Friday, March 27, 2015

Auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks

I like to throw out the occasional obscure reference. Well, the references are obscure to middle schoolers.

A girl complained that she was afraid that the ceiling was going to fall on her. She pointed up...

I looked at that cracked tile, and I thought something completely different. I told her I'd be worried about other things... (I did mention Doctor Who. She was perplexed. Luckily, the girl behind her knew what I was talking about, and I freaked her out in an entirely different way.)

But this week a weird thing started happening. Or maybe I started noticing it.

Boys, for reasons unknown, have broken into dance at random times. Usually while walking across a room. Or in the door. Or out the door.

There's no music playing. Well, maybe only in their heads.

So, I've been commenting: "Auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks?"

I'm greeted with blank stares. Brilliant.

They never ask. Oh, I want them to ask...

Well, one did ask. When I told him to look it up, he wanted to do it right then, on his phone. Sigh.

I have to keep myself entertained somehow...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Name Tags

I spotted them as I walked to my classroom for the day that morning. Hearts stuck all over the walls. Each heart had a name written on it. Interesting...

It was during the morning announcements that they were explained. It was a game. The students were to find their own names and bring that heart to the activities room. They would get a prize.

So, for the rest of the day, students came in wearing these hearts. Some complained that they couldn't find their own. As the day progressed, more and more of them had found theirs.

Then 6th period came in. Nearly half came into class with hearts...that were not their own.

"Alice, I have yours..."

Yep, they brought in hearts of their classmates. And gave them to them.

Well, it was "kindness week". That was rather kind of them.

(And it was an interesting game. I wonder how many hearts the activities room got back.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interesting Choice

CAHSEE day. Ms. B was in charge.

I was doing my normal walk of the room when I spotted her. She was a normal teenage girl in normal teenage attire. She was wearing a pair of sandals with socks underneath. Pink socks. With an interesting leaf design...

Um, really?

High school dress codes can be a bit over-the-top. Banning spaghetti straps, for instance. Or the ban on non-natural hair colors. And of course there's frayed or oversized clothing. (That one is because of its association with gangs.)

But there are certain things in the dress code that make sense. Like banning drug images. Marijuana leaves? That shouldn't even be a question.

Especially when one is going to be in a room with the strictest assistant principal at the school. I mean, come on! Did the girl really think Ms. B wasn't going to notice?

Ms. B let the girl finish her test, and then as soon as she was ready to leave, Ms. B pounced.

I'm sorry, but she had it coming. I guess she wanted to push the boundaries. And the boundaries pushed back.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Doorway

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if you could magically create a door anywhere?

Monday, March 23, 2015

There Is No Theme

I didn't officially sign up for the blog hop. I kind of last minute decided to participate. Not for A to Z. No, I signed up for that early. But I wasn't going to do a theme reveal. Because I'm not doing a theme.

Nope, things are going to be business as usual around here.

It's what I do every year. I count on my misadventures in the classroom to provide blog fodder. Well, not every day...

Tuesdays will continue to be "What if?" days. Yep, I even have a "What if?" question for X.

Since I don't usually post on Saturdays, Saturdays will be a simple picture.

And if subbing doesn't provide a suitable post, then I'll opt for telling you about what I'm knitting on Mondays, Throwback Thursdays, and Random Quiz Fridays. Wednesdays are promotion day, either self promotion or promotion of others.

Make sure to come back for G day. That's the day I'll announce the giveaway I'm holding that'll go throughout the rest of the challenge. (Winner(s) to be announced on A to Z reflection day.)

I've almost got all my letters, done. Are you joining us? See you around.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Threw it Away

Eighth grade science. It was an...interesting day.

The kiddos had a laundry list of assignments to complete. They had a "warm up" which took some of them half the period (probably because they weren't working on it all that hard). Then they had a review worksheet that was multiple choice. And finally they had vocabulary and fill-in-the-blank assignments for four different chapters.

This should have been enough to keep them busy. Half the class claimed they finished everything. (This is where I ask them to prove it and show me their work. Which is suddenly not where it should be. Hmmm...) They asked me what they should do next.

Older students have figured out that when they've finished the day's assignments, it's probably a good idea to get ahead on work for other classes. 8th graders haven't learned this yet. So, that's what I told them to do. (A few of them had a math test later in the day, so they did manage to find something to do.)

One boy started going through his backpack. He cleaned out a bunch of papers. Took a softball-sized wad and threw it out.

And I just knew this was coming...

Later, as he sat twiddling his thumbs (metaphorically), I wanted to make sure he had finished the day's assignments. He went looking for the review worksheet...

"I threw it out." With the wad of paper he just cleared out of his backpack. Naturally.

Me: "Well, go get it."

It was early in the day. The trash can had been emptied the night before, and the only thing in the can besides the liner was the wad of paper he had thrown out.

"I don't want to go digging through the trash."


I probably should have been nice and given him a fresh sheet of paper. Probably. Or, I could have gone and retrieved the page he had thrown out. I had no compunction about digging through the trash. But I did neither of these things.

What do you think? Was I a meanie for not fixing this for him? What would you have done?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Too Much Fun

Algebra 1. They had an open book/open note quiz. And 6th period only had 10 students in class (of a class of 13).

The picture at the top of this post isn't the classroom I was in, but it is similarly situated. While most of the class was in the front two rows, there were three boys who were kind of isolated. One was in the seat nearest the door. One was dead center in the room. And the third was opposite the boy who was next to the door in the back. All three boys had no neighbors in any adjacent desk.

With such a small class, I didn't expect any trouble during the quiz, and there was none. After they finished, they were to work on a worksheet that the teacher said they already had.

I can be lax after quizzes. So long as they stay silent, I won't bother them. Some students do work for other classes. One girl pulled out a book and read. One boy took out paper and started drawing. Another boy put his head down on his desk and slept. I wasn't concerned about any of this.

But those three boys. They had nothing on their desks, and they were way too entertained. They weren't close enough to talk, so they weren't, but they were eyeing each other. And giggling. Getting up to "sharpen a pencil" (read: steal another's mechanical pencil so boy can't do work). Getting up for hand sanitizer.

I approached. Where were their worksheets? You know, the worksheet that was the assignment after the quiz, the worksheet that I told them about before the quiz. The worksheet I was again reminding them of.

Oh, that worksheet? They never got one.

Time to go looking...

The teacher's desk had a pile of various worksheets on it. I took a peek at another student's, and soon enough I located more copies. I pulled them out of the pile, turned around...

And suddenly the boys were in their backpacks, pulling out... the worksheet. I guess they did get one.

I approached the boy in the middle of the room. His worksheet was completely blank. Well...

"I already did it."

Me: "It looks blank."

"It's done. At home."

And he proceeded to spin a tale of how he had two copies and the copy at home was done. So he didn't have any work to do in class...

The other really good thing about such a small class: this whole incident (with student names) got documented in the note to their teacher.