Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Room 1 Adventure - Warrington in Winter

Yesterday my class and I returned from our trip to Warrington.

There are so many things I love about being a teacher, but these have to be some of the top things on my list:

I love sending notices home to parents that have sections like this:

I love that if I want to do something that might be called “silly”…then I can ask my 30 little minions to do it with me and then it’s called “a lesson”, “physical education” or “bonding activities”.
Example: Haki and I were in the international food section of the supermarket when we stumbled upon an imported drink consisting primarily of basil seeds and honey. I looked at Haki, with my face all wrinkled up, and said, “That looks like it belongs in a Petri dish underneath a microscope…and the little dots should be swimming.” We shuddered. I then continued, “It would be funny to give someone a glass of that and make them drink it without showing them the bottle and label." I bought a bottle. My class drank shots of the “mystery drink” the next day.
This is what it looked like:
THEN I showed them the bottle.
So you can imagine "The Room 1 Adventure" was going to be a few days I’d love. Not only did I get to send home an exorbitant amount of crafty notices that parents had to read and tick and sign (thereby voicing words I had chosen for them), plus include my own class slogan, "Number 1 for a reason", but I was also able to string together a complete itinerary of otherwise silly things, and take photos of them.
Others say "silly", we say "fun".

Silly Thing #1: Go stay at a beach lodge in winter, it's easy to get a booking that way. Be the only teacher and only class in the school to do this. The other teachers will call you "insane", but your class will think they are elite.

They didn't seem to mind - here they are after we just arrived...scopin' out the territory. Outside...
and in..

You see, there's me, writing up the agenda in the background.

Silly Thing #2: Form tribes to mock Survivor and paint your faces to show your affiliation.

Silly Thing #3: Go outside repeatedly in 3°C or so weather to play. It's all good.
Did it. Loved it.

Silly Thing #4: Venture out into the crazy-cold water of the nearby estuary even.

The Room Oners also got to jump on the famous trampoline (of normal proportions) the cold.

And make sand castles and other things the cold.

This is apparently a bath for our class pet.

I'm sorry, what's that? Our class pet looks an awful lot like a ball?

Silly Thing #5: Create an inanimate class pet in tribute to a film you enjoyed that 95% of the students have never even seen. Call him "Wilson", and suggest he come on camp to even up tribe numbers.

Silly Thing #6: Let your students borrow the expensive school camera.

In addition to being one of Wilson's favourite haunts...the kitchen was also a hive of activity. I love that if students are in tribes, earning points, they actually fight about helping with the cooking and cleaning.

Silly Thing #7: Give your students knives.
Somehow I'm not certain they get to hold knives so often at home...they seem a little too excited.

Silly Thing #8: The locals say there are cockles (clams) out in the mudflats. Send the students out at low tide with buckets and gumboots to hunt and gather for the the cold.
Gather they did.

Here is the first night's entrée BEFORE...

and AFTER...
(see, they open up after being boiled)

Oh, and that's not the only unusual item on the menu...

Silly Thing #9: Take your friend out to investigate the lodge in the weekend. Explain how much you want to make your class bob for apples, but maybe it won't be so the cold. Write down her suggestion to make them eat dough-nuts from string instead.

It's me again, looking on, ever-so-entertained.

Some say "cheating", I say "creative".

Silly Thing #10: Recreate the fairs of your childhood generally. Invite the minions to participate at each carny-like stall.
Here they are, throwing horse-shoes.

Silly Thing #11: Take ALL the students. Even the ones that can sometimes do things which ANYONE would call "silly".
Did it.

Time outs were issued.

Here is a time out for an action that will not be named with a face that will not be shown.

Okay, the face has to be shown, it's hilarious (click to enlarge, it gets better).

Silly Thing #12: Make clothes out of newspaper using only a stapler and staples.
The tribes' Newspaper Wearable Arts evening:

...and catwalk

The parents agreed the "Top Gear" tribe won with this ensemble:
(judging by that foot, at right, the other tribes weren't too pleased.)

Silly Thing #13: Give the students lots of free time - those were the best parts when you were on camp at their age.
Here's a hut made of foam mattresses and towels.

And here are the "Sesame Streeters" tribe. Yes...someone packed a hair-straightener. Humans come in all shapes and minds.

And here's a product of free time + a camera:

A small group also walked through rain and sleet to see the stained-glass windows inside the local church. This is Joan of Arc - a Catholic Saint.

Silly Thing #14: Think that playing a few late-night games will wear the dear ones out sufficiently so that you may sleep at night.
Games were played.

But you can guess from our BEFORE...

...and AFTER

...that sleeping did not come easy for all.

My favourite part of all of this is waking them up. It is VERY fun to be chirpy and bright in the morning to irritate the tired talkers, very fun indeed. Here is one of our breakfasts.

Silly Thing #15: As a final avenue for earning points for tribes, describe various chores as "quests" with specific skill-sets required.
Here are the "rug-beaters".

I loved the entire trip...and find I care for my class SO much more after having a few days away from school bells, books, desks, unit plans, staff meetings, uniforms, and blaring intercoms.

I also loved my bed at home last night. Heaps.

(I deliberately used that final word for you, Sherry, and I thought of you, Abe, in the second-to-last paragraph...for some reason)
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