It looks like there's hundreds of them. Pretty little prizes in cute, little, clear containers. I put in my quarter, and down one goes. I open the slot and take out my prize. I start ripping it open, I can hardly wait to see what's inside. I hope it's a ring, I hope, I hope, I hope. Yes! It's a beautiful, shiny ring. Just what I was hoping for.
Remember those gumball and prize machines from our childhood? I remember asking my mom for quarters to get a prize and the thrill of finding a ring inside of the tiny plastic container. You would have thought those rings were valuable jewels. So funny... childhood memories. I wrote this for my Facebook status this morning. My phone was handy and my computer was at home. My plan was to use this as the theme for my Slice Of Life Story.
A friend commented, "We won't talk about the candy rings and the candy necklaces..."
My response was, " I loved those candy necklaces!"
A second friend commented, "I remember wearing my candy necklace to bed and waking up with it stuck to me and having candy bead stains all around my neck!"
A third friend commented, "Those machines are how I convinced my daughter that she really should actually do her 3rd grade MEAP tests. After 1 day of her sitting and not picking up a pencil for 45 minutes and then going home "sick", I told her I'd give her lots of quarters and drive her around to her favorite "machines" to buy prizes if she actually did the rest of the MEAP tests. She loved those valuable jewels too, Val! I was grateful for those machines during her MEAP weeks that year!"
My response was, "That would have motivated me too. Ha ha. We should get Chris (Chris is a teacher in our building who buys pencil machines loaded with holiday pencils that the kiddos love to purchase.) to buy some prize machines for the school. Our students would love it!"
My daughter loves to hear stories about my childhood. Sometimes new ones are difficult to conjure up. Usually, something else triggers one of these stories. She had asked me about the first boy I liked. I told her he was in my 3rd grade classroom and had given me one of those rings you get from a gum ball machine. That's all it took to trigger those childhood memories of those amazingly enticing machines.
I'm starting to get a sense of how difficult it is for my students to conjure up ideas for new stories. Perhaps they need a trigger too. We've been using our Topic Grids to effectively come up with new stories. Yet, it's amazing how one story often triggers another, and another. Providing students with the opportunity to share their stories with peers is a vital component of our writing community and one I will not take for granted.