Yesterday’s post was about a 3rd grade student “M” and his progress in the summer reading program.
This morning we gave him a passage to read as a running record in order to monitor his fluency. He was reluctant, to say the least. The title, “Pot of Gold” did not interest him, but he complied and plodded through the passage where the character Danny mistakes the sound of buzzing bees for the sound of leprechauns. At the end of the story, Danny does not find gold, but does find where “there would be a pot of honey!”
“This is a stupid story,” stated “M” decisively.
“I agree,” I said, “this is a stupid story.”
“Pssst….“whispered my co- teacher, “you can’t say stupid in an elementary school!”
“Really?” I whispered back.
“No,” she said, “here, that’s called the “S” word!”
Now, I teach in middle school and high school where the “S” word is entirely different. The “S” word is the vulgar form for feces, while the word stupid flies pretty easily from my students’ mouths. The only objections anyone has is the way students use stupider as a comparative (instead of more stupid) or stupidest as a superlative (instead of most stupid).
This summer, I will have to be more careful not to say stupid in the future, but I have to agree with “M” that the passage was “lacking intelligence or common sense.”