The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.


Today was a day for celebrations in my classroom.

For one, we had two birthdays to celebrate: one for a girl whose birthday was today and the other for a boy whose birthday was roughly six months ago. (Because he has a summer birthday, his parents have him celebrate his half-birthday at school.) This week is going to be fairly full of birthday celebrations, as it turns out. In addition to today, we have birthdays on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Since the current tradition for classroom birthday celebrations is to bring in cupcakes or donuts, my students are going to be ingesting considerably more sugar than perhaps their parents would hope.

The other major reason for celebration was that the class finally filled our small vase with glass pebbles for the second time. The students earn pebbles for meeting class expectations throughout the morning, throughout the afternoon, for completing restroom breaks in under three minutes, and for receiving compliments from other teachers. We actually have two vases in the classroom. The small vase gets pebbles added to it each day for the above-mentioned reasons.

When that vase is full, the students earn a bonus Read, Write, Think! in the afternoon. After the small vase is full, we pour all of the pebbles into our second, larger vase. I measured out the glass pebbles specifically so that the small vase will be filled twice in order to fill the large one. So now that the large vase has been completely filled, we will have another, larger, celebration in the classroom. I have a few ideas about what this celebration will look like, but I haven’t locked on to any specific idea yet. I will make a decision tomorrow and act on it quickly (before the end of the week, for sure).

It was kind of crazy this afternoon, with donuts, Read, Write, Think!, and then cupcakes before recess. However, the students did fairly well today and I am looking forward to starting over with our glass pebbles!


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