Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Secret School

Our book this month for our FIAR group was The Secret School by Avi.

The book is about a one-room school that loses its teacher near the end of the school year. When she isn't to be replaced, the students will lose credit for that year's studies. That is unacceptable to the students, who don't want to repeat the whole year. They devise and implement a plan to keep their school open for the rest of the year, making one of the eighth-graders the teacher.

At our planning meeting, one of the moms had the brilliant idea that we should step back and let the kids plan the day and be the teachers. The kids were surprisingly (to me, anyhow) enthusiastic to take on the project.

Phone calls and email messages went back and forth. They had great ideas and came up with a firm plan.

My friend Lisa had a teacher's desk all set up when we arrived. With the kids in charge, I think we started more promptly than we ever have! They started the day by singing Amazing Grace, just like the students in the book.
The kids all shared mottos to live by that they had chosen ahead of time. Then they each shared a funny pet story.

One of their ideas was to play Jeopardy. Each family made up questions, based on the book. The kids divided into two teams to play, sitting out the questions their family had submitted.

They picked something to teach to everyone else. Our friend Mary taught them how to draw a cat.

Molly taught them The Lord's Prayer in sign language. Julianne can't seem to get past her tendency to mirror the instructor.

My girls took their bow making supplies and taught everyone how to make bows. They were teaching my friend and me on New Year's Eve and I found them much more difficult than I expected. The kids didn't seem to have any trouble getting beautiful bows, though.
There was a vast body of knowledge present yesterday. They had a Highland Dance instructor, they learned about crystal radios and Model Ts, they discovered what the Latin on the back of a dollar bill means, and they were taught how to fry an egg.
It was a full, fun-filled day, as always. The kids impressed me with all they planned and how well they executed their plans. I think it was one of the most memorable FIAR days yet.
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  1. That sounds AWESOME! I'm glad the day was such a success!!! I love you guys!

  2. It sounds like they planned a great day!


  3. How fun this sounds!! I don't even know how to fry an egg!!!

    Come to my site I have a give a way!!

    Have the girls choose too!!!

  4. That sounds like an awesome day!

    I like your FIAR days - keep sharing them!


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me!