Slice of Life: Dry Ice, baby!

Slice of Life(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)

I am so proud of my class.

This week, they did the difficult task of choosing a name for our Quidditch team (We play a version of Quidditch at our school in which all sixth grades compete against each other on a Tournament Day. Here is a video tutorial of our game.). This process is often difficult, as some sections of the class try to unite against others, and instead of an activity that pulls us together, it divides us apart.

And, to be honest, the mix in my class this year is one of the most challenging that I have in a long time, so I worried about it.  A lot. I also spent extra time talking about the values of community — of coming together even when you don’t quite agree, of being respectful of all the voices in the room, and of the semi-democratic process of voting and living with the final tally.

They were stars.

Respectful of each other, avoiding the comments that can undermine the class, and after brainstorming a list of about 30 names (most of which are inspired by our team color of Blue, so water and ice and cold often make their way into the mix), they were all excited when we finally arrived at a name: Dry Ice.

We then had a long discussion about a team logo for Dry Ice, and they did some sketch work on some designs. The first one ran into problems. It featured a skull and crossbones. I took it to our vice principal, who wasn’t too happy (mainly because all of the little kids in our school will make posters for the different teams).

I went back and explained where things stood, and then, as  a class, we agreed that a flying snitch might be better, and they got to work again. So, the final design is the name Dry Ice spelled out in ice cubes, with steam rising and a snitch floating in the mist. I like it, but most of all, I am proud of our class for going through the process.

Not all learning is done from a book.

Peace (in the ice),

  1. Here is my fourth try to comment. I loved your piece. I wanted to be in your room while it was all taking place. The illustration was great but I could already see it in my mind.

  2. I remember last year and the brouhaha over the name. Sounds like this year’s was a winner–perfecct. Dry Ice. And thanks, from a community college teacher, for your extra effort on building community. It pays off when they get to my class and I have them break into groups and teach each other. Your hard work (via the karma of the universe) makes my life easier.


  3. Thank goodness not all learning is garnered from books! There’s so much more out there in the world.

    I like the logo they created for themselves, as well as the process they used to come upon their name, Dry Ice.

  4. This sounds like a great activity. Some of the best lessons don’t come from curriculum at all. Love the illustration!

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