Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Last Co-op Class

Everyone had a wonderful time at my final "Just for Fun" class until the end when we ran out of time and a few students needed to leave early. The prep work was very intensive. I spent a good part of the weekend creating cards with original art, wrapping gifts, washing tiny dishes, and preparing a miniature spread for the meal. I really wanted this last class to be the best of the bunch!

Thankfully, my class was right after lunch. I always pick that time slot for teaching in case I need to prepare the room, which oftentimes happens. It took me about a half hour to tape small water balloons on the back of each chair and around the room. I also placed a plastic yellow tablecloth on the table, wrote a festive message on the dry erase board and organized my things.

After the students arrived, I began with a Teeny Tiny show and tell. I brought out several little things from home – a miniature Snow White play set, wooden puzzle made from a stamp, ring with a picture inside and a nestle doll. A few items were passed around for the children to inspect more closely.

Next, we had a Teeny Tiny meal! I handed out bags with miniature plates, silverware, glasses, and placemates cut from napkins.

Here is the tray of food:

It included turkey, cheese, fruit, candy mints, miniature jaw breakers, tiny cookies, and sprinkles. For the drink we used a syringe to transfer applejuice from a bottle to a tiny glass pitcher. Then walked around the table and poured from the pitcher into each tiny glass. The thirsty children asked for several refills! (Each glass held maybe 2 to 4 drops of liquid...hee-hee!) The children cleaned up every last morsel of food except for the cream. Most of the mess was made from the cream, so if I do this again I would leave that part out.

Then we played a game in which the children took turns rolling dice. (Each child got two miniature dice.) When they got doubles, they were allowed to choose a present from the middle. To give everyone a chance at “the coolest” gifts, people are supposed to have the option of “stealing” one from the others. I did this game at a shower several years ago, and it was a great hit. It was fun seeing which gifts they "fought" over. Less desirable presents can be “disguised” in nicer wrapping. Rocks can be added to fool the guests into thinking that some presents are worth more since they are heavier. Well, the problem was that the children almost never got doubles! And we were running out of time! In the end, I had both ends of the table rolling at the same time and did not allow “stealing.” The interesting part is that the gift I had placed a folded up $5 bill in, which I would consider one of the best gifts, was the last to be chosen. So the “unfortunate” boy who got his doubles last actually got the best gift! LOL! That’s part of the beauty of the game. Never judge a book by its cover!

Every box had stickers. Most had items that would be seen in a miniature doll house. When the game was over, I handed a small envelope to each child. Inside was a card decorated with “art” from one of the previous class themes. I read them a poem I had made up in which every two lines was a hint for one of the themes. Whichever child had the matching card got to open his gift. This determined turn order. For example:

The first class very long ago,
I took the lids off and said go!

The second class was rather strange.
Your teacher’s face had oddly changed!

These stanzas refer to the Puzzle Race game from the first class and the mustache I wore at the second class. The first had a corresponding card with puzzle pieces glued to it while the second had fake ants, which I had handed out at the “Things Are Not As They Seem” class.

My favorite card was from the “Silly Putty” theme. Back when I did the class we had noticed that the color changing putty stuck to paper, which was annoying at the time. I traded with those students so they could have a type that wouldn’t do that. Thus I ended up with keeping the color changing putty. When making the cards, I thought, “Hey! It sticks to paper, so maybe I can decorate one with it!” I smeared on a blob of the orange/yellow and added a small amount of the purple/pink for two eyes and a mouth. Greg covered it with plastic wrap. I was very pleased with the end result: a little color changing piece of artwork. Notice in the picture below where I pressed my finger there is a yellow circle. I may have invented a new way of turning silly putty into art!

On the back of each card was a short letter from me thanking the students for being such a great class. I also handed out plastic baseball sized cards with pieces that could be punched out to create an animal. In the end they got to take home a small balloon, two tiny dice, the contents of their present, the card with artwork/letter, and the plastic animal cards.

If I could do the class again I would leave out the cream, use a different kind of cheese (The velveeta pieces melted together on the way over in the car...cheddar might hold up better.) and find a way to shorten the game. Other than that, it was lots of fun!


Karla Cook @ Roads to Everywhere said...

You are just so creative! And enthusiastic! I admire that about you!