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Monday, January 05, 2015

Color Me Surprised

Today was the first day back to school after the holiday break, and as far as first days back go, it wasn't too shabby.  Sure, I wasn't able to sleep last night -- as usual, right before returning from a long break.  And sure, it was cold enough to freeze a dragon's tooth when I left the house this morning.  But the kids were pretty well behaved, no one's brain seemed to have turned to total mush (at least not visibly), and we had a little fun.

One of the things I did with my classes was read this wonderful little book that my son got for Christmas.  I told the kids up front that this was not a book about math, or even a book written specifically for 5th graders.  I told them that my son really enjoyed it, and that I thought it was really excellent myself.

Several of the kids had heard of or read it, and they gasped with excitement when I told them the title.  The book is called The Day the Crayons Quit, and it's just a very cute, entertaining little story.

The story is a series of letters (wow, sound familiar?) to a boy from each of his crayons.  Most are complaining about some aspect of their life -- overuse, underuse, nakedness -- and the letters are humorous and colorful.

We also shared some stories of ways the kids used math over the break.  Many stuck to counting stories -- I counted my presents, I counted cars on the street, I counted the number of times I kicked my brother -- but others put some thought into it, telling us they had estimated the distance to grandma's house, or measured fractions of cups and pounds to make recipes, or measured the length and width of a kitchen before a renovation project.

Tomorrow should be a good day also, but for Pete's sake, let's hope I can sleep tonight!

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