January 22, 2016 by morningcamequickly
Let’s face it, sometimes the day seems long…really long. Whether you are teaching the same lesson for the fourth time because there are eight first grade classes, the pending snow storm or full moon seem to have the kids acting a little zippier than usual, or your just off a little, it might be time to reboot. Here are 3 easy things you can pull out of your bag of tricks to refresh your class and yourself.
- Play a game. The game doesn’t need to last all class. If you are 20 minutes into a 40 minute class, you have plenty of time to pause the lesson, play a quick game, and still get the lesson wrapped up. Playing a game allows everyone in the room to break their concentration for a few minutes, re-energize, and then be fresh to focus again. My kids call them brain breaks. They still have to do with class, but their brain gets to switch gears and do a mental shift. Some great games to try include: doing a freeze dance to music, card games like Old Music or I Declare Music, moving to the beat or rhythm, and moving to music with ribbons.
- Mix things up. Sometimes Friday’s seem extra long for everyone. If your classes have been working hard, either at the beginning of class or even halfway through, mixing things up works. I always have a bell ringer activity on the board when the kids come in. They know to look there for any announcements too. So, if it feels like it’s that kind of day, I might include something like this. “It’s a fabulous, fantastic Friday. Find a seat beside someone you don’t normally sit beside in a different row.” Or it might have students looking to sit beside students who don’t sing their part. This really mixes up the class. For choir, it can even help you find a new great sound. You just never know. I still expect students to work hard, even if they are sitting by their friends, but it just gives everyone a lift.
- Smile and laugh. Honestly, telling some corny jokes or dancing some weird moves releases some energy. For everyone. It can be hard for everyone to be on task, 100% all the time. We all get distracted. Keep a stash of silly things on your piano or music stand. Remember that ridiculously cute video clip you saw about the animal on Facebook? Show it just because. It can generate some smiles, some laughter, and who knows, maybe deep in there is some correlation to what you really are supposed to be doing.
These ideas for giving your day a boost aren’t fancy, but they are all free! When you feel the kids slipping away, just shaking things up can help you all get through the day. They can help avoid grouchiness from all parties and it lets your students know you are a live, real, person. Go ahead, take a brain break, mix things up, and laugh in class today. Everyone will be better off for it. Have a great day!