Having a tough time remembering your multiplication tables, especially those nasty 9s'?
Jessica Bryant's second-grade class at Fort Mill Elementary School has plenty of advice about that. It involves crooking a finger of the left hand, multiplying fingers to the left of it by 10 and adding the rest of the fingers to that answer.
Sound implausible? It works.
That's just the beginning of their advice for rising second-graders. Each wrote a column of sage tips for the class that will succeed them next year. They included it in the individual memory books they have been keeping all year. The books feature their favorite things, what they like best about their classmates, things their teacher did and more.
"Don't talk back to teachers," advised Ryan Williams. "It's rude and you might have to pull your fish."
"Pulling your fish" involves flipping your fish over on a classroom board. If you have to pull your fish five times, that's big trouble. His sister has informed him that by the time you reach fourth grade, you don't get as many chances.
On the plus side, the second-grade class has a treasure box from which the students can buy fun toys and other items with good behavior bucks.
Also, don't drink Gatorade in class, said Ashleigh Pittman, only water.
"What happens if you spill it on the carpet?" she asked.
And making someone laugh when they are drinking milk can be disastrous, she added.
Learning multiplication tables and about animals, doing science experiments and classroom parties are fun, they said.
Don't chew on computer wires. They speculate a mouse has already done that, although it's not been documented.
Oh, and don't forget to bring tissues.
Here is more of their advice (spelling and grammar errors have been corrected to protect the innocent):
Do's and don'ts for second grade
"Please do not run in the hall. You can bring water and that is all you can bring to drink. You cannot bring pocketbooks. No lipstick, just Chapstick. We have parties like Halloween, Christmas and Field Day on May 30. Do not break the pencil or the erasers off. Do not be mean. Listen to the teacher. Have fun in second grade."
-- Ashleigh P.
"If you are getting this, here are some things you should do: You should do your *STING folder. Be sure to bring water if you're thirsty. Never ever punch or hit. You should be prepared for multiplying. Remember to WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK. That's what we want you to do, okay?"
-- Levi H.
"The hardest thing is subtraction. Sometimes when you subtract, you forget. Make sure you have three pencils. Remember to be nice to your friends. The most fun part of being in second grade is having friends." -- Emma B
"You should always be prepared to learn multiplication and you will have lots of hard tests!"
"Don't fight. It is not right. Remember to bring three pencils. Remember to do STING folder. You'll have to be good." --James W.
"Do not run in the hall. And always be good, too. The hardest thing is being good. Be sure to bring your homework and always do it, too. The second hardest thing is multiplication." -- Alex R.
"The hardest thing in second grade is multiplication (x). Remember to do your STING folder. Never talk back to the teacher." -- Ryan W.
"Don't ignore the teacher. You will like time and division. You will have a lot of math and homework and do your STING folder." -- A. Rod.
"You will like second grade. The best is to learn about animals."
-- Michael H.
"Please don't rip off the erasers on the pencils. The hardest thing is if you do division or fast math. It will be hard. Remember to do your STING folder and you may get an ice cream party. The best thing is meeting a new friend." -- Thien-An B.
*Note: STING stands for Striving Toward INdividual Goals. Students record their homework and attendance/ behavior every day. STING's purpose is to make students more accountable and responsible for themselves, by setting goals.