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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Magic Trash

It's about 15min before dismissal. Everything on the lesson plan is complete. The kids are packed up and begging to leave early.

It's the perfect time to play "Magic Trash".

"There is a single piece of trash on the floor that I have identified. It can be big, medium, small or even as tiny as a single staple. If you are the one to pick it up and place it in the trash can, the game is over and you win the prize."

"Ready, set GO!"

I have to be careful to move around the room and not to stare in a particular direction because the crafty kids will stand next to me to see where I'm looking. If somebody does find it early before the dismissal bell, I still win with a mostly cleaned up classroom.

If it's still on the floor when the bell rings, I then walk over, pick up the bit of "winning trash" to demonstrate that there really was something to find and let them loose.

Monday, November 10, 2014

To Catch a Thief...

It was the last hour of the day when she entered the room and motioned that she needed to talk. "She" was the principle of the school and in a whispered voice indicated that she was sorry for the interruption but needed to speak to the class about a serious matter.  It seems that something was stolen from the school office this morning, and she pretty much knew who the thief was but wanted verification of what she knew.

She knows that, at this age level (4th grade), kids can't keep a secret but also knew that no one wants to be known as "a snitch" that turned them in.

Instead, she had them ALL take out a piece of paper and write their name and what they "actually knew" about the incident. She emphasized the differences between "direct knowledge of an event" .vs. "heard about".

"If you don't know anything at all about the incident, then that's what you write:  I don't know anything"

She then went outside and waited for me to send them out one and two at a time.

I asked her after class if the exercise yielded results. She told me the exercise verified what she already knew. The thief was would be dealt with tomorrow.

...and no, I don't know and don't need to who or anything more about the incident.