Thursday, December 13, 2007

Organizing Grasshoppers

Today I had some much needed refreshment as I went to a workshop to spend some time filling up my professional reservoir instead of pouring out of it. At one point the presenter referred to managing a classroom of Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade students as something akin to organizing grasshoppers. What truth is found in that statement!!!

This week I have organized 20 grasshoppers of my own while attempting a secret teaching mission! We made gingerbread cookies on Tuesday. It was so much fun, but oh so exhausting! There is truth to the idea that you only need one cook in the kitchen at a time, so experiencing 20 cooks ages 6 and 7 was quite the experiment. Yesterday, the cookies rested temptingly on each students' desk in a plastic baggie. They had been instructed not to touch until our afternoon decorating experience. Little did they know that the "Big Bad Wolf" would come steal their cookies while they were at lunch and leave a note demanding written letters explaining why they want their cookies back (ah the joy of sneaking in a good writing lesson!). My little grasshoppers were furious, and suddenly their little imaginations were let loose!

"Miss Lowery, we saw him shake that tree outside."
"Yea, and he said, 'HA, HA, HA!"
"My gingerbread man was my best friend, and now he's gone!"
"We worked so hard to make those. That Big Bad Wolf is just mean!"
"What a waste! Our parents brought in all that stuff to make those cookies, and now they are gone!"

Oh, it went on all day! When I tried to get them back to writing by telling them, "No, the Big Bad Wolf is not on the roof and he's not in the tree...he's in a cave watching our gingerbread and trying to decide if he's going to let them come back..." well, suddenly the cave was visible from outside our window. Oops...I should have tried a different tactic.

What wonderful, exhausting fun that was! And, yes, very much like organizing grasshoppers!