To get everyone participating in class, I sometimes ask the students to show me the numerical answers using their fingers. As most teachers know, it's a quick and efficient way to see which student knows what, which student is paying attention, and which student is in La-La-Land. It's the last 15 minutes of the day; we're going over some test prep strategies (getting ready for the oh-so-important state test that clearly tests students' knowledge) and I say, "On your fingers show me how many paragraphs this passage has." As I survey the room like a lifeguard on beach duty, I see two fingers are popping on each hand as there are two paragraphs in the passage. As I reach the end of my survey of the classroom, I notice Moses flipping me off. He notices; I notice it. He quickly pulls his hand down and starts turning bright red. He slams his head into the desk and under his breath he says, "I'm sooooo sorry- I didn't mean it- It's just habit..I mean...oo man...sorry."
I yell, "Tell me how you really feel next time, Moses!" as he walks out the door with his head drooping. "Please don't tell my mom," he cries back.
Although it was probably unintentional, it's pretty ridiculous what students do on a regular basis. Great way to end a school day!