Friday, January 28, 2011

Like umm assembly lines are...

Let me start by saying that I have been volunteering for Junior Achievement since sometime in college. That means I have been doing this for more than 15 years. And primarily for second and third grades. I love the little buggers. And I have to admit that I learn something new from every class I teach. Mostly it's about imagination, honesty and love.

Today was the first time I can actually say that I heard the same wrong yet completely right response to a question that I heard a few years ago, and it still cracks me up. So, here's the context:

Today the students learn that "produce" can also mean "to make" and does not only refer to fruits and vegetables. They also learn the value of working as a team and the differences between 2 different production methods: Unit production and an assembly line.

After a quick review of the previous lesson, we jumped in to today's lesson with little introduction. I wanted to get a gauge of the room so my first question was "what does produce mean?" I got the standard, "you know, the healthy stuff at the grocery store" followed by typical "nuh uh, it's only apples and bananas" and the usual "the stuff you put in a salad." Now that that's out of their systems, we talk about making stuff and producing products. They get it. So, it's time to move on.

My next question was "what is an assembly line." This is awesome. EVERY hand in the room went up. I hold to the fact that in 15+ years, these really are some of the smartest 2nd graders I have come across (albeit a bit unruly with their substitute teacher today). And then Haven said the following, "um um like um, assembly lines are um like when we all line up in the um hallway to um go to the gym for um like something special." Best. Answer. EVER! And she's not wrong.

From there the lesson digressed. I lost control of the room. It's 65 degrees and sunny here today. Coupling that with a substitute teacher and a Friday means that you don't have a prayer of getting through to them today . Thankfully it's not until next week that we learn about government, taxes and voting!

So, there you have it. An assembly line is when we all line up in the hallway to go to the gym for something special. Or, it's how we make cars and stuff. You choose.

Happy Friday!


  1. Out of the mouths of is a true statement.

    I taught Ellie my grand daughter who is now 5 about a "production" assembly line when we made holiday treats for pre-school. I wonder what she will say/think when she is called to form an assembly line in the halls of her school. She will likely think her grandma was crazy, and want to know where the treats are.

    How great that you have been a JA volunteer all these years, I never knew.