"Yes, there is," He yelled, and running up to me, he took the dry-erase marker out of my hand and drew a bow and arrow in the hand of each of my stick figures.  Each arrow was pointed at the stick figure to the right, and the last stick figure's arrow went underneath the stick-figure-gang and came up to shoot the first stick figure. 

What an imagination!  No wonder he can't concentrate on his assignments :-)

And then today, Riley interrupted me during our lesson to ask me if I had any children.
"Nope," I replied with a smile, "just you guys!"
"Ohhh..." Riley's face turned up into a slow smile, "So, we're like, your reinforcement family?"


  1. Aww...Riley sounds adorable. He seems to think outside the box?

    Bethany, that's such a pretty name (my daughter's name too). I gave you an award! Come see over at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. By being with kids, I think it's often easy to figure out what about their passions in life are, what they're meant to do. In this case, he's clearly a story teller and a visual artist! I hope you're able to both nurture his talent AND help him pay attention and learn!

    Cute story. Kids are so special.

  3. I'd love to have a reinforcement family too!

    So cute.

  4. Maybe I'm not smarter than a 3rd grader but how do I know how many pretzels Courtney has if Rashaun has cookies? Or maybe that was the point of the exercise...
    Anyway...gotta love kids!

  5. Whooops! You caught my typo, Patty! No wonder I'm not the best joke teller ;-) Gotta keep my details straight!


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