I stand in front of my classroom on any given Monday and tell my kids we're having a spelling test on Friday. All week, whenever we do spelling words (which is every morning, every afternoon during centers, and several other times throughout the day), I mention the test. "You should be practicing these for the test," I say. They have spelling homework every night, and in two different places on the homework sheet it says the test is on Friday. Come Friday, I tell them to clear their desks for the spelling test, and I will no doubt hear, "Test? What test?? I didn't know we were having a test!"
However, if I happen to mention in passing that we might have a special treat at the end of the week, the first thing out of their mouths on Friday morning will be, "Are we getting our treat today?"
I promised my kids that if they were good this week (and they were), that we would have a treat tomorrow. We've been reading books about farms and farm animals to get ready for our farm field trip next week. One of our favorite books is about animals who play in the mud. Tomorrow we're going to eat a snack of dirt and mud with animal crackers.
So after a long day of work and teaching CCD, I had to drive to the store in the rain to buy the dirt (Oreos that they're going to crush) and mud (chocolate pudding). Because it just wouldn't do if I showed up tomorrow and said, "Treat? What treat? I don't remember saying we would have a treat!"
God forbid I disappoint my little darlings :)