Recently, I attended a workshop and there was a neuroscientist who spoke about the importance of experiencing joy in the classroom. She said that it would give the students a brain "break," help build a classroom community, and increase motivation. She recommended Kagan's Silly Sports and Goofy Games, which has been wonderful! In this blog I want to mention three short games that I've interspersed into my daily instruction with success. After ONLY 10 minutes, the students and I return to work refreshed, relaxed, and invigorated!
1. The Spinning Story- During this game students are assigned roles, and they stay at their desks. When they hear their role called they stand up, spin around, and sit down. This works best with stories that have a lot of repetition. Below I've attached "The Gingerbread Man." I did it with my high school students and we had a lot of fun. Once they get used to the activity switch roles and pick up the pace of the story! There are 9 roles in this story, so it's okay to double and triple up.
2. Class Juggling- In this game everyone stands in a circle (the largest I've played with is 10 people). Throw a ball in a pattern (without saying each others names), and when the group gets the pattern down add another ball and another ball! Our goal is to get up to four balls!
3. Balloon in the Air- This is played in a circle holding hands. You must keep the balloon in the air, but you can't let go of each other's hands. Players end up hitting the balloons with their heads, elbows, joined hands, or feet. Also, if the group moves to chase the balloon they must do so together. Very fun!
More than anything I have found that when we come back from these games the students are more productive and engaged! I highly recommend this, and I will post more gems when I find them.
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!