Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Democracy in Action?

My kids come to school in all different ways - car, bus, walking.  Some of them ride their bikes and some of them ride their skateboards or RipSticks.  The problem is that they come down to the after school program with their method of transportation in hand and think it's a toy they and their friends can play on.  We're big on safety in my program - I don't even let my kids do cartwheels or hang upside down on the monkey bars, so I definitely have a problem with kids riding on moving things.  I've told them over and over that they can't do it, and I went so far yesterday and today as to actually take their boards away from them until they leave to go home.

Today, the kids decided to take action.  They consulted the Preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (cleverly located in their school agendas) and they all got together and signed a petition asking me to let them play with their stuff.  They were respectful about it at first, and we talked about how these rules apply to what the Government can and can't take away from you versus what the school or Ms. Wendy can and can't take away.  I even used the example that we have the right to bear arms, but that doesn't mean we can bring guns to school.  The were a little insistent that they had rights, but I had to shut them down with a firm, "No."  I was proud of them for trying to get involved and get the rules changed in a respectful way instead of just complaining and whining, but I couldn't capitulate.

Speaking of the government, I've been trying to decide the best way to handle a "Mock Election" lesson.  I think I'm going to do like we did when I was in 2nd grade (The year Clinton was elected, go ahead and do that math) and have the election be on books/authors.  Each grade was given a choice of 3 authors, and the classes campaigned for these authors and then voted on election day.  I remember my class was in charge of campaigning for Marc Brown, but I went against my 'party' and voted for Dr. Seuss.

Problem is, I don't have a classroom, so I have no place to hang up campaign posters.  I have only one class of 22 kids, not 3 or even 6 classes so as to get a wide spread of votes.  Some of my kids are advanced enough to get into Harry Potter, while some still prefer picture books.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

What are you going to do in your class for election day?


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