Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making Rain

We had a two-hour late start this morning. I found out not two minutes after leaving the house. I just went to school instead of turning around and trying to get up the driveway. I got quite a bit done at school before the day started, though! It's amazing what an extra two hours of work time does for the day. :)

Due to the late start, we skipped Advisory and first block and just went straight to 3/4 block.

Now, 3/4 block, no matter whether it's A Day or B Day, is always a crazy class (B Day more than A Day, but still...). With the delayed start today, I was expecting a full-blown riot in class today. Much to my surprise, there was no such thing. The kids were the best I've seen them all year long!

As I was waiting for the last couple kids to turn in their assignments before starting the lesson, I was absent-mindedly snapping my fingers rhythmically. The kids thought it was so cool and wanted me to teach them how, so I did: snap with the top hand, snap with the bottom hand, then slap your bottom closed fist with your top open palm; snap-snap-slap; snap-snap-slap. Soon, the majority of the class was doing it and it started to sound like raindrops around the classroom.

Flashback to my freshman year of high school when our marching band made rain in Memphis, Tennessee, waiting to compete indoors due to sleet and out-of-tune percussion instruments - IDEA!

I told the class that if the lesson went really well and we had time at the end of class, we would make rain.

Like I said before - the kids were on their best behavior today!

At the end of the lesson, I asked the kids if they wanted to make rain. It was a unanimous "yes!"

I had the kids move some tables out of the way so we had a decent amount of space for everyone to sit in a circle. Once everyone was settled in their circle, I turned the lights off and gave the directions: stay quiet, wait until I face you to start doing the action I am showing, do exactly what I do until I face you again. Then I stepped into the middle of the circle and started.

At first, the kids had looks of confusion on their faces. I could just imagine what they were thinking: What in the world is she doing?? Then, as I continued going through the circle a second and third time, increasing the volume of the rain, I could see their expressions change to a look of awe. After the "rain" had ended, the kids broke out into excited chatter: "That was so cool!!" "It sounded totally like rain!" And on and on. :)

I told the class my story about making rain in Memphis and then they wanted to make rain again, so we did. The kids added some sound effects at the appropriate moments of heavy rain this time (thunder, mostly, along with a few random louder splatters of rain as the rain slowly moved off into the distance).

It was so much fun. :)