I read this article and think it is a really good reminder for us:
We have objectives and curriculum. Many of us have standards we need to cover in a certain way because that's how it will be tested. But I think we should also remember the "joy" part of school. It made me think about how I try to bring joy to our classroom:
1) I burst into song a lot! I can't help it. I saw a quote on Pinterest once that said "my brain is 75% music lyrics"--that is totally me. I was entering students on our Kidblog account and a student said "put me in" and I started singing "put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today". Or Hit the Road Jack, Respect....you never know what might trigger it and of course, the kids all laugh, because I am not American Idol material! :)
2) I make jokes quite often. I have one student this year who always laughs at my jokes!
3) We dance! They love the ones from The Learning Station
and If You're a Kid. I put them on in the morning as they come in--gets those brain cells pumping and in a fun way! This is the current favorite:
4) We take the classroom outside sometimes! Just for fun we do our silent reading outside in the grass or our science lessons involve exploring our limited nature.
5) The favorite of our students--we do activities sometimes that involve food! Tens and ones with pretzel sticks and M&M's, tortilla self-portraits, Christmas trees with ice cream cones.
6) Lots of cheers for our whole group participants. Johnny got that right, let's give him a firework cheer! The kids even start making up their own cheers. My favorite attention-getter this year (and I wish I could remember where I saw it)-Class, are we on fire? and they sing "this class is on fi-re"!
It's something that I'm going to really think about making sure I incorporate in the future. I want their memories of school to be good ones. I want to help them develop that passion for learning we all know they can have.
What things do you do to keep the joy in the classroom?