Friday, March 16, 2012

Leprechauns None, Tag Bootcamp, I Wonder and iPad

I hope everyone had a fun pre-St.Pat's day. For those of you on Spring Break, will you celebrate on Monday? Or just skip it? To my utter glee, there were no leprechauns that visited our room. My desk looks like they did, but it always looks like that.

We had a fun day, doing lots of little things like a counting coins activity (green gifts bags with random coins in it, 21 bags in all). We did some sequencing and reader's theatre with this story. I got the cutest, cutest gift from a student; it was a small bag of rainbow colored licorice, with gold foil wrapped Rolo's in the bottom. Why didn't I do something like that for the kiddos? Instead, I threw some dollar store pencils at them at the end of the day, and they were so cute but so cheap the erasers all fell off them. One kids complained because he didn't get the design he wanted, so I took his pencil away. Mean Old Mrs. Mathews.

We spent another recess at Tag Boot Camp. Today did not go as well as yesterday. I guess some of the shiny wore off as it wasn't brand new and exciting today. I had four kids that violated the "Good Sport Policy" by a) stamping their feet b) yelling "No Fair!" c) cheating d) arguing with me and e) general freaking out. They had to sit out and watch the rest of boot camp. Mean Old Mrs. Mathews.

So here is my big "I Wonder" of the day: what is it, really really, what is it that is making our babies the products that they are? Why am I having to take little gifts away and teach Tag Boot Camp. we can all sense it, all see the symptoms. There has been a gradual (but rapidly accelerating) shift is inabilities to play fairly, share, be still without some kind of stim, and general sense of self-entitlement. I know I sound like an old grandma, complaining about "kids these days", but I am really, really worried about it. I believe, very very firmly, that it is us - our society, that is doing it. We are building up our iSociety, founded on individual networking, instant gratification and constant incoming information. I know I'm part of the problem; my two daughters, 9 and 12, have their own laptops and Nanos. We have Dish, and NetFlix and a PS3. I crawl into bed at night and read, but I also blog and research and create on my own laptop. I read on a Kindle. It's true that I make the girls unplug often, and they have to read for at least 30 minutes before bed (which they adore). But as a whole, what am I supporting that is doing such damage to little bodies and young minds?  I am smart enough to know that I am a part of the problem. And I don't know how to fix it.

And what's the deal with not being able to play together on the playground? I read all around "blog land" about teachers that spend time every day sorting out recess problems, and a lot of talk about having to teach kids to share. They don't have to share at home? Maybe not.

Ok, off my soap box. I worry about it. I really, really do. I fear that it will build and build and then backlash. We are these amazing creatures capable of such beautiful things, we and need to be kind and loving to each other. We need to share and collaborate and problem solve together. What can we do as teachers to keep our students a cohesive and productive community? Did I say I was off my soap box? It's the flu; just when you think it's done, you crap your pants at Walmart. Sorry. Help me talk this out.

Two very exciting things. First I GOT AN iPAD!!!! Did you hear me scream that? I did, I did!!! But now what, I don't really know. I think I'll just lay it next to me in bed and stroke it while I sing it a lullaby. But then I'll have to get serious about what I can do with it for teaching. Apparently downloading free "Fart Sounds" is not a productive thing to do with it. Second, tomorrow is my last cohort Saturday for Grad class. Then in a month we present our research at a conference, and then we WALK GRADUATION!! Can I just wear my hood around town for awhile? And I never thought I'd ever even get my undergrad. When can I start on my double Masters?


  1. I don't know where the entitlement comes from. My student teaching cooperating teacher had a 3 Second Thank You rule. For ANY reward or treat, if they don't say thank you for it within 3 seconds, they have to give it back- EVEN if it is something they earned. They learn QUICKLY to always be polite.

    My kids get occasional random rewards for being polite, too. I have a few kids who will even thank me when I hand them a paper to do work on. Random rewards do seem to help... but it's sad that we have to go out of our way to encourage that, doesn't it?

    I don't think you're mean for making kids sit out or give things back. I do the same kind of thing, and I don't think of it as ME taking it away, but THEM not earning it!

    I have an iPad right now from my school, and I am LOVING it for general internet-checking and blog-stalking. I'm so jealous that you have your own! (I have to give mine back in a few weeks- NOT looking forward to it!)

    I saw that Rolo and Rainbow craft on Pinterest... if you haven't joined, let me know and I'll send you an invite! It is FANTASTIC for teaching and crafting ideas! (I use it for bookmarking ideas a lot, too, especially because then I can access them at home OR school!)

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  2. I have noticed with my kiddos that the more time in the classroom we work on building Our School Family the better those acts of helpfulness and kindness carry onto the playground. If there are problems, the kiddos take care of them themselves. I honestly cannot remember the last playground episode we had.

    I use Conscious Discipline in the classroom and it is amazing. It has helped my kiddos learn about using their big voice and to stand up for has been amazing at ending the tattling too.

    I would love for you to come read more about it when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  3. I am wanting to get an IPAD. Just haven't done it yet. You will have to post about how you are using it! I am your newest follower- found you through the linky party!
    Conversations in Literacy

  4. Send me your email and I will send you the doc I made my cards and numbers on for my reward store:)

    Going Nutty!

  5. Congrats on almost finishing your *double* masters!!!! I am almost finished with mine too! I will be done in May and am SO excited! I am your newest follower! :-) Come by my blog- I have a few posts on using your NEW iPad in your classroom! :-)