Vocabulary is an ongoing struggle for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The funniest parts of my day usually end up having something to do with vocabulary! Like these two stories...
1) Yesterday I had to explain what the word "insulation" meant. I gave examples and non-examples. I found a picture and projected it on the screen. I acted out what happens when you don't have it and when you do have it. I pretty much spent the better part of 5 minutes for one word.
About halfway through the lesson, everyone turns to look out my window because someone is riding a noisy lawn mower three feet away from us. And suddenly "Samuel" enthusiastically shouts: "I can hear the INSULATION!"
2) We're reading an excerpt from Dear Mr. Henshaw (Beverly Cleary) in our basal reader for fifth grade this week. I wanted to make sure my kiddos knew what a diary was. Fortunately, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid has become widely popular in book form and in movie form recently and several of my students are currently reading the series. So a diary was an easy concept to explain.
But then one of my students (and I still can't figure out if he said it on purpose) raised his hand and said: "I'm going to read Diarrhea of a Wimpy Kid". And then a girl piped up and asked me very innocently and genuinely what "diarrhea" was.
I glanced over at the speech pathologist who was helping out in my room. We were both trying not to laugh and trying to think of how to delicately explain diarrhea to our immature fifth graders. In the lull, some helpful students volunteered:
.... And then someone said matter-of-factly: "It's LIQUID"
And that's when both adults in the room finally gave in and snickered like fifth graders!