Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rubber Bands

It started last week. A few of my more mischievous students began asking me for rubber bands. They insisted they were to secure their loose colored pencils so I believed them. Then I began noticing more and more students with rubber bands. But they were not playing with them during class so I disregarded it. Then early this week during recess some of the students stayed in the classroom. They had split into two groups and were hiding on opposite sides of the room behind chairs and using the rubber bands to fling little pieces of folded paper at each other. Not one to enjoy raining on their parade, I told them to stop purely for safety reasons.

Now we come to Thursday. While writing on the white board during science I saw in the reflection that a student was throwing something. Of course, I couldn’t see which student it was but I had my suspicions. As we moved onto English while I was correcting a student’s work at my desk I saw another student use a rubber band to fling a piece of folded paper.

I stopped the class and asked the students to give me all their rubber bands. I was completely shocked when no one argued and they all willingly gave me the rubber bands. I was even more shocked when each of the guilty students started handing me not one, but a whole collection of rubber bands. Then I told the students to hand in their supply of folded papers. This is when things got interesting (for me, probably not for you). Students had entire pencil cases full of these ridiculous papers. Mind you, throughout this entire process I wasn’t mad. Quite the opposite. I thought it was amusing, probably not the right attitude. But it was hard to be mad because the students were not fighting me when I asked them to turn in the supplies. When I went to return the rubber bands to the supply closet, I took out a bag holding hundreds of rubber bands. Once the students saw how many rubber bands I had in the closet, some of them got up and swarmed me with that zombie look in their eyes, while chanting “rubber bands!” Really the whole thing was quite amusing.

On Friday students were asked to write a haiku. One of the guilty students from the day before came up to me to show me what he had written. I committed it to memory with the intention of posting it here.

Rubber Bands

I love rubber bands

Rubber bands are the most fun

We use them to play

I took home some of the confiscated paper,
just so I could take a picture and post it on here for you fine people.


  1. Well, I'm glad you confiscated the papers and took the time to write about this. It was, to use your word, quite amusing! I think you handled this in a perfect way - particularly since the kids were so open and didn't give you a rough time about it. Good job Poochie!

  2. oops, I meant PRECIOUS Poochie! Joe just corrected me in the proper way of addressing you.

  3. First thing I thought of when I read your blog was Rubberband Man by the Spinners:

    Check out the styles and, about 3min in, the really cool, HUGE, rubber bands, and what they do with them.

    Second thing I thought of was what a great time I had as a kid doing exactly what they were doing - cut to the classic Christmas movie 'A Christmas Story' - quote 'you'll shoot your eye out' (poor Ralphie).

    Lastly, but most importantly, I thought of how difficult it must have been not to bust out laughing - not just at the rubber band wars occurring behind your back but at the marvelous colors of the ammunition.

    A wonderful blog post that illustrates, to me, how teaching can have some extra special moments.

  4. Well think at least they were not trying to hit you in the back of the head while you were writing at the board.

  5. David, Miss Maggie's kids might be playful and appreciate colorful ammunition but there has been no indication, of which I am aware of, that they have a scholastic death wish. :)