Brrrr! It was only 21° Celcius as I rode my moto to school this morning. That was cool enough that I wished that I'd put my warm jacket on before I left home. In fact, as I was about to leave it started raining, so I put my poncho on, and I was so glad I did, not because of the rain, because it was so cold. OK, so it's not really that cold, but when the average minimum for the month is 2° warmer than that, and the average maximum is 3° higher than it got today (and it didn't get to that until 3pm), it's a bit chilly. And remember this can be our coldest month of the year. Most of the time minimums of around 27°C are more usual, and maximums between 32° & 38°C, it feels cold, and for those who have never lived anywhere else, it is definitely cold.
Anyway, as a result of the "cold" weather, we were given permission to cancel swimming today. The big question then is what to do with the boys instead of swimming. We both have more boys than girls, giving us 20+ boys, and these boys love to move! We could have just done table games in the classroom, but it would be much better if we could keep them moving. Fortunately we were able to have the school hall during that time (the playground was already in use by the older children & the girls had PE on the basketball court), and so I suggest that we do some Aussie Bush Dancing. My colleagues agreed and so that's what we did. My class had done some before as part of our music program, so I was hopeful it would go well. It was great. First I taught the Mexican Hat Dance, which was rather interesting. Some of the boys tried taking giant steps and so had trouble, and many of them had trouble with the clapping pattern. Eventually they got it, and a great time was had by all. After they had mastered that, and had some fun with it, we tried the Heel and Toe Polka! Instead of using the waltz hold we simply had the boys hold hands, and it went really well. By the time they had finished two turns of the music they were ready to sit quietly for a little while. A great way to keep active boys happily occupied.
With swimming and PE time over we returned to our respective classrooms where I happily told my class that Fun Friday this week would be cooking! There was much excitement. We packed up ready to go home, and then headed upstairs to the Home Economics room. Once there I quickly learned that it would be best to do cookery with half the class! That said, I managed to involve all the children in the process by having some measure the flour and sugar while I added the egg, baking soda, and melted butter necessary for our biscuits. There was some improvisation, and I ended up having to add extra flour to one batch when I misjudged "half" the melted butter. One batch turned out really well, while the other batch was too liquid, so I simply kept adding flour until the dough was the right consistency. All the children took turns in putting mixture on the baking trays and we quickly got the first batches into the ovens. Unfortunately I'd misjudged the timing so the children had to go home before the biscuits came out of the oven, but I promised them we would share them for recess on Monday. I patiently waited for the baking to be completed then loaded them into a container, sealed them with plastic wrap and stowed them safely in the refrigerator until Monday. I will admit to doing a taste test or two, and I can guarantee that they tasted OK!
So that's a "Fun Friday". Praise God for good times. I learned several things this afternoon, and faced a number of challenges, but when all things are considered I think the children had fun and learned something too! I think the highlight for me was seeing how much the boys enjoyed the bush dancing. This is definitely an activity to be repeated, possibly with both Grade 3 classes one Tuesday afternoon. It might even be a fun after school program activity.