Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Six degrees of Kevin Baconce

I’ve learned a lot about my dialect while teaching. For instance, I once dictated a sentence to my 7th graders that included the word “literally”. I got back all sorts of bloggy fodder. Leaderally. Leeterully. Leeduruhlly. Reinventing the wheel, I tell you. But today, one student took the cake.
During our class spelling bee, I asked each student to fold a clean sheet of paper “hotdog style” and write his guess for each word in one column. Then, he was to write the correct spelling the remaining column.
I called out…..
n. pl. va·can·cies 
1. The condition of being vacant or unoccupied.
2. An empty or unoccupied space.
3. A position, office, or place of accommodation that is unfilled or unoccupied.
4. Emptiness of mind; inanity.
And I received…..

In his defense, it was first period, and he is the child who often bums a granola bar off me. Furthermore, he’s known to go to great lengths to convince his classmates to bring socks to donate to the homeless after a donut party was offered to the class with the largest contribution. Perhaps he was hungry?

One strategy I often teach them in class is – If you can’t go over it, go around it. If you know spelling isn’t your strong suit, there are always synonyms for those tricky words. 
So a note to Mister Baconce: If you ever own a hotel, sweet spelling-challenged dear, may I suggest you avoid a Vacancy sign altogether? Perhaps, you might look into “Empty Beds,” “More Cockroaches than Clients,” or “We’re Desperate,” signs. GO AROUND IT.
Ms. P

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