Slice of Life (Day 18): Making a Mess

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write all through March, every day, about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

Yesterday, our normal Friday schedule was all messed up. We had a visit from the guidance counselor at the regional middle school, where nearly all of my sixth graders will go next year, and along with getting information, they filled out some paperwork. It’s a sign that the end of the year is on the horizon (well, in a few months). The other sign was that we gave out report cards for our second trimester yesterday, too.

We are now in the last trimester of the school year. How’d that happen?

Since the day was already broken up, we decided to allocate a stretch of time for students to begin making posters for the Quidditch teams. Each team (each sixth grade class) has to have five huge posters for our upcoming Quidditch Tournament — three run-through posters and two posters to hang on the wall to decorate the gym. So they did sketching in the morning and then some painting in the afternoon.

Making posters

Oh boy. These kids are messy with paint, particularly when you have 70 kids painting in the same space — the cafeteria. The teachers were wandering around with paper towels and wipes, reminding kids to clean up any drips and dribbles. At one point, a student hopped all the way across the cafeteria floor to me, asking for a wipe. He pointed to his shoe.

“I stepped on a glop of paint,” he chuckled, and indeed, the entire bottom of his show was now coated in black paint. Sigh. I handed him some wipes and watched him one-foot hop his way all the way across the cafeteria floor.

Clean-up was crazy and chaotic, and the end of the day was a mess of motion — moving posters to classrooms to dry, washing paint brushes, wiping the floor, handing out report cards, keeping track of everyone. I was happy for the quiet of the empty classroom.

Still, the posters are looking pretty darned good.

Making posters

Peace (it’s here),

St Paddy Day Tie

  1. Your school – you – really do some great hands on learning! I’m sure clean up was long and hard, but the memories and stories will be endless.

  2. The posters look amazing. I want to hear more about this Quidditch tournament. Loved the part about the boy with the black paint on his shoe. Hey, at least he noticed!

  3. I could see and hear it — all of it!! Thank you for inviting us into your “classroom.” I love how engaging and creative your teaching is –these are the things they will remember.
    Thank you

  4. Hey! Lookin’ spiffy today!
    I can’t be neat with paint either… creativity has to be messy, I guess! Or maybe just messy to be fun!

  5. I love seeing all the kids’ creative, fun work – you capture it so succinctly and well. Sounds like a wonderful place to be – so worth the mess!

  6. Messy, chaotic, crazy…but oh so fun! What could be more fun than making posters Quidditch?! Well, I guess the Quidditch tournament itself!

  7. I never agreed with anything I ever heard come out of Donald Rumsfeld’s mouth except the phrase-‘Democracy is messy.’ he could have been talking about creativity. Out of chaos we hope for order. Thanks for sharing and celebrating the creativity of kids Kevin.

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