Showing posts from April, 2011

Giving Students Power or "This is Harder than I Thought"

So sometimes students need a little motivation.  A goal of some kind.  Kids are naturally competitive so I try to harness that trait and direct it in the direction of hard work and improvement.  I often have little contests.  It's me versus the whole class (this keeps them working together as a team, and of course they would just love to beat the teacher).  Now of course this isn't fair, and I tell the kids that straight out.  But I also tell them how incredible they would be to beat me when the odds are stacked against them (they do win more than half the time).  Some groan of course, but most are up for the competition.  Basically I do whatever step we need to work on by myself, and then they do it all together after me.  If they are exactly together and do it right (heels up etc.) they get a point.  If they are almost all together, it's a tie and no one gets a point.  If they aren't together or do it wrong, I get a point.

They generally lose the the first 2 or 3 po…