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’.

Fun Friday And Natural Resources

We earned Fun Friday this past week, a rare event at the OK Corral.  Throughout the week, as we travel to lunch and various Fine Arts special classes, we strive to get compliments from those we pass.  Each compliment is one letter as we work to spell ‘Fun Friday.’  My class is actually pretty good this year, it’s just that we have a few wigglers in the bunch, including Tiny Dancer, who rather prances as she perambulates.

I was glad that we earned it this week, and if the truth were told, it could be that I fudged it a little bit, allowing points earned last week to be carried over, which is against the (my) rules.  As a culmination to our study of Natural Resources, we made, and ate, dirt.

wpid-20150116_110346-1.jpg‘Dirt’ is made by topping individually packaged vanilla pudding with chocolate sandwich cookies that have been ground up so that it resembles, well, dirt.  Each student shovels his or her own dirt into their ‘flower pot.’

My favorite part is when I ask each one, “Would you care for a worm in your dirt?”  Inevitably they giggle and nod excitedly.  When everyone had been served, we enjoyed our dirt.

wpid-20150116_112240-1.jpg We had one casualty.  It seems that one of my friends cut her tongue while licking the pudding container.  “It tastes like pennies,” she remarked.  My thoughts were: It’s weird, that’s how they describe the taste of blood in all the books, and, How do you know what pennies taste like?

Beyond that one malfunction, however, Fun Friday was a huge hit and everyone seemed to enjoy their dirt.

wpid-20150116_112335-1.jpgNext Fun Friday idea: Backwards Day.

Because It’s Funny

In my classroom, I’m a big believer in positive reinforcement.  Give a kid a reason to do the right thing and more than likely he will. Most of the time, anyway.  To that end, one of the Jedi mind tricks I employ is a weekly competition for Table Points.  The three tables of my seating configuration try to rack up as many points as possible for good behavior, being kind, keeping their work space tidy, etc.

chalk_1_28A popular Table Points award is going just outside the classroom door and using sidewalk chalk.  I usually give the winning group about five or ten minutes while everyone else continues working on something mundane.  One time however, when a group of kids went out to decorate the sidewalk, a sweet little girl wrote ASS as big as you please. Yeah.

So now, we have a ritual before engaging in the use of sidewalk chalk. I line up the winners and have them make a little pledge.

Me: Raise your right hand and repeat after me: (various hands go up)

I, state your name,

Kids: I, state your name,

M: Do hereby solemnly promise,
K: Do hair spray sodomy promise,

M: That I will not,
K: That I will not,

M: Write bad words,
K: Write bad words,

M: On the sidewalk.
K: On the sidewalk.

Amen.

Okay, yes, sometimes I do say things just to amuse myself.