For Christmas, my mentor (Ms. A) gave me a nice box of Ghiradelli's chocolate. Not realizing that we were exchanging gifts, and knowing it was the last day of school before break, I decided to give her a coupon in return. It was a coupon for Forty Free Minutes; I would do an activity with her first grade class for 40 minutes while she got some work done or drank coffee in the lounge, or whatever. It turned out to be the perfect present: she loved it, and it cost me nothing...
Yesterday, she finally cashed in on her gift. I read the book "If..." by Sarah Perry to her 20-some first graders. It was a lesson in visualizing, or mental imagery. Every page has a different "If" statement like: "If toes were teeth..." or "If frogs ate rainbows...". I would read a page, have them close their eyes and visualize it, then reveal the author's illustration. The kids were SO into it. When I finished reading the book, I explained that we were going to make our very own class book: each student would get a page and come up with their own "If" statement, then illustrate it.
Before I let the kids get back to their seats, I wanted them to understand that they wouldn't be writing in complete sentences. I told them they would end their statement with a-- I pointed to the text-- a "dot, dot, dot", I said.
It was at this point in my lesson that ALL 20-SOME first graders shouted "ellipsis!" "it's an ellipsis!"
"Ellips-ees?" I asked.
"EllipSIS" they said, obviously delighting in my complete ignorance.
There was no turning back at this point. So I played it up and told them I'd never met such a smart class of first graders before and "Oh boy, we'd better not let Ms. A know about this; how embarrassing!"
The giggles died down, the kids completed their assignments, and I went back to my office.
An hour later, Ms. A pokes her head in my office: "So I heard you learned a new word today, huh?" We had a good laugh about it, then she told me that her kids took great joy in reporting that I actually called it a "dot dot dot"!