Gum saved our MAP test today. This afternoon we settled in for an hour and a half long computerized math test, though the "settling" part never really happened. The kids were sort of trying on the test, but also sort of fidgeting around or looking lethargic. I made a mental note to buy some more of the "Smart Pills also known as Skittles" that I used to keep handy for standardized testing as I rummaged through one of my many boxes of "general teacher stuff" to see if I had managed to keep a box of Lemonheads in there. My rummaging turned up a whole triple pack of gum and I figured that I could apply the special "smartness" coating to gum equally as well as to Skittles.
With a fair amount of ado, I announced my discovery of the "Smart Gum" and proceeded to distribute a brain-boosting stick to everyone. They chomped with great relish and it seemed to do the trick for coaxing some focus into the room. The chewing of the smart gum also proved to be quite entertaining for me to watch. Some kids smacked away with impressively audible chews. Some chewed one half of their gum with the other half dangling out of their mouths, some needed some water to counteract the "spiciness" of the spearmint, and all smelled pleasantly minty fresh when I came around to check on how the math was working out for everybody.
I just realized that I've posted fairly recently about another second grade wonder drug....and after the success of these, I've got a large store of potentially vital wonder drugs ready to go in case of an acute silliness, whiny-ness, or grumpiness attack that I'm planning to administer at some point. I hope I'm not encouraging a reliance on prescriptions (imaginary, minty, or otherwise) to solve all problems! I'll make sure to point out later that really, it was lots of paying attention and hard work that helped their MAP scores improve, but for today--that Smart Gum sure worked wonders.
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