Read Me on McSweeney's
One of our lunch helpers yesterday was passing out the school lunches and came to Kyron, who had brought his own lunch from home that day. She walked over to me, rather puzzled, holding the blue lunch container in her hand, and declared, "This is freakin' me out. Kyron has a lunch, but this is his school lunch." I reassured her that she could simply place the lunch back in the bin, rather than continue to freak out.
Over the summer, in one of my many summer trips to the fabric store, I came across a bolt of fabric maps of the world! I immediately hatched a plan to make a giant pillow for the classroom out of Botswana and Peru and, well, all of them, and grabbed a cartoony fabric map of the US for the pillow's back. I knew it would be my absolute favorite thing in my classroom (well, aside from the little baby tampons), and indeed it has been pretty great--comfort in the library and ha! learning, all in one.
However, until our study of world cultures began a couple of weeks ago, The Pillow had been used exclusively for the comfier of its two functions.
Today The Pillow got a chance to shine. I put it out on the rug along with a Heritage Day challenge for that moment when the roaming from station to station got old and the kids had eaten as much Irish soda bread as they could, and the only thing left was to devolve into chaos. Before that devolving, though, they had to complete a few questions about the countries represented at our celebration, and then locate as many of the countries as they could on the giant, squishy world map. Geography has never been more cozy.
We got a new student this week, though I didn't have to find someone to teach him the language--just where the sharp pencils are kept. I had found out ahead of time that a new student would be joining our class, and I wanted to get everyone hyped to meet this new second grader. It worked. There were signs welcoming the new Turtle to our class (well, OK, they were my idea but taken on with great enthusiasm) and a general buzz of excitement. At the end of the day, we did our weekly announcement of the BOAT nominations - who had been brave, observant, active, or thoughtful that week. One slip of paper said, "Ms. Sarah was thoghtful when she let a new person in the class." I thanked Marcus for his nomination, though it wasn't so much me being thoughtful as....the office placing a new kid in our class and then informing me he'd be showing up Monday.
With all of the excitement, I was actually a little worried that our new student would be physically knocked over on his first day by Turtles offering to give a tour of our classroom, asking questions, or maybe even offering to teach him English, but the week went pretty smoothly.
If any readers have stories about when you yourself started at a new school or any memorable experiences with a new student coming into your class, I'd love to hear them!
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.
This year I will clean up my room. I will do more homework. I will get better grades. I will do what my parents say.
This year I will get better in school. And I will work on my football skills and boxing.
This year I will destroy king ceadora in GODZILLA MEELEE on game cube. I will also stop asking my mom for stuff such as toys.
This year I will try not to call people names or take someone’s hat.
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