I confess I like a good, tasteful prank or two… especially when it is for the purpose of motivating students! As Student Council sponsor, I was organizing a paper recycling drive where all 2nd period classes competed to bring in the most pounds of paper. To make things more interesting, my 7th grade students and I selected Mrs. Chesney’s 8th grade class to personally challenge in this competition. (Mrs. Chesney teaches Advanced Math for both grades and I teach Advanced English for both grades, so we share the same students. In essence, I was going up against my own 8th graders and she was coming up against her own 7th graders.)
To General Chesney’s 2nd period Algebra Class:
As you know, a competition is underway to see which 2nd period class can collect the most recyclable paper. Because you are seen as a worthy opponent, you have been selected to participate in a one-on-one challenge with General Dallas’s 2nd period class. As the rules of war dictate, you are given the option to surrender up front and not participate. However, be warned. Annihilation is imminent. Should you choose to accept this challenge, we request a response immediately. Please send a messenger to Room 101, but remember that is enemy territory. We cannot promise that he/she will be returned to your room.
Please have General Chesney sign below and return to Room 101 to accept the challenge. We look forward to demolishing you.
General Dallas and the Soldiers of Room 101
This was war, indeed. Sevies vs. Crazy Eights… English vs. Math… Me vs. Chesney
The following Tuesday, several of my Sevies stayed after school to pull our first prank. After succesfully (and quite sneakily) stealing a master key from a friend, we launched an attack of toilet paper on Chesney’s room. We braided, tied, knotted, and made bows out of toilet paper and arranged it nicely all over the room – providing space for class instruction to still take place. I will confess, we had several moments in the dark where we were hiding from other teachers in the hall… we didn’t want anyone blowing our cover! Then we posted a sign outside the door that said “THE SEVIES ARE GONNA FLUSH THE CRAZY 8’S!”
But, OH. MY. GOSH. I had NO IDEA to what level of artistry they would go just to prank me! I got to school and my room was an UNDERWATER haven with foam sea creatures and seaweed hanging all over my ceiling. (They used our pretty toilet paper, dyed it green and red, and that was the seaweed.) My desks were overturned with CAUTION tape and there was a pond in the middle of the room – and yes, a real live beta fish in a bowl in the center. They even brought the sounds of ocean waves and the room was covered with fishy paper cutouts and stickers. (I’m still finding them in places I didn’t know…) Anyway, I was SO IMPRESSED with the creativity of my students that I couldn’t tear it all down. We still have seaweed and stickers and the foam creatures up everywhere…