• paper clips (that multiply when left unsupervised)
• dice (handy for random calls on kids, more dramatic than the Promethean board)
• erasers (students tend to leave them behind and so I have an impressive collection)
• permanent markers (gotta keep those suckers away from the clientele)
• loose change (how come that doesn't multiply when unsupervised?)
• files (but I am moving them to something smaller and better-looking than the blocky ugly 70's metal-and-simulated-wood-grain monstrosity)
But it also holds useless items out of sight, such as official pass slips. I never use them because I just grab a piece of scratch paper--quicker than filling in tiny boxes with my illegible scrawl.
It also holds things that I don't think are trash but they sure aren't treasure. So today I placed all the items on the carpet and had the computer randomly select kids to choose items if they wanted. I called it The Best Worst Lottery Ever, but as soon as I announced it I changed it to The Second-best Worst Lottery Ever because of Shirley Jackson's horrifying story*, "The Lottery." Here is the list of what was in my desk that has no business being there:
• a 3D duck-shaped clip that is cute and ineffective
• a giant marble
• a small yellow clothespin with a pink pom-pom glued to it
• a Bush-Cheney pin (I had two--why???? I did decide to keep one and to keep the Obama '08 pin, too, even though the Obama pin doesn't have its pin backing anymore.)
• four Sammy's Messy Sundae cards (valid still? who knows?)
• eight brightly colored metal dog tags
• a crossed rifles metal insignia that fell off one of our Civil War slouch hats.
• a plastic silver bracelet that jingles maddeningly
• a Pink Panther magnifying glass
• a hairpin with a rhinestone dragonfly on it
I realize that most sane people would've tossed these items long ago. But I remember asking my aunt for stuff she didn't want when I was a kid. And boy, she didn't want the coolest things! Anyway, it was great--I got rid of 100% of the items, the kids felt like they had won something, and it was fun trying to guess which kid would pick what, and which item would go last.
Have you guessed what went last??? Scroll down:
* Hope you didn't think The Hunger Games's lottery was completely original. Jackson's story froze my blood without one sadistic description of death.