(Sung — way off key, and sort of warbley — to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree.”)

I guess we need to talk about the King.

On Wednesdays, after we go over the vocabulary homework, and discuss the words, I give them a vocabulary pretest. If they ace it (100%), they are exempt from the vocabulary portion of the Friday test. I used to have one of them flip a coin to decide whether or not I let them use their “cheat sheet” — the homework page we just went over and corrected — on the pretest. What they don’t believe when I tell them — even though it’s true — is that, on average, their scores on the pretest are lower when they use the cheat sheets, and fewer of them get an exemption. But they like to think it’s a security blanket, so I play along.

Then I discovered the King. I would give you the URL of his creator’s web site, but he has some other, shall we say, inappropriate shtuff. (You can do a Google search if you really want to check it out.) So I took the liberty of “cloning” the King. If you click the picture above, you too can experience decision making at its finest, without fear of filtering. Make sure you have the sound on, because that’s 3/4 of the fun. Projected 8 feet high with the LCD projector… Well, it’s just inspiring. 😉

We now consult the Raffle King for all kinds of decisions. When we get to our 120 Seconds Presentations, the King decides who is next. He decides about cheat sheets on Wednesday. And today, he was to decide whether today’s quiz on chapter 3 would be open mouth or not. I actually wanted them to do it open mouth stylie, but the element of chance always makes it more fun.

In first period, he said si! (That Raffle King likes to think he’s bilingual.) But in the next class, he said no. So we tried again, and this time added “Please?” to the first box. Still no. Pretty please? No. Pretty, pretty please? Still no. And so, for the first time in recent memory, I had to overrule the King. Luckily, he was amenable to the idea for the rest of the day.

The kids are always trying to come up with ways to influence/appease the King.

“I brought an offering of Sharpie pens.”

“We love you Raffle King.”

Some bow down and suchlike.

Some sing. Badly. Desperately.

Every year, after the first time we consult the King, there’s always a whole buncha kids who go home and, well…

“I played with the Raffle King for an hour and a half last night.”

“Raffle King got me out of doing the dishes last night!”

“I used the Raffle King to decide what I should do to my brother for…”

“Lucky for you the Raffle King said I should do my English homework last night.”

No, it’s lucky for YOU.