You know those days where your lessons just don't go as planned? Something just doesn't work right- despite careful planning, excellent preparation, and careful curriculum alignment the kids just aren't with you?
Today was one of those days. Which would have been survivable but for the fact that the lesson partner-in-crime and I had planned used paint.
We'd delightfully planned to have the children use apple slices as stamps (we're studying apples, the life cycle, and fall so we've been investigating apples for the last week) to make patterns. Our kids have mastered AB patterns but we wanted another fun activity to gain more practice on ABC patterns. ABC meant 3 colors of paint for each table.
3 paper plates with paint.
3 chances for each table to knock a paper plate on the floor, drag their shirt sleeve through paint, or push a friend into the paint.
It was lovely.
The day started off rocky for PJ to begin with. He was off and on all day, occasionally making very poor decisions and occasionally doing an excellent job. This hot-and-cold always leaves us on edge- we're ready for the worst but trying to pretend like everything is absolutely fine before the dam bursts.
We were using our lunch break to prepare the lesson (partner in crime) and finish up IEP paperwork for tomorrow's many meetings (me). We had about 5 minutes left when suddenly PJ showed up in the door, having sprinted away from the class in the cafeteria. And he'd inspired another friend to join him.
From that minute on the afternoon went down hill. PJ and his friend spent the directions of the lesson ignoring us as much as they could, loudly distracting the other children, and generally not cooperating. I wasn't much of a help. We're in the midst of giving individual assessments to each child in both reading and math and I was trying to power through while partner-in-crime taught, both of us ignoring PJ and his friend. Somehow this led the rest of the class down the rabbit hole and by the time everyone was sitting at their tables with apple pieces and paint PJ was the only one doing his job. If you walked into our classroom at that moment you would have no idea the ruckus he'd been causing only minutes before.
Paint was everywhere. The kids who loved to get messy had their hands covered in paint while the kids who hate any speck of dust on them kept trying to wash their hands between each piece of the pattern. We'd tell them to wait but before we knew it they were sneaking tissues and water. Pixie was COVERED in paint, which she nicely shared with my pants. (We're still working on the ask before you hug rule)
Half the class was finished with their patterns and sitting on the rug playing with math manipulatives while other students waited in line for the sink and still more sat at their patterns and painted away. In the midst of responsive-classrooming a friend to not call their other friends stupid and dumb (trying to use my responsive-classroom language as much as possible when really I just wanted to run screaming from the room) I heard partner-in-crime say "put it in the trash can, trash can, trash can..." followed by squeals of glee/disgust from the group of kindergartners standing around her.
One little girl, in the midst of the excitement by the hand washers at the sink, had managed to lose her lunch everywhere. And not just a little bit either. It kept coming. all over the floor, filling one trash can and forcing us to grab another trash can.
The already wound-up paint covered children seemed to multiply as my partner-in-crime and I just looked at each other in horror. If we closed our eyes and wished really hard would it all go away?
I grabbed the poor puker (is there anything worse than throwing up in front of your classmates?) and led her and the trash can with the least amount of puke in it to the clinic and grabbed a custodian on the way. (Who didn't seem overly concerned with the fact it needed to be cleaned. I love our custodians but something must have gotten lost in translation. Me: puke, everywhere! please come, hurry! Him: A spill? ok, I come later.)
After finally getting him to understand the situation was serious and securing our sad, frightened vomiter in the clinic I met the class on the playground. We were totally infringing on another class' recess time but at that point we didn't care. We were away from the puke, gasping at the fresh air, and hoping no one minded the small red hand prints on the slide from the little ones who didn't ever get to the sink since it was blocked by puke.
As we stood there trying to laugh about it our instructional aid ran up to us with another one of our lovelies, who had managed to fall and bust open his lip.
Paint. Puke. Blood.
All in one day.
How is it only Tuesday?