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Two moments in the activity room
Two moments in the activity room
Thursday, October 6, 2005


One seventh grade math project this year involves designing, manufacturing and selling a consumer product.
Students are given a “bizbucks,” and can borrow more (at interest), to spend on supplies and marketing materials.
This week, seventh graders brought their creations before an open market: a gathering of fourth graders armed with bizbucks of their own.
The product? Friendship bracelets, thin braids of colorful twine.
With the market flooded with only one items, the marketing departments of these businesses had to work overtime.
In their efforts to stand apart from the crowd, students had come up with knowing sendups of familiar marketing techniques...
plugging the products on talk shows...
claiming to be something to bring Red Sox and Yankees fans together...
and even helping students magically avoid disaster.
After the presentations, the fourth graders fanned out to inspect each group’s products.
Presentation made a big difference.
Even something as simple as a tablecloth helped give one group an edge.
So did location; a group on the end resorted to singing jingles to drum up business.
A few days before, there was an entirely different kind of singing and dancing stopping traffic in the activity room.
Students were rehearsing for the year’s first Lower School Assembly.
There’s something nice about the way assemblies come together organically at Gordon.
At this Lower School assembly, for instance, there were elements that had been in place since the summer.
And others had come together over the past few days.
Three students had written a song a two weekends ago.
They sang it for their music teacher.
She recorded it, and transcribed it...
and taught it to a recorder player who performed it with them at the assembly: from inspiration to presentation, less than two weeks.
The sing-along of The Apple Picking Song had been planned for months before.
It was coordinated with the apples each student would receive as they left.
Each one of this year’s Lower School assemblies has a theme woven through it.


Even with the apples serving as bait, it was hard to clear the room of students.
Singing, smiling, packs of students spontaneously joining arms… for a moment, Gordon had the feel of a summer camp in late August.
If the first assembly reached this emotional peak, where will we be in June when the fourth graders graduate into Gordon’s Middle School?


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