What makes one professional development opportunity great, while another may be bland and boring? Some of the best PD that I’ve had felt that way because the presenter somehow made things fun. In your classroom, the students are the audience, and while making sure they are having fun is not your primary goal, we all know they are going to pay a lot more attention if the activities that we are doing are more fun. What are some ways we can incorporate fun into our classrooms?
- STICKERS – I am continually amazed by what a fifth or sixth grader will do for a sticker (haven’t you noticed the Ham & Cheese stickers that end up on our students foreheads?). Want some more participation? Pull our the foil stars, ask a question, and give out a star for good answers, or to integrate tech, give a foil star to the best response or question on Today’s Meet (see the post on Getting ALL our students to participate in the classroom).
- Make it silly – before students hand in a paper, have them do something silly, make a sound like a pirate, do a little dance, etc. Adding a little silliness will up the fun factor by at least 10% (and even more important – if you are being silly with them, they will be even more engaged!).
- In a content area, retell a story and make your students the stars of the story (think about last week’s post on titled Put your students into your materials).
When kids walk out of this building, the fun they want is pretty much on demand. Between social media, streaming video and music, video games, and more, our students have tons of ways to do something fun. If we want them to be as engaged in our room as they are with their Minecraft world, we have to be willing to bring in some of the fun.
Think of some lesson you have done in the past that was a bust (even the best of us have had one!). How could you add some fun and silliness to help the students be more engaged? What things have you included that were fun and did help students remain engaged? Share some of your ideas in the comments section below.