Life and Times of the Sharp Family

1000 Days of Thankful...and Counting


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 1156 -- Spontaneous Lesson Plans

Yesterday, as I was giving a portion of the ACT/MME tests, I had an idea for a lesson spontaneously come forth out of me.

You see, we aren't really allowed to do ANYTHING while we are proctoring a test.  And by anything, I mean anything.

No reading (unless it's the test booklet), no electronics of any kind, no grading papers.

So I:

1) Said every student's name backwards in my head. 

2) Said every student's LAST name backwards in my head.

3) Used scratch paper to design all my track workouts for next week.

4) Made a to-do list and numbered it from highest to lowest priority.

5) Counted how many steps it took me to walk from the front to the back of the room and from side to side.

6) Checked every students test booklet for accuracy.

7) Counted the number of bricks from floor to ceiling.

8) Mentally quizzed myself on multiplying random 2 and 3 digit numbers together.

9) Counted ceiling tiles.

10) Timed how long it took me to walk up and down each row and calculated my average speed.

And other equally ridiculous tasks...

It was somewhere along number 9 where I began to think about a class activity involving the creation of a periodic table on my classroom's ceiling.  The more I thought about it, the more excited I got about it.

I won't bore you with the details, but basically, the activity centered around colored streamers.  Each color represented a different trend on the periodic table, such as atomic radius.  The longer the streamer, the larger the radius.  I created a scale that would accommodate the height of my ceiling.

I was geeked because this concept is a tough thing to visualize, and if I could pull this off, it would be a huge visual of each and every trend we were about to study.  AND It wouldn't tax my student's ACT-fried brains too much either.  

Nervously, I explained the idea to my 6th hour class and we got to work.  They didn't complain, but instead went right to researching data and measuring out streamers.  By the time 7th hour was over today, our ceiling was completely full of red, blue, yellow, and green streamers.  The kids didn't gripe or whine, and actually seemed like they might be having a bit of fun as they stood on the tables to get the streamers hung and made comments on how their lengths changed throughout the room.

I'm glad I took a risk and tried something new and I'm happy for the random idea.  I'm pleased that something good came from those 3 days of nothingness.

Thank God for some spontaneous lesson plans!

Lord, thank you for the inspired lesson plans and for the way it all worked out today.  In your name I pray, Amen.