Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Off to the (turtle) races and 16 daysI

Getting ready for the go!
It was the last Tuesday of school yesterday, and I was dreading it a bit.  I have some quite raucous 5th and 4th graders and they do try my patience some days.  It is the number of children that are in my particular classes- I deal with a class and a half- ugh- sigh-grimace- and there are a number of factors in that whole dynamic.  Anyway, I wanted to do something that would keep them busy and truly occupied for a few days at this crucial time of the year, when all Mad-Art teachers earn their names.  So- turtle races.  I hadn't done these in 5 years, as it loses a lot of fun if the kids know what you are going to do.  I like to spring things on them occasionally and this is one of those times.

Simply put- they trace a turtle shape on tagboard, cut it out, and decorate it.  Then on race day I attach  2 thick yarns to 2 table legs, slap some tape on them to keep the yarn in place, and the kids pair up and race.  Oh- right before they race I punch a hole in the neck area, they string it on the yarn and do all sorts of contortions while staying behind a line to coax the turtle down the yarn....  and no one better be sticking a pencil into the hole to make it bigger or you are DQed and no starburst for you!!!  Yes that is right, we sort of have brackets, where they go on to the next round, and the LOSER gets a starburst candy.  And yes people - there are tears when some of them lose.....  You just can't win sometimes.  So as things go on they all end up with a candy since they all lose, except for the ultimate winner who got a bigger package of starburst.  The candy serves to keep them busy and out of the way.  Of course there are claims of cheating and all, but I just keep those turtle rolling.  Lol.
Wiggling it towards the end

I am not sure if the next groups on Thursday will have time to do it, since they have not made the turtles yet, but maybe.  I had people sticking their head in the door to see what was going on, and they never do find the courage to come in.  This sort of thing is not for the feint of heart, y'all!

Anyway, last night I had a mini-moment.  Naturally this happened when I was going to bed.  I looked at the Universal adaptor system I picked up from REI for my trip and had a moment of - holy crap do I have everything I need for this???  I started rolling through stuff in my brain and as I shut off the light decided I really need to finish my school stuff before I start obsessing over packing for my trip.  But OHHHHH that is right there at the edge of my mind.

A week from today I am going to have a mini- as in tiny, small, little - slideshow for the people going on the trip about a little of the art that we will be seeing, with an emphasis on the architecture types.  Mini because no one wants me to start lecturing on the whole history of art and also because I have no desire to turn this into a class... I just want to enjoy the trip and the students will have a little background knowledge that they can use to enhance their experience.

Anyway, on to the first day of finals!  I have had my high school kids working on final projects, and actually most of them were working right up until today.  A few are going to store unfinished oil paintings until next year.  That works out just fine, I am glad they have been busy. Cleaning begins today!!

End of the year wrap up is a bitter sweet thing, but it is what it is.  And through out we can find a way to spread some joy.

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