“Sometimes, I wonder why I even show up in the morning.”

“It’s because you love us.”

“Right now, not so much.”

Among other things (The Midwife’s Apprentice, vocabulary therefrom, spelling, reading for information, and Latin/Greek roots), we’re working on possessive nouns this week. Or at least I am. During the week, I give them a series of pretests to practice, and to see who already knows what. Those that score high enough, get to be exempt from that section of the test. For example, this week they had a 2-sided “pink sheet” with a basic possessives lesson and some basic exercises. (These pink sheets, so called because I try to always copy them on pink paper, are the one thing that isn’t on the web site; I actually use the grammar workbook that came from our anthology.) Side one is due on Tuesday, and after we go over it and practice and explain, we have the first pretest. Wednesday, I give them a shorter one to review. Side two of the pink sheet is due Thursday, and then we have the last pretest. Usually the deal is 18/20 for the week, or 10/10 on the last one is the benchmark for exemption. The possibility of exemption creates a lot of excitement. Just today, a kid was almost in tears because he scored the 10/10, and says…

“This is the first time all year I been exempt from anything!”

I love it. Anyway, today was the last shot at exemption for tomorrow’s test. They opted to have the CPS software give it to them one question at a time, and give the correct answer immediately after each question. There is a delay of a second or two between the CPS timer running out and the showing of the results. In one class, there is always a lot of rooting and wishing in that brief time…

“B! B! B! C’mon B!”


It was A. And 68% of the class (thank you CPS) says, “Yesssss.”

One of the questions that got some groans today was a rerun from earlier in the week. I do reruns all the time. In fact, as I repeatedly tell the kids, the test on Friday is at least 3/4 reruns from the week’s warm ups and such. Here it is:

an old _______ tale a) wifes’ b) wives’ c) wive’s d) wives’s

Of course, there are a couple of jokers in every class who choose D just because it gets laughs when I say, “Wivezez? Wivezez?” and rub the bridge of my nose.

“But it’s you 8 who chose C who really worry me. Perhaps you remember, just yesterday, when I sat right here, after a question remarkably similar to this one, leaned over like this, and yelled, ‘WHAT’S A WIVE? It’s not a word!’ How many remember that?”

About two-thirds claim to. Some probably actually don’t.

One genius says he doesn’t.

“You were absent, Ronny. I swear, sometimes I think you guys have the memory of a goldfish.”

One of the ones who gets all the jokes raises his hand and says,

“You said that yesterday too.”

Before I can confirm that, the girl next to him says,

“He did?”