I am happy to be participating in Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life March Challenge. I will be posting every day in March. My students are also participating and you can read their slices on the Classroom Challenge page.
Tonight was one of those rare nights when all three of us were home for dinner at the same time. I miss the days when all 5 of us sat down at the table every night. As the kids got older and went away to college, sitting together at the table as a family became a rare event. So, we took advantage of the opportunity tonight.
When the kids were little, we played the High/Low game. We'd share our high and low for the day. It was a great way to connect with each other and keep up with what was going on in the kids' lives. We haven't played in a long time.
"What's your high/low, Annie?" my husband spoke up as there was a lull in our conversation tonight. She shared her stories and then it was my turn. I knew immediately which story I was going to tell.
My students are finishing up their Google 20% projects this week so they can share them on Friday. I wanted to take pictures, but I never got a chance as I flitted among kids creating a myriad of presentations. It was a crazy, busy afternoon.
As I was helping another student, C asked me if she could go to one of the tutor rooms so she could record her voice. A few minutes later, G asked me if he could go to a quiet room to practice his presentation. I gave both of them permission, assuming that they'd go to different rooms. Imagine my surprise when I walked down the tutor hallway to check on them and heard loud guffaws coming from one of the rooms.
Who could that be? I turned the corner and peeked through the window to see C and G dancing around the room. Hmmm...it did not look like either one was using their quiet time very productively. I swung the door opened and said in my "mom voice," "What is going on in here?"
"Rapping? What does rapping have to do with your presentations?"
Usually, I'm a little more patient and take time to let kids explain a questionable situation, but today, I was focused on the lack of time we had left and all the work there was to do. Plus, I was a little perplexed. C's project was a slide show depicting Spanish words and their translations with illustrations. G's presentation was about bull riding and roping a steer. I really wasn't sure where rapping was coming into the picture.
"No, wait, Mrs. Johnson. It's really cool. Can we show you?"
Well, now, I was intrigued. "Ok."
Let me tell you, C, whose family is from Jamaica, has rapping down. She started crossing her arms across her body and bending her knees to the rhythm she was creating with her mouth. As her body swayed to the melodic rhythm, she started ad libbing this great rap about what you do if you are going to rope a steer. Apparently, G had filled her in on the finer points of being in a rodeo. Next thing I know, G, who is a 10 year-old cowboy from central Ohio, joined in. He began swinging his arms as if he were ready to throw his lasso, keeping with C's beat.
Oh my gosh, they were good! As I smiled, they said in unison, "Can we video it?"
What was I going to say? A rapping cowboy? Of course they could video record it. With a squeal of delight, they ran to the classroom to grab a flip camera and a friend to film them.
The movie is still in the editing process, but I'll be sure to share it when it's done. It really is priceless.
I was reminded of an important lesson today. Things aren't always as they seem. What I had assumed was goofing around, was two students who given free reign, came up with something very creative. I would never in my imagination think of putting a rap to a presentation about roping a steer, but they did, and it works. It was definitely the highlight of my day.