Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Swirlberry With a Side of MEAP

Today 3rd graders entered into a new phase in their school life.  It was the first day of their very first MEAP test.  For those not familiar, it's the annual state test given in Michigan. Think multiple choice questions and bubble sheets.   For third graders they are tested on reading and math.  I watched the little kids as I do every day as they arrived outside the door, hanging up their coats, and chatting with one another.  As I figured, most had completely forgotten about today being the MEAP test.  That makes sense, because I hadn't said very much at all about the test to my class.  Keeping with my positive focus this year  I had rather nonchalantly told them we would be doing some testing this week and it was called the MEAP.

"What do I need to do to be ready for the test?" questioned one sweet, little teacher-pleaser yesterday as we got ready to leave.

"Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast," I told them smiling.

"Wow!  That's easy!  You mean we don't have any homework?" shouted one boy incredulously.

"Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast," I repeated. And then I smiled again for good measure.  Positive. 

So, imagine my joy this morning, when I noticed on the lunch menu that today was also Swirlberry Day!   This is the one day a month when a special little frozen treat called Swirlberry is offered to the students.  And students positively must have some!

Fat free
• Around 29 calories per ounce
• Has 4 live active cultures
• Probiotics
• Gluten free
• Kosher
• Generally well tolerated by the lactose intolerant
Now, I have absolutely nothing against frozen yogurt.  I don't usually pass up any frozen, ice-cream like concoction.  In fact, I normally buy it the day we have it for lunch.  But here is the issue with Swirlberry.  On these days, there is a protocol in place that would rival the Pentagon.  Students are called over the PA by grade level, at which point the line is monitored (by an adult with a walkie-talkie) to decide when it's safe to call the next class.  All buyers go through the line first, and then, and only then, are the students who brought their lunch but want to buy Swirlberry allowed to get in line to buy theirs.   Our school has 460-some students.  Imagine one of the most popular rides at Disney World.  The only thing missing is the ropes to section everyone off as they queue for yogurt.  It's a long wait, especially when your class is in music until noon and recess begins at 12:30.  Practically impossible.  Thank goodness I have plenty of other teachers with a positive attitude to help me pass the time.

So,  today the combination of two sessions of testing (one in the a.m. and one in the p.m.) + Swirlberry Day and I had a classroom that could not sit still.  As we headed out for a well deserved extra recess at the end of the day one student asked me excitedly, "Do we get to do that MEAT test thing again tomorrow?"

"Yes, you do!" I proclaimed.  And I chuckled to myself.  MEAT test... haha!  Just think of that acronym for a minute or two.

But, at least tomorrow, no Swirlberry.

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