Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bubble Gum and Baseball

School is winding down fairly quickly and I was caught a little off guard by just how fast the students went from working "fairly" hard to completely checking out. I actually have lesson plans and due dates through the end of the this week, but silly me. It didn't occur to me that the students would have had their state exams by now, so they care even less now than they did before about homework. The halls are always noisy. The students have reached a new level of wild. The water bottles with the flip tops make great water guns. Ice cream wrappers litter the hallways and playground, and the kids pretty much eat all day long. The building is hot and humid with sweaty, kid smell, and other body odors based up the excess amount of fatty foods being consumed, and my 100% polyester teaching jacket makes me feel like I'm baking in an oven. In other words, school is making me restless and grumpy.

But, there are two things that saved my lack of foresight for planning fun, non academic end-of-the-year activities. The first is baseball. I found a plastic bat and ball at the mall last night and started teaching baseball today. It's a big hit. They made a line. They learned to hold and swing, some made hits, and they walked to the end of the line for their next turn. I think I can make this game last through next week when we learn to throw and catch, keep score, count outs, and run the bases.

The second is bubble gum. One of the second grade teachers brought in a jar full and she counted out exactly 11 pieces for one of my "difficult" second grade classes. The "possibility" of a piece of gum for good behavior was AMAZING! Why didn't I think of that before? Oh, I know why. Because it's a mess. For example, one of the kids was using the gum to make sticky pictures on his desk that I'm sure will take the custodians weeks to remove. But, hey, he wasn't bothering me and the rest of the students were happily chomping away and working so I turned a blind eye.

Writing this blog and made it clear to me that I need to ditch the previous lesson plans and modify for next week. It will read something like this: "Students will be able to use the verbs "chew", "blow", and "play" while learning about the great American pasttime." And, if that doesn't work, they can do whatever they feel like and I'll drink tea.

1 comment:

  1. Bingo? Bingo is always a good game! And you can make it numbers or vocabulary words or whatever you want. Just make a 5X5 grid on tables on Microsoft Word, get a bag of gum or candy or chips or something, and you are good for an hour or two or three!