|The award awaiting my student on Monday Morning|
I would love to be The Queen.
I would like to think that Abba’s “Dancing Queen” was inspired by me. However, there are two reasons that I am most confident that it was not - I was barely a month old when it was first performed. Furthermore, and perhaps most significant, dancing is not my greatest strength. I love to dance, have some rhythm, but I am most confident I would not make the royal court of dancing.
I would like to be the future Queen of England. Prince William would have picked me over Catherine Middleton. However, once again there are two reasons that I was not selected – William and I did not attend Eton together; therefore, we had no chance of meeting when he was in his Future Queen selection years. Additionally, I am not sure that one who desires to be the inspiration of “Dancing Queen” is suitable to be The Queen of England. But given the chance, I would have traded my dancing shoes for the Crown Jewels … immediately.
Alas! My time has finally come … in the last 24 hours I have declared myself the “Queen of Boggle.” Now granted, I have not won my coveted crown, cape, scepter, and bragging rights yet … but I am a shoe in for the title. The final results will be revealed Tuesday, but as you can tell, I am remaining humble by only calling myself a champion until the coronation ceremony can occur.
A true Queen always gives credit where credit is due and in this case I must thank Elisabeth, author of this blog and stellar teacher of 3rd graders at Rhyne Elementary for this honor. As you well know, Elisabeth and her 3rd grade team (shout out to Erica and Lisa) work diligently to break all rules of traditional teaching. They seek and implement what is best and right for children. Two of their goals were to change their instructional practice of reading and writing…but do not worry they broke up the rules in math as well. One element of this was to enhance the general vocabulary of their students.
To do this, Elisabeth created a classroom Boggle Board for her students. I happened to be in her classroom the day the board went up. I do love a word game and one student in particular (see the picture of the student desk above) seemed to somehow challenge me to a contest. Now, maybe he really did not challenge me at all, but as I said before, I do love a word game, I absolutely love a challenge and I above all, I love to win. So in my mind, it was a personal challenge. Now granted … I realize that I entered a competition with third graders. But I was in to win. And I was just wise enough to know that if the principal was game these third graders would be as well. So the challenge was on. I copied down my 16 letters for the week and it was game on.
Elisabeth told her students they could use the dictionary to assist them in the process, after all, the goal is to expand their vocabulary and introduce them to words they did not know, but they could not create words less than 3 letters. I did attempt to level the playing field by originally not using words less than 5 letters and not using the dictionary. I never did use the dictionary, but when the kids told me they had over 200 hundred words (this extended beyond the form provided) I did have to result to three and four letter words to ensure my victory.
For a solid week, the kids and I bantered and counted words and even a time or two shared words as we worked towards a victory. The word count was due by the end of the day on Friday and by the looks of things when Elisabeth and I scanned over the sheets, I was a clear winner. But, as educators, we know that my win is temporary but the kids win forever. The kids win because they are working on building their vocabulary. They are able to look at the composition of one word and create more words using the concepts of rhyming, homophones (if the letters work) plurals and palindromes. More so, they are also able to simply learn new words. And somewhere along the way, if the kids and I make awesome learning memories together, we are both better for it.
For the remainder of the year, I look forward to entering competitions with other classes. Boggle fever is on the rise and I am thrilled to be a part of the inaugural team. Thanks Elisabeth for allowing me to learn with you and your students. The Queen of England has nothing compared to being the principal of Rhyne.
Can we have an “n” and a “d” in the challenge next week, please?
Isn't she awesome! My kids were in a frenzy knowing that they were competing against the PRINCIPAL! Tune it to next weeks boogle contest winner :)