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Current Issue Ľ Table of Contents | Back Issues

MAY 2001
Volume 2 Number 5

Harry & Rosemary Wong offer advice on motivating your students. Tune in to this month's Gazette cover story and pick up tips from the experts to enhance your students' performance....
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Alfie Kohn Article
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
BCL Classroom by Kim Tracy
Around the Block With...
The Unsinkable Sub
Interview: Cheryl Sigmon
Role Of The Online Teacher
Browser Maintenance
Poetic License Information
Learning Improvement Tools
Mars Society Contest For Students
Book Review: Cloud Woman
Family Library Visit
Stellar Walk of Fame
Emotions of A Sight Impaired Child
SFA and Research
Poll: Do You Hoard Supplies?
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Humor from the Classroom
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Back Issues
Gazette Home Delivery:

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© John P. Wood for Learning Laffs  


10. Oh Homework, Where Art Thou? Soggy Mountain Boys

 9. Coyote Ugly (new student) Soundtrack

 8. Just Push Play (directions for sub) Aerosmith

 7. A Day Without Rain (PE is outside) Enya

 6. No Angel (another new student) Dido

 5. No Name Face (student who is absent all the time) Lifehouse

 4. Mad Seaon (right before holidays) Matchbox 20

 3. Black and Blue (fight at PE) Backstreet Boys

 2. Let's Get Ready (prep for S.A.T.'s) Mystikal

 1. Number 1 (with modification) Beatles

May Day!
by Goose/TX (

Several folks have recently asked me how Iím surviving the last weeks of school. My normal response is, "Barely." Iím unable to provide an appropriate description for the totally indescribable experience of the middle school atmosphere during May.

This time of the year, I normally have the students involved in an activity which provides competition, such as using a catapult to launch a Styrofoam ball at a target from increasing distances and figuring their percentages of hitting the target. This activity works very well with the eighth graders, but not always with sixth graders because some of them havenít learned to control their emotions.

For the benefit of those who asked me how Iím surviving, I jotted down several observations of the studentsí behaviors in a sixth grade science class. During the class period, nearly all of the students were involved in one the following behaviors at some time:

  • Crawling on their hands and knees across the floor
  • Throwing balls at each other
  • Yelling loud sound effects when they make or miss a shot
  • Running across the room after a bouncing ball
  • Constantly laughing
  • Trying to juggle the balls
  • Arguing over their scores
  • Attempting to sword fight with meter sticks
  • Poking, pinching, or kicking each other
  • Banging on the desks with pencils or their hands
  • Jumping over other students while chasing after a ball
  • Sliding along the floor on their stomachs
  • Shooting the balls at each other
  • One boy even decided to sit on another boyís head

During this mayhem, I was attempting to explain to two or three students how to figure their percentages while being interrupted by other students who shoved their papers in my face and asked me questions. At the same time another student was attempting to get my attention by saying, "Coach Hunter, Coach Hunter, Coach Hunter." When Iím wasnít helping the students, I was attempting to repair the launching devices or break up skirmishes. On this day, I had the following conversation with two students: " Coach Hunter, Joe kicked me!"

After calling Joe to my desk and asking him why he kicked Priscilla, even though I knew what the answer would be, Joe replied, "Well, I just barley touched her, and she kicked me first!"

Upon confronting Priscilla with the same question, she answered, "Well, I just barely touched him."

I then responded, "You two stop touching each other and get busy."

On this same day, a girl walked up to me while carefully carrying a box. I immediately knew that it was some sort of animal that was either injured or too young to survive on its own. She explained that her cat had brought a baby rabbit to her porch last night, and she wanted to know how to take care of it. I gave her a few suggestions and wished her good luck.

The most unusual event that I experienced that day occurred as I was returning to my classroom after lunch. There in the middle of the hall was a woman leading a horse. After reining in my bewilderment, I continued on to my classroom and began to prepare for the supercharged students whose hormones would be ballistic after seeing a horse in the hall. I attempted to prepare myself to be bombarded by questions concerning the horse in the hall.

For a teachers, May is the most appropriately named month because itís a month when teachers may or may not survive with their sanity intact.


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