We've been dumpster diving the last two weeks. Seriously. In honor of Earth Day (which is a holiday I totally think is bogus-that's just my two cents, but I'm not going there), we read The Lorax. And in honor of The Lorax, we have been recycling, reducing, and reusing our trash to make our own little Seuss-villes. Milk cartons, juice boxes, toilet paper rolls, you name it, are all in the process of being transformed into little towns complete with community buildings, houses, water sources, food sources, and shops. I have had a blast watching these young-uns dive into the trash can after something that they know they could use in their town. Of course, we all know that once these projects go home mama's are going to say, "Don't bring that in the house! Throw that thing in the trash!" And it will totally devoid the whole purpose of the project to begin with. Oh, well. At least I won't be the one throwing them all away! In the meantime, I am going to milk this end of year project for all it's worth. You wouldn't believe how quiet they can be if you stick a paint brush in their hand and dump a pile of junk on their desk! It has been a great week!
This project, however, has resulted in the complete destruction of our classroom. It for real took an HOUR to clean up our mess. And we didn't actually clean it up... we sort of just moved everything around so we could walk without crushing someone's water tower or police station. The amount of time it took us to clean up ate into our recess time. I really wanted them to be able to go outside so we opted for a game of duck-duck-goose in our "Backyard" as we like to call it. We went out the back door and started playing... Well, it is spring time in the great united state of Georgia and with spring times comes "stickers." These can be found in almost any yard the entire summer. They are called "stickers" because that's exactly what they do. They stick the mess out of whatever body part happens to land on one and hurt like the dickens. What's worse is that, sometimes, you can't just pull them out. Almost always, you end up with the little splinter end stuck under your skin and it gets all red and painful. We ended up finding several stickers today. I found the first three... in my hand and one has flat out refused to come out. But, with all that pain, we had a good time and our AP even found us and joined us for a round! If you've never played duck-duck-goose with your class, I highly suggest it. There's nothing better.
Finally, and on a somewhat different note, I want to tell you about one of my new favorites: Whole Brain Teaching. I've been getting their e-newsletters for about a year now, but have never put any of it into action. As we all know, the end of the year makes us all suicidal, suppressing the urge to either hurt ourselves, or the closest object or person closest to us. I decided that it couldn't be a better time to practice the Five Rules of Whole Brain Teaching by Chris Biffle. Just in case it worked on THESE KIDS, I could definitely start using it at the very beginning of next year. Can you say amazing? Can you say fun? It is incredible! Don't get me wrong, my class is full of crazies that I love dearly and they are by no means perfect (even after implementing the Five Rules) BUT we have had a much easier end of the year because of it and I wish I had started the year out with Whole Brain Teaching. If you've never heard of WBT then I highly recommend checking out their website and getting in some practice at the end of the year so you, too, can decide if it's for you. Hop on over to WBT to see what it's all about! You won't be sorry and all of their advice, techniques, and resources are free! Happy Thursday!