Fun Friday

In the OK Corral, we’re all about positive behavior management.  Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when Mrs. R. blows her stack.  But by and large,rather than forcing kids to behave out of fear, we like to give them good reasons to do the right thing.

One thing we do is that we collect compliments.  As we move through the hallways to and from lunch and Fine Arts, we endeavor to do such a great job walking along that grownups we pass are compelled to compliment us.  Each compliment translates into a letter as we try to spell out ‘Fun Friday‘ on the front board each week.  Compliments from our Principal and AP are worth 2 letters.  Note that it resets every Monday.  Because Mrs. R. is a hardass.

When we gather the equivalent of 9 compliments, we set aside a little time on Friday afternoon to do something special.  Sometimes we do popcorn and a (short) movie.  Sometimes we do a special craft project.  Sometimes we take the balls and jump ropes outside.  Occasionally Mrs. R. springs for ice pops.

wpid-20150821_133107-1.jpgThis past Friday, the first of the new school year, my class legitimately earned Fun Friday.  We did one of my favorite no-cost activities.  We got out the rhythm instruments and played music.  Jimmy Fallon has several videos on Youtube where he and a famous musical artist, along with Fallon’s band The Roots, play their hit song using classroom instruments.  Our rule is, When The Roots play, you play.  When The Roots stop, you stop. 

Here is one of my favorites, Call Me Maybe with Carly Rae Jepson.  Fallon also does Let It Go with Idina Menzel and All I Want For Christmas with Mariah Carey.  Whether or not you want to do Blurred Lines with kids would be up to you.  The point is, it’s a super easy Fun Friday activity that costs you nothing.  And the kids love it.

And just so you know, we already have 2 letters toward this Friday’s ‘Fun Friday’.


Team Building Time at the OK Corral

We’re three days into the new school year at the OK Corral.  We’re taking just-out-of-kindergarten-ers and turning them into lean, mean, running-with-the-big-dogs first graders.  The first week or so of any school year is spent teaching procedures and rules, outlining expectations, and creating a cohesive family for the next 180 days.  We’ve read many of the usual first-day-of-school read alouds like First Day Jitters, The Kissing Hand, and one of my personal favorites, It’s Time for School, Stinkyface.

wpid-20150819_094646.jpgToday, we read another great book, The Crayon Box That Talked.  In the story, a little girl overhears a box of crayons arguing about how they don’t like one another.  She buys the box, takes it home, and shows the crayons how they work together to create a beautiful picture.  Not unlike a rag tag bunch of former kindergartners, coming together to form a terrific first grade class.

After reading the story, we worked on creating our own crayon dudes with which to decorate the OK Corral.  Check it out.

You Can Tell It’s Monday

I had four unbelievable kid stories that all happened today.  Buckle your seat belts.  It was a bumpy day.

1. One of my friends, Gummy Bear Lush, dropped this on me on her way in this morning.

Gummy: I was absent on Friday because the po-lice came to my house and broke the window.

Me: Why did they break the window?

Gummy: (shrugging) I don’t know.

Me: What did they do after that?

Gummy: They was looking for guns.

Me: Did you have guns inside the house?

Gummy: No, only outside.

2.  Next, a different friend came up to read me her Monday Journal.

imageHere’s a translation in case you don’t read First Grader.

Today is Monday, May 18, 2015.  It is Day G.  This weekend, I went to see my uncle at jail and he [is] going out of jail and for his birthday we had a party and some had money and they kept giving him $20, $20, $20, $20, $20, $20, $20, $20, $221.

3.  While we were at lunch, one of the cafeteria monitors came into the teachers’ dining room to catch her breath for a moment.  She proceeded to tell us that a second grade girl had brought a small bottle of whiskey to the cafeteria and had passed it around her lunch table so that everyone could have a sip.  Well, thank God she thought to share.

4.  One of my students was called to the office for dismissal at about 10:00.  Since it was Princess Nastypants, I was happy to see her go.  So I was surprised when I picked up my class after lunch and she was back.

“You’re back,” I said.

“I had to go get a DNA test to see if my daddy is my real daddy.”

This is why teachers should get discounts at Total Wine.  Good news!  We have twelve days left.

Another Conversation

It’s been a heck of a week and it’s only Wednesday. On Monday I posted a conversation I had with one of my friends regarding liquor in the gummy bears. Today a different friend wandered up for a chat.

Kid: Yesterday was a disaster.

Me: Why was yesterday a disaster?

Kid: When we got home there was a cat in the house.

Me: And it wasn’t your cat?

Kid: No.

Me: Wow, that is a disaster.

Kid: My daddy killed it with his shoe.

So much for that heartfelt story. I’m not sure I’m going to make it until June.

It’s Almost The 100th Day Of School

wpid-20150121_071248-1-1.jpgWe only have a few more days until the 100th day of school.  Zero the Hero will officially retire for the year.  But before he does, he has plans for a celebration.  If you thought that Day 90 was easy, with six rolls of Smarties equaling ninety, check out what Zero left us the other day.

Stapled to gallon-sized Ziploc bags are instructions for kids to bring in their own 100 collection.  Kids can put 100 anythings into the bag and bring it to show the class.  In years past, we’ve had 100 rocks, 100 pennies, 100 hair ties, 100 marbles…

Clearly, Zero’s mama didn’t raise any dummies.

Holiday Event At The OK Corral

The OK Corral was filled with excitement this week.  Even Enthusiastic Intern, who finished up a couple of weeks ago, returned for the festivities.  Santa and his elves visited bringing games, activities, and of course, gifts.

Santa and his elves were actually the Future Business Leaders of America from the local high school.  Early in the school year they obtained class rosters for kindergarten through second grade at our school.  High school students “adopted” each kid and purchased toys and clothes especially for them.

Initially a team of five teenagers came in and provided games and activities for the kids.  “They’re all elf-es,” observed one of my friends.  One game involved tossing a bean bag toward a target to score points.  The winning team was given little prizes.  They also played a holiday bingo game.  The craft they did was to make gingerbread man cards.  The cards were already cut out and the kids were given stickers to decorate them.  Another of my friends placed circle stickers for eyes on hers and showed it to her table.  “Look!  I made The Walking Dead!”  Sigh.

To say that the kids love their gifts would be an understatement.  When they opened the presents the room was filled with squeals of delight, and they loved the clothes as much as the toys.  One notable exception was Princess Nastypants.  She received a genuine Barbie, not a cheapie knock-off, but she was looking at it like it was stink.  “What’s wrong,” I asked.  “I don’t like it,” she said.  “Well maybe we should give it back to Santa and let him give it to another little girl,” I told her, with not a little irritation.  But apparently she’d already told an elf and as I was speaking to Princess, the elf traded out the Barbie for a baby doll which she did like.  I also saw her demand to trade her green gingerbread man for red.  Grr.

That little hiccup aside, it was a great time.  The joy on the kids’ faces is absolutely priceless.  I also like to see the little kids interacting with the big ones.  You hear a lot of negativity about teenagers these days.  These kids from FBLA are terrific.  Their visit is one of the highlights of my year.