Today in math we did the cutest lesson! I made this poster with different addition and subtraction equations and then covered up some of the numbers with post-it notes. The story was that the "Gremlin" snuck in and messed up our poster to challenge us. The Gremlin also wrote us a note daring our class to figure out his equations. Then we went through them together to determine the missing number in each of the number sentences.
I thought it might be too young of an activity for some of my kids, but they ALL bought right into it! It was the quietest day of math I have ever taught, because they were all so obsessed with defeating the Gremlin. Then the kids wrote letters back to the Gremlin taunting him. My favorite had this line it it: "You silly gremlin. You did not trick us hahahahahahahahah. Maybe you should try it after you go to college!"
One of my little kids took the whole gremlin thing way too seriously. He was warning everyone we saw in the hallway "Excuse me, excuse me. There is a GREMLIN in the HALL!" Then, somehow in the transition from recess to the classroom he escaped and went to the office. When someone walked him back to me, I asked him if one of the teachers on duty at recess had told him he could go. He said he didn't know. Then I asked him why he went to the office. Again, he didn't know. Are we seeing a trend here?
Finally, I got it out of him:
Me - Honey, why did you go to the office?
Him - I needed to talk to the nurse.
Me - Why did you need to talk to the nurse?
him - Because she helps people.
Me - Yes, she does help people. How did you need help?
Him - (looking at me as if I just sprouted a 3rd eye) There is a GREMLIN in our SCHOOL!!!
Oh man. That was entertaining. It was almost as entertaining as science today. We were making zoomers (buttons on a string that you can spin realy fast by winding up the string and then puliing it tight and loosening it, pulling it tight and lossening it, over and over. 'Jake' couldnt make his zoomer, well, zoom.
He "quit science for life." This was only after he yelled at his zoomer, calling it "stupid" and "dumb." Then he sling-shotted it across the room and ripped out some pages from his science journal to stomp on them. The climax was probably when he grabbed his head and screamed "I'M NOT A SCIENTIST, I'M A FAILURE!!!!" That, or when he started making noises like the ones that Taz makes as he spins around demolishing property.
You're going to think I'm crazy, but it was actually a very great day. It was entertaining, as always, but also rewarding and fun. Hopefully tomorrow will follow suit :)