Christmas Break is just around the corner, and believe me, EVERYONE is counting down the days.
Now that Thanksgiving Break (or as I like to call it, “The Little Tease”) is over, I have been trying my best to hang on to my sanity. Here are a couple of delights that have gotten me through the last few days:
1. Drop Kicking
For some reason, 8th graders think it’s okay to bring stuffed animals to school. My classroom had managed to stay stuffed animal free until last week. Somehow a student smuggled a stuffed dog wearing a dorag into my classroom. We were taking a test that day, so I was busy passing out materials as they filed in so I didn’t see it right away. I gave the instructions, set the timer and waited for the sounds of silence. Instead I ended up with a cluster of students all focused on this ridiculous stuffed toy that was now dancing its way across the desk tops.
I marched over to the group, and in one swift move, I snatched up the dog, turned and drop kicked it. It soared through the air, with its dorag flapping in the breeze like a cape. The dog landed on the floor behind my desk. I looked back to find a room full of students, staring at me with their mouths gaping open.
Me: “That’s right. It’s test taking time. If any of you want to continue playing, I’m going to open the window and start drop kicking students.”
Student: “Miss Lewis, you’re kind of mean.”
Me: “What was that?”
Student: “I said it’s test taking time?”
Me: “That’s right.”
I have a sink in my classroom that doesn’t get much use. For one, my students never use it to wash their hands because they would much rather just squirt Germ-X all over the place. Also, the drinking fountain doesn’t work and on the rare occasions when a student uses the faucet to fill up a water bottle, or decides to put their head under the faucet to lap up the water like a dog, they complain that the water tastes like “poo water.”
Skip ahead to yesterday…
We are a third of the way through Catching Fire of The Hunger Games series, and I will admit the plot line is a little slow. I decided I would pop quiz my students as we read, in order to keep them alive, awake, alert and enthusiastic.
Me: (Shaking the cup that contains popsicle sticks with my students’ names written on them.) Listen up friends. Today as we read, I am going to stop when you least expect it. At that point, it’s Pop Quiz! I call it Pop Quiz because if I draw your stick and you get the question wrong, your neighbor gets to pop you one.
Me: No. Not really. But let’s see…
Student: Poo water!
Student: If you call on someone and they don’t know the answer, they have to go over to the sink and take a drink of the poo water.
Chorus of Random Students: Yah! Poo water!
Me: Ok. I like it.
And thus my new favorite activity was born. We call it “Poo Water.”
I ask a question, shake the cup, draw sticks and it’s game on. If a student can’t answer the question, which is always a result of them not listening and annoying the people around them, the rest of the class chants, “Poo Water! Poo Water!”
In my 4th Block, I had a student pretend he didn’t know the answer. He headed over to the sink with a defeated look on his face. He turned the water on and leaned over the sink. Meanwhile kids stood up at their desks to get a better look. Then at the last-minute, he whipped around and shouted, “Just kidding!” and shouted the right answer. The class erupted in cheers.
The best part is, “Poo Water” can now be applied to EVERYTHING we do. All I have to do is shake the cup-o-popsicle sticks, and ears perk up, eyes look forward, and kids scoot to the edges of their seats. They all want to see which classmates will have to drink the poo water.
Ridiculous, I know, but these day, we take the fun any way we can get it.