Regular readers will note that it’s been a week for second tries. Both of these items had solid first tries, so the second was bound to be good also.

About six weeks have passed since the last Auction in my class, and today was a minimum day for the end of the Trimester, so it was about time.

I began the day with hype. I teach in the portables, so if I make noise, 200 students can wonder, “What’s going on in Vaudrey’s class?” Dragging a 10-watt guitar amp outside, I plugged in my iPod and danced to some upbeat songs (mostly from Five Iron Frenzy, a late-90’s ska band). Also, I was wearing the cowboy hat, which signifies auction day.

You should probably have this music video playing while you read the rest of the post, if you really want to get the idea.

Here’s some data:

March 2013 Auction Data Dispersion

Column A, you can see the items up for bid.
Column E is what each of the items cost me out of pocket.
My second and third-biggest readers are Canada and the Phillipines, respectively. Canucks and Pinoys, I included a column for the cost in your local currency, color-coded by your country flag.
Row 16 shows totals. I was floored to see that my fourth period spent 1,000 chips in 40 minutes.

Here are a couple of highlights:

  • For the Potty Passes, bidding started at 2. Brian, still hyped from the Subway bidding war, immediately blurted out “58! … no, wait!”
  • Bidding for Nerds (Medium candy) started at 5. The next three bids were 91, 100, and 120. The hot ticket items are never what I expect.
  • I spent $30 and bought good behavior for 8 weeks. That works out to about $150 for a year. Not so bad. Read the previous post for why I am okay with doing that.
    • Also, the RSP teacher pitched in (because she’s great, not because her students contribute to a lot of the distractions), so it only cost $10 this time.

What I Changed For This Auction

Items that didn’t draw any bids last time were removed. The big ticket items returned, and I took a page from Dave Burgess‘ playbook on suspense and mystery with the Box of Mystery and Diapers.

What did you THINK I meant? What did you THINK I meant?

Students all received a small slip of paper with a list of auction items on it. On that list, if I had included “Box of a bunch of junk from my Aunt-in-law’s basement that we acquired when she moved”, that might not have been a big seller.

But oh, how mystery tickles the mind and arouses the senses! Suddenly, the kids just had to know…

… what’s in the Mystery Box?

Any of those items individually would have drawn no bids at all. Put them in an old cardboard box, and suddenly it’s gold.

And oh, did I ham it up. “You too, students, can tempt fate with a peek inside the Box of Mystery and Diapers! Could it be… a dictionary? Could it be… an inflatable fish? Could it be… a diaper? Only you, the adventurer of secrecy will peek inside the mouth of the lion, tempt fate, and emerge victorious!”

This morning, I re-read the previous post about the auction, so I was picky about noise they made between each item. I wrote up a List of Today’s Auction Items with Descriptions, and announced them while the showcase song from Price is Right was playing. It was magical.

The chatter between items was helped by my descriptions; students wanted to hear them, so all I had to do was start speaking, stop, and look at the offender. The rest of the class jumped on the chatterbox like he was an autographed OneDirection poster.


And, in case you’re curious, here are the downloads for the coupons I used:
Potty Passes
Coupon – Leave 2 minutes early
Coupon – Positive Phone Call
Coupon – Share Subway with a friend
List of Today’s Auction Items

As with many class activities, the hard work before kickoff made the classtime itself really stinkin fun. I love my job. I get to listen to music from High School and lecture students (with a smile) about the evils of caffeine and processed sugar, all while wearing a cowboy hat.