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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Science Camp…

It’s that time of year again when all the 5th graders at this school are set to go off to Science Camp next week. Ten kids to a cabin for a whole week of fun and hopefully some learning about the environmental science of nature.

The writing assignment for today’s class of 6th graders was to: “Write a letter to a 5th grader about your Science Camp Experience”

Seemed like a pretty straight forward assignment. No additional explanation needed right? Not so with these less than motivated 6th graders. This is the laziest bunch of kids I’ve run into in quite a while and I’ve still got two more days with this bunch.

Whine: “I don’t know any 5th graders!”
Reply: Then address it to: “Dear 5th Grader going to camp”

Whine: “I don’t remember anything about science camp!
Reply: Try and remember or ask your friends what they remember.

Whine: “I don’t get it!”
Reply: (…eye rolling look)

Whine: “Do we hafta?” and “Why do WE hafta do it?”
Reply: Yes and because your teacher said so!

Whine: “How many sentences does it have to be?”
Reply: If you want me to set a minimum limit then I’m going to say fifty! Do you WANT me to set a minimum limit? Na, I didn’t think so.

Whine: “How many paragraphs do we gotta do?”
(See previous reply)

Whine: “What do we write about?”
Reply: Write about what you did, what you liked, what you didn’t like, did anything unusual happen, did you go hiking, swimming, sing songs around a camp fire. Stuff like that!

Whine: “I didn’t go to camp last year. Do I still hafta write a letter?”
Reply: Yes! Either ask someone else what they remember or write about how it was to miss going to camp.

Now that I had pretty much covered all “How little can we get away with” questions, most were grudgingly complying with the exception of one wise ass boy.

WA-boy: “You said we could write about anything that happened at camp?”
Reply: Yep…

: Well one kid in our cabin was sitting on his bed and playing with himself…
Reply: STOP!

(Everyone stopped)

WA-boy: But it’s TRUE. Just ask…
Reply: Nope, I don’t need to ask! Let’s just keep it to “camp” activities, ok?


The Vegas Art Guy said...

Gotta love the whine and cheese party...

Betty said...

As a retired middle school teacher and one who is just starting to substitute, I can totally relate to this post. You handled it well.

HappyChyck said...

That conversation sounded suspiciously similar to one I had with my 8th graders when we took a practice writing exam last week--sans the stories of a more personal view, thank goodness.

How skilled students can be in the art of whine and "what ifs" when avoiding work. :-)