Monday, March 9, 2015

Ethics and the Rodeo

I was a proud teacher mama today! If you don't teach Kindergarten, it might be hard for you to understand, but the beginning of the year can be very challenging for us especially when it comes to Language Arts. Many students come in with very limited writing skills. And most activities that we do from journaling to exit tickets often require writing skills. We teach them to stretch out their sounds and use invented spelling. We teach them to make spaces and not write their name in all capitals. Some days I can feel my hair turning grey! It is a very time-consuming and patience-consuming process. I actually have worked with people who just give up and decide they aren't even going to teach writing beyond morning journals.

For me, however, writing is a passion of mine and I know from experience....just wait and see. All that work pays off. And today was one of those days where I could see the fruits of those labors. One of our traditions here is the rodeo which just happens to be going on this rainy, rainy week. That being our theme this week we looked at pics and videos of some of the events. They have kids riding sheep and cowboys riding buckin' broncos. My question to them using our concept of ethics was: Is it fair the way we treat the animals at the rodeo? About 80% of them came up with such well-written, well thought-out, backed up with arguments responses and working completely independently to boot it made me beam! I love seeing that progress and all that work pay off. Check it out:

                                   Not right because they should have freedom just like us.

Not fair because if the mom dies the babies will be alone.

Not fair because they have to do all of that work.

Fair because the animals need love.

Not fair with the animals on their backs.

It is fair because we want to learn (about the animals)

Not fair because we are going to hurt the animals. 
Fair because maybe other people don't treat them nice.

Not fair because the animals need to be free.

Not fair because they get tired.

Not fair because we hurt their feelings.

Not fair because if you are mean they will be sad.

It is fair because they need to play.

Fair because what if they are sleeping, I can take care of them. (?)

Not fair because they get hooked (as in the lasso)

Fair because we want to have pig feet. (what a true Texan! :)

Not fair because bulls don't wnat cowboys on their backs.


  1. It's shocking to me that these are Kindergarteners. You are a fabulous teacher. I love how their writing shares how empathetic they are.

    PS Why aren't you doing the Two Writing Teachers challenge? Or at least Tuesday Slice of life? It would be good for you. All the cool kids are doing it. Your good friend Kimberley is there all the time. Think about it.

  2. Kimberley-you are too funny! I will definitely check that out. I read your SOL posts but I don't know if it's something I could do. But if the cool kids are doing it! :)

  3. I just love these responses and seeing how thoughtful everyone is. I agree with's hard to believe they're just K's!

    Grade ONEderful
    Barbara Leyne Designs

  4. You are proof that kindergarten kids can and should write every day, because you're right. It pays off. Nice job Teach!