Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kiwi Eyeball, Jackie...and our dog Lucy

1. The Story and Origination of Kiwi Eyeball

I have a student in my class who, since the first day of school, has bewildered me. Not only is he super, super intelligent-- reading on a 3rd grade level, knowing the most random facts and information ever, and picking up on information and new concepts faster than any child I've ever seen-- he also is extremely gifted, talented, and creative.

This student, however, has insisted for the past 3 weeks that his name is Kiwi. And as of last week, his full name is now...Kiwi Eyeball. Kiwi Eyeball corrects me when I call him his actual name. "No, Miss Leiss. My name is Kiwi. Kiwi Eyeball." He won't let me go on until I formally correct him.

"Miss Leiss, since my name is now Kiwi, I would like for you to change my line leader name tag to Kiwi."
"Miss Leiss, why do you keep forgetting? IT'S KIWI."

Kiwi Eyeball writes, well, Kiwi or Kiwi Eyeball on all of his papers. The kids in our class have begun actually calling him Kiwi, and now also correct me if I call him his regular name. And...sadly enough...I have even begun instinctively calling him Kiwi.

2. The Story and Origination of Jackie

Kiwi Eyeball has a beloved black puffy jacket/coat, affectionately named, Jackie. Yes, our friend Kiwi has named his jacket...appropriately, Jackie. Kiwi gets mad at Jackie from time to time and throws her on the ground in the hallway or on the carpet in our classroom. One particular time he got upset and threw Jackie in the hallway on our way back to the classroom.

"Kiwi, please go and pick up Jackie."
"No, I don't want to."
"Why not? Are you mad at her?"
"No, I just don't want her. I don't need her. It's not cold."
(other student) "Miss Leiss...I'll go get Jackie."

Thus, Jackie has also become a familiar character and part of our classroom community.

3. The Story and Origination of Lucy

One day I was out for a math training, and my substitute left in her note:
"I'm sorry about the dog, Lucy. I wasn't sure how to handle that situation and I told (Kiwi) that you would handle it tomorrow."

Dog? I thought. What dog?

The next day I asked Kiwi about the note. "Who is Lucy?"
"Oh. Lucy is my pet dog. She's with us right now! She's going to take the spelling pretest."
"Kiwi, we are going to put Lucy away for the spelling pretest."
"NO, Miss Leiss! She wants to be here, she wants to take it!"
"Kiwi, we need to put Lucy away for the rest of the day. She needs to rest and I don't want her to distract you or other students."
"She won't distract, I promise. She loves to learn too."

This is my story. This is my life. first grade.


  1. Favorite line: "Yes, our friend Kiwi has named his jacket... appropriately, Jackie." I love the way you write, Whit! Such funny kids. Thanks for sharing these stories!

  2. Hahahaha! I love it. I love how your student got mad at his jacket named Jackie. This brightens my day.

    P.S. And I reallyrealllllly want you to teach Reece. You sound like the most special, brilliant, sweetest teacher EVER. :)