You Know You're a Crazy Teacher When . . . .

Okay, we've all heard these "You know you're a teacher when . . . ."  I now have my own level of crazy to add to this.  I shared recently that a few weeks ago our sweet Stella went to the great dog park in the sky.  We'll it's only been a few weeks, but my girls are already begging for a new dog.

Necessary side trip from topic:
Before teaching fourth grade, I taught second grade for a million years (give or take a few).  I always watched for a time during the school year that my kids could write an authentic persuasive letter.  One year we had a raggedy bench on the playground that gave them splinters, so we wrote letters to the maintenance crew.  Another year, my homemade easel kept falling over and almost killing kids (slight exaggeration, but not a complete exaggeration), so we wrote our principal asking for money for a new one.
*Just a small tip, in case you would like to keep your job, always have a private conversation to clear this assignment with the person you are writing to.  I always went to the janitor or principal or whoever and got an "okay" and "a this problem can be fixed" or "yes, we can buy you a new easel", before having the kids write their letters.  They were so proud of themselves whenever they saw the "results" of their letters.  The year of the easel they all but hugged it when it came in.

Return to topic:
Anyway, back to the crazy teacher stuff.  My kids were begging for a new dog, husband was not so sure, but he finally agreed that we should (actually probably he used the word could) do it.

But what are we going to do first?  Why, I've told my students about how badly we want another dog, but Mr. just isn't sure.  Could they help me out by writing some persuasive letters?

I think having something authentic, something the kids really care about or are passionate about is the key to teaching persuasive writing.  They are completely on board with me getting another dog.  We planned Monday.  First, we brainstormed reasons that we should get a dog.
FYI-Judy is our cranky, elderly dog that only loves my husband.

My favorite-one boy suggested that my husband would like it if we got a dog because we could send the girls outside to play with the dog to get them "out of our hair".  This would be the same kid that told me the first day of school that his mom got a speeding ticket, but he wasn't supposed to tell his dad.

Then, they chose three and planned how to support each reason.  Today we write our letters.  We'll revise and edit Wednesday (always so much fun) and then write final copies on Thursday.

Next up?  An expository essay on what we should name our new friend.  I'll keep you posted!


  1. This is so much fun! LOVE using topics the kiddos understand and feel connected to! =)

    Ms. Smith
    Adventures of Ms. Smith

  2. Very cute! Getting a new pet is a big deal.


  3. You know, I have always told my kiddos that every author writes the best when they write about something they know or have experienced. Don't the kiddos love it when you share part of your life with them, really strengthens the bonds. What a great idea, can't wait to hear how they turn out.
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

  4. Megan- What a great idea!! I have been bugging my husband to get me an iPad...I might have to have my second grade kiddos help me out with some persuasion!!! Thanks for the great idea!!


  5. The year I taught 3rd Grade I had my students write letters to the principal about a fundraiser for the Japan Earthquake victims. They had come up with three different ways to raise money and I kind of gave the principal a heads up about which one to pick for them. They loved that they had a great idea and got the whole school involved. I think they raised about $300 too! Seeing results seems to make writing easier for them!
    Spotted Around the School

  6. Great job! Come join my first linky party:

  7. Haha! I'm blog stalking while my husband snoozes next to me - and I just laughed so loud at this post! Awesome idea!!

    Second Grade Sparkle