Tomorrow Linda Urban, author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect, is visiting our school. This means that tomorrow is crazy sock day. To remind my students why we are wearing crazy socks tomorrow, I did a read aloud of the part in the book about the socks. It mentions that the first time Zoe met her former best friend, Emily, was in P.E. during the square dancing unit in third grade.
So, it occurred to me to ask my students if they are still required to square dance in P.E. They answered with a resounding, “That is sooo elementary school!” I huffed that back in the day, I was required to square dance in
The book explains that Zoe and Emily became immediate friends when they chose each other as square dance partners and danced together in their socks. My memory confirms that the most important aspect of square dancing is finding a partner with minimal stress. You see, square dancing in P.E. was the sole reason I had to “go out” with Rob Struck. I agreed to “go out” with him (which we all know involved no actual going out of any sort) only for the duration of the square dance unit. When I blurted this out to my class of 8th graders, it led to further explanation that I really wanted to go out with Rob’s best friend, John, but John went to a different middle school than Rob and I. I knew John liked me ever since he ran away from my birthday party in 3rd grade because he got me a beach towel as a present and was embarrassed since it was a pool party and he discovered that I already had beach towels. That was when the adolescent girlish rambling really started to go full swing and I had to stop myself.
However, just when those 8th graders thought they had me off topic and rambling, I surprised them with a lesson on textual connections. In the book, Zoe gives Emily socks at her birthday party and they are not well received. Just like John thought the beach towel gift would not be well received.
That’s the best way to deal with 8th graders. Keep them on their crazy-socked toes.