If you’ve never played “Catch Phrase” you have really missed out on a good time. If you’ve never played “Catch Phrase” with a group of 5th graders, you really just haven’t lived at all. This week at school has been SAT/ARMT testing. Once all the testing is over, the rest of the day is a complete waste. You can’t give any homework or tests and the kids are so brain dead that you really can’t move on with instruction. So, what do you do? Play LOTS of Heads Up Seven Up, Hangman, and my all time favorite, “Catch Phrase.” We have now played it two days in a row and it has been the highlight of my week. We have shared some good laughs. As you may or may not know, usually the game is played with two teams: guys and girls (at least when I play it, that’s what we do). The girls in my class are great sports. They are in it for the fun, not for any sort of competition. The guys, however, act like there is a Catch Phrase National Championship at stake. It is hilarious. I have a few guys who are playing for fun and they do everything they can to get under the skin of the other guys who are in it to win. For example, one of my wittiest and silliest boys started to randomnly yell “Tilapia” during the game. I thought it was really funny, as did most of the students in my classroom. So, we all randomnly started saying it. One of my guy students just doesn’t get the joke and instead gets VERY frustrated. “Quit saying tilapia” “That has nothing to do with anything, why do you keep saying tilapia?” “QUIT SAYING TILAPIA, IT’S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE” Well, of course that makes all of us say it even more. Today, I told him he needed to learn to have fun and not take it so seriously or he wouldn’t be playing anymore. So, he took my advice. He was participating, trying to guess words, and all of the sudden, I hear him yell, “TILAPIA!” I pretended to be really mad at him…”That’s not funny anymore, why did you say tilapia, don’t say that, tilapia is just dumb!” And he said, “What? You just told me not to say it anymore and you just said it Mrs. VK! You can’t do that!” Once again…he just didn’t get the joke and we all laughed so hard. Now, you need to understand that we are not making fun of this child. We all love him and he definitely adds something unique to our classroom. By the time the game ended, everyone was saying tilapia. At lunch, one my students came up to me and said, “Mrs. VK, what is tilapia anyway?” Come to find out, no one really knew what tilapia is.