Day 24 – Mysteries, Part 3

The Case of the Mysterious Puddle

Water bottles. The metaphorical thorn in my side these days. A few years back, my teaching partner and I decided we would allow students to keep a water bottle on their desk. Our hope was to eliminate the constant, ¨Can I go get a drink?¨ interruption. It worked, for a while.

Now however, it is an annoyance. Seriously boys and girls, I wasn´t allowed a water bottle when I was in school (water bottles weren´t even a thing – yes, I´m old!), I think you can manage to make it an hour without a sip of water! Now – they play with them, they spin them, flip them, they get knocked over, they fall off the desk and break, students/parents decide to put tea/Crystal Light/Gatorade in them. The worst? The crinkling noise an almost empty plastic water bottle makes when a bored student is squeezing it. *cringe*

Last week, we are lined up in the classroom after indoor recess, ready to go to lunch. I am standing at the door, waiting for the hallway to clear. It does, I send them up the hall to lunch, turn off my lights, lock & close my door. Fast forward thirty minutes. I unlock the door to let my students in the room, and walk in to find a large puddle of water on the floor in front of my desk. Ummmm….

¨Boys and girls, STOP! Don´t walk through the water!¨ ¨What water?¨ Of course. They are so busy talking about Fortnite, they don´t even see the water on the floor. I have a couple of students get some paper towels, and then I buzz the office to send the janitor, because this is more than the school paper towels can handle. Of course, bad timing, because the janitor is trying to get the gym cleaned up after lunch so the P.E. teacher can do her job. No janitor for at least twenty minutes. So, students do a great job of cleaning up the water, and we get down to the business of solving yet another mystery.

¨Boys and girls, when we were standing in line waiting to go to lunch, who spilled their water bottle?¨ Nothing. ¨Boys and girls, I know it was an accident, and I promise I´m not mad, but when something like this happens, it´s not safe to just leave it there. Did someone accidentally drop their water bottle?¨ Zip. Zero. Zilch. No one says a word. Frankie pipes up, ¨Accidents happen to everyone. You should just say something when you make a mistake.¨ Gina says, ¨I make mistakes a lot, and my mom never gets mad at me.¨ ¨That´s right, everyone makes mistakes, even me. This is how we learn. But boys and girls, when it can be unsafe, like this water on the floor, it´s best to let an adult know right away.¨ Twenty seven pairs of third grade eyes on me. No confession. ¨Okay then, moving right along, please take out your writing notebooks.¨

STILL don´t know who spilled their water.

Last in the Mysteries series: Where is Nick´s notebook?

5 thoughts on “Day 24 – Mysteries, Part 3

  1. I’m so glad you have mysteries like this in your classroom. I’m with you– low tolerance of water bottles. I can’t imagine how my students would react if I told them we got drinks from the garden hose in the summer as kids!

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  2. Your description of water bottles in the classroom is so spot on it made me cringe! I was a little afraid that the slice was going to end with you discovering the puddle wasn’t a water bottle that had spilled. Glad I was wrong. 🙂 I loved hearing the voices of your students piping up with life advice.

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