Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wear Your "Smartie Pants!"

We've been back to school for a few weeks now, and are settling into a nice routine.  Along with settling, though, comes the Universal Screener for our students.  This includes testing every child in the building K-5 to get a snapshot of where they are and what we need to do to move them.  Testing can bring anxiety to even the youngest of students, so we tried to take the edge off by avoiding the "T" word...testing.  We called it what it was...a screener.  In addition, the administrative team and I brought in a pair of pants to school that kids could sign when they completed the screening.  We called them our "Smartie Pants."  
Our students were more than excited to grab a sharpie and sign a pair of pants!  After all 700 students had finished the screening and signed the pants, we wore them on Friday to celebrate all of our little "SMARTIES" in the building.  Some helpful hints:
1.) Be practical--I grabbed an OLD pair of white pants out of the "to Goodwill" bag so I didn't have to ruin anything new.  That little coffee stain didn't matter was hidden by the beautiful artwork of our students.
2.) Put a piece of cardboard through the legs.  Sharpies DO bleed, especially on white pants. 
3.) Think about what you'll wear them with. I wanted to be able to wear them again with a variety of different shirts. I had every sharpie color imaginable for my pants.  One of the principals used ONLY blue.  She wanted to wear them with her school shirt and keep true to our school colors.  
4.)  Despite popular belief, you CAN wash them.  Simply wash them on a gentle cycle (inside out and with nothing else) and in COLD water only.  I also used a mild and color protectant detergent. Hand washing in a sink would be a good idea, too. 
5.) Throw in some REAL SMARTIE candies for students after the testing is over.  

On the Friday I wore them, I was greeted with the biggest smiles and giggles.  "You have on your SMARTIE PANTS!"  "Did you see my name on your pants?"  "I see my name!!!"  "I signed my name in purple!"  "Wear them again tomorrow!" 

They can't wait to see me in them again when we have to do Round 2 and 3 of the Screener.  Does that mean they're actually looking forward to "testing?"  

Bananas for the little things that take stress away from kids,



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