Day 99: Today was a veteran day. Four-day weekend? No way those kids will be in the listening mood. Solution? Self-guided packet of “levels” – like stations, but all in worksheet form – to complete in class. Antsy kid crisis: Averted!
I even got a chance to try something I’d been meaning to forever. A mentor teacher of mine used to let kids draw little boats to show when they’d completed a level. I get to see where the kids are at, and the kids are motivated to move their boats along. Plus kids really like to draw boats.
This teacher is no longer in the classroom, so I finally got to try this without stealing her thunder. And I will definitely be using the boats again. It’s funny, when I asked kids after, the majority didn’t love the boats. LB, who hates all things childish, was among those to give me this feedback. And yet, in class, I very clearly heard LB squeal “Yay!” when she got to move her boat over to Level 2.
Sometimes, I think my 6th graders want to be old and mature too much. Silly them. When no one’s particularly excited to be back in school after a long snow weekend, and when we get through class relatively unscathed anyhow, it’s a perfect time to enjoy a nice, dry-erase boat ride.
(Plus I think it’s damn hilarious I called the boats thing “Boat Races.” Yay for sneaking drinking games into my lesson planning. I’m a wonderful role model.)