Savvy Teacher Tips (STT) is basically an opportunity for teachers to share helpful ideas and tips they have used that have “saved the day” especially when the class becomes a little bit boring or crazy (smiles). Therefore following our interview with Ejeme Angela Onyemowo of OakBridge Foundation, which you can find here a while ago, we asked her for some her go to tips to save day in the classroom. Enjoy
- “Name a song”- One thing I do to “save the day” is to name the title of a song and no matter the expression on my face the children jump off their seats and start singing and dancing. In a short time the tension in the classroom is gone. The songs are mostly “I am” or “I’ve got” songs about attitude, ability or personal quality.
- “Alternate Classroom” –Sometimes when the class gets hot or a child begins to loose interest in the work given, I encourage her/him to take a little sitting spot outside the classroom in order to finish the task at hand. This doesn’t happen often, but it helps by providing a change of environment for the child. We’ll explore this more when we have bigger space within and outside the classroom; and also lap boards for the children to use.
- I don’t have a name for it yet, but when I say “get some air”, my children or the particular child I’m speaking to knows I’m saying go under the tree and stretch while you think about this work that seems to be giving you a hard time. Usually they come back feeling like they got special treatment and very often it’s easier to get them to understand the task better.
- “Drama Queening”- This happens mostly when I’m expressing pleasure with a child’s work I get dramatic, like chant his/her name in a particular rhythm… trust my children to remember the chant for at least the rest of that day. Another drama level is I play a song from my phone and dance for about a minute (sometimes I invite them to join in), other times I dance to no music. However, I make them understand WHY I am doing so. I’m referring to one child’s progress/improvement, but the effect reflects on the entire class… and then back to serious work before I lose my class to hyperactivity .
- “CATCH”- this happens occasionally, I pour out balls and randomly throw at them to catch. It improves alertness because very often I throw the ball at a totally different person than whom my eyes are on. I hum and dance at the intervals when I’m deciding who to throw the ball at next. Other times I just let them decide what they want to do with the balls, but with rules because someone may decide “all the balls should be in front of me” and cause a chaos. This is a good time to spot leaders-the ones who want to co-ordinate things.
- DEMONSTRATION SONGS- Why do children always fall for this? Raise a song about naming body parts, moving in directions, jumping and clapping and you have them giggling all over the place. They soon forget they were frowning about something or yawning just a while ago!
Ms Angela’s class appears to be a fun class with interesting activities to keep the children engaged and alert. What savvy tips have you used in your classroom to save the day? Kindly share and lets learn a thing or two from each other.