Lela and I hit upon a solution for students who don’t bring their notebooks or pens anymore. After enduring several weeks of this, we asked the fourth graders to copy some new words down. And one little foobar threw up his hands as if to suggest the problem was out of his jurisdiction, so Lela and I (and the other, gleeful students) held him down and wrote the words on his forehead with a red permanent marker.
Also I pretended to be a cat for my eighth graders. Not sure how either one of these teaching techniques will pan out, but educators should take note: I’ve had no more trouble with sparrows in the classroom.