Working with first graders, I find that during our free time in the afternoon one of the activities that I we mutually favor is coloring.  I usually draw pictures of my kitten, and they usually draw pictures of me.  Then they give them to me.  Even if I’m not in the picture.  I end many days laden with drawings, art projects, beads, and a even penny sized card board heart.  However, yesterday I received an especially cute picture from Stanka one of my favs in green class.  The picture she wanted me to enjoy was on the back side of the paper she presented; it was mountains, a lake, two ducks, a butterfly, and a lot of flies.  The real treat was the giant heart on the front side of the picture though.

I knew it was supposed to say my name because I heard her and the other little girls secretly trying to spell out Mrs. right next to me, but I was at a loss as to what the first half said.  Then when Burke’s group of kids joined I showed him the picture and told him about it, and then I solved the mystery.  MistrPŕk is actually Mr. Burke.

Throughout most of the coloring I was actually sitting next to Anička who knows the most English of Green Class (aside from the two who actually speak English).  She wrote down on the paper AIM and said her favorite thing to say, “Lizzie, look.”  I looked and she showed me what she wrote and she was just so proud.  I had no clue what it meant so I was relieved to see that she started to draw a picture to illustrate it and maybe I would figure out the word.  Wrong.  Her picture was a very large blue scribble ball, then she added some pink crayon to it, then some white crayon.  And of course when the masterpiece was done I again heard, “Lizzie, look.”  So I called Ad’a over to translate AIM for me but she said it wasn’t a Slovak word (obviously I know it is a word in English, but it was clear that’s not what she was going for).  Ad’a asked Anička what it was but her face immediately changed and I could see she was embarrassed.  Ad’a eventually figured out it was supposed to be I AM which is why Anička was so proud to show me her English writing skills, and she told Anička that it wasn’t right.  Anička was distraught.  It was the saddest thing of the day but I said, “Anička, look” and pointed to the horse in my drawing and within a minute she forgot all about it.