March 12, 2013

Frozen Monkeys

Judging by their favorite thing to say to each other, I think the "F.M." stands for "Fear Me".  They are so strange.

Every year, my school holds a floor hockey tournament.  Each class is a team, and each class is responsible for coming up with a name, a poster, and the teacher picks captains to be in charge of the roster.

I look at this as a preview of what my parenting skills will be.  A few teachers (well, maybe most of them) did the posters for the kids.  Many of them looked quite professional and I can't be sure they didn't come from the UPS store printer.  A few teachers (possibly all) created the rosters themselves.  A few put themselves in charge of the team.  I didn't.  I told them who the captains would be, I printed the blank roster forms off of the computer, and I told them I'd cut the giant paper for the poster.

Then I completely forgot about cutting the paper..

My aide ended up cutting the 5 foot x 6 foot piece of paper you see up there and giving it to the kids.  About a dozen of the kids stayed in from recess for 3 days to design and color it.  As I sat there, munching on pretzels and Larabars (and reading during my lunch break, I could hear them holding elections over the team name.  Ballot voting was the democratic strategy they used.  They came up with "Frozen Monkeys" on their own.  They designed and colored the poster.  They managed to sort out their differences and learned to get along in the process.

The day before each game (we had four), I'd give the captains a list of who was eligible to play.  They worked on the rosters during lunch/recess and at home.

It's safe to say that I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with any of it.  I didn't even sort out differences they had mid-game.  If someone wasn't there to play, they replaced the kid with someone else.  I just watched them become little problem-solvers.

And you know what?  We were undefeated.  We won the 4th grade tournament.

I'm so proud of them.  They did it all on their own.  While it may not seem like much, this feels like my greatest accomplishment as their teacher this year.  To know when to back off is just as important as knowing when to step in, right?

A helicopter parent is something I'll probably never be.

When I typed out the title "Frozen Monkeys" for this post, I thought, "Hmmm...that sounds like a drink."  So I made this.

I really love the protein powder we have (Nitrean, vanilla), but I hear it's been discontinued.  If this smoothie is pre or post-workout, I add the protein powder, and then there's the added bonus of it tasting like a milkshake.  If it's just breakfast, I leave it out.  The Greek yogurt and peanut butter packs enough protein to fill me up for a bit.

Frozen Monkey
makes 2 small or 1 large drink

1 banana, frozen and peeled
1/2 cup milk
2 T. peanut butter
Greek yogurt (optional)
1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Mix the banana, milk, peanut butter in blender until it hits the consistency you prefer.  Add in the yogurt and protein powder and mix.  You can also add in a few ice cubes if you like it extra frosty.


  1. Go Monkeys!!

    Kudos on staying out of it. They must feel so proud of accomplishing all of that on their own...and knowing you believed they could!

  2. Congrats to the Frozen Monkeys! I love the idea of student-centered teaching and the kids feel so good about themselves when they've accomplished something themselves!

  3. I love that you let the kids take the reigns and that they won! I feel like there's an inspirational floor hockey version of Mighty Ducks in there somewhere.

  4. Kids need to create on their own! Good work and congrats to your championship team!

  5. I love that you let them do it all on their own. What's the benefit to doing it for them? That drink sounds great!

  6. I think what you did for them is amazing! You gave them the confidence to do it on their own. Congrats! :)

  7. That is so cool that they did basically everything by themselves! I'm a huge fan of the step-back approach with things like that. Kids don't always need rescuing! I hope that F.M. does stand for "Fear Me" instead of "Frozen Monkeys" because that is hilarious.

  8. I LOVE that your class won the tournament. How are students supposed to learn to be independent if we do everything for them!? I don't even do that in first grade!

  9. Congrats to the Frozen Monkeys!!! Good for you letting them do it all. They need that!

  10. So, you're moving to Rocklin, CA by August of 2014, right? So you can be Jordan's 4th grade teacher?????

  11. Yay team!! That's awesome that you let them do it themselves.


Comments make my day!