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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pardon the Interruption

Lately, we've been having a lot of interruptions at my school. I'm not talking about the kind that involves little Billy bursting into tears because he's shoved a crayon up his nose, or rabid opossums wandering into the classroom and curling up in a basket of place value blocks.

No, these interruptions are coming from the front office. Throughout the day, there seems to be an endless stream of announcements over the PA.

"Time to pick up the kids."
"Send some kids to pick up fliers."
"We need this form filled out by noon today."
"Whoever left the severed head in the teacher's lounge refrigerator -- very funny."

Being in the full swing of a fantastic fantasy football season, I started thinking how it might be nice to apply some NFL rules to our school's front office.

NFL coaches get 3 challenge flags to use throughout a game. If they make a challenge in error, they lose one of their time-outs.

I propose that our administrators be allotted 3 announcements to use throughout a school WEEK. Any of those 3 PA announcements that is deemed by the faculty to be unnecessary or irrelevant will result in the loss of an after-school meeting.


We were talking about simple machines in science class today. Actually, before I even mentioned simple machines, I tried to "engage" them by presenting a scenario. I said that we had a 200-lb box on the floor that we needed to put on the top of a shelf. I asked them to brainstorm with their group all of the possible ways that we could get that box up to the top of the shelf.

Most of the solutions involved lifting the box. Either 10-12 kids could lift the box at the same time, or Big Show of pro wrestling fame could come in and lift it for us.

But then a couple of kids suggested using a lever, and I was very impressed. They didn't use the WORD "lever," but what they were describing was most definitely a lever.

One boy's action plan was hilarious. He said, "Here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna get a big board and put it on a rock like a see saw. Then we put the box on one side of the board. Then we drop a BIIIGGGG rock onto the other side, and the box gonna fly up to the shelf."

I started to thank him for his input, but he was lost in thought, stroking his chin, muttering, "... or maybe we have a really fat kid jump on the other side..."

FINALLY! The kids are starting to THINK in my class! Let no one interrupt them!!


ladysantora said...

Or you could be like me and have a broken intercom. No interruptions! Of course, this did not help when we had our practice lock down drill. I didn't hear it. You would think this would be deemed important. It's still broken!

Ashleigh said...

What a great idea! I cannot stand useless interruptions! My very least favorite is "teachers check your email". Seriously?

I can't believe I just found your blog, because I'm a huge fan of your book!

Ashleigh's Education Journey