Teaching Without a Voice (Day 2)

Today was relatively painless. It was definitely a challenge to find a way to assert my authority without any range of tone or volume in my voice. I'm wondering is it possible to get a bell of some kind by tomorrow morning? Where does one even buy a bell? Then again if there's any time of year where it might be easier to find a bell, I guess this is it.

I had told my students we would have a Christmas (Holiday) Party on the condition that they earn it. I award "Hits" to tables based on being on task and attentive at the right times. I told them for each 25 hits a table earned, one section of the Christmas/Holiday tree I constructed out of paper would be filled in. If they filled in the whole tree they would get the party. Today was the last day they could earn it and they still had two sections of the tree unfilled.

The whole thing kind of illustrates the dilemma I've found myself in all year. I don't want to be a pushover. But did I really want to refuse the kids a little 'party' on a day when they'll probably be bouncing off the walls anyway? So, what did I do? First since today was a Wednesday I told them they only had to get to 15 hits instead of 25. On top of that, I kept giving them extra opportunities to earn hits. I don't feel like I gave in. But I do feel like if I had been tougher we wouldn't be having a party on Friday. It was a tough decision, but I guess I'd rather be a softy than a grinch.


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