Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Classroom 18 - The Prank

Pin It It was 4:30 in the morning two months ago that I woke up with a fiendishly clever idea. This idea was so brilliant that I couldn’t help but begin work and keep going nearly until school was nearly ready to begin at 8:20. I wanted it to be awesome.

It was April Fool’s Day two months ago, and I decided to play a little prank on my class. You see, I’ve never played a practical joke on my whole class before (at least that I can remember) and I thought that I’d do one this year.

Why? Just because.

I did a little research.

It seems that back in 1976 an astronomer, Patrick Alfred Moore, pulled a prank on BBC radio listeners. He stated that as Pluto passed behind Jupiter, it would cause decreased gravity temporarily on Earth.

Hundreds of people were completely faked out. It was brilliant.

I decided to recreate the hoax—after all—I’m all about keeping things green and recycling whenever possible. Also, this idea was much too good to NOT use.

I copied the HTML code from the Wikipedia as well as the NBC website. I put this code into Dreamweaver (my webpage creation software) and began to rewrite portions of the sites…after all I wanted it to look real.


I changed the dates, added information, and made the Wikipedia site not state anywhere in it that this was a hoax which happened in 1976, but rater a late-breaking story which had been on the 11 o’clock news the night before; therefore, many of the students may not yet had heard of it. Since these sites were not ‘live’ but rather clever imitations, I had to use only my computer.

I had these webpages already pulled up on the Promethean as the kids came in that morning and it went from there.

I could tell you all about the experience, explaining it brilliantly, but I think it would be better to show you what truly happened.

Just know that you are coming in about 5 minutes into the actual joke. I thought it a bit too long to keep the portion of ‘the setup’ about website accuracy, having multiple sources to check and recheck information, and the explanation about time zones.

I love it.

And yes, the parents all signed consent forms for this to be posted online; when it comes to embarrassing their offspring, it seems that parents are just awesome like that.

25 comments:

Chrissy said...

See the effect teachers have on kids? The better, more interesting teachers who make learning fun will undoubtedly have more trust from students... I worked w/a teacher who did something similar and it was amazing to see the reaction of the students... Dang, I wished I had a teacher like you... I know my kids were lucky enough to have someone who have a sense a humor as well as loved teaching.

Chrissy said...

btw which table has the 'social butterflies'? lol.....hmmm do u have a table of challenged students?

Rachel said...

I am laughing hysterically!! That. was. BRILLIANT!!!

You shouldn't have said April Fool's so quick. I'd have LOVED LOVED LOVED to see how many of the students said they'd felt it. :D

MBGITWWR said...

One word.... STELLAR! I absolutely loved watching this. Bravo, good sir. Bravo!

Rich said...

I'm impressed you went to great lengths to pull this one off. I know that I enjoyed watching the whole incident pay out. It takes a very trained story teller to pull this off with out giving up the joke I know that I could not have pulled it off.

However I'm not surprised that you could or that you would try and prank someone. I remember walking into the kitchen late one night and being sworn into secrecy as you prepared a cake with loser pictures in the center. :)

Natasha said...

That is genius! Good job on keeping a straight face, I would have had trouble. Such a way to make learning fun!

Richard & Natalie said...

The only thing better than embarrassing your children is to have a video of it to watch! Thanks TF.

Cheeseboy said...

"I knew it. I knew it."

Yeah right!!!

So stinkin' funny! We should teach at the same school. We'd have a blast.

Nicely done.

Mamma has spoken said...

THAT.WAS.AWESOME!!!!!
Is it bad that I kept trying to figure out which one was your Joey?
I think it was the spiked hair kid ;o)

Lori said...

That was hilarious. You put so much into your work. Teacher of the year, every year.

tammy said...

You are awesome! This was so great. What a fun teacher you are.

Crustacean Queen said...

Darn...I let my kids watch it with me. Now I can't do it to them. Totally brilliant!

Trevor said...

Funny stuff!

Teachinfourth said...

C - It was a ton of fun to do. I will admit that I felt like I went kind of fast because I was a bit nervous trying to pull this…as for your questions; they are scattered about the room.

R - Curses! That would have been awesome.

M - Much gratitude. I plan to do something else next year, I have a few ideas in the works…

R - Good times, Rich! I'll have to do a post on those Loser Pictures sometime. I wish we knew where they were…sigh.

N - All those years of improv finally paid off.

N - I couldn't believe how excited they all were to have it posted on YouTube. I guess they like embarrassment…

C - That would be the bomb. Any chances of relocating?

B - Actually, the main 'Joey' was there that morning (the one 90%+ all of the posts are about). So, you've seen Joey, now! It's funny because Natalie helps out in the classroom and knows exactly who he is.

L - I don't know about that, but it keeps the days fun for me, too.

T - Thanks for taking the time to watch. I promised myself that I'd not be a teacher like some of those I've had in my school-aged years.

Marathons in punishment, several of them.

R - There are so many other pranks out there to pull. My friend's, Randy's son, convinced his parents to sign up for 'free cable' when they were at the mall. Randy mailed a small roll of coaxial cable to their own house with instructions that the cable needed to be unrolled, and pointed to the North for two or three minutes. The instructions guaranteed that when this was completed, their 'free cable' would be in place.

Tyler fell for it (well, he was only 6 or 7 at the time) and when he went inside and saw that they now had cable TV, he was convinced that pointing that small piece of wire was what did it.

T - It was pretty fun to pull off. I was a bit nervous that some of them would figure it all out, but I guess I carried it out well enough that they didn't. You will notice that one kid doesn't jump. He knew it wasn't for real...

The Watty's said...

I have peeked in on your blog several times...you are amazing! Wish you were at my school teaching...you have inspired me with my 6th graders next year. Happy Summer!

Just SO said...

That was awesome!!! So very awesome. Also a good lesson for them to learn...don't believe everything you see on the internets.

Linn said...

COOLEST. TEACHER. EVER.

Teachinfourth said...

TW - Thanks. I love teaching. Of course, I never planned to be a teacher. Glad I am though.

S - I did a lesson like that the year before to show the importance of not believing everything just because it's on the Internet. I'll have to share one of them as a blog post.

I did type, "Joey smells like cheese" in the middle of the Thought of the Month on my teacher's website. The class read it with me and we all laughed; we had a good discussion about how anybody can put just about anything online.

L - Well, I don't know about the coolest, but I do like to make the day fun. It's much more enjoyable for me as well that way.

tiburon said...

You and Abe really do need to teach at the same school

You are the coolest teachers EVER!!!

Ashley said...

I'm pretty sure that you are the coolest person that I haven't had the privilege of meeting.

Ashley said...

I'm pretty sure that you are one of the coolest people that I haven't had the privilege to meet yet.

Sarah said...

First of all, sorry for the blogger stalker comments. I think this makes number...I'm really not sure anymore.

Second - your classroom is AWESOME!!! Looks like the coolest place on earth to go to school.

And third - the.most.awesome.prank.EVER.

I laughed A LOT. Thanks!

Jenny said...

I just happened on to your blog. Loved this prank.

Annette said...

Can you say gullable? Oooh, I feel a new tradition brewing! Your secret's safe w/me! (You could probably get away with pulling the same one this next year!)

T said...

I love all the "I knew it"s you could hear from the kids at the end :)

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