Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 74- Princess Project and "Charles"

Around this time last year, I was coveting one-shoulder dresses.  It turns out that since then, I actually finally got myself one.  I wore it to a wedding this past summer, received a few compliments, and found myself pleased with the whole thing. 

Fast forward to the present.

While trying to find some kind of way to give another girl a special moment in a special dress, I stumbled upon Princess Project.

http://princessproject.org/

This organization collects gently used formal dresses and distributes them to girls who cannot otherwise afford to go to prom.  I've heard of places like this before, and I absolutely love the idea in so many ways.  First, while going to prom is not a must do kind of thing, it can be a huge deal for a teenage girl.  Being left out seems as if it is a big deal at the time too.  I adore the idea of helping girls to have their "princess" moments where they can feel special in pretty dresses and be a part of it all.  It appeals to the Cinderella loving side of me for sure.

I also think it's a smart kind of recycling idea.  It's crazy how much girls spend on their dresses these days.  It's nice to see that they have an opportunity to pass these dresses on to brighten the lives of other young girls.  What a positive message to put out there!  Instead once-worn-money hanging in closets, these dresses can continue to provide special moments as they are passed from owner to owner.

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The story my classes read today was a total hit.  This pleases me.  Mucho.

"Charles" is a short story by Shirley Jackson about a boy named Laurie (yes, a boy).  He comes home from kindergarten every day and tells his parents all about the mischief Charles, another student in his class, causes at school.  Charles does all kinds of terrible things, from getting another girl in class to say bad words to kicking the teacher to yelling loudly to disrespecting guests in his classroom.  From all of the stories Laurie is delighted to share, it becomes quite clear that Charles is a bad, bad boy.

There are clues and examples dropped throughout the story about Laurie's own misbehavior.  He demonstrates this through the way he acts and the way he treats his parents on many occasions.  A few students in each class picked up on them, but the rest of them did not realize until the last line of the story that Laurie and Charles were actually the same person!! 

It was so much fun for me to be the teacher today.  I made sure to make it up to the front of the room by the end of the story each hour so that I could watch the changes on each student's face as he or she realized the truth.  It was just as fun in 7th hour as it had been in 1st.  The kids actually enjoyed it so much that they were talking about it outside of my classroom.  Success! 

I also created an assignment to go along with the story and with some of the skills we have been working on, and I was really hoping that my students would play along and have fun with it.  They each had to write about their own "Charles", and I gave them an opportunity to produce some artwork to go along with it.  Again, success!  I was thrilled... floored, even... to have students approach me outside of class to share what they were working on and to tell me they were enjoying their work.  I'm often just hoping that the response I get will live up to my expectations.  Some days I'm even just hoping that they stay awake and participate.  To have my students enjoy my lesson and assignment even more than I had hoped for, that's just divine.

Thank you, "Charles", you made my day. 

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