Pat your head, rub your belly

May 2nd, 2011

While record numbers tuned in to watch the Royal Wedding unfold last Friday, another record was being set at Carillo Elementary School in Carlsbad, California. Students, teachers, and parents gathered on school grounds to set the official Guinness World Record for the most people rubbing their bellies and patting their heads for one minute.

The current 1-minute record was set by 655 students in the United Kingdom, but on Friday it was surpassed by the 1,024 participants at Carillo. The event was part of the school’s reading incentive program, explains Maryann Wickett, who is a math teacher at the school, along with Eunice Hendrix-Martin. They are the authors of two new Stenhouse math books: Beyond the Bubble: How to Use Multiple-Choice Tests to Improve Math Instruction Grades 2-3 and Grades 4-5.

After the event, Maryann asked her students to reflect and write about the experience. Here is what third-grader Jessica wrote: “My heart is racing. I’m thinking ‘Will we really break the world record?’ I’m feeling different emotions. I’m excited, nervous, and scared. As Mrs. Pistone [the school’s principal] is saying something I start to cheer because Mr. Wise [the format principal] came to witness it! Then. . . we started. When we started I thought it was a piece of cake. 45 seconds to go and my arm is starting to hurt from patting my head. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! YAAAAAHOOOOO! I hope we broke the world record, but we can only hope. It would be so cool being in a book. I was bouncing up and down. I really hope we broke the world record.”

The school has sent of all documentation to England and they are awaiting the official verification of the record by Guinness. You can see pictures of the event at the local newspaper’s website.

Entry Filed under: math

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