on a break

We will not be doing any lessons between now and the Christmas break. December is a short month with lots of schedule-changing activities.

We will start back up in January with lesson 6: D.O.F.
Destroyer of Fun is the unthinkable that pops up during games involving competition. He wants kids to be overly competitive, always have to go first, only play games they want to play. Check back next month for some strategies to defeat D.O.F!

social detective work

With lesson 5, we are asking students to be good social detectives and try to decide if interruptions are “fair” or “rude.” We do this by asking them to raise their magnifying glasses when they think a “case” is fair or rude. We do 6 cases with this lesson. The students love the magnifying glasses, and they are a great way to reinforce keeping brains and bodies in the group (i.e., if you are playing with your magnifying glass, your brain is probably out of the group).

We created 6 scenarios. Some are really clear in terms of being fair or rude, while others spark some discussion. It has been so interesting to listen to the thoughts of the students. And, I am so proud of the students that confidently raised their magnifying glasses even when a lot of students do not.

The favorite case involves some props that most boys love – Beyblades! The boys see them on our cart and immediately ask what we are going to do with them. I guess I should thank my 2nd grade son for being a “thinking about others” kid and sharing them 🙂

The fair interruption starts off with Ginny talking about her beyblade. It has a red tip, special wings to make it spin faster…then I interrupt to tell her that when you want to battle, you need to say “3, 2, 1 let it rip!”

When talking about Superflex strategies to defeat Collider, we also talk about the “back down.” Now, most adults do the back down without even knowing it. So, here is what it is: one person is talking, another person bumps (collides) with their words. They recognize they interrupted and back down from the conversation. When the other person finishes, they can say what they wanted to say.

Fair interruptions happen all the time, so it is important students know what to do when they happen. We also stress that just because it is a fair interruption that does not mean it is ok to interrupt. It just means the person interrupting is excited about what the other person is talking about.


today I laughed way too much!

How many people can say that at the end of the day? How many people can say that after being in one 2nd grade and three 3rd grade classrooms in a day? Well, today I can. Here are some of the funnies.

Ginny and I are reading Interrupting Chicken to introduce the Group Buster Collider. Since Ginny was Lilly during the last lesson (acting very silly), I was given the job of being the little red chicken who interrupts his Papa when he reads bedtime stories. One of the stories is Chicken Little. As Ginny read about the chicken racing to tell Henny Penny and other friends that the sky was falling, she called Ducky Lucky “Lucky Ducky.” I felt myself giggle, then looked over at the 3rd grade teacher who was doing her best to control her laughter. Ok, as I am writing this, it does not sound that funny but it was one of those situations when I needed to *not* laugh and keep my brain in the group but could not stop laughing. We all laughed thru the reading of the book and got back on track as we talked about how interruptions make other people feel. Whew. I really did need that laugh, though.

The laughter did not stop then. Later, when we were in another 3rd grade classroom Ginny brought out a fly swatter to illustrate the Superflex strategy to defeat Collider: SWAT. A girl blurted out as I was writing out the letters S-W-A-T that those were illegal in schools these days. Again, laughter from me, Ginny, and the teacher. I composed myself and asked the student (who immediately recognized she had interrupted to share her thought…yes!) to be a good social detective and to check what she knew about us when making a guess about what the fly swatter was for.

Lastly, I got some mean looks from teachers today. To help students understand the difference between fair and rude interruptions, Ginny and I did some role plays and then had students be good social detectives and try to decide if the interruption was fair or rude. One of the rude examples involves Ginny asking the teacher for help with a math problem. I interrupt and say I need help with a problem and the teacher needs to help me check my work. Every single teacher looked at me like they wanted to reprimand me, but not sure if they should because we were role playing. One teacher did say that if I was in her class I would have been asked to go back to my seat! Getting the “evil eye” from teachers was funny, and I had to work hard to stay “in character.”

We are going to record a reading of Interrupting Chicken tomorrow, so check back in later in the week to watch. I am also going to try to get some videos of the fair and rude interruption examples. So far, students have been excellent social detectives and have been able to figure out which ones are fair and rude.


it worked!

Look at all the home challenges that were returned this week!

I made another visit to a bunch of classrooms today and gave out lots of treats from Superflex. I got a lot of “I think I lost my home challenge.” Some “the teacher did not give me one.” Haha. And some “I am doing mine tonight!”

It will be interesting to see what the final #s are in terms of how many lesson 4 home challenges are returned. Students have until we come to their classrooms for lesson 5 to turn them in.


home challenges and motivational ideas

We are calling the homework from each lesson a “home challenge” but we think students have figured out that it is actually homework. We are good social detectives and figured this out after we got some groans when home challenges were mentioned in lesson 4 (we sure are smart, aren’t we?)

We are making the lesson 5 home challenge a little more fun (think drawing vs writing) but we also want the students to be reinforced for doing the home challenges. After all, the home challenges are our best way to reach out to parents about what we are doing at school.

Superflex sent some small treats (nothing distracting like candy) for students who complete the lesson 4 home challenge. I have visited 9 of the 13 classes this week with our “Thinking About Others” bucket filled with goodies from Superflex for students who completed the home challenge. I also said I might be able to stop by again later in the week to see if more students completed the home challenge.
Check out the goodies:

2 students when hearing about the rewards, raced to the back of their classrooms to retrieve completed home challenges from their book bags. And, a teacher at the school who has a 2nd grade son said that he came home yesterday afternoon wanting to do the home challenge in case I come back later in the week. Score!

I am keeping track of the dates I go in the classroom and # of home challenges returned to see if we do in fact get a better return rate with a little incentive attached 🙂