Monday, April 11, 2016


With exactly 20 days left in the April writing challenge and 20 days required to win a prize, I casually pulled out a big gun today. As my students checked their reading logs and reviewed for the word parts quiz I circulated through the room flicking my wrist to deploy and retrieve my blue Duncan butterfly. Here and there I let it sleep at the end of its string before calling it into the safety of my palm; a couple of times I flipped it around the world, and once or twice I even tried to walk the dog. For a brief moment I was back in sixth grade myself: it was 1973 and, just like all the other kids,  I had a classic yellow and red butterfly threaded around my finger.

"You have a yo-yo?" my students exclaimed.

"Oh yeah," I shrugged. "Don't you?"

"No!" they answered, followed by a chorus of Can I try it?

"You can if you win one in the writing challenge!" I said. "Let me remind you how it works..."

It's nice to know that I did actually learn something valuable in sixth grade! I wish the same for my students.

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