Harmless prank or cruel torture? Ask my fourth graders to decide!
About mid-morning I announced to my students we would be taking a "thinking test". This is a common procedure for reading comprehension practice, but today was a little different. I asked the kids to put their hands on their heads (the signal for full attention) and listen closely as I informed them this was "a special test to measure their memory capacity". A little speech on the principal's endorsement of this very important assessment that comprised 30% of the grade on the report card they were receiving today, and even the most nonchalant looked terrified.
As I distributed the specially comprised test with the most obscure memory tasks I could conjure, the faces of 15 fourth graders began to register varying degrees of shock. I could see plans of fun weekends fading away in light of serious groundings for the grade they could already foresee. For the three who actually read the directions, the ten minutes were glorious fun as they studied the faces of their less conscientious classmates. After ten minutes came the big reveal... April Fools!
It might have been a wicked trick, but it was fabulous fun! :)