Friday, March 20, 2009

Yesterday, I was talking with my class about physical and chemical changes in matter. A physical change is anything that happens to the appearence, shape, and size of matter, where as a chemical change makes the matter something different. To demonstrate this, I give the kids a piece of paper and tell them to make it something other than paper. Then we burn a piece of paper and ask them which one was physical and which one was chemical.

This has always been a great demonstration, but yesterday was different. One of my kids decided that he was going to eat the paper to make it change. This kid chews on paper all the time, so I didn't think about it being a bad thing and was monitoring the class. About a minute into the experiment, I turned around and noticed this kid leaning over my desk gasping for breath. Realizing what was happening, I ran to him and smacked him on the back a couple times. This didn't work and he kept gasping for breath. I grabbed him by the arm and we started walking to the nurse. You could here the air trying to pass through to his lungs, feel his body trying to get rid of the was kind of scary.

On the way to the nurse, he fell on all fours and couldn't get up. When he fell, I knelt down and brought my hand down twice on his back, harder than I had in the classroom. The wad of paper, about as wide as my thumb, came shooting out of his mouth and he began coughing. He sucked in air and just knelt there for a bit...the nurse came out, thinking he was throwing up, and when I told her he had just choked on paper, she shook her head, not realizing how serious the situation had been.

So....I feel like a hero. This kid will probably never know how close he was to having something terrible happen, but for the moment I'm going to let this experience get me through the day. (BOY SCOUTS ROCK!!!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We have been prepping for the Galileo and AIMS test all week long, so I figured that the kids earned a reward. On Thursday, we tested all day long. It was one of those things where I knew the kids and I would be worn out in the afternoon, so I upped the anti a bit. On the whiteboard, in the morning, I wrote out our schedule and put down a "surprise" for the last part of the day. I didn't let them know what it was, increasing the amount of anticipation. We tested, did our work, and right before the surprise most of the kids believed that I was going to surprise them with a test. Shows you what kind of teacher they think I am.

I took the kids down to play warball, dodgeball for those of you who have seen the movie. They loved it! Even one of my more...laid back girls was getting into it and couldn't wait to play it again. On Friday, our P.E. teacher was gone, so I took them down for P.E. to play again. The games were intense, kids yelling and cheering...we had a lot of fun.

(P.S. Let's face it! I would be lying if I told you I didn't have fun chucking things at my kids!!!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bicycle Woes

So...I got a bike. I've wanted one for about nine years, and finally bit the bullet, with the help of Amy.

Today, I took it out for an initial run....all the way to the school and back. I know, I'm a moron. Who in the world, but a moron, would decide to take a bike a grand total of about 7 miles on their first trip in 317 years. Seriously, what was I thinking?

I made it home...walking up the hill from H E Double Hockey Sticks, and through the sandy pits of the Sahara desert. Quite the trip.

The first thing Amy asked me was if I had fun...As I laid on the floor, trying to grasp for what could have been my last breath, I breathed out a "huh-uh", which probably sounded like a wilderbeast being rammed in the gut by a long horn.

So, in short, I'm enjoying my bike, but need to get in shape. I look forward to the day when I can make it home without walking the bike up the hill. I'll let you know how that goes.

Be wheel and pedal your brains out!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Yesterday at school, I had one of my students come in. He asked, "Mr. Ferguson, do you have a 10 by 10 box?" I looked at him and replied negatively, but told him that I would look for him. No joke, he stated, "Oh, I was going to put myself in it and mail myself to Asia."

I began to ask him questions. It turns out that his brother, who was in my class last year, is doing a report on Washington D.C. and needs pictures. I explained that Washington D.C. was the capital of our country, and that he wouldn't have to travel far. Just to make it a teachable moment, I began asking him questions about how he would get there. He first suggested a plane, until I told him that the oxygen levels are good enough and he would probably die. With several more questions, he decided the best way to do it was to mail himself. I asked him what he would do for food, water...he said that his brother had it all taken care of. I asked him what he would do for a restroom, and he said his brother was going to install plumbing...yes, he said plumbing. The conversation ended with us deciding that plumbing wouldn't work, because the post office would realize someone was in there and wouldn't mail it. So this student is rethinking his idea....I hope!

So...I share this story with Mrs. Young at the office, and she said that last week another teacher walked in laughing. The same student had been contorting his face, trying to look out of his nose.

And people don't understand why kids with ADHD can't concentrate....Not a fake disease my friends. They are really just out there.