Over the last decade of teaching I have developed mantras that I use in class. When there is any type of misbehavior, I typically ask the child if he/she would do the offending behavior if their parents were in the room. Their response is almost always NO. I then go on to say that if they would not repeat the behavior in front of their parents that it is a pretty good indicator that they should not be doing the offending behavior. On Friday I was reminded how this sounds to a seven year-old. It started like this:
On Friday afternoon the students had asked if they could paint their clay figurines that we had made in class earlier in the week for their terrariums. (The terrariums are part of our botany lessons and examples of the water cycle). It was late in the afternoon and I was reluctant to pull out all of the paint and supplies needed for the project, but the students agreed to be responsible for the clean-up. As predicted twenty students, clay, numerous bottles of paint, brushes, paint trays, etc. made for a huge clean-up. They worked on their projects up until pick-up time and I was faced with a long afternoon of cleaning the whole classroom, mopping floors, cleaning the art supplies, etc. After working for thirty minutes or so I decided to bring over the elementary students who were in our after school program. After all I rationalized, practical life skills in the elementary class is an accumulation of the skills learned in the primary classrooms and translates to take care and maintaining our environment. The students came back to class and were given their tasks. Pretty soon, they began to grumble, complain, talk about how unfair this was and demanded to know why they were being punished and kept in detention.(How do they know anything about detention?) I explained that this was not punishment at all but rather something that I did every afternoon. More complaining ensued and finally one of the kids said, "You know how you always ask if we would do something in front of our parents. Miss Jo Ann, would you make us do this in front of our parents?" After I stopped laughing, I repeated the story to whoever was in the building. By this time both of the students who were helping with the clean-up began to react to my bursts of laughter and perhaps saw the humor in the situation. We finished the clean-up . After I was able to gain control of my fits of laughter, I told the students that I would not if fact change my behavior if parents were present and would let parents know what I did. Consider yourselves notified....
We leave for the Ft. Caswell beach trip on Thursday morning. I am beginning to appreciate the complexities facing the Democrats and Republican leaders in our country having been working on matching up chaperones/drivers and students with their friends in each car. I will post who each child will be riding with on Tuesday morning. In the meantime, a few reminders:
Your child should bring:
two changes of clothes
2 pairs of shoes that can get wet
a towel, soap, and shampoo
insect repellent and sunscreen
a pillow and sleeping bag
toothbrush and tooth paste
a raincoat or poncho
Your child should not bring:
any type of electronics
We will be stopping at a rest stop on the way to the beach for lunch. Please pack a brown bagged lunch that does not require any refrigeration. We expect to arrive at Ft. Caswell on Thursday afternoon sometime after 1 p.m. and will depart for home on Friday after lunch. I will initiate a phone chain to parents with our expected time of arrival back at school on Friday. Questions?
Students should plan on sleeping late on Saturday morning, but meet us again on Sunday at Just Save on S Main Street in Graham for hot dogs. Our goal is to sell 175 hot dogs! Elementary students and their parents are asked to sign up for a two hour shift from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. to sell, eat, and serve hot dogs, chips, and soda. All proceeds benefit our classroom activities.
This week in class our focus will be on photosynthesis. The upper elementary students have been working on a more in-depth study of this process including the light dependent and light independent phases of photosynthesis. They will be writing a short essay and presenting it to the class.
Finally, we will be building a scarecrow in our outdoor environment and need a pair of old jeans and old shirt.
School pictures are scheduled on October 16 and we will celebrate a beautiful fall in North Carolina at our Fall Festival on October 25.
Jo Ann and Summer