Energiser Wednesday

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When you reach that mid-week slump in the classroom when you all need a bit of a boost (and some fun), nothing works like a bit of an energiser to get the creative energy flowing again.

Each Wednesday we will be adding a new energiser or ice breaker style activity for you to do with different age groups in classroom/group settings.

This week’s energiser is helpful to get students asking useful questions and learning about communication.

Celebrity Heads

For this game you will need either some headbands/hats you can stick names to, or a white/blackboard you can sit students in front of and write names on.

Have 3-4 volunteers sit in chairs in front of the rest of the class. Without showing the volunteers, but so that the rest of the group can see, either write a name above each student on the board or on a piece of paper stuck to their hat/headband. The name’s can either be fictional characters or real famous people, but try to make sure everyone in the group knows who they are.

Tell the first volunteer to ask a yes or no question to try and narrow down who their ‘celebrity’ identify may be. Keep going until they get a NO response, then move to the next volunteer. Keep going in order until one of the volunteers has guessed correctly who their celebrity identity is.

You can do several rounds so everyone gets a turn if you have time. You may even want to play based on the theme of your current lessons, i.e. native animals, famous explorers, etc, so long as the identities suit the age group of your students.

Energiser Wednesday

20140426-145445.jpg

When you reach that mid-week slump in the classroom when you all need a bit of a boost (and some fun), nothing works like a bit of an energiser to get the creative energy flowing again.

Each Wednesday we will be adding a new energiser or ice breaker style activity for you to do with different age groups in classroom/group settings.

This week’s energiser is a good getting to know you one for the start of the year or when working with a new group. The best thing is it can work for all ages.

Group Storytelling

Cut out different words and place them in a bowl or hat. Have the group sit in a circle, and explain that each person will pick a word out and begin telling a story. Each person must incorporate the word they pick into the story.

The teacher/group leader will pick a word and begin the story with an opening statement. Go around the circle having each person pick out a word, add to the story and incorporate his/her word until each person has had a turn.

After the story is complete, you may want to ask the group what they thought of the activity and why it is an icebreaker (e.g., it gets the group to work together, it makes everyone have to be flexible and creative, it is funny, etc)

Here are some sample words, however you can use any you like:

Hippopotamus

Sea Shell

Playground

Stapler

Refrigerator

Peppa Pig

Football

Computer

Butterfly

Aeroplane

New Zealand

Lizard

 

I Like Using Movie Clips in My Classroom, and I Don’t Care Who Knows It!

A great post on the use of video clips as a learning tool. The options are endless. Do you use video in your classroom?

Mostly True Stories of K. Renae P.

I love film! Movie clips are a great way to hook students into a lesson and spice up the classroom. You can find learning opportunities in all sorts of places.

I recently shared a video clip from Frozen and talked about how you could have a great discussion about heat energy. This clip from The Princess and the Frog  is great for sparking students’ interests about Louisiana history and geography.

Possible Video Discussion Questions:

  • Ray said he was a Cajun. What does that mean?
  • What evidence did Ray give to support that he was a Cajun?
  • Explain what you know about the Cajun culture.
  • What is a bayou? How is a bayou different or similar to a lake or river? What type of organism(s) can you find in a bayou?
  • Use a Louisiana map to explain why Ray the lightning bug, who is from New Orleans, would think Shreveport was “Far…

View original post 107 more words

Energiser Wednesday

20140426-145445.jpg

When you reach that mid-week slump in the classroom when you all need a bit of a boost (and some fun), nothing works like a bit of an energiser to get the creative energy flowing again.

Each Wednesday we will be adding a new energiser or ice breaker style activity for you to do with different age groups in classroom/group settings.

This week’s energiser is focused around communication and the need to concentrate on the task at hand. It may be best suited to middle school and above age groups.

The Write Family

Have the entire group form a circle. Have each person write their name on a small piece of paper. Tell the group that you are going to read them a story. Every time they hear the words “right” or “left“, they are to pass their sheet of paper to their right or left, depending upon what they heard. Start reading slowly so they have a chance to catch on to what you want them to do.

