Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Learning through Laughter

Acting out as a panel of ballet experts on a morning show
"Why are we still here? What else do we have to learn?" That question plagues me. It's difficult because students get mixed messages. The end of the year excitement and energy is hard to battle. I refuse to show movies. We make our time meaningful until the #lastbell. In communications, we are learning using improvisation. A brilliant teacher, Whitney Field shared a presentation on using improv with middle school students this summer in the Northern Virginia Writing Project's ISI. I was skeptical as improv is very much outside of my comfort zone. 
Working together as groups of three-headed experts
As this year progressed, I kept my eyes and ears open for new and interesting things to teach and practice and learn in communications. A couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of improv and it fit perfectly. I've seen the silent students raise their hands to perform. I notice everyone participating and laughing during our warm-ups. We laugh. We take risks. We get better. It's been so successful, that I've started using some exercises with my sixth-grade classes. It turns up the energy on a listless class and it bonds the group. I see the community growing stronger and stronger. 
Working together as a three-headed expert
Taking a risk and trying something completely new has been so worth it! The students are learning about communication, creativity, critical thinking, and listening. Making mistakes is celebrated and taking risks pays off. 
Practicing the three-headed expert
Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it.

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