I am trying to forget the three kids who volunteered - VOLUNTEERED!!!! - to finish building the boat and then did NOTHING for an hour. Well, nothing except swordfight with Legos and "slash" each other's cheeks with Legos.
Ms. Frizzle: Why are you doing that? What does that mean?
Boy: It's a gang thing.
Ms. Frizzle: A gang thing? Are you in a gang? Do you WANT to be in a gang? No? Then why would you do that? Am I being unreasonable in asking you to actually get something done when you volunteer to do it? Or at least not to bother the people who ARE trying to get something accomplished? Is that unreasonable???
I am trying to remember the 8 kids who did exactly what I wanted them to, who diligently pored over books about the ocean, who brainstormed research questions with virtually no direction from me, who solved interpersonal problems on their own, who were, well, awesome. The 8 kids who volunteered to start cleaning up early when they'd finished as much research as they could handle for one day. I am trying to remember the two kids who, after a little focusing, worked quite hard on redesigning a robot to include a rotation sensor, while a third estimated the number of clicks from the base to the grey fish (or shark, or dolphin, or whatever the hell it is) and wrote a program to get the robot to tap the fish, and then rewrote it after discovering a key error.
We actually got a fair amount done, but it was no fun whatsoever. I think a few kids are going to quit, some of them kids that I knew would be difficult but I hoped to reach through this program.
And it doesn't help that the legitimate disappointment and frustration I feel - with the kids, the program, but most of all, myself - is being blown up to a thousand times actual size by my stupid hormones. Grrr. Go away! And don't tell me this post was TMI, I don't want to hear it!
Well, back to fantasizing about chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
In other news, my observation went well, despite the fact that in the middle of the lesson, just when I needed to hand them out, I discovered that 60 copies of the lab handout had completely and utterly vanished. Without a trace. Gone. Luckily, I'm good at winging it, so I just said, "Quickly draw this chart in your notes, record your results here, and I will give you a copy of the handout after lunch when I make new copies." I knew my principal could deal - it was clearly just one of those things and I solved the problem smoothly and successfully - but I was horrified.