Hey y'all! I'm linking up with Amanda from One Extra Degree to talk about Strategy 6: Humor. Now, I'm going to be the first to admit that I am NOT the funniest person around. I really don't care to dress up at school or look silly all day while I'm teaching... it's just not my thing. I guess it's because I like consistency and order... but, that's no excuse to not have fun every once in a while! Since I like things structured, I often let humor go by the wayside. Do we have fun in our classroom? Absolutely! But, I can't say that I'm going out of my way to make my kids laugh... and quite honestly, I never really thought it was important until reading "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites!"
BUT, now that I've thought about it and spent some time digging into our book study, it makes 100% complete sense that we should be using more laughter in the classroom. I mean, I love to laugh on my own time... whether it's with friends, by watching a movie, or having Joelle entertain me for hours! And, if it helps our brains (plus get our kids get excited about coming to school) then I need to do more of it in the classroom!
Thankfully this little girl has helped me come out of my shell a little... normally you'll finding me ducking behind her because she draws attention and laughter wherever she goes!
So, first I thought... what have I done in the past to encourage laughter and make my kids smile?!!
Our Robert Munsch author study! No one can get your kids smiling and laughing quite like Mr. Munsch!
Silly Poetry! A lot of the humor that I've incorporated into my classroom over the years has been through my students' writing. I may not joke around a whole lot, but I do like to foster silliness and creativity when it comes to their story-telling! Poetry is a really fun unit to incorporate some less-serious topics!
Last year I incorporated an "End of the Year" countdown. Many of those days involved a silly book and a fun snack. My students LOVED Pickle Day! And, I loved reading their inventive stories about their very own Pickle Person :) Things like this just help ease tension and open the door for lots of laughter!
When we write stories together, a lot of interesting topics come up. While I don't encourage my students to constantly write about potty topics, it does come up every so often! They LOVED writing this fable about a dog and cat going to obedient school for potty training... and of course, they had to make the cat potty on the pillow at the end!
I could show you countless other ways we integrate silly writing into our day... or the use of silly books, but I think you get the jist! After reading this chapter, and while I was preparing for this blog post, I decided to do some browsing for jokes/riddles I could incorporate. I found this website and immediately tried out a few animal jokes with my class as they were getting lined up. They LOVED it, and pretty much now think I'm the funniest person ever. The laughter made my teacher heart happy and wonder why I haven't been doing these all along!
Then I looked for some apps since we have iPads in the classroom. Here's what I found:
I also want to try incorporating humor through short videos that lend themselves to story starters or quick conversations. How fun would it be to end the week with a silly animal video on Fridays?! You can find thousands if not millions of funny animal videos on YouTube. I though this was especially funny!
Sometimes it is hard to find the balance of having fun and teaching the content. What I like about this book is it gives you simple techniques to try in the classroom. All it took today was for me getting my toe wet with a few riddles. Will I be telling jokes all day everyday? Nope! But, why not crack a joke every once in a while?! AND, it's an added bonus if you can get it to connect with the content! Head on over to Amanda's blog to see how she uses word play to inject humor in her classroom! Then, make a stop at Elizabeth's blog... she loves to dress up and create theme days that get her kids excited about school! Oh, and you have to see how Holly uses her sons' old costume to brighten up a lesson!