Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Favorite Day of Teaching...Ever!

*For your blogging enjoyment, please read this post in its entirety in your best British Accent :)

I just finished the best day of my teaching year.  I loved every second of it.

Here's why:

Yesterday in Social Studies we learned about the 13 colonies, King George, and all that taxing.  We acted out the Boston Tea Party which my kids have since begged me to do again!  They really enjoyed getting to "dump" a student pretending to be barrels of tea into the harbor.  Their sense of humor cracks me up!

Today, when my kids came into the classroom I had a few treats in store.  I made a crown.  Divided a bag of M&Ms into zip lock baggies and labeled each bag with a colony name.  I left these items on my shelf next to the carpet.  My very observant students noticed these at once, even before I was finished greeting everyone at the door.  I waited to tell them what was happening until our family meeting time.

I explained it like this (in my best English Accent, of course!) as I put on my made five minutes before the students came to class out of the materials I found in the scrap paper box unique, homemade crown:

I'm making my best "English" face.....

"Class, today I am Queen and you are a colonist.  These M&M's are yours to keep.  Now let's start learning.  Since I am a nice queen and I have let you sit on your carpet spot, I need you to pay me 1 M&M as a tax."


Now, this is the first year I have used M&M's instead of paper money.  I got the inspiration from a great blogger, Amanda over at Collaboration Cuties.

Collaboration Cuties

Click here to read her post.

This was also the first year I decided to talk in an English Accent All.Day.Long!  It was too fun!  By the end of the day, I had some of my firsties talking along with me!

I could tell my students felt what it was like because of the M&Ms.  You can imagine how painful it was for a seven year old to give away an tiny piece of chocolate.

As the day progressed, I added lots more taxes.

We paid taxes for sitting at our desks.... 

 using our math manipulatives.....

using a toy at recess.....

eating our lunches.........

participating in PE......

trying different flavors of tea.....

My students were eating.this.up
Delaware spilled his tax money on the floor and had to throw most of it away before 9am.  He ran out of taxes WAY too early in the day.  Instead of missing out, my students generously gave him their M&Ms so that he could participate. I didn't even have to suggest it.  I had students jumping at the chance to help him pay each time.  It melted my heart.  So sweet, this group.

Every time I forgot to use my English Accent, they would ask about it. 

They were trying to guess the next thing I would tax.  

And most importantly, they were scheming against me to get their tax back!

I saw so many crossed arms and frowns.  

But it was all good because my kids got "it" and enjoyed the learning process.
(And I gave my students back M&M's to eat at the end of the day!)

After we had enjoyed the M&Ms and Tea, we discussed the day as a class.  I asked the students what they would have done if they were really living back then.  Would you throw the tea in the sea?  Or come up with a new idea.  We wrote about our own ideas.  The ideas that first graders come up with are so stinkin hilarious! One student said they would throw the tea on the Queen (that's me)!

There were lots of laughs today.....especially when my accent got out of whack!

In the beginning of the day, I felt like this:

puppies and rainbows!

After my Stellar Math Lesson, I looked like this:

When I decided to only tax the students who brought a lunchbox because I was getting a school lunch and didn't want to pay a tax, I beaming at my brilliance.

This is me walking into the cafeteria:

By 2 O'Clock, their chatting revolting had gotten to me.  
It was beginning to show:

I took this picture of myself after carpool:


Have you ever gone *ALL OUT* for a lesson?  I'd love to hear all about it!


  1. I love this! What a great way to be "real" with your students. Kudos.

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  2. I'm so glad that the M&Ms worked!! There's just something about taking the candy away that makes it real!!

    Collaboration Cuties

  3. You crack me up!!!! I love it! And I bet you heard about the lesson from Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties- when I taught at their school, we did something similar and it was a hoot! It seems like I remember them blogging about it. :)
    ideas by jivey

    1. Yes! You are so right. I have updated my post with a shout out to her! Thanks for the help!

  4. I seriously LOVED reading this post. I don't even teach this concept to my kindergartners, but this absolutely made me want to. What fabulous fun! Aren't Amanda and Stacia the best? I love those two! I can just picture all the whacked out British accents I would hear in my room haha!