The story:

One day, the Wright family decided to take a vacation. The first thing they had to decide was who would be left at home since there was not enough room in the Wright family car for all of them. Mr. Wright decided that Aunt Linda Wright would be the one left at home. Of course, this made Aunt Linda Wright so mad that she left the house immediately yelling, “It will be a right cold day before I return.”

The Wright family bundled up the children, Tommy Wright, Susan Wright, Timmy Wright, and Shelly Wright and got in the car and left. Unfortunately, as they turned out of the driveway, someone had left a trashcan in the street, so they had to turn right around and stop the car. They told Tommy Wright to get out of the car and move the trash can so they could get going. Tommy took so long that they almost left him in the street. Once the Wright family got on the road, Mother Wright wondered if she had left the stove on. Father Wright told her not to worry, he had checked the stove and she had not left it on. As they turned right at the corner, everyone started to think about the other things that they might have left undone.

No need to worry now, they were off on a right fine vacation. When they arrived at the gas station, Father Wright put gas in the car and then discovered that he had left his wallet at home. So Timmy Wright ran home to get the money that was left behind. After Timmy had left, Susan Wright started to feel sick. She left the car saying that she had to throw up. This of course got Mother Wright’s attention, and she left the car in a hurry. Shelly Wright wanted to watch Susan get sick, so she left the car too. Father Wright was left with Tommy Wright who was playing a game in the backseat.

With all of this going on, Father Wright decided that this was not the right time to take a vacation, so he gathered up all of the family and left the gas station as quickly as he could. When he arrived home, he turned left into the driveway and said, “I wish the Wright family had never left the house today!”

Follow up discussion:

  • What made this activity difficult to accomplish?
  • How hard was it to listen and pass the paper at the same time?
  • How much of the story can you remember?
  • What can this activity tell us about communication and trying to focus on two things at once?

Tips For Successful Role Play

 

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Role plays in the classroom can be dreaded by children and adult learners alike. They can provoke fear of being put on the spot and potential embarrassment. Yet they can be such a powerful learning tool.

These tips can help make role plays a positive and useful learning tool in your classroom.

1. Make it fun

The best starting point is to treat role plays as a fun activity. A teacher with a positive attitude towards the activity can help make it fun. Take the pressure off by keeping it casual and laid back.

2. Use props

It can often be much easier to step into character with props to hide behind. A funny wig, a pair of glasses, even a simple hat can be great props to get students involved. Have a few items to choose from and let them pick for themselves what props they think will suit the character they are playing. It can really help boost the involvement of individuals.

3. Choose your group carefully

You want a group who generally gets along well, as obvious conflict is a sure sign the role plays will be a cause for anxiety. If you know there is significant conflict between your students, role plays may not be ideal. A way around this is to have students pair up and practice in their pairs, without the pressure of presenting to the group.

4. Praise their efforts

Praise and positive reinforcement can go a long way towards encouraging participation in figure role plays, as well as leaving students with a boost in confidence afterwards for their efforts.

5. Keep it brief

Don’t draw the activity out. If students know it’s brief, it will feel less daunting and take a bit of the pressure off. There is nothing worse than being given half an hour to prepare your presentation for the class. That makes it feel unnecessarily intense, so give them 5 minutes prep time, if any and get it over and done with.

With these tips in mind, you can make role playing an important and useful tool in your classroom, helping your students to learn practical skills relating to the topic, as well as boosting their confidence of speaking in front of a group.

Do you have any other role play tips that have worked for you? We would love to hear them.

Saturday Share-It

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It’s that time of the week again and I think you will like this one.

Talk about a cheap way to settle down a rowdy class. Only useful for the littlest people and maybe only good for a few uses before they cotton on, but not a bad idea to pull out of your bag of tricks when you most need some quiet.

I wonder what other types of ‘magic’ spray you could use in the classroom. Any ideas?