Saturday, December 19, 2009

The snowflakes are hung round the classrom with care,

The teachers are gone from the building and scarce,


Santa, all I really want is some sleep :)

When I posted my Facebook status above, I was still on the high from the exuberance of my 7th graders on the last day before Christmas break. Now, awake before 6 am on the first Saturday of our 2 week break which will fly by like a short weekend, I am more reflective on our day yesterday.

Wanting something fun, but remotely educational, and slightly purposeful for our last day, I found this cool activity on making perfectly symmetrical snowflakes from National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to do with my math classes.

The rest of my day was already planned since the entire 7th grade was watching Pictures of Hollis Woods together during our 2nd hour and homeroom periods.

I copied the directions, and lots of backup just holiday coloring activities, word searches, and crossword puzzles, just in case the snowflake making was not successful.

Too often it seems we never let our middle schoolers be kids anymore. When I first started teaching here, we had so many fun things we did with them. For the holidays, each homeroom decorated their classroom door in a huge competition. We had other fun days with games, and challenges and other kid-friendly stuff. Part of the reason we have gotten away from these activities is simply too much curriculum and not enough time, but the main reason is honestly, our staff just isn't into it anymore.

But yesterday in my classroom WAS all about being a kid again with scissors and paper and tape and crayons. We had so much fun! After realizing first hour how difficult the instructions were to follow, I walked the other hours through the step by step snowflake folding process. We folded and creased, then snipped and snipped, waiting to unfold our magical creations. Paper snips flew everywhere and the room got more and more beautiful.

The premier location to get to hang your snowflake was the window, of course. The best part? To access my window, you have to stand up on the heater register, looking out the snowy window, down 2 floors to the ground below. But my little elves were NOT intimidated and soon 3 Santa hat clad kids were dancing up there, using double sided tape to fill the window with perfectly symmetrical flakes.

They laughed and they smiled and acted like 12 year olds SHOULD act, instead the more typical sullen texting adult-wannabe's who usually are in my room.

Happy Holidays, 7th graders!! See you next year!!

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