Never make assumptions – Game on!

Last week, I advertised (via announcements and posts on the Learning Commons Facebook page) that Bookmark Bingo would be taking place in the Learning Commons on Friday during lunch. It would be a fun way for students to spend a rainy lunch hour with their friends, and maybe even win a scratch & sniff bookmark, or gift card to Black Bond books.

Sounds simple enough, right?

I had purchased a bingo game from a local toy store for $12.99. The game came with a cage to spin the numbers, and a set of 34 cards. I photocopied the master set of cards and put the masters aside. Next, I had some students cut out the photocopies and laminate them on bright coloured card. I also went to a dollar store and bought four bags of big green beads to use as markers. We had enough for 34 students to play, and I didn’t expect more than that. I also didn’t expect that the day before, and morning of, I would be approached by so many students asking me what Bingo was? Not just one or two students asked, but almost a dozen asked.

Seriously, what is Bingo? Like you never played a fun game of Bingo before, not ever? You never sang “B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o?” Really?? I was speechless, but I shouldn’t have been so surprised. It just never occurred to me a student would not know the game of Bingo. I assumed that everyone has had the thrill of jumping out of their chair and screaming BINGO!! (at least once in their life.)

In a way, it was just as shocking as when I had taught Home Ec, and I found out three quarters of my Foods 9 class had never eaten a grilled cheese sandwich. That just blew my mind! On numerous occasions I’m sure I would have died of starvation without having that staple in my diet.

Our school has approx. 1,450 students, and over 10% of those students are ELL  (English Language Learners). We have many students from Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Poland, and Spain, we also have over 50 different cultural groups. I am so fortunate to work in such a diverse cultural melting mosaic. However, not all of these students have gone through our Elementary school system, and some have only been in our country a few years. So, from now on I will make no more assumptions!

By the way – the game was a big success! We played straight line Bingo (any direction vertical, horizontal, or diagonal), make an X corner to corner, and black out Bingo (cover your card). Yup, it was a rainy lunch hour well spent!

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