Friday, October 27, 2017

The Balloons


They delivered them while I gave period one my opening remarks. A bunch of helium-filled blue balloons. I was covering an 8th grade science class. And all of their eyes went wide.

"What are the balloons for?"

I tied the bunch to the back of a chair. No way was I going to deal with those yet. Experience has taught me to pass those sorts of things out at the end of the period.

Still, periodically, someone would ask, "What are the balloons for?" And I would reply, "We'll get to them at the end of the period."

The balloons were a reward for the kiddos who had done well on the state testing last spring. The awarding of the balloons turned into a nice little ceremony.

I read the explanation of what the balloons were for. Then I called names. Each student came up to retrieve their balloon. The class applauded each recipient. It went very smoothly.

And then the bell rang.

Passing period. A student returned. "Howard knocked Amber's balloon out of her hand, and it flew away."

And so it began.

Second period the balloons were everywhere. A couple came loose from their strings. I retrieved one from the ceiling. (I was tall enough to reach. The student was grateful.)

Fourth period a couple girls came up with a game. Balloons mysteriously floated to the ceiling. The girls were cutting their classmates' balloons loose. (They did not have balloons of their own. And Andie was in that group.)

By sixth period, there were far fewer balloons. One boy walked into class with his balloon's remnant. Tied to a string was the bottom of a popped balloon. It looked rather sad as he tossed it over his shoulder as if it might fly again.

Yeah, that went about how I expected it would. Talk about an ephemeral reward!

20 comments:

  1. I wonder whose brilliant idea it was with the balloons. I like the concept of the reward but it seems perhaps more trouble than it was worth?

    betty

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  2. I knew there would be trouble as soon as you said the word balloon.

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    1. I knew there would be trouble as soon as they walked in with that bunch.

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  3. Well, it's state testing, so it makes sense that the reward is basically meaningless.

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  4. That's funny. I'm tickled that eighth graders care about balloons.

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    1. Oh yea. Especially as it was a reward.

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  5. Hi Liz - very ephemeral ... but bet they had fun .. .cheers and have a happy Halloween weekend - Hilary

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  6. Why balloons? Why first period? *sigh* You were right to wait; too bad the school didn't. :-/

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  7. No good deed goes unpunished. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  8. I've had the same thing happen but I gave them out at the end of the day. There were helium balloons flying everywhere in the pick up zone.

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    1. Unfortunately, I did not have the luxury. I only had the 1st period list, so I had to give them out before 1st period left.

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  9. Oh dear. I think they might want to come up with a different award, but I applaud them for not giving out candy. My kids' schools always use candy for prizes.

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  10. Huh. Hard to believe that could happen with kids....

    On an unrelated note, that piseth san really has a way with words.

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  11. Aww...now you must come up with something else for next rewarding ceremony! Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

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  12. While a little sad, I can't imagine handing out balloons at a school would have really gone any other way.

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    1. All things considered, this actually went very well. At that age... Yeah, it went very well.

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  13. Always loved balloons, but then someone always has to ruin it. Recently back from a girls week in Hilton Head, where we over nighted at a Courtyard. A slow night at the hotel, the staff was having fun batting a balloon around the lobby and we joined in. All girls/ladies I might add. Everyone was laughing having a good time, trying to keep the balloon a float and not let it hit the ground....then from the bar area came one of guys (also staff), pretended to play with us, but had something sharp in his hand and popped the balloon and walked away. Bummer! At least you managed to congratulate some of the kids.

    Traveling Suitcase

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    1. There's always that evil one that has to ruin it for the rest of you. Ah well. Sounds like it was fun while it lasted.

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