You may have thought I forgot about my chronicles as a sixth grader – Not to worry, I have not. Though I will admit I sort of lost steam after writing about gym class. For those of you who were desperately waiting to hear what happened after gym class, I apologize. For those of you who forgot that I was even writing about this or wonder what the heck I’m talking about, you can read the first 4 installments of my experience at the following links:
After gym class, we went to Math class. The first task in math class was to complete the “bell work”, which that day consisted of solving a few simple math problems on the board using the order of operations. I breathed a sigh of relief because this is one of the math concepts which has actually stuck with me after all the years I spent out of school. I breezed through the questions and waited patiently for the class to begin. We corrected the bellwork in class (and yes, I got them all correct) and then the teacher passed out a sheet of paper containing my mathematical nemesis: THE TIMED TEST. I have always hated timed tests. The thought of the impending deadline hanging over my head has always made it more difficult for me to concentrate on the problems, no matter how simple they are (in this case, multiplication of single-digit numbers). However, in my years of experience I finally learned the secret to a timed test – if you don’t know it immediately, skip it and come back to it later if you have time. There’s no point in wasting precious seconds trying to work out the problem when you could have completed 6 others instead. So I sat down, pencil in hand, and flew through the 60 questions as quickly as I could, skipping the ones I didn’t know immediately. When time ran out, I was able to see a pattern which taught my something new about myself – I do not know my 8’s time table. Every single question I had skipped (except for one) was 8 times something. I never realized that I have trouble with 8’s but I obviously did not spend enough time on that chapter in elementary school. Even my usual go-to tutor, Schoolhouse Rock, is no help in this department because that Figure 8 song is so boring I always skipped it on the DVD, even when I watched with the kids.
The next thing we did in math was a game called “Snowball”. Everyone was assigned an expression or equation, and we were told to write them on our papers in big letters. Then we crumpled our papers into “snowballs” and had a snowball fight. When the teacher said “STOP’, then you had to pick up the nearest snowball, unroll it, and find someone who had the matching equation or expression. For example, if you had “5y = 20”, then you had to find someone who had “y = 4” on their paper. This was outrageously fun. Even the kids seemed to enjoy it. And when I told Adele after school that we had played snowball in math, she said “Awwwww….I love snowball”.
After snowball, we took a break for lunch. I’m not even going to bother describing the food because it was bad enough that I had to experience it once, let alone relive it for all of you.
After math class, I had science. In science they were wrapping up a unit on metric measurement. Since there were parents in the class, the teacher decided to do review that day – we were split into groups of four, with one parent in each group, and told we were going to play Jeopardy. My heart did a little happy dance at these words. Finally, a game where I could show my skills! The kids in my group had no idea how lucky they were. I knew every single answer, even the Double Jeopardy question. We swept the game; everyone in the class got candy, but my kids got the glory because they were in the only team that didn’t get any questions wrong. On the way out of class, I told the teacher “Oh, by the way, I have a Bachelor of Science degree” :p
After science was Family and Consumer Science (or FACS, as the kids call it), which was pretty uneventful. We went around the classroom and introduced ourselves, and the teacher had us all tell the class about our favorite family holiday tradition. Mine is the day each year when we buy a new video game all take the day off to play it together as a family. After this, most of the kids said they wanted to come and live in our family. For the rest of the class we did a scavenger hunt to gather all the materials the kids needed for the sewing unit they would begin the next day. I felt it was a bit unfair because most of the parents were in a group with three other kids, but I only had two – and one of them was a sweet kid but unfortunately could not read or speak English very well. Obviously we did not win, but we still had fun. After FACS, the kids shuffled off to their homerooms and the parents went to the lunchroom to eat cookies and muffins, drink coffee, and tell the principal how our day went.
And that’s the end of my story. All in all, it was not nearly as terrible as I though it was going to be, but I am glad I don’t ever have to do it again.