Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mission: Impossible?

Ever since I was a kid and read Harriet the Spy, I have been fascinated by the undercover spy/detective life. I actually thought I was going to be a spy for a brief stint in the fifth grade. I had a "spy kit" (aka my dad's old leather briefcase) filled with useful tools-- a magnifying glass taken from a rarely-used science kit I received as a gift for some birthday, binoculars, sunglasses (you never know when you need to be incognito), a hand mirror for subtly checking out things going on behind you and around corners, and of course, a notebook. It would have been awesome if I had the trench coat, too.

Here are some "Spy Chic" items I would recommend for any budding investigator--or anyone who wants to look cute-- and slightly suspicious!

From left to right: Calvin Klein / Banana Republic/ Burberry

From left to right: Design Darling / Kate Spade / Ashley Brooke Designs

From left to right: Ray-Ban/ ModCloth/ Toms

There were many places where I did my "detective work". Usually, it was spying on my older sister and her friends. Sometimes, I would go to the playground by my house and observe the kids in my neighborhood. My favorite spying was done at my dad's office building. I would stealthily move around the corridors, hold my hand mirror behind doors, and "spy" on unsuspecting lawyers-- who were usually just on the phone talking about something work-related that I didn't understand or typing on computers. 

Recently, I have become frustrated with how my class has been handling our transitions. Maybe it's just a middle of the year slump kind of thing, but I still believe that anything can be improved! I decided that I needed to get them jazzed about wanting to make smooth, quick transitions. My first instinct has proven to be a winner!

I framed it by asking the kids what they think a "mission" is. A lot of them said it was something that a spy needs to accomplish to save someone or find something. I asked the class what they think we need to accomplish during a transition. They all said that to accomplish a transition, they need to be quick, quiet, and get to where they need to be in a good amount of time. With that in mind, I introduced...


When we need to do a quick transition, such as from the rug to table spots, or going from table spots to lining up for a special, I ding our little chime and put on theme music (right now it is obviously the Mission: Impossible theme, but I am assuming that we will get sick of that quickly, so I also have The Pink Panther theme and the James Bond theme in mind). They have the entirety of the song, which is a little over a minute, to get to where they need to be. They love it! They take it SUPER seriously!

If they complete a "Transition Mission", they get a marble in this "Mission: Accomplished" jar. Once the jar is filled, we get a party! The kids have already decided that they want their first party to be a "Spy Party", so I am definitely looking forward to planning some kind of fun detective scavenger hunt!

Enjoy your weekend!

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