The Nuts and Bolts of School Success

A mistake I made while purchasing a bookcase offers my students a wonderful introduction to getting the "nuts and bolts" before leaving class so homework is easy.  

I'm pretty handy, and I prefer assembling items myself instead of paying more for assembly.  So, I took myself to the store, which took me twenty minutes. I searched for the perfect item, which took another twenty minutes.  I casually looked at the directions and thought to myself, "This looks simple. It won't take me more than fifteen minutes to put together." I placed it in my cart and proceeded to the checkout counter.  The lines were excessively long, so checkout took another fifteen minutes. Then I drove home; another twenty-five minutes (I hit some lights going home). 

I changed into some comfortable clothes and proceeded to lay all the items out on the den floor. I began reading the instructions, and the first one was to "bolt the legs to the bottom self."  I had all the pieces, but I could not find the nuts and bolts.  

I reread the instructions, and low an behold, in fine print it read, "Nuts and Bolts not and included." 

(The children always anticipate the next part of my story. I always emphasize the loss of the extra hour because I did not read the directions carefully).

I had to go back to the store for the nuts and bolts.  By this time you can guess that ate up an additional hour of my precious time.  

My goal in the classroom is to make sure the children never leave the classroom without their "Nuts and Bolts."  If they look at their homework "As If" they are going to do it right away, they will not waste time once they get home.  Once they master finding the missing bolts and asking for clarification, their homework will become a breeze, and they will begin to enjoy doing it. 



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