As we finished math today, the fire alarms went off. We live in Indiana… It’s snowin and 25 degrees. I never got an email warning this was a drill so there was no way we could run to the coat closet and get our coats. We just had to leave.
My students were wearing tshirts, shorts, dresses, and no jackets. I had students turning blue. I was so cold I could barely speak and I am double to nearly triple what some of my students weigh. They were absolutely freezing. Two of them were crying because of the cold.
Eventually, we made our way from our school past the high school, and to the neighboring building. I had my kids hop around, rub their ears, and wiggle their fingers to try to warm up. We had them all sit down in the hallway because the rooms in that building were full.
My kids were in nearly full out panic! They had wide eyes and a few tears. I knew I had to do something to get their minds off the idea that all of their stuff might be on fire. So, I reach into my book of camp counselor tricks and pull out…
Invisible roller coaster!
I got them all hyped up for this by asking them if they had ever ridden a silent invisible roller coaster? I wanted them to quite down so I added in silent. Also we were inside and I did not want them to scream indoors.
So I stood in front of them, put down the invisible seat belts, and climbed the big hill. Here I am swinging my arms through the air like a maniac. When we finished the ride, I looked down the hall beside me. Two teachers in older grades were looking down the hall at me like I had lost my gosh darn mind. The sixth grade students were looking at me like they also thought I was crazy but they might want to try it…
The teacher beside me asked, “what are you doing?”
I simply said, “invisible silent roller coaster,” stepped sideways in front of her class, and asked them if they had ever ridden a silent invisible roller coaster. They looked confused so I started doing it all again.
The other teacher joined in and sixth grade rode the invisible silent roller coaster.
I may have looked like a looney toon but my kids got quiet and calmed down so… WORTH IT!
It also made a really good story to tell at dinner tonight with Mrs. K and Mrs. H. (the aid from my student teaching classroom). I feel pretty good about what I did today. It may not have been a perfect day but at least I felt a tiny bit good about it.