Friday, October 06, 2006

Rico's Riot

My reading class is comprised of second language learners who are all 5th graders currently reading at a 3rd grade level. It is my job to bring them up to speed as quickly as possible. To do that I facilitate small group and whole group vocabulary discussions. This week we've been reading a story about a Russian immigrant. At the word chuzpah all reading came to a screeching halt. Twenty hands flew into the air. As a group we reread the paragraph and talked about what was happening, how the characters felt, and what kind of words we might use to describe someone who had just done something similar. The kids used words like brave, courageous, daring, dangerous, and even silly. I told them that the word chuzpah pretty much covered all those things, at which point Rico, excited, piped up with, "Oh! I get it! Cahones!" There was a collective gasp. Rico froze, his mouth and eyes open wide. Briza slapped both hands over her mouth, her eyes even wider than Rico's as she fell from her chair laughing. Except for Rico, the rest of the class followed suit. I stared at Rico. He stared at me. Slowly, I nodded my head. I said, "I think cahones just about covers it, Kid." Then Rico fell out laughing, too. I may have even grinned a bit myself. It's a sure bet they are never going to forget the meaning of the word chuzpah.

27 Comments:

Blogger Cindra said...

Again, all cultural barriers broken...and from the mouths of babes! Love it.

10/06/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Just Tom said...

Great story as usual. gotta love those kids the world over. And yes, there are certain words that may be unsavory in certain company that have a way of summing up just about anything.

Thanks for the great laugh.

Tom

10/06/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Nice story, and I'll bet you are right.

10/06/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jackie's Garden said...

Well, CB, I don't know spanish...but I think I know that one! It must be fun to listen to those kids - out of the mouths of babes - and all that! xoxoxo

10/06/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

I love your stories. Teaching must be a challenging job, but at least you get a good laugh now and then!

10/07/2006 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oy! ¡Qye rico!

10/07/2006 03:01:00 AM  
Blogger charlie said...

Those kids could give lessons to your politicians, QD (and ours!)

10/07/2006 03:53:00 AM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

I wish my teachers had as much fun teaching us as you do.

10/07/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger goldennib said...

When you find the right word, it's the right word; D

10/07/2006 05:09:00 AM  
Anonymous ilona said...

The link between Spanish and Yiddish has been established :))

10/07/2006 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger Kat Campbell said...

Great story! I agree with Dr. John, if all my teachers would have loved their job like you do, I might have come out actually loving algebra.

10/07/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

What a great class you have and they are so lucky to have ou as a teacher. I wonder if you realize you are a turning point in their lives and they will always remember you?

Sent by Dr. John, a guy who has too much time on his hands and thinks the rest of us do, too (just kidding...we love going to his link picks!).

10/07/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

That was too funny! I really enjoy these posts from the classroom. Children are entertaining! lol

10/07/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous andrena said...

ahhh that was classic! Cahones!!! Go Rico...Thank you for teaching the kids!
btw. dr. john sent me!

10/07/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

out of the mouths of babes...you can always trust a kid to sum it all up in a nut shell.
Now, I think I'll limp on back home as I have completed Dr. John's marathon list for today. Not to mention most of yesterdays list as well. Tomorrow I'll put thimbles on all fingers to protect them from keyboard blisters.

10/07/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

I am sure that must have been hilarious.

Here playing six degrees of Dr John.

10/07/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

LOL! Kids are often more original and entertaining than anything found on radio or tv these days. Thanks for sharing the smile!

-Margie

(Smiling because this is the last leg of Dr. Johns Marathon!)

10/07/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Old Fart said...

Great Story Quill, loved your reaction to Rico and his reaction in response. You must be a really wonderful teacher, your writings tell it all. I can remember with some of the teachers I had (way back when) if we had a Rico then he'd be off to the Principal's Office for saying such a word. Some of the teachers I had were way to Strict and serious. I had some who like to have fun.

Have been posting much lately, been working the 2:30 to 11:00 PM shift all week, so when getting home didn't feel much like posting. I've been stopping by everyone's blogs to get caught up.

Have a Blessed Weekend

10/07/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

To all here via Dr. John's Blogger's Marathon, welcome. I'm sure I'll be seeing you soon at your place, if I haven't been by already.

10/07/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Isn't the sign of a good, effective teacher one who teaches her students something they'll never forget? You are, indeed, then a very good and effective teacher. I already knew that, of course. :)

10/07/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Just Tom said...

Yeah, I'm sure from now on she will start her new clases out by writing, "cahones" on the board and saying, "Now who can tell me the best way to use this word." I bet they won't forget that!

10/07/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Tag! I was tagged by Cindra Jo, and now I'm tagging you...if you so choose, your mission is to post 7 songs of your choice...faves, links to videos, music, songs you hate, whatever...just something about 7 songs...then tag seven people.

10/07/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger bazza27 said...

Hi Quilldancer, my name is Bazza and I have been sent by Dr John. I think your blog is very groovy and I promise to come back some day.

10/07/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Tina Dray said...

So your aunt quilly cindra speaks so fondly of you! Dr John sent me.

10/07/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

Hi Quilly ~
I recently met your neice and really enjoy her..Is it ok if I link you to? Running Dr Johns marathon...you are his link of the day.

10/07/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Just Tom said...

Hi QD, you are so famous. So famous in fact that I just featured you on my latest post! I think you better go check it out. Peace. Tom

10/07/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Was here last Friday and I wonder why I don't appear. Anyway, I'm here because of Dr. John's Marathon.

10/08/2006 06:55:00 PM  

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