So, it’s like this.
I’ve unleashed a new brand of crazy inside and outside the classroom.
It’s called ‘the da Vinci-zone’.
I got the kids all amped up on being observant and curious. Oy. It’s so not easy to rein them in. Am figuring it will calm down, but for now…they were in full-swing on the walk to the supermarket and back. I take that back. Inside Food City as well.
The poor manager was engulfed with questions, like:
- What temperature do you keep the ice cream at?
- How old are the spare ribs?
- Which gum sells the fastest?
- How early in the day does the smell of your roasted chicken start to travel around the store?
- What is YOUR favorite smell in the store?
- Do you move the older apples from the bottom to the top so they don’t get old?
- My mom says in the old days the cashiers had to punch in numbers for the prices. Was she kidding?
I decided the day before to scale back on their activity sheets, so it was down to:
- English/Language Arts: Write down the sentence or sentences that make you want to buy a product.
- Report to your iPad/camera buddy and have them record you telling two things you learned during the visit.
- Math: Fill in the blanks: I would buy ten [name of product]. It would cost me [_______].
- Science: Find an item that depends on aging or fermentation.
Find an item that you think consists of 30% to 70% water.
Let’s just say there were multiple flurries of activity throughout the store.
Of course, nothing compared to the cheer for the free donuts they scored at the end of the visit. [When we got back, they had to calculate the number of calories they consumed, based on Dunkin Donuts estimated per item count of 260 calories. I told them the donut gave them each enough added energy to do the math.]
When we got back, Mr. Taylor told me Mrs. Nix was looking for me.
Film at 11 on that one…
well, I really am doing myself in. I’m feeling, well, like…
But, more and more, I’ve realized… 1. Philosophically, I reeeeallly don’t belong here. 2. I’m still helping kids…despite my utter inability to follow the ‘painstakingly-concocted-but-unrealistic-to-many-learners’-needs’ schedule. 3. I’m not just juggling lessons and activities, I’m juggling emotions and suspicions…and baking chores. [After all, Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Helm do need the occasional dose of
As crazy as things are, I’m almost scared to take the whole class into a grocery store.
Bee image by Roland Mey from Pixabay
Baked goods image created from Canva collage tool.
So, this is different.
Someone told me about a teacher who printed out an image of a big red button and posting the words,
“Press the button below and get ready to create!” above that image.
He posted it at the entrance to the classroom and kids were expected to press the image every morning and any time they needed a jolt of inspiration.
So I figured, why not go one better?
I ordered a pressable button with my own message.
It even lets me record a message, but while that sounded cool, the thought of hearing it 27 times every morning…and the extreme likelihood that the kids would treat it as a source of teacher annoyance…well, I’ll keep batteries miles away from that thing. Still, though, looking forward to it. [Can’t help wondering if our principal will take the bait on her next visit.]
Last night I ran across a show about Leonardo da Vinci. Learned about things he did I had no clue about. And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if he came to visit Room 36?”
Pretty sure he’s not immediately available, but what if we could recreate a little bit of his aura…and his genius?
Of course, fitting this idea into our hallowed schedule and curriculum…well.
So this morning, I marched around the room and plopped new notebooks in front of each student. The usual reactions… “We’re already writing enough!” “I’m not done with the one you gave me!” “I don’t like green. Can’t I have one with a blue cover?”.
I explained the codex would follow them around everywhere [well, almost everywhere…thank you, Beth, for the suggestion that the rest room wouldn’t be appropriate.]—the classroom, our activities outside, our offsite trips.
As expected, using that new word set some kids off. After I talked about Leonardo’s notebooks came the question:
“Can’t we just use an iPad?” [Beth…again.]
I reminded her we don’t have one for everybody, but I loved the idea of incorporating them further into what I called, off the top of my head, ‘our classroom codex’. This sent them into all manner of disequilibrium. [one of our ‘words of the week’, thank you very much.]
More later. Time for a latte and cookies in Mr. Taylor’s classroom.
To: Ms. Page
From: Mr. Taylor
Ms. Page: Happy to take any kids who aren’t on-board with your supermarket spree.
As for your ongoing challenges from Mrs. Nix [challenges which, I might add, you seem very willing to answer a few of your own], well, consider me an interested onlooker.
I will admit I like the safety and security of my status of semi-neo-noncommittalness.
I just wish—purely for professional development purposes, of course…though popcorn wouldn’t be refused— there were video replays of her visits. I’d even consider setting up a little informal pool for cash-backed predictions on the results of each visit. Cash-backed predictions…others might use the unsavory term ‘betting’, but I’m above that, at least semantically.
Anyway, I will grant you this—things around here could use a little jolt, though I’d prefer you not share this with the ‘morning java status quo queens’—say that five times fast—I don’t want to have to hire someone to pre-taste my food in the lunchroom. And if you do tell them, I’ll deny everything, including even knowing that you exist. ;->
Have a good day and thanks for the toffee bar cookies. Majorly good.
You should drop by after school to sample your own cooking. It’s really quite impressive. I might even pull out the ultra-uber-top-secret espresso machine and make us a latte. Ssssh, only Nick the new night custodian and I know about it.
Email image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay
To: Mr. Taylor
From: Ms. Page
So, I’m guessing you read the Mrs. Nix note I photocopied [such an old technology, right? ;->] and shared with you. It appears I can’t win. I have to say, it looked like the most fun she’s had in her job in years, but still, she chooses to pick at nits. [eeewwww!]
It’s looking more and more like I’m going to either tow the line [or is it ‘toe the line’?…I’ll get back to you on that.] or I’m going to actually enjoy my job, with no in-between.
Could you send over one of your kids to write my lesson plans for me? I’d have a better chance of pleasing ‘the boss’.
Okay, I just realized you may not want to get dragged into this…well, the ball is in your court.
P.S. Thanks for offering to take any of my kids who aren’t going to the grocery store with us.
A note from Mrs. Nix:
Your science-and-food activity was interesting. I have to say, though, you’re still not adhering to the schedule or to the expected curriculum goals. Let’s talk in the next couple of weeks.
I’ve posted this elsewhere, but thought it belonged on this blog as well.
Click here for nextavenue.org’s exploration into each of the guidelines.
iPad distribution day…
I gave out index cards [I now have controlling interest in the Dollar Tree simply based on my unlimited purchases of index cards.]
I had them write their name on the card.
And I called out seven names.
And I asked them to stand up.
And I didn’t say anything…kind of fun to have them puzzle over whether they were caught snacking during read aloud or cutting in the cafeteria line or slipping an overdue book under the library door.
And then they started crossing their arms [Well, Beth Carson did. No surprise there. And no surprise that her name was chosen—I think she rigged my own deck of name cards—I don’t know how she would do it, or, not knowing my reason for calling names—why she would do it, but hey, that’s Beth! And that’s me…being paranoid.]
Anyway, I picked up the box of iPads and gave one to each of the students standing.
I gave them a handout with the following info:
“You are the iPad team captains for the next week. You will receive a list of your team members in the next five minutes. In the meantime, come up with a list of ways you and your team might use the iPad for the purpose of learning or for creating something.”
After that five minutes, the new teams met for five more minutes of brainstorming other ways to use the iPad.
I can tell you this…we’re going to get a lot of footage of our field trip to Buy Mart.