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Monday, October 04, 2004

Day 2 of the 2-day assignment to the 3rd grade...

Day 2 of the 2-day assignment to the 3rd grade.

Well, they had my number this time. Since this was their second experience with me, they were pretty loose and knew I wasn't as fierce as I look. Their regular teacher would be back tomorrow.

The first order of business was the new bathroom rule.

“No bathroom or water breaks until recess or lunch”.

That got a lot of groans and “Ohh! Mannn”s but it seemed to work. Only one kid tested the rule before the rest of them gave up and didn’t try. I had them all repeat it twice to re-enforce the rule.

Much more work for them to do on Mondays than on Fridays. I made a mistake by finishing the work to be done for the morning session about 15 minutes before lunch.

Telling them to “read quietly” didn’t work.

I then asked them if they would like to try a “logic puzzle”.

That perked them up I think basically because I don’t think they had one of these before. I even upped the interest factor by offering anyone who could solve the puzzle a cash prize of $10/ea

Boy, you should have seen the rapt attention THAT statement got. Lot’s of questions like..”You really gonna give us $10 in REAL money if we get it right?”

The puzzle itself is too hard to diagram here, but to suffice it to say, I wasn’t in any danger of laying out any hard cash. They worked like little ants lunching on a fat bug and none of them coming up with a successful solution.

I guess it was a little mean, but I was desperate! I also promised to tell them the secret of the puzzle after lunch.

After lunch, I had to come clean and tell them the puzzle was not solvable and then showed them the simple secret of why it wasn’t.

One kid said he was going to show it to his Dad to try and finagle $5 from him to make up for the “trick” I had played on them.

Post lunch progress went pretty well until the lesson plan got to an item called “Voting basics”. I guess this being in the news lately; it’s got some lesson value.

I asked them if they knew who was running for president next month. I got some interesting answers that included “Jim Carrey .vs. George Washington!!”

The lesson included a part where I was supposed to write a question that they could vote on by holding up a “YES” or “NO” card. We’d then tally the votes and see if the result.

Things like:

“Shall we have coffee instead of milk for lunch?” got voted down by a resounding vote. A vote on a question that included “Ice cream” got a lot of favorable response.

The last and final vote for, “Do we like Mr. Perry for a sub?” got a close 7-5 positive response. The other 6 abstainer’s chickened out.

I should mention at this point that I had NO control of the class or the noise level. They were shouting voting slogans and running around drawing “Vote for Me” signs. Nothing I did could get about half of the class under control.

Surprisingly, there were two or three of the girls actually trying to help the situation by starting my “Count to five trick” to get the class quiet and complaining to the rowdies that they “..wouldn’t be doing this if Ms. N was here!”

Thankfully it came time for P.E. at the end of the day and I turned them all loose.

P.E was finally over and the class day ended. I was beat, tired and wondering how I could have avoided that last “control failure”.

I was also thinking to myself that the assignment was now over and I could go home to a nice cold diet Pepsi and then crash, when one of the girls came up and surprised me with a hug before going off for her ride home.

I guess it wasn’t a total loss.

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