Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Powers Out

This isn't a clever title to tell you about one of my lessons in our Light unit (though perhaps it was kind of a lesson).

No, instead I arrived at school Monday morning to a blackout.  The power was out in the town.  Which, honestly, with the amount of stuff that town has gone through this winter that was no big deal.  School as usual (or it was what I assumed when I noticed kids getting off the bus).

Luckily we are just nearing the end of our unit on Light (how fitting) so we had a bunch of flashlights.  Unluckily for us our room is in the middle of the school so none of our windows got great light from outside (just from the hallways... which were dark).  We gathered as many light sources as we could and I grabbed 3 kids to take to the library to collect books.  I figured there wasn't much we could do in a dark classroom so I would get one of them to shine a flashlight at a book while I read it.  Then they could lay around and enjoy the morning until the power came on.

While we were in the library the power came on!  Needless to say some of my students were not happy (I come up with the best ideas spur of the moment!).  Luckily for them we got about halfway through O Canada and the power was out again.

After their cheers died down we gathered our light sources that we had already put away and headed to the carpet at the back of the room.  On the announcements we had learned that Canada had 2 gold medals, 2 silver, and 1 bronze and we are doing a little Olympics themed unit in math so I took the opportunity to have them do some quick mental math.  I told them golds would be worth 3 points, silver medals 2 points, and bronze 1 point.  So we did some quick multiplying and figured out we had 11 points.  With this unit we are doing some graphs (pictographs and bar graphs).  In the hallway we are working on a pictograph for a medal count 1 medal on our board represents 2 medals won in the games.  So I asked them how many medals we would need to put up.  I was surprised they could grasp the ideas of halves (or at least some of them could).

Since we had already gathered the picture books I started reading the first one to them.  They laid around, each with a little battery operated tea light candle near them listening.  My EA took some photos.. I'm sure they look darling (I won't be posting any photos ever of my students so you just have to use your imaginations).

Of course the power came back on halfway through the first book so I finished it and then had them return back to their desks for a 3 times table pre test!  Let the fun begin!

It was an exciting morning in grade 4.

This isn't the first time the power has gone out on me.  I've had it happen while I was subbing (it was the end of the day though and my students were mostly all gone).  Has the power ever gone out on you while teaching/subbing?  What did you do?

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