It was 2nd period at the middle school, which is the period where they do the announcements and pass out things that they want the whole school to get. On this day, they were doing a special bracelet activity. Every student was to get a bracelet, and their challenge was to talk to another student they didn't know who was wearing the same colored bracelet.
About half way through the period, the middle school leadership student came through and delivered the bracelets.
I lucked out with this group of 7th graders. They were silently working on their assignment, and the delivery didn't stop them from working. But they saw it.
"Are you going to pass those out?" one student quietly asked me.
"At the end of the period," I replied.
One thing I've learned about middle schoolers is any excitement will distract them, and I'll never get them back. Something like these bracelets would lose me their attention for the remainder of the period. (Well, maybe not these kids, but I wasn't about to risk it.)
But they eyed those bracelets. They wanted them.
As promised, I did pass them out the last five minutes of the period. But there was another issue I knew was going to crop up, so I addressed that first.
"I am going to pass these bracelets out randomly. No, you can't ask for the color you want. If you want a different color, you're going to need to trade with someone who is willing to trade their bracelet with you."
It took me a minute to pass out the bracelets. They took the remaining four to trade. And as I got no complaints about being stuck with a color they hated, I think it worked out.
Whew. That could have been a disaster.