I feel like the combination of my experience as a performer, as a student of theatre, as a TV commercial writer, and as a student of some very good professors, has all contributed to my educational philosophy revolving around curiosity. Today I was able to try some fun ideas to see if it drew the students in – these were quick ideas that I thought of on the spot right before class began.
The first idea was to write down Scarf on the schedule instead of the subject English. Once students came to class they were all expressing confusion and wondering why Scarf was written down. (This was because they didn’t know I had a warm up activity planned before their presentations called This Is Not A Scarf.) I knew the presentations would likely eat up just over 2 blocks so I planned some warm up activities in the first block. By the time they found out what we were doing, they were already engaged. As opposed to just saying “Hey let’s do some warm ups.”
The 2nd thing I did was write something on the board as small as I could. When the students returned from their recess, they found something very small written on the board. It made them all try to decipher what was written and then once they figured it out, they tried to see if their friends/classmates could also decipher it. What a quick and easy and somewhat funny way to get students interested!
I won’t always use the board to write things down – in the future I will also use songs and pictures and costumes to evoke some curiosity. But the main takeaway is that having a dash of fun and getting the students’ interest piqued is a good way to start a day or lesson.