During a lengthy writing assessment today I could sense my students getting antsy.
I asked them to pause their work, stand up, do some cross body stretches, jump up and down, and sing the ABCs.
Half way through the song, which almost none of the 10 and 11 year-olds were too bashful to sing loudly, when the letters L, M, N, and O blurred together, one student shouted out "Elemeno is not one letter!"
At this point the whole class erupted in genuine, deep down laughter as juvenile and innocent as saying "elemeno."
In a world that asks kids to be responsible beyond their years, and grow up faster than they're ready for, it is absolute bliss to see the little kids in my students from time to time.
Faced by media and social pressures, body image issues, finding who they are, and things like *gasp* puberty, it's not too bad a thing to forget about those for a minute, and let "elemeno" be one letter, even in 5th grade.
5th grade teacher, wife, part time humane society volunteer, full time doggy fanatic and foster mom... just stumbling on.