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?