Students have been very, shall we say, energetic to say the least. I don’t normally have to call administration to help me with discipline matters but this week I called twice. Knowing that I don’t call that often they came a runnin’. One young man decided to lay in the hallway when he learned that he would be staying in study hall instead of going out for recess. His offense? He head butted a classmate, he opened up the hand sanitizer and let it flow on my classroom carpet, he told me to shut the f- up, and call me crazy, but I can’t allow students to lay in the hallway. Non teachers would probably say, “Oh let him…he’ll eventually get tired and come in the room.” It doesn’t work that way. If I leave a student alone in the hallway and something happens I’m responsible. It was bad enough that he wouldn’t get up….it was a definite write-up when he told me to shut up along with the f-word.
Earlier in the week another student decided I wasn’t lining up for lunch fast enough and he wanted to leave the room. Out he goes with me saying, “Come back”, “Stop”, “Don’t”. Once he was three-fourths of the way down the hall I gave the ultimatim, “You’ve left me no chance. I’m calling.” When I have a problem with kids I give them two choices—one choice is the behavior I want them to exhibit while the other is calling the AP or resource officer. Most of the time they choose the behavior I want because I’m consistent and they know I will call everytime. Well, this particular young man turned the corner and at that point I didn’t know where he was. I called the office. Luckily he had decided to sit on the bench around the corner, but when the rest of the class and I reached his spot he still wouldn’t go with me. The AP had reached us by then and he handled it from there. I really love that guy and I hate for other educators who don’t have supportive administrators.
We’ve had some wonderful lessons this week regarding Daniel Boone and the settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee. We’ve discussed the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. In order to review on Friday I drew an impromtu map on the board and labled the original 13 states, the Appalachian Mountains, the Northwest Territory, the Mississippi, and the Louisiana Purchase. I also indicated British Canada and Spanish territory in the west and Florida. As I reviewed the settlers crossing the mountains and spreading to the frontier I drew arrows showing their movement. As I reviewed the Louisiana Purchase I drew more arrows crossing the Mississippi. One young man commented, “Finally! Our map is beginning to look like the United States should.”
My main focus of Friday’s lesson was the Battle of Tippecanoe. So I asked students to look at the map and remind me about what was going on with Native Americans. They correctly stated that as settlers moved westward the Native Americans were forced to move westward and give up their land. This placed us at the starting point I wanted. I used the fact that some Native Americans got tired of being pushed around and they wanted to make a stand. Enter Tecumseh and the Prophet to our story.
I teach this battle because I can bring in the fact that many Americans felt the British Canadians encouraged Native Americans to fight the frontier settlers and provided weapons through trade. I asked students, “Why do you think the British were doing this?” I was very please when a large majority of them assumed that the British would like to get their hands back on the United States.
At any rate by bringing in the British interference with Native Americans I have set the stage to begin talking about the impressment of soldiers during the early 1800s and will set up the causes of the War of 1812….one of my favorites.
Thank goodness “Turn Off the TV” week is over. We are working on an author study using Roald Dahl books and as a kick off we had watched the first part of Matilda. Now maybe we can finish it. Student groups will begin this week working on The Twits, The Magic Finger, and George’s Marvelous Medicine in small groups. They will read a few pages each day and draw a symbol to represent what they read. We will be comparing and contrasting the characters and themes. I am also reading The BFG aloud. Our chapter from Friday detailed what the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) drinks—–a fizzy drink called Frobscottle which is similar to Coke but instead of the bubbles doing up they go down in the glass and form foam in the bottom. As I read the chapter’s description of how Frobscottle works on the body some of my smarties starting giggling. I love to look up and see those “Ah ha!” moments come across their faces. You see, the bubbles in Coke travel up so in the body and escape as burps. The bubbles in Frobscottle travel downward and escape through the…. well…let’s just say you end up with fanny burps. The BFG has quite a way with words and calls the Frobscottle results “whizzpoppers”. The kids talked about whizzpopping the rest of the day.
Yes, it’s been quite a week.