October 24, 2009

Sports Day

Well here we are on Saturday morning & I already graded a class of quizzes and made those chocolate chip pancakes. :) The day is off to a wonderful start. I also googled Halloween costumes this morning...anyone have thoughts on me being a bag of jelly beans?? Like use saran wrap around me and fill it with tiny balloons and label myself jelly bellies? I think it has some promise but we will see...
Anyway, so Friday at school was Middle School Sports Day. All the students grade 6-8 are divided into "houses". They basically only use their houses for spirit themed stuff and sports day, not for being organized into classes. The houses are Barracudas, Dolphins, Squid Squad and Sting Rays. I am a Sting Ray!
During Sports Day the students participate in lots of field activities to build teamwork and such. In the morning they competed against each other in games like running with two people in an intertube, walking with a ping-pong ball on a spoon, sack races, tug of war, and more. Then each house broke up into smaller teams for a scavenger hunt. I was stationed at the pool with the 7th grade math teacher, Rob. At our station the students each had to submerge their head completely in the pool before we signed their sheet to move onto the next station.
I was so impressed with how into the scavenger hunt the kids were, especially because I feel like if you tried to do that in the US all the girls would be worried about their hair. Here the students are so used to being outside and the heat, that they were more than happy to cool off in the pool!
After lunch we finished the day with water activities so students had a chance to swim in the pool or play on a giant slip and slide set up at school. Teachers wet the slip and slide with a hose and soapy water! While most of my 8th graders didn't go down the slip and slide, I joined the 6th and 7th graders for the fun.
Overall I really enjoyed sports day at school. I love activities like this because they provide me a forum for building relationships with my students outside the classroom. I am able to hang out with them in a context outside of math problems. :) I was somewhat disappointed with my team...I guess the Sting Rays have long been the team that comes in last place every year. Yesterday was no different. We came in last place and for the majority of the day my students didn't really give a ton of effort because they assumed they were going to lose. I think for the sports day second semester I want to brainstorm some ways to give us a fighting chance in the competition. Everyone deserves a chance to win and I basically got sick of listening to my students complain about being losers...

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