Book Fairs

Book Fairs

For over 25 years, Scholastic Book Fairs have been delighting children, parents, teachers, principals and school librarians. They encourage a love of reading within a fun environment where a child can pick and choose his or her own books, indulging themselves into a love of mystery, history, scientific experiments and science fiction – and so much more. It brings the convenience of a bookstore right to the school. Let's take a look back at this traditional school activity. Continue reading...

Substitute Teachers

Substitute Teachers

Going to school always involved a certain amount of monotony. You had the same schedule each day, the same boring routine. But there was one particular instance when things were shaken up a bit, when you knew that your day would be decidedly different, for better or worse. It all started when you walked into class and noticed a less familiar face sitting at the teacher’s desk. This could only mean one thing – “We have a sub today!” Continue reading...

Staring Contests

Staring Contests

While many cultures frown upon direct eye contact, it's long been seen as a symbol of honesty, integrity, even dominance, in the western world. And, although children are generally taught that it's rude to stare, that hasn't stopped them from engaging in a time-honored childhood ritual known as the staring contest. Whether in a classroom, on a playground, or any other place children congregate, it takes neither strength nor wits, just pure concentration. Continue reading...

Hall Passes

Hall Passes

While perhaps not a rite of passage, it certainly offered the right of passage. The hall pass was a permission ship, a declaration of sorts that you had the right to pass through the halls of school – unescorted and with the teacher’s blessing. In its simplest form, it was a roundtrip ticket to the bathroom and worth milking for all it was worth. It gave you a few precious moments of independence to ponder the imponderables, like “So-and-so is really cute” and “I wish the bell would ring,” Continue reading...

Spitballs

Spitballs

You’re sitting in class, minding your own business, watching the teacher meticulously write the next algebra equation on the blackboard and feeling pretty good about yourself. That is, until you feel the sharp sting against the back of your neck. Is it an insect bite or have you been shot in the neck by a primitive Amazon warrior’s blowgun? You reach behind your head and feel wetness - but it isn’t blood. Rather it is a sample of one of your classmate’s saliva. You’ve just been pelted by a spitball (or spitwad, if you prefer.) Continue reading...

Emergency Drills

Emergency Drills

School safety is something that we as a society have always taken pretty seriously. And today, there are dangers that we never gave a second thought to in the simpler times of our youth. There were no metal detectors or armed guards or fences reminiscent of a penitentiary. But, that’s not to say that there still weren’t dangers to prepare for and that’s why we all endured numerous emergency drills each year – to ensure that we all knew exactly what to do in the event the unthinkable happened. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

Passing Notes

Passing Notes

Back in the day, long before there was text messaging, you had to – gasp! – actually write out notes and pass them to each other. No delete button. If you wrote it, it was out there for everyone to see: the person the note was intended for, all of his/her friends, and if you were particularly unlucky - the teacher. Let's take a look back at this childhood tradition. Continue reading...

Tempera Paint

Tempera Paint

Let’s face it - art can be a messy ordeal. And budding Picasso or not, mom wasn’t going to be too thrilled if those new school clothes were ruined in art class. Luckily, for teachers, custodians and parents everywhere, there was the magical medium of Tempera paint, ready to assist the future little Rembrandts paint vivid blue skies, majestic trees, and wild animals aplenty. Continue reading...

Playing Hooky

Playing-Hooky

It’s a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and the prospect of spending such a glorious day holed up in a classroom just doesn’t seem right. And so, you decide “make other arrangements.” That’s right, we’re talking about playing hooky, that time-honored childhood ritual of finding something better to do, alone or with friends, and desperately hoping not to get caught. Continue reading...