I’ve never been big on giving my kids stuff because, well, love don’t cost a thing. Relationships, interaction, and communication is what makes magic, not baskets of tiskets and taskets. I have held onto this philisophy over the years but this year I pulled an Elsa and let go.
After jumping on the “love languages” bandwagon late I realized that some people (big and small) need little gifts. While they don’t have to be expensive and alllll the other non tangible things need to be present as well, trinkets and trunkets and all the clunky lunkets aren’t always so bad.
Especially with this class.
I have discovered that many of my kids love to collect things. Whether it’s a Starburst, bracelet, or plastic gem, they are all about that life.
As such, I am too.
Right now, it’s what I call “review season,” that time between quarters in the school year where no new standards are introduced and we are all simply waiting for Testing Day.
Waiting can be dangerous. Review can be more so. If you aren’t careful you can packet the kids to death. Early in my career, I did.
Then, I realized school is an experience, not a packet, and I changed the way we did review.
Our most recent math experience involved a Fortnite math game in groups. Students collaborated to solve problems, earn pinatas, do the floss, and they had a blast The prize was an entire bag of suckers. Winner take all.
For 8 year olds who like to get stuff, this was a big deal. Fortnite alone made them mostly in, but adding an entire bag of candy (plus competition) ensured they were all in. All the way.
We played in chunks for about 20-30 minutes at a time. Finally by day 3 we were on the last question and a winner was derermined.
I was prepared for a “graceful winner” and “no sore loser” conversation. It turns out I didn’t need to open my mouth.
Not only did they win and lose like champs, they also showed me exactly who they are as people.
The group of four kids chose not to take home a mountain of candy each (I wouldn’t blame them if they did). No. Instead, they shared with the rest of the class.
Be still my heart.