Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bring Me a Present.

       In the 80's and 90's people began taking their children out of school for a week or more to go on a holiday. They could get great prices on tour packages and the travel agents didn't consider school attendance.

       I'll admit that this practice bothered me a bit. I resented kids being absent from class. Yes, parents asked for work ahead, which I didn't have ready. But parents were apologetic and I was understanding.

       One day one of the kids was talking about going away so I said, "You've got to bring me back a present." The kid was uneasy and didn't know what to say. So to ease the anxiety I quickly said , "Bring me back a newspaper." I got a funny look and the kid said "Sure!"

      Sure enough when the kid came back he proudly delivered my present

      Now it so happened that I did a newspaper unit with my students. We looked a newspapers and I had them find parts like "national news, humor. classified ads, editorials etc. Some days we were knee deep in paper. They were also given a choice of many different writing exercises. Then there was always the tour of a newspaper to see how the real thing was put together.

     So accidentally I knew what I was doing when I asked the kid for a newspaper.

     I asked the next few kids for a present. They'd bring the paper and we'd pull it apart to see how it was put together. The kid always got his time to tell about his newspaper or his trip.

     Then I got, "My Dad's going to Russia. Would you like a paper?" Sure!  I got a few Russian Pravda's. Now we couldn't do much with them. It was just fun to see one.

     So over the years I amassed a great collection of newspapers in the bottom of the closet.

      When I retired I hated to put them in recycling.

     I'm not sure who had more fun with this or learned the most. "Me or the kids!

      It was one of those offhand moments where it turned out profitable.


My gr sevens from a long time ago.

34 comments:

  1. Your comment to the vacation goer turned out to be very useful. I still remember doing a newspaper unit as a child. I'm pretty sure it was only once and we only had our town's little newspaper to use.

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    1. I had a cut and paste assignment where they had to find certain parts of a newspaper.

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  2. Great post and photo Red!

    hugs from Norway

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    1. Thankyou! Hugs back to NorwAY!

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  3. I have always liked newspapers, I read two a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. On internet now I can read foreign papers, like the British ones.

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    1. Now that's what I'd like to do...read two newspapers a day.

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  4. Had a friend who always liked to look through out of town publications. Her daughter wanted postcards. When she died i still laughed thinking of all the newspapers and periodicals I shared.

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  5. And today newspapers are almost obsolete. Our local newspaper is so thin and carries so little news that I can read it in a few minutes. I loved them and really enjoyed thinking about your kids back then who learned about newspapers. :-)

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    1. the newspaper will disappear before I die!

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  6. that's interesting, back in the golden era of newspapers too. My newspaper is garbage to put it lightly. They used to have a commentary section (aside from opinion letters) which ended up being an outlet for everyday rants from right-wing extremists and the main guy behind the Stroller as they called it was just as nuts.

    Luckily they ended that one but I think it was because the guy retired.

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    1. Yes , it was a great time. I remember somebody brought New York times. What a paper! I'd never seen one before.

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  7. What a great idea! You stumbled across it by accident but it turned out to everyone's advantage.

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    1. I was a bumbler! I hit on some lucky ideas.

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  8. I remember doing a newspaper unit back in primary school, probably grade four or five. That did include a tour of the Hamilton Spectator's facilities.

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    1. I enjoyed the tour as much as the kids. the Calgary Herald had an excellent tour.

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  9. That photo is precious. Now we can read the headlines of newspapers around the world on the Internet, or if you go to Washington, D.C. you can actually see them posted as the Newseum.

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    1. Did you ever think this would happen in our life time?

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  10. When we are traveling, I like to grab a local paper...too bad that so many are going out of business and are only online...

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    1. You're not the only one who likes to take a look at a local paper.

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  11. Wgat a splendid idea. I think I'd have lots of fun and interest if that had happened when I was at school.

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    1. I made them go through the paper and find specific parts . they had to read to make sure they had what i asked for.

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  12. That's a great idea! Very creative of you.

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    1. Let's be honest. Creative I am not. But I do get lucky sometimes.

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  13. Red you were a great teacher. I would have loved to be in one of your classes as a child.

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  14. I didn't appreciate it much when kids were taken from school for trips either. Homework is not enough to cover what goes on in the classroom.

    You were a wonderful teacher! I love how you used newspapers as a teaching tool. Interestingly we try to bring back a paper for my uncle when we travel too. My mom, aunt and uncle all worked at a newspaper for decades and my uncle especially loves reading papers from different parts of the country.

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  15. I was a high school English teacher. Let's say we were reading "Animal Farm", discussing it and making notes in preparation for the Literature exam. For two weeks there's a pupil on holiday. The truth is he or she will never fill in the gaps and why the hell should I have been expected to try to do that? In the tough urban school where I finished my career attendance often fell below 90% so in a class of thirty you'd have three children missing and the next week a different three children. It was very hard trying to juggle things in order to serve this changing attendance. Holiday absences also affected the overall quality of delivery.

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  16. Gosh, if I had had a teacher like you, I might have amounted to something. Seriously, your students must have loved being in your class.

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  17. We were one of those parents who took our kids off a week early even though my kids were honor students. They still had the home work. Time we got to
    our hotel . The kids had it done. Plus half the time when the kids are attending for the so call topic. The brainless ones fool around anyway the ones who did not go on holidays. Teachers are always nagging about something. That is why the teachers are always striking. Never satisfied.

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  18. Not many families get newspapers anymore, they catch the news on tv or at most read it on line. If you did that unit now, you might have kids asking, "Bring you s newspaper? Whats that's?"!

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  19. Neat classroom exercise for sure. As a high social studies encouraging attention to "current events" was part of the job. Today judging by what I see and here of GOP candidate debates I think I question that. The last 12 years of my teaching career I on a committee to help create a new Middle School after a Consolidation. I ended up volunteering to teach 7th grad American History and 8th grade geography. What a wonderful experience that was and I enjoyed every minute of it...:)

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  20. What a great idea! I always enjoy looking at the local papers when we travel, although I guess newspapers are on the verge of extinction these days!

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